I forget how February can be here — warm, sun-filled, with a gentle breeze. The hills are green after last month’s rain, but many of the trees are still bare. I remember one Valentine’s Day, my last year of high school, driving home along the back roads with the high grass scattered through with bright yellow flowers, a sunny, clear day that belied the calendar.

This past weekend was glorious, too — and also full of sun and warm temperatures. There was an art opening on Friday (before which: lunch at Pancho Villa, a meander through the ferry building, and coffee at Citizen Cupcake), a trip to Sebastopol on Saturday, and then a large and lovely brunch on Sunday. I even managed to squeeze in four miles before we stuffed ourselves for a few hours.

[Part of the spread, February 2008.]

This weekend was a perfect Bay Area weekend — the sky that clear, deep blue (and I mentioned it was warm, right?), with lots of walking around and exploring little shops on Divis, drinking lots of coffee in the sunshine, eating cookies, taking my friend to Sonoma County to buy bath treats and visit with the cats. Saturday afternoon, crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, we both stopped talking for a minute (but just a minute) to look at it, the water spread out to the right and dotted with little white sails, ships crossing slowly from sea to bay.

But back to the brunch.

There were bagels with cream cheese or hummus, a plate of tomatoes and avocados, waffles with maple syrup, brownies, tiny cupcakes, a big bowl of fresh fruit. There was an endless pot of coffee, sparkling juices, and teas. There were not mimosas, because I forgot, but I don’t think anyone noticed their absence. There was a big pile of scrambled eggs; there was lots of sunshine.


To be honest, it was fairly low-key on the brunch scale. All we had to make, really, were the brownies and the fruit salad; the rest of the preparation involved placing things in pretty bowls, setting the table, and lighting the candles. I love a spread that looks so lovely, but doesn’t take more than an hour to prepare.

Still, I had to turn the stove on to make something, so I made eggs with mushrooms and chives. Personally, I love a nice sprinkle of parmesan or some wilted spinach in my scrambled eggs, but I decided to skip that this time around in case others didn’t agree with my preference. All I did was: sauteed some thinly-sliced crimini mushrooms in a little olive oil, then whisked about 20 eggs (there were a lot of people coming) with a splash of half-and-half and some salt and pepper. Then I poured the eggs into the pan with the mushrooms, threw in some chopped chives, and stirred and cooked the eggs on low heat until they were solidified, but not dry.

There weren’t any leftover.

[Cupcakes, for brunch, February 2008.]

Tomorrow night, another dinner party (is this becoming a Thursday night thing?), both for a birthday and for a little holiday celebration. I must dash to the ferry building this afternoon to procure some more fish, and perhaps even one of those amazing sandwiches I haven’t had in far too long …

What are you cooking up for your Valentine/s?

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  1. Hi Nicole,

    Your new site/domain looks great! I just want that plate of avocado and tomato with some fresh bread and sea salt…and maybe a cupcake!

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