At Boudin Bakery, San Francisco

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If there’s one kitchen skill I’d like to master, it’s breadbaking. I simply enjoy watching and learning the process and really, who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly-baked bread? I know how to make only the most basic of loaves and I am in awe of anyone who knows her sourdough and who is not confounded by starters, active yeasts and such. 🙂

In search of dinner on our second night in San Francisco, we were enticed by the wonderful smell coming from the famous Boudin Bakery. They have a shop and cafe area called Bakers Hall where one can stop for a quick meal and a cup of coffee and load up on kitchen supplies (or be sorely tempted to).

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Don’t you just love shop displays like these? Makes one want to be a gourmet cook, hehe.

jam and stuff

We brought our meal to the patio looking out into Fisherman’s Wharf and people-watched. (People-watching at Fisherman’s Wharf is a very interesting pastime indeed.) The soup in a bread bowl that I had was absolutely delicioso.

Later, we kibitzed with other tourists in front of a huge observation window along the street and watched some of Boudin’s bakers show off their skills (that’s my envy speaking, haha). Here’s a very short video I took, with some ambient sounds from the streets of San Francisco:

They make the shaping of loaves look so easy, argh!

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I wasn’t kidding when I said I am in awe of those who are good at bread baking. I’m learning (slowly) through cookbooks and once, out of exasperation, enrolled in a day-long training just to get a feel for the kneading part, hehe. Months later, I am still the sort of amateur who ‘over-flours’ the counter. 🙂

How about you, do you bake bread? How did you learn? 

Late Night at Pier 39, San Francisco

Sometimes, it pays to arrive late.

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San Francisco’s Pier 39, considered by many to be the city’s premier tourist trap, is usually teeming with both out-of-towners and locals. But we got there on a late night,  famished after some poorly thought-out shopping and desperate for dinner. Some watering holes and family restaurants were still open but with most shops closed or about to close, the place was practically deserted.

We had no intention of buying anything and enjoyed just looking through shop windows at some gorgeous displays. I walked around and took lots of pictures — as anyone would, I think, who had been given access to a theme park after everyone else had gone home. 🙂

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Drool Day: Bookmark Buddies

You know I cannot have enough bookmarks (yes, because I go on and on about it, haha).

I’m also a fan of Sherlock and Harry Potter and Merlin and … oy!

merlin by bethydesigns on etsy (600x450)

I want, I want! 🙂

These are bookmarks made by Beth Yates and sold in her Etsy shop, bethydesigns. They are utterly a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e.

Meet John Watson and Sherlock:

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Walking Short at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

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After the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park was next in our San Francisco itinerary. We parked at JFK Drive and started our leisurely stroll, quite hopeful that we’d see a good part of the park within a couple of hours.

Oops. It soon became apparent that we would need a lot more hours to do that. The Golden Gate Park is quite sizable: it is more than a thousand acres in area and is 20% larger than New York’s famous Central Park (which can take at least a couple of days to explore).

Here’s a satellite view of the park. The yellow splat shows the area we managed to see.

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What can I say, we had ambitious plans. 🙂 Anyway, here are some pictures I took from ground level:

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For Fellow ‘P & P’ Fans

I stumbled on this today while looking for something on our favorite Austen novel. I don’t think I can let the day pass without sharing it. 🙂

jen sorensen - pride and prejudice

That snippet is charming enough to tempt you, I’m sure, so click here or on the image for the full illustration by cartoonist Jen Sorensen. (via npr.org)

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Also, here’s Meditating Mummy’s recent post: Ode to Jane Austen – Celebrating 200 Years of Pride & Prejudice. You’re welcome to join us in the fandom. 🙂

Postcards: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

golden gate bridge - titabuds aa

It has been called the most photographed bridge in the world and for many, it is also the most recognizable landmark in the United States. Those of us who were already alive during the pre-Facebook era remember that the very first postcards sent home by family and friends newly-arrived in the USA (particularly and usually in California) almost always featured the Golden Gate Bridge. The Empire State Building, the lights of Las Vegas, the big ‘Hollywood’ sign, the Grand Canyon and, I daresay, even the Statue of Liberty were second stringers.

The Bridge which turned 75 years old last year is now visited by more than 10 million people every year. On our recent trip to San Francisco, my sister and I decided that adding two more to that number wouldn’t hurt, so off to the orange bridge we went.

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