Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer in the City - A perfect day in July

It's July in San Francisco. Most of you in the rest of the world know what it means to experience July. July happens to prepare us for August, the month that in Cincinnati we just stay in doors to escape the heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes. July is supposed to be hot, a time to enjoy summer at the pool, watch the gardens grow and enjoy the sweet corn and tomatoes that ripen this time of year. A song by the Lovin Spoonfuls that Max quotes below(are we showing our age?) says it pretty well.
"Hot town, summer in the city; Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty" Well maybe not exactly what we are experiencing here. I think a better quote is attributed to Mark Twain- "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." We're back to appropriately seasonable San Francisco summer- foggy, damp, and cold enough for a jacket and scarf on most evenings!

But Mark Twain also spent some time in Cincinnati and his comments about that city were not so much about the weather, but rather about when things happen in Cincinnati as Max describes.

Consequently I hope to to return to Cincinnati before the end of the world at least by a day or so -for about Cincinnati Mark Twain says-""When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."

But it is summer in San Francisco and out in the central valley where they grow all of those fruits and vegetables it really is July with temperatures up in the 90's. And that's weather for growing those tomatoes that are wonderful- they actually taste like tomatoes!

So we started this wonderful summer day that we both had off from work with breakfast at home! And tomatoes! And bacon! And fried eggs!

And the most wonderful biscuits in the world- I finally have the recipe right for my version of angel biscuits- I'm going to test a couple of more times- and then you'll get the perfected version on this very blog! Ever since we have been here, Max has been trying to make biscuits that matched the ones we often have at Cathy & T.H. Milby's house in Norman. When we visit they always made these delicious biscuits and Max asked for the recipe. But getting the recipe is one thing, making the same biscuits is something different. As in lots of recipes, there is the formula and then their is the art of doing it. You can't write down the art, it has to be developed by trial and error. Max's biscuits are really wonderful, so I'm not so sure what else she needs to do to improve them.

And then broiled peaches! Not just broiled, but broiled with honey on them.

The absolute best breakfast ever!

And then off for an afternoon walk! You might have noted a time aberration here. How does an afternoon walk follow breakfast? Well, it does if you don't actually get to breakfast until around 11:00, but that's all part of the "perfect summer day".

But we had errands to do as well as just pleasure in our walk. We are in the prep stage for the BIG VISIT! The grandbabies arrive soon- to this not quite 2 bedroom apartment- on the top of a hill- that seems not at all the haven for children (we hardly ever see children here- I think they live somewhere else- not sure where- just not here)- so we are getting ready- trying to at least.

But there are no Targets or Walmarts or ToysRUs etc here, at least not close to us. There are just hardware stores- Mom and Pop hardware stores- so we set out.

Most of you out there are too young to remember the 5 and 10- not me- I remember- when a nickle would actually buy you something- But even though this particular 5 and 10 costs a bit more it does capture the spirit. Actually this is a 5 and 10. For in San Francisco its not 5 and 10 cents, but rather 5 and 10 dollars. And it really is a "hardware" store, but I suppose that could include puzzles, books, markers, and stickers.

There is one aisle of "kids" stuff- we shopped!

Don's going back for "stuff"- coloring books, markers, books, stickers..... I did go back and get them and they were priced at 5 and 10 dollars.

And of course there was an aisle just made for Don- "guy stuff"! But this was not a guy stuff day. We had just started our walk and had only gone about a mile. We still had 4 more miles to go and a cliff to climb. You don't carry guy stuff on a walk.

And then it was a walk through the Presidio...

And I always feel close to my dear friend, Linda LaCharity, from Cincinnati who lived here on the Presidio when she was in the Army (a colonel I think?!).

And then down to the Marina to watch the wind surfers and the kite surfers and the boats! To put the following pictures into perspective, the temperature was really pretty warm this specific afternoon (note the fog has burnt off). It was approaching 70 degrees, but the water in the bay stays somewhere in the high 40's to low 50's. These folks are all wearing serious wet suits. All of those kites over the water are attached to people who are riding "surf" boards (actually they are more like giant snow boards made out of very light weight but strong materials.

Below are wind surfers, not to be confused with kite surfers.

I never realized how much I would love the Bay- it's not like there isn't something exciting about the crashing of the waves of an ocean- or the quiet laps of the edge of a lake- or the babbling of a brook- But I love this Bay- it takes my breath away- to watch the ships- the waves- the sailboats- the fog- the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance- the wind surfers- the kite surfers- I just didn't know how magical watching the Bay would be. And I will miss it forever! We did bring our binoculars so we could get a good view of the activity in the bay. I think I was watching a fishing boat drift by. The sea bass are active right now in the bay and charters tend to drift with the wind down the coast of the bay.

But by now I was feeling hungry so we found a Jamba Juice- and Peach of course is my choice! Not sure I ever saw a Jamba Juice anywhere but California. It's part of the "natural, organic, healthy" fast snack out here. It will probably make it to Cincinnati in about 20 years.

And now to the next local Mom and Pop- hardware store- actually my favorite- because this one has kitchen "stuff"!

And this one has a bench- and dog for Don! The bench was standard issue, but the dog was made of plaster. But given my choices, it was the best dog around. In fact it was the kind of dog my Mom might have actually put up with - no barking, no licking, no getting on furniture, no feeding.

And the "kitchen aisle" for me...

It was here that I bought the candy thermometer to make homemade marshmallows with Reeder! I have a feeling that might be a blog all by itself.

And now to home- and dinner! A summer dinner! And maybe Barbecue! But then we don't have a backyard. Or a grill. But that didn't stop us (Don always goes along so it is an us- a we).

So we did SUMMER!

Corn on the Cob! Peaches! Tomatoes!

And Baby Back RIBS!

We did a spice rub- and then used the oven- to mimic the backyard- and- drum roll please....

Looks like summer to me! Now I'm still working on the ribs- have a couple of ideas- and will practice again when Clint (with Marianne, Reeder, Hayes) are here- so if it works I'll give the details for the blog. I'm going to try to turn up the heat- was a bit too mild for the barbecue- so wait for the final verdict- But I'm working on barbecue ribs!

And how do you finish celebrating a summer day- well with a ballgame- of course!

So we finished this perfect summer day- with a great game by the Cincinnati Reds! This game thanks to MLB Extra Innings so we can actually watch Red's games, and the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) so we can record these games instead of watching them when they are actually played in the early afternoon out here on the left coast. This game was one that they actually won.


fiddleheads said...

speaking of bbq'ing indoors, i sometimes can be caught toasting marshmallows over our gas stove...yummy
and your biscuits look absolutely unbelievable. holey moley, i am dreaming of them right now...

Anonymous said...

Yum! Looks like the perfect day. love,b