Sustainable seafood taco I should say, as I look at the subject line above. The good intentions were there to get up early today, and I did briefly wake up at seven, before falling asleep again and then waking up at ten. I guess I needed sleep. Today is Coastal Cleanup Day, and as I don’t have any work right now, I figure I might as well make myself useful where I reside on our blue-green planet. Today is a day when Californians all over the state volunteer to pick up trash on the beaches. Last year over 68,000 people volunteered to pick up trash. Of course one should chide the litterbugs who made this mess to begin with, but thank God, that so many people treasure our beautiful state and it’s beaches and are willing to tidy up.
With an orange bucket containing a pair of gloves hanging on my handlebars, I start heading down the street. A truck pulls to the right of me to turn, and the driver rolls down his window, advising me that carrying the bucket in this manner is dangerous. Perhaps in traffic, but hardly on a deserted street I think. The bucket police strikes again. Smiling, I tell him that life can be dangerous. With dual buckets he may have had a point.
Arriving at the cleanup check-in site, I hand over my signed waiver form. This seems kind of silly to me, since this is volunteer work, but we do live in the age of litigation. The last claw for picking up trash goes to the person ahead of me – oh well, I guess my hands will work too – I chuckle. The check-in person who is also a teacher has been there since 8:30 and tells me she is ready for some lunch. I concur. I however need to earn mine first. To expand some more on the subject line above: I am handed a small business card with the California Coastal Commission logo on it, entitling the bearer of the card to a sustainable seafood taco – courtesy of a restaurant chain. There is a BBQ at noon I am told, before my bucket and I make our way down to the shoreline.
There are lots of kids and a few parents here already with buckets and trash bags. This part of the shore seems very clean, so I walk over some slippery rocks to another section of the shore. Bingo! Several aluminum cans, a horseshoe, many pieces of glass, some plastic. My bucket is delighted. I pass a mom who is taking inventory on a clipboard of the stuff that two of her boys are collecting. A third boy is playing in the sand, oblivious to the world around him. I joke with her that she has the easy job. Coming around the next bend, the rocks are very slippery and the reeds make it difficult to continue. As I bend down to pick up a bottle after this rather perilous endeavor, a woman on her cellphone on the balcony above me barks at me, that this is private property. “Want the bottle back?” Civic engagement seems to be a bit lacking here. I edge my way back to the original shoreline where I find a crab shell minus the interior. I pick up the crab skeleton and give it to the two boys I had met earlier who are just thrilled.
My bucket now half full, I return to the check-in station where my trash in the bucket is weighed. “Six pounds!” the teacher exclaims surprised. “That’s tops for the day”. I ask her if this means that I get to eat six pounds of hamburgers at the BBQ. Sure, sure, she says half-serious. A boy on a bicycle then directs me to a dumpster nearby where I empty my bucket. The dumpster is from the same company that picks up my apartment building’s trash – their trucks being known by my cat as the “blue monsters”, and held in very low esteem on his behalf.
Lemonade, steak sandwiches with BBQ sauce, and a mango-strawberry popsicle are the reward for the participants. Yum. Naptime.
I was standing at the fish monger’s counter at the supermarket yesterday, waiting while the customer in front of me was getting their complicated order. There were some delicious seasonal specimen on display, including halibut, ahi tuna, and cod, all of them fresh and wild caught, but all a bit above my budget. The trout however looked really good too. Once the customer in front of me received their order, the fish monger turned to me and thanked me for my patience. I proceeded to order the trout filet which was on sale, and he told me “you know that’s by the piece not by the pound”. I affirmed this. He then added an extra filet at no charge (I’m guessing because I waited patiently) much to my delight, while telling me a story of going fishing recently near Mammoth Lakes, and catching his limit of trout, but having to run with his catch, after hearing somebody shout: “bear coming your way”. Another fish enthusiast it seems trying to obtain his daily limit.
I came across this forgotten draft today. OK – get to work, finish your food musings Mr. Author, as you like to call yourself…
Although basketball seems to be highlight of the Bay Area these days as far as sports are concerned, and deservedly so, I must report that I was privy to a sushi lunch at the time these notes were taken, that focus on a now off-season sport.
Musing No. 1:
Making my choice from the menu, I order the 49er roll, in yes – you guessed right – a Japanese restaurant. Said roll is composed of tuna and avocado. I don’t quite understand the avocado part, although the color of the tuna may be regarded as reflecting part of the team colors in a vague sense I suppose. Still pondering the, by the way, rather tasty avocado, I took note of another interesting feature inside the restaurant: chairs covered in fake leopard skin. Not your typical interior decor for a Japanese restaurant I would suspect, but at least no animal came to harm here.
Musing No. 2:
I had read the menu in the window of this restaurant when I was passing by once, and had made a mental note of their spinach omelette – a fine choice for lunch as it turned out. As I was eating my omelette, I watched a little girl at the next table devour a large stack of pancakes. She went at them rather sophisticated for her age, armed with knife and fork, taking her time to slowly eat each one, pausing every once in a while to pour a large amount of syrup over the stack that remained. A gourmet in the making. She was so focused on her pancakes, that she was oblivious to the rest of the world. I decided to order some blackberry bread pudding for desert, which I ate with equal abandon.
Now go have some lunch…
Tunafish salad is something quite delicious in my opinion, and since I haven’t made it in a while, the thought occurs to me to make some when glancing into the produce section of my refrigerator, and spying some celery that looks like I better use it, before it goes bad.
I don’t know if it is his sense of smell, but after cutting up the celery, and opening up the can of tuna, my cat Calvin miraculously appears in the kitchen. He was soundly sleeping on the bed just a few minutes ago! Maybe it’s the auditory aspect of opening the can that comes into play here, much like with Hobbes the tiger from the cartoon. So: now a sandwich for me, and some leftover tunafish from the can for Mr. C.
As I sit down to eat the sandwich on the steps leading up to the apartment (the sunny section that I was made aware of earlier), Calvin sits next to me, wondering if I am going to finish the sandwich. “Yes I am, so don’t get your hopes up, and besides you had your share”, I tell him. A half a glass of leftover peach sirup with a few leftover peach chunks in it, makes a good complement to the sandwich.
As I’m taking my second bite of the sandwich, a hummingbird flies by, stops, and starts to chatter in mid-air just a few feet away. Now I don’t know if this is in regards to Calvin’s presence, but I suspect it is to make me aware of the fact that the hummingbird feeder has not been re-filled or cleaned in a few months. So sorry little chatterbox — I shall tend to it right away — after lunch!
Have a blessed Easter tomorrow!