If you are familiar with this San Francisco favorite, you know there is no definitive recipe other than starting with the catch of the day — whatever that may be. And tomatoes. Then you could add sausage. Or not. And serve it on rice. Or spaghetti. Or as a soup. In other words, Cioppino is a grab-bag, just like this post. I’m hoping, if I throw in all the bits and pieces, nuggets and chunks I’ve been collecting over the past few days, it will all turn out beautiful and tasty. We’ll see.
First up: I’m having a blast with the Wine Country Wildflowers field guide I told you about in yesterday’s post. That’s the one that wisely categorizes things by color. I see a blue flower and I just flip to the blue chapter and scan through the glossy pictures until I find a match. The book also wisely puts the common name in big bold letters and the Latin names in little subordinate italics. Don’t get me wrong, I love Latin. Took years of it. But it just seems to take the fun out of flowers. Say I told you I had some nice stands of Liliacae, Mimmulus guttatus and Cynoglossum grande. You might yawn. If I told you they were Diogenes Lantern, Sticky Monkey Flower and Hound’s Tongue. Well, now you’ve got the picture.
Yes, I’m forming a Chapter of The Campaign for Real Plant Names. And I’m appointing myself President. Consider Henderson’s Shooting Star. I don’t know who Henderson is, but I love his flower. Apparently so did California Natives. They roasted the leaves and roots for dinner.
Thus ends the teaching portion of our program and we move to the question period. Where I ask the questions and, hopefully, you give me answers. You’ve probably guessed that the topic is going to be my misadventures with vegetables. So Question One: how do you tell when carrots are ready for harvest? Do I dig them up to check? If they aren’t ready, do I replant them? How do carrots feel about this?
Similar question with Fava Beans, which I’m growing, not for beans, but as a nitrogen fixer and green manure. All my gardening books say they’ve “fixed” when the nodules on the roots turn pink. So, I pulled one up. Not ready.
Next question: how does anyone grow bulbs outdoors? Mine are dug up and chomped down by varmints as soon as I put them in the ground. That’s with a fenced raised bed covered with netting. And two terriers on patrol.
Okay, bored with showing my ignorance. How about a quick check of this week’s highlights at Two Terrier Vineyards?
John the Baptist found the tracks of a Bobcat and a baby Bobcat. So I guess Bob the Bobcat will have to be rechristened Roberta. I rushed to take a picture of the track, but two terriers stomped all over the site before I could focus.
The Barn Swallows are getting set to build nests in the eaves of the barn. One little bird dude decided there was an evil interloper living in my wing mirrors.
On a culinary note, I finally tried the American Bison meat that Sonoma Market has been pushing. Yeah, yeah, lower cholesterol, less fat. But what got me to buy was their great new slogan. And I’m always a sucker for a good tagline.
So that’s it. Everything’s in the pot and hopefully coalesced into some sort of post.