To Market, to Market

Hi all–  When we travel to new places, I’m happy to admit I’m a real tourist– love those museums, monuments, scenic views…  But the place I really love to tuck into is a grocery shop!  As much as I adore the Louvre, it feels like you get a better idea daily Parisian life wandering into the cheese shops and bakeries of the Marais.  All that glorious food.

And trips to visit kids in San Francisco are usually peppered with stops for food.  Here’s my SF “faves.”

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IMG_7388     IMG_2136Small and bright, a fixture in SanFrancisco, Bi Rite Market is a wonderland of beautiful food.  Their annexes across the street include a shop scooping out house made ice cream (roasted banana–exquisite!) and an event space with all kinds of cooking workshops. The friendly lady in the bottom left photo, is sharing free citrus salad samples.  yum.

 

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IMG_1460     IMG_1436We’ve spent a couple of bountiful mornings at the Farmers Market scattered all around the Ferry Building– Booth after booth of luscious produce and if you duck inside the Ferry Building itself, you can tuck some Cowgirl Creamery cheeses and Acme bread into your shopping bag.

IMG_2944     IMG_2941If If you’re loading up for a friendly little picnic lunch– at the park or even at home sitting around the coffee table, Salumeria is chock full of treats for just that kind of meal– beautiful cheese, sliced meats, fruity flavored mustards, homemade preserves.  You can order take out sandwiches  or eat them there on the patio.

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IMG_6348This winter in the Mission, we wandered by the Local Mission Market.  I just had to peek in and found the most beautifully curated grocery shop ever.  Exceptional produce, study bread, a mix your own vinegar counter that looked a bit like a chemists shop.  Every little jar was tidily labeled.  So stylish!

Food glorious food–  Writing this us is making me want to grab by grocery list and set out to shop…

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Wet Market in Lijang, China


Our first morning in Lijang, we set off with my sister Luanne to the “wet market,” through winding alleyways to stall after stall of — fruits and vegetables, meat and spices…


First stop, the herb counter for Lulu to pick up a small bag of lavender.


There were so many vegetables I had never met before.  I’d like to buy a basket full and take them to a Chinese friend to cook up for us…


There were dozens and dozens of varieties of dried and fresh mushrooms, some fungi as big as my head!


We browsed past the copper smith’s stalls– rows of beautifully burnished pots and ladles,


…and on by the potter’s tables of pitchers and pots.


There were varieties of fruit, familiar and brand new to me.


And I studied tables of bright peppers and every color of pickled vegetables.

  
There were eggs, hen, duck and quail…

  
Fresh meat and all kinds of cooked fowl…


Midday even the vendors stopped for a bit of lunch as they tended their stalls.


We took home a small bag of these– just to find out what they were.  The thick peel comes off to reveal little slimy while globes, tasting a bit like super juicy strawberries.

It was a fine, full morning ambling through the market with my Mom and sis.  A feast for the eyes as well as the shopping basket.

Day on my own in San Francisco

Hi friends– Every once in a while it’s the loveliest thing to have a day, a day all to yourself.  One of those days you wake up and don’t have a plan.  So here was my lovely day in San Francisco.

I was staying with old AA and Jessica.  A woke to Jessica at the (noisy) coffee machine and bid her a good day as she sailed off to work.  Then I made myself a mug of tea and plopped myself down on the sofa, the marvelous bay view competing for my attention to my book.  I read and sat for a couple hours (how often does that happen?!) and finally tore myself away to walk over to Filmore street, a map sketched by Aaron in hand.

Around the corner I came upon an Open House sign in front of a magnificent Georgian brick home (built 1899).  I couldn’t resist the chance to peek inside.  I loved the butler’s pantry with the warming cupboard, the sweeping foyer staircase, the coffered ceilings, the stately study and the views across SF from the third floor terrace.

Once down on Filmore, I popped into magical little shops full of pretty things I don’t really need, but love to look at.  I did buy a cunning old white gravy boat at the second hand shop.  And I ducked into a pretty bakery for a pistachio macaroon to eat along the way.
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I took a detour around the corner to the St. Dominic’s Catholic church, neo-gothic and grand.  Time to think, time to pray, time to sit and examine the glorious space.  It was a peaceful, restoring rest in the day.

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Then I came upon a tidy little banh mi
shop.  I sat at the counter and watched them put together beautiful exotic salads and spicy Vietnamese sandwiches–  I pulled out my book and read my way through a sweetly marinated/grilled pork sandwich with vinegared carrots, daikon and cilantro on the crunchiest perfect little baguette.  I think this will be on the menu at home next week.

I wandered down to a book shop, one of those old fashioned rambling types that has all the books you’d really love to read.  I purchased a picture book Larry gets lost in San Francisco (Larry is a puppy).  It’s full of touristic good fun.

Finally, I trudged back through the park to watch kids (and their moms) on the playground and headed back home to sit on the sofa with my book, back where I started.  It was a pretty great way to spend a lazy day.

Here are a couple last views from the walk home– on a perfect SF day…