Saturday, November 27, 2010

Roast Duck & A Triad of 40's.

A little pre-Thanksgiving get together at our house with the always fabulous Izaac
Roast Duck & three 40's of Olde English 800
(thank you Izaac),
Under a Theatrical Harvest Moon.
Roast Duck = Marinated in Soy Sauce, Cheap Red Wine (thank you, Carlo), Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Fresh Rosemary, & Chopped Garlic, Roasted with Stuffing of Bread, Onions, Garlic, Pumpkin Seeds, Slab Bacon, & Duck Liver.
& we cooked other cute little animals in the course of this meal, also (sorry bunnies).
Yay chilly dramatic November weather & Meat n' Beer fests with friends.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cali Part Two: Grilled Cheeses at Old Spanish Missions, Burger Arguments, & BACON.

In which Gramma drives us to Riverside, & we get lost & end up at the city limits with the auto parts stores, & we eventually arrive at the Mission Inn, see some parrots, & eat grilled cheeses in Mum's (allegedly, Gramma tells these stories sometimes) favorite lunch spot, Simple Simon's.
Grilled Cheeses In Old Spanish California, After Being Lost In The Urban California Desert.
At some later point, we had this burger conflict. First, Grampa Diamond is self-admittedly terrible at grilling. Only burgers he is good at. This makes him a burger crazy person. I, as an adult, have formed my own burger preferences, & mine include Hellman's mayonnaise as a must & Sriracha as yes yes please & crazy additions as hells yeah what have you got? As you can see here. Sooooooo...I wanted my mayonnaise, some chopped jalapenos, & a sliced perfect avocado & whoah was I shot down. Oh families. PEOPLE FROM BROCKTON, MA DO NOT PUT FING AVOCADOS ON MEAT. END OF STORY. I forget this.
(Note, Ali, a burger girl is anyone is, did agree with him, so I give his taste buds the benefit of the doubt).
Anyway, I present,
Grampa's "Perfect" Burger.
To comfort us from all this terrible family burger conflict, Saturday morning breakfast. The most essential one, the Platonic ideal of breakfast, why bacon smells good like nothing else to me, & why I can never be a vegetarian.
Breakfast with Bob
(Fried Eggs, Bacon, Thomas' English Muffins, Always & Forever).
Coming up: We find our perfect Liz & Ali restaurant after almost dying of depression in a giant California mall, we purchase sparkly discounted things while drinking smoothies, have a more odd than even usual for us family evening, & a moving & memorable in emotional terms but so upsettingly bad foodwise Anthony Bourdain would cry Macaroni Grill experience. Seafood Linguine. Shudder. All coming up next. Stay Tuned.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cali Part One: 3000 Miles From Cheezits to Red Snapper

Some things have happened since my last long ago post, mostly spring & summer & hence gardening & nightswimming & long evenings outside & much less internet. Also some family happenings, & what says family history memory the most?
Yup, food (which shapes our lives, etc.).
My dear sister & I flew on a plane to California in October.
Being us, we ate things. Lots of things.
Through the Sky to Dallas & LA.
Airports, airplanes, drive-thrus, & our Gramparents' House: Cheezits in the air, Starbucks' Iced Caramel Macchiatos, a Blimpie's BLT sub in Dallas, "El Potato Burrito" @ Miguel's Jr, Grampa's Famous Stuffed Shells back on Eureka Street.
So we knew we were home, in that sense of being at home in one's own past,
Grampa's Roast Beef & Sides, AKA The Taste Of My ChildHood.
The meal that I thought of first when we planned the journey. The smell that still means "FOOD" to me. Roast beef covered in pepper & onions, whipped mashed potatoes with tons of butter, canned peas, steamed carrots.
I think this meal is why I like to eat, why I learned to cook. So I could produce this feeling myself. I still can't cook this right though. Better maybe, but not right.
A classic shopping adventure with Gramma, to a (at least to me) fabulously insane California mall restaurant, The Elephant Bar.
The Elephant Bar, where two girls from Massachusetts meet Americana + Sushi.
Seriously. We split a tempura shrimp roll, & then I had ahi tuna over brown rice with seaweed salad & smoked tofu, & Ali enjoyed mac n' cheese & coconut shrimp. All presented in a completely over the top fashion with oddly low lighting as befits a fancy/trashy mall restaurant. According to Gramma, the bar was also an excellent place to meet men. We unfortunately did not get a chance to check this out theory.
Although the Elephant Bar was a tough act to follow & Although I am 32 & Ali is 27 we will always be "the kids" to our grandparents, one night they actually let us cook dinner. This was a very difficult trip in many ways while it was also perfectly wonderful in others, & in one of our worst early moments we found a grocery store we liked, the delightful Henry's, & it saved everything. Shows what food, & the option to purchase the food you want, will do to save a situation. We took many, many a trip to Henry's to enjoy the lovely cashiers who did not look at us & our outfits like we were crazy freaks like pretty much everyone else in Corona, & buy very cheap but delicious California white wines to drink in the jacuzzi & avocados & tomatillos & chilis & lemons & grapefruits & other amazing California things. What can I say? We like to eat in our family. Those first bags of groceries we brought home from Henry's were a turning point.
On this particular night: Red Snapper, with Asparagus roasted with garlic & olive oil, Baked Potatoes, & Salad with excellent California tomatoes & bermuda onions.
I will admit I caved under pressure so this is my mom's classic recipe for baked fish with butter & bread crumbs (my Grampa's favorite, always), usually as we are from Cape Cod done with cod. & I never make baked potatoes & had to actually ask Ali how to do it. But Oh well I wanted Grampa to like it. At least I snuck in the asparagus, kind of controversial in that house as not a pea or a carrot.
Us two transplanted Massachusetts girls spent ten days in our second childhood home, & as you have noticed, it was complicated. Stayed tuned for the rest, Family & Food & Feeling, here we go.
& Red Convertibles! & Shopping! & Pumpkin Smoothies!