Friday, August 7, 2009

Inferiority Complex

We spent four brief days in Northern California, Tomales Bay and environs to be precise.
Four oyster slurping wine swilling cheese devouring days.

The temperature's cooler, the air is clearer, the sky bluer, everything along the coast is deep green. And everything tastes delicious, from the local grilled oysters topped with spinach and parmesan cheese to the local organic butter we spread on the organic whole wheat toast.

We drove and hiked Point Reyes National Park, watched and listened to the seals, admired the tule elk, deer, and passed cows frolicking under the sunshine like a damn California dairy commercial. We are reducing our cows' methane emissions read one dairy sign.

Sigh. I've got signs of a steeping, incipient inferiority complex. And in typical inferiority-driven behavior, I started lashing out.
"Ha!" I said to myself, "look at all the women with their hand made sweaters, clunky hand bags and fresh soulful faces."
Yeah, that showed them all right.

Things to definitely do:

Stop at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes station. Can't figure out which of their hand-crafted cheeses to buy? Neither could we. Happily they have a prepacked sampler bag, which included Mt. Tam, a triple creme; Point Reyes Blue; Matos St. George and a delicious crottin, (goat cheese). Mt. Tam was our favorite.

Order up grilled and raw oysters at The Marshall Store (cash only). You sit outside, stare at the sail boats, swig the bubbly or white wine you brought and wonder why you should ever go back home.

Taste wines around Sonoma County.

Jump up and down on the San Andreas Fault.

To shake this wholesome cult of granola out of our heads we drove to Healdsburg, to unfortunately be disappointed by yet another picturesque town, this one surrounded by dozens of local wineries. On the town square people had begun to camp out for the concert that afternoon. La Crema, on the corner, served its complimentary wine samples. A bit hungry, we picked up more food at the local deli, this time some wonderful Spanish chorizo sliced mouthwateringly thin. "Where's this come from?" I asked, surly at the thought of another local wonder.

"La Espanola in southern California," the server replied.
Thank God.
We're not such a backwater after all.


  1. Where did you stay in Point Reyes? I have driven through there but never found anywhere to do an overnight.

  2. Inn on Tomales Bay. The owner is a former resident of Altadena. Great view of the bay from our room--served full breakfasts in the room, with great coffee. All organic and sustainable, I am sure. In Northern California I mutated into an unworthy dining companion.

  3. "Jump up and down on the San Andreas fault"

    Sounds like a song:

    You can jump up and down on the San Andreas fault,
    But don't be surprised if you're quickly asked to halt,
    For you're risking a displacement of granite and basalt,
    And no-one will believe you if you say it's not your fault.

  4. I love the Pt Reyes Natl Recreation Area!
    And, Cowgirl Creamery is a very nice name.

  5. CP--Clearly that's because you've got great taste!

  6. Desiree, thank you. With this post I dreamed a little bit, to be there in California and taste food and see skies and the green. Thank you :)

  7. Cowgirl is muy famous for goat cheese, I believe. Think they may even raise their own goats. And raw oysters, I'd sell my soul, or that of a very good friend, for raw oysters with horseradish and a squeeze of lemon.

    sounds like a great time.

  8. HA! Those horrible earthy people in their hand-knit sweaters. I bet they even make their own cheese. Damn them.

  9. Grazie, Italo
    AH--and I snagged a bottle of rose I think you might enjoy-DeLoach OFS--we'll have to find an occasion
    M-That's what I say!

  10. Rats! I was hoping that I could visit La Espanola in So. Cal, but they appear to sell directly to distributors. No storefront to buy that wonderful chorizo.

  11. Hmmmm, Susan--check again. They have a store front in Harbor City, which their website says is open M-Sat, 9-5--- so you should be able to stock up on everything--

  12. Quite a large group of us are headed to La Espanola this Saturday for some drunken pork orgy. Most are still not aware of their paella Saturdays & BYOB / no corkage patio.

    Let's not forget Bubalus Bubalis, the new Angelo & Franco and Gioia Cheese. Good enough for Nancy Silverton, good enough for the rest of us?

  13. SinoSoul!
    Thanks for the info--will keep it in mind--