Friday, July 15, 2005

Mama's on Washington Square. I'm discovering the delights of morning. I've always considered myself a night person. It's so hard to close your eyes when there are so many visual temptations right there when you are wide awake. In the morning however, you must rise through those dreams fading and beckoning you to stay there chasing their wispy tails. That dreamworld where there are no limits, and you don't remember that you don't remember. What delight is there to opening your eyes like wooden blinds suddenly, with a little audible 'clap'? Something compelling must be right there, or so drawing that you take that vision with you into the dream world and chase it out into the morning light.

Well, I'm finding the counterbalance to the moonlight that I love to see casting a bright path across the waves in front of my house. While waiting for Dad to do that 'one more thing' before chasing out the door, I've noticed again how in the very early morning, while the pink still remains on sky, that hundreds of fishes make concentric circles form while feeding, all across the water. It's beautiful.

In the morning, there is free parking! And spaces to be found in the most difficult neighborhoods! And those fabulous breakfast places are accessible without waiting for 45 minutes.

This morning, we ventured into Mama's on Washington Square in North Beach. It doesn't open until 8 a.m., and there was a line forming around the building outside, even on a weekday. But we were early enough to get in the second order group. Mama's has crowd control under control so that the diners can enjoy the experience of eating without being crowded by those waiting in line. The control person makes sure the line stays to a certain point in the counter before letting more people in. You order at the counter, and CASH only! Interestingly, they don't give you a number, but the waitstaff has no problem finding you wherever you choose to sit. Hmmmm... Dad ordered the Washington Square omelet, a fluffy one filled with Italian sausage, tomatoes, ham and hot pepper jack cheese. I tried one of their famous specialties, Apple Pan Dore. Thin (1/4" thick) slices of French baguette sliced lengthwise, coated with egg, fried and covered in sauteed yet crispy fresh apples and a light lemon butter sauce. Fantastic!

STAY AWAY FROM CROCK-POT CLASSICS. Yuck. I thought I'd be clever and start dinner the easy way in a crockpot in the morning, using this new product. We tried the chicken and dumplings. Soupy, mushy and terrible. This 'new' product could not possibly stay on the market long.

With just a little more planning I'm sure I could make my mother's homestyle chicken and dumplings in the crockpot. Cook some fresh organic chicken in a nice sauce on low all day then add fresh veggies for 15 minutes, then add freshly made dumplings to the top and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes on high. Mom's dumplings were just her famous southern biscuit recipe made a little more stiff and without sugar (the tiny bit of sugar is for browning, and dumplings don't need to brown).

No comments: