Two of our favorite things right now- One: Prosecco and Aperol happy hour, because I can’t ever stop loving the bitter, floral and bubbly combination. On a warm evening, nothing is better.
Two: Barley risotto. We’re hooked after trying Bon Appetit’s recipe from the April issue. We started with the spinach and herb combination, and now have moved on to other variations– this week’s included freshly shelled fava beans and peas, with an arugula pesto mixed in at the end. We reheated leftovers the next day, and served it with a poached egg for a very, very late breakfast. The recipe seems like a lot of work, (but risotto is always a lot of work) but this is completely worth every extra step. The toasted barley has a really wonderful texture and flavor, but also very creamy like regular risotto.
We’re 6 days away from the Skill Exchange grilling workshop(s) on Saturday, with only a few tickets left. Last night, after a full day of pretending it was Friday, I got into bed and my brain went into list-making-worrying-not-sleeping mode. Paired with 4 abnormally wild hellion cats that staged an all out attack on human sleep last night, I’m feeling tired and also pretty wired today. Also, very excited.
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!
Skill Exchange is teaming up with Makeshift Society in Hayes Valley, for an exciting lineup of workshops, tastings, cocktails and conversation.
We’re teaming up with San Francisco’s most creative coworking space to offer an engaging series of evening workshops to inspire your senses and help jumpstart fun DIY projects and new culinary adventures. Join us to uncover the basics of custom upholstery for your next DIY home project on May 23rd, then explore regional Italian cheeses with our favorite cheese monger on May 30th. The grand finale on June 13th will include a cocktail-infused lesson on bitters, plus learn trades secrets from our seasoned bartender. Every workshop will include conversation and lots of not-to-be-missed skills! For the complete schedule, visit SkillExchangeSF.com.
This week I’m proud to share a project I’ve been quietly working on for what seems like forever. Skill Exchange has been been on a bit of a break since the last pop-up in September, but I’ve been busy working on the less-fancy business side of things… and gearing up for some new announcements, projects, and exciting new adventures. I’ve got a team of worker bees, bossy advisors and cheerleaders who’ve been helping me work out lots of details and logistics, for the next chapter of Skill Exchange. Growing pains, and growing excitement is all over this place right now. Now, with no more delay, here it is, our new home for Skill Exchange: skillexchangeSF.com.
This is just the beginning. There are a few tweaks to come over the next few days, and a whole lot more content and excitement to share in the coming weeks.
A few months ago I was invited to visit to New Mexico, to meet with students at NMHU to talk about my work as a graphic designer, and as the founder of Skill Exchange. I gave a talk about my work to a class of grads and undergrads, and met with students to advise and participate in a few informal critiques. I’ve spoken a handful of times over the last year with different student groups in the bay area about my work, but this was the first time I’ve taken Skill Exchange out of state. After flying in last week, I split my time between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, where NMHU is located.
I’ve never visited this part of the country before, and while I was prepared for the colder weather and possible snow (it snowed), I was not prepared for the high altitude, or the dramatic change in scenery. I didn’t know what to expect of New Mexico, and although I saw just a fraction of the state, I really enjoyed the stark geographic differences– and the horizon! I have not seen so much horizon in one place in a very long time. I saw a few very dramatic sunsets, and I soon learned that Las Vegas, NM is “Where the rocky mountains meet the great plains”. Mountains in one direction, flat horizon in the other.
A few highlights: Wandering around Las Vegas, staying in the historic hotel where scenes from “No Country for Old Men” were filmed, visiting The Parachute Factory (more on that later), exploring parts of Santa Fe and checking out the Palace of the Governors, and brunch at Pasquals. I now realize my education has a gaping hole where the history of all of the Southwest should be. In elementary-high school school we learned about the early English settlements, a very vague and inaccurate history of Christopher Columbus, and absolutely nothing about the Spanish history of the Southwest. I have a feeling a history binge is in my near future.