My first article, a history of Sonoma County’s legendary radio station KVRE FM, was published in 1984.

In March 1986, my first article about food, “Try Lamb for Easter,” was published in the Sebastopol Times and News. Since then, I have written hundreds of columns, essays, feature stories and blog posts for local and national publications. “Serving Werner Herzog’s Shoe”  won a 1997 James Beard Award for Magazine Feature Writing.

In this section, you’ll find new work weekly, along with treasures—think of them as my greatest hits—from my archives.


poached cherries Article

It’s Time for Cherries!

Cherries--the Early Burlat appeared at Sonoma County Farmers Markets early this year, in mid April. Bings are abundant and Queen Annes, also known as Ranier cherries, will show up any ...

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Food Stands at Harvest Market Festival Philadelphia Narrative

One Morning in Philly

I feel conspicuous, a woman with red hair and a leopard print coat, alone, eating a hot pepper and steak sandwich at 10 a.m. The enormous market is bulging with ...

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Portrait of young girl Narrative

Lost Rites: The Maypole Remembered

As the strands shorten and we are drawn closer to the center, we duck under each other to create the proper criss-cross of streamers. Eventually we drop our strands of ...

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Tribute to Louie Traverso

I fell in love with Louie and his younger brother Rico in the early 1980s when I began cooking in earnest. I’d shopped at Traverso’s before then, but ...

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Carrots and vegetables on plate Narrative

Sweet Talisman of Change

Finding myself in India that summer should have led to a culinary adventure of significant proportions, but I had a young and naive palate. I lived on rice, dal, and ...

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Spring Fever

There is something about the recipes in Venus in the Kitchen that is remarkably brutal, as if a show of willingness to eat anything at all, no matter how beautiful, ...

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Carrots and vegetables on plate Narrative

Red-Stained Fingers

The ancient fruit is the symbol of Persephone, goddess of spring and daughter of the goddess of the harvest, Demeter. When Hades captured Persephone and carried her down to share ...

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Carrots and vegetables on plate Article


It was a recent Indian dinner in San Francisco that brought the images tumbling forward once again. I was a young single mother and a student at Sonoma State University, ...

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Nutmeg wrapped in mace Fresh

Nutmeg, the Fertile Female

A single male tree can fertilize up to twenty trees, with ten considered ideal by commercial producers. Since nutmeg trees do not reveal their sex until they are about seven ...

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