Somehow, despite all the hub-bub and build-up, we forgot today was the annual Bay to Breakers foot race, a very San Francisco-style free for all that mixes "real" runners with passionate amateurs and more than a few folks who trail along, running or walking, in costumes or buck-naked save for running shoes, many towing kegs behind. I know, how could you forget something like that?
In any case, after driving around the city for an hour trying to get to the Golden Gate Bridge (ha! double ha!) we ended up taking the Bay Bridge to Richmond, then the Richmond Bridge over to San Rafael. It just so happens that Sunday is farmers' market day at the Civic Center in San Rafael, so we stopped in. First, the bad: so many strollers, so many parents cooing over children running amok through stalls, sticking their half-eaten strawberries back into unclaimed baskets of to-be-purchased berries, so much Marin humanity, so many fancy S.U.V's crowding the lots. How can such a beautiful place be filled with...well, let's just say they aren't all as "in touch" as we might hope. Then, the good: strawberries, apricots, fava beans and little gem lettuces; Brickmaiden bread, the kind with a little whole wheat flour mixed in so it has just enough chew to it, chickens turning on spits and some--from Marin Sun Farms--ready for roasting, feet still attached. Good stuff!
We're having a kind of lazy Sunday meal--a roasted chicken, a piece of cheese, maybe some fava bean puree on toast. A couscous salad, with Armenian cukes from the market. But that's all just wholesome build-up to the real deal--possessed by some sort of dessert demon (a not infrequent occurrence chez nous) I made fresh mint ice cream with shavings of dark chocolate stirred in and then I tried making cones, too. The cones are tasty but totally ugly--they will not be holding the ice cream (due to giant holes at the bottom) so much as accenting the ice cream, like a crunchy little top hat. And who do I have to blame for all this? Ex-Chez Panisse pastry chef David Lebovitz, author of the newly released "The Perfect Scoop," a guide to fool-proof and goddamn that's good ice cream making. He also has a terrific eponymous blog, www.davidlebovitz.com Check it out!