Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Skewterchef Strikes Back!

New Years Menu

Amuse-Bouche:

Pancetta Wrapped Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Local Island Tatsoi Salad and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette

Starter:

Indonesian Pumpkin and Crab Bisque

Shellfish-Pumpkin Broth, Coconut Milk, Lemon Grass

Indonesian Spices and Lump Crab

Sesame Tuille

Entrée:

Grilled Rack of Lamb

Shallot, Mustard and Rosemary Paste Marinade

Port Wine Sauce

Grilled Eggplant

Leek Tied Asparagus Bundles

Dessert:

Schaumtorte with Homemade Strawberry Ice-Cream

Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream

Perhaps taking a Vespa to the grocery store to provision a Mega Yacht is not the most efficient way to go or even the safest, especially on a Caribbean island where everyone drives at breakneck speeds on the wrong side of the road and your chances of getting run over by a wayward dollar bus or chased down by a pack of wild dogs are high– but hey, it certainly is the most fun and you only live once!

I sped down the highway – oh wait, are they called highways here? I’m really not even sure… Let me start again - I sped out of the Turtle Cove Marina on Provo in the Turks and Caicos Islands and headed over the dry, limestone and brush covered hills overlooking a vast expanse of turquoise blue ocean and white sandy beaches on my way to the IGA Supermarket with high hopes that they will have gotten their weekly delivery and the grocery selection might be decent enough to allow me to provision for the new guests arrival and for the new year – just a few, short days away…

With the sun on my back and a warm breeze across my face I roared up the road. Ok, perhaps “roared” and “sped” are slight exaggerations but I revved that little 49cc engine full-throttle. The posted speed limit was 20 mph, but the car behind me was right on my tail and a line was forming behind him – 25 mph, 28 mph, 30 mph… It was like ‘The Little Engine That Could’. “Come on little guy, come on, you can do it”, I whispered to the shiny, black LX (I really have to convince my boss to invest in the Malossi Kit). SPLAT, a giant Caribbean bug squashed across my aviator sunglasses. I laughed. But slow or not, I was riding a Vespa in Turks and Caicos and I do love riding so it was alright with me that the drivers behind had to wait a bit. Besides mon, we on island time now…

The guests were off of the yacht for the day and I convinced our captain (although not quite believing it myself as I told him) that it would be a piece of cake to fit all the groceries I needed onto the Vespa. Man, I just had to ride…

So, I went to the grocery store and they were well supplied with fresh produce, lucky me! The first thing I spotted was a giant pile of Boniata, a local sweet potato that a friend of mine from California told me that I had buy if I saw them – raving about how delicious they are. They were purply-red, lumpy and misshapen. Each Boniata weighed about 2 lbs., kind of a bulky item. No problem, I told myself, as I put three big ones in my basket and continued along. 18 lemons, 10 limes, two very large heads of bok choy, broccoli, tomatoes, boxes of salad greens, cans of coconut milk, a few dozen eggs. Very quickly my grocery basket began to fill up. I started to get nervous. I looked at my list; I’d only picked up three items off of it. That damn scooter, how was I possibly going to fit it all on? Well, I’d just have to make multiple trips – and hey, more time to ride the scooter, that works for me! I figured I’d quit shopping now and come back for my dry goods…

Two Asian men stared at me laughing as I pushed my cart FULL of groceries across the parking lot and over to the scooter. I smiled like it was a perfectly normal thing to do. There was absolutely no way all those groceries were going to fit and I knew it – but I had high hopes and what the hell else was I going to do but make it work? I stuffed the more resilient items in the helmet box and hung 7 bags from the hook under the seat. I had three bags left and I could not find any possible way of getting them on. A stunning Scandinavian woman pulled up next to me in an open jeep. Flowing blond hair, Prada sun glasses, legs that stretched on to forever and a Café Del Mar CD played on the stereo. I suddenly began to feel deeply insecure. It was as if I regressed into my teenage years – I became the awkward, geeky, tragically un-hip girl in middle-school with braces, head gear, frizzy hair and my brothers hand-me-down Tuff Skins on standing in the school yard trying to muster the energy to talk to the boy I had a crush on since third grade – when Pam Anderson suddenly walks up and plants a big, fat kiss on him. At warp speed my mind summed her up and started racking up a list; I’ll never have legs like that, a flat stomach like that, manicured nails, how will I ever get a date when there are girls that look like that in the world and how could I be so dumb to think provisioning on a Vespa was a good idea (somehow it was all tied together)? Etc., etc. I became acutely aware that the entire parking lot was staring at me as I had three lone bags in my hands and absolutely no place to put them. Little miss perfect stepped her long, spidery legs out of the jeep, her stringy, blond hair blowing in the wind and I thought, “well, maybe she’s really nice and she’ll offer to give me a lift back to the yacht.” No such luck, she threw me a glance that said, “You’re a retard”. I laughed out loud out of insecurity and my own foolishness and said, “perhaps I was overly ambitious”. A little voice suddenly popped into my head and said, “quit being a jackass Cristina, you’re not that insecure are you?” Like, no, duh. Just then I had an idea - I tied the grocery bags to the rack on the back of the scooter, tying extra-tight, triple knots in hopes that they would hold. Problem solved! Hey, in Vietnam they tie whole pigs onto their scooters and then load on the family dog, mom, dad, three children and half the extended family. If they could do it, I could do it. There was perhaps one small issue with leg room, but that was inconsequential. It took me a moment to gain my footing but I feigned confidence and with a thrust of the clutch I was off… The two Asian men that had laughed at me as I pushed my cart were now walking down the street by the grocery store. They turned and watched laughing hysterically as I sped passed them. They probably haven’t seen anyone work a scooter like that since they were back home (absolutely NO offence meant here)! I laughed too as I rode down the highway; sun shining down on my face. I gave myself a pat on the back and cruised down the highway singing, “Born To Be Wild” at the top of my lungs, white, plastic grocery bags with carrot tops and bok choy fluttering in the breeze. Two more trips to go, and I looked forward to them (and for the next one, I brought along my back pack). Now this is living!

And to meet the coolest people on the island of New York, and have a ball - get yourself a scooter and get on over to the Brass Monkey on Wednesday nights for a meetup and ride!

NY Scooter Club

This ones for my peeps in New York, hope it's not too cold to ride! :o)

Got a day off and headed to the beach!


1 comment:

Brouhaha said...

Thanks for the props, chef! In our book (and in that picture) your legs ride pillion to no one's!

See you again soon, I hope!

 
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