Sunday, July 12, 2009

So dramatic

Thatbrother was born into the wrong family. Name a sport, and he follows it. Without training a day, he ran a 10k and came in first for his division. He plays golf with his friends, was on the baseball team in high school, and is always up for a pickup game of basketball. Normal boys his age get this love of athletics from their fathers. But not in our family. Every one in our family is more interested in theater than sports. Thatmom took part in every camp play growing up. Thatdad was auditioning for Broadway shows, and well, we all know I took my theater love allllll the way through college.

While many other parents had season tickets to baseball games, or college football games, Thatparents had season tickets to the performing arts center. When Thatdad died, Thatmom decided she didn't want to go to the rest of the shows this season by herself. We divied up the tickets for the remaining shows between family and friends.

Saturday it was Thatboy and my turn to see a show - "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," one of Thatdad's favorite movies. During the show it made me sad to think about how he much he would have enjoyed it.

We took our seats and were introduced to the seatholders beside us, who had grown to be friends with Thatparents over the years. Even though their relationship was relatively superficial, they mentioned how much they had enjoyed spending time with Thatdad and how saddened they were by his death. It reminded me how many lives he touched.

The show itself didn't live up to expectations - well with the exception of the flying car which had Thatboy staring, mouth agape like a kid in a candy store. One of the dancers was probably 7 feet tall, and I couldn't watch any dances without becoming completely distracted by his height. Which was probably all for the best given that most of the dancers were out of step with each other. The female lead had such a distinct break between her chest and head voice that it sounded like two different people singing. And then there was the kid who was definitely channeling Carol Channing.........

The other big Saturday plans were a trip to the farmer's market with Thatmom. I main things we were looking for? Asparagus and wild mushrooms for bread pudding. I had explained to Thatmom that we probably wouldn't find asparagus because the growing season is pretty much April. We had decided that a good alternative would be either zucchini or leeks. But low and behold, when we showed up at the farmer's market, there was asparagus everywhere! Must be because of the unseasonably cold weather we had this spring.

No trip to a farmer's market is complete without picking up some strawberries.

My favorite stall in the Irvine Farmer's Markets has the most gorgeous greens and herbs. I always stop by here to pick something up.

That mom was a little disappointed that we weren't going to be using leeks, which she loves. I can't blame her - I love leeks too. So I agreed to pick up some leeks and use them to top our grilled chicken.

The stash:

broccoli sprouts
maui onion

And the results:

Asparagus and Morel Bread Pudding (recipe available at

I was a little concerned about this recipe for a couple of reasons. First because I don't like asparagus. What I didn't realize, was that Thatmom isn't a huge asparagus fan either. I also was 99% sure we wouldn't find morels, and I was right! Luckily I followed Camille Kingsolver's suggestion of using wild mushrooms instead, which we could get our hands on. Thatbrother really liked the bread pudding, but I think it's because it had mushrooms in it. Thatmom was surprised by how much she liked it, given her dislike of both asparagus and bread pudding, but she did note that next time she would prefer it to have some more herbs/spices as she felt it was a little bland. Thatboy felt that the bread pudding met his expectations. As for me? I impressed myself by eating asparagus! They didn't have nearly the bitter flavor I associate with asparagus, nor did they have the mushy texture. It definitely made me realize that a great way to get kids to eat vegetables is to have them help make the dish, because there was no way I was going to miss eating this gorgeousness. And it really was gorgeous!

Local ingredients used:
Spring onions (from Oceanside Farmer's Market)
Multigrain bread (From Oceanside Farmer's Market)
Asparagus (From Irvine Farmer's Market)
Wild Mushrooms (From Irvine Farmer's Market)
Parsley (From Irvine Farmer's Market)
Oregano (From Oceanside Farmer's Market)


  1. Those strawberries are gooooorgeous!

  2. I feel like thatbrother when I am with my in laws. Don't get me wrong, my family loves the theater, well, except my dad, but we are all sports fiends, and I married into a very much not sport oriented family. New Year's Day in particular has been a source of contention in the past since I ONLY watch college football bowl games that day. :)

    I'm impressed you ate the asparagus, I have heard you mention before disliking it. I love it so I think this looks great!

  3. I must say I'm so jealous of the availability at your market. We're still off season for peaches and plums. Love the bread pudding're giving me ideas.
    Thatbrother needs a smack for being such a natural. He makes the rest of us who have to work hard at everything look really bad. :)
    Your "dad" memories are good and healthy - they'll get you through the tough days.

  4. A good haul at the farmers market. Look at those strawberries~!!!! I don't have seasonbs tickets but I am able to go to the Community Theatre once in a while. It is hit and miss, but I am sure your parents loved it:D

  5. That pudding looks yummy with all these fresh ingredients!

  6. There have been lots of people come through my home for a meal that said they didn't like asparagus either. I think it comes from that nasty junk outta a can.

    Here we LOVE asparagus, but it has to be fresh and it has to be roasted. With sea salt, a little lemon juice and a little olive oil. YUMMMM

  7. Amazing strawberries! The dish looks so tasteful!

  8. Oh! I have so much to catch up on your blog. Those strawberries look deeeeelicious!

  9. Oh, very touching, especially about the adjacent seatholders.

    I think I will venture down to Irvine to check out this Farmers Market soon. Our San Pedro Friday market is very limited.

  10. I love your description of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! And I love Farmer's Markets and that Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding looks out of this world. I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but have never visited their website. This pudding is definitely a must do! Gorgeous indeed!

  11. i love mushrooms. i love asparagus. i love bread pudding! i probably need to try this recipe.