Tag Archives: food

Thanksgiving Culinary Surprise


Today the Hitches abandoned the city life of El Centro to join us here in Ocotillo. I’m glad they did. We ended up having the most home-town holiday you could have while you aren’t in your home town.

My lonely trailer was livened up around 9:30am and we reviewed the plan of attack: we were going to prep the turkey, go down to the Optimists’ Thanksgiving from 12-3pm, stop at the museum so Lucas could work on a pottery project for school, then come back and eat the turkey in the oven and end up by checking out the pre-door busters around 11pm.

This is very close to what actually happened, except we had to add one 2 hour house visit and I wimped out on pre-door busting shopping. At one point while we were sitting around in a turkey- induced coma like state I took a minute to take stock: we were surrounded by generations of grandkids and grandparents, recapping the game and instantly excited by the fact that Elf was on TV. Except for the change of players, this was a very familiar setting. I felt like I was kind of celebrating with my family just by sharing in this very similar version.

It did get a bit hairy at the optimists’ club when I was stared down after sharing that I wasn’t fond of eating my yams with marshmallow. “Too sweet!” I said, which only brought on more dumbfound jaw dropping. In my tradition we fry them in brown sugar. But you have to try a little of everything, now don’t you, so I tried some of the yams.

Surprise! “There is apple in these!” a kind of apple pie flavor permeated the dish. It was a surprising combination, but pleasing. It was dubbed “the culinary delight of the season”. They were great!

Another ragingly successful Thanksgiving. It wasn’t really due to the yams or the 2 separate feasts. I attribute it to the town of Ocotillo and the people who were in it today opening their hearts, homes, and families to those who couldn’t be with their own. So thank you.

Pork Chops for Dinner

Food is the way to my heart. There is nothing I like better than an easy to make/ delicious recipe. 

This one, from The Food Section, fooled me into thinking I had cooking skills. The blog doesn’t contain an exact recipe, but even my terrible guess-the-portions skills couldn’t mess this up.

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops cooked in Sage and Garlic Infused Oil with a hint of lemon in the sauce (or in our case, lime. it’s all we had.) I cooked it on lower heat so as to not ruin the oil and it came out tasty, sweet, and infused with flavor. Restaurant dinner at home. Perfect.

Some members of my family are calorie counters, so I totaled them up using WebMD. With brown rice and a green bean, mushrooms and onion saute this meal clocks in around 680. Probably more like 720 if you eat more than a cup of each portion (like I did.) But still not bad considering it’s pan fried!

Hot Cross Buns

Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays here. This year, Easter weekend falls on ANZAC weekend (add a public holiday for that = 5 day weekend.) Everyone is escaping to the country or gathering with family.

My new landlady has a special Good Friday tradition passed down from her grandmother: hot cross buns for breakfast. Everyone is invited – neighbors, friends, family, new tenants from far off lands. Currently the kitchen is full of the sounds of happy stomachs and sticky fingers.

I was told, by an elderly gentleman who looked like a kid in a candy store, that you can’t get buns this nice anywhere else. He was right – nothing like homemade buns to start the Easter holiday. Though, for a holiday that is held in such high regard (no footy is played today out of respect), it feels weird to be enjoying myself on this most solemn day of the Christian calendar. I guess we could say that watching two adorable grand daughters play with the new kitten is celebrating what Christ died to save, but I think it’s more fair to say that the public holiday takes anything solemn out of the day. Secular folk eat fish instead of meat, but for no other reason than “your supposed to”.


I have never known a people to be so enamored with ice cream. Milkshakes, for instance. It’s not like a treat for hot summer days. It’s a drink to go with lunch. Maybe it’s the 30 degree weather we should be having that forms this habit.

Iced coffee is 2 healthy scoops of ice cream with a some other stuff drizzled on top so you can call it “coffee”.  It’s mostly sugar.

Just so there are options you can also order “thickshakes”. (I accidentally make these all the time because it most closely resembles the US idea of a milkshake. I figure they just get more bang for their buck.)

Anyway, it struck me today how quickly we went through 10 gallons of vanilla ice cream. It’s not because we sell it as gelato.