nice day

i had a fun day today! i went to the fungus fair today at the oakland museum. that was really fun, because i have fond memories of going to fungus fairs back when i was in mr bowen’s bio classes and i’ve been looking forward to introducing erik to the world of fungi. 🙂 i went with erik and sophie and we sampled an absolutely delicious dandelion greens salad made with chanterelles (chanterelles are so good), figs, apples and caramelized sugar, looked at all the different kinds of fungi (there are so many it’s ridiculous), smelled different varieties of dried edible mushrooms (‘candy caps’ smell like brown sugar, for instance), picked up all the handouts on psychedelic mushrooms, touched and looked at yarns dyed with mushroom dyes and papers made out of nothing but water and a certain type of mushroom. we also sniffed truffle oil (smells delicious, like garlic) and considered buying grow-your-own-mushroom kits (we didn’t, but i wanted to). we also met mr bowen there and he introduced us to one of his friends and told us a little about mushrooms. before we left, i bought a few mushrooms to try, since i’ve only recently come to like them and wanted to try more varieties. i bought almond mushrooms (mr bowen says they taste like almonds; they look totally ordinary) and some white oyster mushrooms (they’re so pretty!).

mr bowen took us to dinner after the fungus fair. we wanted to go to chez panisse, where he used to supply wild mushrooms years ago, but unfortunately it’s closed on sundays. 😦 instead we went next door to a chic tapas restaurant and bar named césar. i love tapas (served in some bars in spain along with your drinks, but there are also special places just for tapas; they’re small plates of very tasty food) and césar’s tapas were wonderful. we shared a white bean stew with slices of french bread (i think i liked the stew best of all… next time i go i’m ordering just that), cold-smoked salmon with cucumber dill salad, fried potato strips with sage, the very popular and delicious spanish ham (jamón serrano; it’s similar to prosciutto), and ‘tigres rabiosos’ which was mussels in a spicy tomato sauce. we got seconds of the jamón and the cucumber salad, and i ordered a fresh-squeezed orange juice which turned out to be really sweet and delicious. as i’ve said, i’ve decided not to be vegetarian when i eat out because the point of not eating meat is definitely not to alienate or inconvenience my friends. i think i can succeed in being a near-total-vegetarian (according to some of the books i read for my veganism paper, one can’t be vegan if one is only vegan in dietary habits–true veganism holds for more than just food, but if one only eats vegan one can be considered a ‘total vegetarian’) at home by myself, but when eating out i’ll be more flexible. if i’m just eating out casually by myself or with a couple of friends, i’ll try to be vegetarian if possible, but if the eating is the focal point of the experience and it’s a grand new restaurant like césar (or like my experience at scala’s a month or two ago — see my previous entries!), then i won’t ruin it for everyone by demanding vegetarian entrées. i’ve realized that having grown up with meat it’s very easy for me to eat it, i just stop thinking about how bad it is to eat it, and i just eat. i do enjoy it, but afterward i feel good to go back to my new vegetarian régime. 🙂

i really like the music of joni mitchell.

[note, 4/10/14: Imported from my old blog at]