This blog turned nine last week. I'm glad I've kept it going, even though the number of posts is vastly diminished as compared to a few years earlier. Thanks, dear readers! What better way than to celebrate with a report of something that combines travel and food!
In July, I went to San Francisco rather unexpectedly, for just five days. This, of course, is the Golden Gate bridge but I was put up in a hotel fairly close to the piers so I managed to walk down to them everyday and take in the sights and sounds a fair bit.
This is my second trip to San Francisco. The first one was in 2003. My cousin and I spent five days there and did quite a bit - apart from visiting the city we went to Napa Valley and Yosemite too. This time, I spent three days in the city on work and spent two more days with a friend who lives outside San Francisco, just relaxing and exploring the little town of Lafayette where she works.
This shot is from a farmers' market at Ferry Plaza. Aren't they vibrant, these macaroons?
Don't you just love going to farmers' markets? I do. I even like going to grocery stores. I visited quite a few grocery stores in Lafayette and got my first pack of farro from there.
I didn't buy any vegetables though I bought a lot of fruit at the farmers' markets and other stalls along the piers.
Tomatoes galore! I enjoyed seeing the variety.
Our hosts took us to this Italian restaurant where we ate a lot of ravioli. This ravioli in a basil tomato sauce was filled with ricotta cheese and spinach. This dish is vegetarian.
I think this was lamb or beef. Probably the latter.
This was ravioli with chestunuts in a butter and sage sauce topped with crispy pancetta.
This snaky vegetable was at one of the stalls in the farmers' market. There wasn't anyone around for me to ask what it was.
The first time I'm seeing rhubarb in the flesh. In the original form, that is. I've had a rhubarb pudding a long time ago.
I had been looking for tamales at Mexican restaurants here in India but had never found one. I was still in a tamale mood when I found a stall at the farmers' market on Ferry Plaza. It was filling but really very bland - I went on adding chillies to it from the accompaniments that were available. I may not have it again.
This is a pharmacy. It was quite a task to spot the medicines amidst all the food that swamped the pharmacies - and there were several of them around my hotel. The food wasn't restricted to fruit and breakfast - there was chocolate, there were vegetables, deli food, quite a variety.
This was a starter at a nice but crowded restaurant our hosts took us to in Sausalito. It is made up of kale, jicama and pecorino.
I've seen too many of these blistered peppers on friends' timelines and so did not pass up the opportunity to order a plate. They were very nice and mild, and occasionally a hot one would pop up. I would have eaten everything if it weren't for the fear of a runny tummy from the hot ones.
I was surprised to find out that this was what the restaurant called salt cod fritters. I've always imagine fritters to be flat, or like pakoras.
And this, the Black Mission Fig with goat cheese and frisee.
It's always a lot of fun to meet a blogger friend. I think of them as old friends who I'm meeting for the first time. ET, who has also been blogging for nine years, at Evolving Tastes, and I met the day I was leaving San Francisco. We met at Ferry Plaza, my luggage in tow. She treated me to lunch at the Mexican restaurant there. I had a bean taco and a shrimp taco.
This was a pink lemonade in a shopping complex in Lafayette. I liked how the malls in California were not multi-storeyed but spread out. I rarely consume juices or drinks in India. But the ones in CA really had me thirsting for more. They were flavourful and not weighed down by sugar. I even had a couple with lavender in them. I think I would like to go back and try some more.
This was the lunch I treated myself to as I was roaming around Lafayette's main street. Tomatoes baked in feta with olives and walnut toast. Not bad at all!
And I leave you with this. No, I didn't dare.