Last September, a milestone birthday (not mine – I’m still in some “mid years”) hatched the idea for a fabulous whirlwind adventure through the beautiful West. The secondary goal of the journey was to visit some national parks (Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Lake Mead thrown in for good measure) in a new trailer. But of course, there was a lot of eating and drinking … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: 60 Candles, 7 States, 4 National Parks, 3 Weeks
Since we’re in the throes of holiday flavors, let’s talk vanilla. I recently wrote a piece for Edible SLO magazine about the R.R. Lochhead Manufacturing Co. in Paso Robles. (A link to the article is below.) Founded in 1963, this family-owned and –operated vanilla processing company sells its products under the Cook’s Vanilla brand, and it’s likely you have a bottle or two in your … Continue reading Vanilla … Anything But Plain
The turkey had found its way into sandwiches, fajitas, more sandwiches, and soup. The Brussels sprouts had been eaten, and the pumpkin pie was long gone. A lot of the big batch of mashed potatoes remained, so I figured I’d try to make some gnocchi – an Italian pasta akin to a dumpling, typically made with potatoes, flour, and egg. It couldn’t possibly be worse … Continue reading Day 5: The Thanksgiving Leftovers Utilization Project – Gnocchi
There are pears, and there are pears par excellence. A Warren pear is an example of the latter, and lauded by such prized palates as Alice, Martha, and Oprah. Apparently, I was missing out. I’d never heard of this heirloom variety until Susie Kenny of See Canyon Fruit Ranch insisted that I try one. The firm, ripe-and-ready fruit she handed me was chilled from the … Continue reading Pear Excellence
As you may have heard, we’ve been having quite the kerfuffle in these parts about trees. The short story: that big corporation that owns a big local winery has been playing fast and loose with our native oak trees. In contrast to that, I thought I’d offer up some good news about trees and agriculture. Some news about Kiler Ridge Olive Farm, a local olive … Continue reading Planting for Posterity
It had been a busy, runaround day. I hadn’t given much thought to dinner, and really didn’t feel like making anything. The mental list of easy, take-out options started to spool out: pizza, burritos, sushi, burgers … Then I caught myself. Earlier in the day, I had visited a local farm to interview the farmer for my newspaper column. He sells at several farmer’s markets … Continue reading Getting Past Lazy
Had never been to Healdsburg, so headed up with the pups for a mid-week February jaunt. (Yes, I’ve been remiss in posting this … hopefully better late than never.) It’s a charming town a lot like Paso Robles – a main square, lots of good restaurants, in the middle of wine country. No wine tasting this trip though, but maybe next time! L&M Motel – Wonderful … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Healdsburg Highlights
Cabernet Franc (and yes, I’m resisting all the puns) isn’t bottled on its own very much. It’s primarily used as a blending varietal in Bordeaux wines, especially with Merlot and the usually dominant and better known Cabernet Sauvignon. It is one of my favorite wines, however, so I was tickled red to see it showcased at the varietal focus seminar at this year’s WiVi Central Coast, … Continue reading Cab Franc: Both a Challenge and a Reward to Consumers
The smell of smoke. The aroma of savory meat. The hallmarks of “barbecue.” The nuances and details of that word can spark heated debates about beef versus pork, mustard sauce or no sauce, hickory wood or mesquite. The one thing most of the USA can agree upon is that “barbecue” means low and slow, meats cooking for hours and hours in closed smokers tended by … Continue reading You Call That BBQ? Yes, We Do!
Hi. I’m Mourvèdre. A Red Rhône wine. I can be a bit sulky, but once you get to know me, you’ll understand. I like long ripening seasons in hot, dry climates. I’m looking for a stand-alone bottling, but am open to blending. Uncork me, and let’s get cozy with some big unami flavors. At the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience I recently attended, … Continue reading Meet Mourvèdre.