From the East Side to Healdsburg and Back Again

While I started 2015 going from Fresno to Santa Barbara to Mammoth, my journey did not end in Mammoth with a simple return to Fresno.

I found myself driving another 6+ hours to Healdsburg to finish up some details on an upcoming bottling, picking up some inventory, saying hello to some local chefs, my dentist, other winemakers and a wine grower.

 Diavola Restaurant, Geyserville...Sonoma County Lamb Chop

Diavola Restaurant, Geyserville...Sonoma County Lamb Chop

Lunch was spectacular as usual at Diavola (the massive lamb chop above) I managed to get my usual Chicken Paillard for dinner on my first evening in Healdsburg at Bistro Ralph. However, somewhere in all this traveling I picked up a nasty chest cold and opted for grocery store sushi on night two and a pre-purchased (but tasty) pie slice for breakfast from Noble Folk so I didn't have to think about breakfast on day three and my 6+ hour drive (along with several over-the-counter products to make my drive slightly more bearable)...back to Mammoth.

Noble Folk Pie Slice

And within 60 or so hours, I returned to Mammoth and the East Side for another Saturday of cooking. 

 Winemaker David Scheidt's driving slippers...for road trips over 4 hours

Winemaker David Scheidt's driving slippers...for road trips over 4 hours

Without any snow or rain in the forecast, the drive was easy. Dry roads, little traffic, satellite radio, and great scenery once you're on the East Side, makes the lonely drive a bit more bearable. But it's still 6+ hours of riding in the car alone without much body movement.

Once I was back in the kitchen, the creative side can release again (nothing creative about driving, simply mind-dulling efficiency). How about cheddar bacon biscuits with homemade country gravy!

Bacon Cheddar biscuits and gravy

While my favorite creation that evening was the biscuits and gravy, a customer decided that a bigger Gut Bomb could be created that evening...the Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwich!

 All American Gut Bomb...Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwich

All American Gut Bomb...Spaghetti and Meatball Sandwich

All-in-all, a wonderful start to the new year. Sure, there's lots of drive time in the job (there was lots of fly time in the old job; so the truth is, not much has changed with life on the road) but my boss is way more flexible (me) about my attitude and choice of footwear.