Saturday, September 27, 2008

To contrast...

Maybe it's that I didn't know where to eat in Cancun, maybe it's just that I'm spoiled rotten with great food here, or maybe a bit of both, but the last several days have me pretty well convinced that if I want to eat really, really well, I probably shouldn't go farther than ~200 miles from home. I'm making up for last weekend's lackluster food, and doing a darn good job of it. We got off to a good start during the week with a birthday dinner for yours truly (with Katie and the Suitor) at the Village Pub in Woodside. There was cranberry bean ravioli with lemon verbena foam, there was bacon-wrapped pork loin with sauteed broccolini and grilled peaches, and there was chocolate souffle with Grand Marnier creme anglaise. Delicious, all of it. Katie shared the ravioli and had a lobster-corn bisque; the Suitor had the pub burger, which I understand is excellent.

The next night I had a fresh new box of CSA goodies at my disposal, so I pulled out some chard and green beans for a toasted quinoa dish full of garlic and veggies (a variation on the last recipe in this article). Driving down to Big Sur yesterday I munched on CSA apples and pears, and last night we visited the Big Sur Bakery for dinner. I'm not usually a fan of mussels, but I must say, the Prince Edward Island steamed mussels that Katie and Mama S. had as a first course last night were fantastic. I had two tender sauteed scallops atop a lemony celery root puree with lemon-basil oil and radish microgreens as a first course; for second courses Katie and I both had a risotto with asparagus and mushrooms, and Mama S. had the scallops. And then dessert. For Katie: a butterscotch custard with maple sugar cookies and whipped cream. For me: a peach and almond tart with lemon verbena ice cream (really just cream, as their freezer had broken down--oops).
This morning for breakfast the fabulous eating continued with freshly ground, home-grown cornmeal-buttermilk-banana pancakes, home-grown pear compote, and Tuscan cantaloupe. We'll be reconvening shortly for home-grown gazpacho and home-grown guacamole. Basically we're living off of the garden, and it's amazing. Stay tuned!


Supersaps said...

BOO. I mean yay for you, but I'm reminded of the fact that our CSA box wasn't at our pick up location this week. There was a mix up. :(

Bee said...

Everything sounds so delicious . . . I don't even know where to start! When was your birthday, btw? Best wishes for a very happy and healthy year. (I would say "wealthy," too -- but perhaps we should just wish for solvency this year?)

I am going to pick raspberries now! I will report back.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Glad you made it back! (To your blog, and sunny California)

Yes Anne, let's face it - you live in the fresh, fabulous food Capital of America, if not the world.

Happy, happy birthday btw!

I'm glad you were able to spend it with Katie (W.I.N.S.) and family.

All I can say is Yum.

I haven't had a decent meal in months.

You're in for Midnight's Children, right?

Anne said...

Bummer about your box, Sapna!! I hope they're back on track this week.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. :) It was on Wednesday. As for solvency, for once in my adult life I'm actually glad that I don't have a lot of money to invest in anything other than the essentials and, when I get the chance, my piddling little kernel of a retirement fund (which is taking a hit, but not too bad so far).

As for sunny California: Big Sur was blissfully foggy this weekend, actually. It stayed cool and foggy ALL DAY Saturday, which was a delightful change from the overload of sun and heat that I got in Mexico. But the foggy weather didn't stop us from enjoying fresh strawberries with lightly sweetened buttermilk biscuits (and a touch of cream) on Saturday night, and burrata with fresh basil and tomatoes on cracked pepper crackers for lunch yesterday.

I am indeed in for Midnight's Children! Looking forward to it.

Bee, how are your raspberries?

Bee said...

So sad about the raspberries! We drove to the pick-your-own and it was closed! It has been taken over and will re-open in a week.

Instead, we picked apples (out of our own front garden) and made applesauce and a blackberry and apple pie from "Jamie at Home." Highly recommended.

Anne said...

Sad indeed about the raspberries. I hope the season isn't over by the time they reopen!

I think I've seen a similar apple and blackberry pie in a different Jamie Oliver book... maybe Jamie's Dinners? I came home yesterday with several pounds of Gala apples, so maybe I'll make that pie with some of the olallieberries I have in the freezer. I should have enough apples for both pie and sauce! I hope to get around to both at some point this week.