I think I have an excess amount of energy. Saturday, after driving up to Carneros to pick grapes all day with the group of bohemian food-lovers I was lucky enough to fall in with a few weeks back, we crushed and de-stemmed nine 30-gallon barrells of pinot noir and feasted on a spread that Angelo had been making all day. It was the last day of the harvest and the big group of 12 or so of us was HUNGRY.
Angelo, his nephew Gaetano, and Angelo's friend Sandro (all lovely, warm, Sicilian men) had been cooking since 2pm. The feast included wild boar (that Angelo had hunted--he still has one more and he's going to roast the whole thing sometime in January), polenta, quartered fennel bulbs, eggplant done several ways, turnips, roasted peppers, lots of bread... a lot of things that I can't really remember right now but it was one of the most delicious meals I've ever had.
I'm used to "family meal" being a tedious affair in which the kitchen of a restaurant uses the waiters as walking garbage disposals--we're hungry enough at the beginning of the shift (because we don't have anything in our home fridges except for beer and Perrier) or at the end of the shift (because we've been sprinting from table to table all night) to put away whatever the kitchen throws at us. Family meal at Angelo's forge is another thing entirely. Bottles and bottles of wine were opened (from the pinot bottling we did last Wendesday) and the platters of food that piled over the table emptied out after just a half an hour, hungry grape pickers from all walks of life completely satisfied after a day of hard manual labor that they welcome as a respite from their fancy indoor city lives.
So after all of this (and I worked HARD crushing and de-stemming. It's my favorite part, I think because it happens so fast it reminds me of restaurant service, or catering) I decided to go to the Mission with a couple of the group who weren't falling asleep in their plates. We were going to check out the Litquake finale at 12 Galaxies but it was over by the time we got there so we headed over to Treat Street, a super divey bike messenger bar where my friend Emiley works. I'd never been there (I never get as far out as 24th and Treat!) and I wanted to see her. The bar was PACKED from all of the Litquake overflow, and after about a half an hour Em asked me to hop behind the bar and help her. She was alone and I was happy to collect and wash glassware.
The fun and dangerous part about having bartender friends is that you drink way too much and way too long--drinks are free and you're allowed to hang after hours (I was helping clean up). So there were a lot of bourbon shots taken, probably not the best idea after a whole evening of drinking home wine. I had some steam to blow off, though, but Sunday morning I had one of those mornings where I swore I'd never ingest anything alcoholic again.