Friday, July 18, 2008

Why tri-tip sandwiches are better than houses

Whew, boy, what a cliff-hanger that was, huh? Were you all on the edges of your seats? We were, too, for a day or so in there. But then we got the call from our realtor, and I knew by the mournful sound in his voice that we were not moving into a Berkeley bungalow, that we wouldn't be enjoying the fruits of the persimmon, fig, banana and lemon trees in the back yard.
I think I'm OK with this. The house was never really ours, of course, so losing it didn't hurt too much. Just a little. And we all know that most hurt can be covered up with food, with cooking and with dinners out and with good friends. Isn't that true? So I made pesto and I made pie, braised brisket, tested recipes for sticky toffee pudding and made big salads of corn and tomatoes. But my best recent discovery, the one I forgot to tell you about because all this house stuff got in the way, is the tri-tip sandwich from Dunneville Market in Hollister, California.
We were down there the weekend before the house situation, visiting a friend's family (they have a lovely walnut, cherry and apricot orchard, and we made ourselves positively sick on the fruit). On our way out of town, we stopped at this unassuming little spot for their tri-tip sandwich, advertised on a sign in the parking lot. Now, imagine this: a length of griddled garlic bread (made from extra-soft rolls) topped with perfectly tender tri-tip. Wrapped in paper, handed over with a tub of tangy barbecue sauce for dipping, this could well be one of the best lunches around. Having come late to the glory of tri-tip, I fell doubly hard. No lettuce to muck it up, no cheese or tomatoes. Just the bread, the meat and an icy beer, all enjoyed in the shade of a fruit tree. It made me feel happy, and was about $529,994 dollars cheaper than a house in Berkeley.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

High Stress leads to Bad Dinner: Film at 11

We're having quite a week over here in Feed & Supply-land. In a fit of insanity, clarity, hopefulness...whatever you want to call a fit of something we put in an offer on a bungalow in Berkeley on Monday night and now are waiting for the call that will tell us if we are or are not home-owners. Needless to say, the whole process of initialing ones life away, along with all related funds, was a harrowing one.

But first, I'll share with you this telling tidbit. On Monday, the night that we actually wrote the offer, everything came together in a frenzied, late-night meeting with our realtor in Oakland. We had missed dinner and eaten light lunches so we were starving, and I had this romantic notion that we'd have a pizza and salad at Pizzaiolo once the life-signing-over was through. When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, we were forced to settle for a slice of pizza from the worst pizzeria ever, right across from Pizzaiolo. I don't even mind cheap pizza, normally, but this was truly wretched, and took 20 plus minutes to produce, in any case, so it wasn't even fast bad pizza. While we were eating I told Sarah we'd be having a second dinner, to be sure, and I started talking about the Korean food we'd eat after our meeting. I was being a little unrealistic, though, because when we stumpled out of his office some two hours later, it was clear Korean was no longer on the agenda. But my second proposal, an ice cream cone from Fenton's Creamery in Piedmont, was met with enthusiasm. So our second dinner was actually scoops of coffee cookie dream (me) and chocolate peanut-butter (Sarah). But the best part of the whole thing? As we were driving home, Sarah said to me, "If you were in your right mind, you never would of let us have a dinner like that. I feel like I got away with something."

Note to self: lighten up.