Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recipe for Fun

You know what? I'm just gonna come clean right now. No dice on the junkin', finally found the flea market and it was the bad tube socks and underwear type. So much for keeping that genius antique concept on track. But the play is getting to be a lot of work and I for one may need a vacation from this vacation. It's certainly been a successful recipe for fun, everyone a necessary ingredient for late night revelry and later mornings (well noonish), endless snacks and hilarious antics. The meals out have been fantastic, but it's the impromptu market research and spontaneous cooking I've loved.

We've gone hog-wild, pun intended. Definitely not kosher and downright gruesome for vegetarian types, all those pig legs hanging in every deli, restaurant and bar, slung from the hoof with little cones collecting fat drippings. Nothing like the ripe smell of aging pig. It's the Imberico ham for which Spain is famous and it came home sliced thin (think prosciutto). Endless varieties of sausage, the more abstract, made with blood or some heart-stopping organ meat, the more Dave had to have it. In the end, he made delicious pizza with all those sausages. The daily and nightly spreads included white anchovies (precious stateside but reasonable here), regional olives, pickled peppers and cornichons, marcona almonds, goat and sheep milk cheeses, mandarin oranges and strawberries from the south, bosc-type pears (I'm particularly smitten with these, thin skin with traces of green in the traditional brown peel, sweet as honey), a little salad of greens with a simple vinaigrette of lemon and local extra virgin olive oil (bright green with a spring fresh taste) and it's that mediterranean diet you could eat every day, and we did.

Mark's the quick draw with the corkscrew, handy with a knife, continuously theatrical and ridiculously funny. He left no liver, rich cheese or wine pairing behind and Molly starts the call for meat when the sun comes up, has dispensed with the bread altogether and just eats the pates and foie gras with a spoon. Our chefs spared no expense, all things weird and wonderful came home and were shared, except the tab, which they rarely let us get. Molly is Betty Crocker and starts with a spotless kitchen and yummy breakfasts of everything-leftover-goodness. Christina and I filled in gaps, she at command central (her I Phone), keeping us plugged into world affairs (what's today's spin on Robot Cop-gate? where is that restaurant? how are we making that last flight to Detroit(not)?), saved our electronics from the only antique I saw (Molly's mother's adaptor sparking in the outlet), supplied smokey treats, some tasty jams (her research for a new business venture here) and late-night KP. Me? I'm the mother, spoon-feeding samples, fussing over torn acl's, curing car sickness with a sensible speed at the wheel, a little laundry service, coffee making, a few dishes, egging the comedy on. Our mantra got to be "it's all in the produce!" A simple recipe one adapts to available ingredients. Don't waste your energy or appetite on anything less.

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