Saturday, January 2, 2010

Felíz Año Nuevo from Las Cocinas

Thursday, December 31, I woke up at 3:45 having a nightmare about a murder mystery. Maybe I need to change my reading genre. I tossed and turned until 4:45 and then gave up and got up. I had my coffee and got on-line to work on journal pages, photos and email. Then I read for a while; started a new book "Strawberry Shortcake Murder" that Elaine lent to me. I finished "Death by Sudoku." Bob gets up and prints some Sudoku forms so I work the Round 1 puzzle from the Sudoku tournament in the novel. I haven't worked one in a while but it was pretty simple so I did it on the first try.

We had Elaine's 9 Grain Bread for breakfast. I took a walk and stretched. Bob goes out to work 'down under.' I make Julie's Ghiradelli Symphony Bar Brownies using Valerie's flexible muffin cups for the first time. And, more importantly, using my new convection oven for a baked good for the first time. The RV smells so good. It's hard to tell when something is done in the convection oven. I think I would let them go for another five minutes next time but the directions warned against over baking. Of course there's nothing wrong with gooey chocolate brownies. The RV smells so good.

We have leftovers for lunch around 1:30. Then we clean up. Bob gets a newspaper while I clean up-Chevron is out again so he goes elsewhere. When he returns, he fishes at the pond for a bit but with no luck. So he comes back to read the paper with me.

Around 5:30, as the cold front from the north blows in, we head to Las Cocinas (The Kitchens, a new Mexican grill on Hwy 95) to meet Steve and Elaine. They have a table when we arrive. We're surprised by the extensive menu in the small place. I have Grouper with a spicy red sauce, onion and jalapenos. Bob has grilled chicken smothered with crab and shrimp. Their torilla chips are great and we love the warm salsa. The cold avacado dip is muy picante! Steve and Elaine get their favorite special; a huge platter of chicken, chrimp and ribs that they split. Bob and I have 'go boxes.' Steve introduces us to the owner who says they have been open for eleven months. I told him we left the area twelve months ago but we return every year and will be back for sure. The place is clean and decorate quite nicely compared to the last restuarant that was in here. They are very busy on New Year's Eve. We see several folks with huge plates of fired fish that must be popular. The owner wishes us Felíz año nuevo on the way out.

Elaine, Bob and Steve deal out the Pinochle cards

Steve and Elaine follow us to our place. They get the grand tour of The Titanic. We chat for a bit and then move the table to the living room so we can play double-deck pinnochle. How fun to play this family card game again (even though my family always plays single-deck.) I was luckky like my Mom tonight but I was rusty after so long. Nevertheless, the Monat's win. I serve Symphony Brownies, lemon bread, nuts and M&M's, coffee, tea and George Killian's Red. Around 11:30 we start a game of Mexican Train. We turn the TV on as the balls drop. Poor Dick Clark can't get the countdown backwards correct. At last a new decade is ushered in. A writer in the Statesman said no one ever named the last decade (Perhaps 'The Aughts'); he suggested 'The Zero Decade' as there is nothing we want to remember from it. Here's hoping 'The Teens' will be a better one.

We still have quite a few rounds of Mexican Train to go after the new decade rolls in. We break up at 2:00 as Bob wins the dominoes. It's 2:40 p.m. and 41 degrees. We really rang in the New Year. The RV was rockin' and rollin' in 35 mph winds so Steve and Elaine got the whole Titanic experience. The high today was 67 degrees.

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