Thursday, August 2, 2012

Love Me Some Frittata & Slab City

#7. Write more.

Number 7 on my New Year's resolution list is to write more.  This past spring, I wrote.  I wrote very passionately about my food philosophy and metabolism for Human Physiology class, and I wrote about personality, emotion, social issues and a variety of other topics for Psychology class. However, I have not written one thing for this blog since January.

Time flies.

The semester is over, and for the first time in 5 years, I am not teaching an exercise class, I am not taking an academic class, nor do I have a second job, therefore I have time to write and more importantly to play ...

I love a good road trip, so when asked if I wanted to check out Slab City, the infamous off-the-grid-spot, naturally I said YES!
Salvation Mountain
Salvation Mountain is the first stop along the road to Slab City and is Leonard Knight's tribute to love is everywhere.  While walking through Salvation Mountain, we met a man who works in nearby Niland and he shared with us the highlights of "The Slabs" - the gardens of East Jesus, weekend concerts at The Range amphitheater, and the natural hot springs.  
Entrance to East Jesus' art garden

As we walked through the entrance to the East Jesus art garden, we met Frank, the "curator." He gave us a tour of the garden, sharing the story of how each sculpture was created and how East Jesus operates.  I was impressed and inspired by the powerful messages of the sculptures, but also by the sleek set up of the place.  They had several sleeping quarters for artists in residence and friends - cozy old trailers, partially sunken buses, and converted shipping containers.  Since we didn't have a "reservation," we camped nearby in one of their tent style spots and spent the weekend with the residents and visitors of East Jesus.  EJ runs on solar and wind power and a storage container with a/c and large batteries to store excess power and they have a FULL kitchen.  That is right folks.  If you wanted to bake bread or churn some ice cream you could. EJ also had Wifi.  While I happily left my cell phone off in the car, the residents of EJ were on Facebook getting the news on the happenings of "The Slab." The philosophy of EJ is to contribute to the camp by either tapping into your creativity and make something to display in the garden, or to help improve the living quarters by building more shade structures or planting more vegetables in the food garden, for example.  As we left on Sunday, Frank standing tall at 6'7" leaned way down to give this 4'12" inch girl a hug goodbye.  I held on tight and thanked him as I left Slab City feeling very alive.
Tire Wooly Mammoth
Everyone loves frittatas-eggy, fluffy yumminess and they are super easy to make and versatile.  All you need is a few eggs or liquid eggs or egg whites, some milk, heavy cream, water, any kind of cheese, meat or no meat, assortment of diced vegetables, salt and pepper, and a deep pie dish and you're set. 

I made mini frittatas using a muffin tin to take to Slab City.  These little bite size gems were made with pancetta, garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese.  Frank, the "curator" and professional chef, said pretty tasty although they could use a little bit more garlic.  

Favorite Everyday Frittata
6 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack/Guyere cheese from Trader Joe's
1/2 cup diced/chopped Canadian bacon or deli ham
Salt and pepper

1. Using a whisk, beat 6 eggs until yolks are broken and eggs are frothy, then add liquid and whisk again.
2. If you desire, add cheese, meat and diced vegetables, s/p, and whisk again.
3. Pour into a greased deep pie dish and bake in a 350° until browned at the edges and the middle is "set," approximately 20 minutes.
Mini frittatas with egg whites, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.