Friday, April 6, 2012

Well look who didn't update her goddamn blog

You may have read about the SF Food Adventure Club in the Bold Italic. You can join by learning about upcoming Adventures on ye olde facebook.

Blogging is tiring! We're more into being TOGETHER in the WORLD and off of COMPUTERS. See you at the next adventure!
Beth Pickens

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Food Adventure #14- WEIRD FRUITS

Sunday, June 12 · 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Dolores Park (picnic tables or nearby of course)

Created By

More Info
What better way to celebrate this queer season than with a weird fruits picnic? How will the weird fruit dress? In chili, honey or rainbow sprinkles? Bring a fruit you've never tried or a dish utilizing fruit in an avant garde way!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I promised myself I would not read the SFGate comments. So Ali read them to me. I maintain this is in no way cannibalism.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blogging will tire you. Placenta will invigorate you.


Look, I'm trying to keep up with this thing but let's face it- one person cannot alone carry a blog unless they are like that book-movie-deal Pioneer Woman I just read about in the New Yorker. Always a day late and a dollar short, that's my problem. Anyway, The San Francisco Chronicle will have an article next Wednesday, May 11 on their website in which a food writer documents our recent Placenta Food Adventure. 

I've made myself a promise to NEVER read the online comments that will surely be posted within seconds because I read the comments for sport and they are just awful! So terrible! And I don't want to hear the things these commenters will call me and my club and my fearless club compatriots. 

Instead, I will accent...uate the positive and ellim...inate the negative by offering you the base recipe from Epicurious that I used to make the Placenta Rumaki. 

  • 1/4 lb fresh placenta or defrosted frozen placenta (human)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 12 canned water chestnuts, drained and halved horizontally
  • 8 bacon slices (1/2 pound), cut crosswise into thirds
  • Special equipment: 24 wooden toothpicks

Open placenta, removing major blood clots, umbilical cord and tissue. Cut placenta meat into 24 (roughly 1/2-inch) pieces. Stir together soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and curry powder. Add placenta and water chestnuts and toss to coat. Marinate, covered and chilled, 1 hour. 

While placenta marinates, soak toothpicks in cold water 1 hour. Drain well. 

Preheat broiler. 

Remove placenta and chestnuts from marinade and discard marinade. Place 1 piece of bacon on a work surface and put 1 piece of placenta and 1 chestnut in center. Wrap bacon around placenta and chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Make 23 more rumaki in same manner. 

Broil rumaki on rack of a broiler pan 2 inches from heat, turning once, until bacon is crisp (unwrap 1 to check for doneness), 5 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.

* Adapted from Epicurious rumaki recipe

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SF FAC for RADAR for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Fruit is just ovaries and stamens, you know?
In our first official collab, Food Adventure Club will take part in ValenTINY Big Idea Night which is a big party, performance art/music celebration hosted by RADAR Productions and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

What are we doing? Exploiting/celebrating the chemicals of romance by offering foods based on aphrodisiacs! Things that tingle, look like ovaries and testicles, warm your tongue, make you hunt around for a hook-up and generally make you re-think the equation food + sex = Spencer's gifts. 

Here's the info, fools!  It's free so be there.

Valen-tiny Idea Night: A Big Idea Night Production
FREE w/ advance RSVP at
All ages welcome!
21+ w/ID to drink

...Sat, Feb 12, 8:30-11:30 pm

What do you get when you cross the bacchanalian mayhem of a Big Idea Night with the awkward-but-compelling intimacy of a first date? Why, Valen-tiny Idea Night, of course! Hop into bed with RADAR Productions’ Michelle Tea and YBCA’s Director of Community Engagement Joël Tan as they team-curate a night of mingling, mating, and music—not necessarily in that order. Featuring…


• Lovers, those all-female synth-driven “entrancing spell-casters” from Portland (Boston Phoenix)
• Dorian Wood, composer and performer of “mercurial pop that demands and deserves attention” (WNYC Culture)
• DJ Primo Pitino, lovable overlord of Mission District nightlife (Oldies Night, 2 Men Will Move


• Experience a site-specific performance by local choreographic innovators Jess Curtis/Gravity!
• Folk troubadour Dave End and interdisciplinary artist Dax Tran-Caffee take over YBCA’s elevators for a series of mobile installations!
• VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! and Mona G. Hawd pull together the opposing themes of artifice and authenticity in an intimate close up lipsynch, "Elevator Love"
• Hamilton Morris, “psychedelic explorer [and] maestro of all things mind-altering,” will regale the throngs with a presentation on the chemistry and pharmacology of aphrodisiacs!

