It’s been a mixture of busy and quiet over the past few weeks in the Dana Treat household. Here are some highlights.
I cut my hair! I know in the fall I was so excited about finally figuring out the curl and now it’s gone. Randy has always liked my hair short and truthfully, I look better with it this way. I have a small face and all that curl can overwhelm me as it gets longer. When I met Randy, he had a goatee. I have never been a facial hair person but I really like it on him. Over the years, he has threatened to shave it off numerous times and I always say no. A few weeks ago he said, “So, you have gotten me to keep this goatee for almost 13 years, when do I get a say in what your hair looks like?” So off it went.
Shopping at the Cheeseboard Collective. You walk in, pick a card, and wait for them to call your number, like “six of hearts”. I find this so charming.
Even more charming are their English muffins. They are made with a sourdough starter and about one million times better than Thomas’. (Sorry Thomas.)
My sleeping six year old. I check on them every night before I go to sleep and 50% of the time he is faced this way. I used to encourage him to turn around but now I just leave him.
A couple of weeks ago, Randy had an offsite in Sausalito which is in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate bridge. He had a suite in a beautiful hotel and suggested that the boys and I join him for one of the nights. We drove over the Bay bridge, picked him up in San Francisco, drove over the Golden Gate bridge, and checked in. I had plans to take a luxurious bath in that tub but at dinner, Randy said he was not feeling well. So we dropped him off, and drove across the Richmond bridge and home. (Fact: that dress I’m wearing is really a swimsuit coverup. Fact: horizontal strips do make you look wider.)
I did a lot of reading about Oakland before we moved here. It has been in the press a fair amount as an exciting place to be and eat, independent of San Francisco. One of the places that kept popping up was Commis. It is the only restaurant in the East Bay with a Michelin star. It is a very small place and hard to get a reservation but I finally got one for us and some food loving friends. The places is spare but homey. We had excellent service and the wine pairings were truly inspired. We had sips of things that none of us would have ordered but were snapping photos of the labels so we could buy them to serve at home. The food? Hmmm. It was beautiful. Every plate, as you can see in the photos above. I had alerted them that I was vegetarian when I made the reservation weeks before and reminded them again when I called to confirm. I guess for that reason, and the fact that they have a Michelin star, and the fact that the tasting menu (the only option) is pretty pricey, that they would have done something more than just basically leave off the meat for me. But sadly, that is what they did. I had several courses that way and some others where the substitutions were not that inspired. All this to say that I was nowhere near full at the end of the meal. Everyone else really liked the dinner but all agreed that it wasn’t enough to eat.
Graham likes to play basketball in our front yard. Sometimes he just sits on the steps and looks around. I caught him through the kitchen window.
Apricot Tart before baking and after.
Randy took the boys to a few nights of Cub Scouts camp and I had a night to myself in our house. Which I don’t think has ever happened since I had kids. So I color coordinated my beer and my book.
The next day I flew up to Seattle for the wedding of our beloved babysitter. PS: Southwest stresses me out. Which is unfortunate because it is cheap and half the Oakland airport is devoted to it.
Before I flew back to Oakland, I got together with my brothers, sister-in-law, and my niece and nephew. I don’t remember when the last photo of us was taken. I’m the oldest by four and eight years and the shortest but just over and just under a foot. I posted this photo on Instagram and on Facebook and many people commented on how much my brother Michael (on the right) and Graham look alike. You should see photos of them around three years old. Spooky.
New Vans and popcorn.
This is often a weekday lunch. I doctor up Thai Kitchen brand packed pho. Lots of vegetables and tofu and LOTS of Sriacha.
My friend Philippa is an amazing artist who makes gorgeous jewelry. She owns an adorable shop in Oakland and she hosted a jewelry making party for some of the moms from school. I made a necklace and a ring – so cool!
Randy and I hosted a Spring Seasonal Feast, one of our donations to our school auction. I started with an amazing braised artichoke dish which required me to break down 20 artichokes. I timed myself – 30 minutes! It’s a good thing they were 89 cents for two.
I also made Ina Garten’s Borscht. I didn’t doctor up this photo at all. It is really that pink. I like the contrast between that color and my dress. This soup got raves from everyone except my beet hating husband. I thought I had the recipe on my site but it turns out that I just talked about it waaayyyy back in the early days and didn’t post the recipe. I will share!
Rolling cannelloni. I really enjoyed making this dish and thought it was absolutely delicious. Will share this one too!
I made a cherry tart with an almond crust and almond ice cream for dessert. This confirmed for me that I don’t like cherry desserts, especially when they are cooked. I love cherries but I like them best by themselves.
The almond ice cream sure was good though.