While this wasn’t my first weekend back from vacation, it felt like it was for some reason. On Saturday, dracosphynx and I went to the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. Well, actually, above Oakland in the hills on Skyline Boulevard, which is really a beautiful place. The museum itself was good–reminiscent of San Francisco’s Exploratorium in some places, particularly in the exhibits obviously aimed at a younger audience, but there’s some very neat stuff there. Unfortunately, we missed the planetarium shows and the observatory was closed that day, but I may try to get back there later this year. (If varjohaltia ever visits out this way, it might be a place to take him. Or not.) For dinner we went to Luka’s Tap Room, a brewpub I’ve heard good things about, both for their wide array of Belgian beers–I had a draft Chimay–and for a rather upscale approach to pub food. It’s been my experience that brewpubs often have good food, and Luka’s definitely has a real chef hiding behind the bar.
Saturday was lazier, relatively; I decided to try a place in Los Gatos I’ve passed for years (I’ve been here long enough to actually say “for years,” haven’t I?) called Sweet Pea’s, and had their crepe version of Eggs Benedict, then went out driving. I found myself eventually at the Los Trancos Open Space–off the other Skyline Boulevard, that runs up the west side of the bay–and stumbled around the wilderness for a little bit. I came home by way of the grocery and did a slow-roasted pork dish, which is something like a variant on carnitas: you rub the pork with ground chipotle powder and salt, cook it until it’s falling apart, then put the pieces in soft corn tortillas, topping them with a a little diced onion and cilantro and a squeeze of lime. They were good, although a little dry; next run through I may try a common, if eyebrow-raising, trick I’ve seen in actual carnitas recipes: baste the roast during cooking with Dr Pepper. (No, really. Stop looking at me like that!)
It’s been a fairly busy week the last couple of days; I feel like I’m in a lull at this moment, but that’s actually illusory. (In fact, I started writing this entry yesterday, got about a sentence into it, wrote most of the rest after lunch today–then got stopped again right after the word “illusory.”) I did stick to my quasi-resolution to cook dinners on weekdays, although last night was lighter than intended, as the coleslaw I’d bought at Lunardi’s turned out to be spoiled, leaving me with just the grilled cheese sandwich. It was the best grilled cheese sandwich I think I’ve ever had, though: sharp cheddar with whole grain dijon mustard and thinly-sliced Granny Smith apple slices.
I got up early enough–barely–to take light rail into work today, although I’m hoping my car will have enough gas in it to make it to a gas station when I get back to it. It was on fumes when I left it, but I didn’t have time to stop for a fill-up. I should go straight home from here, but I’m debating riding with Sam up to the SF Airport to pick up Mirage, who’s coming into town for MacWorld. (Yes, he missed the keynote today, but attending it adds more than $200 to the price of a floor pass!) That means I’d already be breaking my “dinner at home” resolution, not to mention risking the death of leftovers. I’ll check the pork when I get back; I refrigerate leftovers but almost never freeze them, as for me that’s usually a surefire way to lose them forever.
I’ve started the next followup to the writing post, but it might be a while.