|Posted on October 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM|
A whimsical display
It's good to have a reason to leave the city once in awhile, even if it is to deliver some boxes to put in storage. Our storage is out in Oxnard, an one hour drive on the Ventura Freeway from Santa Monica. We've made the trip countless times. It is a long drive just to go and store things but today, I am enjoying this trip. Who knows, I might find something I want to take out.
Open sesame. Lots of stuff in there. As the old Japanese saying goes, dust collects and turns into a mountain. But among the dust, there are some interesting things. Boxes of Sakae's toys and baby kimonos, my grandmother's tea table that needs repair, an old mosquito net. Half of the space is taken up by family stuff, the other half is Sakai's sculptures and paintings from another time, which I'd like to see out in the open air. But where do we put them? It's good to look through old things. I found a box marked "Old Cookbooks." I decided to take that back with me. I wanted to see what cookbooks I put away.
Before leaving Oxnard, we looked for a farmstand to buy some fresh produce. Oxnard is mostly known for their strawberries fields. Shortly after my family moved to LA from Tokyo in the early seventies, my parents took us to visit a strawberry farm that was owned by a Japanese American family in this area. I could not believe the sheer size of the farm. They let us pick as many strawberries as we wanted. Where we came from, strawberries were very expensive. We only got strawberries on top of our birthday cake when we were lucky. Most of the time, we had canned peaches instead. But here in America, it was strawberry fields forever. That seemed incredibly promising.
We found several farm stands, selling the last strawberry crop of the season. The berries were still sweet and juicy. I bought a boxful for $15. The box was marked Fraises de Californie but these strawberries aren't going to France.
Besides strawberries, they had some beautiful pumpkins. The owner had her foot in a cast but she got up to help me pick out a pumpkin.
When we got home, I opened the box of old cookbooks and found a couple that belonged to my mother. That made me happy. I am cooking out of one tonight.
The Oxnard pumpkin now sits at our doorstep. Soon it will get a face.