Monday, April 21, 2008

Goin' Hollywood

My four day hiatus from Mama and Wife took me out to Los Angeles, CA to visit good friend and former housemate, Jeanette. Penny, the other good friend and former housemate (also coming out from the East) met me at LAX so we could have a proper girl weekend with the Three Musketeers together again. We used to meet up pretty regularly all over the U.S. when one was attending a conference in a fun city, but as the natural progression of life took precedent with marriages and my babe, it left little time for such things. But girl time is a Good Thing as Martha would say and it was high time we had some of it!

Leaving The Boss left me just a tiny bit conflicted only because I knew I'd miss her so much, but I also had a little guilt that I was doing something just for me. I never wanted to become that mom who ignored her friendships just because she had a child. I hope every mother realizes that having 'me' time is a very healthy thing. What's good for the mama is good for the babe is the way I look at it. I wasn't in the least worried about her care and that made things so much easier. Afterall, The Boss is definitely a Daddy's Girl and I knew she'd have a blast. So, I followed suit!

Los Angeles is a city that I probably would have never visited if Jeanette weren't living there, but now I'm glad I had the experience. It is the ultimate melting pot and we reveled in the ethnic fare that was available. Want Ethiopian food? Go to Little Ethiopia (and we did)! Want Asian food? Go to Koreatown, Little Saigon or Chinatown! There is just something for everyone.

We experienced a lot of great art (and not so great art), my first television taping (we sat in on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and saw John Goodman, Oliver Hudson and Henry Winkler), enjoyed the beach while riding along the coast on a bike (note to self: next time when riding a bike along the beach for four hours, don't forget the sunscreen on the top of your hands, too!), great dinners, conversation and of course there was a whole lot of laughter. We even fit in a jaunt to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and took in a little Hollywood cheesiness.

Probably the most fun we had was when Jeanette taught us how to make her mom's most fabulous Vietnamese eggrolls (Cha Gio). Anytime Jeanette would travel home she'd come back with a bag of these and they would be rationed until the next visit. You knew your status according to whether she'd share them with you. Both Penny and I were lucky to be that important and have even experienced them straight from the source. It doesn't matter what ethnicity your mom is, she's bound to feed you and your friends, right? Jeanette's mom does, and she does it well and with a big smile.

Give up all notions of how awful most egg rolls are-- these are completely different than the cabbage laden Chinese version you are used to. It's taken Jeanette and her sister years to actually pin down a semblance of a recipe because like a lot of old family recipes, there really wasn't a recipe. We had a ball learning to make these delectable little numbers.

Jeanette shows us how to separate the delicate wrappers.
There was a little bit of a learning curve to make these successfully. Let's just say someone had a few sacrificial pieces. I have no idea who that someone is (cough, cough) though. Some were so bad they needed medical attention.

Penny got the hang of it and shows us her stellar work!

In the end, I was pretty proud of our work. I think Jeanette's mom would even approve of our efforts.
The recipe? Well, that's super secret and Jeanette and family would hunt me down if I were to share it. You'll just have to come over when I attempt to make them on my own to enjoy their deliciousness:) I'm honored to have it in my possession though.

So how did The Boss fare while I was away? Just like I suspected. She was absolutely fine. She had lots of fun with her Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa. I thought she'd be super clingy my first day back but she was her normal self. While I know that's a great sign she's well adjusted and knows that I'll always come back, I have to say I felt a little slighted! Her normal self these days includes accessorizing even in pajamas. She told me that she's ready for Hollywood and in Hollywood you always have to be ready for the camera.


Maria said...

Amelia looks ready for hollywood alright!
Glad you had fun trip! I think bookclub is willing to be the first testers of these new egg rolls :)

jen said...

Mmmmmm. What time should I be over?
Too cute, that kid of yours!

Beth & Dave said...

Those egg rolls look wonderful!! I'm so glad you had a great time and are back safe!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back -- glad you had a good time!! Add the egg rolls to my next order -- along with the noodles of course. haha You are cool.

Amanda said...

I have to admit I am jealous. I love secret family recipes.

Erin said...

Mmmm, those eggs rolls look delicious. Also, I went to college with your friend Penny! Small world. Tell her that Erin & Cole from the Pi say hello!