I arose this morning at 6:45, Rayteked the garden, and got readings from -1 to -3 in various locations. Celsius rather than Fahrenheit, of course, since I’m trying to get a better feeling for it so I can speak fluent Celsius in the rest of the world, but still…
So what did I then do first thing on the coldest morning in San Francisco for the last fifteen years? Pulled on several layers of my warmest clothing and headed down to the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. In the Prius, because I barely survived the much shorter Segway ride to the gym yesterday morning when it was several degrees warmer.
I didn’t really need anything at the market since I’m going to drive to the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market in Oakland tomorrow to pick up some quark from Oakdale Cheese, but I wanted have coffee with Sybil and to express solidarity and sympathy with the farmers as last night’s weather forecast for the central valley was partly terrible to catastrophic, with record-breaking freezes predicted for many localities.
Got to the market a bit early because Sybil had finally got me curious about her passion for the eggs from Marin Sun Farms, and you have to be there early and get in line because they run out before they have served all the people in line when the market opens at 8:00. Yes, they’re a cult item now, and priced accordingly at $6.00 per dozen. That’s what I said, fifty cents apiece.
Sybil, normally a cautious and prudent shopper who serves as an exemplar, justifies this expense by pointing out that she uses them as a main course that is cheaper than meat. So she’d convinced me. Then I got in line and saw the sign announcing that the price was now $8.00 per dozen. Nonsense, I thought, I can be pushed only so far, especially now that I’m giving up some luxuries, and if that ain’t a luxury, I don’t know what is.
But then Sybil arrived and somehow her very presence re-convinced me and I bought a carton, which I immediately hid underneath the avocados so nobody would know I had committed such an extravagance.
As we went off for coffee, I took a pic of the folks in line and announced that for a mere dollar donation each I would refrain from showing their mothers evidence that they were now standing in line in the cold for eight dollar eggs. Not all were amused.
As we bought our fruit and vegetables after coffee, the farmers were stoic. Many citrus growers, already resigned to losing a good portion of this year’s crop, were hoping that the even colder temperatures predicted for tonight would not cost them too many trees.
I got in from the Ferry Plaza with my eight-buck eggs knowing full well what I was having for lunch – an old favorite consisting of a couple of slices of oat-nut bread oven-toasted to perfection while I sautéed a chopped strip of bacon and then scrambled in it two or three eggs seasoned with freshly ground black pepper. When I have green garlic, I also sauté a stalk in with the bacon, and luckily I had some extra already sautéed that was nearing the end of its refrigerator life, so I threw that in well before the eggs.
And as I was scooping creamy spoonfuls onto the toast, it struck me. Why in the world am I doing this with eight-dollar eggs? I should have made a plain omelet with a dab of butter and four grains of salt so as to get the maximum egg taste rather than covering it up with bacon and garlic and pepper.
Still, it was delicious, and there are ten more eggs, so that’s not the bad news, which is that when I got in from the market and unloaded the car, I thought I’d just go ahead and hop on the Segway and zip down to the Noe Valley market and pick up one of Smit’s cherimoyas and some sorrel since that woman at the Ferry Plaza not having brought hers today really confirmed for me that I am suffering from a severe oxalic acid deficiency that can be relieved only by the administration of a bowl or two of sorrel soup. (See the watercress soup in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol I.)
Alas, before I left the house I somehow managed to break the damn zipper in my only pair of warm pants. So now I’m faced with the prospect of freezing to death if I take the pants out somewhere to get a new zipper put in.
Then again, I’m not the California citrus crop.
On the way down Noe Street, I couldn’t help noticing this manhole tragedy: