Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jet setting with Salty (Part III)

Day three of San Francisco brought in the characteristic fog of the city. Getting a late start to the day after a lazy morning and delicious breakfast of cranberry clafoutis, we headed south on Route 1 to Pescadero.

We pulled into the parking lot at San Gregorio beach to check our map when we realized we were on empty- and quite possibly miles from the nearest gas station. This cozy couple hid from the drizzle under their umbrella as they walked the path watching the waves roll.

Unable to discern our exact distance from our destination, we popped into the San Gregorio Post Office. We didn't stay long but this cute little all-in-one bar and general store was absolutely charming. As icing on the cake, there was a four piece band playing to a small audience of bundled up locals enjoying beer, coffee, and snacks. With a few twirling kids peppering the audience, I think this is exactly the kind of place I'd want to be on a foggy fall day.

Destination: Harley Farms. American Cheese Society award winners for the last five years, Harley Farms offers a variety of tasty and attractive goat cheeses in their small shop adjacent to the farm. Since we took a while to get there, we missed our opportunity to get a tour of the farm and cheese-making process. But that didn't stop us... okay, me from sampling as much sweet, sweet, goat cheese as humanly possible in the last twenty minutes before the shop closed. I enjoyed their edible flower-adorned, tomato basil, cranberry walnut, and apricot pistachio "tortes." I also tasted their herbes de provence, peppercorn, and dill versions.

Sadly, I missed my opportunity to try their feta and chevre in oil but I did get a few toothpicks of their subtle, dry ricotta salata. We considered buying some to add to the subsequent night's dinner menu of fresh pasta and roasted chicken, but ultimately decided a small tub of their pumpkin spread and a log of their chive chevre would suit us well for pre-dinner noshing. And did it ever! The pumpkin spread was delicious with plain water crackers and would have made an excellent ravioli filling on its own.

Dinner brought us to Ebisu, a favorite sushi joint of Mr.Mr.'s and his brother, conveniently located only a few blocks from the latter's apartment. Sitting away from the bustle of the sushi bar, we enjoyed our meal in the tatami room, sitting cross-legged, shoe-less on small, soft pads. Given that Mr.Mr. and I eat a majority of our meals at the living room coffee table, the casual style of the tatami room feels a bit like home to us. While he and his brother indulged in such oddities as fresh scallop, spider rolls, and things with eels in them- I stuck to a tempura vegetable and california roll. If you look closely, you can read Mr.Mr.'s brother's t-shirt from 826 Valencia. It reads, "Canons don't sink ships. Pirates with canons sink ships." So ridiculously clever.

After dinner we rented a couple of movies from the local video store and sat down together in the glow of an 11" laptop screen (Mr.Mr.'s brother has no tv) to enjoy Mrs. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Described on the case as a "delightful, champagne of a comedy" or some such nonsense- I worried it might be too fluffy for my male cohorts... and my concerns were confirmed when, forty minutes in, I was voted off the island and we began In the Valley of Elah instead.

The former was, (just as described), a pure sno-cone type treat of a movie with lush interiors, fabulous wardrobes and a perfect portrayal of fictitious movie star of the minute, Delysia Lafosse by Amy Adams. In stark contrast, the latter was a dark, raw, and disturbing perspective on the war in Iraq and the reach of its destructive, malignant wake. What struck me most about In the Valley of Elah was its portrayal of the veterans of war and how the violence experienced, first hand or otherwise, becomes an unshakable memory. Worse, how sometimes that memory becomes ghost-like... completely separate or removed from the actual act and the implication(s) of participation in those acts.

... Part IV to follow shortly.

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