Thursday, March 4, 2010

Davis or bust

Before I forget one glorious moment or bite, I must share my long California weekend with you. Starting from Bainbridge, I rode ferry, lite rail, airplane and bus to arrive on Colin and Susan's doorstep. Actually Susan had to come out to the curb and guide me into the little, secret alley that leads to their wonderful bungalow between C and D street. It is tiny and well organized, as Colin and Susan constantly accomplish. There are beautiful little touches everywhere and a kitchen that both are accomplished at using- TOGETHER?

I know this because they prepared wonderful food for me all the days I visited. We had fresh vegetables from the student farm where Colin works and harvests, prepared in amazing ways. I will share the most complicated menu with you- a Christmas gift from them both.

First Course: Winter salad with celeriac, endive, radicchio and a Caesar-like dressing finished
with truffle oil and pumpkin puree with kalamata olives

Second Course: Rosemary pasta dressed with caramelized onions and aged Gouda and sauteed beets and beet greens served with horseradish yogurt

Third Course: Pan-seared Cauliflower steaks with capers, caper berry and golden raisin relish and a fresh mixed greens salad

Dessert: Citrus pie with whipped cream made from fresh squeezed oranges, lemons and zest

...and of course there was wine. We even had roasted brussel sprouts one night and I am now a convert to that vegetable treat.

Besides eating... Colin and I visited the new San Fransisco Academy of Science. We did have burritos at a wonderful Mission District restaurant for lunch and met Susan for an amazing dinner at Dosa's in the Mission District, serving outstanding Indian food.

I walked and biked through Davis exploring the Arboretum gardens, Student Farm and pea patch as well as amazing display gardens all over and almond trees in bloom along every street. We hiked the hills above Lake Barriessa just south of the Napa and looked down from the ridge of the mountains so that we could see both east and west. We had planned to add wine tasting to that adventure but thankfully were forced to change plans. We all agreed we would have collapsed long before getting home if THAT had been the program. Instead we headed back to the cottage and had a wine tasting there!

I can't think of a more delightful and inspiring vacation. During quiet moments I read Giai's Garden and planned new garden projects with Susan's help in improved designs. Now if I could only duplicate the Davis sunshine I might even be successful- those people don't really garden down there- they just throw seed to the wind and harvest the bounty! But at least I can dream!

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