California dreaming: Anna Jones’s final meal

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I’ve had a fight with myself about this. Breakfast and brunch are my favourite meals, but I’d have to have pasta if this is the last time I’m ever going to eat. Can you have pasta at brunch? Probably not. So this would be an all-day meal.

I’d be outside in a little cabin by the coast. I’m drawn to where I grew up in northern California – one of the beaches above Big Sur, where the pine trees come to the edge of the beach. I’d be with my husband-to-be John, my little boy Dylan and my immediate family – my mum, dad, sister Laura, brother Owen, and my auntie Avril. She’s the matriarch of our family. When she moved to California (to live a very glamorous life!), we followed.
We’d be around a simple table. It would be loaded with fragrant flowers like heavy blossoms – cherry, orange – that fill the air with their scent.
I’d wake up and make a huge stack of ricotta pancakes. I’d put the zest of Meyer lemons (a sweet citrus from California) in the batter, and eat them with cherries, freshly stoned, and a mandarin curd made by a lady called June Taylor in the Bay Area. There’d be Earl Grey tea and coffee – because I like to have both.

This would just flow into lunch. We’d have some really simple pasta with a really killer tomato sauce with basil and a little bit of butter, with freshly rolled tagliatelle and lots of parmesan.

With this, a bitter salad. To offset the sweetness of the tomatoes. I’m probably mixing up the seasons here, but I’d have escarole with amazing olive oil – selvapiana from Italy, my favourite.

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