Focaccia Liguria in SF

I’ve been making a lot of Focaccia lately and dropped some off with a neighbor for some reviews, and to get me more comfortable sharing. Layne messaged me last night and was like, “we should go on a field trip to SF and check this out, tomorrow.” I did some Wikipedia research and hit back with, “7am?”

The bakery has empty shelves for a reason, the focaccia is selling as fast as they make it to a line waiting patiently 20 people deep.

We got there at about 7:45am, maybe a little too loose on the timing as it took us 45 minutes to get to place our order! To be fair, we chatted with a nice woman in front of us and enjoyed immersing in the early morning energy of SF.

The team in the back is rolling out focaccia, the bustle and hustle of the back was contrasted by the relative calm of the front as there are 2 customers in the shop at a time these days.

I ordered up the Garlic Rosemary, Onion and Pizza. We were both disappointed the Raisin was not available, sold out or still cooking, maybe we should have waited and yet that didn’t feel like it was supposed to be ours, and we still left with packages!

Yes, I’m totally into the big paper roll and gift wrap style packaging, things got a little crazy with the string reminding me of bakeries in NYC in the 80s, White boxes of cookies or mini cannolis from DeRobertes or Venerios, you know there is treasure behind the string!

This was a short and inspiring trip into North Beach, to check out a classic Focacceria in San Francisco! Epic views of Coit Tower, steep streets of Hyde and Lombard, The Bay!!! San Francisco still has secret treasures worth adventuring in for!

Feel The Spirit

I don’t know what we are supposed to do for the holidays, beyond experience and enjoy each other as family and friends.

That post Chanukah, breathe deep and enjoy the early holiday, shifted quickly as the women picked up a tree and embraced decorating.

Last week we watched Love Actually.


Amongst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, slow down, breathe deeply, and remember to spend your time with the people you love and care about, even if they are into XMas trees and that’s not your thing. It is ok to be in the same space, doing different things, right?

I’m not saying the holidays will be easy, I am suggesting you can go easy on your self and the people around you. This is the time of year for reflection, acknowledging what we’ve experienced and felt, seeing it for what it is, allowing.

As the routines slow down, I’m leaning into my healthy habits and putting effort into finishing open projects. There is a mix of breathe and do the work.

Finish the year.

Lao Wai Chili Oil

We’ve been using Lao Wai Chili Oil from Chef William Do for the last year, it’s “the secret,” to many of our dishes, including this Challah Grilled Cheese Lao Wai. Right?

There is a lot being subtly communicated here.

First, for my kids, I will use cheese, otherwise, I prefer the idea that “animals are not ingredients.” I’m trying to slowly improve my diet, I went vegan to improve my cholesterol levels, the ethical animal issue is a natural result, trust the process.

Yo, did somebody say Challah? Alex made that Challah with light coaching from me. The flavor is delicious and I still have some work to do to loosen up the bread and bring a little more fluff. That said, it was great to bake with Alex and even better to make him a grilled cheese using the Challah he baked. This is an important part of Knead For Peace.

Third, you might want to sit with the mind blowing idea of gourmet challah grilled cheese. right?

Fourth, yes we use Lao Wai as a verb around here, “I’m gonna Lao Wai that grilled cheese.“ And, we all know spicy grilled cheese is not novel, hello Quesadilla with hot sauce of your choice. Jewish Spicy Grilled Cheese, a fusion, and yet Challah! Lao Wai is a mixing of cultures for William and it is this blending with Challah, slow long heat to balance the sweetness of the Challah, of life. When your day needs a lift, Lao Wai it!

Lastly, a gentle reminder to get outside of your comfort zone and experiment, whether that is baking with someone or using the latest generative AI tool, or adding spice to your life! Making small mistakes is an important part of growing, we practice, observe and repeat. Growing is natural and an experimental process. Practicing is the process, the joy.

Whew, breathing deep and letting go!

Ready To Bloom – Patience

There is some perfect balance that nature consistently delivers, between budding and blooming, between participating in the struggle and doing the work to remove obstacles, to softening into the opening and being vulnerable and strong while fully exposed. There is something in between, that’s right now.

I was looking at the garden, seeing the cut flowers from Summer dry and withered next to the leaves falling from the Birch and Oak trees, when I noticed that some plants are budding, maybe a result of early El Niño rain with a long dry season, or maybe just the seasonal change between Fall and Winter, the light and shadow and changing temperatures. Maybe these bloom at a different time???

As the Sun shifted, light beaming between the leaves, cold shadows fleeing as quickly as they arrived, I felt the optimism of this bud, the unknown potential for expression and the corresponding emotion and feeling from unbridled joy to a soft fraying and decline. All of it is important, even right now.

I took a few deep breaths, noted how quickly the day was moving, and shifted into the next project. Finishing and cleaning up leaves space for something new in the future. WhatL half an hour.ike the bud in the picture, we don’t have to know exactly what is going to bloom, we do the work now and create the next chapter. Finding the place between observe and reflect and build and grow. Finish strong.

Take The Fork to the Right

Maybe. Right? Left?

It is a strange balance, stay in motion forward and make decisions that change your direction, significantly. It is recognizing opportunities to Think Slow vs Think Fast, as discussed by Daniel Kahnman. When are we on automatic and do not have to think, time to let the dogs out; and when do we need to consider what our choices are, looking at their diets more intentionally and deciding between raw and kibble and dehydrated raw dog food. It seems easy with dogs.

What about our lives and our careers? Where we invest our time, thought and energy? Is this an obvious choice for you or me?

The current path has been reasonably straight with some precarious cliffs. I’m practicing and polishing old skills and learning new skills to remind myself how I learn and what I am interested in and experience what we can do with technology today. More on that coming, for now, I’m walking the path intentionally, ready for a fork in the road.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra