Motty and Patti Chen are an interesting couple. Motty has been following our blog for a while, and I’m embarrassed to admit we haven’t followed his, at least until now. Motty wrote us a while back that he was going to be in the area soon, and we expressed a desire to meet them. Changes in their agenda took them to Bisbee first, and from there they connected with Al and Kelly, the Bayfield Bunch a couple of weeks ago.
What did we talk about? A little bit about their RVing experience (they are fairly new RVers and have had the usual variety of “newbie” adventures), but more about cooking.
Patti is a Minnesota Lutheran, while Motty is an Israeli-born Jew. With such vastly different backgrounds, Patti has become an international cook. Patti’s earlier experience had been with basic down-to-earth meals like meat and potatoes, very little spice or herb seasoning. Motty has the Mediterranean love of spices and herbs and what us folks might consider exotic foods with unpronounceable names.
Patti told us of an experience she had a few years ago. They had invited a Kosher rabbi to their home for Christmas dinner! Motty does not keep kosher himself, so Patti did not know kosher cooking. Motty provided a sixteen page set of rules for kosher: she had to self-clean her oven seven times; she needed to buy a new set of dishes (to keep dairy and meat items separate). She had a kosher-slaughtered duck flown in to Minnesota from New York, which was then blessed by the rabbi before cooking. All in all, she was as delighted with telling the story as we were fascinated hearing it. We responded with a couple of our own Catholic stories from the no-meat-on-Friday era.
Patti described a lemon-rosemary chicken that she plops into a slow cooker with baby red potatoes. After several hours on low, she pulls out the chicken, which has made its own gravy for the potatoes and they have a great one-pot meal. With that clue, we talked Motty into harvesting a supply of fresh rosemary from our garden. And Suzy is anxious to try the recipe herself.
Then Motty told of a “paste” he prepares for many recipes, made with jabanero chilies (the hottest chilies available without a prescription). That provoked Suzy into presenting him with a brand new bottle of Tabasco sauce made from jabaneros; we got it as part of a package deal, but knew we’d never even be able to open the cap.
So that’s how we connect with other blogging RVers. We just write to each other, read each others’ blogs, and somehow we cross paths as we move along … Our Life on Wheels.