Saturday, November 29, 2008

not your average folk

We a-go-gos are not really your average folk. I suppose somewhere out there in blogland especially, we do indeed fit in but here in our wee pocket of this great city called Los Angeles we're not exactly keeping up with the Joneses. We're okay with that, really we are. I'm not complaining, he's not complaining. We like it here in our wee pocket of this big city and yet, change is a-comin'.

It is lonely here in the courtyard. Our good friends and neighbors here have all moved on. They're like, real grown-ups with mortgages and everything. Our slightly nutty landlord is hell-bent on making the empty units "nice" though his version of nice is nowhere near ours. His version of nice involves ripping out the floors of the kitchens and bathrooms to pour oodles of concrete in so he can lay nice marble tiles.

Ripping out the floors of the bathrooms and kitchens in these wee duplexes (duplex-is?) that were built ninety years ago. It is difficult to feel like tra-la-la-ing about the wee casa. There is much pounding going on. There is debris everywhere and mini dust storms brew willy-nilly. There are stray water bottles being left in our garden and the mad foraging of fruit from people who do not live here. There are five bathtubs in my courtyard. Five bathtubs floating about. There are toilets too, I know there are but a few months ago, the great and grand Nico and I pleaded with our landlord to hide them. We like looking out of our tiny windows. We like to view the birds and garden. We do not like to view stray toilets and mounds of construction debris. We do not like to view bathtubs. We do not really like ot find water bottles in our garden or footprints tramping through the garden. Yes my friends, change is a-comin' and with that, we need a plan.
There is a plan. It is a nifty and exciting and thoroughly terrifying plan. There are many parts to this plan. Too many in fact. My head spins with them all. One of them however involves cooking; cooking on our car engine to be exact. On our recent and most fabulous trip to Portland, we a-go-gos experimented with cooking on our car engine. There is an actual cookbook out there all about cooking on your car engine. Most of those recipes were all about meat. While we a-go-gos do actually eat meat, we weren't too keen on eating meat cooked on our car engine. We tried hotdogs wrapped in bacon, which sounds quite mouthwatering but when you cannot monitor your temperatures it is probably not a good idea.
We tried baking cakes in oranges. I already told you all about that. The oranges were too large and only the batter on the bottom, closest to the heat from the engine cooked. It was good but tricky to sample. Next time we will try smaller oranges or tangerines or something else.
Our favorite thing to do was heat water for tea. Heating water for tea was quite easy and took about 40 minutes of steady driving. We had an extra special nifty thermos with us to keep the tea hot afterwards. To heat water on our car engine involved a tiny camp pot, tinfoil and wire. It also involved planning and break taking to test temp. Taking breaks on a road trip is hardly difficult when you are in Northern California where the green makes you dizzy and you want to jump around and roll in all its mossiness.
After tea brewing, we discovered that potatoes steamed quite well in tinfoil packets wedged on top of the engine. Luckily, that Mr. A-go-go is a smart cookie and brought along salt & pepper. We had onions too and it was super tasty. It could have been even more tasty for the early morning, super cold air and giant statue of Paul Bunyan egging us on. Wither that or potatoes are just super tasty.
After we got the hang of it, we grew a teeny bit adventurous and added other vegetables. Mushrooms add more liquid and help carry around the salt & pepper to the other veggies. Broccoli makes it more purty to look at and we felt a little better about all those milkshakes from Burgerville.

Next time we head out on a trip, which will be in January on our way to Death Valley, we will add more fanciful seasonings and maybe even attempt rice, ooh or tofu! If you happen across an odd couple chopping vegetables at a rest top, one of them quite tall with a mean whistle and the other in striped socks with a camera attached to her face, that would be us a-go-gos.So that's it. Change is a-comin' and it may involve more car cooking, a little more traveling and perhaps some couch surfing if we can convince anyone we don't bite. We don't, I promise. But we sure can cook!


  1. Your yellow shoes are AMAZING. Who makes them??

  2. Love the specs, and love your blog. It's always really colourful and quirky. Hope that if changing is a-coming, then it's the good kind of change.

  3. Super cool--cooking on the car engine!

    Oh, and your yellow shoes? RAD.

    You can sleep on our sofa if you hit the East Coast!!! It even makes a bed...

    Love your blog!

  4. Please cook your way on over to Providence, kids, and park on our couch for a while... You are always welcome!!!

  5. You guys are too much fun!

  6. good luck on the construction, it will end - eventually. I love your blog & sense of style. I usually get asked if my daughter (9) picks my clothes. Nope. Just moi.If you head across to Europe after the holidays you can stop by my new casa, I'll be trying to remember my German & getting settled in.

  7. How neat! I wanna come on a road trip with you all. To much fun! Im sitting here eating an apple thinking a nice peeled apple and some cinnamon YUM! LOL Theres you some dessert.

  8. Are you moving??

    And, have you seen this before? Pretty funny - "here you go, children, a nice lead-burger for dinner." *burp*

    xx Helen

  9. OMG - my husband was raised by a dad who cooked on the car/tractor/snowmobile engine...and still does (my FIL, not hubby). He makes it red-neck-like, you make it haute cuisine. love it.

  10. I would love to have you visit us in Michigan!