Saturday, August 09, 2008

Give Me Your Poor, Your Tired, Your Cooks

Writing today from the sunny California, uh, something Country of Yuba City. A quick weekend trip for a wedding. I've been through Sacramento a couple times through the years, but have never stayed around to see the sights. Not a whole helluva lot to see, it turns out, scenery-wise, but there is the smallest mountain range in the world and a nice river. What there is to see here is some incredible produce. The local farmer's market was recommended this morning and I saw just amazing things. It reminded me of my time in Alaska and how the fish just looked different from any fish I had seen before. The peaches and tomatoes are, they tell me, at their peak right now, and are certainly the best I've had, but there is stuff here I've never seen before. Long beans, pluots, bitter melon. I'm not a big cook, but walking around this ridiculous bounty today made me want to try and find ways to use all these different flavors.

I also got a lesson in "New York is Not the Be All and End All in Diversity." I often wonder if my Escape from New York will ever come to pass, and if it does, will I be drawn back by a yearning for the wide range of views and peoples within it. There is a perhaps-not-too-underhanded prejudice in their against the Bland Rest of the Country. Well, here in Yuba City, which is, no offense, a little uh...middle-of-nowhere, the farmer's market is filled with white people, natch, Mexicans, of course, Hmong people from Cambodia (um...) and a ton of Sikhs (huh?). It is about time I admitted that I run into this almost everywhere I go in the US. Those one or two Wildcard Peoples pop up in almost every white bread area of the country. Houston? Vietnamese. Michigan? Various Arabs. Wildcards that make it possible to live almost anywhere in the US without being sentenced to a lifetime of dinners eaten at garishly themed buildings on the outskirts of mall parking lots.

Thanks, Statue of Liberty!


  1. Anonymous4:07 PM EDT

    The tomatoes aren't at their peak yet, come back in another month- that's when they are really get good.

    You are right, diversity is all over the place- it just takes longer to get to it without a subway.

  2. Anonymous9:56 PM EDT

    Hey, that pluot comment just now hit me. When you get back, you should go to the Union Square green market (Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat from 8:00 to 6:00 PM) I'd bet they have pluots there.

    Then you follow the link below to my blog where you can get an excellent recipe for what to do with them. (You can buy a crust from a store if you want.)

  3. Weekend trip!
    Whoo Hoo!
    (You gonna try for a bridesmaid?)

    I believe if you are inspired by bounty, you should experiment!
    Your creativity knows no bounds.
    I'm sure Henry will help with disposal of failed attempts at yummyness.

  4. Res, you have to have been to Yuba City to understand his surprise.