A visit to an avocado packing plant, avocado grove and historical Fallbrook, CA. Plus, for breakfast or brunch: Avocado Cream Cheese Bagels.
The following is a typical scenario at our house, and did actually occur just last week: Thursday night, hubby asks me after dinner: “What are you making for breakfast when my buddy M comes over to make that pomegranate wine?” My response, “Huh? What time is he coming over?” Hubby responds, “The whole family is coming at 8am.” I roll my eyes, “What?! It’s Saturday morning and I have to get up early to host a breakfast? You know I’m out all day Friday. Why didn’t you tell me this sooner? <expletive… more expletives… argumentative & combative tones…etc…>”
So, I reluctantly got up at 6am that Saturday morning and finished cleaning up the kitchen and picking up toys in the family room. I wandered over to the local grocery store and loaded up on an easy breakfast menu: bagels. With eyes half-opened, I grabbed fresh fruits and vegetables for our meal, not really knowing what I was going to throw together.
Luckily for me, the day before, I was out and about with fellow bloggers Mimi Avocado (Mimi), La Fuji Mama (Rachael), Diane (Created By Diane), and Allison (Sushi Day). We were going to have an avocado adventure which began at an avocado packing house, Eco Farms, Friday morning.
While shopping for Saturday’s breakfast, I passed by California avocados and I smiled to myself remembering my wonderful day just 24-hours earlier. It had started off bumpy. I pulled out my camera at Eco Farms only to realize that I forgot to put an SD card back in the camera after downloading a weeks’ worth pictures and creations.
So, I used my video camera and iPhone, and felt surprising liberated to not have to dote on the camera and picture taking that day. Eco Farms is one of several packing houses that packs avocados they receive from local avocado farmers, like those from Mimi’s ranch. Eco Farms is where the gorgeous avocados chosen to be sold at Costco are sorted, packaged and sent out for distribution. Enola Price, from Eco Farms, guided us through the packing process and was kind enough to give us each a bag of these wonderful avocados. She happily pointed out that they were picked off the tree just one day ago.
Now that is the meaning of FRESH.
We watched as the avocados went through a visual inspection, and then sorted by size. Each were labeled with a “California Avocado” sticker, which means that it is in stores less than a week after being picked, unlike the varieties from Mexico or Chile which take a week or two in cold storage just to get to the U.S.
After the packing plant tour, we enjoyed avocado fries and a wonderful lunch filled with avocados at Fallbrook’s Wayside Cafe. A little walk along the quaint downtown street landed us at the Retro Candy Shop, where we sampled creamy & amazing avocado fudge. No, you really don’t see or taste the avocado!
We wrapped up our day visiting Mimi’s farm, walking through the serene avocado groves, and learning everything about life on an avocado farm. Mimi’s farm is also the where the premium avocados are hand-picked, packaged into gift boxes and shipped through California Avocados Direct.
To say that I had avocados on my mind while I prepared breakfast Saturday morning would certainly be an understatement.
After a few giant cups of tea (I don’t do coffee), the fog began to lift off of my brain. I whipped up cream cheese with avocados and goat cheese to make a wonderful topping for our bagels. It was easy to do, and a very forgiving recipe, allowing you to add as much avocado or cheese as your palette prefers. Topping it off with fresh cucumbers, tomato and basil finished our bagel sandwiches beautifully.
We sat around the kitchen table enjoying our easy and delightful breakfast and planned the rest of our day together.
Oh, and the pomegranate wine?
Well, the men did make the wine. We had frozen pomegranate juice from our adventures back in November and used that to make the wine. Of course, I won’t be able to tell you much about that for another 2-5 years.