Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In which I express my outrage... Panda Express!

Last night I was so beat and the weather so uncomfortably hot that I just didn't feel like cooking so I went to Panda Express for something to go. The reason I go to Panda Express is to chow down on their tofu and eggplant dish. I love it! Yeah, ok, I do like the orange chicken too but I really go there for the tofu and eggplant. Well, imagine my surprise when they told me they don’t make it any more…again!  They took it off the menu once but brought it back and now it is apparently gone forever! I told the kid behind the counter, if anyone cares, could he mention that I am very unhappy about the decision to remove my favorite item...again. Cry me a river, I am so sad  L.

Speaking of the weather, it was so hot and humid last night. I took cat naps all night long and woke up exhausted. I actually got up at 3:30 in the morning to go sit in the patio where it was only slightly cooler than the house. When I got back to bed, I flipped on the TV and caught the Olympics.


I happened to tune in to a marathon through the streets of London a city that fascinates me (a topic for another post). 

When I finally got out of bed, I had to take a couple of aspirins and sleepwalked with the dog through the ‘hood. We got an early start like 6:15 and you won’t believe this but all the neighbors were up walking their dogs, doing their chores with the same thought as me, let’s get things done before the day heats up! San Diego has such a mild climate that when the summer heat hits we are such pansies.

I started this post on Saturday and here it is now Wednesday the 15th and I find it is Julia Child’s birthday – Happy Birthday Julia! She would have been 100 years old.

I have been a fan of this woman for years. One day I hope to make it to the Smithsonian to see Julia Child’s kitchen and the famous peg board that holds her pots and pans. Not a fancy kitchen by any means but quite a functional one and one that was host to many well known chefs that cooked and baked with Julia on PBS.

Julia, the Great, in her kitchen

When the book Julie/Julia was published I was first in line to pick it up. The premise of the book sounded like a great idea. Unfortunately for me, the hype did not live up to the actual product. I thought the book was horrible. A far better read is My Life in France which Julia co-wrote with Alex Prud’homme. 

The lady had a sense of humor! Julia and husband Paul.

When Julia was a regular on Good Morning America (I think this was sometime in the 80s) the group visited Italy where she made panzanella, the Tuscan bread salad. I was blown away as I had never heard of anything like this before. Who would want to eat a salad made out of bread?

Charlie Gibson, Joan Lunden, Joel Siegel and Julia Child

Well, I did eventually try it and in fact I would like to share a variation on a theme of that recipe. Here is a panzanella salad made with cornbread. I don’t have any amounts listed I would suggest that you use your best judgment based on the number of people you are serving and as my mother would say…eyeball it! Good luck!

Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Sugar plum tomatoes (whole or cut in half)
Hot house or English cucumber (cubed)
Pre-made (or homemade) cornbread cut into cubes
Fresh basil (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
One meyer lemon (zest and juice)

Throw all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy - it's quite good!

As Julia would say


  1. I know you San Diegoans are not used to heat!! I feel for you because here, where we do have summer heat, it has been terrible! For the past few days, cooler temps are around. I've seen Julia's kitchen in the Smithsonian and am happy to report that it is functional rather than designer!! I'm having one of her favorite dishes for breakfast tomorrow. Stop by in the next day or two to see what it is.



    Oh dear, the weather.....we have had it GOOD this summer with the exception of one week that was over 100. But since then, we have had sunny and mild days.

    I love Julia Child and the movie Julie and Julie (or vice-versa) was actually entertaining. A BREAD SALAD? That sounds right up my alley!!!

    Thank you for coming to Nowhere to hear our voices; we obviously used Garage Band and changed our voices to CHIPMUNK! It was a hoot.

    Be well my dear, Anita

  3. Oh for a bit of that heat! Most Brits wilt at anything over a feeble 20 degrees but not me, more is definitely more!
    I've only heard of Julia Childs through a film I tried to watch on the plane to India ages ago but the audio was so poor I couldn't really grasp the plot! That Valentine's card is hilarious! xxx

  4. When my son wanted to be a chef, I bought the movie, Julie and Julia and we all watched it and enjoyed. She had an interesting life. Her voice is very unique, and her dishes are so yummy. We used to live near the San Diego area, and it was beautiful. Thank you for stopping by and for the anniversary wishes.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  5. Awful when your favourite dish disappears from the menu, you have my every sympathy.

    I'm going to make you an honorary Brit as I love your brief moan about the weather. Wet and windy here in the north east of England if we weren't complaining about this we'd be complaining about the heat.

  6. Stopping by to say hello. Have a great weekend.

  7. i have never tasted tofu, but i do love eggplant. and i see below your yoga pants. they look like he bell bottoms i wore in the 70's but they don't drag the ground. they do look comfy

  8. Greetings, hope you have a great and outrage free weekend.

  9. Tofu and eggplants are delicious, they should put it back to their menu!!!
    I watched the film Julie and Julia but don't like it so much, though it can't kill my love for Julia Child.
    Nice to read you!
    Love from Bangkok