Art and activities!

• Play Infatuated, an interactive cell phone game of amour played in and around YBCA. You can meet up, make out, break up, and make up all in one night, but only if you can solve the mysteries of love in the 21st century. Infatuated is playable by both couples and singles, and is inclusive to all orientations. Designed by the wily geniuses at Situate.
• Get your grub on with the San Francisco Food Adventure Club! SFFAC members will be bringing a smorgasbord of (un)earthly aphrodisiacal delights to temp or taunt your tastebuds and set your pheromones aflame!
• Mug for the camera! Photographer and Editor-in-Chief of Original Plumbing Amos Mac will be the evening’s resident shutterbug. Check out your pics on YBCA’s Facebook page following the event!

And of course…

• Check out our three new gallery exhibits upstairs! The work of Jennie C. Jones, Lauren Dicioccio, and Middle Eastern video art compiled by ASPECT will be on view until late!

Valen-tiny Idea Night – 701 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103 – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Grand Lobby/Upstairs Galleries

Public Info:
415-978-2787 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              415-978-2787      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or
Admission: FREE w/ RSVP

Next, Food Adventure Club for Pendleton for Opening Ceremony!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tastykake- Like Fuel for the Rustbelt

It had to be more than a coincidence that two people in the span of two weeks asked me if I knew about Tastykake brand products. Person #1, a San Francisco-based queer boy raised in Tennessee, had just returned from a trip to New York and made a special trip to Philadelphia where he procured a suitcase filled with said kakes. Oh my god I said. I haven't thought about Tastykakes in over a decade. Not long after, my dear friend, a Minneapolis-based queer girl raised in Missouri, g-chatted with me asking if I were familiar with the TKs. Wow I typed. You're the second person to ask me about these. I didn't realize they were from Pennsylvania. Her friend, another Minnesotan, had just returned from her homeland of Philly and - you get the pattern?- brought a suitcase filled with Tastykakes.


I grew up in Pittsburgh and have been away long enough to have shed the majority of my childhood trauma meaning I can have hometown pride about the area-specific foods: Heinz ketchup (consumed by the gallon), Primanti's sandwiches, chipped ham, pretzel salad, and other items that are accent-inducing.

Imagine my surprise when I received a box last week from New Jersey (?) that contained half a dozen Tastyklairs! A sort of Boston Cream Pie/eclair hybrid, it was by far my fondest memory of what I'm sure were hundreds and hundreds of Kakes devoured throughout my sullen upbringing.

My PMS is at threat level orange so, save for 1.75 Kakes, I devoured these within several days. You what's horrifying? This multiplied by 5.25:

4 oz.
Ingredients Water, Unbleached And Bleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate-B1, Riboflavin-B2, Folic Acid), Sugar, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil and/or Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid Added to Preserve Freshness), Eggs, Skim Milk, Cornstarch, Food Starch Modified, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Chocolate, Salt, Butter, Corn Syrup, Cocoa Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid (to Preserve Freshness), Cellulose Gum, Agar, Artificial Flavor. 

Surely one of the highlights of living in the digital age is that we can order anything in the world! Plus, now that food companies have webpages, we consumers can know the full menu of their fare. I thought Tastykake had about 4 or 5 pies to their name because that's all I ever saw at Giant Eagle, Shop 'n Save or Viola's.

Take a look at this:

Our personalized pies have made sure that pie isn't just a holiday treat! With a light, flaky crust and sweet – sometimes tart – fillings, Tastykake Pies have flavors for everyone’s daily pleasure, including lemon, peach, apple, blueberry and of course, our much-loved custard-filled Tasty-Klair. Why not enjoy one today? It’s easy as... well, pie.
  • Apple Pie
  • Peach Pie
  • Lemon Pie
  • Blueberry Pie
  • French Apple Pie
  • Cherry Pie
  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Tasty Klair Pie
  • Strawberry Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pineapple Cheese Pie
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • Egg Nog Pie
  • Cheesecake Pie
  • Chocolate Lover's Pie
  • Summer Berry Pie
  • Mint Chocolate Pie
  • Rita's Mango Pie
Who is Rita and why have I never laid eyes nor tongue on her mango?? Pineapple cheese pie? That would have rocked my Butler-county world. 
You know what jerked right out of my Yinzer k-hole? News that Tastykake is GOING GREEN. The rust belt recycles!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Matt Damon's New Film, SF Salumi and John of God

San Francisco's Ferry Building is a smorgasbord of up-scale food stores, rarefied mushrooms, overwhelmed tourists and reflects the denouement of meat-reclamation. I made a beeline for the building after a casting agent's lackey took my info card, stapled it to an old photo of myself in which I have fewer forehead wrinkles and told me have a nice day.

