Sunday, November 25, 2012

Autumn Happenings

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post.  SO many things have been happening!

First, I took Ralph home to Maryland for a week in October.   We went hiking with my family in the gorgeous autumnal foliage, took a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, attended a beautiful mountain wedding, and also managed to visit a few of my favorite restaurants (and people!) in Baltimore.

My family
My dear friend Kate & I at Golden West restaurant in Baltimore

Ralph & I at the wedding

Aside from sharing a terrible head-cold, the whole trip was really lovely.  It was so nice to catch up with old friends and visit with family.  We also made a little excursion to Virginia to visit my very elderly grandma and grandpa.  If you are ever thinking it's too late to start doing something, let my grandma be of inspiration to you.  She is 93 years old and just learned how to play the ukulele this year.  I won't go into any detail about how good (or not) she is, but she is determined.  I hope I am still open-minded enough at that age to learn new skills.

When we returned to San Francisco, things really began to roll for Picnic.  Suddenly, after months of very little activity, I have been getting lots of orders!  I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be spending my weeks in the kitchen instead of at my computer.  I've been boxing up and delivering apple pies, dutch apple cream cheese coffeecakes, gluten free cupcakes, pumpkin scones, and peppermint panda cookies.  

In addition to all of that, I also organized a vegetarian feast & pop-up market at Kitchener Oakland.  I gathered some of the food artisans that operate from the kitchen who were willing to make some vegetarian and vegan foods to sell.  We planned the event on election night; so, we had a red white and blue theme and streamed live election coverage.

Photos courtesy of Paula Wirth

New peppermint panda fans

The event was a HUGE success!  We were packed with hungry people the entire evening.  

A sea of hungry people
Some of the artisans even sold out of everything they brought to the party.  And, of course, there was a very happy ending when Obama won the election!  I love how the Kitchener has become a community hub, and I'm so glad I was able to make a night to celebrate the veggies in the bay area.

After all of that, I was pretty exhausted.  I still had to catch my breath and dive right back into the kitchen to get ready for Thanksgiving, though.  I catered several office parties and made a bunch of coffeecakes for a Thanksgiving pop-up sale.  In the midst of the coffeecake baking, I rushed out to look at a house with Ralph, which we are now in the process of buying, thus ending a year-long search!
Our new house!  It needs some work and will look very different when we are done.  It will be beautiful, though!

On Thanksgiving, we went to my cousin's house where we feasted with my very big and very thankful family:

My west coast family Thanksgiving

Needless to say, I am totally hung-over from all of the October/November mania.  I have actually not left our apartment for anything other than my dog's potty breaks in the past two days.  My kitchen looks a little bit like a bomb made up of sugar, flour, and ceramic serving platters exploded all over it.  I'm sure I'll do something about that tomorrow.  Today, I am staying in bed and planning my entire future home on Pinterest.