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Eat + Drink

Apple Strudel Done Right

I don’t have extra space to say much this week, other than the fact that on Christmas Day at my friend’s house, I ate one of the best things to ever enter a human mouth: her German mom’s homemade apple strudel. I learned that true strudel is (1) painstakingly difficult to make and (2) more similar in consistency to a baked pasta than a pastry dough. You will probably never attempt this at home, and neither will I, but isn’t it good to know that a recipe this authentic and delicious is being preserved for eternity on the Internet?

Hedy’s Apple Strudel
Makes three strudel rolls, each about 13 inches long.

For the Dough

Are You Hung Over?

Hopefully this was not you on the morning of January 1, 2008.

Without Constraint


Sonoma sparkling wine, meet ma po tofu.

I think I spend the majority of my life stepping backwards into good things. Kind of like an eyes wide shut sort of thing, I guess. If I were the resolution making type, maybe I’d resolve to spend 2008 devoted to mindfulness. But sometimes the surprises are nice.

Absinthe Obsession

Wow, this headline “Hundreds Line Up in Alameda for Ancient Liquor” is crazy. Absinthe is cool, but who expected this response? I still stand by my prediction—at least half those people are not going to like the product once they taste it. (H/T to Camper for the link.)

Dept. of Silly Products, II



An electric martini maker? This should insult every bartender—or really anyone with use of his or her arms. Is it that hard to stir a martini or shake a margarita? C’mon!

What I Drank on Christmas Eve

I drank sake and a beer on Christmas Eve. We decided to get the homey stuff—pan-seared steak, Caesar salad, a bottle of Napa Cabernet—out of the way on the 23rd while watching season four of The Wire. The Cab was a rather unromantic wine, but still really good.



On Christmas Eve, we went for Sushi at Ebisu. It was packed and convivial, and the walk there and back through SF’s quiet, deadened streets was simply beautiful.

Dept. of Silly Wine Products Part 1

I gotta get one of these “wine enhancers.” I love the idea of using crystals and metals to “balance tannins and astringency of young wines,” but I’m even more excited that it has a similar application for coffee.

Like Mother, Like Son



I promise I won't grow up to be a chef.

There are certain things that can make a mother’s heart melt—especially when you think you have something to do with it. Like the fact that my 2 ½ year old son, Moss, loves to “cook.” It must be genetic, right? He spends a lot of time in front of his little wooden “stovetop” and “oven,” from which the other day he proudly pulled out his stuffed piggy which he'd been cooking—the same one that he also sleeps with (in my head I was making whole hog jokes, but I didn’t think he’d get it).

The Notebook

I had a little holiday lunch with Daniel Patterson, the cerebral chef and owner of Coi, last week. We didn’t have any remotely foamy or fancy. He just sat in the tattered, faux-velvet chairs at Punjab Kebab, catching up with me and happily polishing off his very uncerebral chicken curry.

 
Daniel preparing for Madrid Fusion.

Christmas Cheer

Eating out is one of my favorite things to do, except on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day—that’s when I’ll actually make my way to the kitchen. While reading Four-Star Feasts, I couldn’t help thinking that while the menus of these acclaimed chefs sounds good (I’m definitely clipping the Cajun shrimp recipe), my family’s traditional meal—turkey, dressing (most call it stuffing), sherry sweet potatoes, sesame spinach and a few other dishes that change according to my mood each year—is equally deserving of the four-star feast title. I do the veggies and my mom takes care of the turkey. So, I’m off to cook and eat.
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