Sunday, June 27, 2010

Banana Split!!!!

I was enjoying a nice, uncharacteristically sunny, afternoon in Eureka with my girls yesterday, window shopping and goofing off.  For some reason it popped into my head that we should go share a banana split, and there's no better place to get a banana split then Bon Boniere's.  Bon Boniere's was founded in Humboldt in 1898 and has been making locally handcrafted ice cream, fudge and other sauces, as well as cakes and cookies ever since (I really want to try their Death By Chocolate Cake soon).

I'm sure no one is surprised that my girls were definitely on board with my idea of sharing a banana split.  At first they were a little concerned about not getting their own banana split, but I assured them that there was no way they could finish an entire split.  I shared with them my story about taking my nephew with me to the same ice cream shop over 20 years ago and watching him try to eat an entire banana split.  He ate until he almost burst, then nearly tossed it in my car minutes later.  I don't think I've actually had a banana split since then that day.  So this was the first in over 20 years, and it was delicious and more then enough split three ways.  My oldest daughter noticed the price ($9.95) and announced in shock, "It must be huge for that price!".  It was, and it was worth the price.

Here is the store front and inside at the soda fountain.  I'm not sure how long Bon Boniere has been in this building, but they've been here as long as I can remember. They also have a shop in the Jacoby Store house in Arcata that has been there for around 15 years or so.  

 The monster!  We were trying to use Cordelia's hand for scale.  Local made ice cream, whipped cream and sauces.  YUM!
The monster being demolished by the three of us.  Needless to say, we didn't eat much dinner last night. 

I'm still full today - but it was worth every bite!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Having your life turned upside down makes it difficult to keep up with a blog.  It also makes it hard to come up with anything good to write about. 

I am getting a divorce.  There! I said it.  The big D word.  It's a difficult and hectic process, but I'm doing my best to grow from it.  But it's sure putting a hindrance on my cooking and writing. 

My life is in limbo.  In waiting to sell our home I spend weeks there with my girls, and weeks at a friends home while they spend time with their Dad.  I live in a suitcase, and it's not big enough to pack my Cuisinart in.  I now get why professional chefs have special travel cases for their knives and wish I could afford one right now.

When I'm home I have all my kitchen toys, but I'm broke.  So cooking with my All Clad and Henkel's knives is like using your Ferrari to drive to the grocery store.  A little over the top.  Beanie Weenies in a $100 pot. 

On the weeks I'm staying at my friends, it's a different kind of frustration.  She's single, no kids.  Cooking isn't her first priority.  Her nonstick pans are a health hazard - worn down to the aluminum, and the one decent knife she has, can rarely be found.  It's in a different spot every time I look for it.  I can't even make her can opener work.  When she's not here, I find myself eating nothing but french fries for dinner. When she is here, I cook for her, and everything is too spicy.  I'm use to a family of spice loving people, including my six year old.  I'm not in my cooking comfort zone. 

In spite of the frustrations though, I am finding little things to appreciate.  First, there's less clean up.  Cooking for one is a lot less messy.  Another thing is, if I'm not hungry for dinner, I don't feel obligated to eat.  When I'm with my kids I find I'm getting very creative coming up with meals for them, having to work with what I have.  I'm enjoying that challenge, and it's been very rewarding having them tell me one meal or another is one of the best I've ever made for them, and I didn't have to use any kind of special spice or use a recipe from Julia Childs.  I just threw what I had together the best I could, and it works beautifully.  

There is one thing I'm really enjoying right now - a very big guilty pleasure - it's one that most everyone does.  Some admit it, others won't.  My week on, week off roommate doesn't like milk, or most dairy products for that matter.  I on the other hand, cannot live without milk.  When I'm at her home, I bring my little quart of milk (which I think I need to graduate up to a half gallon.  I didn't realize how much of the milk I was drinking), and I put it on my side of her fridge, which she, thankfully, keeps pretty cold.  I love being able to get up in the middle of the night, head to the fridge and pull that carton of milk out and drink straight from it, that cold delicious milk.  It doesn't matter.  No one else is going to drink from that carton.  It's mine!  All mine!  And it's so good!

So in the chaos of divorce, I've found I can still appreciate the little things, and that cold slug of milk from the carton at 3 am feeds my tummy and my soul, and keeps me chugging through to get to that place of peace I will find myself in soon.