Monthly Archives: December 2009

Give art this year

Dream

Peach Plate

Dinner Party

I got these mini paintings for around $20 each. Each pint-sized picture contains an endless multi-layered dreamworld. Painted by local SF artists Sandra and Crockett or SCUBA, you will find their work in unlikely places. Their precious yet sturdy paintings might turn up in an impromptu gallery on the sidewalk in Hayes Valley, or propped up on a storefront windowsill at an evening neighborhood block party. In sponsored events the talented pair painted their cute creatures on TOMs Shoes  – you buy the shoes they paint them for free. Makes great gifts, although you might not be able to part with them, once you get them home.

Thank you chicken

Free pasture-raised 5lb broiler from Tara Firma Farms

The bird has been cooked

Plated with roasted baby broccoli and saffron rice

Hearty homemade chicken noodle soup with grilled cheese

McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama arrived today

It was scattered across the porch, but no matter. A delivery person’s vigorous toss would have been needed to loft the hefty stack up two flights. I can’t wait to dig into this juicy Sunday-sized newspaper’s words, images, and design. The paper was created by McSweeney’s to, “…demonstrate the unique possibilities and appeal of the American newspaper.”

By formatting their latest edition as “a one-time newspaper prototype” McSweeney’s provokes a discussion around the usefulness and relevancy of newspapers, books, and magazines in the age of the internet and electronic book readers. I haven’t had a newspaper subscription probably since I left Chicago! However I do enjoy reading the paper, whether its the free daily’s for reading on the bus or train, or checking out the New York Times left in the lunch room. It has, however, been quite some time, since I actually paid for a printed newspaper.

I highly recommend you go to the McSweeney’s store and buy a book or a subscription to support these innovative publishers who are constantly pushing the envelope in contemporary art, literature and design.

Tara Firma Farms – a Food Community

Fresh eggs come from here

Last weekend, Dwayne and I drove out Petaluma for a visit to Tara Firma Farms. Inspired by Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, a picturesque old dairy farm has been transformed by Craig and Tara Smith into farm that offers “…healthy chemical-free, all-natural produce and raising grass-fed, pasture-raised and humanely-treated pigs, cows, and chickens.”

They have created a community where anyone can buy vegetables and meats grown and raised locally. Their land is offered  as an educational and community resource for all of their customers. Come out for a tour, and then their world is your oyster. Need a turkey for Christmas? They are growing about 150 right now. Want to take a hike or have a picnic? Just let them know and you can go out and explore the property, blessed with a natural spring, a fishing pond and acres of pristine rolling hills and pastures. But if you want the fresh eggs ($6 doz) – you have to be a regular!

They host events that bring together people who care where their food comes from and how it’s grown and processed, whether foodie, vegetarian, or born-again carnivores, like myself. On Sunday, the chef from the Slanted Door restaurant was there with his son, checking out the new litter of piglets.

At the end of our tour, we were unexpectedly presented with a complimentary pasture-raised 5lb broiler chicken. Filling out a survey and promising to spread the word was a small price to pay. Last night we roasted chicken for the first time, and now I have a pot of stock simmering on the stove. Later, I’ll make chicken soup–a new experience–but with  some advice from my mom, I’m sure it will be tasty and delicious.