Month of Fun – Supersized!!My good friend and occasional muse, Kim Berglund, pointed out recently that as I turn 50 this year, I should have way more than a month of fun. She proposed and I agreed that the occasion called for a Year of Fun. And while that year would run from May 2010 to May 2011, I also agreed with her assertion that I shouldn't wait until May if some fun presented itself sooner. I freely acknowledge that my life hasn't been a boatload of fun lately, but I know that I should be open to anything out here.
Anything came in the form of a trivia contest by Zesterdaily.com, a website and newsletter about all aspects of food and wine. The prize for winning the contest was two tickets to the annual Planned Parenthood Food Fare, a fundraiser in which dozens of local restaurants and merchants gather to sample, sell and auction off their wares to raise money for the valuable services offered by this organization. I answered the trivia question and then promptly forgot all about it. I seldom win these sorts of things and it was best not to think of what could be where all of that yummy food was concerned. When I received the e-mail from Zesterdaily.com, I almost didn't read it. I was really busy that day and figured that I could save the newsletter for another day. Fortunately, I did peek. I had won two tickets. Unfortunately, the Food Fare was the very next day, so I couldn't find anyone to go with me. But it was now The Year of Fun. I was ready to go it alone.
I have often availed myself of the services of Planned Parenthood since the age of 18. When between jobs that actually have health insurance, it is a good place for the annual 'Female Exams' that are vital to a woman's health. I don't have a lot of money to donate to the cause, so I thought I would blog about the wonderful vendors that came out to support it. I couldn't get to them all, unfortunately. However, if my readers support them and let them know why, I am confident that they will be back next year to aid this excellent cause. Why am I taking pictures of food? That's Kim's fault as well.
Elixir G – ElixirG.com – This is a ginger infused cocktail mix. I think it can be used for any sort of refreshing drink like a zippier lemonade in the summer or a spicier virgin margeuritia. I happened to have a Gingerita plopped into my grasp as I crossed the threshold. That one had tequila in it. Yummy! And who can dislike any event that begins with a cocktail?
Thyme Market and Cafe – Thymecafeandmarket.com. 1630 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405. The website offers gourmet boxes and products for delivery. This lovely establishments is mere steps from my primary care physician and yet I've never chanced to pop in. Silly me! They had generous samples of their Pressed Roasted Turkey, Caramelized Onion, Arugula & Brie on Ciabatta. The turkey was freshly roasted and the bread freshly baked. There was a perfect ratio of meat to brie and arugula with the bread. I did a lot of humming and making of yummy noises while I savored it. It took all of the decorum I possessed not to go back and jam six more pieces in my pocket. I only had the sandwich as there was a constant and long line to their table. I completely understand why.
Got Kosher Catering and Market – gotkosherinc.com –8914 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 The market and website offer a vast array of foods for small and large gatherings or just for meals at home in a hurry. I am a complete sucker for all things Kosher. What impressed me was their vegetarian chicken liver pate. I do not know how they pulled it off, but it tasted like meaty, delicious pate. If they can work miracles with a product like that, I can't imagine how good their pastrami on rye must be. I plan to find out.
Cakified – cakified.com. This wonderful bakery delivers anywhere in Los angeles with a minimum order of only a dozen cupcakes. They had their samples in a bon bon sized ball with a hard icing shell for carrying convenience. Alongside the bon bons was an icing shooter in a tiny paper cup. That moist cake (I sampled the chocolate and the red velvet) was moist with just the right amount of sweetness. The icing was dense and creamy and so good that it made my toes curl. I urge my film making peeps to give this company a call for your next craft services table. These treats will make even the crankiest crew guy smile.
Jamagel – jamagel.com. I love this company! The regular bagels were really good (and as you know from my previous blog, I'm a bagel snob). But what makes this vendor stand out is the jerk seasoning bagel which is spicy without being overpowering and is really delicious toasted with cream cheese. I liked this product so much that I had them deliver samples to Lucy's soundstage. She liked them so much that she gave out samples to the two shoots working there. They eagerly took all the business cars we had on hand and have sent for more. Again, my film making peeps, this is a quality product that is freshly baked daily and willing to deliver in the LA area. Treat your crew to these marvelous bagels and have a Jamagel day!
La Bistro Cachette – lacachettebistro.com 1733 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Again, this place is steps from my doctor's office and again, I have never stopped by. Well, that will be changing big time. This wonderfully gifted vendor had fish soup Provencal to sample. Yes, the very soup I've been obsessing about making. Well, I don't think I'm ready to pull this off. One spoonful froze me in my tracks in utter bliss. I couldn't even make it to the tall tables with lovely blue tablecloths set up to enjoy the food. I stood in front of the table and inhaled the little bowl of creamy goodness and then shamelessly had another one. Fortunately, the table wasn't very busy. I asked the Chef (who had a French accent) what was in the soup and in the little dollop of cream. The soup might have had six ingredients (the seafood stock must have been first rate to support so few ingredients). When I loudly bemoaned the fact that I wasn't ready to pull off such a soup at home, the Chef comforted me with a little square of warm chocolate cake with a thin, warm fudgey sauce and sweet whip cream. I almost floated down the street to my next meeting.
This was one heck of a start to The Year of Fun! Thank you Zesterdaily.com!
Next up, why am I talking to a Pole Dance Instructor and what does that have to do with posture and the Oscars? Stay tuned!