Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Moab Tuesday

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Arches National Park

Arches National Park

So, today I meandered around the town a bit. Every bit as cool as I remembered, and then some.

Book situation: At least 2 very good bookstores (one with an espresso stand) and an excellent library. Lots of great galleries. I only hit a couple, but was very impressed. I bought 2 books right away, by 2 of the authors who’ll be giving workshops: Deborah Madison & Ann Vileisis. Trying to decide which one to go to (I can only choose one.) Total aside… just found out my San Miguel landlord, Agustin Gaytan, who’s a chef/consultant has just signed a book deal!

Food situation: LOTS of good healthy food, as well as the Mexican & steak-centric cuisine you’d expect in the West. Tomorrow I’m planning to check out Hogi/Yogi as well as the Taste of Om juice bar.

Then I decided I’d better get out to Arches & start soaking up that red rock mojo. I can’t explain what the red rock does to me… Maybe it’s being an earth-energy Virgo, maybe I was an Anasazi in a past life… maybe I just LOVE it. (more…)

Moab, UT!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
View from my motel

View from my motel

OK, faithful readers, here I am in Moab, UT!

I’m here for a writing conference, all about food & food issues, the Moab Confluence.  Due to scheduling changes, I’ve got a couple days before & after the conference to bum around in this beautiful area. I was trying to figure out when I’d been here before, and it must have been 12 or 13 yrs ago. Way too long, anyway, because I fell in love with the red rock then, and vowed to come back.

Moab was a great little town back then, full of mountain bikers and river runners, and it looks like it’s only gotten better. Today my plan is to explore the town & head out to Arches National Park, which is just outside town. I passed some gorgeous scenery on my way in last night, but with the sun going down & my being completely jet-lagged & dehydrated, I basically said “Wow!” and kept driving.

Saw signs on the way into town for a Pinon nut stand… need to check that out, for sure!

Now it’s off to explore!

Neighborhood grocers, redux

Sunday, September 13th, 2009
George Bowers Grocery, Staunton, VA

George Bowers Grocery, Staunton, VA

Staunton (that’s “Stan-ton,” not “Stawn-ton”) Virginia takes pride in its blend of reverence for the old, with modern twists. Like the trolley car buses that minimize downtown traffic, while allowing easy access to landmarks and shops.

Not far from Downtown , New Town Staunton is also experiencing a renaissance. As old mansions and homes are being restored, so are some of the storefronts that served their original owners.

One of these is the George Bowers Grocery, originally founded in 1881. It’s been reclaimed to service by a young duo- Brian Wiedemann and Katie McCaskey- who stock the shelves with a variety of wines/beers, including many from Virginia and locally produced foodstuffs. They also grow some of  the produce they sell, in a rented city lot a few blocks away at Lush Farms.

Katie says that while they aren’t a one-stop shopping experience, the neighborhood has been very supportive of their efforts. And why not, when each item is carefully selected by the owners, who cultivate relationships with both their suppliers and patrons, and serve as a knowledgeable link between them.

In Downtown Staunton, there is another neighborhood grocery, with a slightly different slant. Cranberry’s is a natural foods grocery and deli (with juice bar, and gluten-free choices.) Like George Bowers, the accent is on local, and healthy.

While neighborhood groceries may not supplant the supermarket chains, the idea of a local grocery as a link, more accessible than a once or twice a week farmers market, and a gathering place for the neighborhood, may be an idea whose time has come- again.

Moab Confluence- Hyperventilating…

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Just a quick note…

Just got all my ducks in a row (flight, hotel, reservations) for the Moab Confluence– Eating the West.

It’s a writing intensive workshop/festival, set in Moab, UT (one of my favorite places) with super-star food writers, lots of good food and even a film festival. So that’s where I’ll be @ the end of October for a wk (then coming back here to help get ready for sheepdog trials.)

I’m a little shocked at myself. I’ve been registered for a month, but keep hemming & hawing. As JA says, attendance is not juried. It’s still a little scary, but now that I have my ticket, I’m definitely going. Yipes! I mean- yippee!