Examining the hangover cure in the Western “El Dorado”: Was Asafoetida Known in the Old West?

For some forgotten reason, I recently watched the 1966 Western El Dorado. It’s one of the better Westerns I have seen, with more humor and a lot less racism than the typical Western (though there’s a short cringe-worthy stereotyping of Chinese near the end). The film has a top-notch cast and crew: the great Howard […]

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Finding kale boring or uncool? Try the next big things: cauliflower leaves and broccoli leaves

Updated 8/23/15 Are you sick of seeing kale everywhere? Kale salad after kale salad. Kale green-smoothies. Kale chips. Dehydrated kale dust garnish. Or are you worried that kale’s recent entry on to some McDonald’s menus, will make it totally uncool? Broccoli leaves and cauliflower leaves could be the alternative you are looking for.  They are […]

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Embracing the bitter: putting radicchio on center stage

Radicchio makes a supporting appearance in most salad mixes as a color counterpoint and additional flavor component, but rarely has a starring role. Some reasons for this are probably related to its bitterness, unavailability, high price and the idea that salad greens shouldn’t be cooked. But it’s actually a very flexible vegetable — a 1997 […]

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Breeding ground: a visit to Luther Burbank’s farm in Sebastapol

A few weeks ago, I visited Gold Ridge, Luther Burbank’s experimental farm in Sebastopol while touring the wine country and counting the hours until our reservation at Ubuntu in Napa. Luther Burbank may not be a household name, but his work touches almost everyone. Burbank (1849-1926) was a prolific breeder of fruits, vegetables, grasses and […]

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