Local and seasonal…and delicious

In the throes of winter, it’s hard to think about lush strawberries and blueberry picking adventures where our hands are stained blue for what seems like a few days, but it’s now becoming an exciting adventure to see just what I can focus on when the ground is frozen and we’ve not seen such summery fruit for months.  These days there’s a lot of citrus happening, and I’m really okay with that.

I like to think about the farms, just a few miles away, with people loving and caring for the food that I enjoy in my kitchen and at our table.  It’s something I’ve taken great care, in the last few years, to really think about and make important in our lives.  It’s healthier for our bodies and the community.  There’s something about the bustling farmers’ market, getting there early to beat the crowds and the heat.  Getting my hands on baskets of the stuff I love, before it’s slim pickins’ for those late arrivers.  Kalamazoo now has a Saturday morning winter farmers’ market, which I’m so excited to attend, if only we’d be in town on a Saturday for it!  This coming weekend – it’s on!

This approach to food is definitely something I love about this Tartine cookbook.  There are beautiful narratives and short descriptions emphasizing baking seasonally – not on some sort of soap box, but just as the natural order of things.  Have you ever bought raspberries in January in Michigan?  I don’t recommend it.  It’s perfectly fitting that the foreward in the book is written by Alice Waters, (executive chef, founder of owner of ‘Chez Panisse’), who’s a pioneer of the seasonal and local culinary philosophy.

“The bakery is lavish in the use of seasonal fruit, judicious in its deployment of sugar and decoration, and, best of all, nearly all the ingredients used are grown nearby and produced sustainably, so that everything that comes out of the kitchen is fresh, unfussy, simple, and alive.” —Alice Waters (on the Tartine bakery in the foreward of the cookbook)

Part of bringing the San Francisco bakery into my kitchen has certainly meant bringing this lovely approach and aesthetic, because that’s definitely part of each and every recipe I encounter in this cookbook.

Both of the pictures are from one of our many trips to our favorite apple orchard last fall. 


Don’t forget about these recipes!!!

All the links to the PDFs for the recipes are in one place – here!  You’ve still got lots of time to bake some delicious holiday treats!  Leave them out for Santa – maybe you’ll get more presents!


why tartine?

It’s pretty clear that I love Tartine – the bakery, the cookbooks, the restaurant Bar Tartine (which I haven’t even spoken of yet!), and I am obviously such a fan of the owners – they have celebrity status in my eyes – we’re talking major, like Brad and Angelina famous.  Before I started this whole project at the end of September, I did not have Tartine on the brain like I do now.  It did have a special loaf-sized place in my heart, though, as I’ve already mentioned nearly two trillion times over the past two months or so. 

On the flight home from my latest trip to San Francisco, I spent a leg of my journey next to an adorable couple and their sweet little daughter.  As we were talking, I was still on cloud nine from the amazing trip.  (No, that’s not a drug reference.)  I was metaphorically high from the amazing time I had, as I’ve already spelled out in great detail here, here and here, so I was telling them about my project/blog with even more excitement than usually is the case.  They were either very intrigued and interested, or were very good actors convincing me of such things.  After I told the lovely woman I started this whole thing because I just love Tartine, and really missed it, she said, “Okay, but why do you love it so much?”  That’s a great question no one had really asked before, and I realize I haven’t really gone in depth about the real why.

Why Tartine? 

I’ve always loved bakeries.  Over the past four years, I’ve been to Europe twice, spending time in Southern France and the northwest part of Italy.  Traveling through Southern France, and visiting smaller towns where everyone makes daily trips to the one local bakery, made me fall in love with the concept of having “your regular bakery” – a place like Cheers where everybody knows your name.  Except, Sam is an older woman and she’s serving baguettes and croissants instead of beer and scotch on the rocks.  One visit in particular, we stopped to grab a bite to eat in a quaint boulangerie when we were passing through the small village of Pourrières, France.  The town was so very tiny, and the woman working was adorable and so eager to see travelers.  She got especially happy when I started speaking French with her.  Some guys who looked like they were in the middle of the Tour de France popped in, greeted her by name, and didn’t even order anything in particular.  She just threw together some things for them and they gave her some money.  One of them kissed her on the cheek.  I was so swept up in the moment, I felt like I was in any one of the French movies I was obsessed with in high school.  I had to fight the urge to leap over the counter and give her a kiss on the cheek, like I knew her or something, before we left. 

