Thursday, April 12, 2007

Notes from the Pantry: Brain Food and Tacos!

My brain is gluttonous.

Tuesday, I went to my first "Geology of Terroir" class. I'm no somelier, so I'd like to have a better sense of what kinds of wines I like and be more mindful in my appreciation of them (drinking non-Chuck helps). The class is structured such that we will spend a day on each of seven large wine-producing regions of California, discussing characteristics of the vinyards and varietals of the area. And then we drink generously. This week, we talked a bit about tectonic plates and volcanic soil, and then we tasted six different California table wines. I sense this class will be less academic and more "adjective-spouting-geriatrics-plus-Monica getting tipsy." And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, I went to my "Food Writing" workshop. I missed the first class (whoops!), so I'm already the bad kid in the back row. The instructor is an established food writer -- the other students are mostly middle-to-"golden" aged women. We went through the process of constructing a book proposal and talked about different style elements in food writing. Again, this course feels much less "academic" than what I am used to -- but this practical treatment makes me jazzed. Putting together a competative food writing piece sounds doable, given practice and planning. Maybe one day I'll write a book!

Also also also --- I got my first piece of food writing published! It's an article on seasonal vegetables for the Los Altos Town Crier, and you can read it here: April vegetables herald the spring season. I may be able to publish more in the future, proceeds benefiting the Monica Foodie Slush Fund.

Last note: I had a super yummy taco while running errands in Redwood City. The restaurant was one of five El Grullenses I passed on the three-mile trek. However, unlike the franchisey other four, this was markedly a hole in the wall (four items on the menu, and two tables between the kitchen and the door). The roja salsa was delicious -- wake-you-up spicy at the head with complex smokey undertones that unfold and linger. Also, the whole order when down in Spanish, and the waitress made no indication that I was a tiresome and inarticulate gringa. This pleases me. I have been reticent to bust out the espanol lest I sound tooly or foolish. Now I'll be more bold!

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