2257 Days

February 25th, 2011  | Category: Travel

Cenk San Francisco

Or 6 years, 4 months and 11 days. That’s how long it has been since the last time I’ve visited San Francisco.

But somehow it really doesn’t feel that long. I wonder if this is because even after all these years I still cruise Craigslist ads for rentals (both in San Francisco and Big Sur) or can’t go to bed without watching my old neighborhood from the Exploratorium’s roof cam or occasionally “walk” from my old apartment to my old school, thanks to Google’s street-level maps.

I remember feeling the same when I moved back to Turkey many years ago. It was as if I had never left İstanbul. There’s only one logical explanation: San Francisco, just like İstanbul, is my home.

Even though it feels like cheating on my yet-to-be-published cookbook, I am going home for a while. In fact, as you are reading this, I’m either licking my fingers after a roast chicken and bread salad at Zuni Cafe or admiring the vintage collection of Le Creuset pots & pans at Cookin!, hoping the owner is in a good mood. And if it’s Saturday morning, I’m most definitely in front of the computer in the lobby, hitting the refresh button to find out what I’ll be eating at Chez Panisse on Thursday – all the while praying there’s “Meyer Lemon Pavlova” or “Vacherin with Mint and Chocolate Sherbets” on the menu.

Wish me luck.

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Vera’s Almodrote

February 21st, 2011  | Category: Friends, Travel, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Vera's Almodrote 1

Here’s the first dish Vera prepared with the ingredients we bought from the Alaçatı farmers market: Almodrote de Kalavasa. It is a zucchini flan with Sephardic origins and very close to the zucchini au gratin my mother used to make when I was a little boy.

Actually, not much has changed since then; I still don’t get excited about zucchinis (unless they’re fried). So when Vera mentioned she had two dishes in mind that involved zucchinis, I didn’t jump up and down but the polite me nodded with a nice smile and off we went to the market.

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