Pancakes at the lake


Ordinarily, I don’t put much effort into breakfast.  I start the day with whole grain toast, peanut butter and jam more often than not.

When we’re car camping, however, it’s another story.  I’m ready for a real breakfast when hiking, paddling or just hanging around the campfire are on the day’s agenda.  And nothing delights the whole family more than blueberry pancakes with butter and maple syrup. Continue reading Pancakes at the lake

A present from Julia


Raise a glass to Julia Child.

Today would have been the 100th birthday of the phenomenon the world came to know as the French Chef–and the food world is pulling out all the stops.

Bloggers, including yours truly, have been writing about Julia’s classic recipes all summer for the JC100 social media campaign organized by Knopf, publisher of her classic, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  Newspapers, magazines, and web sites are offering remembrances and tributes.

I’ve been making omelets and reading a wonderful new biography, “Dearie, The Remarkable Life of Julia Child,” by Bob Spitz (Knopf, 2012).  The title alludes to the pet name she bestowed on virtually everyone she met. Continue reading A present from Julia

Salad for supper

It’s been so hot around here recently that I haven’t really felt like a big meal. The mere thought of spending much time working over a hot stove has been downright depressing.

These are the days when all I want is salad for supper.

Fortunately, I had all the ingredients on hand tonight for a recipe that I’ve been developing in tribute to my new hometown. Continue reading Salad for supper

Summer spritzer from hibiscus flowers


The first time I sipped hibiscus flower tea was at a short-lived Caribbean barbecue joint in Milpitas. Served over ice, the tea was tart and refreshing with a flavor faintly reminiscent of cranberries.  The owner called it jamaica, I assumed after his homeland.

As is often the case, though, as soon as I was aware of  jamaica, I began to spot it on the menus of Mexican restaurants everywhere I went in the South Bay.  Jamaica (ha-mike-a), it turned out, is Spanish for hibiscus.  I loved the underlying flavor, but the Mexican version was usually too sweet for me.  I would order it with ice and then wait for the cubes to melt and dilute the drink.

When I spotted the familiar red beverage at a Portland farmers market recently, it felt like time to try to make my own. Continue reading Summer spritzer from hibiscus flowers