Monday, August 01, 2005

A Spoonful of Reality


So, we're on our way to Bolinas to collect sea water, and the first beach we pass is Muir Beach. Lovely place, and dogs are allowed (Bean Sprout is with us). We decide to save a few extra miles and stop there.
Gather up the cooler (lunch will be Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese and homegrown cherry tomatoes), the empty bottles, the dog and the camera, and tramp down to the shore.
Oh. This is the first thing we see: But I was planning on boiling the water -- would it still be safe? Then I realize I don't want beloved husband and co-cook IN the water to fill the jugs.
Look, I was taking this whole eat-local challenge with a grain of salt, but I guess it won't be Marin sea salt. Not for now. We're going to explore the safety of water from other beaches.
(As for Bolinas, I've never seen such a sign at its beach. But then, Bolinas has a reputation for yanking down signs.)
So, we have the lunch (yummy, and we don't even miss the taste of bread). And then we head back home. About 1/4 mile from the beach, we spot wild blackberries, just coming into ripeness! Tomato container being now empty, we fill it with the blackest, juiciest fruit we can reach (ow, damn thorns). How local is that?! We get all emotional about foraging. Then, heading toward 101, we pass through Mill Valley, and I suddenly remember a pseudo-pepper tree that grows in the parking lot behind Sloat Gardens (it's actually "California Pepper," or "Peruvian" or "Brazilian," Schinus molle, and in great quantities can be slightly toxic). There's a cluster of old berries from last year hanging from the branches (this year's berries are still green and succulent). You know where this is going, right?
Yeah. We go out to scrounge for salt, and we come home with pepper. This is going to be an interesting month.

15 comments:

Greg said...

Wow !! I thought I was a foodie.You really are going to boil sea water to make salt?Your husband must be a patient as my wife about this food thing.Blog on!

farmgirl said...

Hi Cookiecrumb,
Great post. Just popped over after you left me that comment about Lavacoring. Looks like you are well on your way! Very cool. But that sign at the beach was just too weird. And sad.

Lisa B-K/Jim K said...

Hm. I've often wondered what would happen if I suddenly did not have access to salt. That sign is depressing. What are we doing to our home?

I love foraging. Vacant lot berries are where it's at. So are unclaimed mulberries, crabapples, etc...

Sam said...

Suggest new name for your blog:
"I'm mad because I try to make my own Salt"

cookiecrumb said...

Yes, if "mad" means "insane."

Anonymous said...

Hi CC - Once you permit foods from such exotic locations as Sonoma County, I'd be happy to donate some Rosie organic chicken to your effort (actually, I've always thought that Petaluma feels like it should be part of Marin County). Perhaps an exchange for some tomatoes?

Jay
jtarvin@petalumapoultry.com

Rob said...

Jay: since I come from a newspaper background, I've been trained to say "sorry, can't accept" to free offers. (Besides, really! Crappy tomatoes from backyard pots? Are you crazy? Bad trade.)
However, tell me where to find Rosies, and I'll happily buy one during August. I like chicken!
BTW, I agree with you about Petaluma being "in Marin."
Thanks so much for the sweet offer.
cc

cookiecrumb said...

Jay -- Er, let me put that another way. Rob did not make the above comment; I did. I guess I was signed in as another household member (yeeek).
:)
Always use "preview," always use "preview."

Greg said...

Take the chicken cookiecrumb! Rosie chicken yummy chicken that clucks with a Marin accent.
G

Jennifer Maiser said...

I have been laughing about this all day ... your salt adventures take the cake. I say that you deserve a Rosie chicken ;)

cookiecrumb said...

Jen: Thanks; I'm flattered that you visited.
Might drop by McNear's Beach in San Rafael for "clean" Bay water... (What if this turned out to be the best salt ever? Man, I could -- oh, that's right, I'm retired. I'm not going into business.)

Sam said...

take the chicken cookie-C.
I used to be like you (have morals) then I sold my soul for some 'hefty serve and store plates' and some free tea samples.

As long as I don't have to promise to write about it on my blog, I don't see the harm.

McAuliflower said...

This is soo fantastic! Pseudo pepper trees and all...

ps... I agree, take the chicken!

cookiecrumb said...

McAuliflower: I've been meaning to compliment you on your clever name. As for "take the chicken," I think I'm gonna go pay Jay a visit. What a dearie.
BTW, hubster thinks I should change the name of this blog to "Take the Chicken." Funny!

kitchenmage said...

Sigh. The pollution is not new. I remember those signs from the '70s when I lived in Bolinas; never slowed anyone from going in the water, but they were there. Surfers used to hang their clothes on them when they stripped to nothing to change into wetsuits. (there were a few hidden amusements to living 5 houses from the beach, naked surfers among them) :-)