Archive for August, 2011
I’m kind of late on this entry, but my family spent the fourth of July week in Carpinteria, CA, which is just south of Santa Barbara, about a hundred miles away from our house in Orange County. (This being Southern California, and Carpinteria being on the far side of L.A., distances can only be measured in miles, not hours.) On the way, we made a slight detour north, just past the most excellent town of San Dimas, to Glendora, a pretty little town with views of the San Gabriel Mountains . . . and a old-time roadside donut shop called The Donut Man. I thought we were making a big discovery, but The Donut Man has almost 11,000 Facebook fans, which is, um . . . a few more than I have.
Check! It! Out!
Yup, those are real strawberries. What a way to fill your daily fruit quota. Normally, I don’t even like donuts that much, but these are totally worth the guilt and unavoidable resulting sugar crash. They’re worth a detour, too.
As for this YouTube video, I’ve got two words: pastry porn.
I was never real big on country music (which is a nice way of saying I couldn’t stand it) until I moved to Park City, Utah, in the nineties. There were a handful of radio stations up near our house, but driving down the mountain to Salt Lake, I’d often lose reception from all but two. One was country. The other was Navajo Nation. When forced to choose, I went with country.
In time I grew to appreciate the soulful twangs and toe-tapping melodies, which seemed like a fitting soundtrack to the rather unexpected setting of my mountain life. But what I really loved were the lyrics, which told stories of love, loss and redemption. They were clever and often funny. Rock and pop musicians could learn a thing or two.
Here’s one of my favorites from Deana Carter:
IRENE’S CAPRESE SANDWICH
1-2 blocks of ice (available in the bagged ice section of most supermarkets)
2 ciabatta rolls, cut in half, or 4 slices of rosemary olive oil bread
1 heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4 ” slices
Fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 tablespoons jarred pesto
1 bottle good quality red wine
1. Fill several large pots and pitchers with water. Set aside.
2. Place ice blocks in refrigerator. Remove mozzarella from refrigerator (quickly!) and close door.
3. Layer tomato and mozzarella on one side of roll/bread. Spread other side with pesto.
4. Return mozzarella and pesto to refrigerator in one fluid motion.
5. Open wine.
This sandwich is best enjoyed by candlelight and away from windows.
To my friends and family on the east coast: good luck and be safe!
Second: San Dimas High School Football rules!!!!!
Shortly after I moved to California ten years ago, I passed a highway sign for San Dimas, the setting for that iconic 1989 film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. San Dimas was real? It sounded (and, in the movie, looked) like such a generic California town, I honestly thought they had made it up.
This weekend, when my husband and I had to drive our daughter to San Dimas to see a friend’s performance, we took the opportunity for a little location scouting. First stop, San Dimas High School, home of the Saints football team. Boy, is SDHS a good looking school! (Keanu Reeves deserved nothing less.) Since it’s still summer, the grounds were deserted except for some maintenance men who looked at me like I was a loon. Or like, maybe strange things were afoot …
… at the Circle K!
According to a very reliable source (some guy who posted on Yahoo answers), The legendary Circle K stood at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Arrow Highway. We went there and found four corners occupied by office parks. So, so wrong. We found a different Circle K, but there is no way the parking lot was big enough for George Carlin and his time traveling phone booth.
It’s been years since I watched Bill and Ted (I’m still traumatized by the awful sequel), but I was surprised to find that the San Dimas in real life looked nothing like the San Dimas in the movie. It is far prettier, with lush trees, mountain views, and old-time Western architecture. It’s like Frontierland, only without the sweaty tourists and the vendors hawking overpriced water bottles.
When I came home, I did another Google search that took me beyond Yahoo answers and discovered that . . . oh no. While the movie was set in San Dimas, it was actually filmed in and around Phoenix. The Circle K was in Tempe. “San Dimas High” was, in fact, in Scottsdale . . . where I lived for two years.
None of that detracts from the movie’s power or central message: Be excellent to one another.
Sorry, Gwyneth, but I just don’t like Coldplay. Their music, when not actively boring, is downright cloying. Lose the violins.
However, as grating as I found “Viva la Vida” — especially during that summer when it seemed to play five times an hour on every single radio station (Spanish language excluded) — I had to admit there was something catchy buried in there. Apparently, The Dirty Heads, best know for their songs “Lay Me Down” and “Stand Tall,” think so too.
I like this version of “Viva La Vida” better than the original. In fact, I like it a lot.