Take Me Back to Tomales

Roughly one year ago, in my inaugural post for Our Life in Meals, I wrote about visiting a Tomales Bay oyster farm for do-it-yourself oyster shucking and barbecuing (An open mind, and mouth, for oysters).  Despite my reticence then to eat raw oysters, I embraced what I saw as a challenge and enjoyed myself thoroughly, vowing to return.  A year later, I found myself back in the same place, with the same group (plus one), and with a whole lot of food experiences and adventures under my belt.

This time, I didn’t fear the raw oyster.  Continue reading

Artichoke Oasis

Last year, we planted one small artichoke plant in our backyard.  A few months later, the plant produced two artichokes, but we weren’t quick enough to pick them.  The artichokes turned into bright purple blooms, becoming inedible.  I wasn’t going to let that happen this year, and I diligently checked on the plant to see how it was progressing.

We were right to follow advice to plant the artichoke plant away from the rest of our vegetable garden, as it continued to grow very large, resembling a giant weed.  Allowed to grow unhindered, the plant now has a six-foot diameter, taking up an entire corner of our backyard garden. Continue reading

Homemade Pasta

A few years ago, when Jan and I first moved into our house from our apartment, our new kitchen seemed like a vast amount of space in which we’d never run out of room for plates, pots and pans, kitchen tools, and gadgets.  Moving up from a tiny galley kitchen into a space with more than two under-counter cabinets, three wall cabinets, and two drawers, this feeling lasted for a while.  But then, the inevitable happened, I began using the hall closet as our overflow pantry, storing “fancy” glassware, infrequently used roasting pans, a dutch oven, miscellaneous utensils, and a growing collection of kitchen gadgets.  Then, after this space got full, a shelf in my office became dedicated to a varied collection of plates and serving dishes.

For about a year, I moved a large rotisserie oven from space to space in an effort to find a suitable location for it to be stored.  Not once in this period did we use the gadget.  Finally, we found a friend who was thrilled by the idea of making his own rotisserie chickens, and I was thankful I could reclaim those precious cubic feet in the closet. Continue reading