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We are Home

La Quinta, California: It has been a long week, Dear Reader! We dropped our bus to Cummins early Monday (13th) morning and hit the highway (Interstate 5) south. With just a few short stops - I made sandwiches before we left Eugene - we didn't arrive to Brother Steve and Gina's ranch until well after 5p. How is sitting in a car all day sooooo tiring? Gina and Steve had cocktails and appetizers waiting, and she again prepared a beautiful meal. Gina's garden is crazy-producing in the late summer heat.

She grows several varieties of tomato, and the basil is also from her cornucopia.

Along with the salad, Steve grilled chicken, and Gina made a potato salad with potatoes and dill from her garden. I'm thinking the only thing not grown on their ranch tonight was the mozzarella, the chicken, and the mayo in the salad? We again enjoyed an evening at the best B&B (freshly baked muffins and Ambrosia melon - from her garden - for breakfast) in the world. Plus, you get cocktails and dinner!

In the morning, Gina sent us off with a huge bag of figs, a melon, a bag of big red tomatoes, a quart of yellow cherry tomatoes, a bag of arugula, a bag of tomatillos, a big bunch of basil, eggplant, chile peppers and zucchini. Good thing she tossed-in a left-over grilled chicken breast, because by the time we reached La Quinta (575 long miles) we were over. No way was I going to the grocer. Arugula, cherry tomatoes, sliced chicken breast = salad for dinner! Thank you again, family, for coming to our rescue.

I did run out to the grocer on Wednesday to prepare for our fast-break at the end of Yom Kippur, but Gina's garden fed us again Wednesday evening - eggplant parmesan:

We attended virtual Yom Kippur services (ZOOM) with Lisa's family. Lisa did a reading, and Lucy performed a puppet show of Jonah and the Whale. The rest of day was quiet (fasting, reading the Torah portion). At sunset, I began to prep our break-fast platter... lox, bagels, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes, capers, red onion... but there was a disaster. The lox were funky. My smeller is pretty dang good, and I didn't trust the lox. At all. I really did not fancy a bagel and cream cheese for dinner. The only thing in the freezer were six meatballs... which I poached in the left-over red sauce from the eggplant parmesan last night. Served over spaghetti, it was very delicious, but very non-traditional. (Meat is usually not served after the fast.)

No matter. We are home. Safe. Healthy. Happy New Year - 5782!

Until my next update, I remain, your La Quinta correspondent.

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