High Time for Tea Time (Served on a Cutting Board)

Oranges, blue cheese, and almonds--oh my!
Oranges, blue cheese, and almonds--oh my

It’s no ordinary night that one of your best college girlfriends flies into San Francisco via Thailand, where she’s been living in Southeast Asia for two years. Even less ordinary is the six-week long visit, during which she will decide whether to semi-permanently settle in San Francisco to get yoga teaching certification.

A wanderer and dreamer, she’s made nomadism a lifestyle. Her decision won’t come easy, and I’ve made it my job to insinuate upon her my West Coast dream life. With half-day hikes up Twin Peaks, bike rides to Ocean Beach, high-art music performances every other night, and general summer fabulousness, my work isn’t hard.

While we’ve been friends with one other for a decade, Anita and I didn’t truly bond until a few years into our relationship, when we hit 21 and mutually underwent an American girl’s teenage right-of-passage: the development of a vague, crackpot eating disorder in the name of “health.”

The regimen included daily programs, such as eating three jars of salsa, complemented with raw celery, cigarettes (well, just me), and vodka with Diet Hansen’s Cream Soda. We weren’t joking, we were way too serious (and seriously misguided). Ah, sweet retrospect.

That’s changed now (duh). Despite recent years apart, we seem to have grown similar lifestyle penchants (anti-materialism, simplicity, non-traditional romantic relationships). What’s more, we both really, really dig whole foods and homemade meals. Dig.

To celebrate Anita’s arrival, we created a special tea tray, which includes local, organic red and yellow heirloom tomatoes from darling Canyon Market (bright and lush); Middle East-Soli’s Baking Co.’s whole-wheat pita bread, toasted; Stonehouse Olive Oil with Sel Gris and Pepper; Point Reyes Blue Cheese (just a bit of this rarefied, rich, mega-ethical cheesemaker’s delight); whole, raw almonds coupled with salted, toasted pumpkin seeds, both sourced from Rainbow Grocery Coop; and, finally, gorgeous slices of organic, SoCal oranges.

All served on a gorgeous, rough-hewn cutting board created by a wood-worker friend in Bolinas. I love using cutting boards as a serving tray/supper plate–for its ease and woodsiness.

Ah, yes. The wine. Straight from the thugged-out corner store directly beneath my apartment complex (more specifically, downstairs from my living room). Thanks, New College Hill Market. Especially to Rami & Peter, the boys who clerk the reg.

Yes, this entry focuses on Anita much more so than the food. But don’t worry, lovelies, more nutrition-filled, sensory-rich meals are headed your way. Hella.




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