Ain’t No Party Like A West Coast Party
(Part One – party prep)

Please welcome guest bloggers, my west coast City Veggies, S-Blade and E-Dawg!

The idea was to throw a party. On a Monday! A traveling band of gypsies was coming through town, one of whom was having a birthday, and what better way to celebrate than a home cooked meal and some friendly faces! Of course, the simple idea of a birthday party turned into a 2 day prep-and-party extravaganza, but it was well worth it.

Sunday began with a trip to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. We got there just as the market was ending (about 12:30), the best time to get some great deals from vendors who are packing up their wares and hoping to unload most of their stock. We weren’t really sure what was going to be on the menu when we arrived, but we quickly found inspiration from all the beautiful fruits and veggies and decided on a menu of fish tacos, homemade salsa, guacamole, and some assorted couscous and bean salads.

Then it was home to start the cooking! The couscous salad is a good one to prepare a day early – all the flavors taste better if you give them a day or so to sit. It’s super easy – just start by chopping up green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives

Add some olive oil, paprika, cumin, chopped parsley fresh from the garden (!), salt and pepper to the couscous

And voila, you’ve got an easy and delicious salad that can feed a ton of folks!

Next up was the homemade salsa. We had an idea of how we wanted to make it, but a quick call and consultation with our old friends at Taaffe Place helped to make sure our salsa was going to be top notch (Andrew, your check is in the mail). We bought approximately 900 tomatoes at the farmers’ market, and about halfway through the chopping, the kitchen looked like a crime scene

Secret #1 to a great salsa – char the peppers to help bring out the flavor

Secret #2 to a great salsa – stop giving away all your secrets and just serve the damn salsa already! Yummmmm

By this time, we needed a break from all the cooking, so we went out to the garden and spent some time planting our new tomato plants and succulents, and of course our Sunday afternoon ritual of reggae music on Indie 103.

To our surprise and delight, our new succulents came with a visitor! Our friend the snail crawled his way around the garden all afternoon, never to be seen again, but hopefully he’s off somewhere having a grand old time in his new digs

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion – part 2 of the west coast party!


Pirate Zehra said...

I miss your couscous. Those grapes look AMAZING! Reminds me of the chinatown grapes.

Pirate Zehra said...

Wait a second... i'm not so sure now that those are grapes. I didn't have my glasses on at first... hmmm...eek

Veggie Jackson said...

snails cant get enough cous