Willful Ignorance

Last week, I wrote about the clear plastic domes ensconcing diners at the upscale restaurant Hashiri in San Francisco. The restaurant’s manager Kenichiro Matsuura described the domes as protective: within the bubbles, diners were sheltered from the weather, from COVID-19 exposure (the Department of Public Health disagreed), and from “disturbances” in the public plaza, he…

Hygiene Theater at Hashiri

“That’s so smart! You are totally protected!”  So said someone walking past the three clear plastic geodesic domes in Mint Plaza, imagining what it would be like to sit inside. These domes were perched out front of Hashiri, a fine dining restaurant that for about 10 days in August 2020 ensconced their outdoor dining tables…

Z Line Vermouth: The Botanicals

Vermouth: Aromatized and Fortified Wine Vermouth can be aromatized with any botanical product, which makes for a vast and rich field of possible flavors. When I set out to collaborate on a vermouth with family friend and farmer Sam Merwin, I knew the botanicals would tell a story: a story of his family’s farm and…

Decisions, Decisions: Winemaking

Before I could make Z Line Vermouth, I needed wine (vermouth’s base ingredient). Though a total novice, I hoped to make the wine myself. My friend Sam is a fourth generation farmer who has started growing chardonnay grapes under contract in the last five years.  Sam graciously allowed me to harvest 100 pounds of grapes…

Candied Citrus Peels

To eek out every bit of immune- and mood-boosting goodness from sunny citrus, candy your leftover peels. You’ll get the sweet treat of your peels and a bonus batch of citrus syrup you can use to flavor drinks, soak cakes and more! You can use any kind of citrus peel; pictured here is a mix…