Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Last weekend -- mushrooms, pizza, celebration!

So Saturday we took a break and drove up to Los Alamos with our friends Justin and Cat. Los Alamos is a tiny, tiny town about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, and all the storefronts on its main street look like they were originally built by the prospectors who came to California for gold in '49. Bedford Winery was having a wine tasting in which they served their wines alongside fresh picked, local wild mushrooms. All of it was so delicious, and the day was so, so beautiful -- pure blue skies, no wind, and balmy. My favorite wines were Bedford's Chardonnay, which wasn't oaked and so had a much lighter taste than most chardonnays, and their Reisling. Generally, I would say I preferred Bedford's whites to their reds. And the food was awesome! The winemaker and his friends were cooking out behind the winery and new food kept coming out through the whole three hours of the wine-tasting: brie baked with mushrooms in a pastry shell, flatbread topped with yellow foot mushrooms or with black trumpets, and chanterelles, chanterelles, chanterelles everywhere.

After ten different wines and heaps of mushrooms, we walked down the street to the legendary Full of Life Flatbreads restaurant. On the way we must have passed five antique stores, plus the only gas station I will ever describe as "cute."

All the flatbreads that Full of Life serves are handmade, totally local in all ingredients, and baked in a wood-fired oven right in the room you eat. We were still so full from the tasting, but we dug seep and managed to eat delicious pizza(s). I don't know how we did it.

This is what we had (we did half-and-half on each of 2 flatbreads, so we got to try 4 toppings):
  • Oven Roasted Santa Barbara Squid and Chorizo
  • Wild-Gathered Chanterelle Flatbread (can you really ever have enough chanterelles? No, I didn't think so.)
  • Brett’s Chili Verde Flatbread
  • Central Coast Sausage Flatbread
  • Smoke-Dried Tomato and Mushroom Flatbread (ok, this mushroom obsession is admittedly getting a bit ridiculous)
The very nice man baking our pizza.

Aaaaaaand..... then on Sunday, PDK finished his dissertation! Much celebration ensued. I, on the other hand, almost finished a first run of editing an interview I conducted with a poet about two years ago. Small steps.

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