After Nicky Rottens, I meet up with the beautiful Carla. She has been doing her hair with Diane, and before that, having lunch at her friend Janice’s place on Coronado.
"How was lunch?" I ask.
“Extra special. We had goat cheese pesto-stuffed chicken breasts with braised red cabbage,” says Carla. “You know I hate cabbage, but this was divine. I couldn’t get enough.”
“Janice has time to make cabbage and stuff chicken breasts…in her lunch hour?”
“No. She didn’t cook a thing.”
Say what? “Who did, then?” I say.
“Catered, dahling,” says Carla, smugly. “She gets her meals for the whole week, delivered. I tell you, we should do that.”
Wendy Sanger McGuire
“Janice pays $95 a week for five meals,” says Carla. “So nearly $20 a meal, but that includes side, salad and dessert. She swears they’re enough for at least two meals each.”
Carla gives me a bite of her chicken that she was bringing home. I love that goat-cheese pesto thing going on.
Chicken penne pasta, from Ganosh website (somewhat different than Carla's stuffed chicken)
“But you have to live on the island to get delivery,” Carla says.
“And a Jackson per?”
“Yes, but all those spices and goat cheeses you’d have to buy to do it yourself. And the labor: think of the time we’d save…”
Seems you can also just order up one meal at a time, à la carte. Entrées go for $12-$15.
Wendy McGuire is an interesting lady. Until two years ago she was a colonel in the U.S. Army. Served in places like Kuwait. In fact, that’s where she got the idea.
“There we were, surrounded by pomegranate gardens and date trees, and we had to eat food cooked in Army kitchens in the States and shipped out to us and reheated,” she tells me when I call.
“So, one day I just put a crockpot next to the coffee pot. And we all ‘borrowed’ ingredients from the mess hall, got spices sent from home, and started slow-cooking a frozen chicken we acquired.
"And we made dumplings in tied-up Handi Wipes, because we didn’t have cheesecloth. But the aroma! Everybody was just drawn to it like a magnet. Making those crockpots is one of the most delicious memories of that deployment.”
When she got out two years ago, Wendy went back to cooking. Guess this island of retired admirals appreciates her spicy aromas more than most, because Janice told Carla the business is doing well.
“Ganesh is the Indian god who removes obstacles,” Wendy told me. “And ‘nosh’ is a Yiddish term for snack. I want to remove the obstacles people have to eating well. Because nothing we do is processed or prepackaged. I tell customers I want to turn hunger into happiness.”
“Great,” I tell Carla. “All we need to do is find a million bucks for a house here, and then we can put our order in.”