Thursday, November 06, 2008

Six Degrees

Well, I seam to be meeting friendly strangers everywhere I go!

Just as we pull into the dock at Newport Beach, I receive a message through my blog that reads, “Hi, just watched the yacht pull in! The shopping is pretty lousy down here – believe it or not, but there are a few places. Let us know if you need any help!”. I email back, my first question being how did they find my blog and the yacht I was on?

“We watched the yacht come in, it’s such a pretty yacht! We googled the name. We’d be more than happy to take you out provisioning and show you around!”. Oh my god, an offer to help? I have to explain to them that a “little trip to the store” for me involves somewhere along the lines of 3 or 4 grocery carts and can be upwards of 40 to 50 grocery bags! “No problem”, they say, “we love food – it’ll be fun and we have an SUV that you can load it all into!”. Not one to turn down some extra hands – I jump at their offer.

I’m thrilled, of course, that someone has found me through my blog and wants to meet and show me where to provision! So, I tell the crew, who of course, give me a really hard time – what am I doing going off with these strangers? Ok, perhaps I should exhibit some caution – but it seems that when I throw caution to the wind is when I end up having the best time. That is, after all, how I ended up working on yachts in the first place –flew off to meet some stranger on some tiny island in a place I’d never been before… What can I say? I’m a seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. My life, like my cooking, is a work in progress until the main course is served.

So, I take off on a grocery shopping adventure with my new found friends and in the course of conversation, I learn that Mrs. Stranger is from the same two-horse town in Southern Oregon as my aunt, uncle and grandparents. “Do you know so-and-so, by chance?” and, well, by chance - she was one of my cousin’s high school teachers several years back – before she moved to Newport. Talk about six-degrees of separation! Sometimes the universe points in a certain direction and you have no choice but to go…

We head into Costa Mesa, to the Whole Foods Market, which is, by far, the largest Whole Foods I have ever been in. I feel almost guilty dragging my new friends around with me as pile up my carts. “Do you want me to grab another cart for you?”, they say. “Umm, if you don’t mind”, I reply sheepishly as I push two full carts up towards the front of the store.

Our visit to the meat counter goes like this, “How can I help you?”.
“I’ll take 8 racks of lamb”
“Sure, anything else for you?”
“3 boneless leg of lamb, 8 lbs. of lamb loin chops wrapped those in 2 lb. parcels, 7 lbs. of those organic pork tenderloins, 2 whole pork loins and 4 lbs. or ground pork”
“Having a barbeque?”
“No, just a little shopping. You know what they say, you shouldn’t shop when you’re hungry!”
“Anything else for you today?”
“Yes, 2 whole organic tenderloins. You don’t have to trim or tie them. 8 dry-aged Chateaubriands, 4 dry aged New York strips, 8 lbs. of ground buffalo and 10 lbs. of ground Kobe”
“So, how long is this going to last you?”
“Maybe a couple of weeks…”

Next, it’s on to the fish market and then Hi-Times Wines, a massive temperature controlled warehouse dedicated to the best grape juice from around the world – and they even have a “serve yourself” wine tasting bar!

Our day ends at a little shack, at the end of a short pier on a little inlet behind a trailer park – sounds like a horror movie, right? Wrong. It’s the best place in town to buy live, spiny lobsters for which the season has just begun.

After a long day of exploring the local goods, I’ve got coolers full of meat and fish and the SUV is loaded with tons of fresh produce. Hopefully it’ll last me the week and I won’t have to go shopping until we hit our next port…


prcrstn8 said...

Just when I think you're getting all ho-hum and domesticated you rip a new gut-buster. Hilarious!

H.Peter said...

Only in America!

Strangers who are not so strange.

Mr. & Mrs. X. should buy Whole a Whole.

Blog Directory - Blogged