Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We Meet the Chens

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.

Tuesday we connected, starting with dinner at our local Mexican restaurant, Magaly’s, and ending up at our place for dessert, coffee, and a fine get-acquainted chat.100_4406

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.100_4411

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.


  1. Looks like you had some fun with some nice people. I enjoyed reading about your get-together.

  2. When we met Motty & Patti I was able to extol to them the wonderments of freshly cut lettuce topped with a sun ripened slice of of fine tomatoe held together with a tasty slice of savory Spanish onion. Said items are gently placed together with much care & carefully placed on a meat patty between two slices of baked dough. It's called a HAMBURGER!! And I can even pronounce the name to boot:))

  3. Sounds like you all had a very interesting evening discussing different cultures. Nothing like talking about different foods - unless it's actually sampling them!

    And thanks for mentioning my blog to Motty and Patti!

  4. Sounds like you all had a grand time getting acquainted. Loved all the food talk, by the way. We've yet to meet any fellow bloggers along our path, but maybe someday. In the meantime, I'll be happy to look in on Your Life On Wheels! Thanks for the interesting post, Jerry.

  5. Thank you so much for such a great evening - we loved it!
    BTW - tonight I ate Salmon Ala Jabaneros - so your sauce is already in use. It is pretty good too!

    I promise to add more of those "Exotic" foods with American twist to my blog. Just want this project to be over...

  6. Wow! We LOVE comments from friends and strangers alike - that's how strangers quickly can become friends!

  7. Hi guys, What great fun meeting new friends that we actually kind of already know... and sharing a great meal to boot! I am hoping we'll meet some of our blogging buddies along the way too! I have that same little hot sauce caddy... Got it at the Tabasco store in New Iberia, LA. Have fun & travel safe!

  8. We been to that place to the Tabasco factory in LA many years ago. I have long since been out of that special green (CRS) sauce. Love it!! The hotter the better for me!!

    Motty is a follower of mine also. Maybe we'll get to meet him at the Gypsy J. rally...

  9. Sounds like you had a great time, and learned some new things. Thanks for sharing, I learned a little too. :)


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