Thursday, August 12, 2021


If you step out in the middle of the night to have a final pipe smoke, you must come back and have some peach pie. That is neither a rule nor tradition, but it ought to be. It's a question of karmically matching, and balanced tastes. Well, unless you smoke aromatics, in which case a nice plate of raw beef would be perfect. No capers, no chiles en escabeche, no salt and pepper, no rye bread; just raw bloody beef oozing juices onto the plate.
Obviously I do not smoke aromatic mixtures.
The pie was delicious, btw.

Sometime last summer I put the pipe shown above back into one of the storage boxes, but why that was needful baffles me. It's a pretty good smoke, and reminds me of the last five years at Bush Street, as well as Marty Pulvers, who sold it to me. He's doing well, according to Calvin.
I haven't seen him in over a year, but Calvin was at the recent meeting of the pipe club.
All of us are still more or less vibrantly alive and full of beans.

And, in at least one case, peach pie. Courtesy of my apartment mate, who satisfies her pastry cravings by regularly purchasing turnovers, cookies, fruit pies, and kouign-amanns. These are all available in this neighborhood. Being a San Francisco-born Chinese American, she very understandably has a butter fetish, as well as an inability to read the Chinese names of anything at Chinatown bakeries.

[Stuff in Chinatown bakeries: here's a handy list.]

As a Europe-raised America-born Dutch American grouchy codger, butter runs in my veins, and while I like the stuff, I've been there and done that. Little chicken pies (雞批), old wife cakes (老婆餠), charsiu turnovers (叉燒酥), flat buns studded with embedded hot dog pieces (金錢包) are more my bag. Great with a spot of tea right around four o'clock.

[金錢包:又稱「肉鬆熱狗麵包」。These are very Chinatown. Soft bread dough, sliced hot dog, pork floss. Poor folks food, working class, and something at which Northerners and tourists probably instinctively sneer.]

In another week or two, the first mooncakes (月餅) should be available. The Autumn Festival (中秋節) occurs on Tuesday September 21 this year. It's something to which I always look forward. Favourite bakeries, favourite fillings.

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