There must have been half a dozen times in the past few months when autumn cool has swept San Francisco, and I declared it a new season—time for scarves and hats and coats and boots and hot pumpkin lattes. But, just as quickly as fall arrived, summer would flush the air again and bring wind hot and heavy with heat and broad, generous sunshine. So is September and October in the Bay.
We had one of those heat waves a few weeks ago. Tom—our resident Midwest loyalist whose many skills include checking the weather—announced that it was going to be a beautiful Saturday, which called for bbqing in Mission Dolores Park. Quickly, we realized that none of us actually owned a hibatchi or had any time to get meat, so plans were adjusted for a potluck picnic on what was forecasted to be one of the nicest days in the year.
If you've never been to Mission Dolores Park, it is somewhere between a playground, the DMV, Central Park, a bark park, and one big bong. And it is totally appropriate for children. Frisbees, balls, and dogs fly freely, and all manner of people come out to sit on the green hills and do exactly whatever they want. Sometimes police vans arrive and sit at the foot of the hill and watch.
But for our part, we had planned an innocuous picnic, and I was happy to pick out two bottles of Italian soda, soft brie, blue cheese, duck pate, and a baguette.
Which all seemed to be a wonderful idea until we realized that none of those foods held up very well in the rogue summer heat. The brie became runny, the blue cheese got gooey, and the pate turned suspicious. Which is why our romantic picnic foods became a sorry idea shielded by a large shade tower made of Ruffles potato chips:
Oh well, lesson learned: No more soft foods on hot San Francisco days—unless eaten quickly. :-)