Last Sunday Before Christmas

Originally posted 12/18/11

Mustard Seed is playing Uno with Grampa after watching an episode of the Walton’s and him educating her on old television theme songs via Youtube.

For dinner, we had a potato frittata gone wild. I added some leftover ground beef, oregano, and garlic and cooked it up in my cast iron skillet. Alas, I could not flip it, so it became a scramble–you know, a frittata with a G.E.D.

It was a nice, cozy conclusion to an exciting day of Mustard Seed’s Christmas pageant and Asian market shopping.

For 7 years, I lived behind a gigantic Latino grocery store. I would walk there to get stuff for dinner. Man, that was nice. I also worked there for a few months in high school. When they widened the freeway a few years ago, the store decided to close because their parking lot was getting partially taken over by eminent domain. So on New Year’s Eve 4 years ago, my dad, a good friend who shared our affection for Fiesta, and I all went to their bakery for one last cup of coffee and Mexican sweet bread. No tears were shed, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit low that day.

A while later, something called the Ranch Market opened up there. My dad investigated and found out it’s an Asian market, but until today I’d never been in. Since I’ve been on a search for roe and the local fancy liquor store only sells expensive caviar, I thought I’d step in and see.

I was totally wowed! The produce section had tons of stuff I’d never heard of, including a lot of different greens and mushrooms of all kinds. They also had a lot of seafood, like sea cucumber (hint: it’s not a cucumber), abalone, fish heads, 3 or 4 kinds of roe at a good price, and of course, all the usuals like salmon, mussels, shrimp, and oysters.

The bakery made me really wish I was eating white flour, but I’m trying to avoid it so I can improve my blood sugar levels. They had such an assortment of buckwheat noodles and soup packs with intriguing ingredients like astragalus, chrysanthemum, and angelica root mixed with mushrooms and who knows what else. This interested me in particular because I know that astragalus is potent immune enhancer and angelica root is a hormone balancer, blood builder, and cold fighter. What better way to get your medicine in than in a tasty soup?

I restrained myself to buying just the roe and some mushrooms Mustard Seed wants to try, but we will definitely go back! I’m not sure how some of the stuff at Ranch Market squares with real food principles, but I’m currently not in a position to be a hardcore purist and they have a lot of the ingredients touted in Nourishing Traditions as being so nutrient-dense. I always hear about how great the Hong Kong Market is on the southwest side of town, but that’s a major detour for me to make on any kind of a regular basis. I’m really glad to be able to get a lot of the same stuff from somewhere that’s on my route.

Mustard Seed did very well in her pageant, and I’m thinking of adopting one of the little preschoolers in the “Angel Choir” with their little feathery wings and their tiny voices. I’m really glad we got Mustard Seed into the choir at the last possible moment for participating in this. I think she’ll keep doing it this spring.


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