Freshly harvested olives

Planting for Posterity

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

Sigh ...

“Forks in the Road”: Healdsburg Highlights

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

This year's varietal focus at WiVi Central Coast was Cabernet Franc

Cab Franc: Both a Challenge and a Reward to Consumers

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


You Call That BBQ? Yes, We Do!

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!


“Forks in the Road”: Sippin’ and Snackin’ in San Diego

Another tasty, fun-filled jaunt — this time to San Diego! It was a jam-packed trip that included visits to 11 breweries/taprooms, and that just scratched the surface of the local beer scene. The beers certainly did not disappoint. All were really good, and the only ones I didn’t much like were just styles of beer that aren’t my favorite. Arguably the U.S. capital of craft … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sippin’ and Snackin’ in San Diego

Pike Place Market

“Forks in the Road”: Sated in Seattle

By design, my travels often include some wonderful culinary adventures. Here’s a sampling of what my tastebuds enjoyed during a recent trip to Seattle – it’s wonder I didn’t gain 45 pounds! Slurp-tastic! Sure, there are other places to go for oysters in Seattle, but why bother. Elliott’s Oyster House has “Oyster House” in its name for a reason. There’s always a broad selection of … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sated in Seattle

According to the oracle that is Wikipedia, “The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper (唐辛子 tōgarashi?) looks like the head of a lion (獅子 shishi?), and in Japanese it is often abbreviated as shishitō.”

Shishito vs. Mothra (Well, sort of)

A few years ago, I noticed that shishito peppers started showing up on a lot of Asian appetizer menus, especially in Japanese restaurants. Akin to the Spanish padrón, the peppers were usually served grilled to the point of blistering and tossed with sesame oil and either soy sauce or sea salt. After I’d ordered them once, I was hooked. Small, slender, and thin-skinned, the bite-size … Continue reading Shishito vs. Mothra (Well, sort of)