So as some may have noticed I had a significant gap in my posts. This was due to having gone with my husband to California. He was going for work and I wanted to see some friends as well as take care of a banking issue that was infinitely easier in person. While traveling food is always a question. When you have food standards and preferences what do you do? Do you throw it all out the window because it’s just “too hard” and if so is that hypocritical?
I will admit trying to eat according to what you do at home is hard. Even when you know something about where you’re going trying to make choices that fit within your food philosophy isn’t simple at all. So Rather than trying to eat local, non-processed, no chemical or preservatives types of foods like I do at home I went with a different approach for this trip. My approach was a different interpretation of local. It was what I could only have in California.
Going back to my hometown it was all about the pizza. Sure I have pizza at home but this is a unique pizza that is about my youth. It’s about growing up. Being a deep dish pizza it was a lot more to eat and being nearly 40 it took more effort to eat it than I remember but that didn’t matter it was a taste of home.
For lunch that same weekend there was four adults and two under two. Everyone was wiped out from a fun weekend and eating anything big and heavy after that pizza seemed overwhelming. The easy answer? Chinese takeout! Ok. I know this sounds crazy but hear me out. It ranges that spectrum of veggie to meat and it’s the simplest thing for a crowd to eat that allows everyone to control their own portion sizes. Hungry? Pile on! Want a light lunch have a small plate that focuses more on the veggies.
Our first dinner “out” with friends was a Thai place in San Francisco. This offered us a light dinner. Asian cuisines are great for not necessarily being heavy meals but filling you up. For the dishes we picked things like squid, rabbit, duck eggs, and a fun tempura veggie salad. The flavors were fresh and bright. Well, ok, the squid was more then bright it was nearly blinding due to how spicy it was but we all still enjoyed it.
Then onto San Jose, where we would be staying for the week, we did Greek one night. Although it was a bit of a letdown it was still refreshingly different. Then it was on to Sushi the following night. I must admit at this point that my husband and I absolutely love Sushi. Luckily, hands down one of the best we’ve ever had was up in Los Altos. A good friend joined us for a amazing Sushi expirence. I suspect being in a costal location has something to do with the amazing fish options they had but in any case it was delicious with a freshness that could not be beat. For our final dinner out with friends went to “their spot” a restaurant they really enjoyed. It was basic American fare but the beauty was there wasn’t anything basic about it. The flavors and items had thought out into it. The portions might have been a bit overwhelming but with fun cocktails and good friends it was the perfect spot to catch up.
While my husband was working I did lunches at fast food joints that aren’t in the Midwest some good some not so good. All in all it was the perfect dining experience all around. It captured my memories and past experiences, it created new ones, it gave me a taste of home, but in the end I realized something…it wasn’t giving me a taste of home, it was giving me a taste of my past because although California will always be a part of me home is now my little spot of the world in the middle of nowhere between Iowa and Minnesota.
Home is where the heart is. Home is where you know your butcher and he knows you. Home is where your dogs can run and play freely. Home is where breakfast is at 8am, lunch is at noon, dinner is at 5pm and you get to enjoy every meal with you family. Home ultimately is what you make it and I can’t wait till we’re there.