I practically had to force myself to take this trip that has been on my bucket list for years. I do not like traveling — moving out from my comfortable zone to get to an unknown zone — how can that be good?!
An opportunity to learn is always good!
I love exploring new neighborhoods and areas since this is where I make the sweetest discoveries of places to love, like new gadget stores, boutiques, bakeries, and parks. Exploring new towns and neighborhoods allows for an opportunity to best utilize my sensitivities in creating an image and a “feel” for a new place. Using my senses which when combined with my experiences, I am able to pick up on energies (vibes) from the various people, events and things I engage with. I can’t help it, I’m sensitive!
While I didn’t get the chance to fully explore the Mission District in San Francisco (I didn’t even ride the BART!), I did visit the Tartine Bakery. My famous oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies are based on the Tartine’s cookie recipe.
I met up with my uncle and cousin while at the Tartine and they drove me around to some of the highlights: Twin Peaks for a 360 degree view of the city (WOW!!!), the downtown area where we witnessed the Nude Parade (apparently there are many nude parades in the city but this was “the nude parade” at the time), rode a trolley car that took us to China Town then to Fisherman’s Wharf for ice cream. While driving, we passed the infamous crookedest street. I witnessed an SUV careening down it! Now that was a sight!
Then, my true dream destination — Sonoma Wine Country!
I embraced a mineral water mud bath which was quite an unusual experience for me because normally I am very squeamish around odd smells (the entire mud room smelled of sulfur) and gooey things on my skin (mud that was brown of course, extremely thick and heavy and a bit smelly) due to my highly sensitive nature. I’m proud of myself for going through with it — I spent a whole 12 minutes totally immersed in the weighty goo — yet I know it isn’t something I would do again.
The grounds and the facility I would definitely recommend and access to their mineral water swimming pool and sun deck are offered during your time there! Yay fun!
And ahhhhhh, the wineries of Sonoma… Sooooooo gorgeous it’s no wonder they produce such delicious wines! My favorite tasting room was at Twomey and they also produced my favorite wines, I purchased two bottles (YUM!). But my favorite host at a winery tasting room was Mark from Blanchard Family Winery! This was also my favorite tasting experience unlike any other I’ve experienced. He gave us tastings straight from the barrel! We sat at a table and talked about sports, his upcoming nuptials and about wine of course. Nice!
And I had the most out-of-this-world weather while there!
I hope to be tasting Italian wines and food very, very soon. Planning that trip now.
Where are you going tasting?
Love bread and everything about it. It’s the one food I cannot do without! Over the years I’ve eliminated a lot of things I used to eat one of which was processed, packaged bread but never could I give up bread completely. And since tasting this bread, I don’t have to!
My friend from Ireland, Patrick is here and due to some reactions to packaged breads that he has experienced, he bakes his own. How nice to have a friend who bakes bread!
He bakes this bread with his Mum back home and they’ve been baking some form of the bread for years; he uses no measuring devices and adds pretty much what he likes to it.
Okay, if I tried this, it would only be suitable for the waste bin. Actually, I tried to follow a recipe I jotted down while I watched him make it and it did not turn out like his. So, experience takes and makes the cake, or bread in this case.
Patrick does use a bit of white flour. Here is a list of the other add-ins:
steel cut oats
whole wheat flour
(Long list… told ya — everything!)
Making this bread is pretty similar to my scone-making technique, so that I’ve got down. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a smaller bowl (minus the coconut oil)… Add the coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix well until it resembles small peas. Add the wet to this mixture and mix well with hands. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times before adding it to a prepared loaf pan. Bake at 400F degrees for 20 minutes then turn down to bake for another 20 minutes at 325F degrees. Check for doneness by turning the loaf over, thumping it and listening for a hollow sound. Enjoy with butter or cream cheese. I love it toasted with coffee in the morning!
Some images to gander…