Thursday, May 23, 2013

Soup, beautiful soup

Eastside Road, May 23, 2013—
CONSTANT VIEWER WILL perhaps have noticed an absence. Well, fact is, I've been off my feed.

Thankfully, it doesn't happen that often. I have no idea what caused it, but whatever it was left me with chills, fatigue, a terrible taste in the mouth, and no appetite at all. It started Monday, after a not good omelet at a local breakfast joint — no point in naming it, it may not have been its fault.

I was still active enough, after a nap, for steak-frites (with beer, not wine, because I was already wanting something brewed, I guess) at a local bar-and-grill, with a gaggle of family. Steak-frites is one of the hundred plates, of course, and this one wasn't bad at all, and I only ate a few of the frites. But Tuesday was not pleasant at all; nothing tasted good; I subsisted on orange juice and soda water and little more.

Wednesday, ditto. Thursday, not much better.

Finally this morning normalcy beckoned. A happy idea: let's have some little radishes for breakfast, simply split in half and dipped in salt and eaten hair-root, body, leaves and all, with the usual toast and honey afterward. Hmmm: the taste buds are waking up.

Lunch, our frequent peanut-butter on toast — hooray for Downtown Bakery's Como bread! — and café au lait and an apple and a little glass of orange juice. Yes: everything's beginning to taste normal.

And then tonight — well, Chef asked if there was anything I'd like for dinner, and I said how about a nice summer vegetable soup since it's finally warmed up a bit, the wind's died down a bit, my chills are gone and it seems like I'll live after all. So a couple of leeks, some carrot, some peas, some beans, some potato, some tomato, some trofie, and an impressive amount of tender sympathy produced this fine pot of soup, and I thank my dear long-suffering companion of fifty-six years and more. I'll take her out to dinner one of these days.
Cheap Pinot grigio. Yes! It tastes good!


Curtis Faville said...

It's not the sort of place to take your friends or relatives--I'm not sure who you would take other than a beer buddy or a sports fan--but the Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse, on 6th and Gilman in Berkeley, has the most extensive selection of boutique beers that's within my compass. It's only a couple blocks from my office, and I've begun taking the occasional lunch there to catch Giants or 49er day games. The staff is friendly and the patrons are too.

They have a standard line-up, with frequent seasonal brews. My favorite recently was something called Snow Cap, which I found irresistible.

They have beers with varying portions of alcohol, from 3% all the way up to 11%. I'm not sure why I gravitate towards the stiffer stuff, but it just tastes better. I think the Snow Cap was 7%.

I never take more than two beers at any time, but you don't need much of this stuff to still your craving.

As you know, these crafted brews are nothing like what is sold in cans and bottle in supermarkets or convenience stores. Guinness in the self-carbonating cans is passable, and Boddington's isn't bad, but nothing comes close to the private stuff now being routinely offered. If my parents had had this kind of thing available, we'd never have had Budweiser or Miller's or Pabst in the house.

Get well soon. Do you have an iron stomach? Mine's gotten sturdier with age, I think, though I occasionally get acid reflux at night if I take in too much pepper and cheese.

Charles Shere said...

Thanks. I have got pretty well. I take it easy today, then return to normal. At least I've managed to get a lot of reading done — though none related to food, barring the interesting book Lemon, by Toby Sonneman, which reminds me, why not lemonade today?

And speaking of that, lemon in beer! Delightful!

With that steak-frites I had a glass or two of Chez Panisse Farmhouse Ale, which I quite liked. The review here is extremely interesting, and reminds me I intend this summer to investigate beer much more closely. I couldn't begin to leave a review like these!

My friend Lou Preston, the winemaker, has gone quite seriously into all kinds of fermentation; eating one of his dill pickles last Wednesday was I think what began my recovery. Properly made and maintained, beer is a healthful beverage.