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This fire is burning toward El Cerrito and South Corona out in the hills near the old tin mine about six miles west of the Casa.
This is godforsaken territory and much of it is part of a nature set aside. It gets little rain and has been blackened by wildfires so often that the terrain has morphed from coastal scrub to grassland, green in the winter, golden brown from here to Christmas.
A well prepared morning repast of Eggs Benedict is an especially classy way to begin the day, and, frankly, there is nothing quite as pleasurable. To be enjoyed properly, Eggs Benedict musn't be rushed. It is to be savored and is best when accompanied with good coffee, good company, and good conversation.
Twenty6 is one of several eateries at the sprawling and gorgeous La Quinta Resort near Palm Springs. This morning's breakfast was as magnificent as it looks. A solid 9.25 on the TWC Eggs Benedict Scale and one of only five that have passed into the rarefied and coveted nines.
But TWC is a purist. Oh sure, one can enjoy Sardou or Florentine or even Montoya, which can tempt with grilled filet mignon, but each of these is but a mere change of pace and never a substitute for the real thing. And please, Eggs Benedict isn't done with ham. It is Canadian Bacon. If it tastes like ham, it isn't Canadian Bacon, regardless of what the label claims. Don't start with that, there is a difference.
Unfortunately, there are very few artisans that are skilled in the preparation of this epicurean treasure. The world is filled with hacks using canned Hollandaise or, worse, Knorr powdered Hollandaise. I once was served Eggs Benedict with green Hollandaise. How, exactly, did that make it out of the kitchen?
Legends abound about the origin of this breakfast phenomena but it is more than likely that the dish originated at Delmonico's in New York around the onset of the Civil War. Delmonico's has the distinction of being the very first American restaurant. Isn't that odd? That there really is a first American restaurant?
Umbrella to the Right Shaded Our Breakfast Table This Morning
When it became apparent to us a coupla years ago that we had been married nearly a quarter of a century we toyed with the idea of a twenty-fifth anniversary gala. But with family and friends scattered to the four winds the logistics seemed difficult. Then Mrs TWC thought it might be wicked good fun to skip all that and blow the cash on a week's worth of toe wigglin' in the sands of Paradise. Then about ten minutes past April Fools Day, reality reared its ugly head just to remind us that we're grownups with gainful employment, kids in school, dogs that need feeding, and business that needs to be tended to. And, May 18th is on a Tuesday. Big Sigh. But it's all good and we'll spend our day here.....
Twenty-five years ago Lisa was in school and what little available dinero there was went to make sure my employee's paychecks cashed on Fridays. Counting the three bills for champagne and fountains, we did the wedding and reception for a thousand bucks (give or take). Unfortunately, the photographer was worth about what he cost, so we don't have much in the way of photos. Sure wish I'd asked El Jeronimo to bring his Nikon.
Instead of Here Comes the Bride, we got rolling with the studio version of Beginnings. The grandpas dragged Lisa down the aisle, lifting her by the elbows so her feet dangled about three inches off the floor. They were down to the altar and had her plunked before Terry Kath came in on four, which left an extended, FM style of musical interlude, leading to a lot of foot shuffling and murmuring.
That's us with the Most Reverend Joseph L
Montoya, a man who once blasted his mother-in-law's false teeth with a
.357 Magnum right where they sat. In a glass of Polident. On top of the
There was lots of music, maybe too much music, including some special songs written and played by my ex-brother-in-law.
At the reception, we hired Uncle Rick to serve the champagne punch so as to keep things classy and to keep the Demon Rum away from the youngsters. He was diligent, refusing to serve anyone shorter than four feet tall. He carded Aunt Linda, but since the reception was in Bordeaux he figured thirteen was old enough. Maybe she lied about her age.
If you look carefully through the fountain you can observe as Uncle Rick actually warns off a potential scofflaw looking for a buzz. That's my old buddy Terry helping himself to the feast that the moms and the sisters slaved over. They turned out a grand
buffet that would make any caterer envious.
My sister, Mo, baked a mouth watering, from-scratch wedding cake every bit as lovely as any of the priciest Cardboard & Crisco wedding cakes. I ain't kidding, neither, it was amazing. My uncle ate three pieces. The posterity slice for the freezer? Vanished. No freezer burnt wedding cake for our Silver Anniversary.
The Bride & Groom Share A Kiss Before Departing the Festivities
By the end of it we were exhausted and famished which led to a forgettable and overpriced dinner at a now defunct steak house. Then it was off to Lost Wages for the honeymoon.
Today is Dad's birthday. Though he was born just a few months before Black Tuesday in 1929 he wears his age well and up until this year he still worked about twenty hours a week. He's thin, healthy, and still quite lucid.
TWC and Dad at Big Bear Lake
Like most of us who've been around the block a few times, he's seen some stunning changes.
The world of the thirties had no antibiotics and it took his brother a year to recover from pneumonia. Every few days the doctor (who made house calls) would come by to check on my uncle. They'd lay him up on the dining room table and stick a long needle into his chest through his ribcage to draw off the accumulated fluid in his lungs.
He grew up in St Paul where milk was still delivered door to door by horse drawn dairy wagons.
Buck Rogers was a childhood fantasy, but Dad would live to see the reality of the moon landing.
Ultimately the world left mechanical behind for digital, radio for cable and internet, and natural fabrics for synthetics and back to natural again.
It was number please, rotary dial mechanical phones, private lines, extensions in other rooms, push button technology, and then cellular phones. And, of all the technological innovation of the last eighty years, he is most amazed by cell phones.
If someone would have told me fifty years ago that some day people would walk around the grocery store talking on a phone I would have told them they were out of their mind.
Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which it isn't. Many people also assume it to be a Mexican holiday, which it isn't. Cinco de Mayo is an American holiday that traces its roots to California and has been celebrated since here in the Golden State since 1863.
Cinco de Mayo marks the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over the Frogs at Puebla, which is pretty much the only place in Mexico where Cinco de Mayo is celebrated
Big surprise you say? Not so fast, there, cynical boys. That was an entirely different kettle of Frogs in those
days. This was not the French Army driving tanks with rear view mirrors so they can see how the battle is going. In fact, the French were formidable opponents who hadn’t lost a
battle in fifty years.
Texas-born General Zaragosa’s legendary tequila consumption is rumored to have given him the inspiration to lead his outgunned and outmanned troops in a decisive rout of the Foreign Legion and the French Army. The stunning defeat enraged Napoleon who
responded with 30,000 troops to mop up so that Hapsburg Prince
Maximilian could take over as head of state.
At the close of the US Civil War Union soldiers were discharged early if they agreed to join with the Mexican Army to fight
the French. Things were so much simpler then.....
Tell ya what boys, them
Mexicans is havin' some prollems with the pesky French. We're gonna
cut you loose a little early so's you can give 'em a hand.
The good news is that the American Legion of Honor marched alongside
the Mexican Army in the victory parade in Mexico City and Maximilian was
The bad news is that Col Diaz, who fought so decisively at Puebla,
ultimately would become Mexico’s dictator.
And that, my friends, is what all the fuss is about.