I have a new love – his name is Jamie Oliver. He passionate, he cooks, he cute, he loves kids, he has a great job and he has an adorable English accent. I used to claim that my dream man was Che Guevara and Jimmy Stewart run together at high speeds. I added Joesph Campbell a while back. Now I want to throw in a little Jamie Oliver to taste. It’s a man recipe. For those of you who don’t know him, this will help: http://www.jamieoliver.com
If you have been reading this you might have noticed that in this blog I keep associating food with all sorts of things. Particularly with love. It’s because all things are connected, all things are a process and at the heart of that web there are two fundamental things – mating and food. I can’t remember who said it, but someone stated that, at our core, what we all want is connection. Connection to our environment, to ourselves and to others. Social connection almost always revolves around food. The kitchen is called the heart of the home. Baking done is with love. They also said that connection takes courage, not bravery – courage. It take the courage to be vulnerable. That means to give something without guarantee of return, without assurance that things will work out.
Of course you can probably guess that I’m going to say that learning to cook takes that too. You would be right. But more than that, it takes intention. People say love takes “work”. I used to buy that, but recently I’ve been thinking about it, and I think what I really think is that love takes intention in the Zen sense of the word. Cooking takes intention. The intention to do what you are doing in that moment and not to worry about the future or the end result. Thoughtfulness, intention, compassion and passion bring a beautiful quality to your food, your love and and your life. It brings marvelous surprises.
Truthfully, this idea has been difficult for me in the last few years. It just fucking hard to cook something, to put your intention, your love, your thoughtfulness into it and hear the person you share it with say, “I was expecting steak.” It is magical when you cook something with intention, love and thoughtfulness and discover that the person you share it with doesn’t mind if dinner didn’t quite turn out tonight. When they have confidence in you and know that there is always tomorrow night. The magic is in the peeling of the vegetables together, the dinner conversation, even the clean up. The quality is in the experience.
If there is any appropriate place to drink an Oly beer it’s at Quality Burrito. It could be the cramped, dim lounge that is reminecient of the 1970’s. It takes your eyes a bit to adjust to what little light there is. The diner is slightly seedy and cold. Hard marmolium floors, slick vinyl booths and 15 foot ceilings don’t exactly scream cozy. It feels more like the restaurant in LA Confidential where you expect gun-laden men to bust in and start shooting. Don’t let that detour you. The age-worn decore may not be the epitome of quality, but their name does not lie, the Burrito is. This is a great place if you are seeking a connection – free WiFi. QB is also one of the few restaurants in Oly that delivers. Delivery can be a bit hit and miss, particulary when they are busy.
There are dishes on the menu that are decidedly not the kind you would find at your typical mexican restaurant. Sweet potato fries, sweet potato soup, chipolte alioi, Tempura Zucchini tacos, blackend mushroom tacos, potato tacos. But beware of the gigantic burritos. Do not fool yourself into thinking you can eat one alone unless you are a high school boy with an endless appetite. Got PMS? They have the cure on the menu. My mother is a die-hard fan of QB breakfast – corn cakes and grits. The best part? They are dirt cheap, with prices ranging from $4.75 to about $10.
2-3 small Zucchini
Corn or Almond meal
Salt and pepper to taste
Armando’s Andean Garlic Sauce
These are pretty damn easy. Cut up your Zucchini, dip it in the egg (beaten of course) and roll it in either corn meal or almond meal mixed with salt and pepper. Fry it up. Just don’t let them get soggy. Steam your tortillas (very important) and put your tacos together. If you are having difficulties putting together tacos you should not be around sharp objects like knives or sarcasm.