Exhibit A: the boulangerie in Pourrières, France

Exhibit B: Peering through the window at the woman I did not kiss.

It’s more than just loving the food, although that’s what gets a person hooked to any bakery.  As far as Tartine goes, I love the style of the actual brick-and-mortar bakery, that it’s right on the corner, the people working are happy to be there and seem like we could be pals, the art on the walls is always beautiful to look at, and the music is always right on.  Come on!  There’s an accordion player like every other Friday evening.  It’s magical, especially if you were one of the gazillion ladies in the world (like myself) who was obsessed with the movie Amélie. Tartine is the perfect American translation of that French bakery I’d always envisioned and wanted to frequent.

As you read their cookbooks, it’s impossible not to fall deeper into admiration and respect, or what I call true love, with the bakery.  You read about what brought Chad and Liz (yeah, I think we’re on a first name basis here) to the bakery in the Mission of San Francisco, and the dedication, love and passion for the craft of baking becomes even more clear.  I am all about supporting a business where relaying all of that to the customers, and audience of at-home bakers.  It’s apparent that is of the utmost importance to the folks at Tartine, and it’s what makes me love that bakery the way I do.


Tartine Baking Project: Recipe #21 Peanut Brittle

What better way to kick off December and the holiday season than with some peanut brittle?  Is it just me, or does peanut brittle have a “White Christmas” theme song?   Peanut brittle also reminds me of: my grandma, Hansel and Gretel, and the board game ‘Candy Land’… 

So I just did a little research of the game because I couldn’t remember what role, if any, peanut brittle actually played in the game.  Looks like Grandma Nut’s house was made of it.  Whoa.  Maybe that’s why I think of my grandma and Hansel and Gretel.  Candy Land has truly made an impression in my life.

Apparently the city of Kalamazoo is having a raw nut shortage, because I couldn’t find raw peanuts anywhere.  No, I really just tried two places, and both just had raw Spanish peanuts.  I didn’t feel like driving all the the place, and I figured taking the skin off would be quick and easy.  For a few of them, this was definitely the case.  I had to employ a method to make this a process that didn’t take forever: I’d take a handful, clasp my hands over them, and rub them like crazy.  It works.

Everything was measured before I even started, like my own little segment of Martha Stewart, because I knew that once this train started rolling I needed to work quickly.

I wonder if there’s a candy thermometer equivalent of the kind they swipe over your forehead at the doctor’s office… 

Everything was moving, and bubbling, along smoothly.  As soon as the peanuts went in, things got worrisome.  I suddenly had a clumpy thing on my hands, and stirring it became nigh impossible.  And keeping the thermometer in to let me know when it reached the proper temperature?  Forget it!  Well, for a few minutes at least.  It settled down a bit, and becomes a somewhat manageable blob.  That is, until it was time to spread it out.  That was difficult.  I don’t think I was working fast enough mixing things in and trying to capture it all on film, so when it came to spreading it, it seemed a little too thick.

After it cooled a bit I could spread it apart with my hands, which creates air bubbles, which means a very brittle brittle.

Picked the whole thing up and dropped it.  (on purpose)

My fears and concerns were misguided, as they often are baking from this cookbook.  This peanut brittle is perfect and just like you’d find at a real candy shop, or candy shoppe, depending on where you’re at.  It’s the kind of thing that if you were to drop it on the floor, you will pick it up and put it in your mouth, regardless of who’s in the room and looking in your direction.  I really think if the President was hosting a Season 2 Season Premiere party for the cast of Game of Thrones, and the cast of Parks and Recreation just showed up, and for some reason I had peanut brittle and dropped it in front of everyone I’d pick it up and eat it.


MY TARTINE BAKERY TOUR (part 3: satisfied)

So, this is the third and final post from my SF/Tartine visit.  Yeah, I know – three posts?!  I couldn’t summarize all the magic into just one post, so you, Lucky Reader, get to hear more amazing details about the trip.  In summary of parts one and two, it all started with a serendipitous run-in which lead to a whirlwind tour of the bakery.  As I mentioned, I sort of blacked out or something from the exhilaration of it all because I don’t really recall the exact encounter – I’m still putting together the pieces.  Oh yeah, he said one of the bakers excitedly told him that I had Tweeted that I was in San Francisco – stuff like that pops in my head as I’m doing dishes. That night, I did walk out of the bakery worried that I didn’t have good enough pictures, and all of the questions and things I wanted to say to Chad rushed back into my head as we left, and I was bummed that all I could say to him was something like “Oh, cool” about a million times.  

Upon further reflection, it wasn’t that bad.  (I hope.  At least that’s what I am convincing myself so I can move on with my life.)  I resolved to head back the next day to get some better shots of the exterior in the daylight.  Chad had mentioned some of the bakers that read my blog had left earlier in the day, and I had just missed them.  I also thought I heard him say Liz may be around the next day.  My return visit had some potential promise.

That’s Claire.  (or maybe Clare?  I didn’t ask her to spell it!)  She, like all the beautiful people that work there, was super happy as she served up tarts and cookies to the patrons of the shop.  I felt weird just watching her do her job for a minute, but I told her about my blog, and then clarified I was not stalking her or anyone at the bakery.

My effort to stare into the kitchen hoping to catch someone’s eye just made me look, and feel, like some creepy lurker handing out by the napkins.  They were crazy busy, as always, and I didn’t want to annoy anyone.  I brought my friend, Graham, who’s a fancy photographer, and he’d had taken plenty of amazing pictures, so as I turned to say, “Let’s go,” a guy came from the kitchen and said, “You’re Emily, right?  I read your blog.”  First of all, this was the first time I was recognized anywhere!  I’ve been mistaken for other people my whole life!  He knew me!  Speaking to someone who works there that reads this blog was a huge part why I’d gone back the next day, but him recognizing me totally threw me off.  He introduced himself as Kull (I thought he said Cole, so I called him that a few times before he corrected me.  D’oh!) and I immediately grabbed my adorable Postalco notepad to jot things down.  (I’m not getting paid to drop their name, I just wanted you to see, for reals, how adorable my notepad is.) 

While I did write things down, whatever I was trying to convey is forever lost.  In the moment, I felt like a real professional, but apparently I wrote in some alien language – I’m still trying to code break what little I scratched down on the page.  Kull has been there about a year, and does “a little bit of everything.”  (geez, I hope that’s his name.  I’m worried I misheard him!  If you’re reading this and your name is not Kull, I apologize!)  He had some cranberries on the stove for bread pudding, so he had to race away to stir them.  Ugh!  I love that!  Our little meeting was very brief, but he did tell me he’s enjoying reading my perspective of the things he bakes on the regular.  I told him about my tour from Chad, which he got a kick out of.  I loved that I could just tell he really loves his job, and was so excited to talk about it, even if it was just for a few minutes.  He was kind and didn’t say what I was making looked terrible or that I was doing it all wrong.  So that was a good little meeting.  Oh, and he gave me a cookie.  Score!   

We left, and I felt a million time better this time knowing I had plenty of pictures to share.  For whatever reason, a weight was lifted and a rush of relief swept over me.  As we walked around, I just felt incredibly lucky, the way things sort of fell in my lap with the whole trip.  It was much more exhilarating stumbling into all of these encounters, versus having it all lined up before I’d gone out there.  Having a little dude to take care of every day, I’ve become a very agenda-oriented person, so this was a good life lesson and reminder than flying by the seat of your pants is a necessary adrenaline rush that is completely needed every now and again. 

Graham took some pictures of me outside of the bakery.  He was risking his life standing on the edge of traffic, snapping away trying to capture a usable picture.  I’m not exactly photogenic.  His crazy photographer antics had people wondering who I was.  A passing guy sort of mumbled to his friend, “Should we know her?”  I love that.  Yes, sir.  Why not?

You see me?  I’m like Waldo with no stripes, and probably a good foot shorter than he’d be in real life, if he wasn’t a cartoon.  Oh, and you see that line off to the left?  Everybody loves Tartine!


MY TARTINE BAKERY TOUR (part 2: speechless)

When I last left you in the story, I introduced myself to Chad Robertson (the co-author of the cookbook I’m working my way through here/co-owner of a billion cool things/bread wizard) when I spotted him at my favorite coffee shop the first morning of my trip to San Francisco.  He was nice, we talked for a few minutes, he didn’t ask me to go away, I sent him an email.  There. You’re caught up to speed.

We arranged a time in the afternoon that he’d be around the bakery, and I pretty much counted down to it the entire day.  It was a very rainy San Francisco day.  Usually when it rains there, it’s more of a weird trickle that comes at you from all directions.  There was full-on rain happening that day, which always seems to slow down traffic and make people drive like crazies.  So, when it was 4:30 and Chad wasn’t there, I wasn’t too concerned.  I, unlike the great majority of all the people I know, have this weird thing that I have to be on time.  I was with my friend Jason that day, and I even tried to do things to slow myself down, but some weird force of nature makes me always show up right on time, and today was no exception.  We got coffee, and it was fun to sit back and take it all in, as we were off to the side and just watched people move through the line.  It was the bread rush, when it comes from the ovens for dinner, and people – we’re talking ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages here – get giddy for that stuff.  You see people freaking out as they try to weigh the decisions between a slice of tres leches cake or an adorable tiny banana cream pie, people rejoicing as they’re able to grab a table in the crowd, ladies taking pictures of each other holding their beloved loaf of bread.  It was entertaining, to say the least, and a good distraction from my anxiety of being stood up.  I didn’t really think I was being stood up, I knew he was coming.  Living in California for a handful of years, one becomes accustomed to the not-exactly-punctual nature of surfer time.  Half past four is a loose term, I should know that by now.

I also spent a lot of time pointing out everything I’d made so far, with detailed comparisons in the visual aesthetic of my own baked goods vs. the ones here at Tartine.  Jason, a vegan, was enthralled in this conversation, I promise.

I don’t know if it was I was nervous to actually be there and meet someone who I admire so much, or the fact that I’d consumed a lot of coffee as I waited and was scared to talk and ramble and come off as some hyper mess, but I couldn’t really talk much.  Or maybe I was, but I can’t remember what I was saying.  I followed Chad through the back of the bakery, which at this time of night was a labyrinth of bread baskets.  I think I’d imagined this enormous space with nothing but huge work spaces and counter tops, since that’s what I greatly lack in my own kitchen.  I was trying to listen to every single word Chad was telling me about their morning/evening rituals, the croissant dough in the refrigerators, little snippets of Tartine knowledge – all while interrupting him, “Can I take a picture?”  I didn’t want to just snap away, I though it was a situation where I needed to ask.  But, I didn’t want to keep asking with every step and miss out on what he was saying, so I didn’t take a lot of pictures.  And a lot of the pictures I did take were unusable shots of the floor, feet, the wall, etc.  I also didn’t bring my notebook with me to write things down.  This was deliberate, as I’ve had this gift since middle school where I can retell a conversation, word for word, to anyone.  This especially helped in situations where I was negotiating middle school romantical situations between friends, but I thought it would come in handy here.  I didn’t take a pen and notepad to jot anything down.  Bad move. 

(after the visit)

Jason: Well, how’d it go?  What did you guys talk about?

