When Alison Martino posted on her popular Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page about the Cafe Four Oaks in Beverly Glen Canyon, it was only natural to invite her for brunch and then walk down the lane we live on to the Cafe. In utter dis-repair, all of the doors were open, allowing us to peruse the premises, transcending us back to the Glory Days when Beverly Glen Canyon was an artist retreat. In 1968, the first time I moved here, my life alone lent itself to remarkable memories of musical monsters: Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks, Ted Templeman, Ry Cooder, Russ Titleman and the master, my then-husband Lenny Waronker, were among the many who graced our home as well as the Cafe. My children were raised on the delicious sausage crescent rolls the Cafe famously served. For memory’s sake, I went to Paris Bakery in Westwood, the bakery that supplied the Four Oaks, and included this delicacy in my Brunch. Those of you who love to cook, as I do, may want to try my recipes for Frittata and Potatoes.
Frittata with Zucchini (Serves 4):
4 Eggs – preferably organic or free range, 1/4 cup milk – I use soy milk, but there are many varieties available, 1/2 yellow union – preferable organic, 4 small sweet zucchini, 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano, salt/pepper to taste, turmeric*/cardamon**, Fresh Tarragon. Begin by slicing the onion and saute for 5-minutes over medium fire. Add finely sliced zucchini, washed and peeled. Stir into onions and continue to saute for 5 more minutes. In two bowls, separate egg whites and yolks. Whip egg whites until frothy; fold in egg yolks that have been seasoned with milk, salt, pepper, turmeric*, cardamon** and tarragon. Add to saute pan and sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the top of the frothy egg mixture. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then cover. Do not remove the cover until you are ready to serve as the eggs will souffle. Exposing to air too soon will flatten it. This may be prepared an hour ahead of time, but will be more like ‘picnic food’ at a cool-ish temperature. Still very tasty, though. Slice in quarters to serve.
Wash and cube 3 medium red skin potatoes. Add to a frying pan with heated olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Give them a quick singe, then lower the heat while you add: 1 clove chopped garlic, 3 tbsp chopped parsley, salt n’ pepper with cardamon**. Fry for 3-5 minutes and transfer to a baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and cook potatoes for 20-30 minutes.
*Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. The Hawaiians call it Olena and use it for an overall cure. For those who have juicers, add turmeric root to your daily juice diet. Or, add 1 tsp turmeric powder to your food. I do!
**In a pepper mill, combine 1/2 pepper corns and 1/2 cardamon pods. Cardamon enhances energy with courage. I like to eat a delicious meal that also has healing properties.