Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fightin' Words

The other day at work I was speaking with a coworker about a theory she had. "Your first fight in a relationship is the fight you will continue to have the entire relationship." As usual, I didn't fit the mold. Our first fight was about me planning to end our relationship when he went off to law school, while he wanted to stay together. We had that fight exactly once.

The fight we have throughout our relationship involves his desire to move back up to the Bay Area. We have this fight multiple times a year, always precipitated by a visit to his family. For some reason, Thatboy believes that if we lived up there, all our problems will magically be solved. Not only that, but somehow all his family's problems will also magically be solved. I've never been convinced.

I know most people rave about San Francisco, but I just don't have the same draw. The number 1 reason would obviously be the proximity to the inlaws. The number 2 reasons is the insane cost of living up there. California has a HCOL to begin with, but San Francisco pushes those limits much higher than our own little city by the bay down here.

Luckily this fight only lasts a week or so, until he remembers he likes the warmer weather, the ability to surf year round, and the cheaper cost of just about everything. (Thatboy was incensed during our last visit that Starbucks is more expensive up there.)

My compromise? Frequent visits to his family every year. And of course, when I saw a recipe for a "very popular San Francisco dish," I just had to give it a try. Of course I don't know what makes it a popular San Francisco dish. There is nary a rice-a-roni in sight. If any of you have a clue, PLEASE fill me in!

Little Joe's (from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
3 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb spinach, blanched, well drained, chopped
4 eggs
4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesean cheese

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add the beef, mixing with the onion and breaking it up into small bits with a fork; cook until the redness is gone.
  3. Add the spinach and mix well. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, then salt to taste.
  4. Mix a dash or so of Tabasco with the eggs, then pour them over the beef mixture and stir until the eggs are set.
  5. Remove from heat and put on a warm platter. Sprinkle parmesean cheese over.


  1. Have no idea why this is a bay area treat - but oh my - it does satisfy. I'd move to San Diego in a heartbeat.

  2. I completely agree with you. I am SO over living in the Bay Area. Expensive, a pain to get around, lame beaches, cold crappy weather...I could go on and on.

  3. I have never heard of this Bay area treat and have never tried Rice-a-Roni either, but it looks delicious with my favourite spinach mixed in for good measure.

  4. I've never heard that saying about fighting!
    I don't remember my first fight with my husband...so who knows if we've been revisiting it or not.

  5. AHHH I so often feel you but I so so so love SF. I lived there for 8 wonderful years and I dream of the day I can live there again. With that said living in So Cal ... not so bad either! I think the dish is a nod to Little Joe's restaurant which was in North Beach but, I think has since moved. Regardless it looks YUMMY!

  6. Is that co-worker married? Sounds like a cynic!

  7. I don't think ANY of my relationships have ever fit that mold so PSHHH to that coworker. I do love SF, though. But my best friend lives there. And i have no in-laws. So maybe that's why.

  8. I love SF and would love to live there...but uh..in-laws...yeah, I get you now.

  9. Yuuuuum. You just made me hungry, and ready for some midnight snacking. Es no bueno for the belly & thighs. Oh, and butt. Bleh. I love SF & often dream of living there or in Northern CA (as opposed to LA & being so close to both my family & the future-in-laws), but meh. The novelty of cold weather wears off after, oh, a few hours in SF. And I think we'd both take SLO any day over SF if we're moving away from LA, but within CA. We love SLO & the Central Coast. :)

    And our first fight? Hmmmm, I think I remember it, but it's a bit too personal to proclaim on the internet. And oddly, it was a "reoccurring" fight for the first 2-3 years of our relationship. :(

  10. This looks good enough to have made me hungry. While I've heard of something called Joe's Special, this is new to me. I love San Francisco but I'm not sure I want to live there. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary