Monday, August 31, 2009


Grants Pass, OR, Aug. 31—
ON THE ROAD again, checking into a cheap motel, eating a late supper at a place we've tried before. After a so-so salad with sweet raspberry vinaigrette we had the daily special: baked sturgeon with mushrooms sautéed in butter, broccoli and zucchini on the side, and a scoop of mashed potatoes — instant, Lindsey suspects — oddly decorated with two chives stuck into the scoop, vertically, like an old-time rabbit-ears TV antenna.
Pinot gris: "Forest," 2008
• Rivers Edge, 1936 Rogue River Hwy, Grants Pass OR; tel. 541-479-3938

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Market day salmon

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 30, 2009 —
WELL, NOT EXACTLY: market was yesterday. Still, salmon. And not the nice river salmon from Oregon we've been getting recently (an unfortunate substitution for the local salmon that's so much better, to my way of thinking), but King salmon from Alaska, much oilier. Still, you take what you get and you're grateful, and it's not bad, not bad at all. I'd made a nice guacamole to have with a rare Sunday Martini (well, we missed it yesterday, and Friday, and last Saturday), and Lindsey cooked some nice Lima beans to have with the salmon, dressed with lime juice, and there were fine sliced tomatoes on the side. Green salad? Of course.
Cheap Pinot grigio

A Little Lunch

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 29, 2009 —
FRIENDS UP FOR LUNCH: I made a casual pan bagnat, ciabatta rolls from the Downtown Bakery in town, split, liberally sprinkled with olive oil; then sliced tomatoes, very thin-sliced onions, and roasted peppers; then their lids put on and the whole thing weighted down. (I set the stainless-steel skillet on top of the finished sandwiches, and put every cast-iron skillet I could find inside.) A little fruit on the side, and some good cheese. What more do you need?
Sauvignon blanc, Rodney Strong, 2008; Rosé, Côtes de Luberon

Chez Panisse at 38

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 28, 2009 —
I WONDER HOW MANY birthdays I've celebrated at 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley. I wasn't there for dinner the first night,back in 1971: I was working that night. I did stop by at the end of the night, when energy was playing out. But I didn't actually eat that meal — paté en croute, as Lindsey recalls; duck with olives; a fruit tart, I imagine.
What we had tonight: delicious crudités, raw peppers, fennel, cucumbers, dressed with the merest hint of lime juice and good salt. Then deep-fried halibut and smelt, with more vegetables, and purslane, and aïoli. Then a miracle of a course: a corn soufflée, apparently baked in an individual mold lined with a squash blossom — but baked for the shortest possible time; then turned out into a dish of corn-flavored velouté. How the hell did they do that?

Then the main course: squab from the grill, with lightly grilled figs, and broad beans, and shell beans. A course like this at its best combines textures, tastes, scents, and colors; it's like orchestration, where you think about the range of pitches from low to high, the complexities of overtones (think flute versus oboe), the pop of the attacks of sounds, their loudnesses of course. That's just a chord, of course; things get more complicated when time, the horizontal dimension, begins to take over. Same thing with the ingredients of a dish like this. They want to balance; they want to merge; they want to converse; they want to collaborate.
Then fruit: Bronx grapes, muscat-like but delicate, and delicious peaches, firm and sliced to exactly the right dimension, so that the firm surfaces, cleanly cut with a sharp knife, made maximum contact with the tongue. And then, and then,
crèpes with mulberry ice cream and mulberries and raspberries, flamed with Kirsch. I do think this was perhaps the best birthday dinner yet at Chez Panisse.
Rosé, Bandol, Domaine Tempier, 2008; Gigondas, Domaine Les Pallières, 2006; Baumes de Venise

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pasta, red sauce

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 27, 2009 —
STEAMED BROCCOLI with the last of the aïoli; then fusilli with red sauce, followed by a good green salad. Nothing new here, but a good dinner. And now I'm caught up.
Cheap Pinot grigio; Merlot, Barefoot Cellars, nv

El Salvador

Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 26, 2009 —
AFTER A MORNING IN Berkeley we didn't feel like lingering there for lunch, so stopped off at a Salvadorean restaurant halfway home, in Rohnert Park, though it was a little too close to supper.
We know the owner-chef, Rocio, because she worked at the Downtown Bakery and Creamery in its early days, when Lindsey was there two days a week. She's a very sweet, serious woman, a hard worker, a woman well attuned to family and the kind of attentiveness and generosity shared family responsibilities naturally develop. Everything on the menu at her restaurant — and there's a lot on the menu — seems to be made by her hands and from her heart and mind. Her husband's in the kitchen, too, but I think it's her sensibility that informs the cooking here. And her sensibility is informed by her mother's, I'm sure, and by her childhood experiences.
El Malecon is named for the embarcadero facing the beach in Rocio's native Puerto de la Libertad, in El Salvador. She told us that as a child she often walked up into the country behind the beach to visit relatives — a ten-hour walk, each way — and that the time in the country was her favorite time as a child. (When I suggested that her cousins probably recalled time at the beach as their best time, she smiled and agreed.)
The food at El Malecon has country heartiness and depth of flavor, and intelligence and subtlety that I could easily attribute to a port and its intersections of cuisine. Maybe I'm romanticizing; that happens. Whatever the source, the food is very tasty, the flavors pointed with their individual sources, while merging into combinations that seem to reconfigure imaginatively even while you're eating.
I wish I could have had the dish in the photo above, but I can't eat shrimp. They were sautéed along with onions, celery, peppers, and herbs; the chili and olive oil are apparent in the photo.
What I did have was the Tipico Salvadoreño #2: eggs scrambled with chorizo, with house-made thick tortillas, and quite delicious beans with rice. An excellent lunch.
Beer: Pilsener "Centenario"

  • El Malecon, 217 Southwest Blvd., Rohnert Park, CA 94928; tel. (707) 794-9047;

  • Back to civilization

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 25, 2009 —
    CAMP COFFEE TO START the day, strong and delicious (I'd brought ground Blue Bottle "Romano" coffee to stir into the spring water), but it took a nice cappuccino in Covelo a couple of hours later, to nail the morning down. And, after three days essentially in the Wild West, I was starved for a good salad.
    Back home by two in the afternoon that's just what I made. Garlic crushed with salt; good olive oil; my own Eastside Road vinegar, and good organic lettuce. A loaf of bread, more oil and salt, and bliss.

    And then a pleasant dinner with friends: barbecued chicken; nicely dressed tomatoes and cucumbers, sautéed onions and peppers; rice with tomatoes and peppers; good conversation. I like the wilderness; I also like civilization.
    Sauvignon blanc, New Zealand


    Green Springs campground, Yolla Bolly, August 24, 2009 —
    SOME OF MY HAPPIEST days have been on the trail, though I'm not exactly an outdoorsman. But camping in the United States presents two almost unsurmountable problems, involving personal cleanliness and dining. I can deal with the former for two or three days. The latter is another thing.

    We'd lunched perfectly adequately, to my taste, on almonds, dried fruit, a dry salami, and bread. But what about dinner? We'd planned on backpacking, not car-camping, so chili and beans, or fried potatoes and bacon and onions, or other such traditional fare was ruled out. Instead we had one of those packages of freeze-dried noodles and chunks of chicken. Jim's admirable mother-in-law Aida had outfitted her camping van with cupboards and stocked them with such things as marjoram, bouillon powders, and salt and pepper, so Jim dressed the stuff up. It was okay.
    Single-malt Scotch whisky; water

    Rodeo (2)

    Laytonville, California, August 23, 2009 —
    WE STAYED IN Laytonville Sunday, driving out Branscomb road to the coast in the morning and coming back through Leggett, since the rodeo wasn't scheduled to begin before one o'clock. Lunch was a barbecued hamburger at the rodeo, cold though wrapped in foil. Oh well. Beers and margaritas at the bar.

    Dinner, though, now, that was something else again. Another party, this time in what can only be called an Italian-American country town paradise, with a long table under a grape arbor, well-tended vegetable beds, a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor cooking facilities, a place made for mangiare al fresco.
    Here we had fried chicken, grilled eggplant, tomatoes and peppers, and a freshly-made blackberry pie full of heart. I don't know how it gets better than this.
    Local Syrah; several flavored brandies

    Rodeo (1)

    Laytonville, California, August 22, 2009 —
    WE WERE UP IN Laytonville, a couple of hours north of us in Mendocino county, to visit Paolo and his family and to see the rodeo. Then my friend Jim and I would stay the night and watch more rodeo next day and then maybe head out for the rough country to hike and camp.
    Eating at the rodeo isn't exactly eating at Chez Panisse. Take the decor, for example:
    (that's my 6-year-old grandson under the hat)

    big tables, high stools outside the bar; long picnic tables in front of the booths selling Indian tacos and cold hamburgers.

    So we gratefully accepted an invitation to Joe's for dinner. Joe lives near the rodeo grounds, and like every Laytonviller I've ever met loves to eat and drink, make friends, and share. A grill was set up on the driveway apron, a picnic table or two was spread with oilcloth. Bowls of chips; barbecued oysters; platters of delicious local lamb; loaves of bread. We took a bottle of wine along with us; most others seemed to prefer beer.

    Redwood Creek Pinot noir (“vin de pays de l’ile de beauté"), Frei Brothers, 2008
    no doubt a Corsican wine, modest but very fruity

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Pasta with anchovies

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 21—
    OKAY, IT'S OFFICIAL: another promotion to the Hundred Plates. I've written about it here before. Lindsey warmed some anchovies in a fair amount of olive oil with a fair amount of crushed garlic, and tossed them into the cooked pasta — fusilli, tonight. By rights you'd then sprinkle chopped Italian parsley on top, but it's all gone to seed. I made do with grindings of good black Tellicherry pepper.
    Cheap Pinot grigio

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Birthday steak

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 20, 2009
    WELL IT'S MY BIRTHDAY too, yeah, so why not have steak a second day running? There was a little left from yesterday, grilled a little less rare than I like (I was thinking of the guests when I grilled it) but still damn tasty. What you do is, when you get it home from the butcher, immediately sprinkle salt on all surfaces, stack the steaks, and wrap them loosely in brown paper (an old paper bag works fine) and refrigerate until needed. Mesquite charcoal, a few grapevine cuttings. That's the last of the aïoli; I'll have to make another batch next week. The shell beans are from the garden, delicious little Italian beans and a few ringers from the next row. Broccoli for health. Green salad, of course.
    And before dinner, since it's a special day, guacamole; and afterward, a nice local crottin.
    Merlot (it was a gift), Barefoot Cellars, nv

    Another patio party

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 19, 2009—
    IT LOOKS LIKE THINGS are taking a serious turn, but looks are misleading, we're just catching up. Lindsey's the oldest of five girls, and they were all here yesterday, with a number of the men too. Hot dogs and flatiron steaks off the grill, a delicious fava-bean paste, green salad, chips of course. Lindsey's superb peach ice cream. Long lunch.
    Pieter's beer; cheap Pinot grigio, Var rosé, okay red wine.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Mushroom toasts

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 18, 2009—

    MUSHROOMS, SAUTEED in olive oil with a little salt, served over toast, a little sherry, some chives. A very delicious first course, followed by papas: boiled potatoes sliced and crisped with scraps of salt cod from yesterday. Tomato. Green salad from the garden. Life is good.
    Cheap Pinot grigio

    Monday, August 17, 2009


    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 17, 2009—

    LAST TIME, JULY 25, I reported that the aioli had broken, and had to be repaired. Today's was made as I've always made it, and did not break. My technique, with photographs, is on my website. I'll only add here that there's a pretty good write-up on Wikipedia, not lacking some humor. Alice was up for lunch, and Lindsey'd fixed a salt cod, and we had also, as you can see, blanched carrots and green beans (Nancy Skall's matchless Musicas) and boiled potatoes, and little artichokes (also Nancy's), and green and red carrots. This is truly a delicious summertime lunch and it didn't hurt to have more for dinner.
    Viognier, Preston Vineyards (Dry Creek Valley), 2007

    Sunday, August 16, 2009


    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 16, 2009 —
    OVER TO A FRIEND'S for a barbecue dinner party. An opera singer married to a theater director, between jobs he lives and gardens-or-farms west of Sebastopol, tending an impressive market garden of vegetables and herbs, most of which end up in a local restaurant.
    We arrived to find him presiding over a smoker, slow-cooking, Texas-style, chicken breasts, pork ribs, veggie-burger-type potato pancakes (latkes of a sort: grated potato, onion, carrot, roasted garlic); with hummus and red-pepper-yoghurt sauces, and raw carrots, and bread and olives and chips, and and and.
    Mojitos; cheap Pinot grigio; Hook and Ladder Sirah; Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 in magnum

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Saturday salmon

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 15, 2009—
    SATURDAY AGAIN, market again, salmon again. Delicious fresh corn for lunch, but salmon and Nancy's first-rate lima beans for dinner. Green salad.
    Bobal rosé, Albero, 2008

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Crêpe, ham and cheese

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 14, 2009—
    WE SAID WE WOULDN'T eat out tonight, we've hardly eaten at home this last week, but at the last minute a couple of old friends suggested stopping in at a nearby restaurant we've always liked but always neglected, so, saying we'd eat light, why not, we said.
    Mirepoix is a comfortable bistro in a pleasant bungalow in Windsor. Not one of the faux-"village" buildings in Theme Park Windsor; one of the few old houses left standing along the main road toward the freeway and the shopping plaza. The website tells you about its menu: changing daily specials, bistro standbys, nice side dishes. I had a simple ham-and-cheese crêpe with a nice little green salad on the side, and afterward split a "saddened chocolate cake" — an individual slumpy cakelet with a nice caramel ice cream on the side. I'd go back next week.
    Pinot noir, Dutton Estate, 2006 (thanks, John)

  • Restaurant Mirepoix, 275 Windsor River Rd., Windsor, CA; tel. (707) 838-0162

  • Sand dabs

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 13, 2009—
    IT IS A POPULAR game fish in California, and is regarded as a delicacy, though it is not as popular elsewhere." So writes Wikipedia, and who am I to argue with Wikipedia? We here on Eastside Road regard it as a delicacy. I usually cook them Venice-style, sweet-sour, with raisins and sliced onions and a little vinegar. Lindsey sauteed them simply tonight, in a little olive oil, and served them with tomatoes and green beans, and they were, well, delicate, which I suppose is what a delicacy should be. Green salad.
    Bobal rosé, Albero, 2008

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009


    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 12, 2009—
    THE ONE THING I forgot, again, was to ask about the name: why Eloise?
    It's south of Sebastopol, a little north of the furnace factory where Dad worked when we first moved to the country, fall of '45. Roadside restaurant building; was Chez Peyo for years. New Yorkers bought it a year or so ago, wanting to raise their kid in California, way I heard it. Amuse-gueules were toasts with rabbit-liver mousse, very nice. Then I opened with marinated sardines, with avocado on the side, and John and I split some headcheese (superlative) and duck prosciutto.
    On to nice tender gnocchi with Swiss chard and ricotta, in drawn butter, flavored with little sage leaves: optimal.
    Fine service, fine wine list, very pleasant room. There's something a little off-kilter about the menu, which seems to hesitate uneasily between country French and evolved Italian, and tosses terms around confusingly: what would tomatoes "bagna cauda" be, or a "goat cheese panisse"? But I like the place. We were here a year ago, and wil likely be back in a year.
    Sauvignon blanc, Preston Vineyards, 2008; Brouilly, Thivin, 2007

    Saints alive!

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 11, 2009 —
    KEES'S BIRTHDAY: we all drove up to Geyserville for dinner at Santi, one of the really good restaurants around here — not great, we agreed, but very good, and comfortable, and fun. Seven of us at table. Starved for protein, for some reason, I had
    •Affettati Nostrali: three house cured salumi, marinated olives, house made giardinera
    •Bistecca Grigliata con Panzanella di Pomodoro: Grilled natural New York steak, Early Girl tomato and Bellwether Crescenza bread pudding, sauteed green beans, roasted torpedo onions

    The Toscana-style salami and the bresaola on my affettati plate were fabulous, and the peppery salami not far behind. The steak was nicely grilled, very flavorful, certainly not buttery-tender, served with a light drizzle of oil; and the bread pudding accompanying it was delightful, reminding me of the tomato-and-bread dish Mom used to make, but this was a hell of a lot better!

