Today (and lately),


[Clouds, Sebastopol, October 2009.]

The sky is October-blue and the lovely sun shines, cutting a shadow left-wise across the building behind my office. Downtown San Francisco is very still and quiet this afternoon, Friday, perhaps because of the ongoing Bay Bridge closure and people staying home. It feels like the end of summer and in a way it is so: the clocks change this weekend and the dark will come down early again.

So far I have had: two cups of delicious coffee; 1/2 donut-type thing filled not-quite-enough-to-satisfy with nutella, 1/2 raspberry jam croissant pastry (note: I rarely eat like this and later paid the price; my body does not like all that sugar and oil); 1/4-head roasted cauliflower with roasted white beans and spinach, and a cup of tomato soup; a few squares of milk chocolate; lots of water.

I felt OK eating those sweet things because I also ate a mountain of vegetables this week — the cauliflower, lots of beet and grated carrot salad, quinoa-spinach stew, roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans. And here I would also like to pat myself virtuously on the back to mention I’ve also eaten at least one piece of fruit a day — at least one! — including, but not limited to a pear, several perfect apples, and a grapefruit because the thought of eating a juicy, tart-sweet grapefruit whilst drinking a cup of green tea and listening to the radio in the quiet early dark of pre-7a just sounded absolutely right (it was).

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that in between all the vegetable-eating I’ve also been eating quesadillas made from homemade corn tortillas that are probably the best tortillas I’ve ever eaten (I heard the secret ingredient is applesauce?) which hold melted cheddar cheese and are, of course, topped generously with sliced avocado.

Quesadillas, to me, are one of the most perfect comfort foods I can think of — on the nights when a plain old grilled cheese sandwich (equally delicious, when you’re in the mood) just doesn’t appeal, mixing it up a little bit with tortillas usually jolts me out of my dinner doldrums. If I’m feeling fancy I might sautee a sliced portabello mushroom cap or a summer squash — or both — before throwing in the cheese, but most of the time I’m quite happy with the basics of: cheese (jack or cheddar), two tortillas, sour cream, avocado. Along with a mug of that quinoa soup you might hardly notice the lingering effects of of jetlag.

So anyway: today in San Francisco the sun shines but I feel Thanksgiving creeping around the bend and have already discussed various pumpkin-related items with my coworker (pies-from-scratch, cookies with chocolate chips, pancakes, cupcakes with chocolate ganache) though truth be told I’m still dreaming about those apples I had earlier this week from the farmers market (maybe folded into a cake, or cooked into sauce, or even baked and stuffed with savory polenta or bulgur lightly spiced with herbs du Provence). I’m starting to think about edible holiday gifts and how this year I really should delve into some new recipes. I’m wondering what I’ll do for New Year’s Eve (well, I’m not quite there yet, although it’s fun to think about if I had a dinner party what I might cook — black eyed peas for luck, perhaps a sweet potato souffle, potatoes roasted crispy and snapping with garlic …)

Clearly today is a day for the mind to be set adrift on a sea of blue skies and bright sun, with no real mooring to be found anywhere other than in fleeting thoughts of food already cooked and food yet to be (and no recipe to offer, either. Quelle dommage!).

But sometimes I think I rather like days like today: the quiet ones that simmer down to just this moment, this afternoon, this perfect quesadilla, this last cup of tea.

Happy weekend.

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  1. I just had way too much fun reading about your recent eatings! It all sounds so good, especially since I’ve been nursing a TMJ injury that’s flared up and eating only soft foods (I think I could manage quesadillas) and no fresh apples, even though I have a fabulous orchard down the street!

    I have, though, made a lot of applesauce and totally recommend this one ( for Thanksgiving. It was special in a holiday sort-of-way. Hope you had a wonderful weekend, Nicole.

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