#66 | Relishing Ruth Reichl
🦀 + Local Gift Guide Part 2
A Coney Island of the Mind, 8
In Golden Gate Park that day
a man and his wife were coming along
thru the enormous meadow
which was the meadow of the world
He was wearing green suspenders
and carrying an old beat-up flute
in one hand
while his wife had a bunch of grapes
which she kept handing out
to various squirrels
as if each
were a little joke …
From A Coney Island of the Mind, New Directions, 1958.
There’s more to this poem: continue reading A Coney Island of the Mind, 8.
☑️ Don’t forget to check off your holiday shopping list by sending an Edible SF gift subscription to your favorite food-loving friends.
By the way, I'm Bruce Cole, Publisher of Edible San Francisco. Welcome to all the new subscribers this week! If you'd like to hop off anytime, simply unsubscribe. I appreciate you reading (and sharing) this newsletter.
Here we go.
Ruth Reichl’s Substack: Reichl is publishing a daily newsletter titled La Briffe for the month of December (la briffe is an affectionate old French term for food). All together now: YAY! 🎉 Her posts include articles from her archives going back to the mid-’80s, restaurant menus (Thursday’s post features one of the first menus from Greens, back when Deborah Madison was the chef), plus gift guides and recipes. Subscribe here: La Briffe
Jam By My Side: “Food operates at intersections and should be included in any sort of policy. It can be a way to bring folks together as a real organizing strategy and tool. It was really hard to convince people of that.” Shakirah Simley in How I Got My Job: From Making Artisanal Jam to Public Service at SF City Hall and Beyond. Eater
SNAP Matters: “I cannot eliminate the fear that all this can be taken away at any moment. Food insecurity is psychological warfare.” Barbie Izquierdo in Hunger Continues to Plague Americans. Here’s Why—and What to Do About It. Civil Eats
Omnivore Books is the Bay Area's only culinary bookshop, featuring new, antiquarian, and collectible books on food and drink. Open since 2008, we are proud to offer the latest and greatest books on food and drink, as well as hard-to-find imports, rare books and menus, and food books for children. We are open daily for in-store shopping, and much of our stock is also online for armchair browsing and shopping.
🦀 Dungeness Crab Is Here: Kinda. The commercial season just opened north of the Sonoma-Mendocino County line, so a few SF retailers are starting to sell fresh crab. You can find some at Billingsgate on 24th, and order online via fourstarseafood.com and water2table.com. The commercial season for the SF Bay area is still on hold because of whales and sea turtles in the area.
🦀 Our Go-To Crab Cake Recipe: A few herbs, a lot of crab, and little else make these simple crab cakes feel decadent. Edible SF
Figs On A Plate: How do figs, radishes, and everything else, end up on your dinner plate at a restaurant? Via the farm liaison. “This person thus serves as an educator, to the chef and the farmer, and the business’s guests by way of the service staff. It’s someone who can speak chef and speak farmer just as well, anticipating the needs and limitations of both.” Gjournals, the newsletter from Gjelna restaurant group in LA.
Supply Chain Issues = Rising Restaurant Prices: So quit complaining when the price of your favorite slice of toast goes up. 🙃 “Bay Area restaurants are dealing with rising costs of seemingly everything, they say, from meat and eggs to flour and takeout containers. As a result, owners are making difficult decisions to compensate. Some are raising menu prices, while others are adjusting portion sizes or eliminating dishes altogether.” SF Chronicle (paywall)
☠️ Related: Staggering numbers from the backlog of container ships at the Port of LA. Shipping emissions from at-anchor ships are equivalent in NOx to 5.8 million passenger vehicles in the region. Emissions of diesel PM is equivalent to 100,000 Class 8 trucks. California Air Resources Board
You Are What You Eat: Small children are climbing 60-foot trees to harvest your açaí. The Washington Post (paywall)
Define Despicable: Smithfield Foods blames “certain cultures” for covid outbreaks at their meat processing plants. “Living circumstances in certain cultures are different than they are with your traditional American family,” a (Smithfield Foods) spokesperson said, noting the plant’s “large immigrant population.” Vice
Thanks for reading EAT. DRINK. THINK. from Edible San Francisco!
SHOP LOCAL GIFT GUIDE PART 2
These gifts and selections are from the advertisers in our magazine. The financial support of businesses like these helps grow and sustain Edible San Francisco by paying our writers, photographers, and illustrators, so please join us in shopping local this holiday season.
Bi-Rite Market: Sam's #EatGoodFood Favorites Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite, turned us on to the Poschiavo Spaghetti in this gift box, and until we quit eating gluten 🙃 it was our go-to pasta. This box also includes Bi-Rite’s cookbook, Eat Good Food (2011) which we rely on for many recipes, especially the infamous meatballs and one of our all-time favorites, Delicata Squash Salad with Fingerling Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds.
Daily Driver: The Party Box includes not only Daily Drivers’ deliciously chewy wood-fired bagels but also their house-made Butterkäse cheese and cultured butter. Plus a supply of Bayview Pasta olives (IFYKYK). And if you’re going in to pick up a gift box, make sure to order a lobster roll while you’re at it. Per Omar Mamoon in his 5 Things To Eat Right Now column: “I love it so much, I rank it the number one lobster bagel roll in San Francisco.”
Dig Wine: If you’re shopping for the European wine lover in your life, Wayne Garcia’s cozy wine shop in the Dog Patch features a discerning selection of French and Italian wines, from classic labels to small and lesser-known producers. Wayne has introduced us onto many great bottles over the years, a few of our favorites: i Clivi R_B_L_ Brut Nature | Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso 'a Rina | La Pierre Morgon | Catherine &t Pierre Breton Bourgueil | Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre and many more not listed (we have A LOT of favorites 😉).
Gemini Bottle Co.: One of the few wine shops in San Francisco that features exclusively natural wines, Gemini Bottle Co. also stocks many spirits, including an eclectic assortment of vermouth, mezcal, tequila, and gin, vodka, bourbon, whiskey and scotch. Besides gift cards, there are new holiday cocktail packs available. We like our Manhattan’s on ice with a solo big cube, but about the only place other than White Cap we can get the drink that way is to make it at home, so we have our eye on the Manhattan Pack. But the Sazerac Cocktail Pack is tempting as well, as is the Gin Martini Pack and the Amaro Pack. Or if you’re looking to set up your own home bar, may as well go all in with the Bar Explorer Pack. Cheers!
More selections next week, but please support our advertisers! The financial support of businesses like these helps to grow and sustain Edible San Francisco.
EAT.DRINK.THINK. December 2021: The playlist we listen to while cooking dinner every night. New tracks from Céu, Irreversible Entanglements, CWTTY+, Erika de Casier, Analog Dog, and more. Plus we punched up the Way Back Machine to include Night Ripper, the classic 2006 track from Girl Talk.
A year of playlists:
Our favorite would probably be October if we had to pick one, which leads off with the S.F. Symphony’s “Movements (feat. AÏMA the DRMR)” from pianist, M.C., composer, and producer Kev Choice. It’s a song/composition that the San Francisco Chronicle hailed as “a virtuoso exercise in combining multiple musical and verbal strains into a tight artistic weave,” with elements of Hip Hop, Classical, Jazz, Soul, and Funk with socially conscious lyrics to create a unique sound.”
That’s all for this week.
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