Our local bounty: Farm to you

NEVADA AND PLACER COUNTIES ARE home to a growing, healthy and vibrant base of local farms, rivaling the Central Valley, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo. From fruits and vegetables (Riverhill Farm and Machado Orchards, for example) to grass-fed beef (Nevada County Free Range Beef and Sinclair Family Farm) — from olive oil, jams and honey […]

Celebrating Mardi Gras

EARLIER THIS WINTER, WE VISITED NOLA for a vacation. We enjoyed the sight-seeing and authentic Cajun cuisine. We ate a famous muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery & Deli in the French Quarter (a 10”-round Sicilian sesame loaf stuffed with ham, salami, provolone and a signature briny marinated olive salad filled with kalamata and green olives […]

Farm-to-table pioneer Alice Waters to speak in Grass Valley in September

Alice Waters, the pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, is speaking at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley on September 8. The event is presented by The Center and sponsored by BriarPatch Co-op. “A Conversation with Alice Waters” exemplifies the growing food sustainability movement in our region. Waters also is expected to break bread […]

Alice Waters’ local ties: from a forager to a farmer

ALICE WATERS HAS BEEN A CHAMPION of the farm-to-table movement for over four decades. She is a national treasure, as is her Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. We’ve admired Waters since our college days at UC Berkeley in the late ’70s: We’ve eaten at her restaurant on Shattuck Ave. (upstairs and downstairs), interviewed her in […]

Gold Rush towns: Pairing food and wine with winter sports

THOUGH MOUNTAIN RESORTS ARE appealing, some people would rather stay out of the deep snow and take easy day-trips to the slopes. In Colorado, Après Ski Denver now has a following. Here’s a locals’ secret in the Sierra foothills—historic towns such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn, Sutter Creek and Plymouth are all less congested […]

Gary Snyder & Tom Killion: The Art of Friendship

LIKE NATURALIST JOHN MUIR, Pulitzer-prize winning poet Gary Snyder’s words about the Sierra point to its extraordinary beauty, ecological importance and rich cultural history. In The High Sierra of California, Snyder’s prose, Tom Killion’s woodcut artistry, as well as Muir’s writings, capture the multiple facets of the region. The two famous artists—who share an appreciation […]

Nevada City: Festivals & Fall Foliage

NEVADA CITY IS AN IDEAL PLACE FOR VIEWING FALL COLORS, in the leafy, Victorian neighborhoods surrounding the historic downtown and just outside of downtown. “Leaf peeping” venues near town include Hirschman’s Pond, redolent of a golden pond in New England; the Deer Creek Tribute Trail, honoring the contributions of native Nisenan; Independence Trail; the wild […]

“Kitchen Cabinets”: Friends & family who advise each other in a real kitchen

“Kitchen cabinet” politics is a group of unofficial advisers to a political leader—often more influential than the official cabinet. President Reagan’s “kitchen cabinet” included trusted old friends, as did the group assembled by Andrew Jackson in 1829. Next year, our new President will form his or her own “kitchen cabinet.” The same is true when […]

Winter: An ideal time to sign up for a cooking class

“No one is born a great cook. One learns by doing.” — Julia Child WINTER IS AN IDEAL TIME TO SIGN UP for a cooking class in the foothills or Truckee. We’re indoors more, thanks to the wintry weather, and a cooking class helps you master new recipes, perhaps with the kitchenware you received for […]

Visit Nevada City for Fall Colors and Victorian Christmas

WHETHER IT’S FOR FALL COLORS, Halloween or Thanksgiving festivities, or Victorian Christmas, Nevada City is a perfect getaway this time of year. The Gold Rush town is famous for showcasing the red, orange and gold colored leaves of autumn. “Nevada City, a historical landmark, is an idyllic town brimming with charm,” wrote TheCultureTrip.com, recently naming it […]

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