It has been a very busy several months.  After making the decision to move to America for Joel’s work it has been non-stop with finishing up the house, moving, organising visas and children’s passports as well as the everyday stuff of having a big family.  I was looking forward to getting on the plane and sleeping and amazingly I did, because the kids did!

We arrived in beautiful San Francisco on Tuesday and have spent the last couple of days learning how to drive on the other side of the road, sight see, shop for essentials and get acquainted with our neighbourhood and the local school.

Yesterday we visited Tartine, one of the places high up on my ‘to visit’ list, and had a very late lunch – croque monsieur with a few pickled carrots on the side (surprisingly amazing and I need to pickle some carrots), croissants and coffee. I have noted that the coffee culture is vastly different to that in Australia but I thought I would take a chance and order one at Tartine.  The very patient waitress talked me through the coffee options and I went for a cappuccino, which ended up being what I know as a flat white.  It was a fine cup of coffee but really we are onto a good thing back in Australia.  Why are we a nation obsessed with our lattes and flat whites?  Because they are so darn good back home.

I can say, hands down, that the bread at Tartine was indeed sublime.  Crunchy on the outside, chewy yet moist on the inside and the flavour was bread perfection. Half the loaf has been stashed in the freezer for breakfast toast as I cannot do the 1.5 hour round trip to Tartine everyday.  If I can find a decent loaf of bread in the south bay area, and a good coffee, I could make this place my home.  But the couple of breads we have tried are sweet so today I purchased a big bag of unbleached flour and yeast so I can get baking.  Maybe I should scrap the yeast and do the Tartine sourdough … hmmm.  Will keep you up to date.

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12 Responses to California

  1. Hey nat. Wow am I jealous. I want to move to California and be your next door neighbour. It’s still breaking my heart that you won’t be in Brisbane when I next visit. But I shouldn’t have expected you to wait forever *sniff sniff* I sound like a jilted lover, don’t I? he he he.

    To me it feels like you’re having an amazing adventure while here I am stuck in a poor dustbowl… My day today consisted of driving 10kms to get to the one ATM in town that works, and then going to one store for some groceries, and another store for some other groceries that I can’t get at the other store. All the while the driver was babysitting Harrie. And then I spent all the money I’d just gotten out of the ATM (because there’s no eftpos here), so we have to drive another 10kms to get back to that one ATM that works… Yup vicious cycle.

    Anyhoos. Have fun and BLOG LOTS!!

    • natalie says:

      Brooke that sounds exhausting. Maybe you need a holiday in California!!! Let me remind you that you first left me in Sydney 🙁

  2. Victoria says:

    Welcome to America from the other side of the continent. I hope you and your family are happy here, and you find many good things to eat and not miss your favorites from home too much (like chocolate covered licorice perhaps?).

    • natalie says:

      Thanks for the welcome! I have come prepared with some of my favourite things from Australia – coffee beans, Tasmanian honey, vegemite and Levi’s favourite biscuit – choc mint slice. Australian visitors will just have to make sure they pack some more for me! But can you help explain to me about where to purchase meat here in America? I’ve been to Safeway and Trader Joe’s and there seems a very limited range. Are there butcher shops in America?

  3. Diana says:

    Looking forward to your America posts!! We are visiting SF in 2.5 weeks so it will be good to see where u go to eat, was it kid friendly? X

    • natalie says:

      How exciting! We only ate at Tartine in San Fran. We did stop for an ice-cream too but we will go back in the next couple of weeks and I’ll let you know. But for our day in the city I would say yes it was kid friendly. Crossing roads is tricky because we are all still adjusting to which direction to look when crossing. Everyone here seems really friendly and relaxed about kids. In Tartine people at other tables were chatting to the kids which was lovely. The real test will be when we take all 4 kids to Zuni cafe or Chez Panisse! But of course there are plenty of fast food places here which we have so far avoided. I am trying to make familiar meals at home. Elliott keeps asking for sausages and mashed potato but I can’t find any sausages that look edible!

  4. Very jealous. Bread in the states is horribly sweet. Wholefoods has better options. That sourdough sure looks good.

    • natalie says:

      We have been enjoying some of the beautiful sourdoughs at Whole Foods. There is a brilliant range I am slowly working my way through! But for everyday toast and sandwiches I have just been making a loaf every second day.

  5. Andy says:

    Yanks get their sourdough so brown and crusty looking!

  6. Kimberley says:

    There is a lovely bakery in San Fran down on the pier called Boudin Sourdough. You’d love it!

    • natalie says:

      I had read in Lonely Planet about their sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder and I was looking out for them when we were wandering Fishermans Wharf the other day. But I didn’t know they sold fresh loaves of bread and just googled them and see there is one just near us! Will be trying it out! Thanks!

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