    Chardonnay: Terra Savia (Mendocino), 2006; Dolcetto d'Alba, Ceretto, 2007

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Pasta al pesto

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, Aug. 10—
    PASTA AL PESTO tonight, one of the nicest pestos we've had in quite a while. Two bunches, nearly, of particularly nice Genovese basil from the Kiff farm; good pine nuts and that expensive French rose-violet-colored garlic; some Pecorino along with the Parmesan; the Turkish olive oil.
    A few sausages, too, and nice sliced tomatoes, and of course a green salad, the vinaigrette flavored with pickled-sour-cherry vinegar. And for dessert, something I've never tasted before, in nearly 74 years: watermelon chunks with blackberries. And good company. What a pleasant evening.
    Rosé, TT, 2007; Zinfandel, Neyers, Napa county, 2004

    Long supper

    Healdsburg, August 9—
    A COUPLE OF FRIENDS up from Berkeley; two others here from Netherlands for a few days; long supper on a warm late afternoon-evening on the patio, grilling sausages and corn and foil-wrapped potatoes. Sliced tomatoes. Pickled sour cherries.
    Alboriña; Prosecco; Bandol rouge 1982
    Nectarines and blackberries; peach-blackberry crisp.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Salmon for lunch

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 8, 2009—
    SATURDAY: MARKET DAY. That means salmon from the Fish Guy, a couple of nice small tail-section cuts — the tail's where the flavor is. Lindsey cooked them quickly on the stove, with some of Nancy's delicious broad beans on the side, and a wedge of lemon from the tree. On the patio, on a fine afternoon.
    Cheap Pinot grigio

    lining up at the Greengrocer stall outside the movie theater

    OH: and tonight we drove into town to see Julie and Julia, a sweet, funny, diverting movie. Meryl Streep's a fine Julia Child, and while I know nothing about Julie Powell, never having read her blog or the book that's been made from it, the film introduced her as an intelligent, good-hearted, devoted person. Our local movie theater was absolutely full of people; they all loved the movie.
    And when we left the theater there outside was a dj playing records next to a catering station offering crab cakes and teeny panini and pieces of delicious cinnamon roll: it was Greengrocer, the shop in our nearby town of Windsor, our nearest source of Straus organic milk, and where I bought the hangar steaks and the pork chops I recently wrote about.
    We go to Windsor less frequently than to Healdsburg, though it's three miles closer; partly out of custom, partly no doubt out of snobbery — Windsor's two business districts define the extremes: a car-based shopping center of Safeway, Long's, Raley's, Radio Shack; and a theme-park-like concatenation of independent shops that struggle along as best they can in spite of the silly Main-Street-USA-Disneyworld architecture the "developer" imposed on them.
    Among all that, though, is Greengrocer, dedicated to us locavores. I wish them well, and plan to shop there as long as I can.
  • The Greengrocer, 434 Emily Rose Circle, WIndsor, CA; tel. 707-837-8113;

  • Zucchini frittata

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 7, 2009—
    SO MANY VEGETABLES. Fruit too, of course: it's feast or famine around here when it comes to fresh. This is the peak of the season.
    Lindsey used Deborah Madison's recipe, grating the zucchini, combining it with the eggs and grated Parmesan and chopped garlic, flavoring it with marjoram, and frying it in olive oil. I always think of The Big Night when I taste eggs cooked in olive oil, and hear that marvelous whisk-whisk-whisk of the, what else, whisk, in the moody silece that heals that marvelous story.
    Cheap Pinot grigio

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Fettuccine with clams and mussels

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 6, 2009—
    I DIDN'T COOK IT, so I can't really tell you how it was done. I think Lindsey steamed the mussels and clams with water, white wine, and onions, and then tossed them in the cooked fettuccine with chopped parsley. She was inspired by our friend Ann, who served us that dish ten days ago or so.
    With them, or rather after, crudités: red pepper, radishes, cucumbers; and then the green salad, new little lettuces coming in just now in the garden.
    Cheap Pinot grigio

    OH: and this is as good a place as any to mention that my friend John Whiting has just reported on a week of Paris bistros. It's good to hear Pharamond is as pleasurable as ever.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    Lunch chez Panisse

    Berkeley, August 5, 2009—
    GARDEN LETTUCE SALAD and then, since it's rare we get the chance to eat good fish, grilled California sea bass with Indian spices, eggplant, watercress, and mint raita, Odd to have so Indian-tasting a thing in the café, but reassuring, too: it's nice to see this kind of accommodation, a form of cultural generosity. It's precisely this kind of interest, inspired by food but going beyond it, that lends dignity to this obsessive contemplation of the table. (Ah there, Curtis, I'm beginning a response to your challenge.)

