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Comfort Food - Issue #16: NORM!

Sarah Lacy
Sarah Lacy
“Meet you at the club…”

This week brought a lot of terrible news and frustrating challenges. My dad fell and broke his neck, for one thing. There was a covid exposure at my kids’ school (we are clean but one of our kids will be home for a week out of caution.) October is off to a slower revenue start than I’d like.
And this: Our kitchen restoration which was supposed to take a few days is going to take… 40 days. :(
This is further complicating our eating challenges.
We are eating on all paper plates and trying to only cook stuff that involves one pan or aluminum foil in the oven. Washing dishes in the bathroom is disgusting.
Also, our coffee maker is broken. Somehow we ran a trillion errands yesterday. I bought a metric ton of socks and underwear at H&M, and Paul bought all of Barnes & Noble, but we neglected to replace our coffee maker.
It’s been a test of endurance, like trying to swim with your hands tied together, having my kids for a full week, dealing with all of this at the same time and not having coffee.
I now know where every Starbucks on my route anywhere is. I am driving a lot right now. I feel like I’ve gone from walking or running everywhere in tiny 7x7 San Francisco to driving HOURS a day for school, or this thing or that thing that requires a drive out to Rancho Mirage or Palm Desert. Every single thing I needed was contained in San Francisco, but that’s not the case with tiny Palm Springs. I feel like Palm Springs only has fabulous things because Palm Desert is right there for your big box retailer, doggy daycare, Whole Foods etc needs.
I am trying to find ways to just be in our beloved, unique community, and not feel like I’m living in a massive American suburb.
At least all our food choices are all in Palm Springs. We had a lovely long lunch at The Barn at the Sparrow’s Lodge mid-week when the sh*t was really hitting the fan. Half a charcuterie and cheese plate, plus a margarita and some pickled crudités. We sat on the sun dappled couches for about two hours trying to unpick the various problems in our lives.
Last night, I did another meatloaf run to Billy Reed’s. It’s one place I am thrilled is not on DoorDash. I love going to the the bar, having a martini, watching baseball and talking to everyone and then taking my food home.
The bartender remembered my name and almost my whole order from last time. The Dodgers v. Giants game was on. I am rooting for the Dodgers. I am sorry but the A’s were my Bay Area team. I have always liked the Dodgers, and now I live in Dodgers territory and can root for them without threats against my life.
A couple sat next to me with a GIGANTIC ice cream sundae. They were rooting for the Giants! I cannot escape …but they were lovely about it all. The guy said, “Really I just want a great baseball game, everything has just become about money, there’s really no difference in the teams anymore.”
I agreed, “We’re just rooting for uniforms at this point.” Uniforms and nostalgia and history, I guess. When I am rooting for the A’s is really about all my memories as an A’s fan, the years we had season tickets, went to spring training every year and attended, listened to or watched every game of the season. Before I had kids and a British boyfriend who doesn’t understand the game.
It occurred to me that Billy Reed is basically the version of Cheers I’ve not had since Alex’s in Memphis. That made me happy. It made me feel more at home here. I guess this is why Chipotle and Denny’s are the only things on DoorDash here. It’s takeout with a side of “Norm!”
Earlier this week, we went to Spencer’s for lunch. I wrote about Spencer’s last week. That of the perfect Cobb salad and $3 valet. It was Paul’s first time and he was entranced. It’s this combo of an old East Memphis “ladies who lunch” situation and a non-racist country club with Palm Springs wackiness.
We split the Platonic ideal of a wedge salad and I had the most perfect BLT on rye with incredible onion rings. The onion rings were almost as good as the Dairy Queen ones I wrote about a few weeks ago! The onion bit perfectly with each bite, right breading to onion ratio, crisp and not greasy.
“Wait, is this actually a tennis club?” Paul asked. I looked around at the courts and I was like “I think so.”
“Can we join!?” he asked.
For a few minutes we got so excited, even though neither of us play tennis.
I envisioned a life at “the club.” Tennis outfits. Tennis lessons, followed by incredible BLTs and massive salads. Steam rooms where you’d hear all the gossip and intrigue.
I’ve never had a club membership in my life, but I had so many friends who did growing up and I sort of marveled at how they’d roam around making the place their home, ordering sundaes and signing a tab as kids.
My day dreams spiraled as Paul Googled and found out it’s more of a resort property now. Oh well. Maybe we’ll do a staycation while our kitchen gets repaired.
I think Palm Springs needs a club though. Maybe dance classes, water aerobics and tennis? And of course a restaurant like Spencers and a steam room.
Saturday the kids and Radish and I did Shermans + Park. Weather is PERFECT!
Saturday the kids and Radish and I did Shermans + Park. Weather is PERFECT!
My mid-week "save me" lunch
My mid-week "save me" lunch
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Sarah Lacy
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Sarah Lacy
Sarah Lacy @sarahcuda

I'm the founder of Pando and Chairman Mom. I live half time between San Francisco and Palm Springs, ferretting out the best food between the two. Food is my love language.

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