“Forks in the Road”: Portland

I hadn’t been to Portland in waaaaay too long, so I combined the excuses of visiting some friends that had recently moved there and using some expiring hotel points to rectify the situation! Ironically, I escaped cold, rainy California and enjoyed three days of sunny, warm Oregon weather. Go figure. Portland more than lived up to its reputation as a great food city – here … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Portland

“Forks in the Road”: 60 Candles, 7 States, 4 National Parks, 3 Weeks

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

Vanilla … Anything But Plain

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

Day 5: The Thanksgiving Leftovers Utilization Project – Gnocchi

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

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

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!