Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Eats

A holi-day! What joy!  I was awake at 2am again when I heard my parents up and about; readjusted Mom’s brace and found a new ice pack and got everyone to the bathroom and back to bed.  Tossing and turning for several hours, I finally fell back asleep and managed to have some rambling yet pleasant late morning dreams of France until the glorious hour of half past 8.  It has been years since I have slept late, and so this was a real treat. Even the dogs slept late with me; it was nice that not a single person or dog was after me to do anything this morning. 

At 9am I took Mom to the beach for the Labor Day pancake breakfast; it’s a Laguna affair with the firemen serving plates for $5….I always love seeing the old fire truck; today it was occupied by a suitable resident who posed for pics~IMG_9605

There is always lots of fun and cheer in the line~


later in the morning I did the last of the grocery runs, and started the food for the day; in years past we would have had all my sisters and families here for BBQ dinner; my parents are both feeling burned out on those events, so today it was just us, and everyone got what they wanted.  Mom had sushi for lunch.  Dad wanted ribs; I brown them in the skillet then add lots of crushed garlic~


and sauce them generously (1-2x what you see here, cover them well), then turn the meat-side down~


wrap well in foil and bake at 250-300 for several hours until falling off the bone~


I wasn’t interested in either ribs or sushi today; I made one of my favorite salads, pamplemousse-crevette.   I used to buy this by the 100g at LeNotre Paris.  Try it and tell me if you don’t love it.  Boil and chill one pound of small shrimp; I use the head-on ones for $6/lb at the Chinese market.  Shell the shrimp so you are left with a bowl of the meat.  Section one pink grapefruit. There are several ways to do this, but I cut the rind off like this first~


then cut in half and remove the filament and white pith to reserve just the grapefruit sections.  Do this over a bowl so that you also catch the grapefruit juice which results to add to the salad.


Toss the grapefruit segments with the shelled shrimp; add two tablespoons of fresh cream and a small handful of fresh cut chives.  Chill again well.  You will love the taste of this salad and I often serve it for lunch for friends; I will show it for a spring farm to table; it’s clean and spa-like but rich.  It’s filling, and great on top of a half or 1/4 avocado or bed of greens.  I have never seen this done here, or anywhere outside of Paris….maybe I am not looking….this is what the chic ladies of the 16eme always ate and so I also learned the secret~


In the meantime, the ribs came out of the oven, and Dad loved this plate~


On the advice of my friend Ann-Marie, I also made a pavlova for dessert for today.  This is from Nigella Lawson.  The recipe called for 8 egg whites, and I ended up with nine large.  Wow, it was way too many, and instead of a 10” I had a 14”.  Whatever….my parents picked to tops off when it came out of the oven~


this was slathered with 2 cups of fresh whipped cream~


then blanched white peaches and a yellow nectarine~


topped with a handful of shredded coconut~


and drizzled with the juice of 5 fresh, seeded passion fruits.  Here is the passion fruit running over my largest footed glass plate and onto the kitchen floor for Biscuit to enjoy~


Despite the enormous size, my parents managed to eat half of this by themselves.  I gave both of them their diabetes meds in advance, and safe to say this is their weekly quota of sugar. I have switched them to Stevia for everything else, and one day will try to bake with Stevia.  Today, though, they wanted a party of three + dogs.  No family, a little work, just a day to relax. 

Meanwhile I am off to walk the dogs again now at dusk and go for a little swim.  A long week is ahead and I have so many things on my plate that are new and fun as well as the parents’ care.   In three days on the root tea all of the swelling went out of Mom’s arm.  I have taken her car keys with me as she now wants to drive (against Dr.s orders).  We are on the mend and I thank you all for the many kind emails and wishes.   Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend~


  1. Where do you get fresh passionfruit?! I have been haunting greengrocers to buy some, no luck, I thought they were out of season.

  2. Andrea it sounds like you and your parents had a wonderful and fairly relaxing holiday weekend! Great pics!

    The menu looks and sounds sooo good. The Pavlova, oh my goodness, so gorgeous!

    Talk soon!
    Art by Karena

    1. My friend Karen has the dry ashitaba in stock, and is ordering the extract this week. I don't like the dry as well. Will call you tomorrow. Mom swears the root tea is helping a lot and we want it to do the same for you!!! Sending tomorrow...xxoo~A

  3. My mouth is watering looking at that pavlova...yum!!!

  4. I just had lunch and now I am starving! Your pavlova looks just gorgeous! I forgot how amazing they look... and taste!
    Think about getting those crates etc out to me for a festive fall giveaway!!!

  5. I lived in Laguna from 1951 to 1953, then we moved to the little town of Dana Point (ha, not so little now). i remember the old guy who used to stand on the bend in town and wave at all the folks driving by. He would tell my mom as we walked by his house, 'everyday is a nice day, lady'. The old fire truck brings back memories. My dad had a radio and TV repair shop on Forrest St, Hott's Radio and Electronics. He fixed Ozzie and Harriet's electric garage door once. Simpler times, smaller towns then. Now I live in the Smoky Mountains, far from Laguna Beach, but just as beautiful in its own way. Love your posts.
    Mary Anne from Cosby TN

    1. Dear Mary are in good company with the Trotters and Marriner's and the pet store and so many other Forest Ave. businesses I remember. I miss Laguna the way it was...still some shades of it....but wasn't it great back then?

  6. Naturally, the Pavlova is stunning. But it is the shrimp and grapefruit salad that gets me. I would be in the hospital with that one-I am allergic to grapefruit-but I am wondering if it might not be worth it!

  7. Pavlovas with summer berries are my go-to summer dessert. Your shrimp salad looks very tasty!

  8. Andrea,

    Each of your photos are mouth-watering. Guess what I'm having for lunch in the 16eme tomorrow? lol!
    Glad your Mom and Dad are feeling better, and happy to hear you had a nice quiet day just the three of you.

    Talk soon,

    1. I wondered if you knew this's delish...hope the lunch goes well!

  9. The Pavlova is beautiful and the barbeque looks great too!

    I hope that your parents are feeling better. And of course that you are not wearing yourself out. Aging parents are a lot of work and frankly I mean work in the emotional way. Or course the physical work is a pain but obviously stuff you do not mind doing.

    You are so fortunate that you live near your parents and can help them! And they are so lucky to have you!

    Take care, always a treat visitng here to see what you are up too.

    Love all of the party ideas.


  10. Oh that Dalmation Dog!
    I just watched s ahow on Create TV about the Wonderful Farmers
    markets you have in your area. I saw artichokes that were fresh. By the time I get them they are dried out. As far as your cake, I am going to break down and cook a cake today. Everything you do looks good.