Heat miser

While I’d love to be telling you all about the wonderful local blueberries, we’re still in a winter holding pattern of late. I’m more inclined to seek out soup and coffee.

So even if you feel like eating strawberry shortcake, you might stick to the pho a bit longer. Actually, my favorite hot Vietnamese treat is bun (a.k.a. “charbroiled meat over vermicelli”) at Pho Bac Hoa Viet (Folsom, Davis and Sac). I drench the noodles in the sweet-sour sauce and drizzle hoisin over the meat. It’s a belly full for $6.50.

For a hot drink, I always like Temple Fine Coffee and Tea’s lattes with the beautiful foam designs, but Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates has the hot-chocolate market cornered. Try her Oaxacan version, which is aromatic with cinnamon and slightly zingy spices.

I’ve been hankering for a true Texas chili (that is, no beans), but I may have to have my own Texan make it. We’ll use some pork shoulder from St. John Family Farm (Orland) and dried chilies from last summer’s garden. That should keep me warm this summer!