Are YOU ready?

Happy Summer Solstice!!

While Deborah travels to North Dakota sharing Symphony of the Soil, I have taken time out of the kitchen to put together an EARTHQUAKE KIT.

It takes time to really get it together even though i have 3 lists going on:

1. Emergency Disaster Kit:  involving:

eating & cooking/emergency food

health& safety



2. Car Mini-Survival Kit

3. Work Mini-Survival Kit

We have all come across emails & signs, taken cues from disasters in other parts of the world, that remind us to BE PREPARED.

But are we?

Ive been going from hardware stores, to camping stores to online sites, searching, reading and purchasing things to get us as ready as possible for THE BIG ONE! Im not writing this with underlying fear, quite the contrary I am writing from a place of accountability and empowerment.

Imagine when a disaster hits, and the police, firemen, paramedics are triaging all kinds of things, are you able to take care of yourself, family, pets…?

Or everyone runs to the store to stock up on water, food, etc, in a frenzy..!! Wouldnt it be great to have your stuff at least a little together?

Here is a small list of what i perceive as being the very minimal one should have:

Bottled water for at least 3 days: at least 1 gallon per person

Water filter or water purifying pills

First aid kit

Portable Radio


Food & Pet food

Blanket/tent/space blanket

Cooking source

Utility knife/Scissors/Manual can opener

Toilet paper/baby wipes


Duct tape


Extra Clothes

Emergency tool/wrench for shut off valves

Matches/ Waterproof

And also  a plan of escape routes, how to shut off gas/water, where to meet, how to contact each other.

With what is mentioned above, it is at least a place to start.

Make sure to test the equipment to make sure you are familiar with it. Date your supplies : food and batteries so you know how old its been sitting there and when to change it out.

Be accountable for yourself and family. That way as a community we can be more resilient.

Start a garden!! Its a small but powerful way to being self/community supportive.

And lastly get to know the flora and fauna around you.. plants can help support us by providing food and first aid.  Take some time to learn to identify plants, they are our friends.IMG_0827


Its not a matter of: Will it happen?  No, its  WHEN will it happen.

Take the time to care, and get started.

Are you ready?

Lunch is Ready – Honoring Salmon


photo by Renee Avalos

While the threat of Genetically Engineered salmon is being discussed, I wanted to post a beautiful “ode” to this sacred fish.
This is from the book, Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions

Indigenous people of the Americas often center their religious beliefs on the bounties from the land and water. Salmon were once abundant in the waters of
both North and South America. The remarkable life cycle of salmon; hatching, growing, traveling to sea, and returning years later to the same spot to lay its eggs-conveyed a homeland  where they belonged, no matter how far they roamed for hunting, gathering or trading. For many of the Northwest Coast’s Native people, salmon remains not only a source of food but also a source of spiritual connection to land and water.
When the salmon return to spawn in fresh waters throughout the region, it is a cause for widespead ceremonies that give thanks to the great dignity and receives a special ceremony celebrating its arrival…

Salmon helped me get my job. Deborah loves salmon.

So when salmon season is upon us, I always give big thanks to this wonderful fish, not only for its nutritional value but also for letting me learn to cook it.

I buy our salmon from the farmer’s market whenever possible, I talk with the fishmonger or ill get it at the store. I get into it. I look at the vibration it puts out..dull looking fish, no!

I’m also not a fan of  farmed fish or Atlantic fish, but thats another blog post..

The best recipe I learned came from family that lives in Washington State in the Puget sound. As simple as it is, here it goes:

1lb King salmon, bones removed

1TB salt

pepper to taste

3 TB rosemary minced

3 TB butter

1TB extra virgin olive oil(optional)

salt the fish, add the rosemary and pepper

Take a bottom heavy pan, heat to medium high, add butter and olive oil, wait 40 seconds and place the fish skin side up in the pan, let it sit there for 8 minutes, turn the pan every 3 minutes. ( turn the heat down a little  depending on your stovetop).

After 8 minutes turn the fish over  and cover for another 2 minutes with heat turned to low. leave it covered for another minute or so..turn off the heat and remove from pan.

YUM! its ready now, get a salad together and there’s a wonderful simple meal!

Take a moment and to honor Salmon.




Lunch is Ready – Its a Dandy Spring

Spring is here. Yes obvious observation.

There are many indicators of the subtleness of a Bay Area spring.
The quality of the light, the duration of a day, the smell in the air, all point to a new season, a new beginning.
But one other indicator of spring, like really Spring, are all the dandelion greens popping up everywhere; in the park, in the yard, through cracks in the sidewalk…. and sold in bunches at farmer’s markets.
Dandelion greens aka Taraxacum are a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae.

Dandelions have been around for a long long time, like millions of years. Humans have consumed this plant as food and herb for much of recorded history. The plant was introduced to North America by European immigrants who learned about the properties of dandelion greens from the Arabs.

The name comes from the French “dente de lion” meaning lion’s tooth which refers to the serrated edges of the plant’s leaf.

Whenever I choose to cook dandelions I think of the bitter properties it offers which is so good for our liver amongst other things.

Bitter, good, and powerful—dandelions are a nice way to welcome spring.
Next time you see dandelions take a moment to honor this old weed.


1 bunch dandelion-cleaned and chopped
2 cloves of garlic-chopped roughly
(2 pinches of chili flakes)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste

Heat pan to medium high, add olive oil.
Wait 20 seconds and add garlic, and swirl that around pan. (add chili flakes if using now)
Add dandelion greens and make sure all leaves get coated with olive oil.
Sprinkle salt to taste and sauté about 7 minutes.
Its done. And will be intensely bitter in a good way.