I'm back! As I type this in my living room, I am staring out at Alcatraz, the Bay, and a three mast sailing ship that's been parked there for ages. The sky is a powdery blue and the clouds look like smears of gold dust against the sky.
I don't have time for another tally, but assume that by now something close to 40 boxes have been unpacked. The internet is back (whew!), we have flowers gracing our hallway table (thanks to a very dear friend) and Mr. Food Musings is off for a mid-afternoon ice cream snack.
As soon as I unpack the camera, I'll shoot my view for you.
In the meantime, hope you are enjoying the last few days before Christmas. Don't miss out on your last chance to bid on my autographed copy of San Francisco Chefs 2006 at Menu for Hope...the tally is currently $56,000 and counting!
In Zimbabwe, mothers have been reduced to feeding rats to their starving children.
Rats, people. Can you imagine how hungry you'd have to be to grill a filthy rodent over the coals?
I know. You're scratching your head, wondering what you could possibly do to help. How about spending an afternoon over coffee with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller, or leafing through a series of cookbooks like Tartine Bakery and Sake? What about unpacking a basket of goodies from France, including foie gras and special salts, or a package of hard-to-find Persian ingredients for a homecooked meal? All of these prizes and more are available at this year's Menu For Hope, which so far has raised over $31,000 for the United Nations World Food Programme. If you donate $10, you have a chance at the prize of your choice, and all proceeds will help feed the hungry in countries like Zimbabwe.
The industrious ants and honey bees of the world have got nothing on me.
# of rooms packed so far: 5
# of rooms I packed solo: 4
# of rooms left to pack: 1! (well, a closet and some change)
# of boxes of wine: 12
# of boxes of books: 10
# of small appliances given away for free: 4
# of pieces of furniture sold: 5
# of IKEA pieces of furniture sold: 2
# of pieces of furniture purchased for the new place: 1
# of boxes schlepped over to the new place and unpacked: 10
# of times I thought Mr. Food Musings was going to fall backwards and refracture his skull on the stairs: 11
# of times I shouted, "Honey! Watch out!" at him: 2,400
# of times I was convinced it helped prevent him from falling: 2,400
# of times he was convinced it helped prevent him from falling: 0
# of bottles of Pellegrino in our new fridge: 8 1/2
# of calories I ingested at Nick's Crispy Tacoes after hauling over the boxes: 4,700
# of scratches I put on myself loading and unloading boxes: 4
# of scratches I put on our car trying to fit it into our impossibly small new garage space: 2
# of times I rehearsed parking the car in aforementioned impossibly small garage space: 3
# of times I wailed, "But it's too small!" about aforementioned impossibly small garage space: 266
# of times I teared up at the thought of having to wedge our car into aforementioned impossibly small garage space multiple times a day: 2
# of ways we came up with to solve the problem: 3
# of those ways that included forking over five figures for a new, tinier car: 1
# of tiny cars both Mr. Food Musings and I can agree on: 0
# of square feet carpeted this weekend: 1620
# of times I squealed when walking over cushy new carpet: 7
# of people who have seen our new place: 0
# of cookies I baked for Little Brother: 97
# of Christmas tins I packed cookies in: 4
# of dollars it cost to mail them to the cold, mountainous war zone where he is spending Christmas: 185
# of times you doubled back to reread that number: 2
# of times I told people how much it cost to ship the cookies: 3
# of times people were shocked: 3
# of times I regretted baking so many cookies: 0 (He's my only Little Brother. And it's only money.)
# of dollars Menu for Hope III has raised so far: 24,095
# of people who have bid on my rare copy of San Francisco Chefs 2006, signed by some of this country's greatest chefs including Thomas Keller, David Kinch and Michel Richard: 3
# of times I have looked to see how many people have bid on my prize: 75
# of times I have bid myself on prizes: 3
# of prizes I have bid on: 7
# of you who are gonna be so sad when I win the KitchenAid mixer: 352
# of you who haven't bid on ANY of the amazing prizes yet: 1,000,000
# of you who haven't bid on anything and who therefore suck: 1,000,000
# of you who are willing to fork over $10 for charity: 999,999
# of you who should at least go see what all the cool prizes are: 999,999
I was up early this morning. The carpet guys called me a little after 7 to let me know they'd be at the new place in 20 minutes. That was my cue to brush my teeth, throw on some pants and a scarf (it's c-o-l-d this morning!) and scoot over to our new side of town. As I pulled out of our driveway, looking right, then left, I saw that the sun was up just high enough to illuminate the tippy top of the buildings on one side of the street stretching as far as the eye could see. In that light, they looked like shiny onion domes, a countryside's worth of mini-Russian cathedrals scattered throughout San Francisco, a soupcon of gold in an otherwise still-gray morning. My little reward for shimmying out of the warm bed so early today.
I was one of few as I raced across town, stopping at corners to heed the law and then pushing through. It was me and the cabs and the buses. I saw one jogger, one woman walking her dog. The dog's nails beat out a click-click on the sidewalk with every step; I could hear them through my windows. It is such a rare thing to move through the city as if alone; the last time I experienced that was after a long rain, in the early evening. It makes you feel like the city is yours and yours alone, every block, every building, every view. That glimpse of water here, that glance of light off hilltop there. All yours.
I happened to notice that there is a taqueria one block from our new place. That could spell disaster for the Food Musings' impending New Year's Diet Plan. Heh.
Hey, people, for all of you who want to see my words in print, check out the January issue of Olive. It marks my official debut in the glossies. The issue is out in the UK already (where it's published) and should be out on select US newsstands within another week or so. Along with several fellow bloggers, I helped put together a feature that offers an insider's take on hot foodie things to do in 8 cities all over the world.