Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Travel broadens more than the mind

As I've mentioned before, when I travel nowadays, whatever little planning I do is centred around food and yarn. I've found that it's a great way to travel. If I'm looking for specific yarn shops and restaurants, this involves my navigating around new places with a goal in mind, rather than mindlesslessing wandering around the easy-to-find touristy areas. Often, these places are out of the most touristed bits, so I am forced to interact more with locals and to use whatever little language skills I may have picked up from a guidebook.

This latest trip home may not have required navigating around strange cities and foreign language skills, but I still got in a lot of food and knitting. Here are some highlights.

Ramen, tempura and tonkatsu at Suzu Noodle House in Japantown in SF. That is some good stuff. My veggie tempura had a piece of aubergine that was done damned near perfectly (which is good, 'cause it's so easy to make aubergine gross).

Imperial rolls at Turtle Tower in the Tenderloin in SF. Not the best neighbourhood, no (though I grew up there), but great Vietnamese food- just down the street from here is the place that makes the best bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) in the city. The dishes we had here came with lots and lots of greens, which is what I loved most about eating on my trip to Vietnam. I'd ordered the cha ca, and it was the nearest to what I'd had in Hanoi than any version I've had since.

Oysters at Hog Island in the ferry building market in SF. I love oysters, but the picture here is The Limey trying a Kumamoto. This is amazing because before he met me, the only fish The Limey had ever eaten was battered and deep-fried beyond recognition. Although he's tried lots of fish since and even liked some of it, oysters weren't something he was ever even vaguely interested in. But here he is! His verdict? "I could see how some people could get used to it."

Uh....we didn't actually eat or buy anything at this deli in the ferry building market, but you gotta give it points for truth in advertising.

And the best thing I ate in SF: crab in ginger and scallions, cooked at home. This is one of my favourite dishes in the world and I've never had it better than the way my father cooks it. He makes this for me whenever I go home. The last two times, he has tried to teach The Limey how to do it. I think he's nearly got it down now, although my father's method of killing the crab is a bit too ruthless for us- we'll have to find a a wussier way of doing it.

Did you say yarn?

Some Lana Gross sock yarn from Bluebird Yarn and Fiber in Sausalito- these were picked out by The Limey for his next socks. A skein of Online Linie12 from Knit and Pearl in Santa Barbara for me to play with; I've been kinda interested in linen yarns for a while.

Jared Flood's book of patterns for Classic Elite Yarns, again from Knit and Pearl in SB. There are some lovely patterns in here and the Classic Elite stuff is hard to get in the UK, so I jumped at the chance to grab it. A Japanese stitch dictionary from the Kunokuniya bookstore in Japantown in SF. I was tempted by a few of the pattern books as well, but figured I wouldn't actually knit anything out of them. This stitch dictionary, though, has a bunch of stitch patterns I've not seen anywhere else, so I couldn't resist. The bookstore had a large knitting section, which I had to go through book by book because I can't read Japanese and therefore couldn't tell what was in the books by the spine!

And, oh yes, I finished knitting my Aeolian. It's still unblocked, but it was a great knit.

1 comment:

soknitpicky said...

Does he pierce the crab with a knife? It's actually the most humane, IMO. My mom holds down the lid on the pot till they stop moving, but that creeps me out more. I guess you could use crab that is already dead, but fresh tastes so much better.

Looks like a good trip. Thanks for sharing your finds!