Persimmons: Don’t Judge a Fruit By Its Cover

There’s an odd rule of thumb when it comes to the persimmon: When you think it looks like garbage — that’s when you want to eat it.

Which, of course, goes against our usual thinking when it comes to fruits. If a banana turns black or an apple looks bruised, you pitch ’em in the trash […]

Simplify Thanksgiving dinner with chicken

Look, we understand your anxiety about Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s the turkey, right?

It takes forever to thaw, you have to cook it just right and – let’s face it – it’s kind of slimy and gross. (Giblets, anyone?)

pexels-chicken-picBut you’re not bound to convention. In fact, there are several meat-oriented […]

Why Cabbage Has an Image Problem

Ew — that smell. You know what I’m saying?

Cabbage.

When someone is boiling it, you definitely know it. Which is part of why cabbage has a bit of an image problem. Blame the rest on Hollywood.

Remember “Willy Wonka & and the Chocolate Factory?” In the memorable early scenes, cabbage is seen as a drab, flavorless food, which […]

Why garlic saves your neck (from vampires)

Oh, great. A Realtor is showing the house next door to a vampire – and the old ghoul looks interested.

There’s goes the neighborhood.

After you rule out relocation (All that unpacking just sucks the life out of you!), you drive yourself batty trying to figure out ways to ward off your potential new neighbor:

Going nuts over fruit year-round

img_0089Sometimes it’s really hard to say goodbye to the fruits you love. Alas, seasons change, and to every fruit there is a season. But, thanks to Avila & Sons, summer favorites, like peaches and nectarines, have an extended lifespan.

“When we don’t have fresh stuff, we have […]

From the plant to the jar — behind the popular Mama’s Preserves with Arroyo Grande farmer Lori Heal

It’s only September, but Lori Heal is already thinking of a new jam she can create for Christmas.

“I love blending and mixing,” she said. “I keep adding, and I keep mixing.”

She has farmed berries in Arroyo Grande for three decades. And as her operation grew, so too did the amount of berries she produced.

“I started […]

Let’s hear it for watermelons — using sound to pick a winner

Standing behind a table crowded with watermelons, John Lahargou beats on several of the rinds as if they were bongos. After tapping one with a slightly higher-pitched sound — offering less bass than the other melons — he stops, nods and concludes, “That’s on the greener side.”

If you search the Internet for advice on picking […]

With Autumn approaching, you’ll fall for butternut apple soup

While John Chapman is perhaps the best known ambassador of the apple — a folk hero with an eye for orchards — the fruits that Johnny “Appleseed” brought to the frontier at that time weren’t usually grown for eating or baking pies. In fact, they were called “spitters,” because that was usually what someone would […]

Juicing on the Mend

Fifteen minutes before the farmers’ market begins in downtown San Luis Obispo, passersby are already asking Julia Gomez for samples — and she’s not even finished setting up her booth. It shouldn’t be a surprise, though: Her containers full of colorful juices, stacked on ice, represent a refreshing treat on a warm day.

But they’re not […]

What Is Cooking From Scratch?

Good Tides Organic Bistro is so serious about making food from scratch, even their ketchup is made from scratch.

Now that’s some serious scratch.

But what does “cooking from scratch” even mean?

By most accounts, the term originated with sporting events. Some say it dates to competitive races in the 1800s, referring to a starting point, which […]