TrackTown, USA: We stayed in Los Angeles through Monday, as Lisa and Lenny were having a dinner party Monday evening for old friends - and college friends - who were in town. Lisa and I cooked most everything on Sunday, so it was an easy day Monday, but the weather did not cooperate AT ALL. It poured buckets all day Monday. Leo's flag football practice was cancelled. Lucile had to eat her lunch (at school) INDOORS. Shocking! Rain is desperately needed (as usual). Rain was also falling in northern California and snow was falling in the mountains, finally dousing the wild fires. Yeah, Mother Nature!
The dinner party (was to have been held at the large dining table on the outdoor patio) became an indoor buffet-style plate-on-your-lap affair, which was perfect because Our Girl choose street tacos as the main course. Lisa totally out-did-herownself with her appetizer cheese board:
Cheeses, fruits, olives, nuts, crackers, honey, breads, flowers, and a few dead guys/gals. The table was covered with black netting and the house had enough goblins around to have a Halloween spooky sensation. A close-up:
That board was pretty-much wiped clean before the main course taco bar was set up on the kitchen bar. Lisa served shredded beef tacos, which she had made with short ribs. The ribs were seared, then braised for four hours in tequila and chipolte. For duck tacos, duck legs were seared in duck fat, then braised in lime, chicken stock, and agave syrup. After the beef and duck had overnight rests, the fat/skin was removed and the meat was shredded. The only thing to do for the party was to make a corn pudding (from Martha Stewart), and heat the meats and tortillas.
Tacos were served with diced onion, pickled (by Lisa) red onion, and purchased pico de gallo.
Tuesday morning, we said our goodbyes to the kids as they headed off to school, packed up the car and pointed it north. Though it is our habit to overnight with Brother Steve and Gina near Sacramento, we knew we wouldn't be able to make it from Sacramento to Eugene before Cummins closed Wednesday... so we drove all the way to Mt. Shasta City and stayed in a motel. No rain all day. I had packed a cooler with a COVID-friendly dinner - just the usual cocktail snacks, but with a nice slab of smoked salmon added. Don't you worry, I also packed cocktails. We watched the world series game, until we couldn't stay awake. Good thing too, we had to get up early and continue north of I-5.
The drive to Eugene wasn't as easy. It started to rain about two hours south of our destination and the temperatures dropped into the 50s. (OMG, we are such SoCal snobs now!) Arriving in Eugene at noon, we knew it would not be a good time to go to Cummins (lunch break) and we were starving, so drove a few blocks from Cummins to Morelos Mexican Cafe downtown Coburg. We had one of the dining rooms to ourselves, and I had one of the best enchiladas EVER!
The enchilada on the left was shredded chicken, and it was very typical - not spiced much at all, but the shredded beef enchilada was so good, I thought they had used Lisa's recipe. It was a huge meal - and I declined the accompanying rice and beans.
When we finally arrived to Cummins, the staff had returned and our RV was ready for retrieval. As I have written previously, this was a preventative repair. In this particular Cummins engine, a valve fails in motorhome situations because RVers do not drive drive drive drive. We drive, park, park, park, park, drive, drive, park, park, park, causing condensation to build up on the lower valve, which causes corrosion. (I don't exactly know what I am talking about, so just go with this explanation, okay?) We know several people who have the same Country Coach Magna year as ours and have had complete engine failure from this issue while driving down the road. One repair was $65,000, but one was only $8000. (Only?) One day we want to downsize our motorhome, but we cannot sell it, or trade-it-in, until this known engine issue was addressed. We decided to have the repair made instead of waiting for it to blow out. Our repair bill was $17,800.
When I started writing a check, the Cummins clerk asked me to wait a minute. Here's a weird deal: Cummins will only accept payments up to $10,000. What? This is Cummins, where even a simple lube-oil-filter costs over a thousand dollars. Imagine how many expensive repairs they must do on semi engines. They must have twenty and thirty thousand dollar repair bills every week. They told us today it was "company policy" to only take $10,000 at-a-time payments. Odd. We had to split it up between a check and a credit card. Who runs a business like this? Have you ever had this situation? Why?
Whatever. Give us our bus!
Dave drove the RV across the interstate and we hooked-up and settled-in - unpacking our suitcases and cooler. The clerk at Cummins told us our bus had been driven hard for over an hour after the repair. It was taken up steep hills, down steep hills, over bumps, around sharp corners and fast down the freeway. We found this to be true as we began opening cabinets and found everything spewed about, toppled over, or crashing down on our heads!
Then we started laundry and headed to a grocer to stock-up for our return trip home. The rain continued all day and into the evening, where I prepared a vegetarian dinner and we watched another baseball game. Well, DT watched, I blogged. Another early evening. Tomorrow we will run a few more errands and meet Sierra (Dave's college roommates daughter, a sophomore at the University of Oregon) for dinner - and leave Eugene Friday morning.
Until my next update, when I hope to post something other than food photos, I remain your broke correspondent.