The main thing I intended to eat while in California was fruit. I live in a place with a shorter growing season, and much of the fruit here is brought in from elsewhere by truck, so of course it doesn’t taste like fruit at all.
So I ate lots of fruit.
This particular dish of fruit was a white peach, a special Korean melon, and blueberries. The lady who served this to us also made a sort of tisane by boiling together sliced ginger root, a couple of cinnamon sticks, and a few dates. It was spicy and slightly sweet, and very delicious. She said it was comforting if you felt a bit delicate, and I believe her.
I also needed to eat fish while there, because again our fish where I live isn’t fresh and doesn’t taste the way fish is supposed to taste, unless of course it is a catfish.
We have a couple of perfectly good bakeries and I can even make pastry myself, so you’re thinking that I really had no excuse for eating pastry, and this may be true.
Nonetheless, we went to this little Italian bakery and stood in a long line as people chose their prosciutto and sardines and whatnot.
There were many interesting groceries there, many of which I couldn’t identify at all. Among the things I recognized were many, many types of pasta, tomatoes in many forms, and lots of sweets.
We got a bunch of little cakes, plus pine nut cookies. It was at this point that I learned that the people we were feeding mostly couldn’t eat gluten.
I don’t think I’ve ever before met anyone who couldn’t eat gluten, but they were everywhere in L.A. Either it’s a fad, or such people flock together for comfort.
Anyway, here we were with five little cakes of varying kinds, and only two people eating wheat.
I had cut a good slice from the chocolate cake on the right and considered myself finished, but the others wanted to know what all the flavors were, so the other wheat-eater and I were forced, in the interests of vicarious cake-eating, to taste all the cakes.
You’re sorry for us, right?
The other thing in the picture is rice pasta with tomatoes, basil, and shrimp.
On another evening we had Moscow ham, a pepper and garlic infused sort of ham, piroshkis with potato and meat fillings, chicken wings marinated in lemon juice and garlic, and various salads and vegetables and things.
In addition to the home cooking, we also went to a lot of restaurants: Greek, Cuban, Basque, seafood, and others that didn’t have any clear labels.
This is because we were on vacation.
We went to the Cuban restaurant after stopping by the offices of one of my clients. He was quite a nice man, and I was glad to have the opportunity to meet him. The restaurant was quit near his office, which was also quite near my hostess’s house.
There I had a medianoche sandwich, which is roast pork, ham, and cheese on a special sort of bread. They served it with fresh plantain chips. My hostess had a chicken salad, and potato balls, and also got an empanada, which she can’t eat because of the whole gluten thing, so I also participated in vicarious empanada eating.
We followed this lunch with mousse torte for me and custard for her.
I don’t think you can see that the mousse — the striped one — is decorated with a sugar-dusted raspberry and a triangle of white chocolate with multicolored stripes.
I ate very well while I was on vacation. Since my return I haven’t been cooking much, frankly. I had the bookkeeper in yesterday and met with The Computer Guy and today I have a client coming by, so I have to clean the house, and I also have about 4,000 words to write, so I think I will put dinner in the slow-cooker. I did go to the grocery and buy produce, inferior trucked-in produce though it was. The guys ate mostly just meat while I was gone: a plate of ribs or a plate of chicken, with perhaps some rice. I’m tempted to go down to the farmers market this morning, though I really have too much work to do.
Yesterday I went walking with Janalisa and also went to choir, so I’m pretty well back to normal life. I fully intend to work from 8:00 to 5:00 today, with a break for lunch. There should also be a break for the gym in there, but at the moment it looks like a walk at 5:00, and perhaps I’ll take the dogs.