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final

I have been so bad about posting lately. This is to say I picture any one of you reading this have been seated in your recliners tapping your fingers thinking if Susie doesn’t post another blog soon I’m going to throw myself out the window. However, part of having a blog about cooking is actually filling it with colorful stories and interesting recipes on a regular basis. This past few months life simply keeps getting in the way. Recipes and stories keep piling up with no voice to move them off the shelf. Today is the day.

My daughter shared a funny story with me I thought I’d pass on. Over the weekend she and her best friend went to see the production of The Lion King currently on stage in San Francisco. Yesterday I got a phone call with an update of her experience including a critique of the show, what she wore, and the situations they got into while traveling to and from the city. San Francisco, from their location north of Sacramento, is 104 miles as the crow flies. On a weekend, or any day really, you have to factor in weather (it was raining), traffic (a given), and on this particular Saturday, Santa Con. Who knew?

After hearing her out I couldn’t help thinking the acorn doesn’t fall from the tree. She seems to have inherited my penchant for going directly from the frying pan into the fire. The story began with what she wore. As the description unfolded it appeared she was going for a look not unlike a colorful bird. The outfit began with a canary yellow dress with a feathery hem, topped by a cardinal red flowing jacket (I’m sensing a theme here), and to complete the ensemble a pair of over the knee peacock blue suede boots. So different are we when it comes to dress. Since my girl was small, clothes held a fascination for her her mother never shared. In first grade the child would scan her closet the night before a school day choosing a perfectly coordinated outfit for the following morning from hair band right down to shoes. Amazing. For me give me a pair of gloriously faded jeans molded to my contours over years of use and a wooly boyfriend sweater and I’m good to go. Perhaps the love of clothing skipped a generation, as her maternal grandmother has been a clotheshorse since she exited the womb. I believe she slid down the birth canal reading the latest copy of Vogue. Ideally Mother’s home should have an additional room to house the copious shoe boxes stacked ceiling to floor in her many closets.

The original plan had been to drive into the city and park in a parking garage close to the venue. The weather being weepy, my daughter’s friend who was doing the driving came up with Plan B. Plan B was to drive to Walnut Creek and take BART under the bay to their destination. My daughter in heels and with a bad shoulder was still voting for Plan A as they boarded the train. For those of you having ridden BART or any form of public transportation you know if you are left standing the only option is to cling to either a rope overhead or a pole if you are lucky enough to be standing next to one. On Saturday the train was jam packed with all manner of pumped up Santa’s, and holiday shoppers headed for a big spending day in the City. Hanging precariously to the end of the rope my daughter told her friend should her shoulder dislocate during the trip she would be responsible for manipulating it back into the socket. This news sinking in the friend announced to those nearby her friend had a bad shoulder. The news resulted in a lot of eyes of the people seated to begin surveying the floor or peering more closely at the devices in their hands. Believe me, for three years I commuted in the belly of Boston along the subway lines. Had you begun to deliver a baby on the floor of the train no one would have offered you a piece of newspaper to swaddle the baby in. A tough crowd those commuters. During many trips I was inappropriately rubbed up on, and I mean seriously inappropriately, had a man whisper sweet nothings in my ear, and had my pocket picked on several occasions. You learn to stand up for yourself fairly quickly and keep your possessions close if you find yourself hanging off a loop routinely. With all those occurrences happening not once did any gentlemen (and I use this term loosely here) ever say “here take my seat”. I believe if I’d tried they might have fought me for it.

I digress…..

They finally arrived at their stop in San Francisco arriving at the theater with only ten minutes to spare. No time for beverages or a pit stop they were ushered to their seats before curtain call which if missed means you also miss the first half of the show. The seats according to my girl were higher up in the theater allowing them only a view of the tops of the actors heads. Just before intermission, the two lattes she’d consumed prior to arriving at the BART station necessitated leaving before the act had ended. In the end she enjoyed the show and spending time with her best friend but didn’t have any immediate plans for getting on BART again.

To me all days provide an opportunity for adventure. It may not turn out exactly as originally planned but if there had been no Santa’s on the train would the story have been as colorful?

This dish is so flavorful and delicious and not difficult to pull together. I serve it in burritos, tacos, and even in taquitos. As pictured I served the meat in soft flour tacos with avocado, lime wedges, sour cream, and Mexican rice mixed with black beans and red onion. Yum and yum. Adjust the heat as desired by the number of chiles you toss in.

Crockpot Barbacoa

1/2 cup apple cider
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
4 Tbsp. lime juice
3 chipotle chiles in adobo
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 lb. chuck roast
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup chicken broth
3 bay leaves

In blender puree all ingredients up to chuck roast. Set aside. Trim roast and cut into large chunks (about 6-8). Heat oil over high heat. Brown meat on all sides.

Line bottom of 6 quart crockpot with onion. Top with browned meat. Spoon adobo sauce over meat. Pour in chicken broth and add bay leaves. Cook on low for 10-11 hours. Shred meat.

Serves 4-6

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