Good things may come to those who wait, but I prefer to lead off with them:
Mike and I celebrated our (upcoming) fourth anniversary last night at BaumÃ©, a French restaurant in Palo Alto with two Michelin stars and a rep for innovative molecular gastronomy techniques. It did not disappoint; each of the eight dishes on the tasting menu was intriguingly conceived, marvelously flavored, and impeccably served. Here’s the menu, for the interested:
Of particular note was the dessert. The lemon-cherry genoise with cherry chiboust thyme is what’s displayed in the first photo, and it was good – but the cherry-rose sorbet with flourless chocolate cake was simply amazing. I loved the tart intensity of the cherry tempered by the floral notes in the rose. I now have plans for combining cherry with rosewater in chocolates. I’m not sure how, precisely, and it may be tricky since I’m already committed to a strawberry-rose flavor – but it was so heavenly I want to include it somehow. Plans are already afoot for making Bing cherry jam – or maybe marmalade – and maybe tucking in a bit of rosewater. Yum!
Also afoot are plans to make boysenberry and marionberry jams. There’s a farm in Fairfield (about an hour and a half away) that just announced the opening of their pick-your-own-berries season. I’m hoping to run up there next Saturday and pick pounds and pounds of berries, then spend another weekend making jam. (Yes, I know it’s a distraction from weaving, but such a delicious distraction!)
On the weaving front, I have discovered that my newly-purchased iPad Air is also excellent for sketching. Here is a crude rendition of the fabric color gradations and dimensions, scribbled on the iPad in a minute or two:
It’s not setting the world on fire as Art, but it doesn’t need to. It was mostly an attempt to figure out how wide and how long each panel of fabric should be. I eventually decided to make the panels 30″ wide and about 28″ long – that should give me room to cut out lots of dangly flames for the skirt. I’m going to make five panels plus an extra yard for sampling plus a yard for loom waste – rounding off and adding some space between the panels, that will make a seven yard warp, which ought to be plenty. I’ve started winding the warp already; it will go on after I decide what to do with the color study warp and the fly shuttle (another story, best left for another time).
So much for the good things. The bad thing: Edna, a friend of mine from AIDS Lifecycle days, is in the hospital in critical condition. She suffered a heart attack yesterday while bicycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of AIDS Lifecycle 2014. She was on her bike at the time the heart attack happened, and crashed into the pavement as a result, adding major head injury to the cardiac arrest. She is currently on life support, and the prognosis is pretty grim.
Edna and I were doppelgangers on the AIDS Lifecycle rides we did together – we were both short Asian female riders, rode at roughly the same pace, and people often mistook one of us for the other. She is an amazing woman with tons of energy, spirit, and generosity. This year she raised over $10,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, in her 13th AIDS Lifecycle ride. I hope she makes a quick and full recovery, but the odds are pretty long against her. So please send any prayers, healing energy, or just plain well-wishes her way. I’d like to see her pull through this, so anything that nudges the universe in that direction would be most welcome.