Thursday, January 03, 2013

people are strange on the internet

Last Sunday JD did a pop-up restaurant in Commonwealth bar in Oakland.  He did four delicious stews.  The beef carbonnade was by far the most popular, and I only tried that and the chicken chili verde soup (which was spicy and awesome).  I mostly washed dishes and made tortillas.  JD and EC did plating.  JD also made a really good salad with butter lettuce and watercress.  I've got to remember to use more watercress in my salads. I wonder if it can be grown in full sun.  BTW, I grew mizuna in my garden, not shiso.  Like anyone cares, but it's been bugging me that I made that misstatement.

I looked through a few recipes for corn tortillas (which are hard to make) and this review on epicurious cracked me up.  I thought it was fake, but now I think it's real.

Well, I learned my lesson. Decided to drive to our favorite summer retreat a day early and leave the plane for transporting guests on Saturday for a southwestern feast. I made my tortillas on Friday night. First using plastic it was a disaster. Everything stuck, nothing rounded out, all of the problems listed. Then I tried waxed paper as suggested. I was proud. Saturday however brought high, extremely gusty winds, severe turbulence as well as a wildfire that closed the main route in to Panguitch and spread smoke over several hundred square miles. Our friend Wes, an excellent pilot to my passable abilities, used his excellent judgement to determine that attempting to fly in the unpredictable conditions as well as occasionally blinding smoke was not the call to make. Realizing that the weekend was not to be I puttered around the old house and fixed a simple supper. On Sunday morning, somewhat disappointed I headed home by car. Determined to make this a culinary success I stopped at a small farm owned by the Quintana family on the way to my detour around the fire. We have befriended them and often buy vegetables that they have in their garden that we don't have in ours. I asked Nana Maria to taste my tortillas. I asked if they tasted OK. Her response? "For you, good. For (13-year-old granddaughter) Little Maria? She need to pay attention and do better." Next time I will save my time and make the fifteen minute drive north to buy a dozen of Little Maria's fresh corn tortillas. Sorry, had to tell the story. Bottom line, authentic? At least for Nana Quintana no. For the rest of us? I thought they were pretty darn good.
by A Cook from Panguitch, UT on 06/24/12

Read More


beckler said...

for any George Saunders fans out there, this essay gave me chills! I can't wait to read his new book

DJ Rick said...

A Cook from Panguitch writes like my grandpa. He was a technical writer for a telephone company, and his writing style extended to his style of speaking. For instance, while talking on the phone, rather than say "just a minute" or "hold on", he would say "stand by" with a sorta stern detachment. Even when talking to close family members, and even little kids!

I'm convinced that this Nana Quintana knows her stuff because A Cook made a point of quoting her broken Inglés.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of recipe review that I find acceptable.


Anonymous said...

I found it rather well written, from the heart. I took the author's disappointment that his family couldn't join and admire the attempt to make what Nana Maria has been perfecting for years.