food (198)

Sunny Morning, Made-from-scratch Buttermilk Pancakes, and “Look at This!”

I’m having pancakes and a strong latte at one of my 2 favorite breakfast places in the world*, Trink’s in Gualala, a sun-drenched town with a major river, on the northern California coast.

Not only is the food extraordinary, but there’s good-working wi-fi, copper-covered tables, and views of the blue (and this morning) windy Greatest of All Oceans out the windows.

I just gave one of our mini-books of Tiny Homes On The Move to a 5-year old sitting with his parents, and after a minute perusing the book, he yelled “Look at this!” and in a few minutes, “whoa-o-o.” We’ve gotta be doing something right if we are getting through to 5-year olds.

I’m up here visiting my friend Louie. Last night we roasted a wild goose and had it with a salad and Louie’s home-made zinfandel to the accompaniment of ’40s music on Sirius radio. Two old guys havin fun…

Below is a panorama of boats down at the Pt. Arena cove yesterday. It’s been too windy to go crabbing.

*(The other is Bette’s Diner in Berkeley.

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Saturday Fish Fry

I can only get a fraction of what’s going on in my life right now on this blog. I’ve never had so many things going on. I run from one thing to another. As I’m walking to my shop to get a tool, I spy something in the garden that needs doing, and I do it, forgetting the original task. It’s great!

In no special order, in addition to the publishing stuff, I’ve been making knives, that is, putting handles on Russell made-in-USA carbon steel blades, the last one with brass rivets and wood from a manzanita burl; making neck pendants out of abalone shell; getting my 12′ aluminum Klamath boat with 15 HP Evinrude back into the water after 20 years of hardly using it; skinning road kill animals, and treating (cleaning, bleaching) various animal skulls: foxes, skunks, bobcats…; doing homestead maintenance, which is endless, but of late, gratifying; listening to a ton of good music—boy between Grooveshark and YouTube, it’s a listener’s paradise; been digging clams, catching the occasional eel; making sauerkraut, pickled onions, smoking salmon and eels when available; trying out marijuana tinctures, other ways to get cannabinoids without smoke (or even vapor); hiking and paddling (not often enough); hanging out with my friend Louie when I can, going up to stay with him in the Mendocino woods in a few weeks…that’s just a small part of it all…hey, here’s what just came on, “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)” by Lee Dorsey:

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The Barefoot Farmer grows more than food

“Take a trip to Jeff Poppen’s Long Hungry Creek Farm and you’ll find a year-round farm. You’re also likely to stumble across some agricultural teaching moments or discover yourself in the middle of a 1,000-person celebration. And it’s possible you’ll find all of that occurring simultaneously.

 Poppen, known to many as the Barefoot Farmer, uses his land to grow and raise food like plenty of other farmers do. But much more happens around his 250 acres in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, and most of it centers around Poppen’s many passions — a passion for small family farms, for community, for getting young people back on the land, and for healing the environment.…”

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Australian Beekeepers Invention: Honey on Tap

On 2/19/15, Kevin Kelly wrote in a message entitled

Automatic honey harvester:

“Might be revolutionary; might be hype.

To which I replied:

“Looks plausible. The FAQs read pretty well. You keep the normal brood chamber.

They ought to set one up in the UC Davis bee lab. You used to be able to stop in there and watch the bees through a glass cover do their pollen-directional dance.

If this really does work and doesn’t get clogged, it’s revolutionary. To not have to mess with extractors would be a boon for a family-sized bee colony.”


Then Kevin emailed again:

“That crazy honey extractor has raised $ 2.5 million so far and counting.

If it does not work a lot of folks will be disappointed.

But I tell ya, Kickstarter-style crowd funding is very powerful.

— KK”

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Wild Foods From Berkeley and Oakland Sidewalks

“UC Berkeley professors Philip Stark and Tom Carlson are self-proclaimed botanical rubberneckers. When both of them walk their daily route to campus, it’s rare that they’ll take a few steps without stopping in their tracks, bending down, and finding some food to snack on.

Their wild snacks are what most people would call weeds.

Weeds, they say, get a really bad rap. Instead Stark and Carlson want people to think of them as wild edibles, underprivileged plants, or forgotten foods. ‘They’re just an incredible resource and we’re not using them,’ Stark says.'”…

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Meals on Wheels in Hanapepe

There’s a great street fair in Hanapepe on Friday nights. (I’m back home from Kauai now and in a bit of a quandary with so many photos– will post them from time to time.)

This is a great little town.

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Fresh Local Tropical Fruit in Kapa’a

On east side of highway. Everything this lady sells is fresh and good.

By way of contrast, I ate a banana from my hotel’s “continental breakfast” table this morning and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Thinking back, I recall that in Costa Rica, one of the world’s big banana producers, the bunches of bananas on the trees are ensconced in blue plastic bags permeated with insecticides. The Ticos call them “condoms.”

The bananas from this stand are small and sweet, with an almost citrus-like tang.

Rambutan fruits. (Not prickly, but soft on the exterior.) Inside is a tangy gelatinous fruit around a large seed.

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“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”: You Know That Cheap Beef You Buy At Costco?

Guest editorial by Wayne Jacintho* posted in The Garden Island newspaper July 29, 2013: 

Kauai’s chemical companies (seed farmers) like to tell us they’re feeding the world. Using poisons and genetic engineering, they’ve helped give us an Everest of cheap federally subsidized corn that is fed to cattle, which gives us cheap beef. Since looking into this feeding of grain to a grass-eater, I no longer eat cheap beef. I buy local, and I’d like to tell you why.

My story begins with Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” a book about three sources of meals: American Agribusiness, organic farms, and hunting/gathering. In chapter 4, “The Feedlot”, Pollan purchases an eight-month-old steer in South Dakota and follows his steer to a feedlot in Kansas where it will be fattened for slaughter. He smells the lot’s stench more than a mile before seeing: 37,000 cattle, a hundred or so per pen, standing or lying in a gray slurry of feces, urine and mud, as far as the eye can see.

His steer will exist briefly in this place so different from a farm or ranch that a new name had to be invented: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, which could not exist without corn that cost CAFOs less to buy than it does to grow, corn that has “found its way into the diet of [cattle] that never used to eat much of it … In their short history, CAFOs have produced more than their share … of polluted water and air, toxic wastes [and] novel and deadly pathogens” and a waste pollution problem “which seldom is remedied at all.”

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