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December 2008

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Western region bloggers

Leslie AllenLeslie Allen
Reno, Nevada

I was born in California, and have fond memories of homegrown tomatoes and freshly caught crawdads. My family moved a lot when I was growing up. I even lived on the East coast for a while. More about Leslie


Laura SolorioLaura Solorio
Salinas, California

I am third in a line of strong Yaqui women. My grandmother was from Baja California, from the town of Santa Rosalia. She came to the United States as a young woman, with her first child, escaping an abusive husband. More about Laura


Scott SwendsenScott Swendsen
Boise, Idaho

I am in my late 40's and single and a bit selfish. Having no children and no spouse has allowed me to pretty much explore life in a much different way than most families would. More about Scott


Paulette ThompsonPaulette Thompson
Seattle, Washington

I, P. Thompson, also known as Paulette, love food. It should not surprise you that I love to cook and eat good food. I also love talking about it, thinking about it, and reading about it. More about Paulette

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Adios

Posted at 11:59 AM on December 26, 2008 by Laura Solorio (1 Comments)

It's December 26th and I guess this is the end of my Locavore year with the Splendid Table. I've been a fan of The Splendid Table for a few years and it was exciting to be part of their project. I don't think much will change in the coming years, in terms of my buying habits. I was raised in Hollister, California, at a time when the population was only about 8000. My family knew everyone and everyone knew us. (It was hard to get away with anything) Both my parents were farmworkers until their twenties and Sundays were spent taking drives in the coutryside with my parents pointing out the various field crops and orchards. My mother loved flowers and knew the names of local wild flowers. I extended my knowledge of wild flowers while at Stanford. I took a course from John Thomas who wrote the book, "Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California." We had to identify 100 wild flowers and plants for our final. I'm still pretty good at identifying trees and plants as I drive by fields or go hiking. We cut apricots every summer until I was old enough, (eighteen,) to work in the local tomato cannery. This year has brought me closer to roots of my family and their connection to the earth.

Some of the farmers markets in my area stay open year round. Two of them are within walking distance of my home. I was talking to one of the growers at Alba Farms the other day. She grows broccoli and even cilantro in the freezing temperatures we've been having lately. A close friend of mine lives in Santa Cruz where I often travel. Whenever they're open, I stop by the Redman House vegetable stand on Hwy. 1 near Watsonsillve. They always have a lush supply of vegetables, eggs and flowers. They also have some delicious strawberry jam made from their delicious, organic strawberries.

Some of my Christmas gifts this year included chocolates from Lula Lund's Chocolates. Scott Lund uses his grandmother's recipes for delicious caramels and truffles. His business is based in Monterey County. I have been buying Lula's chocolates at my local grocery store, Star Market, for the last year because they're local. My daughter and I were shopping on Christmas Eve at the Crossroads at the mouth of Carmel Valley and I noticed a little shop. It was a temporary shop set up by Scott Lund to sell his delicious chocolates for the holidays. We had a chance to chat with him about his business. Ana and I sampled sea salt caramels and a lavender truffle. Wow, they were outstanding. My family and friends are now fans of Lula's. You can visit their website at www.lulas.com.

It's amazing what little tidbits, one can pick up from a simple conversation. I was talking to the daughter of one of my patients about her husband. I have been seeing her mom as a doctor for over 10 years and I have never asked about her husband. He grows corn in southern Monterey County. Red corn for pozole!! For those of you who don't know what pozole is, just visit any Mexican home on New Year's and you'll either have pozole or menudo or both. I made a pozole recently with chicken, pork, and red chile sauce. I'm going to visit one of the local Mexican grocery stores and buy some of his pozole for New Year's.

My last comments will be about my friend's victory garden. My friend who lives in Santa Cruz has a brother who moved north from Los Angeles. He is only in his 50's and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He is a lifelong artist, living in the heart of L.A. Along with finding medical care for his cancer (few artists can afford health insurance,) he has started a vegetable garden in his brother's back yard. I like to think that my beautiful and bountiful tomato plants and the Locavore project were an inspiration. Either way, he did a terrific job creating a raised bed and putting up a 6-7 foot fence to protect his plants from deer. He and his brother were up late one night, in the rain, putting covers over the plants to protect them from the early frost and hail that occurred that very night. I am hoping to see his plants grow as his cancer vanishes. That is my prayer.

Lastly, I want to thank Locavore Nation and The Splendid Table for allowing me to participate in this project. I will always remember this year with fondness and a renewed commitment to Public Radio and local farmers. Thank you all. Propero Ano Nuevo!!



Comments (1)


Laura,
I look forward to meeting you and talking with you face to face!
Happy Holidays,
Paulette

Posted by P. Thompson | December 29, 2008 12:58 PM