Chapter 1

NEW
Following the Giants’ East Coast Swing

There is a bunch of new stuff here at eatsforone.

  • New Server
  • New Look
  • New Format
  • and finally, a New Story.

Son Eric, who got me started on *eats* in December 2005, has always handled the background, server part, while I did the fun writing part. He informed me recently that it would be beneficial to change servers. That change necessitated a format change, but allowed the very cool “Category Cloud” and Archives list on the front page. This will make it easier for those of you with curiosity to explore our 10 year history at will. Some curious and entertaining stuff has been written over the years.

My first post for the new version of eatsforone, while maintaining an “eats” focus, will follow us on the SF baseball Giants’ *East Coast Swing* w through Boston and New York City. It all started when the Giants offered such a trip package, and became real when Son Eric offered his complete tour-guide services — the Giants package left us on-our-own for all except the games and intercity travel — for nightlife, meals and getting around. We settled for the advantages and personal service of Eric instead of the Giants; and at some cost savings. [Son Brian’s job took him to Europe for six months.]

So this will be a story of that trip, focusing on the food, of course.

Since it was a ten day trip, it will take some time to write and illustrate, so it will be offered in installments. You can’t enjoy it as much as we did, but here’s a sense of it.

M O N D A Y
A neighbor dropped us at Reno Tahoe International Airport and the place was nearly deserted at 9:30pm, so check-in was quick and EZ. RNO is not particularly big — big enough to offer non-stop service to and from JFK in New York — but it is L O N G.

Reno-Tahoe-International-Airport

The walk thru the Terminal.was not so bad because everybody is so nice — the TSA folks included — and I knew a nice cold Sam Adams Seasonal would be waiting for me in the bar at the very end.

eats_1-RNO

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SEA RANCH day three

Sunday; Monday getaway
A four day odyssey to the north for food from the Blue Bird Diner to a stop for the Oyster Crossing… Sea Ranch wanderings and celebrations tucked in between.
And there was so much more… a rare visit by Eric and Alison to the Bay Area and a chance for us Rectors — at least the MCEA Division — to cook together. So here’s how it went down as we wound things up…

Carol and I were staying in the master bedroom and woke to this...

Carol and I were staying in the master bedroom and woke to this...

Alison and Paula left early to meet with “the girls” at Two Fish, a tiny restaurant up on the hill, to make “back-East” travel plans and have breakfast. Carol and I joined them just in time to finish off a decadent Morning Bun (pecan roll) and enjoy a cup of coffee. Coming back down the hill, we spotted the sheep herd from above.

sheep graze below us as we return from breakfast

sheep graze below us as we return from breakfast

When we received the wedding invitation, we quickly agreed with Eric and Alison to rent a house together. We asked Paula to join us. With five folks, it was about the same price as rooms at the lodge and had the obvious advantage of being “our own place.” Of the houses available, we chose CROW’S NEST, situated on the hill side of Sea Ranch, east of Route 1. We were particularly taken by the deck and hot tub as Eric and Alison were planning a welcoming dinner for those arriving on Friday evening. As a bonus, Sea Ranch had a special going on: Stay for three nights for the price of two. WooHoo.

As our time approached, Sea Ranch called to say that Crow’s Nest had discovered problems with their deck and hot tub and it had to be rebuilt. Consequently, we were obliged to change to OCEAN WATCH, near Pebble Beach on the Bluff Trail. Bummer… bummer? I wasn’t totally conversant with Sea Ranch geography, but there are two major zones, divided by Route 1; the west, ocean side and the east, hill side. So by virtue of the Crow’s Nest misfortune, we came out smellin’ like a rose. I’m sure we would have enjoyed Crow’s Nest immensely, but I did a lot of walking on the Bluff Trail, and that would have been cumbersome from Crow’s Nest. Besides, being next to the mighty Pacific is compelling in itself, as you saw from the previous pictures. I would say we caught a “member’s bounce.”

sr_hd_lunch

So after another hot dog lunch, we decided to drive up to Crow’s Nest to see what we missed. I checked the map and figured that since I skipped my “morning walk,” I could drive up and walk back while Carol drove the car back down. That’s just what I did. Continue reading

SEA RANCH day two

A four day odyssey to the north for food from the Blue Bird Diner to a stop for the Oyster Crossing… Sea Ranch wanderings and celebrations tucked in between. And there was so much more… a rare visit by Eric and Alison to the Bay Area and a chance for us Rectors — at least the MCEA Division — to cook together. So here’s how it went down on day two…

saturday morning

saturday morning

What does one do on a spectacular morning at Sea Ranch? The first thing we did was leave to go to the Gualala Farmers Market. We’re crazy for farmers markets — Eric sells his cheese, eggs and yogurt at the Belfast, Maine farmers market and I shop every Saturday at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco.

I believe I'm negotiating for potatoes here.

I believe I'm negotiating for potatoes here.

sr_gua_oz_farmsr_gua_sea

Gualala borders the northern end of Sea Ranch at the Sonoma Mendocino county line. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it. The market is not large, but it had some nice stuff, fresh and local. We also found some nice mustard, made locally and bought three jars.

the mustard and bracelet lady

the mustard and bracelet lady

Here's what we bought. I especially like the spicy titles: Hone Hotflash, Dijon Delight and Sunny Sensation.

Here's what we bought. I especially like the spicy titles: Hone Hotflash, Dijon Delight and Sunny Sensation.

On the way back from Gualala we did some auto exploring. Leslie had told us to pay a visit to the chapel, for sure, and right beside it, another public building, the fire house. Continue reading

SEA RANCH day one

sr_oyster_crossing

A four day odyssey to the north for food from the Blue Bird Diner to a stop for the Oyster Crossing… Sea Ranch wanderings and celebrations tucked in between. And there was so much more… a rare visit by Eric and Alison to the Bay Area and a chance for us Rectors — at least the MCEA Division — to cook together. So here’s how it went down on day one…

SEA RANCH
The short history is that in the early 1960’s, American architects Charles Moore (one of my heros), Joseph Esherick, William Turnbull, Jr. and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (another one) got together and designed a special place at a sheep ranch on the Northern California coast, near nothing, as a way to provide vacation home needs for themselves and others, and preserve open space along ten miles of coastline. You will see from my pictures that it is a spectacular place to be and like no other place.

So what took me so long to get there? Our first year in California we made the architectural pilgrimage. But we had to be invited to Leslie and Rick’s Wedding to get back after almost 20 years for a long weekend of immersed exploration. You want more history, just Google “Sea Ranch.” There’s a plethora of information and it is, for the most part, as interesting as you can imagine. You want more on Leslie and Rick’s Wedding? Read on.

As a gift to Leslie and Rick, Eric and Alison promised a welcome dinner for the nearly 30 folks invited to the wedding. Carol and I enthusiastically joined the effort. We did shopping in San Francisco at the Ferry Plaza Thursday Market (vegetables), Golden Gate Meat Co. (leg o lamb) and Fatted Calf (30 crepinettes). In the afternoon we chopped and diced and blanched and prepped.

Alison strings snap peas

Alison strings snap peas

Eric carves up broccoli

Eric carves up broccoli

Eric and cauliflower

Eric and cauliflower

Eric carves cauliflower, Marc shells fava beans

Eric carves cauliflower, Marc shells fava beans

blanch all vegetables

blanch all vegetables

cauliflower broccoli favas blanched and prepped to pack

cauliflower broccoli favas blanched and prepped to pack

We planned our Friday trip north, the long way, up US 101 and CA 128 through the Anderson Valley wine country, then back south on CA 1 to Sea Ranch. We stopped at the Blue Bird diner in Hopland for lunch – a place that Carol and I had been a few times on such wine trips, usually for a stay in Mendocino. Continue reading