February 10, 2009

Hey there, were you giving thanks for the rain this weekend? I sure was. - I was also giving thanks to the people who enabled me to make a perfect Sunday brunch: a plate of Soul Food Farm eggs slow-basted in marvelous bacon fat. And about that bacon: it was a bacon gift that was hand-delivered earlier that week from chef Ryan Farr. That bacon ruled. Damn, now I’m ruined.

I also give thanks for this sharp nose of mine (the nose knows, it always knows!). There is nothing like the smell of someone walking down the street with a hot pizza in a to-go box, right? Immediate Pavlovian salivation sets in. And truth be told, envy. But true happiness is when that pizza box belongs to YOU. Sunday night I merrily walked and sniffed my way home while carrying a box of Little Star deep dish from Little Star Pizza (light on the garlic). Happiness is... a hot pizza. It’s as simple as that.

Speaking of hot boxes (hey, it’s the week for ’em), are you excited to learn who won Fork & Spoon’s Hot Box giveaway mentioned in yesterday’s sponsored email? See, you can win cool stuff from tablehopper-sponsored emails, yet another reason why you should read them, heh. Anyway, congratulations to tablehopper reader and now winner Jeffrey Langewisch! Woot! Just call 415-552-7130 to claim your prize!

Bummed you didn’t win? Fret not. The nice folks at Fork & Spoon have decided to offer tablehopper readers $25 towards your own Hot Box—now it’s only $125. Call Fork and Spoon for more info and to order yours (by Thursday at the latest!) at 415-552-7130.

Want another giveaway? Okay, you got it, sugarplum. It’s time for the monthly Ten Speed Press book giveaway! This month I am giving away three copies of the River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to three lucky tablehopper readers. All you need to do is forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to one buddy, but even more would be so very fabulous. Just tell your friend(s) why they would dig a subscription to the tablehopper e-column (if you call it a blog, you are disqualified, I wish I was kidding!), and CC or BCC luckyme[at]tablehopper[dot]com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. Deadline to enter is midnight this Saturday February 14th. Good luck!

This week is a beast of an issue, including a recap of last week’s CHEFS dinner in the regular and a bookworm, so let’s get to it. Oh yeah, and wait until you see who was all over San Francisco last week—read all about it in the starlet. Yay, A-list sightings!

In closing, I dedicate this issue to my remarkable grandmother, Judy, who is turning 80 years young this Thursday. My life would have been pretty dull without this extraordinary and one-of-a-kind woman. She has taught me so many important life lessons, including getting me hooked on Champagne early on, the joy of eggs Benedict or a no-holds-barred BLT, and to “live, love, laugh,” just as her necklace charm said that I remember her wearing. I raise my glass high to you, Mom! Happy 80th birthday!

And Happy Valentine’s Day, all!