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Around the bay: Beach oyster bbq

April 19, 2014
tomales bay oyster co david klayton

This week our good friend and David’s college roommate, Dave, came to visit us. I met David in college and so Dave has been a good friend for a long time. Putting up with us in our early dating years (I’m pretty sure he walked in on us making out on the couch a few times. Sorry Dave!), hanging out during our years in Seattle, and now visiting us in San Francisco and witnessing our new journey as parents.

I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that has a passion for food (or appetite) like Dave does. In college he was always cooking. Dumplings, chicken wings, kimchi, whatever. That appetite continues today and recently he spent a month touring Italy. During his stay with us he recounted every city he went to, meals he had, customs he partook in, experiences he indulged, and history he learned. It was endearing to hear someone so passionate about Italian food and culture and all the knowledge he soaked up about it. San Francisco is in it’s own right a culinary epicenter and while we could have planned our days around what restaurants we could take him to, we focused in on our own neighborhood of Dogpatch and a little adventure out to Tomales Bay. As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t eat out much these days so this week was a bit excessive, though so enjoyable.

One of the highlights of Dave’s time here was our visit to Tomales Bay Oyster Co for an oyster bbq. A little gem in the middle of rolling hills and serene waters, tucked off the coast, North of San Francisco. We underestimated the time it would take to get there, considering the drive is primarily switchbacks and arrived just a little over an hour before closing. Plenty of time to consume nearly 60 oysters and a bottle of wine. Part of what makes this place so special is the setup. Picnic tables butt up right against the beach, charcoal grills at each table and fresh oysters of so many varieties at your fingertips. Dave picked up an assortment and we got to work. Raw with a vinegar dressing, cooked with garlic butter, both incredible. We ate our little hearts out, buttery smiles and the fresh sea on our breaths.

There was a moment as I sat there in the sunshine holding Coltrane, with the warm familiarity of old friendships and sweetness of family love, that I felt complete happiness and content. I’ve felt a lot of these moments in my marriage and even more now as a mother, but they never cease to amaze me. I’m so thankful for this memory and so thankful for my peoples.

tomales bay oyster co david klayton

tomales bay oyster co david klayton

tomales bay oyster co david klayton

tomales bay oyster co david klayton

tomales bay oyster co david klayton


Finger foods: Dining with a toddler

April 12, 2014

Dining with a baby, now almost toddler has been enlightening. I often like to say that having Coltrane actually saves us money, because if he weren’t here, chances are we would be eating out nearly every night like we used to. We cook a lot more at home now than we ever have before and it’s been better on the budget and our buns.

When Coltrane was about 4 or 5 months he became a challenge at restaurants. Where he would have previously just slept or snacked his way through dinner, he became increasingly harder to entertain and often overstimulated. Until he was about 9 months, we rarely if ever ate out. Nowadays we get out a little more often, and when we do we have our routine down to a science. It’s a tag team circus of sorts.

Here are a few tips…

1. Ditch the gargantuan stroller. Nobody like a stroller in a restaurant. Opt for wearing your little one in a carrier or getting a stroller that folds down very small. We have the Quinny Zapp and it is amazing how small it folds down. We usually just tuck it away at the entrance or under our table.

2. Order a bowl of fruit or steamed veggies when they ask for drink orders. This ensures you have finger food and entertainment for them asap. It’s always smart to have snacks in your bag I guess, but so often he would get bored with those. It helps if you’re familiar with baby led weaning as well. We did BLW and so finger foods worked great at a younger age.

3. Spoons are your friend. Watch them carefully of course, but don’t underestimate the entertainment a spoon can give.

It doesn’t work perfectly all the time, but it has allowed us to explore some of the great restaurants San Francisco has to offer. I started this “Finger Foods” photo series because I adore his chunky little fingers and wrists and hope never to forget them. It’s also incredible to watch a little human discover and enjoy so many different foods for the first time.

Bon Appétit!