24 February 2008

under some weathers

friends, i have a cold that will not go away. in addition, as you may have understood from last spring's ecstatic grocery-blogging, i live in the bay area, where it is currently all rainy and cold-inducing. or at least cold-encouraging. ooh, and also i totally get to count myself as a real academic now: i received my first article rejection today.

nevertheless: yesterday jarrod and i went to the ferry building farmers' market, where i sniffled and hacked my way through several stalls filled with early carrots, beets (meh), and lovely taters. in the evening we concocted a mostly-local feast of butternut squash soup with creme fraiche and pine nuts, wild rice (that's from minnesota, but it was local when we got it there) with meyer lemon juice and dried cherries, and roasted root veggies with meyer lemon zest and fresh thyme. yes! and nine wonderful people at the dinner table.

i always feel a little bit torn about the ferry building market. it's huge and expansive and the foods are beautiful to touch and feel and taste; everybody's from not more than a couple hours' drive away; it's a gift to be getting to know the seasons of food in this area. but more than the berkeley or oakland farmers' markets -- at least on the basis of no more than five visits to each -- the ferry building is a bit of a yuppie paradise. these foods are local and they may be organic, but they're not exactly cheap. just like every city i've gotten to know, san francisco's local food scene -- which should be benefiting everyone -- seems to be attracting (where attracting is maybe a proxy for serving?) mostly a white-and/or-upper-middle-class chunk of 'everyone.'

there are notable exceptions: EBT/food stamps are legal tender at berkeley's and oakland's farmers' markets, which may be similarly true but isn't advertised at the ferry building; the berkeley bowl and the reading terminal market in philly manage to sell quality stuff that's cheap, (relatively) accessible, and somehow...inclusive? i can't come up with a better term than "inclusive," but i'm talking about the idea that farmers' markets and their ilk aren't scary gourmet places.

anyway. the food we got there was great, and dinner was great, and friends are extra great, and then we went to see jarrod's new show, gone -- but not before running smack into the chinese new year parade, which was in full swing despite the downpour. this was my second time seeing gone, which is a collage piece that rewards repeat viewing. i liked it a lot the first time: all the components (sophocles, allan ginsburg, proust, anonymous blog excerpts, pliny the elder, country rock anthems...) are more or less tiny, complete pieces in themselves. but making all the connections required more streams of thought than i could fit into that initial viewing. i liked it a lot the first time; the second time i felt like i was actually getting it. also, the lighting is gorgeous.

in entirely unrelated news, i do occasionally work, and i more-than-occasionally think about work, and for my edification and yours i've added paul staniland, an MIT grad student working on armed group structures, to the blogroll.