Edible Monterey Bay

LAST CALL

SUMMER GARDEN SYRUP

and Amber Turpin

Perfect for herbal, fruity cocktails


Here’s a little secret—we never make this syrup the same way twice. Every year the garden is slightly different, and as the seasons shift and dance, each week reveals new peaks of ripeness. The sage blooms and fades, the hyssop comes on slow and steady and the rose geranium sprawls across the path, just so. Wander the garden or the farmers’ market and pick what looks most green, most flowery, most succulent. Herb and fruit pairings are suggested below, but truly, this syrup is a formula for cocktail success no matter the season. Drink it with friends, for the ultimate summer pairing.

3–4 lemons and limes
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 small bunch fresh, mixed garden herbs (choose 3–4 of … Read More

EDIBLE NOTABLES

All Good Things

TJ Silva and Carli Cullen grow edible flowers and greens for high-end restaurants and their CSA members.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE MAGDALENA

Meet the owners of a Salinas Valley permaculture farm that grows unusual ingredients for top local chefs


It’s tiny, just a quarter acre of mixed flowers and vegetables tucked into the vast plowed fields of monocropped lettuce that surround it, but the All Good Things farm is a microcosm, a seed of possibility, a beginning.

Owners TJ Silva and Carli Cullen are young themselves and if they have stars in their eyes, they also have their feet (and hands) firmly in the earth. Their permaculture-inspired garden in Chualar, riotous with color and garnished with chance seedlings left to flourish where they germinate, makes a beautiful kind of sense. It … Read More

FEATHERED FLOCK

From coop to soup, the joys of raising backyard chickens

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRYSTAL BIRNS

The chickens cluck and chuckle to themselves in the slanting afternoon light, scratching for bugs and seed with their fat feathered legs in the grassy backyard. They aren’t startled by our presence, as they know us well enough.

Chickens are smarter than people give them credit for. They can recognize up to 40 individuals and are especially fond of those who bring them food every day. They greet us with the calm, contented chortles of tame birds, as the kids toss them handfuls of scratch. The flock I visited with my daughter for this story was a mixture of fancy breeds with intricate plumage, and backyard mutts whose broody mothers laid a clutch of eggs in … Read More

Beet Deviled Eggs

Photo by Jessica Tunis

These ravishing beauties are worth the effort. While deviled eggs have long been a staple of the season, these bright snacks are something special, with an added piquancy from the vinegar, balanced by mild sweetness and salt from the brine. And the color! A deep, rich magenta, that does not impart any beet flavor to the eggs.

Play with the infusion times; even 2 hours will give a lovely pink color to the outside of the egg, but a bit more time will allow that luscious color to bleed slowly into the center of the egg, like a drop of watercolor paint that spreads gracefully across a page. An overnight infusion will give you color all the way to the yolk; a two-day soak will yield … Read More

MUTUAL MEDICINE

Cooking for friends in need has unexpected benefits

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CRYSTAL BIRNS

My heart cracks when I hear the news; her cancer has come back. I read the words on a screen, so she doesn’t see the way my eyes fill and sting immediately, blurring the text with grief, but she knows me well enough that I think she must guess. We have been here before, we friends, and it is likely we will be here again. So we discuss, as the days pass slowly one after another, how the treatment will unfold. Where is the cancer? Will there be surgery, or chemotherapy or radiation? Doctors take scans and outline plans. Insurance companies haggle over drug benefits and treatments. I take down a pan and brown onions. It is my … Read More

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