“The cucumber accents the water in such a way that–“
- Allen Gamble, The Other Guys
I will say first off, I’m not really into flavoured water. But I had to make cucumber water for the sake of The Other Guys, a movie that all my family loves and we’ve watched it more than once. It’s that funny! I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I saw it and thought it would be a great idea.
Before we commence further in this post, please watch the video. You have to.
Shortly after watching The Other Guys, I Googled the cucumber water scene and the search results even included a link to a men’s bodybuilding forum in which a guy asked if anyone had tried cucumber water and that he had to try it after watching The Other Guys and that he was addicted. I laughed so hard, though, when someone replied that that’s what his mother drinks when she goes to the spa.
I don’t hide that I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Falkner. I borrowed her cookbook, Demolition Desserts, from my library twice last year; then later within the same year I had my own copy (a gift from my aunt). We made a detour through San Francisco when my family and I went to Disneyland, California back in October of last year (detailed in these two posts) and I made a stop at Orson, her second restaurant. Elizabeth Falkner made a name for herself with her first restaurant and bakery Citizen Cake along with her inventive, often whimsical, creations or deconstructions of familiar desserts in which only the simple essences are kept or are reinvented but at their core simplicity plays a key role. Both of her restaurants’ names play homage to Orson Welles.
Happy Monday! Last Friday I wrote up my experiences with my family in America and said that I would share our eating experiences. Well, here we are. This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything we ate, but rather the highlights. (Family members: add anything on in the comments that you think I might I have missed. ;)) Though most of the food was gluten-free and dairy-free, a few weren’t but do provide inspiration for me to make gluten-free/dairy-free versions.
1. Clam (and lobster) chowder. I did not manage to get any pictures of either chowder, when we were in San Francisco and when we were in Anaheim. The chowder in San Francisco was good but we all liked the one we had from Whole Foods in Tustin better as it was creamier and seemed to have more flavour and body. Both clam and lobster chowders were good. Surprisingly, the Whole Foods chowders did not use any cream at all, it was all butter and wheat. I had a notion that chowder is made with cream but maybe it isn’t? I don’t know. Anyway, I now want to make my own clam chowder, which would be both gluten- and dairy-free. I might make a lobster version as well.
2. Salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks. I know, you can get this stuff anywhere (it’s a coffee chain!) but it was too good for me not to mention it again. That was seriously the best one I’ve had anywhere. (Although now it could be topped or rivaled with the one I had last night.) Plus, there’s something special drinking a salty, caramel hot chocolate drink when you’re strolling through an overcast San Francisco and then hiking up steep street hills, burning off the calories while still sipping.
3. Lemon Meringue Cupcake from Orson (or Citizen Cake). (Official website) I would have to say the best lemon cupcake I’ve eaten, even trumping my own lemon cupcakes – and that is not said out of my idolizing Elizabeth Falkner! I’m keeping it brief here since I’ve written a whole post devoted to my brief nip into Orson, now it’s just a matter of putting in the pictures and adding a couple extra touches before I click publish. ;)
4. Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream. (Official website) My family isn’t new to their coconut milk ice creams, but we were floored by the variety while we were in Tustin. It was the full range, I’m sure – more than what is currently available in Canada. Honestly, to me the variety available in Canada now seems to fall short. I only managed to get a shot of the Passionate Mango, but all of the flavours that we tried (Cherry Amaretto, German Chocolate, and said Passionate Mango) were great. The mango one was light and creamy; the others were also creamy, and I would dare say creamier in a way not possible with dairy-based ice creams. Coconut milk is the way to go in dairy-free ice cream making because it’s creamier and richer than other alternatives such as soy milk and rice milk.