I fell in love with diners somewhere in the Mojave desert back in 1978. On the same day I fell in love with Tecaté beer (in a can, with a shake of salt and squeeze of lime on the rim) at a place called Saint Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo. I’d already fallen in love with Mark, my boyfriend back then.
I’d never been to a diner before, and in fact had never even heard the word “diner.” You see, my Mom was a little bit of snob when it came to any food that she didn’t make from scratch, so we didn’t eat out much, and when we did she usually complained about the food. No doubt, she was an incredibly innovative cook, preparing everything from Greek food to Indian food, and everything in between, always without a recipe or any measuring devices. Many of her recipes were only seen once at the table, and often didn’t have a name. All were equally delicious. In fact, I don’t remember any recipe disasters ever.