Father and Daughter Trip

After getting PD1 ensconced at college, PD2 and I took off for our father and daughter trip. My reader may recall the great BBQ tour three years ago that PD1 and I took. Well, this is this year’s version with my other buddy. Different trip, as different as each of my daughters, but both with the same goal; learn a little about what makes Dad tick, understand what it’s like to have a one on one relationship with a man, and all else fails, at least have a damn good time.  Early results indicate all three goals will be met.

The story of how we got here is not all that interesting, but indicative of how I do stuff.  Very little planning, let the inspiration take hold and go with what you know.  Can’t say I’d recommend this approach to everyone, but to paraprhase Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, it’s always worked for me.

This last spring we participated in a charity auction, and while reviewing the stuff up for auction, PD2 and I came upon a week in SF at somebody’s condo. Immediately, we decided that this would be our trip! As luck would have it, another guy had his eye on the same item and bidding became a bit competitive. Sadly, the poor bastard never saw me coming and really didn’t have a hope in hell of reigning in our mano y mano showdown and just ended up humiliated in front of his family in route to costing me a few extra dollars! Hey, it was a trip for my daughter with the proceeds going to a good cause. What is a dude to do?

So, as PD 2 says, “we won” and we now find ourselves in the city by the bay. You know, I really like Cali, and the SF locale is a personal fave. But, is it just me or does SF always let you down a bit? For such a nice city, the seediness is just a bit too close to the surface and the grunge is a little too prevalent. Kind of what I’d expect get with a cheap hooker, which would be perfect if this was 1972, and I was Superfly.

But I’m not, and still this is a nice if not great city.  So far we’re having a great time. Haven’t gone to In n’ Out yet – that will be on Friday after visiting Stanford, and hopefully the rowing coach. So far, we’ve been to Swan Oyster Bar, The Front Porch, and Mama’s. At Swan we had crab salad, shrimp cocktail and Boston Clam Chowder. Super fresh seafood that I’d recommend set in a funky and fun dive counter. The chowder was mediocre at best, and for what we got, a little expensive overall, but still worth a visit.

There is a couple things you should know about PD2. First and foremost is that she is going to be a star. Seriously. Now, I get that this is unusual enough of a statement to write with such certitude, but then it you consider that she has know obvious talent like musical prodigy, or sports heroics, well then you have to wonder. Still, if I know one thing, it is that PD2 will be a star. She has that “it” thing. Ask her and she’ll tell you. “I don’t think I’m being funny, but people laugh” is something she says quite often. This year for example she started crew. Considered a goof at first, she became the spiritual leader of the team by the end of the season. The coach had “I’m just saying'” tags made for everyone’s gear bags (Pd2’s signature statement), and she ended up on more boats than anyone on the team because of her ability and ferocious competitive desire. It’s a familiar pattern; people under estimate her, start to love her, an then find her at the front of the pack and happily follow her.

Oh yes, she will be a star. My guess? Her own talk show titled, “I’m just Sayin'”

Another thing to know about PD2? World’s foremost fan of Chicken and Waffles. True fact. So, when I found out that Monday night at Front Porch was Chicken and Waffles night, our dinner plans were set.

Front Porch is an interesting place. Out on 29th street, it’s in a fairly young area with a clientele that appealed to both of us. Our waitress was a lovely lass, who kind of dug that dad and daughter were out for the night. Sidebar: were I a less principled guy this whole gambit would be quite lucrative…if you know what I’m sayin’!

Anyway, the waitress had this cutesy little dress on that fit her athletic figure beautifully. I commented to PD2 that she, no doubt, would know the best vintage shops in town. PD2 corrected me and pointed out that the dress was likely H&M or Forever 21, but none the less agreed that we’d get a good lead on vintage shopping for Wednesday.

Turns out we were correct, and she directed us to Valencia and 16th streets as well as Waistland in Haight. So, that is where we’re headed tomorrow.

Oh, the Chcken &Waffles? Friggin’ awesome, I’m a total convert! Pics below. Tonight it was Gary Danko. Will post the results at another time. Stay tuned!

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My Infra-Red Life

Interesting week. Started off at work well as I am making great progress in getting stuff that came with the new job under control. Went home Monday and Tuesday night to practice soccer with PD1, to get her ready for her collegiate career. Then dropped her at school, where it sounds like first practices are going well. Next up was a trip to a potential business opportunity for some interesting talks, and now back home.

Candidly, I feel a bit like the picture above. My infrared life, from the back of the car taking me home. A lot of change going on, all of it good, but right now I’m a bit tired, in the process of adjusting to a new normal without my little buddy, PD1, around here and things seem a bit colorless.  Gawd, I could use a killer workout right about now to feel whole!

Or… maybe dinner and drink. Ya, that’s it, then tomorrow, a good hour of P90, followed by pilates with Mrs. Pursuit.

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Pizza On The Grill…Er, Almost!

I noted below that for PD 1’s going away party we were going to do pizza on the grill and have the Pursuit clan over for a little soiree.  Tragically, as it turned out, we had a touch of rain, and I really didn’t feel like getting wet cooking pizza on the grill, so we moved it in house – the pizza that is, not the grill!

Doing pizza on the grill is really rather easy; you get your dough ready, which in my case is a proprietary blend of all purpose flour, wheat flour and cornmeal, fire up a minimum number of coals and keep them on one side of the grill, and get your toppings properly positioned for fast work.  While not difficult, the labor intensiveness and positioning of ingredients really does not lend itself to in-rain grilling.

Which is ok, because using the broiler on my new Wolf masterpiece turns out a very nice pie….or in our case last Saturday, eight very nice pies!  The process was simple.  Once the broilers were at temperature, I rolled the dough out, two at a time and pre-flamed my wafer thin shapes.  This takes about 2-3 minutes per side at a pretty hot broiler.  Then, having stored all my crispy crusts nearby, I took two at a time and put toppings on and rebroiled for about one minute each.  As each came out I served and went back to the oven cooking more pizza’s.

The toppings?  Man, anything you can dream up generally works!  I kept it pretty standard on Saturday since we had the Grandparents over.  Pizza’s included, Artichokes, pesto, pepperoni and cheese (asiago and parmasean on all), sausage, tomato sauce, onion and roasted peppers on another.  In the past I’ve found that pesto, pine nuts, blue cheese and spinach works, or really any other combination.  A general rule I use that seems bullet proof, is that if you think it will make a decent pasta combo, it should do just as well on a pie.

Pics below, enjoy!

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Pic From Today’s Commute

Something about this scene attracts me…don’t know why exactly. The cool thing is I now have zoom capability thanks to Gorilla, and popped this shot off. Modified with camerabag, can’t remember which filter.

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Dinner at Innovasi last night. We did the tasting menu and this was the chilled watermelon soup, which came with an Asian themed fried calamari, and another dish of soba noodles with mushrooms and other veg delights. Didn’t take a lot of pics as we were with friends, but did manage to sneak this one in!

Tonight; PD1’s going away (sniff) party and Pizza on the grill!

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Friday Fun

Nice start to the morning today! Really, you can’t beat haulin but down Lake Shore Drive at 6am on a gorgeous Friday morning. As Allyota, Haines and Jeremiah wrote, “it starts up north in Hollywood, water on the drivin side, concrete mountIns rearing up throwing shadows just about five. Sometimes you can smell the green if your mind is feelin’ fine. There ain’t no finer place to be than running Lake Shore Drive”

And that pretty much says it all this morning, happy Friday!

UPDATE:  Rode home with the Blue Angels performing over the lake front!  Great sight, dangerous distraction!

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Sunday Dinner

A terrific success for dinner tonight!  Recently I was bemoaning to Mrs. P that I’ve become a recipe follower.  Nothing wrong with that, and truthfully, I’m quite good even if I’m following somebody else’s recipe.  Two cooks, following the same steps can produce results that are wildly disparate simply due to ability around technique, taste and experience.  More often than not, my results are quite good.

None-the-less, I felt the need to exercise my creativity a bit, a prove, to myself if nobody else, that I had the chops to come up with a good meal.  The result:  Pan Roasted Halibut on a Bed of Pea Puree Topped with a Salad and Vinaigrette.  I started with about a pound and a half of Halibut and set my oven to 500 degrees.  Step one was to puree about two cups of peas mixing in about a tablespoon of fresh ginger, some water (to get the right consistency) and salt and pepper.

I then fried 4 strips of apple wood smoked bacon and chopped them up into small bits, reserving the grease.  Next up, saute over reasonably high heat, the Halibut – which had been salt and peppered – in the bacon grease.  I only did one side and after about four minutes, I flipped the fish and put it into the oven for roasting.  Five minutes on the roast and it was ready to go.

To serve, I spread out approximately two tablespoons of puree on each plate, one third of the fish on each and then topped the fish with about a tablespoon of the bacon bits.  On top of that I put the salad – I would have preferred micro greens here – and then dressed with a table spoon of vinaigrette.   Truly awesome stuff.

So, I’m fully satisfied AND my culinary chops are back on display for the full family to see.  Even if it was only me who questioned them.

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