food (198)

Day 2 On The Road

Your guess is as good as mine; this was on the outskirts of Colusa, a wierded-up VW bus.

I’m in Ashland this morning. After I left Colusa yesterday, I drove north about 3 hours, and went to Stewart Mineral Springs, just northwest of the town of Weed, and lucked into getting the last opening of the day. You soak in the heavily mineralized water, then get in fabulous large wood-fired sauna, then in the cold creek. Mineralized, flushed of toxins,  rejuvenated, I wanted a beer, walked into the one bar in Weed, Papa’s Bar (Well, YES!) and voilá, Joe Cocker on the juke box (with good sound system), doing You Can Leave Your Hat On. One good song after another, a lot of Stones. My kinda bar. In giving me change, the bartender included a Native American $1 coin AND stood it on edge on the bar.

Then for dinner to Asian-American Bar-B-Q, recommended by worker at Stewarts Mineral Springs. Bingo! The chef, born in Chicago, grew up in Thailand, barbecuing over wood coals, I got try-tip and rice ($12), with coconut juice,  it was perfect, smoky, juicy, homemade hot sauce (no mass-produced Sriracha), sat at table out on road watching one 18-wheeler after another go by. America!

Tammy Wynette, Stand By Your Man, came on the radio as I headed out for dinner; what a beautiful voice: 

 And then there’s Lyle Lovett doing it: 

Drove to Ashland, out to dead end road east of town and slept in the back of truck (my 13-year-old Tacoma 4×4, stick shift, 4 cylinder, 130K mileage, my baby…).

Up this morning, latte and cinnamon roll at Pony Espresso Coffee House in the rather precious town of Ashland. Going to have lunch with bodybuilding legend Bill Pearl and his wife, Judy, then head for Umpqua Hot Springs, then Lew and Krystal’s on outer edge of total eclipse zone.

A lotta adventures in just 30 hours away from home!

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Washing Dishes

We wash dishes by hand (in a rectangular Rubbermaid dishpan), rinse and place in this drying rack/storage unit, built maybe 20 years ago by Lew Lewandowski.

When we had goats, I had installed a dishwasher, but found that we practically had to wash the dishes first (so as not to have food particles going into the septic system). Plus it used a lot of water and electricity, so I took it out and we’ve used this system ever since.

Another feature in this kitchen is a 5-gallon electric water heater right under the sink. While I’m not fond of electrically-heated water, this unit is so small, it’s energy-efficient, and we get instant hot water.

We use rubber spatulas to get food off plates, pots, and pans; edible scraps go to chickens, non-edibles (coffee grounds, avocado pits, etc.) go in a stainless step-operated trash can for the compost pile.

After I finish the book on the ’60s, I plan to do one titled The Half-Acre Homestead, all that I’ve learned abut building and raising food over 50 years.

Apropos of nothing here, the Amazon series “Sneaky Pete” is wonderful. Great story, fabulous acting all around.

I’m off for Oregon early tomorrow morning.

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Brewski, Hockey & $10 Steak in Winnipeg

After my presentation at McNally Robinson, a fantastic bookstore in Winnipeg tonight, I went wandering the windy streets in search of food, went down stairs to Johnny G’s Pub, looked a bit sketchy but I was hungry. I ended up with local pilsner on tap plus Thursday night special, steak and fettuccine for 10 I-kid-you-not bucks, and it’s fantastic, perfectly cooked medium rare small  steak and very good lightly garlic-flavored pasta and I sit here with one other customer and 2 bartenders watching the Stanley Cup hockey playoff between Ottawa and Pittsburgh which is tied up and now in overtime and there are now 8 more people here plus a guy with guitar singing, talking to friendly locals, reflecting on the richness of serendipity…

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Lloyd and Bruno

Godfrey and I drove out to visit and spend the night with Bruno and Mecea. I hadn’t seen Bruno for 3 years. We had a shot of homemade calvados, then red wine with dinner of barbecued salmon with rice, yams, salad, piece of chocolate for desert. I slept on Bruno’s boat, Godfrey slept in the van. The next morning Godfrey took his mini Stihl electric chainsaw and Bruno’s small adze and large chisel and roughed out a mermaid on a log.

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A Phenomenal Bread Knife

All our bread is homemade, so we use a bread knife daily. We’ve had 3 of them, of different configurations. But we got this very unusual one a couple of months ago, and it’s not only better then any bread knife I’ve ever seen, but a delight to use.

Irene says: “I like making bread knives. I tell folks when they buy ’em, ‘If this doesn’t cut the bread SMACK out of the oven better then anything else you’ve ever used, then I’ll double your money back.’ No one’s ever returned a bread knife.”

The wood is cherry or mahogany, they are made in the USA, and available for $30 plus $10 postage (mail check) to:

Irene Tukuafu

2639 N. Sycamore Haven Dr. 

Nauvoo, Illinois

62354

Check out also, Irene’s musical instruments:

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Hunting, Foraging, Gardening, Cooking Wild Foods – Hank Shaw via Kirk Lombard

I found this great website via Kirk Lombard, the Sea Forager:

HI THERE!

My name is Hank Shaw.

“I write. I cook. I fish, dig earth, forage, ferment things, brew beer, raise plants, live for food and chase God’s creatures. I drink Scotch or Bud, eat burgers or dine on caviar, depending on my mood or what day of the week it happens to be. I spend my days thinking about new ways to cook and eat anything that walks, flies, swims, crawls, skitters, jumps – or grows. This is my story.”

https://honest-food.net/

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The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast

Anyone who fishes (or clams or collects anything from the California coast) will love this book. In fact, anyone on the west coast of the USA, from Baja California up to BC, will learn how to catch, gather, clean, and cook fish, clams, mussels, eels, crabs, and seaweed from this witty and complete fishing compendium. Kirk Lombard worked for 7 years as an observer for The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission before becoming “The Sea Forager” in the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducts fishing classes, does demonstrations, and sells sustainable seafood. IYou can get info on all his coastal activities and buy the book at: https://www.seaforager.com/

Full disclosure: I’ve been to one of Kirk’s fishing demos, attended a seminar on making pickled herring, and went fishing with him for night smelt (caught 15 lbs. that night, netting them in the surf).) I’ve gotten a ton of useful info from him, including tonight, when I used his technique for getting the skin off horseneck clam siphons (slit lengthwise, soak in warm water for 10 min.) before making clam fritters (below, left).

He tells you how to catch salmon, halibut, rockfish, striped bass, and 8-10 other kinds of fish, how to gather 15 different types of shellfish, how to pickle seaweed (I’ve got a jar of pickled kelp in the frig right now, and I put ground-up dried seaweed on omelets, potatoes, anything hot). He’s big on the small fish in the area — herring, anchovies, smelt, grunion, and mackerel — because they’re low on the food chain, super healthy, and take pressure off the popular fish.

He’s got a sense of humor, plays in a band (his oldest kid is named Django), and has fun with his work and teaching.

The book is very nicely illustrated by Leighton Kelly.

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