Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Caught Without a Camera
Today witnessed a tragic moment in time. The Transient Drifter was caught without a camera. It's a travesty really. And also quite unsual. I remember one afternoon I went to lunch with some friends in Hong Kong. These friends were not tourists. They were normal Hong Kong residents, as was I at the time. Between the four of us we had at least 5 cameras. Now mind you, this was before people had cameras on their phones. I'm pretty sure they were mostly digital cameras, but still, that's a pretty high average. Today, however, I was left in the lurch. My smart phone is in the US. My iPad was sitting on the charger at home (and I don't generally haul it all over the place because it's a bit too big/nice for that on normal days) and my digital camera? Well, it was in the pocket of another jacket where I had put it when I was trying to get some pictures of a snowy pathway yesterday. Needless to say, I was more than miffed when I went confidently to pull it out of my bag. I ALWAYS have a camera. It's just something I do. It's not like I'm any sort of extreme professional photographer (although I've always dreamed of taking a photography class) but I just love taking pictures and like to be ready when the moment might come. So now that I've shamefacedly confessed to missing the moment, I'll do my best to describe what I should have photographed. The thing is, I know people like blogs to be something they can read quickly at a glance, and don't want to be muddled down with too many words, and since we all know pictures are worth 1,000 they help to keep my average down. This time, however, you're just gonna have to deal with the written variety. One of Mark's best friends works in a restaurant here in Marianske Lazne. We have visited him there several times, including on Christmas Eve, and have had coffee, but never tried the food. Today, however, Aleš treated us to a fantastic meal. He served us lasagna, cut into lovely little circles and topped with a fresh sauce made from pureed garlic, tomato sauce, onions, roasted red peppers, and fresh spices, along with halved cherry tomatoes. The cheese was melted to a nice crust on top, and the italian sausage added a nice flavorful touch to the whole dish. It was lovely and he was all ready to pose right there in the kitchen with it. But, alas and alack, I missed the chance. We ate out in the little glass pavillion overlooking the snowy yard and pond. As Mark pointed out, it felt like we were at some sort of ski resort. Very picturesque, complete with a curious cat that we watched sniffing around and flicking her ears back and forth in the wind. After positively stuffing ourselves with the lasagna, we came inside and were served a "mini cheesecake." There was a delicate buttery graham-crackery crust cup, filled with that luxuriously creamy Czech berry yogurt I talked about before, and drizzled with a raspberry sauce. While there didn't seem to be any of what I would call a traditional cheese cake filling, it still tasted like it was there. Bizarre, I know, but so it was. Just think of all those pretty photo opportunities missed. The plating would have done Robert Irvine or Zdenek Pohlreich proud. (sigh) My apologies to both the readers of this blog as well as to the chef for having no visiual proof except for the fact that I am so full I can hardly move.