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Day 20 - Sacramento, California

Well Ziggy heard we were going to California, she was beside herself. I mean, Los Angeles, Hollywood, movie stars, motion pictures, the whole nine yards. I told her, "Ziggy, California was the 31st state in the USA and it was admitted on September 9, 1850." I said, "Ziggy, there's San Francisco, San Diego, San Bernadino, Fresno and the capital, Sacramento and that's where we're goin! So chill baby!"

I told her if she was nice, I'd take her on down to Hollywood and we might meet some stars. Ya never know. She frowned a little and put her California hat on and we got off the plane.

Patricia L., Linda M., Susie, Arlene, Sandy, and Gail met us at the airport. I know we can't go all over California to meet everyone, but we were glad they came in. We drove around Sacramento laughing and havin a good ol' time. We didn't have too much time to spend together, but the time we did, was well worth it! Thanks ladies!

We were really hungry so we went to the Esquire Grill. Inspired by classic American cooking of times past, Esquire Grill brings a completely new dining experience to downtown Sacramento. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the 26-story Esquire Plaza Building adjacent to the Sacramento Community Theater and Convention Center. The menu includes a selection of grilled and spit roasted meats, fish, and poultry, as well as appetizers, salads, and house made desserts.

The Chef came out and sat with us for awhile. You may find this hard to believe, but he was of Mexican heritage. He studied the Art of Culinary Cooking in Mexico, New York and in California. He had been here for some 30 years he said. I asked him about all the things in the news today about Mexican Immigrants. He said he became an American citizen back 1978 and has worked hard all his life.

He said, "I am an American citizen but am proud of my Mexican heritage. Not any different than being an Italian American, Polish American, German, or whatever. But these days, we have to work extra hard just to prove ourselves. I love America. It has provided me many opportunities I would have never had in Mexico. Now, if Ziggy would take her hat off, I'll server you up some of California's Niman Ranch Pork Chops in a Maple Glaze!"

Ziggy took her hat off.

You may not have access to Niman Ranch meats where you live, but ask your butcher for the thickness you desire and enjoy. Here's the recipe.

California Maple Glazed Pork Chops
Serves 4

4 pork chops, about 1-1/4 inches thick
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

In small saucepan sauté onion in oil under tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in syrup, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce and pepper; let simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and set aside. Grill chops over medium-hot fire for a total of 12-15 minutes, until nicely browned. During last couple of minutes on the grill, brush liberally with glaze, turning frequently to glaze evenly.

Pork chop, pork chop,
Sitting on my plate
Lonely little pork chop,
Don't wanna be late,
Come to papa and feed my hunger,
Cause baby I ain't gettin any younger.

_______________________________

After dinner, we took off for Hollywood. The first place we went to was Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Ziggy wanted to put her paws in the cement but settled on these pics.

As we were leaving, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ziggy run off behind the building. There sitting on a little hill was none other than one of Ziggy's favorite movie stars, Jack Hanna. I had to snap this picture.

We're off to Madison, Wisconsin now and of course, we're going to have to fly. This may a good time to sleep. Good night. hehehe. See ya in Madison!

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