Sunday Snap-toons

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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This week was a bit quiet compared to others that I’ve had. But that’s good, because winter clouds and the cold weather has arrived in San Diego and it’s a good time to buckle down and stay warm.  As the week filled up with new activities, I carried my camera from place to  place remembering to take lots of pictures. So, as you take a look at my week, I hope your week was just as fulfilling with friends and family as mine turned out to be.

alice water sign

One of my highlights this week was having a chat with Alice Waters during her book signing at Chino Farms. Growing up she was my idol as I pushed cooking and gardening in my classroom for many years. She inspired me all year long as I also tried to cook seasonally, before it became popular. I always had a garden, whether is was just a few herbs or a batch of new heirloom tomatoes.

Alice always kept me on track in the kitchen and active in my small backyard garden. This went hand in hand with what I was taught from my mother and father, as they also ate straight from the garden. Now, you can catch me in my kitchen as I collect my garden vegetables and try to create and develop recipes for you and for my family.

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Years back when I owned a bookstore, The Reading Patch, P.K. Hallinan walked in as my first local author offering his books for review. I will never forget that day as we were setting up the store at the time, unpacking the stock, not close to being ready to open at all when he walked in. We became friends over the years and the rest was history. So many memories of book signings, visits to local schools, teacher conferences, and special events.

He was in town this week and we met up for coffee in the morning. It was just like old times, just listening to how the last 20 years have flown by. I’m so upset I forgot to take out my camera for a picture with the two of us.  After a discussion about giving back to our community and his new book, P.K. ran to his car to fetch two of his board books for a donation to the library for Casa De Amparo – a lovely surprise. As our visit came to an end, he signed a copy of his new book for me. A lasting gift from a dear friend that I will read and cherish in the coming weeks.




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Here is the path I take to walk and gather my thoughts during the week. It’s a quiet walk now in the Winter, but the birds do gather and welcome visitors in these cold months. What’s so lovely when you are down there is you never know what to expect. I witnessed a pod of dolphins that day, but I couldn’t capture it on my phone very well.
My advice is to never leave home for a nature walk without your phone or camera – a lesson I  learned this week.


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I had to post this food picture of a triple chocolate bread pudding! I did share this with the other ladies at our lunch, after the signing, but I could have eaten the whole thing! Stop by Dolce Pane Vino in Rancho Santa Fe, next time you travel to San Diego. Everything is fresh and baked in a fireplace oven, no burners, no ovens. Try their Carlsbad mussels, arugula salad with barrata cheese, and truffle braised beef flatbread, and don’t forget to order a glass of wine. We honestly felt we were eating in Europe!


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Just a peak into my fall garden. The veggies are just getting started, I have three boxes,  but in this one I have parsley, rainbow chard, lettuces, and sugar snap peas that are not quite 2-inches tall. Hopefully, they will make it up the trellis soon. I will post more pictures later as the garden matures.


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A perfect ending to a quiet week.

© 2013 – 2019, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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