Me: I have no idea. 

I was told the legs there on the left belong to Nate, and he runs marathons and has been working with Chad for something like eight years.  (Once again, didn’t write things down.  I think that figure is about right though.)

You turn a corner and someone (who I recognize from the Tartine Bread cookbook) was in this secret little corner working with the bread dough.

These are all filled with perfect cakes, probably other stuff too, but all I saw were the cakes. 

He showed me around, and then we stopped and chatted for a bit.  Things I remember: he asked me where I was in the cookbook, he mentioned that some of the bakers read the blog (hi!), we talked about Michigan, and then he said, “Liz wanted me to tell you…” I almost stopped listening right there, just the fact that she had a message for me was enough.  She’s like the great and powerful Oz – but, I’ve seen pictures of her, so I know she exists.

As we were parting ways, I had to muster up the courage to ask for a picture.  For whatever reason, I felt like such a nerd asking.  Of course he was fine with it.  I think it’s part of my Midwestern roots, where I think everyone I meet is my friend and is okay to hug, but as we were posing I had to fight the urge to hug him. 

I am just so thankful for the way this little trip to San Francisco worked out so well,  even though I left the bakery that night with the slight feeling that I’d probably made a fool of myself.  I quickly looked through my camera and had a minor heart attack since a great many of the pictures I’d taken were unusable shots of the floor, people’s heads were cut off, etc.  I resolved that I’d go back the next day, take better pictures of the outside of the shop, potentially meet some of the bakers who read the blog, and perhaps bump into Liz.  So yeah, there’s one more post about this trip…


Tartine Bread: COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (closed)

Since I’ve been talking about how much I love bread today, I thought it would be perfect and timely to give away one of these beautiful cookbooks to one of you lucky people out there!  Oh, and since I’m so thankful for bread, giving away a cookbook around Thanksgiving makes a lot of sense!

Seriously, the bread from Tartine is perfect!  To wield the power to remake it in your own kitchen – that’s crazy!  The day I got home from my SF trip I got a text from my dad: “Unveiled first bread to the public last night.  It’s great, what artisan bread is all about.  Love the crust.”  My dad has been on a personal mission to make some amazing bread, and I pointed him in the direction of the Tartine Bread cookbook a few months ago, simply because I love their bread, and their bakery cookbook (clearly).  The cookbook is honestly beautiful!  The pictures could be ripped out and framed (I wouldn’t advise that though), and the book has one of those squishy covers that could be used for a pillow if you were in some sort of weird jam where you were stuck somewhere, needed to sleep, and only had this cookbook.

What do you have to do to get your hands on one?  Head over the the Facebook page, (“like” it if you haven’t yet!), find the picture of the cookbook, comment on it, and share that post to your wall!  IT’S THAT EASY!

All “shares” in order to be considered in the giveaway need to be completed by Sunday November 27 at 12:00 pm EST. 

Seriously, you should do this!  You can win it, make some fantastic bread, then brag to all of your friends about how amazing you are because you bake your own bread.


Tartine Baking Project: Recipe #18 Savory Bread Pudding

Literally, the last thing I did when I was in San Francisco about six months ago was squeeze in a brunch at Outerlands.  I mentioned this already, but I posted a picture before I left for this recent trip, because I’d hoped to head back there again.  It wasn’t until a few months ago when I saw this beautiful short documentary video on the Tartine Bread cookbook that I found out these guys are friends.  It makes sense.  

I love bread too.  Like, a lot.  I feel sad for those out there who have cut such things out of their diet, and turn to eating crazy amounts of fried bologna and piles of summer sausage in the place of bread and other carby things.  Eh, more for me!  The last night of this trip I asked some friends to head over to Outerlands for dinner.  Everyone kept telling me, “You haven’t had dinner there?  Oh, it’s even better than brunch.”  Few things in the world are better than brunch, but I went knowing I was going to have a great meal.  Dave, the owner who I met at Four Barrel when I introduced myself to Chad, was so very nice.  On our way out of his restaurant that night he gave me a loaf of bread!  Add this to the list of the nicest things you can ever do for me.  So far: 1.) Use the word ‘fancy’ in a compliment and 2.) Give me really good bread as a gift. 