    The fish was dusted with those spices: they lay on the surface, in a way, rather than infiltrating the meat itself, just as the ethnicity of the cuisine they represent entered but did not merge with the kitchen that prepared this dish.

    Dessert: chocolate pavé, chocolate sauce, and espresso cream. J'adore le chocolat.
    Txakolina Bizkaiko, Uriondo, 2008

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    Not Niçoise

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 4, 2009—
    THOUGH THE REASON eludes me: it looks and tastes like a salade Niçoise to me. When I asked Lindsey why it wasn't, I got the answer you so often get: Because.
    Let's see: tuna, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, onion, hardboiled eggs, boiled potatoes, lettuces, olive oil, vinegar, salt. Oh: cucumbers. They certainly don't belong in a Niçoise. And where are the olives? I know: not everyone agrees about the potatoes. But olives; surely they're definitive when it comes to Niçoise.

    Whatever: it was truly delicious, with all that point, to use a French word, that fine focus, that means so much to a savory dish. Really good olive oil, and salt, and nice Jerez vinegar, and recently-picked vegetables, either from the garden or from the Farmer's market. You can't beat this.
    Pinot grigio, Sonoma county, "Forestville," 2007

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Grilled cheese sandwich

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 3, 2009—
    MOSTERDKAAS WAS A surprise. When we visit the Netherlands, nearly annually, we always come back with cheese. (Well, ditto when we visit Italy, of course.) You can bring hard cheese in, all you want, if it's vacuum-packed; we've found this works fine for Parmagiano and for various boerenkaasen, those delicious hard aged Dutch cheeses that often go by the generic names Gouda and Amsterdammer, though those are in fact quite specific cheeses, typed by terroir, or at least point of origin.
    This last time was the first time we'd run into mosterdkaas, aged cow's-milk cheese flavored with mustard seeds. Cumin's common; nagelkaas, studded with cloves, less so though one of our favorites. We like netelkaas too, flavored with nettles.
    Tonight we ate the last of it — clearly we didn't bring enough home. Lindsey made grilled cheese sandwiches, on Como bread from the Downtown Bakery. Well, not exactly grilled: she toasted them dry in the toaster-oven. With them, boiled potatoes and blanched green beans with the last of yesterday's pesto; afterward, green salad.
    Rosé, Var, "La Ferme Julien," 2007

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    Trenette al pesto

    Eastside Road, Healdsburg, August 2, 2009—
    THEY WERE A NEW kind of pasta to me: trenette, short batons, say two inches long, of a hollow thick-shelled triangular cross-section no more than a quarter inch on a side. Rustichella brand, a brand I trust. Organic. They looked to me as if they'd hold pesto nicely, and they reminded me a bit of strozzapreti, another thick short pasta that I particularly like, so I brought them home.
    Today's pesto was particularly nice: two bunches of Genovese basil from the Kiff farm, a couple of cloves of that strong flavorful French rose-violet garlic that Yael Bernier sells, also at the Healdsburg farmer's market; pine nuts not from China but from New Mexico — piñons, in fact. The Parmesan we bought last fall in Milan, getting better and nuttier as time goes by. Good Turkish olive oil from Portland. So much travel, so many friends and acquaintances, all ground up together in the marble mortar.
    Sliced tomatoes; radishes; nuts. A "petit Marcel" from Pugs Leap. That was lunch, with friends, on the patio; tonight we finished it all off for supper, with a green salad from the garden.
    Rosé, Var, "La Ferme Julien"; cheap Pinot grigio.


    Healdsburg, August 1—
    SALMON, COHO SALMON, bought from the Fish Guy at the farmers market, who makes life here even more delightful than it already is. Lindsey sauteed it and garnished it with lemon; there were delicious green beans and potatoes from the market, and tomatos…
    Rosé, Var, La Ferme Julien, 2007