cheerful saladOur wonderful next door neighbors have a thing for the holidays. The day after Thanksgiving found Bernie in the big yard next door, going up and down their long fences and big gates with a ladder and a toolbox and crimping wire. He spent the better part of the day stringing loops of vibrantly colored, old-fashioned Christmas lights. By the time the sun went down he was ready to turn them on. Jacob and Lucas were ready too: they raced to the front yard and begged to be lifted so they could see over our fence to where Bernie’s porch was wrapped in garlands and swoops of bright, glowing holiday magic.

The boys cheered when they lit up.  Continue reading

We give thanks

thankful for treesI have so much to be thankful for. It was nice to take some time with family this past week and celebrate that; I hope that you were each able to do the same. I’m going to share with you one of the sleeper hits from our Thanksgiving dinner, but first I’d like to take a moment to hop up on my soapbox …
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‘Tis a gift


We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, and we are in full preparation mode: cooler in the garage for turkey brining, mountains of squash on the counter (more on that soon), the fridge packed with butter for making pie crusts, and of course waves of cranberries that eddy and swirl all over the kitchen when the Lucas-Harmonica Band races through and dumps them out again (come on Lucas, give your busy mama a break!).

Doesn't he look sweet and innocent? Ha!


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The ones we have

My passion is for food that is indigenous to the New World … Instead of inventing new food traditions, or copying Europe’s verbatim, I’m more interested in looking at the ones we have. ~ Steve Sando, owner of Rancho Gordo

black calypso beans

A while back I mentioned that I was reading a book about beans. This may not seem like the most scintillating reading material, but I was quite keen on it. We eat a lot of beans. What I did not expect to find in a bean book, even a bean book from so delightful a source as Napa’s Rancho Gordo, was a sprawling love letter. An ode to beans – and also a profound devotional to our collective, geographic culinary heritage. Continue reading

A day in the life

whole wheat rollsThere are four gigantic bananas on our counter right now, we know not from whence they came. I was at yesterday’s farmer’s market, but of course there are no bananas for sale there. Kyle has been to three grocery stores in the last 24 hours, but is certain he did not pick up any bananas. The only clue is a sticker, the florescent likes of which we have never seen before. It alleges that the bananas hail from Mexico and are ORGANIC!!!

But the trio of exclamation points makes me suspicious.

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Let’s do this

candy striped figs

While our family and friends have been braving the dark after the storm, we have been thinking of them and sending all we can: thoughts, prayers, donations to the Red Cross. We carry forward, we send our love. Press on, east coasters.

Meanwhile, this week I have received a handful of emails from people asking me about my opinion on California’s Proposition 37. This is strange and flattering because I am not an expert on anything relevant, and it is surprising because I can’t believe anyone would question my stance on this one. It makes me think that maybe it’s not obvious to folks exactly what is at stake here – I feel worried that all the money being pumped into muddying the waters might actually be working. In case anyone out there still wonders where I stand on this one, let me quote Dave Murphy: “California is ground zero in the effort to reclaim our food and our planet from out of control corporations that want to deny us the right to know what’s in our food.” 

I am all for reclaiming our food, and our planet. I am a yes on 37. Or more accurately I am a YES, YES, YES.  Continue reading