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July 2005
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September 2005

PHOTOS: New DeYoung Museum

Although the museum doesn't officially open until October 15, the cafe and bookstore have been open for a few weeks to give the curious (and the impatient members) a chance to take a look around. Although most of the artworks inside retain their packing shrouds, the Goldsworthy rock installation in the entrance to the museum is in use, and the Richter photo mural in the lobby is viewable.

The parts of the museum that are currently open were teaming with people this afternoon. Word has started to get out that there's finally a good place to make a pitstop in the midst of a stroll through Golden Gate Park. The cafe prices are in line with the former cafe, but the light-filled space, with its glass lollipop shaped lights and tinker toys structure chairs, are worlds beyond the former museum cafe.

I was pleased to find the Izze's pomagranite as an alternative to soda, but vexed that their only ice tea was bottled or from the soda fountain. And although our chocolate mousse cake was inexplicably dry, I would go back again for food because the sandwiches on airy artisan bread looked so tasty...


Pizzeria Delfina

Delfina has held a special place in my heart since I first dined there on a special birthday back when they were still a tiny little space. Not only did they hold us a bar table after I called to give up our dining room table when my dinner companion was delayed horribly by traffic on the 101, they had Turley zinfandel on the list at a great price. I was smitten.

Given my crush on Delfina, and my love for crispy Neapolitan style pizza, it's an understatement to say I was excited about the opening of Pizzeria Delfina. I've spent the last few years (since my 2001 trek through Southern Italy) perfecting my own pizza technique with the assistance of Todd English's Figs Cookbook, and was hoping Pizzeria Delfina would be on a par -- at a minimum -- with English's pizzas.

My first visit was excellent for the most part, with cafe-style service that was prompt and courteous but nothing to write home about, and good pizzas that were pretty thin, but not quite as crunchy as I would like. I like to eat my pizza by hand and get bummed out when slices have to be eaten with a knife and fork, as was the case with all but the fennel sausage pizza. This minor disappointment was more than made up for by the amazing lemon budina dessert, and for the salad prep person surprising us with some parmesan cheese shavings after catching us sighing over his tossing away the remnants left over from the salads he was plating. Overall I was so pleased that I grabbed a 4-cheese with house cured pepperoni to go to surprise my boyfriend with when he arrived home from work.

The next visit almost a week later was not so sweet, however. The surly service from the waitress was some of the worst ever. We felt badgered about our choices, neglected with our wine service, and abandoned overall. Had it been crowded, or a weekend night, we might have seen a reason for a less than stellar evening, but this was a Wednesday night! And our overall bill, including our bottle of wine, was over $50,  so it wasn't that we were cheapskates. Who knows what the waitress' issues were that evening, but taking them out on the customers is not OK by me. I won't be back, and I won't be recommending them either, which bums me out. I'm hoping that things improve.


Madeleines

image from distilleryimage0.ak.instagram.com

I finally found a madeleine recipe that worked for me... I basically did this, borrowing from an online recipe and from Julia Child's "The Way to Cook"...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter (plugra) melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few drops of lemon juice

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Paint madeleine tin with a flour and melted butter mixture (1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp melted butter).

2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice to butter. Combine the eggs and sugar in a sauce pan. Place pan on low heat and beat the mixture with a whisk or electric beaters until thick and pale yellow. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to beat the mixture until cooled slightly and increased in volume.

3. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the sifted flour, then add in the butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Fold all ingredients in quickly until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the madeleine tin.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Carefully remove from the tin and place on a wire rack until cold. OPTIONAL: Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


think pink!

I'd resisted the color pink for well over a decade as a reaction against my well intentioned family's overwhelming inability to buy or make me non-pink clothing when I was a child. But, it eventually proved to be a color too powerful to block out, due in large part to my enduring love for Hello Kitty. Along the way, Fauchon pink entered my repertoire thanks to their slim tins full of madeleines. But the culmination of my return to pink is the beautiful bubble gum pink hello kitty bowling ball seen at the top of this page.  Best birthday present ever.


CUESA-compiled Ferry Plaza Farmers Market growers websites

This week's CUESA newsletter (from the folks who put on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market) featured a compilation of their growers' websites. Several of my favorites are included: