In the garden

Corn with Black Beans and Epazote

July 11, 2017 // 2 Comments

The good corn is coming but I had a pound of frozen corn in my freezer and I’m trying my best to actually use what’s in there. I’m very good at putting things into the  freezer compartment but I’m not so talented at actually using them. I hate wasting food, so despite corn coming into the farmers markets and stores, I used the frozen. It was a fine dish and I plan to make (Click for more)

The Californio Dinner at Sutter Creek Provisions

June 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

A while back I was visiting my friend Lucy and we stopped at Sutter Creek Provisions. They have a great space and even better beer. Owners Casey and Darren are so excited to be doing good things and the next thing you know, we were planning a party. I write about Lucy often. She made a name for herself in Napa many years ago with Cafe Lucy. Now she’s in Amador with Lucy’s Spice Box. (Click for more)

A Simple, Very Addictive Manzano Chile Relish

May 16, 2017 // 8 Comments

A visiting chef friend asked me to pick up three pounds of manzano chiles for a demo he was doing. These chiles are also known as peron and sometimes rocoto chiles. Many of the Mexican families here in Napa come from Michoacan and Jalisco and for them, and now for me, this is a manzano chile. Things happened and I ended up three pounds of chiles. I shared most of them with the staff here but I (Click for more)

Video: Classic Texan Chili con Carne

May 11, 2017 // 1 Comment

Last year I made this video with my beloved pal Taylor Boetticher from the Fatted Calf. There was a lot of information and I enjoyed it but it ran really long. I now present to you a more concise version of the encounter and I do believe that your chili con carne will not suffer one small bit from the cuts. And yes, we discuss “with beans or without”. I’d love to stay and chat (Click for more)

The Master Recipe: Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne

May 4, 2017 // 14 Comments

Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne Roughly based on Tolbert’s A Bowl of Red, our adaption includes heirloom beans. I would like to serve this to Mr. Tolbert and hope for the best. I wouldn’t dare speak for him but I do believe you’ll like this chili con carne. Rancho Gordo Chili con Carne 3 pounds stewing beef, lean ¼ cup rendered beef suet (tallow) or a neutral cooking oil like canola or (Click for more)

Planning and Indulging My Garden for Spring with Native Seeds/SEARCH

April 4, 2017 // 4 Comments

When I first started gardening, I focused almost exclusively on New World vegetables. I loved that more interesting vegetables from Europe were coming into vogue, like having three or four types of arugula available, but it increasingly seemed weirder and weirder that as we became experts in Euro-centric food, we were still in the dark about our indigenous plants and contributions to the world. I (Click for more)

My Puny Little Olive Harvest

January 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

My house came with two olive trees that the previous owner planted. I love them but I live on a forested mountain top and it gets warm but there’s lots of shade and I don’t know if it’s the ideal place to grow olives. I don’t care. The trees seem happy and some years you get more olives than others. This year was one of those meager ones. Ta da. This was it. On the advice (Click for more)

The Kind of Company You Want For More Than 3 Days

November 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

I think this is the hummingbird that stays all winter and makes nests in the spring. I get the sense that the egg-laying hasn’t been successful but I’m not sure. She rests on this gorgeous Par-a-Sol feeder and leaves when a bullying male comes by, but she returns back in her own time. I pretend she knows I am helping her. Hey, you get your kicks where you can! We sell the feeders in (Click for more)

What Do You Say To a Fresh Bean Flower?

September 13, 2016 // 0 Comments

Hello, gorgeous! It’s that time of year where the flowers aren’t going to turn into beans any time soon and the cold weather is on the way . These runner bean flowers are better served in other ways. For me, scrambled eggs with Hatch chiles seemed like a reasonable idea. I was right. (Click for more)

How to Make Garbage Soup and Eat Well All Week

July 14, 2016 // 3 Comments

One of my favorite recent cookbooks has been Decolonize Your Diet. Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel offer a cuisine based on pre-Conquest foods, mostly vegan and vegetarian. Even if you don’t care about the concept, there is a lot of good food to consider. But why not think about how great the Mexica diet was in 1491? The foundation was beans, chiles and corn. Occasionally there was (Click for more)
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