Dirty Harry and Mt. Davidson Cross

Dirty Harry was my inspiration for my latest city walk. San Francisco plays a significant role in the film. Seeing the city in the 70s pre Transamerica Pyramid skyline, where the main chase scene relies on pay phones and MUNI is priceless!  The scene at  the Mt. Davidson cross is at the pinnacle of the chase so I went to see it in person. It was a 7 mile walk roundtrip and worth it. Although, I did mildly scare myself hiking through trees, while the fog was rolling in, with no one around since the film is about a serial killer on the loose.

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Exploring the Portola Neighborhood on the way to Mt. Davidson
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Views from the top.
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The cross was erected to honor of lives of those killed in the Armenian genocide.
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From Dirty Harry’s perspective.
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Starting the descent toward the tiny houses.

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All the Good Things Granola

I’m in a pistachio phase and want to add them to everything. Granola! Oats+pistachios+almonds+flax seeds+sesame seeds+maple syrup+cinnamon+salt=deliciousness. Here’s the recipe I used. The best part is that you can swap up whatever nut, dried fruit, seed, spice you have on hand. Can’t wait to have breakfast tomorrow.
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Scorching Hot Hot Sauce

I normally use red jalapeño peppers which are just about to hit the farmer’s market but I couldn’t resist the prettiest bouquet of red hot chili peppers so I give them a go. This recipe from the NY Times is what I based my own recipe off of. Don’t forget to wear gloves! You will regret it later. Happy Hot sauce making!

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Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story

I was lucky enough to catch the documentary Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story on PBS the other night. It was kismet.  I’ve always been a fan of Stax Records and their story is a bitter but sweet one.  Although they were a small label, they still managed to sign and record many of the greatest Soul artists of all time: Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Issac Hayes, Sam & Dave, William Bell, Carla Thomas, Booker T. & The M.G.’s and the list goes on. I must go to the Stax Museum in Memphis, TN someday.

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The B-side of Things Get Better/Good Love, Bad Love by Eddie Floyd is one of my most cherish Stax 45s.

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Friendship Bracelets Forever

I’ve been wanting to make friendship bracelets/rings for a while now and finally got around to it. There is a plethora of styles, patterns, and color combinations to try. I think I’m hooked! It’s not weird at all to make a friendship bracelet for yourself (and friends too of course)! Martha Stewart has great instructions and tutorials here.
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Gold goes with every color!
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First attempt at the chevron pattern.

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Summer Pops

It was unseasonably warm in San Francisco, (don’t make me quote Mark Twain) so I ran out and bought a popsicle mold. If I lived in a place with (hot) summer weather I could probably live on popsicles alone. There are so many variations: sweet, savory, boozy, creamy, that it would take at least a couple of scorching hot summer months to get through all of the possible flavor combinations. I made greek yogurt + strawberry + blueberry puree popsicles from this recipe by Chobani. I had some blueberry puree left over so I added a handful of basil leaves, more blueberries and lemon juice to the food processor for blueberry basil pops. When they were ready, I headed straight to the park to read, soak in the sun and eat popsicles. It’s these little things I enjoy. Other great popsicle recipes from Mark Bittman here.

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Easy Kosher Dill Pickles

Pickling cucumbers are in abundance at the farmer’s market right now so naturally it was time to make another batch of Kosher Dills. While I love naturally fermented pickles, these refrigerator pickles are quick, easy, with a satisfying crunch. I used Liana Krissoff’s Quickest Kosher Dill recipe from Canning For a New Generation but instead of canning put them in the fridge and will check on them in a week. I’ve also found that giving the cukes an ice bath for a few hours before hand helps them keep their crunch.

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Almond Milk

I’ve been getting into almond milk lately so I decided to make my own. I recently discovered how easy it is to make almond butter and almond milk is the same way. Homemade is far superior to store bought, simple process/ingredient list (almonds + water), and inexpensive to make. It does require soaking the almonds overnight-24 hours but it’s well worth the wait. I used this recipe from Food52.

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After soaking the almonds for several hours they release a milk-like substance.
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Blending strained almonds + water.  After a while they release more milky liquid.
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Lastly, let the almond mush + liquid drain in cheese cloth and squeeeeeze.
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Voilà! Almond Milk!

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Sewart City Slides

One of my favorite things to do is explore San Francisco by foot, most likely stopping for coffee midway to my destination. I’ve gone on many self-lead city walks as of late, exploring different neighborhoods, seeking out old school San Francisco establishments and walking as far as my two feet will take me.  I’ve heard about the Sewart Street Slides for children and adults alike, but it only took me 10 years to finally slid down one. Note to self: slide down more slides!  You can learn more about the story of the slides, community involvement and the struggle to preserve open space here. It’s a nice walk up very steep hills but as a San Franciscan resident, you know there is a reward once you make it to the top: a great view! Kite Hill is just around the corner with amazing views of the cityscape and most likely cute dogs. Appropriately named Kite Hill due to the high winds, so next time I will definitely bring my pocket kite.

IMG_1791 View from the community gardens just above the slides.
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Ready to slide!
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There’s a stash of cardboard at the bottom if you have a need for speed.

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Homemade Sauerkraut

I’m a big fan of homemade sauerkraut! It’s much better than store bought, super easy, contains those healthy probiotics, and will blow your mind. It’s pretty magical to see osmosis in action! It takes about a week before it’s ready to eat. I prefer mine with a simple edition of caraway seeds but you could add carrots, fennel seeds, juniper berries, peppercorns or whatever other spices you enjoy. The recipe I use comes from The Art of Simple Foods by Alice Waters.

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3 simple ingredients: cabbage, salt, caraway seeds.
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The salt creates the brine when massaged into the cabbage.
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I use a smaller jar full of water to weigh down the cabbage so it’s fully submerged in the brine.
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Then place a dish towel over the top and let it hang out on the container for about a week.
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