I hail from New Haven, although I've frankly never in my life hailed, even for a taxi cab. It's simply not my style. I visit the Elm City (although I'm not sure why it's nicknamed thus as all the elms died in a blight decades ago and are just coming back) a few times a year because my sister and I have bestowed our adorable mother on a fine new home, shared by three hundred other beloved parents, each compartmentalized in lovely little one and two bedroom lives with shared common rooms. All human needs are provided. It's like living on a space station.
Whitney Center is located just outside the Yale community and many professors and Ivy League elders retire there. Hence, the level of conversation, dining and entertainment is four star. The only complaint Mom's ever had about the place is that she feels she must dress up for dinner, lectures and screenings at, what she so brightly calls "The Finishing School." Sis has outfitted her in Lord and Taylor's finest, which she now even wears to the laundry room.
When I visit as winter thaws, however, she is eager to leave campus plainclothes and give her
perpetually parked car a little workout -- it's generally sat sedentary most of the winter. Our favorite local lunch place is called Claire's Corner Copia, at the corner of Chapel and College, at the edge of the Yale campus. It's a cafeteria, teeming with teens looking young, all amidst serious college degrees and fast career track aspirations. It offers an eclectic array of courses, all vegetarian, organic, sustainable, and Kosher. It culls culinarily from the Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern and Chinese cultures, as many eclectic vegan haunts do.
I've absconded with the recipe, put a flourish of my own in it, and back in L.A. where avo's grow on trees, it's the dessert of one's creamy dreams in two minutes; sugarless, dairyless, gluten free and fabulous.
One medium ripe avocado. One 8 oz. carton of Rice Dream Vanilla Rice Drink. One teaspoon of unsweetened coconut flakes is my signature embellishment. Add all into your blender.
Puree and pour and you will adore.
Claire's Corner Copia, 1000 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, (203) 562-3888
by Chef Mark Shoup