Saturday, June 28, 2008
This morning I woke with a mission, and that mission did not include a steamy kitchen or sticky pans.
In the space of 24 hours, no fewer than three people--a chef at Pizzeria Delfina; my hairstylist Camilla; and Thy, a writer for KQED--insisted that lard is the only way to go for an expert pie crust. Because I was ramping up to bake around 50 pies for a benefit event, I was in need of solid advice.
"Lard is my mom's secret weapon," said the chef, who hails from Iowa. Camilla, also a native Iowan, can't attend but insists she'll send her husband with lard-laden pie. Thy, another Midwesterner, agreed.
So the day was spent researching recipes with lard and then hunting down a good local source. Avedano's, my friendly neighborhood butcher shop, doesn't carry lard, but said they'd find it for me. The butcher's assistant wrote "Colleen: lard for 30 pie crusts" on their special orders notepad.
Social media tools like Facebook recognize the need for connection and power of social networks. When I first considered organizing a gathering of people and pies but didn't have a location, I posted a query to my Facebook profile and responses filled my inbox.
And there's a lot of value in that connection, particularly if you move a lot, as I have. It's not until recently, when I hit my three year mark in San Francisco, that I appreciated the living, breathing networks in my everyday life: the hairdresser who bakes cookies for me, the cook who doesn't know my name but sent a pane pomodoro because I looked hungry, the vegetarian butcher I bumped into on Valencia when I walked home late last night.
Farmer's markets pulse with that same sense of connection and relationship, an acknowledgement of the forces that bind us. Each of us breathes, dreams and dies, but there's nothing so pleasurable as eating to discuss, fuss over, and pause to enjoy.
If you're in San Francisco the afternoon of July 13th and have $20 burning a hole in your pocket, come to the pie social at the Women's Building on 18th at Guerrero. It would be nice to see you.
Posted by colleen at 5:33 PM