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Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sad Sunday Search for the Sandwich

 Excitement was mounting all week for the Maverick's Surf Competition which hadn't happened for 3 years.  They thought they'd have the swells last year, but then didn't call it, but one lone food truck arrived in hopes of catching early gawkers, and I caught up with it.  I was curious because we had just returned from Peru, and this truck specialized in Peruvian sandwiches...so I tried their lomo saltado.  After ordering, I noticed business cards showing their other restaurants, one of which is a local high-end favorite, La Costanera.  
 I brought it home since I was only 5 minutes away and enjoyed every bite of the delicious meat, coleslaw, and fries on their housemade bread.  An unusually-flavorful sandwich, which I then craved for the next year.
 So while everyone else was excited about the surf contest, I was excited to learn the Sanguchon food truck would be back in Princeton!  I posted about it on Facebook and many friends asked me why it was so good.  My hopes were up...
  Two former students wrote they were coming over the hill, so I offered them a parking space here and we walked down to the harbor together.  Traffic was backed up and stopped on the highway much of the morning, but they managed to get through and be here around 12:30.  We headed over and searched all over the area for the truck.
 This year, the event planners had to change how people view the contest--three years ago, a rogue wave or sleeper wave, surprised onlookers (who had been warned about sitting too close to the water's edge), and several suffered injuries.  We had hiked the bluffs to watch, but with thousands coming to see Mavericks in action, the bluffs got trampled and which was obviously not good for the environment.  This year, they charged people to get into the event center, which was the parking lot at the harbor's hotel, and blocked off the bluffs and harbor.  People paid $10 online or $20 at the door to sit on the ground and watch one video screen, which wasn't really that easy to see in the bright sunlight.  They also had music and guess what?  the freaking food trucks were INSIDE THE EVENT AREA!  We weren't about to pay $20 just to pay for a sandwich!
  Eddie headed over to the woman at the entrance and managed to sweet-talk her into letting us go inside without paying so we could buy food.  I have no idea what he said to her, but she allowed Ericka to wait nearby with his backpack (both were collateral that we'd return).  We had to walk through many people standing, sitting, lying on the pavement to find the truck, but finally saw it at the far end of the perimeter.  Sam's Chowder House had a huge line, so I was surprised to see no line at Sanguchon.  No line?  Really?  Why could that be?  because they were SOLD OUT.  The only thing they had left was Sprite.
 We dejectedly headed out and walked back home.  Eddie and Ericka headed out awhile later to sit in traffic on the highway, and I had yogurt and an apple.  Not the lunch I anticipated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

STRANGERS ON A PLANE


  AS I board, I wonder whom my seat-mate will be this time.  I am delayed at the gate due to a missing coupon I wasn’t issued, so the flight is already full.  My seat-mate is engrossed in his book, and doesn’t look up.  I don’t speak either.
  Within minutes, he is asleep with his open book on his lap.  I sneak sideways glances, then openly stare and check him out.  He is perhaps a little older than I, nothing particularly inspiring in his looks.  No wedding ring.  Now I wonder about his reading material, but can’t see without leaning over into his space.  He snores quietly.
  Because we’re traveling internationally, one could guess a language barrier since he doesn’t talk, but when asked chicken or lasagna, he speaks English as well as I.  At the sound of the food cart, he awakens again, but merely reads until the meal arrives.  I am also reading, but still curious.  We eat in silence, good at ignoring each other by now.  And when the meal is over, we pick up our books and read--then he falls sleep again.  We still have about sever hours of flying together left.
He never asks me to get up--just waits until I do, then leaves his pillow on my empty seat and heads for the toilet.  I am back and waiting--checking out his book which seems more intense than my own novel.
  When he returns, he makes no eye contact and doesn’t gather his pillow from my seat.  I toss it to him as I sit, then pick up my book and continue reading. 
  He sleeps again--more snoring, but at least he stays on his side.  The day is progressing; people around us are conversing or watching a movie.  I get much reading done, then switch to knitting.  He awakens and continues to read, now making notes and underlining in his book.
During one of his siestas, the flight attendant comes through with immigration forms.  I take one for him in case he hadn’t gotten one earlier.  When he awakens, I hand it to him and say it was for him, but he hands it back and shakes his head.  Well, thanks anyway.
 When about to land, I return to my seat and discover he has put on my seatbelt by mistake.  I have to break our code of silence and tell him.  He mumbles a reply.  When we touch ground, we are informed our gate was not cleared due to maintenance of a plane there, so we sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes quietly waiting.  We continue to read, though I am getting obviously agitated thinking I might miss my connection.
  After eight and a half hours on board, we finally land and are at the gate, and as I stand up to retrieve my bag above, the stranger asks where I have been and where was I going, then goes on to initiate a rushed two-minute conversation about my vacation until it is my turn to leave the plane.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cauliflower and Potato Gratin Pie

This is delicious--we started dreaming up new ideas for it, including using celery root, different cheeses, broccoli, etc.  The recipe was in the SF  Chronicle a couple of weeks ago.   And now, trying it for breakfast.