I have a friend who bears an uncanny resemblance to Matt Damon but this is not why I showed up to the pit of desperation also known as an open casting call. What happened is this: in October I found out I have a bum kidney. The other one is fine so I'm not going to die as a consequence or anything but ever since I was faced with a failure of one of my own vital organs (as a Capricorn, I REJECT failure), I've decided I need to - you know - live a little. So I will travel more and when life offers me an adventure or an opportunity to finally be discovered as a top model or indie film star, I take them. Carpe Damon.

Above reflects an infant's body but you get the gist. But no one will join me for the open casting call except one beloved friend who happens to be on the East Coast this weekend. I will go alone, no matter. Adventures, remember- I am signing up for adventures before I die. I know nothing of the word of Hollywood. Growing up in western Pennsylvania meant the closest I was to celebrity as a child was my mother's co-worker who was Madonna's aunt by marriage. Betty Ciccone. True story.

I don't have photos from today's line and the one above is classier than our crowd, anyway. Suffice to say, I arrived at 9:50am for the 10am start and the line was wrapped around an entire block. I waited 3 hours watching this survey in homo sapiens.

Here's what I discovered, qualitatively:
1. 50% of the cattle were curious (myself included)
2. 25% were somehow involved/involving themselves in the film industry and have delusions of grandeur
3. 25% were bat shit crazy

The woman behind me told me her name right away and separated herself from the pack by declaring herself in the acting biz. She'd brought her resume and all but shoved it at me.  Her info card said she was 38 and I'm guessing she shaved off a decade which is not age-ist, simply accurate. She talked loudly on the phone to her husband, updating him on our place in the endless line and insisted on calling this an "audition" which I thought was hilarious.  It was just a shitload of people from Northern California who feel cheated out of celebrity culture because we live 6 hours too far north off of Interstate 5 and want a brush with fame and a good story to tell. 

Other notable hopefuls included a man who brought his own folding chair and had actual head shot,  3 30-something Sacramento nurses in front of me, a chain-smoking sullen frizzy-haired woman whose mail friend parked his car but couldn't remember where, an affable white man who regaled nearby hopefuls with stories of his previous harassment of Sean Penn, several addicts whose withdrawal symptoms made waiting a precarious thing. The crowd was sad and I was right there with them.

My good friend and excellent writer, Sarah F.W., was an extra in Uncle Buck starring John Candy. She was used in some smoky teenage party scene and was forced to smoke cigarette after cigarette as John Hughes got the footage needed and she wound up pretty ill from the experience. I would totally eat a pancake that big!

Finally, after the 3 hour wait during which I asked myself some hard questions about my goals and willingness to make a decent living, I handed my info card and dated photo off to the lackey. Upon filling out the pink card, I realized I have no marketable talents that the entertainment industry would seek out. Next to specialized skills, I wrote only "moon-walking, old school; playing percussion instruments but not the drum kit; reciting the 50 states in alphabetical order."

It was 1pm and I'd had nothing but water, Metamucil and my morning coffee. In a few days, I will have a private session with Cynthia Branchflower, a disciple of John of God. I'm hopeful she can tell me how to heal my own kidney. My friend, a local Shaman, told me the universe/spirits/god/whomever told her that I would heal myself but who knows where to start? I'm putting my money on someone who was appointed by John of God.

Anyway, Cynthia Branchflower told me not to eat pork for 7 days after our session. I'm not sure why but I will certainly find out. So my beeline for the Ferry Building took me right to Boccalone Tasty Salted Pig Parts.

Lucky for me today's lunch special was a sausage sandwich with peppers and grilled onions. Yes, please! With that, I had a juniper berry soda and some Utz's handcooked potato chips. Utz is a Pennsylvania brand; I remember it from my childhood and it surprised me to find this in the Ferry Building.
Grandma Utz Potato Chips

I would wax philosophic about my  sausage sandwich but truly I was so hungry and beaten down by our collective emptiness that I wolfed it down. It was warm and spicy, that I know. I know I liked it and I know I had life energy once again after eating.

Truth be told, even if I get called to show up and play an extra at Candlestick Park, pretending to be terrified of some catastrophic bacteria unleashed on my city, I don't know if I'll show. I don't know if I can face my fellow citizens' attempts at fame and fortune.