Our weekend included two adventures to the south: one visit to friends recently transplanted an hour south of the city, and the other: a drive even further south to take part in a stone fruit tasting offered by Andy’s Orchard. First friends, then fruit.
Few things make me happier than other people’s adorable babies, and enjoying a meal with good friends. Proof of this: me, pictured below, clearly in some sort of baby-and-bbq-pizza-warm-weather ecstasy. All my worries, gone– and all I needed was chubby baby thighs and lots of giggles and shrieks. And pizza and wine, oh, and adult company too.
On Sunday we joined another couple of friends for a drive to Morgan Hill to visit Andy’s Orchard and take part in a cherry tasting that included 30 varieties. I could not name more than 3 varieties of cherry prior to our binge on the farm and now I still can’t name more that 3, but I know for a fact that many more exist. We also tasted a number of apricots and a few plums and pluots, all delicious, all with memory-escaping names. We learned a bit about cherries, but more importantly, we tasted every single possible cherry that we could. At one point, we tasted a cherry that tasted EXACTLY like artificial cherry flavor. It tasted like a cherry jolly rancher, dipped in some cherry kool-aid. It was a surprise to learn that artificial cherry flavor is in fact based upon a very real cherry variety. It was kind of gross and magical.
Three Skill Exchange workshops and a party are all wrapped up for the season at Makeshift Society. Our final workshop was last night, lead by cocktail masters Jill and Genevieve. This series covered a diverse span of topics, from DIY pickled green strawberries, no-sew upholstery, Italian cheese and wine pairings and cocktails and bitters. Makeshift Society was an excellent host, and the space was very flexible for all the schemes we planned and executed over the last two months. I had a huge amount of help from my dear intern, the staff at Makeshift and a handful of very kind volunteers who were insanely helpful, assisting with everything from tickets, heavy lifting, serving, bar-tending, running errands and a whole host of other things.
This series was different from previous workshops in a number of ways, and I learned a good deal of lessons. The workshops all had higher price points, but we were able to offer more resources as a result. We’re slowly working towards being able to better support our teachers, while also working on a few plans to offer more low-cost public events in the future. I’m collecting feedback from students, and still processing all of the ideas that have come out of this series. Some mistakes were made, but we also had some surprise successes that I’ll continue to implement in future events.
Skill Exchange is on vacation (ha!) for the summer, but we’ll be back in early fall with a whole new lineup, and some new tricks to share!
Sometimes I just need/think I need a project to keep my hands busy and give my brain a break. Pillow-making, or should I say, slipcover-making is a good solution to my sometimes overactive desire for constant productivity. Slipcovers are essentially rectangles, folded like envelopes. Easy. Practically brainless, save for the tedious squaring up of fabric. I know when I’m particularly tired or stressed, or overwhelmed, or possibly getting sick/having allergies… I like to add just one more thing, like clean out the closet, start a big sanding project, or organize all my sewing supplies. You know, more work when I really might actually need a break from work and projects all together.
No matter! I push on! I push on because I make myself, and I feel better afterwards, even if I am still possibly stressed/tired/getting sick. And now, $12.99/yd, a few dives into the old button collection and under an hour later, we’ve got new fresh pillows!
After two slow months of hissing and smacking, our cats are finally back together. Tentatively loving once more. Neebu and Muuli used to spend all their time wrapped up together, alternately snuggling, wrestling and creating mischief together. As litter-mates, they’d never spent more than a few minutes away from each other for their entire, short little lives. After Neebu’s accident and surgery, he required nearly two months of recovery time, during which his sister Muuli was an absolute shit to him.
Muuli rejected him completely and was very hostile towards her brother, to the point that we had to keep them apart. Neebu also needed time to recover and allow his body to heal from surgery. With weekly vet visits and a slowly healing knee, our active cat had to live a very restrained life. My office became a cat sanctuary for his recovery and we had to keep Neebu in a dog crate, to prevent him from being too active and delay his recovery. Neebu slept in the dog crate every night but spent short, monitored spans of time out in the rest of the house, slowly getting reintroduced to the other cats. Neebu is going to be just fine, though he may have a limp for life, I feel particularly relieved that his sister has finally fallen back under his spell, and now seeks him out for snuggles and baths. There are still some growls and smacks here and there, but he never reacts to her and gently tolerates her abuse.
Next Thursday is our final workshop at Makeshift Society, exploring the topic of cocktails. Our two workshop instructors have years of experience in the cocktail world, both drinking and creating them for others to enjoy! Genevieve Brazelton makes her own line of cocktail bitters, and is well-versed in crafting the perfect combination of aromatics, flavor and experience. Jill Fitzgerald is a seasoned bartender, and co-owner of the newly opened Outer Mission/Bernal Flats bar, Virgil’s Sea Room. Together, Jill and Genevieve will lead the workshop through a lesson on the basic building blocks of cocktails, and help us understand a bit of history behind classic cocktails, and make a few for us to enjoy. We’ll also do a tasting of bitters, and dive into understanding the purpose and place for bitters in your cocktail. Tickets are limited and of course, open to 21 + over only. Tickets here.
Last week our Italian cheese and wine workshop at Makeshift Society was a wonderful evening of cheese, history and of course, wine. Thank you to our teachers, Sophie and Deena for making the evening such a fun and informative event!