I woke up on Valentine’s Day morning with a river of love and happiness streaming through me. It’s not a mere romance that has filled me up today. Rather, I had the unbridled pleasure of spending a perfect spring Saturday in the company of eleven remarkably authentic wild women. We came together on a Wild Woman adventure to awaken our true natures, to build a sisterhood, and to deeply entangle ourselves in the great web of life. [Read more…]
The California bay laurel tree (Umbellularia californica) is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most iconic trees. This tree is closely related to avocado, cinnamon and the European bay laurel, whose leaves we often throw into tomato sauces and soups. You can substitute the leaves of our local bay trees for European bay leaves.
In early winter, California bay trees put forth flower buds that can be gathered and pickled into capers. I like to eat them with goat cheese on an acorn cracker. [Read more…]
Acorns have been eaten and revered for their nourishment the world over—by Celts, by Koreans, by the native people throughout North America. Perhaps your ancestors were acorn eaters – you might be surprised Long before the cultivation of wheat or the advent of agriculture, people from Mesopotamia to China, from ancient Rome to northern Africa, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, relied on oak trees and their acorn crops for food. And what a nourishing, robust food it is! On his long treks through the Sierra Nevada mountains, John Muir swore by the hearty acorn bread he learned to make from the native people of California. What’s more, the preparation of acorn food is easy, and it reweaves you into the web of life.
The oak tree, a wild being, grows of its own will in its natural habitat, fed by seasonal rains and sunshine. In a robust year, a single valley oak can provide up to 1000 pounds of acorns. In California alone, we have 20 different species of oaks, each adapted to California’s great diversity of ecosystems. Acorns are high in protein, carbs and fat, and were the staple food for the native people of California, much as wheat is to us today. [Read more…]