We arrived in the O.C. (Orange County) late Wednesday afternoon to sunny skies and a fantastic view of Laguna Beach from the home of my sisters’ in-laws. Thursday was spent in Disneyland where we spent the entire day and ended up going on a dozen different rides. My son, J, really enjoyed being in the “happiest place on earth” as the last time we took him to Eurodisney, it was -10 degrees celsius. The last time my two sisters and I were there all together was seventeen years ago so it was fun to relive our summer holidays.
After our hearty meal, we headed over to do the food shopping for my niece’s Baptism barbecue party tomorrow. We went to local gourmet supermarket Bristol Farms where we bought all the ingredients for the party – red and yellow peppers, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, basil, baby potatoes, chives, assorted berries, creme fraiche, pita chips, ready-made hummus, tapenade and spinach-artichoke dip. We also got some store-made pound cake for those who want a bit of cake with their berries.
On our way home, we stopped at another Laguna Beach institution – The Shake Shack. It’s a beach side hut that serves milkshakes and a few simple deli items and is usually crowded with beachcombers and surfers walking up from the beach. It was recently taken over by the southern California diner chain Ruby’s and although some say it’s not as good as it used to be, it wasn’t bad at all. They had chocolate and strawberry milkshakes and I had a mango smoothie.
As soon as we got home, I started making the food for tomorrow and did the salads: sweetcorn, cherry tomato and basil, baby potatoes and chives with a mustard dressing, roasted red and yellow peppers with roasted shallots plus roasted aubergine mash with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. I also hulled the strawberries and mixed it in with the raspberries and blackberries with a little bit of extra-fine sugar to be served with cold creme fraiche as a dessert.
After prepping for the party, it was almost 8:30 p.m. so to complete my Southern California culinary tour, we bought some take-out from another Laguna beach institution and surfer hang-out – Taco Loco . We bought a few tacos including their specialty blackened calamari taco with soft flour and blue-corn tortilla and served with guacamole, chips and salsa. We went home, ate on the terrace and chatted till late, happy to be all together again.