You only have one mother… One of my favorite expressions in Italian…
Grandson Oscar poured milk into mama Judy’s coffee for an early family breakfast.
There were eleven of us for eggs in all kinds of styles and lox and Bloody Marys at Nine Ten, the restaurant in the hotel where Tracie P and I got married in La Jolla, the Grand Colonial, home of the Parzen family’s official Sunday brunch.
Next came some clothes shopping with mama Judy and Tracie P and a visit to our favorite Chinese restaurant in San Diego, Spicy City in Kearny Mesa (and yes, California Chinese is also better than anywhere else in the U.S. imho). The rice noodles were DELICIOUS!
Happy mother’s day, yall! Buona festa della mamma!
Lots of reasons for smiles in the Parzen family these days. :-)
I’ve known for a week or so but had to keep a lid on it: brother Micah (right, giving a toast at our wedding) has landed what might just be his dream job, the Executive Directorship of San Diego’s Museum of Man.
Here’s what he had to say on his Facebook:
Micah David Parzen is OVER THE MOON to announce that, beginning August 9, he will be the new Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park! Stay tuned–and jump on board–for great things facebook friends! I can use all the support I can get!
Above: The brothers Parzen: Tad, me, and Micah. We sure clean up nicely, don’t we? ;-)
You see, brother Micah isn’t just a partner in one of San Diego’s top law firms. He also has a Ph.D. in anthropology. He filed his dissertation “‘Culturally Appropriate’ Mental Health Care: Wilderness Therapy for Navajo Youth” in 2000 at Case Western.
Dude, we are so stoked for you… Congratulations and double mazel! It’s simply brilliant. :-)
Above: The pre-Prohibition cocktails at the newly opened Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, San Diego calmed my nerves after a 5.4 magnitude quake!
The San Diego Kid (that’s me) arrived in San Diego from Austin, Texas yesterday only to be greeted by a magnitude 5.4 earthquake. Having grown up here, I’m relatively accustomed to such natural occurrences but the young man helping me at the rental car desk nearly pooped in his pants. Luckily, pre-Prohibition cocktails awaited me at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, San Diego (where my friend and colleague @ChezSheila had just launched her newest project).
Above: The San Diego Kid fit right in with the Old Town 19th-century reenactors (no joke!). Note the first appearance of my Nudie boots.
The Do Bianchi Wine Selections Hard-to-Find Friuli Six-Pack is now available, featuring the wines of Scarpetta (Bobby Stuckey’s winery in northeastern Italy). Click here to read about why Tracie P and I like these wines, made by an American in Italy, so much…
Above: Camaronillas (corn tortillas stuffed with shrimp and then deep-fried) at Bahia Don Bravo in Bird Rock with the crew (SO MUCH fun last night). Bahia Don Bravo 5504 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla, CA, (858) 454-8940. (Thanks Salavdor, Roberto, and Dora! YOU’RE THE BEST!)
I highly recommend that you check out and follow the 32 Days and there are so many great posts to come.
Above: And only because Zio Alfonso is so concerned about my cholesterol level, I only ate half of the homemade pork sausage (generously studded with fennel seeds) at Pete’s Quality Meat in Little Italy on my way to the airport. Pete’s Quality Meat, 1742 India Street, San Diego, CA, (619) 234-1684.
I’m so stoked that I got to be part of this epic undertaking and entirely humbled by the caliber and talent of the contributors.
Brother Tad’s office is out in City Heights on the east side of San Diego. I went out there this morning to meet him for lunch at Super Cocina. Man, I’m here to tell you, this place ROCKS… well worth the drive and then some… I can’t remember the name of this beef stew with potatoes, a dish the owner said was from Mexico City. Anyone know?
But the chicharrones… o my goodness… the chicharrones… slowly stewed melt-in-your-mouth pork rind and tomatillos… I also had the green mole (on the right of the dish).
One of the crazy things about this family-friendly, more-than-reasonably-priced restaurant is that the owner gives you little tasting cups of any and all of the dishes in the food line. The owner knows that he’s got the good stuff and that you’re going to like it.
Highly, highly recommended… and definitely worth the drive. Thanks Brother Tad for hipping me to this awesome place!
3627 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104-2316
Today finds me on my way to Chicago, city of my birth. I’m headed to the Windy City for the launch of a new gig, the Boutari Social Media Project 2010. For the next year I’ll be traveling around the country, tasting wines from 6 estates in the Boutari family of wineries, and talking to folks who pour and pair Greek wines with their favorite foods.
I’ll also be in San Diego over Mother’s Day weekend pouring Greek wines on Sunday May 9 at Jaynes Gastropub (5-7 pm). More details to follow…
Back in November 2009 when I was first approached and asked to write a proposal for this project, I never thought it would come to fruition. And now here I am about to board a plane… I’m truly honored that my proposal was chosen and that I’m about to embark on what I believe will be a ground-breaking adventure. Trips are also planned for New York, Miami, and Houston.
The Passover, Easter, and the Garden of Adonis… All of these rituals have their roots in an ancient (ancient before the time of the written word) cult of death, rebirth, and renewal. Doing some sleuthing this morning, I found this wonderful passage in The Golden Bough (33):
At the approach of Easter, Sicilian women sow wheat, lentils, and canaryseed in plates, which they keep in the dark and water every two days. The plants soon shoot up; the stalks are tied together with red ribbons, and the plates containing them are placed on the sepulchres which, with the effigies of the dead Christ, are made up in Catholic and Greek churches on Good Friday, just as the gardens of Adonis were placed on the grave of the dead Adonis. The practice is not confined to Sicily, for it is observed also at Cosenza in Calabria, and perhaps in other places. The whole custom—sepulchres as well as plates of sprouting grain—may be nothing but a continuation, under a different name, of the worship of Adonis.
Indeed, the Passover and Easter “may be nothing but a continuation, under a different name, of the worship of Adonis.”
One of the interesting traces of this cult in the Passover is the “burning of the bread” in the Jewish tradition — the banishment of yeast from the home and the dinner table. Once the Passover is over, yeast is allowed again.
Tracie P and I have spent a lot of time thinking about yeast and how it relates to wine — natural yeast, native yeast, ambient yeast, cultured yeast, selected yeast, “killer” yeast — over the last year. One of the things that struck me about the Passover this year (something I’d never thought about before) is how the Passover ritual requires that we remove all yeast from our lives while requiring us to talk and think about yeast at the same time.
And so it is a time to begin again and watch the yeast do its work. In the words of one of my Italian colleagues, ricominciamo…
You just gotta love Italian T.V., right? And man, you gotta love a name like Pappalardo, literally lard soup. Leavened bread, anyone?