Angela and Audrey attended preschool at The Playgroup in Ann and Gordon Getty’s house. It was the best start in life anyone could ask for. There were almost as many teachers as there were children. And every child was embraced for who he or she was. We couldn’t have been luckier to be given such a generous gift from Ann.
Tonight, Peter and I went back to the Getty home to attend a fundraising party for The Playgroup prior to its move to the Presidio. It was quite wonderful and nostalgic to see the teachers who helped shape the girls’ character and were a part of their childhood memories. It was especially nice to hear anecdotes about the girls that we didn’t know about or have forgotten. We met the parents of Lonna Corder, the amazing principal of the school at tonight’s event. Lonna’s mother told me that when she met the 3-year-old Angela at The Playgroup, Angela said to her, “Hi, if you think I speak Chinese, I don’t.” without anyone asking her. Interesting psychology. She was fluent in Chinese. As a matter of fact, Chinese was her first language. Did she project what she imagined others saw in her? Did she not want to be different from others? Was she laboring through the intricate process of finding her identity and her place in the world?
I will not know the answers to these questions, but I have an inkling that that was the first step of a journey — a lifelong journey to continuously evolve and form new identities.
Speaking of The Playgroup, the school had a gourmet chef who would cook up fancy lunches for the teachers, the children and the visiting parents, but my children turned their noses up at caviar blinis and whined for macaroni and cheese, which they also had – baked and topped with seasoned bread crumbs, of course; none of that easy mac business.
Creamy Potato Leek Soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), slice into medallions
2 large russet potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced
3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 can fat free Evaporated Milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon parsley
A few dashes of Ground Cumin, Cayenne Pepper and Coriander (optional)
Preheat oven to 400; coat 10 to 12 medallions of leeks and 1/4 of the cubed potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender.
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and the remaining leeks; stir until aromatic. Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add broth and evaporated milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Add roasted potatoes and leek medallions. Return to saucepan. Season with salt, pepper and spices. Bring to boil. Ladle into 4 bowls with 2 medallions of roasted leeks and roasted potatoes in each bowl. Garnish with chives and parsley and serve.
Recipe inspired by: http://www.epicurious.com