Stay for Tea

Category: amazing friends

Friends of mine: Miz Sarah

In every close knit group of friends, there has be at least one person who is a super-star host and cook, able to whip up a delicious meal on a whim, when friends drop by for a visit. She (and often he) will have something simmering on the stove, or baking in the oven, and in exchange for the tasty treats, the guests must regale the host with stories and pour a glass of wine.

My friend Sarah is exactly the person described above. Besides being loads of fun and a great friend, she’s also an amazing cook. There is never such a thing as “not enough food” at Sarah’s house, and I’ve never tasted a disaster.

Dinner at Miz Sarah's

The heart of her sunlit, open apartment in the Upper Haight is the large and bright kitchen. The living room is separated from the kitchen only by a low counter. While she sautes and simmers, it’s easy to keep Sarah company. Potted plants perched atop the refrigerator trail down towards the floor; windowsills are covered with jars and sauce bottles; and a large table sits alongside the kitchen wall for any prep work. Whoever designed the kitchen clearly had an enthusiastic cook in mind.


The rest of the place isn’t too shabby either. It’s not overly decorated, in some thematic catalog way. It’s a cozy, lived-in place peppered with Muppet toys (she’s a fan of Miss Piggy and Kermit), books, knickknacks, clever signs and vintage art prints, including a gorgeous Erte serigraph. The bathroom has a claw foot tub and there are stained glass windows scattered throughout the apartment. After the cut, look at more photos of the apartment & the delicious dinner Sarah cooked for a few of us recently:

Dinner at Miz Sarah's
Cooked cabbage
Cider brined pork loin with apple-cream sauce

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Making candied flowers

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I visited a friend who is in town from France, spending some time staying with her folks on their farm. Their beautiful home is set in a garden of lemon trees, violets blossoms and green succulents. We were invited by our friend for a relaxing afternoon, with a particularly sweet offer of making our own candied flowers.

Undeterred by the soft rain that’s been coming down for several hours, we stepped into the garden and foraged for whatever we could dunk in some sugar. Traditionally, candied violets are poured over with hot syrup, and used in France as a garnish for desserts. However, that is just one way and one reason to do it. We had an approach far more simple, and our goal was to just enjoy making the candied flowers and eating them like snacks.

Violets are the preferred flower, but Johnny-jump-ups and Borage can do! Make sure to dry them off pretty well before candying. Read the rest of this entry »