One last bite of cold, as we left Denver for only long shirts sleeves warmth in San Francisco. My brother, Michael, picked us up at the hotel with my nephew, Alex, who had just flown in from New Mexico. This evening was to be a birthday celebration dinner at the Farm Shop in Larkspur for Michael with family and friends. I was so proud and happy to talk to Alex, who has been flying over the Middle East, as a flight engineer, for months and soon to be redeployed to the region. I'm also very proud of my younger brother Michael, who was recently honored as one of the top retailers in America for his Pet Food Express' charitable mission for the K-9 police departments in the San Francisco and Los Angelas areas. The dinner included a wonderful array of appetizers, from Risotto Fritters and wood fired California Tomatoes Pizza to Short Ribs with Onion Rings and Roast Chicken. A familiar dessert came out with lit candles for our birthday boy. The Miette Bakery's signature Tom Boy chocolate cake topped with whipped cream awaited for us all to sing "Happy Birthday" and for Michael to blow out the candles. I included this fudgy rich chocolate cake in "Rose's Heavenly Cakes". Michael's celebration continued the next day at the Yank Sing restaurant (our traditional Sunday brunch) for their myriad delicious deem sum selections. But first was a joyous reunion with Caitlin Freeman Wiliams in front of her husband and her downtown Blue Bottle coffee shop.
Our original plan was to have dinner with Caitlin at the State Bird Provisions Restaurant, until I received an email a week before from her titled "Oh crap." She had to cancel as she and her husband had to fly to Japan that afternoon for a last minute meeting for the opening of a new Blue Bottle location. Along with our coffees, we enjoyed tasting Caitlin's favorite breakfast entrée, Poached Eggs on Kale. Blue Bottle boasts one of the most elaborate and refined methods of brewing coffee in their chemistry like apparatus. We then met my great nephew, Ross Stackhouse, who has recently moved to San Francisco and become quite the entrepreneur. He took us to a building that he and his partners are renovating. While the renovations are being done, he is providing space for street vendors to have their own "store fronts", which can help them potentially to secure a permanent store front. All three of us then walked over to meet Michael and family at the Yank Sing. Michael and Mia quickly had the center table stacked with deem sum baskets and trays for all to design their lunch. Shanghai Dumplings, Pork Slu Mye, Green Beans, and Steamed Pork Buns became Woody's lunch. It was difficult to leave the family but Omnivore Books awaited us for a talk and book signing and then the much anticipated dinner at State Bird Provisions.