I carried around this bread when we went out that night, cradled it through the airport the next day, and rejoiced when I had two empty seats on the flight home so the bread and my feet could have their own seats.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what special thing I was going to do with this bread.  Once home, and after getting some good cuddling in with Dan and Jack, I picked up the cookbook and zeroed in on this savory bread pudding that calls for a country loaf of bread, preferably day-old.  Ugh!  Could that be more perfect for this little jet-setting loaf of bread?

Cutting into a good loaf of bread, even when its a little over a day old, unleashes the most amazing aroma into the world.  You’re welcome, world. 

I love how beautiful Swiss chard is.  If I was asked, “What vegetable would you be?” and radish was already taken, I’d be Swiss chard.

Confession: I’ve never made or consumed bread pudding of any sort.  This is strange, I know, because it seems like a perfect fit for my taste.  It’s like Tina Fey saying she’s never seen The Office.  Hard to believe, right?  I love how versatile this dish is; being able to throw in whatever you have around is always a plus in the waste-not department.  This version: smoked ham, gruyère, Swiss chard, onion, eggs, milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and really good bread!  Many things in this cookbook can be changed, omitted, substituted for things that are in season, etc.  I’m trying not to make things more than once throughout the year, as to make sure I get to everything within my time frame, but I think that’s going to be impossible.  I would love to make this again with leeks and bacon! 

I got pretty excited when I read that you could make this in a 10” cast iron skillet.  But, I got to the point where you add a lot of heavy cream and milk, and knew that (above, on the left) was not going to fit into that (above, on the right).  Most people would then just stick with the plan laid out in the recipe, but for some crazy reason I thought this was some visual trick, and it would, in fact, fit into the skillet.  Um, it didn’t.  Maybe my skillet isn’t 10” after all?  I was just going to go with it, but then I’d have some left over, which is not exactly what I want to have pre-Thanksgiving.  I thought about freezing it, but I wasn’t sure if that would freeze well.  I’m abnormally apprehensive about putting food in the freezer.  I might need to get over this.   

Before/after (in the 9 x 13 ceramic baking dish, not the skillet)

When it comes down to it, I lack confidence when checking the doneness of anything that goes into my oven.  It’s especially complicated when I’ve never made something before and really don’t know what to look for.  The top looked done enough, but it was crazy jiggly when I went to pull it from the oven.  I baked it a bit longer, and let it cool in the hopes it would set up a bit.  I have a habit of thinking meat is done and then trying to serve it to people, so when I came out of the kitchen saying, “I’m not sure if it’s done,” I think everyone just assumed I was about to serve them raw eggs in warm milk.  Our final result was this state between solid and liquid, with a crispy crust, that tasted so very good.  If that’s what bread pudding is supposed to be, then, Yes! Success! 

People happily asking for seconds is always a good sign.


MY TARTINE BAKERY TOUR (part 1: Serendipity)

My first morning adventuring in San Francisco started the way every San Francisco morning starts for me – a trip to Four Barrel.  There’s a lot of great coffee places in this fine city, but Four Barrel wins my heart.  Besides having perfect coffee, it’s a great pull that our dear friend, Brett Walker (if you’ve been in there, he’s the one with the beard), works there, and we’ve gotten to know other employees pretty well over the years.  So, I was heading there to grab a coffee, say hey to people, and eat a ham and cheese croissant.  On my way to the back of the coffee shop where my friend Kathleen was sitting (Brett’s wife), a familiar face caught my eye as I passed him.  Rather than crane my neck with an embarrassing double take, I surprisingly maintained my composure and waited to stare until I was a safe enough distance away so I could pretend I was looking at the art.  Yes, that guy is Chad Robertson – the guy behind Tartine.  I immediately started sweating, and if I was going to go over there I had to act fast before I was a gross, sweaty mess.  I should say that I now totally get those people who camp out to meet the cast of Twilight.  Those people are such fans – like melt down in tears, scream, wave, beg for pictures, etc. – all for their favorite vampires.  They’ve read the books, they’ve seen the movies, and meeting those people means the world to them.  I’d like to think I can reel in the excitement more than those Twilight people though.  (Though if I’d walked in Four Barrel to see Liz was with him, I couldn’t promise such restraint.)  The thought of not going over to say hello crossed my mind, but I knew that I would totally regret not doing it for a really long time.  I had to mask my “Team Chad” level of admiration with a goal of “enthusiastic nonchalance” as I approached him.  Be calm, don’t scare him.

