Most of my time in Portland was spent with my old pals, most of whom either work or previously worked at the D.A.’s Office with me. As they exchanged stories (always either exciting, hilarious, or both) about their cases, I found myself translating for the husband. “Did you tack on a K2?” That’s kidnapping in the second degree. “Lamborn’s in an Agg.” Trial for aggravated murder. “He’s the MDT deputy.” Multidisciplinary Team. It’s for child abuse cases.
One of my sisters and I have started writing down what we eat and then emailing it to each other. (Does it work? you ask. Good idea in theory, but I’m a writer so I don’t mind having to type a lot of words.) Anyway, a couple weeks ago, in response to my never ending log of restaurant food, carry out, and Lean Cuisines, my sister wrote back, “Don’t you ever cook?”
So today, my first full day home from vacation, I vowed to cook. I pulled this recipe for Quail and Artichokes from my Mario Batali cookbook. I even walked across the street to the Union Square Green Market in search of the best ingredients. After a loop through the entire market, I left with nothing but artichokes. Then it was on to Whole Foods where only in NYC do shoppers have to master the delicate dance of shopping carts on escalators. Alas, after a long wait at the butcher counter, I was told there were no quail, just hens. I don’t know the difference, so I bought the hens. I’m now staring at two bags of groceries on my counter and a whole mess of work. Total cost: $67 to feed me and the husband.
Just looked at the menu for Mario’s Babbo, one of the best restaurants in the city, just a five minute walk from my apartment, and one of our faves. Cost of the quail entree? $27.
This is why I watch Top Chef instead of actually cooking.
We took a Jet Blue redeye from Portland to JFK, 11:59 PM PST to 8 am EST (i.e., hours everyone who’s not a mindblow should be sleeping). Highlight and lowlight: creepy guy we noticed at the check-in, who released boozy snores during the entire flight in the row across from us, was stopped upon landing for a request for ID).
It has been a busy four days in Portland with 2 rounds of golf, tax-free shopping at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, a BBQ with all my old friends from the DA’s Office, and a hike around Mount St. Helen’s (see my friend’s version of a joke, thanks to Photoshop).
At Off the Page, Oline Cogdill blogs on literary cross-references, such as Lee Child’s reference to Samantha Kincaid in Bad Luck and Trouble. (Yes, when Reacher meets a Portland prosecutor called Samantha in a cop bar and spends two nights with her… that’s my girl.)
I love spotting these allusions to other books. They are hat tips from one writer to another, and a secret reward for frequent readers who are paying attention.
We are back in the Vancouver airport again, this time waiting for our flight to Portland. Three and a half days in Canada brought two rounds of golf (highlight: I holed a 50 yard approach shot!), a day trip into Vancouver (including a stop to the aquarium, where the BFF otters hold hands), a bike ride around Victoria, and whale watching in Haro Strait.
We’ve landed in Vancouver and are waiting for the jump flight to Victoria. Air Canada rocks. The employees were all really, really nice, like… Canadian nice. And they have movies and TV on demand built in to the seats.
Tomorrow the spouse and I head to Victoria, BC, with a brief stop in Vancouver, and then to Portland to kick it old school with the pre-NYC buddies. Should I gather any stories to share, I’ll pop in, but if you don’t hear from me, know that I’m relaxing (and writing) and will come back with a vengeance.