Spent a wonderful day with my wife.

Started out at Bette’s Diner on Fourth Street in Berkeley where we had breakfast of apple pancakes and scrambled eggs, oatmeal with the trimmings, and their unusual, fried scrapple. Scrapple is a hedonistic mix of pork, veggies, more pork, and finally getting fried for your high cholesterol pleasure. Not to mention, delicious drip coffee. How they manage that is a mystery to solve.

Into the city for the San Francisco Center for the Book’s annual Roadworks festival, this time with a goddamned vintage steamroller from 1924 on site to actually press their prints on the street.

The goddamned steamroller!


Later off to Divisadero street where we visited Cookin‘, a vintage culinary and kitchen supply shop, literally with items falling into the narrow aisles. I spotted a French chinoise for $34 which I had to have, as well as a small grater for only $4. I passed on a nice looking copper bowl I might have used to beat egg whites with, but next time…who knows?

Off then to Hayes Valley with all the beautiful people for a quick lunch of French Onion soup and a sandwich. And while wifey visited clothing and etc stores, I hit the local comic shop Isotope for a quick visit. Telling of the times and my mercurial interests, the hipper-than-thou comic shop barely held my attention, because The Fatted Calf was right next door where amidst all their meats, pates, cheeses, offal, crackers and etc I found a three quarter pound piece of fresh duck breast ($13.60) which I could not pass up on for our dinner that night.

OK, I’m getting good at cooking duck, I gotta admit. I admit to also coming to savor and appreciate meat which is cooked medium rare rather than well-done, and as duck meat is so damned fatty and rich, rare is the way to go.

I marinated this piece in rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper and a tad of olive oil, then seared it in the skillet for several minutes, followed by a few minutes in the oven. This recipe was cobbled together from half a dozen websites, so only I am responsible for the results. While the meat roasted and later rested, I prepared a light sauce of apricot preserves, rice vinegar, and some salt and pepper along with stewed chard (too bitter, alas) and some roasted, scalloped potatoes from a day or so earlier (we do not need a lot of carbs in our diet).

The duck seared and resting!


And served at last, with scalloped day-old potatoes and fresh, slightly bitter chard, and a Malbec from Chile.