Monday, June 22, 2009

Picnic: Lebanese food

My boyfriend and I love hiking and dinner picnics. Yesterday we had a particularly nice one. We started at Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park, and followed the paved trail about a mile and a half, turning off at a wide dirt track to the left. This trail leads to the top of Wildcat Peak, where we ate dinner to magnificent views.

After taking a bushwhack trail back down, we continued on the paved trail another mile or so, past a cow grate, and then took another left on another dirt road. This lead up a gentle hill through cow pastures to a bench with even more incredible views: the city, the bridge, two other bridges, the headlands, another city, everything. We had dessert there.

Unfortunately, our camera battery ran out just as we were starting on the hike.

The meal began with babaganoush (score the skin of a large eggplant and bake at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes, let cool, de-skin, and mash with tahini, olive oil, salt, paprika, cumin, and the juice of one lemon) and crackers; course number two was a chickpea dish invented out of lazyness (wash, shell, and wash one pound fresh green garbanzo beans, cover with water and simmer ten minutes and drain, and mix with tahini, olive oil, salt, minced garlic, juice of one lemon, cumin, and coarsely chopped fresh parsley — essentially this is un-mashed hummus). The last course was a Greek salad: half a head of lettuce, washed and ripped into the small pieces; one large Cherokee tomato, sliced thin; one fresh red onion, sliced thin; Kalamata olives; Corsican feta; garden oregano; olive oil, salt, and the juice of one lemon.

Dessert was a delicious lemon bar, made by my boyfriend. Can you tell we have a lot of lemons right now?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Three Berkeley Finds

While I'm trying to get back into the habit of regular blog posts — I have photos from most meals for the last six months, but I lost the cable with which to upload them — let me brag briefly about life here. The garden is doing well: we have our first small green tomatoes waiting to ripen, we put in more beans, and the herbs are incredible. We also had a few exciting discoveries in the last few days.
  1. There is a post office just three blocks from our house.
  2. More exciting, Tarra's ice cream, just blocks from the always good Ici, is equally amazing.
  3. Most exciting, Berkeley Bowl West has opened.