Monday, April 18, 2011

A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Thou!

A few weeks ago we wandered through Costco, as is our fashion. As we wandered, achingly, through the bakery department, we spied a huge display of genuine Boudin San Francisco French Bread! For those of us who have lived for any time in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boudin Sourdough Bread (Boudin's website)  is one of the finest! It is the is Holy Grail of SF bread gourmets. It is the Alpha and the Omega, the Yin and the Yang. And there it was, with two big loaves, already sliced, for $5.49.

Need I say more? We loaded a package into our cart and hurried back to the checkout counter, praying that the moment would not disappear before we got there!

For some reason, that bread ended up in our freezer at home. It must have been one of our weaker moments. But recently, as we relaxed after a busy day, we pulled out four slices, buttered them, topped them with genuine Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, popped them in the microwave to heat slightly,  and savored them as accompaniement to ... no, not a fine Merlot or Pinot Noir, as would normally be proper, but our evening rye whisky and water.

Yes, I spelled that "whisky," not "whiskey." "Whiskey," as I understand it, is produced in the good old USA, but "whisky" refers to products from other countries such as Canada and Great Britain. Check a label, if you'd like. I'll wait. Yes, I know, Irish Whiskey has the "e," but the Irish don't associate with the Brits anyway.

So what about sourdough French bread from San Francisco. Is it really better? Is it really even different? YES, resoundingly comes the cry. YES, say all the people who have spent time at Spenger's Fish Grotto in Berkeley, No. 9 Fisherman's Grotto at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, or Horatio's at the San Leandro Marina, or any of a thousand tiny corner cafes in the area.

When we first started full-timing, Cousin Carol in Mountain View, California, took pity on us and sent us a "Care Package" of San Francisco Sourdough French Bread. We gobbled the whole thing immediately, and have been waiting ever since for a repeat. Maybe, just maybe????? Of course, we'll be in the Bay Area in July, so we'll pick up a few dozen loaves ourselves.

Now, about a jug of wine. Yes, we spent a lot of years, at various times, living in California, and we appreciate California's wine. The Napa Valley, of course; we lived a few years in the Livermore Valley and knew winemaker Joe Concannon personally. Now the region around Paso Robles has come into its own. But California isn't the only wine producing state. Even Arizona (gasp!) has delightful proprietary wines. But we must go on about Oregon.

Suzy's family is spread out in the Pacific Northwest, throughout Washington and Oregon. There appear to be thousands of Gansneders (Suzy's maiden name),  Breidtls, and Friedhoffs in the northwest. In 2005 we attended a family reunion with hundreds of those folks, most of whom Suzy had never even heard of. A year later, we were introduced to cousins Matt and Holly Kinne, who run McKinlay winery, a boutique family winery. What we learned there was that Oregon wineries produce the very best Pinot Noir in this country, and cousin Matt produces the very finest of Oregon's Pinot Noir (by vote of the other wineries)! And please see the review by the Oregon Pinot Noir Club! Matt gave us two bottles to take home. Long gone, I'm sorry to say, but we certainly enjoyed them, wrapped around some special occasion steak dinners!

Here are a few pictures taken at the McKinlay Winery, and you can find several more HERE.

Oregon is often grey or rainy

So the harvested grapes are covered.

Cousin Matt discussing wines with Cousin Pat

Pinot grapes ready to crush

But now about the "thou." We've talked about the "loaf of bread" (San Francisco sourdough), the "jug of wine" (an Oregon Pinot Noir). but what about the "thou?"

Friday, about bedtime, I quietly slipped out the back door of our park trailer, silently crossed our Lot 299 to Lot 300, and entered the motorhome sitting there. And I slept with the lady of that house! It was wonderful!

Leave me alone, you people, there is only one "THOU" in my life, and she is this beautiful creature in her glory:

And we had parked our motorhome on that lot in preparation for this summer's trip. We had the rig washed and waxed, we checked out all the systems, we unloaded unnecessary stuff, loaded in necessary stuff, and crammed the refrigerator and freezer with all they could hold. There is a weight limit that any RV can carry, and I know I carried that full amount from our casita and our home trailer over to and up the steps into, Rosie, the wonder RV.

So where are we now, after A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine, and Thou? We are in Casa Grande, AZ, at another SKP Co-op Park for a couple of nights. It was 99* F when we arrived, so we're sitting inside for Happy Hour with the AC running. And that's how it is, as we start on a trip in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Funny, boudin is the name of the cajan sausage that I love. Hmmm, boudin bread with boudin sausage. Now that sounds like a great combination. (I prefer boudin blanc)

  2. YOU HAVE FAMILY IN WINERY?? WHEN CAN WE VISIT??? Seriously, it is soooo nice to see two baby boomers plus, like us...still so much in love...
    (I drink wine from the box sometimes...well, maybe most times...OK, I just outed myself..I am NOT a wine afficienado!"..Great blog..I smiled all the way through it!

  3. I like French bread (but can't stand sourdough), I like Paddy's Irish Whiskey, and I like wine! No "Thou" in my life, though.

  4. bread wine and thou! is good for you and Suzy! the photo of her at the end...what a great smile..lights up the room!!

  5. I am one of those strange people who cannot stand sourdougn bread. However I can understand your passion for it - you have probably read about my passion for The Original Sheepherder bread from Schat's Bakery in Bishop. Be sure and try a loaf when you're through here. They also have sourdough but I have no idea what it tastes like LOL!!

    You sound like you are in a really good mood and ready to roll.

  6. I'll have to check our local Costco here to see if they sell that sourdough bread and give it a try.

  7. Nice to see you guys back on the road again enjoying the great outdoors:))

  8. we'll leave the light on for ya!!

  9. Sourdough bread and wine...what great memories they bring to me! Having lived in the Bay Area for many years and enjoying Boudin bread, dining at the restaurants you mentioned and visiting Napa and Sonoma wineries many times, I'm a little homesick. So glad you two are still in love and still having great adventures!

  10. I've tasted the Boudin Sourdough bread at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, but I haven't had enough of it to have formed an opinion about it. I'll have to eat some more of it. :)

    I'm very glad, Jerry, and I'll bet Suzy is too, that you wandered into the correct motorhome after all that bread and wine.


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