Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"What Possibly Could be Wrong with Him?"

Map of the East Bay - color-coded
Map of the East Bay - color-coded (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This year my wife is doing a blog that features a small essay and a photograph for every day of the year. It's a challenge and, as a result, she's up to date on the the writing and the *taking* of the pictures but somewhat behind on actually posting prose and photo.

This is (will be) her post for last Saturday in which the wide-spread support of the Grand Lake Market is made clear.

Tonight we played poker with Berkeley friends, foodies one and all. Our host Peter is a fabulous cook, who combines exotic ingredients in unique combinations, providing his guests with literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Tonight his Mexican-themed meal did not disappoint. His soup, as good a soup as I have ever eaten, his own creation made with roasted tomatillos, onions, corn, tomatoes combined with chicken broth, shrimp. It was a meal in itself.

He also had fresh tortillas, plus carnitas and mushrooms and cabbage for filling them. Amazingly good. He’s cooked for local trendy restaurants and overseen the kitchen of a Berkeley food establishment, so is no stranger to the making of commercial-quality meals, but at home he develops dishes so challenging that few restaurants would include them on their menu. A meal at his home is always an adventure, something new or a twist on something old.

The other players, when hosting, make exquisite meals, and they, unlike me, know their wines and their ‘whiskey.” One friend at the table is making her exit from the poker group and Berkeley, having just sold her two-bedroom Berkeley bungalow for a few dollars shy of $1,000,000. She has houses and property in the Central Valley, the other California, and will return cash-in-hand to her childhood community. She will miss the local food scene and is considering the growing of this or that exotic vegetable on her property, something that would appeal to the Berkeley set.

We talked little of politics but much of food, of the selling of the home and about our Grand Lake neighborhood farmers market. The Berkeley foodies consider our farmers market to be the best farmers market in the East Bay, and, in spite of their own good markets and stores catering to their taste, carrying quality foods and produce, they also shop with our farmers. Our market, they said, should be treasured and maintained for if management of the market were to be changed, the market would not be nearly as good because our market’s management group is the best in the business. If anyone understands food and markets they do. That is why our departing friend, when she heard that someone is trying to oust AIM as market managers, asked, “What could possibly be wrong with him?”

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