Cook More, Talk Less

Cook More, Talk Less

Sometimes it’s a good idea to cook more and talk less. I find this is particularly true when I’m feeling overwhelmed, burdened, stressed or sad. I just want the world to melt away for a time and leave me in my well-loved little kitchen, surrounded by ingredients that as I touch them one-by-one conjure images of the farmers, ranchers and dairy men and women–and, of course, the winemakers–who tended them.

A Silent Conversation

It’s like being surrounded by friends but without the obligation of conversation.

The land gives us all the inspiration we need, in this case, beautiful collards.

This is one of the myriad reasons I feel so very lucky to live in Sonoma County. It is possible and even easy to fill your refrigerator and pantry with foods that tell you a specific story about your neighbors and friends. When I cook, say, lamb, I think of Rex and Kerry Williams. If duck eggs are on the menu, Lesley and Jocelyn Brabyn’s sweet faces come into focus. There are three generations of Benedettis smiling as I put a dollop of Clover butter into my blackened omelette pan and as I make a salad of pert Little Gem lettuces, there’s Renee Kiff of Ridgeview Farm, nodding approvingly.
Olive oil? Hi there, Ridgely Evers and Colleen McGlynn.

I could go on but you get the idea. There’s a special connection to the land here, needing only your attention. If you live in Sonoma County not by accident of birth but because you love this place, with its huge bowl of sky overhead and its tiny farms and big ranches and wild sea coast and rolling vineyards, you should be making the most of it. If you are not–if you live here because it is an agricultural wonderland but yet are not eating in a way that reflects and celebrates this–I am here to help. It is what I do best, teach everyone the simple and delicious joys of Sonoma home cooking.

A Simple Shift

The easiest way to do this is to stop relying on supermarkets for most of your food. All it requires is a simple shift. Shop at farm stands and farmers markets, join a farm CSA and a meat CSA, plant a little garden (need help? read about a unique gardening service here) and visit a locally-owned supermarket now and then to fill in what you can’t get closer to the source.



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