Light/Breezes

Light/Breezes
SUNRISE AT DEATH VALLEY-Photo by Tom Cochrun

Friday, July 19, 2013

THE WEEKENDER-EURO STYLE

FRENCH, OR ITALIAN, OR CALIFORNIAN
    Admiring what I call the old "buck board bench" at Giovanni's Harmony Cafe, warmed by the coastal sun, reading a note from our pal Bruce about recipes from Provence' as we await the latest offering from our local master chef, the aromas of the kitchen mixing with the roses, my cocoon of well being is bumped by a realization. 
    Lana and I have been chatting about the joie d'vivre of the Susan Loomis book ON RUE TATIN as she recounts her move to France to write a cookbook as her husband rebuilds a centuries old home in a northern town.  It strikes us that our life here in what some have called the "American Provence'" is authentic provincial joy itself. The cafe for example, guests reflect that with the alfresco setting, the climate and cuisine they could be in Tuscany or Provence.  Indeed! The culture here is younger than Loomis's Louviers in Normandy, but it is unique, as in 
ART ON A LADDER
    Art Van Rhyn that is.  Artist, gallery owner, musician, founder of the whimsical 927 art show, cartoonist of the weekly From the Beach cartoon in The Cambrian and personality unique is one of the pantheon of  "Cambria Characters" this village is known for. Emphasis on "character!"
CAN YOU GUESS WHAT THIS IS?
     30 minutes down the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway is the beautiful small city of San Luis Obispo.  Truly Mediterranean in look and temperament, S-L-O, as many call it, is a university town, full of playfulness, as in the scene above. Bubblegum Alley.
   Yep, that's all gum.  It's a changing work of art, as generations have created their own morphing images, words, messages and etc. Bet they don't have one of these in Normandy.
    So later I'll slip into my easy chair, crack open ON RUE
TATIN, peak out the window at the Santa Lucia mountains and start thinking about what we're going to do for dinner.
The whir of the mixer as I write this is the reminder Lana is making pasta.  We'll probably pick a few tomatoes from one of the raised beds and likely find the other items to round it out at the Farmer's Market underway in the village. Many of the characters will be there. In fact the longer one stays here, the more we all transform, or aspire to our niche in the ways of eccentricity.  
    Oh yea, we'll be using olive oil, but then, which type?  While this region produces great wine, we have a burgeoning olive oil market as well.  So, perhaps, there is a place for our version of this fellow---enjoy.  
Have a fun, delicious and sexy weekend!
   See you down the trail.

3 comments:

  1. We just watched a wonderful documentary, Step up to the Plate, about the passing of the kitchen authority over his eponymous restaurant from noted French chef Michel Bras to noted French chef S├ębastian Bras (Michel's son). It's a beautifully done program but pointedly on the mark about the fussiness of French cuisine. You'll like it, Tom.

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  2. I've seen gum like that in Verona, Italy where lovers (ala Romeo and Juliet) stick their gum to seal their love. Hmnn....

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  3. The Cambria-SLO axis is marvellous and the ambience and activity have been dear friends to me for nearly 14 years. There's a lot of life in old bones.

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