Event 11 - I Left my Heart... (San Francisco Firehouse Spaghetti)

by Dave MichelMarch 22, 2015

The "I Left My Heart..." event was the ultimate cooking sabbatical event. That means it was the last event of my sabbatical ("terminal event" would be another way of putting it, but I thought that might send the wrong message). Yes, my Cooking Sabbatical is officially over. Maybe a few more blog entries and I'll truly be done. But that's for later - here's the scoop on the final event.

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Near the end of the evening, Kris said "Shoot - I forgot to take pictures of food". Both of us had been hopping around trying to keep things running smoothly (no Anna to help host due to a theatrical performance), and so the only picture of food we had was me holding this can of tomatoes. There were a lot of shots of guests eating and having a good time. As I reflected on this the next day, I came to the realization that this was completely appropriate. My Cooking Sabbatical wasn't really about cooking - it was about people.

This isn't really a new thought for me. There's a very good reason why so many brilliant conversations and creative interactions happen when you eat with others. But I had initially come at this whole adventure from a different direction. I wanted to expand my cooking technique toolbox, and then I began feeling like it would be a lonely month if all I did was experiment by myself in the kitchen. Having friends and family over would at least make my sabbatical a bit more interesting (and keep the leftovers down to manageable levels).

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What I found was that it's the stew of new and old friends, people who might not otherwise cross paths, and the connections that ensued that was the most satisfying part of this sabbatical. Every event made me feel blessed to have so many great and talented friends and family members with whom to share food and time. Kris and I had many conversations about how fun it is to have people over (and question ourselves why it was that we've done that so infrequently in the past). I don't know what our hosting groove will look like in the future, but I'm hoping that we continue to realize that we truly enjoy doing this kind of thing.

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Speaking of which... It's so great to have a partner like Kris to support my crazy notions. Not only did she not complain about the amount of work involved, but she only got semi-testy when I would goof a schedule or otherwise screwed up. Seriously, I couldn't have done something as nuts as this without her. Thanks for "enabling" me, Toasty! I love you.

 

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Concerning the food... This was about as simple as I felt I could make it. All prep was done the day of, except for brining the salmon Friday night. I smoked the fish Saturday morning while I ran out for ingredients, then got the sauce going (with the sausage I made and froze a month ago). The fish came out great, and I had plenty of time to assemble the salad beforehand (much better timing than this event). Parboiling the spaghetti meant I could finish cooking it in about a minute and keep a nice al dente texture - I stayed in the kitchen and kept making small batches as people went through the line.

I had ordered the sourdough from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco on Wednesday, and it arrived on Friday as promised. Sourdough always takes me back to my formative years (6th grade through high school) in the Bay Area.

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We topped off the evening with some Lund's Tiramisu Gelato and cookies, and then the Spaghetti Trio (Phil Kadidlo, Dan Horvath and me) played a bit. Robin Cain sang "All of Me", too. As Dan said the next day, "Good people, food, and music- hard to top that!"

 

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There were a bunch of new friends from the National Lutheran Choir in attendance. Eldri was the main instigator (she's the one that hacked my system and registered the other choir types). I had the above picture of the Drapers hosting a dinner party on my initial invitation email, so Eldri showed up with a really sharp looking pointy bra (I mean really sharp, like I'm still a little sore from a hug). After the party, I found that Don Draper was still hanging around like a bad penny. Jesus still somehow felt compelled to wash Don's feet. Way to go, you slimy, silver-tongued ad man!

 

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The day after the event, Kris and I staged a plate so we could at least have a photo of the food (and lunch afterward). Yep, this whole cooking sabbatical thing really was about the people. Thanks, everybody, for participating - you're what this journey was all about!

 

Comments (2) -

David
DavidUnited States
3/24/2015 8:58:13 AM #

What a blast to read your blogs--a feast in themselves!  Thanks for sharing these, and God's blessings on your future feasts.

Jean
JeanUnited States
3/24/2015 2:05:34 PM #

Loved this post and the photos, and what a great meal and group with which to "officially" conclude your sabbatical.  Well done, Dave!  

About the author

Dave

Dave is a recording engineer, musician and software developer in Minneapolis. He's found that a cooking sabbatical is more work than normal life.

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