Because an “amuse bouche” should actually be amusing

Because an “amuse bouche” should actually be amusing

There are some things – images, tastes, sounds – that separate the forest and the trees, the dancer and the dance, the beautiful and the sublime. You stumble across them in the most unlikely moments, making every encounter with magnificence that much more magnificent.

Here is one of those things – the most “amusing” amuse bouche ever.

Peaches – nature’s candy in my hand or can or pie

“Peaches come from a can / They were put there by a man / in a factory downtown.” This is one of our family-inside-joke sort of songs, one of those ludicrous and vaguely hilarious things I found before a summer Big Sur road trip. It went on the Big Sur Road Trip playlist, along with Cows With Guns and Bongo Bong and a bunch of other songs that probably go a long way in explaining why we are the way we are, and we listened to it while driving from our Julia Pfeiffer Burns environmental campsite to a civilized dinner at the Big Sur Bakery and back. Enjoy “Peaches” by the Presidents of the United States. embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt...
Curried celery root soup

Curried celery root soup

A fabulous warming winter root vegetable soup recipe with celeriac and curry – my delicious and divine interpretation of a Nepenthe soup. Easily adaptable to a vegetarian diet and completely gluten-free. Enjoy! Click through for recipe and photos.

Paradise and Lunch in Big Sur

Paradise and Lunch in Big Sur

The Sierra Mar restaurant at Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn occupies one corner of paradise; an expanse of hewn wood and plate glass expertly cantilevered over the crystalline azure Pacific Ocean. It’s the kind of place where you might run into Jon Hamm at dinner or Lucinda Williams and Lucy Wainwright at lunch, as we did, or have afternoon cocktails with the owners of Springfield’s best tattoo and piercing parlor, as we also did. Where you enjoy your meal at a table overlooking whales spouting in in the sea below. Click to see the food.

Photographs and memories

Photographs and memories

The first good digital camera I had was a Sony Mavica, an unwieldy dinosaur that stored photos on 3.5″ floppy disks. One floppy held ten high-quality photos, and at the rate I take photos, I usually needed quite a few. On our weekend family hikes, I’d stuff stacks of them in a zip-lock baggie to mingle with the granola bars and water bottles and sunscreen in my day pack. Later at home, kids in bed, I’d download photos, disk by disk, onto the computer, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the good ones, double-check to see the photos were all safely tucked in on my C drive, then format each floppy to await the next hike. Hmm. Laborious, yes – but really just a tiny investment in time for the reward of revisiting moments like this:   That Mavica also took video, a feature I didn’t use very often. I was still getting my still-shot feet wet, and a floppy held only 30 seconds or so – what I thought was negligible amount of time in our lives. I’m sorry now that I didn’t play with that feature more; I recently came across that handful of Mavica videos and realized that 30 seconds is just about perfect, a sweet, short, snippet of our everyday lives. I strung them together to make what I thought would be a cute little video but got a bit of a tear-jerker instead. It’s a mother’s prerogative, I believe, to take photographs and memories and create a takeaway moment, a few minutes that illustrates what I think almost every single day: it just doesn’t get any better than this....
A Big Sur Thanksgiving, 1939

A Big Sur Thanksgiving, 1939

Knowing how to brine a perfect turkey is not as important as the ability to remember what, exactly, to give thanks for. Here is novelist Lillian Bos Ross’ description of her 1939 Big Sur Thanksgiving meal. Lillian Bos is one of my heroes; read on to find out more about her.