Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Palm Springs: Part 2

One time, not too long after moving to Ottawa, a friend came to visit. We knew we wanted a night out on the town, but didn't really know where to go. Ottawa has more pubs than bars, but we wanted to dance. So, we headed to the market (Byward Market) and went into the first place with good music and no cover charge.

The music was great, everyone was having a good time. But, something was different. There were a lot of women in the bar - about a 9 to 1 ratio. I distinctly remember commenting to my friend that I had never seen so many women with shaved heads before (not that every woman there shaved her head, mind you). After some more dancing, I said to my friend, "you know...I think we're in a lesbian bar".

Walking around Palm Springs was a bit of a similar experience (leave it to me to find similarity in the two). Everywhere we went, there were a lot of grey-haired people. I thought maybe we were hitting the senior hangouts. Turns out, there are just a lot of seniors in Palm Springs*.

But, spending time in an area that primarily attracts seniors is also designed for relaxation. Usually when we travel, R is chomping at the bit to get out and see every inch of the foot. But this trip, our site-seeing had to be worked in to Baba time.

Baba time primarily entails trying to make Baba as comfortable as possible and ensure that her daily intake is more than a piece of toast an egg.
If Baba even so much as mentioned liking a particular type of food, it went on to the next day's menu.

One day I hit the jackpot when Baba said she wanted to make a turkey soup. She even gave me a list of ingredients.

Baba's Turkey Barley Soup

3-4 carrots
3-4 celery stocks
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup of lima beans
1 onion, cut in half
12 button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
turkey breast (or turkey wings)
5-6 cups water
salt and pepper

Soak lima beans over night in room temperature(?) water.

When preparing soup the next day: start with cleaning the turkey breasts.

Put in soup pot/dutch oven with water. Let come to a boal and reduce to slow bowl. Remove scum that forms. Chop carrots and celery, slice mushrooms.

Once turkey is closer to being cooked, add vegetables and beans. Shortly after, add in barley. Note: barley will obsorb a good amount of the water. Throughout, add salt and pepper, to taste.

Once soup is cooked, remove turkey meat from bone. Add meat back to the soup.


Let me tell you about our next outing in Palm Springs...

We visited the Palm Springs Arial Tram:

You make your way up the world's largest rotating tram, going through 4 different climates. The 360 degree view was amazing.

As you get to the top of the mountain, the temperature drops a good 15 degrees Celcius.

With the recent rains in California, the mountain top got a whole pile of snow. This translated into about 3 feet (around 1 meter) of snow.

R and I walked through the snow trying to find a path on our map. Apparently there is a marked path up there. With some sort of building at the end of the path. Everyone was searching for this building.

Every turn you take is another beautiful picture.

Eventually, our shoes were wet enough to make our way back down.

That night, we went to Villagefest. Every Thursday evening, several blocks of Palm Canyon are blocked off for a street festival/market.

There were a lot of stands...A fair amount of repetition in products. Beautiful art that would never fit in a suitcase. Lots of jewellery, food, musicians, a tonne of dogs (not for sale) and some stands that simply entailed communicating with the community (Rabbis, Republicans, Democrats, police, baseball team, etc.).

I was hoping for more jarred or canned goods that could be easily transported. Not a tonne of variety in that department -- but, I was happy to find this stand:

Bistro Blends of Napa Valley carries a range of bistro oils, vingars, samplers, grill sauces and marinades. I bought a small bottle of their Barrel-Aged Heirloom Balsamic Vinegar. I'll have to make something with it soon. In fact, I think a Napa-themed meal is in order.

* No offense intended with the analogy -- just more observatory. StumbleUpon


Julia said...

Your bar story reminds me of the time I ended up in a burlesque bar in NY, and had NO idea.... too funny!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

You and your mom could get together for the Napa themed dinner since we visisted Napa Valley:D Sounds like you had a great vacation and not necessarily relaxing.

kat said...

I always enjoyed being able to visit so many different climates in one day in California

Melissa said...

Oh the tram! I've done that before and my, isn't it gorgeous? I love the trip up with the 360° view as well.

Seems like the trip was very relaxing. I'm glad.