Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Origin of the Name RaD Jams

Some of you may wonder (or not) where the title of this blog came from. A couple of summers ago, our backyard peach tree was very, very fruitful. (Pun intended, sorry.)  Bob loves food-related projects (he’s our resident chef), so he decided to make peach jam. He made lots and lots of jars of peach jam. My contribution? Coming up with a name for our “label” and writing out said labels. We are Bob and Debbi, but I didn’t think BaD Jam would fly, so I used Bob’s given name, Robert, and RaD Jams was born.  This summer, our plum tree is giving a lot of fruit. A LOT! Plums are my all time favorite summer fruit so I didn’t complain. They are sweet, tart, juicy, and absolutely delicious! But soon I couldn’t keep up and even as I gave away bagfuls to friends, we still had an overabundance. So, I made plum crisp, and Bob made plum jelly and plum bbq sauce. YUM! He’s also been collecting our herbs from our garden, drying them out, chopping finely, and putting them into spice canisters. (Family may expect some of the above as gifts very soon!) Currently, our house smells like chives.

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A Day By The Bay

We live on the Peninsula of the Bay Area in California. We get warm sunny summer days that cool off in the evenings through the mornings. Perfect, for me! San Francisco, on the other hand, can be covered in fog and be on the cool side in the summer. (I always think fall is the best time to visit San Francisco.) Bob and I debated, one sunny Saturday morning, whether or not to risk a morning drive into the city to go to the Ferry Building and Farmer’s Market there. We bundled up in layers (always the best option when heading out and about in the Bay Area) and drove the short twenty-five minutes to the Ferry Building. It was still early, 10:30 AM, but as we walked from the parking structure to the building, it was already warm enough for us to peel off a layer. Gorgeous weather!

We started off by walking all the way down to Pier 33 for our early lunch reservations. The restaurant we went to was fine, but doesn’t warrant the time and space for a write up. We did pass another restaurant on our walk back to the Ferry Building that we hope to try next time.

By the time we arrived at the Ferry Building close to 1, it was bursting with people. It felt like summer with sunshine and warm temperatures. We spent a good couple of hours wandering the building, tasting, buying, and then heading outside to the Farmer’s Market for more tasting and shopping.

Our favorites stops in the Ferry Building include Chris Cosentino’s Boccalone (sausage/salami slices in a paper cone!),  Cowgirl Creamery (great variety – and we end up buying different cheeses every time, although we prefer stinky salty cheeses), and Recchiuti chocolates! Recchiuti is currently my favorite chocolate confectioner in the area – introduced to me by my Manhattan friend, Daphne (thank you)! The chocolate is creamy and rich and the flavors, amazing! My current favorite is the sesame nougat (milk chocolate caramel ganache and a crunchy sesame disk), but I also love the force noir (their darkest chocolate ganache with a touch of vanilla bean) and the fleur del sel (burnt caramel with French sea salt). Actually, I love them all and always have a hard time choosing which to bring home with me.  I tried Miette for the first time, although I’ve always been tempted by the gorgeous cupcakes and pastries in their display case, but never patient enough to wait in the long line. This time I did and bought each flavor of macaron offered. While I still favor Lette in Newport Beach, CA (which are comparable to the macarons I had in Paris) – Miette’s macarons were indeed fine. My favorite was the vanilla (which is odd for me since I’m a chocolate girl) and the hazelnut.

It was a lovely way to spend a sunny summer morning!

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Saturday, Bob and I went to the California Academy of Sciences located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. We wanted to visit the new earthquake exhibit which we found illuminating. It was a bit daunting for Bob to discover that our little house on the Peninsula sits uncomfortably close to the San Andreas fault, but as someone who has grown up along it, I didn’t worry. (We DO carry earthquake insurance.)

The main reason for my desire to go was the same that prompted me to purchase a membership – butterflies. For some reason, butterflies make me insanely happy. Maybe it started with my visit to the monarch wintering grounds in Mexico well over a decade ago. (See my travel article on that visit here.) Here are some photos of my joy.

(I know this isn’t a butterfly, but I love him just the same!)

I hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Categories: California, hometown tourist | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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