March 2, 2015 Lunch Lan’s Dinner Sautéed PPI Cassarecce Pasta, Chicken, Green Peas, Asparagus and Mushrooms in a Cream sauce and
March 3, 2015 Lunch Yin Yang Chinese Buffet and Dinner Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce with Italian Sausage and mushrooms
I realized how obsessed I am with food today. I have been in all day depositions the last 3 days and it has been a period in which, submerged in legal facts and documents, I thought of food less than at almost any time in my life.
Thankfully others’ commitment to food filled the gap. On Monday we went to Lan’s for lunch. Scott ordered the Won Ton Soup; large bowl filled large shrimp, peeled to their tails, handmade Won tons, sliced baby bok choy, pineapple, spinach, and all of the family style ingredients Lan makes, that are so unique ($12.00). I had a favorite, Coconut Milk Soup with seafood, a large bowl filled with shrimp, mussels, rings of calamari, with vermicelli, tomatoes, bean sprouts, spinach, pineapple slices, bits of ginger and lots of the Lan’s mix of herbs and sprinkled with black pepper. While we were eating Lan visited our table and we visited a few minutes. She told us that she was working too hard. That she has to come into work on Sunday to prep the ingredients and at 49, it was getting to be tiring and she is thinking of retiring in a year or two. I guess that is inevitable, when one puts one’s heart and soul into the making the food express character and excellent quality like Lan does. I told her the only thing I could, that I hoped she could find someone who had her cooking skill and drive to help her or take over the restaurant, while I suspected, deep inside, the bittersweet truth that Lan’s unique combination of home style cooking skills, drive, willingness to open a restaurant in a foreign country and devotion to a highly unique style of food probably cannot be duplicated.
|Lan's Won ton Soup|
Then Suzette retired to the bed room while Bill, Scott and I discussed the case.
On March 3, Scott mentioned going to a Chinese buffet for lunch , so I asked a lovely Chinese woman who worked at the Santa Fe Community Foundation for a recommendation of a Chinese buffet in the neighborhood and she mentioned several, but the one that I thought Scott would like the best was Yin Yang at the Design Center. It advertises itself as serving healthy Chinese Cuisine, but that must be at dinner. The buffet contained many of the standard dishes that one would find on the menu at a Panda Express with a few noticeable differences. The soups included a miso soup, egg drop soup and a hot and a sour soup. I mixed the miso soup with a dab of hot and sour soup, but the hot chili flavors in the hot and sour soup still overpowered the miso soup. Then I went to the hot table and found several items that were delicious, including Moo Gai Pan, with only a few fresh Snow peas, a wonderful cloud like Mandarin chicken and mostly celery and zucchini thinly sliced along the ribs, and stir fried green beans that were a little overcooked or old. The best item on the table was braised deep fried tofu squares in a light brown sauce with fresh broccoli flowerets; I loved it.
Later we went back for seconds and found BBQ pork ribs coated with a dark soy sauce coating fresh from the oven. The Sesame Chicken was excellent, made with large pieces of chicken and a light batter and a not too sweet sauce. For $8.95, I thought Yin Yang’s buffet was interesting and pleasant. Scott, thought the Panda Restaurant’s buffet in Las Cruces was a little better and I agreed, based upon its greater skill in preparing its fresh vegetable dishes.
When I arrived home at 6:45, Suzette had prepared dinner again. Tonight she had boiled a lb. of spaghetti and made a healthy spaghetti sauce with a prepared Prego Heart Smart spaghetti sauce we bought at Costco last week with the addition of fresh sliced mushrooms and Italian sausage. She had also gone to the basement and found a bottle of 1998 Cantina Tollo "Villa Diana" Monetepulciano D Abruzzo. We enjoyed our simple meal of spaghetti topped with the heart healthy tomato sauce freshened up with fresh mushrooms and Italian Sausage and glasses of excellent red wine.
|the sauce and the spaghetti|
|sometimes simple is wonderful|
I can not describe how delightful the wine was. Aging it in the cellar for over fifteen years definitely helped give it a smooth texture, yet it still had a fresh ripened fruit flavor, perhaps due to the fact that there was no sediment in the bottle; a very clean tasting, well made wine with no rough edges.
I ate a little Blue Bunny Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream with a dash of Kahlua and Hershey’s chocolate syrup for dessert. Then we soaked in the hot tub for a few minutes and retired to bed and fell fast asleep.
I often awaken in the middle of the night as my stomach tackles digestion of my dinner and tonight, with a large portion of tomato sauce, was no exception. But tonight I particularly enjoyed a cup of red lotus root tea that we bought in China at the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai in my new porcelain tea cup.
|slightly larger than actual size|