Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Terroir of the ‘burbs

December 19, 2006

Miner's lettuce
Encountering a stand of claytonia perfoliata during the morning constitutional

So it’s not like my folks ever said, ‘Find yer own dang food!’ it’s just that I’ve always really enjoyed foraging. In fact it’s their own dang fault since identifying plants, particularly the native and poisonous was a prominent feature of every single walk outside. The first father-daughter walk of my visit was filled with amazing fragrances; oak leaves and oak leaf mould, datura, tangerine, pepper tree, smoke and luculia. Parfum of Northern California. When we came upon a stand of miner’s lettuce (purslane) and I instinctively commenced harvesting, my dad rolled up some big ‘oy vey is mir’ eyes and watched on nervously lest any posh neighbours drive by and spy me stealing the weeds, the preferred hors d’oeuvre of horses.

Dad checking out the leaves, looking like Larry David.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for teaching me about miner’s lettuce and many other edible herbs and weeds that thrive in spite of suburban sprawl.

Also, thank you for teaching me how to make turkey and chicken soup. Although we will probably never agree on how many poultry skeletons should ideally occupy one single bowl of soup served to the table, whether that bowl of soup should be cloudy or clear and how many generations we would need to go back in time to find an era in which bone-sucking was actually acceptable, it always gives me great satifsaction on many levels to make this delicious broth and to not stir the thing which must never be stirred.

debra at 7:22 | | post to


  1. meanin: u’re in calfornication?

    Comment by Kristi — December 21, 2006 @ 16:25

  2. Right on schedule.

    Comment by debra — December 23, 2006 @ 1:28

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