I introduced myself, completely unsure of anything I was going to say after that.  Once he said, “Oh yeah, Emily.  You’re from Michigan.  Everyone is sending me your blog,” I had to keep it together.  Don’t hug him, that’s weird.  Stop smiling like an idiot.  Listen to what he’s saying!!!  He then introduced me to his friend, David, who’s the owner of Outerlands.  As a connoisseur of brunch, his place is at the top of my list of favorite spots.  I think I started rambling about how much I love their brunch, and that I look at a picture of the last one I had there because it’s pretty magical.  Not joking there, I was starting to sound like some crazy super fan of these dudes.  But, he didn’t pretend he was getting a call or excuse himself from the conversation.  He actually said that means a lot and encouraged me to head there for their dinner.  I almost made a joke like, “Let’s go catch a wave, guys!” because I’d watched a short documentary about Chad’s bread making and his cookbook, and I saw that these guys regularly surf together.  No!  No surfing jokes, Em.  They don’t know you, or know that you’re joking.  That’s really weird to say and they will probably ask you to leave.  I rambled on about how my dad is on a grand bread-making adventure using his other cookbook about bread.  Reel it in, Em.  Reel it in.  Basically, this serendipitous moment was a test of all adult will-power I have in me.  Pulling up a chair is not something a sane, normal, admiring fan would do.  No, I didn’t really think that, because I’m not that crazy. 

One of the last things I clearly remember, before I let sheer excitement cloud my brain, is the point at which he gave me his email and said he’d show me around Tartine the next day.  Game over.  That’s all I heard.  I think I said something like, “Yeah, I think that should work,” as if I had some sort of busy schedule that needed to be checked before I set these Tartine tour plans in stone.  I realized that I should then leave them alone, so I thanked him a lot for being so amazing and letting me crash their morning coffee, then I went back to my own coffee (without asking for a picture, because that could wait until tomorrow), and I didn’t let myself turn around to look at them as I recounted the entire run-in with Chad and Dave to Kathleen.  I think I did let out a tween-esque “Ahhhh!!!” sort of squeal, but it was pretty quiet and I think the coffee grinders ensured no one else heard it, other than Kathleen.  I even waited until the evening before I emailed him, and in so doing, I made a point once again to be brief, while giving my my vibe of enthusiastic nonchalance. 

Honestly, it was such a crazy, fun moment where a few of my favorite things about San Francisco collided – Four Barrel, Tartine, Outerlands.  (I even mentioned all these places in the post I made before I left – proof of my sincere adoration of all these people and places!)  I walked around all day scared that a piano was going to drop on my head, because I kind of think this sort of thing happens to people before they die.  Usually things don’t just fall in my lap like this.  I’m the person who walks into a room and people are like, “You just missed it!  Someone just gave all of us a hundred dollars!”  So, the stars lining up or however you want to explain it, truly was beyond exciting!    

Four Barrel, Thursday morning.

I’ll share all about the Tartine visits (yes, that is plural) on Wednesday!


The Tartine display case! So pretty and very exciting comparing the goods I’ve made so far!  A

The Tartine display case! So pretty and very exciting comparing the goods I’ve made so far! A