baking california life nostalgia sweets

After

30 November 2008


[Breakfast in Sebastopol, November 2008.]

all is said and done with, the dishes washed and put away, the guests departed and already arriving east, the laundry spinning itself into cleanliness, the tail end of a long holiday weekend is a bit melancholy. Lucky, then, that summer came back to San Francisco just for today and I was able to steal a little hour to sit outside with my book in the sun. I realized this afternoon there are so many birds in this city — not, of course, that there weren’t in Washington, but maybe it’s that I can hear them more the higher up I go. In DC there were so many in the spring their raucous singing became almost background noise. But in this windy city, up on my roof it is very quiet and a crow wings by overhead calling as he flies and I swear today I could hear hummingbirds chirping tunelessly from somewhere nearby.

It was so warm today — hot, even — it got me wistful for summer again though tomorrow is December 1 and the solstice not far ahead. I wanted very much to be at the beach, perhaps Limantour, in the bright sun, or at Bodega Head with the ocean foaming and crashing bluely away below the trail. I also wanted very much, I must admit, to be on a little beach along the Mediterranean with a book and a jug of water and a stomach full of good cheese and bread and wine and all the time in the world to stretch out for daydreaming.

I’m feeling a bit of the wanderlust lately, it’s true; I am thinking of visiting the U.K. maybe next fall (though that’s so far away from now!), I have little hopes of perhaps seeing Israel before the end of 2009 though at this point it’s more ‘hope’ than ‘plan,’ and I am wishing most earnestly for flaky phyllo pastries and lukewarm beer and an ocean warmer and clearer than anyplace I have ever seen. Oh, Hellas! I’m sure you are chilly and rainy right now, as is proper since it’s the end of November, but I can’t help but remember how hot your summer days can be. There’s a reason everything shuts down for a few hours in the afternoon, and I think especially during the rush of the American holiday season we’d be wise to employ the same practice. As it’s not summer and I am not dipping my toes in the sea off Halkidiki the only thing really do is have a glass of wine and some pistachio nuts and pretend I’ll be there soon.


[Afternoon snack, November 2008.]

Today was a bit of a work day after that earlier outdoor respite and I was up early to wish my traveler off on his journey. I baked a few things for an article (and also, truth be told, for me) and tried to write said article (coming along, j’espere) and gazed at the beautiful amount of leftovers I was sent home with from our weekend of eating. In addition to Thanksgiving dinner there was a Friday night of potato-chard lasagna (meat, too, but I refrained) and salad and cake; a post-feast breakfast of fried eggs and toast; a Saturday morning of french toast and lots of coffee; and then last night I treated us to Little Star, which come to think of it, could be what triggered the Grecian longing (we ordered the namesake pizza, which is heavy on the feta and spinach).

Still and all: it’s nice to be home to my cozy apartment, smelling of good butter and sugar and warm from the oven, even if the weekend passed much too quickly. I refuse to look at the upcoming weather forecast lest I be disappointed with days of fog after such an unexpectedly lovely and shining Sunday, though those leftovers should tide me over and past any climate-influenced grumblings. I am setting my sights on a holiday break at the end of December (oh lovely few days off! and hopefully no rain for camping!) and while there’s quite a bit to do up until then most of it is stuff I want to do (the usual flurry of holiday cards, parties, shopping, baking) which is a fine thing. Really, the only problem I currently am experiencing — despite the slight wish for a plane ticket out of the country — is that still I have a hankering for split pea and spinach soup but still I must hold off until I work my way through all those delicious dishes in my fridge.

Oh, it’s such a hard life.

  • EB 2 December 2008 at 9:45 am

    What happened to our summer? I think I can do without it though… I think like you, I need an oven, warm and smelling of sugar & vanilla.

  • Jesse 30 November 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Thanksgiving is always too short and the end of the holiday is always bittersweet. December is so full of fun… I’m glad it’s there to look forward too. That was a nice post… it hit on all of those post-holiday moments.