Month of Fun
This has been, despite my difficulties, an amazing week for fun and food. Well, the fun was mostly food. I ate at one of our favorite diners, The 50s Cafe in Venice. I had some fabulous cheeses. There was a lot of food last week. Well, it wasn't all about food. There was also a great conversation with my Maw-In-Law(she's a hoot). And I spent some time on the road with Craig. That involved a protracted discussion about The Omega Man (too many albino mutants with afros, too much Anthony Zerbe , and way too much shirtless Charlton Heston. That discussion shifted to one about The Last Man on Earth which Craig liked better probably because it lacked those elements of the former. Finally, we rounded things out with a lively debate over I Am Legend, the film not the book . All three films were based on the same book. It was a very strange ride to and from the hospital. All I'm certain of is that Craig hates movie hippies, white afros and shirtless Hestons. And I can laugh until I'm dizzy.
Jon gave me my first present yesterday. I had asked for him to restore two photographs of my mother. This first one is of her(on the right) with her sister, Eleanor. Weren't they fabulous? They were on their way out somewhere on a Saturday night. It's one of my favorite photos of my Mom. Jon is working on the absolute favorite. I'll share it soon.
The most amazing thing about this week is that I'm not suffering through my usual May irritation over not being in France. Not that I don't want to be in France. On any given day since I returned from there, I'd like to be back. This year I'm not irritated about it. One does a lot of walking in France. In Paris, walking often includes walking up and down stairs to the Metro or in the hotel. In Cannes, at the Marche du Film and the Festival, there is a heck of a lot of walking. The market itself is at least the size of a football field while the films are scattered all over the city. Typically, our hotels have been at least a twenty minute walk from the center of the action. The last time, we were twenty minutes away and up a steep, three block long hill that is a foothill to the ALPS. I always eat like a crazy person in that country, yet I always lose weight. This year, I'm not in good enough shape to handle that much walking. And that's good, because it keeps me from being annoyed. Thus, I can better enjoy the month of fun at home.
We found the Lady Fingers! Gabriele had recommended Bay Cities Deli, but I mistook it for Sorrento's Market in Culver City. It's a place frequented by Food Network types and is down the street from where Randy Lived when he was out here. Oh boy, did they have lady fingers. Jon believes that they had a lady finger aisle. He felt that the packages were mocking him. I wouldn't go that far, but there were a buttload of lady fingers to be had there. Thus, it was time to tackle Tiramisu. Basically, it's an egg yolks whipped with sugar which is mixed with egg whites that where whipped with sugar and mixed with mascarpone cheese. There is also a dash of Marsala wine. The lady fingers are dipped in cold espresso coffee then covered with the mixture. Simple, right? NO! The mixture kind of curdled when we mixed the wine into the cream mixture. I had to use a blender to force an emulsion. The pan was too big, so we needed a recipe and a half of everything. We didn't find that out until there wasn't enough of the cream until we were assembling everything. I had to take a break and rest before we could finish. The second batch of cream came together more smoothly by not bringing the Mascarpone cheese to room temperature. It was delicious. I'll try making it again when we get a better sized pan. I do think we did a great job for a first time.
This past week was full of holidays for me. The Kentucky Derby was rolling around, and I still hadn't finished the food and drink from Cinco de Mayo. Yes, the Kentucky Derby is a holiday for me. My mother and I would celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday by having a Kentucky Derby Party. I had to put aside the burrito fixings in favor of making sweet tea, mint juleps and fried chicken with biscuits. Well, Saturday was not a good day. I didn't really get to sleep until 6am. I wasn't sure what I would be able to pull together. My last attempted at biscuits was not very good. I really didn't feel like frying chicken. But when we got to our nearest market, they had fried chicken that's really good. I got some fresh cole slaw fixings and the buttermilk. I had a plan for those biscuits. You see, I had recent found Martha Bakes, a show by Martha Stewart. She did a whole episode on scones and biscuits that showed me where I went wrong the last time. I had handled the dough way too much and rolled it way to thin. Her recipe was simple and it worked well. I had taped the Derby to enjoy with dinner. The race was fun, the julep was great, and the biscuits were not perfect – but they were really good.
The birthday itself is coming up during the coming week. I'm not sure what sort of mayhem will be involved. I'm hoping for seafood and a little bubbly. Updates will be in the next installment either tonight or tomorrow.