Wow, I totally forgot some food memories from the California days. One was a trip to Sacramento one day with my mom; we stopped at a little taco place and I had the best tacos there. I can still remember being amazed by the flavor and how the reddish grease spilled out of the end of the tacos, into my hand and then down my arm. My mom doesn’t even remember this and has no idea what the name of the place might have been.
Before that though was pizza. Along the Sacramento River somewhere there was a little restaurant named Tully’s and we used to get pizza there. Most often Dad would pick it up on his way home from work, but sometimes we’d go there to eat. I don’t really remember much about the place itself, other than it was small and there was lots of wood and it had the theme from The Sting on the jukebox. I don’t even remember much about the pizza, except that my mom and dad used to order theirs with peppers so that my sister and I wouldn’t want any…until we figured out that peppers were pretty good.
Even earlier still was abalone, a giant sea snail so over-cultivated that they became the first marine invertebrate to receive protection as an endangered species.
Who the hell decided to eat these ugly things is beyond me, but damn are they delicious. During the early ‘70s, when I was small, we used to drive up the coast and you could get deep fried abalone in little cardboard containers through nearly any drive through, and my mom, my aunts, my grandmothers, all had abalone shells, with their pretty iridescent interiors, in their bathrooms to hold scented soaps, jewelry, you name it.
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