The Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing blazed into downtown Huntington Beach and, love it or hate it, if you live here you have no choice but to be caught up in the fever… and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. Sure the U.S. Open is a surf contest, but to describe it as such doesn’t do it justice – it’s a lifestyle festival where surf and beach culture collide amidst a throng of surf enthusiasts, volleyball, skateboard, and motor cross fans and the hormonally charged youth that come out to see and be seen. It means 500,00+ people descending upon our little corner of paradise.
For us locals, the obstacle course of drivers frantically searching for parking, streets teeming with distracted scantily-clad teens, and mad skateboarders with no sense of rules of the road, the U.S. Open is 9 days of craziness that comes with the territory – this is Surf City, U.S.A. after all. But when we do decide to take in the scene, nothing beats being able to stroll nonchalantly, read: no parking nightmare, and stake a spot on the pier for prime viewing of the men’s and women’s finals. Here’s a few pics that my brother, who drove down from the Bay Area to witness the last days of this uniquely SoCal event, captured of the culminating moments of the 2014 U.S. Van’s Open of Surfing.
Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing 2014
Tyler Wright (Australia) captured the Women’s championship with this spectacular run.
Toledo Filipe (Brazil) wins the Men’s ASP Qualification Series (QS) Prime event.
These big happenings in my neighborhood had me making use of leftovers and keeping it simple in the kitchen arena. When I saw this recipe for corn fritters in the August issue of Bon Appetit, food editor Allie Lewis Clapp’s intro spoke directly to me: “Never met a fritter I didn’t like, and I love this one.” Done. I had corn in the fridge, which I grilled along with two pork tenderloins to prepare for a weekend of quick and easy meals, knowing that Corn-Jalapeño fritters would be one of them.
Sliced pork tenderloin nestled among sautéed peppers and onions with a little brown rice made dinner on Saturday and, instead of a sandwich or salad, we enjoyed these flavorful corn fritters as a light lunch before heading to the beach. Easy, peasy. Fritters of any kind (zucchini fritters are another fave) also make a perfect summer side with whatever protein you like to fire up on the barbie. This simple recipe comes together in minutes and you don’t have to grill the corn or char the jalapeños – I just like the smoky flavor they add.
Photo Credit: Awesome surf photos courtesy of Harrison Sutcliffe