Tuber Tonic

Sip Tea While I Tell You A Story July 28 2015


One of the reasons that I am such a great believer in organic food and drink, and good health in general is that I wasn't always like this. Here in Mendocino in the seventies, I ran a nightclub, of sorts, called Toad Hall.

We had a wonderful time, with great music, hard drinking and too many drugs (let's be honest here), and some of us survived to tell about it to this day.

Mostly, no one cared, and it was a part of Mendocino that was not talked about with anything but disparaging tones. If you live long enough, though, people become curious and want to know what happened, so here we are.

I spoke about Mendocino in the seventies and Toad Hall last Sunday at the Kelley House Museum here in town, and I remember lots of great stories, many more than I could tell in an hour or two. I have decided that they should be shared. Here's one of my favorites:

I used to arrive at The Toad (nickname) late, and pull in directly in front of the front door, always in a hurry. In those days I drove an old pink Volvo sedan. My friend Michael's dog was in the back seat, I left my purse in the front seat, as usual, and the keys in the ignition.

It was a regular night: loud,raucous, smoky and dusty; with lots of folks drinking a bit too much for their own good. I did notice one couple having quite an argument in the middle of the evening and the wife storming out, but din't think much about it.

At about 2:30 am, after we had cleaned up a bit and shut things down, Michael went to let his dog out of the car. He came back and said, "Where did you park the car?" It was gone, aparently with the dog and my purse still in it.

I called the Fort Bragg police to report the missing car (and dog) and was told there was probably not a chance in Hell that I would see it again. I said, "Are you kidding? It's a pink Volvo...how hard could it be?" 

I went to bed, and got a call about 8:00 the following morning from the police department. They said, "We've found your car in an empty lot in town. We put the keys under the mat, your purse is still on the front seat, and we gave your dog some water."


Homemade Winter Herbal Infusions January 03 2015

We live in the Pacific Northwest, so these ideas for homegrown infusions will mostly work for our area, but they can give you ideas about what you can grow, or gather, wherever you are for the future. The best way to have delicious infusion materials available is to gather herbs and flowers that appeal to you all year long and dehydrate them, pack them in jars and store them in a dark, cool, dry place or you can reuse the black bags that our tea comes in, and just store them in a cool place.

Since it is winter now, I will concentrate on things that can be gathered and used today. Try:
Fir Needles
Lemon Balm
Blackberry Leaves
Strawberry Leaves
Candy Cap Mushrooms
Calendula Flowers
Mint or Sage

I even found some Roses, but I know it's something special and unusual this time of year. Rose Petals are always wonderful in herbal infusions, they add color and flavor.


Once you gather these things, you can make your infusions with the fresh herbs, or dehydrate them and keep them for later. If you can, I recommend that you use a dehydrator, but if not, you can try putting in the oven at the lowest setting for a short period of time spread out on a cookie sheet.

Happy Blending!