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Four Special Places to Grab a Drink in Salt Lake

Four Special Places to Grab a Drink in Salt Lake

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling or local to an area, everyone loves to find the perfect spot to unwind, relax with friends and have their favorite drink. Wether your a fan of the perfect beer, great cocktails, locally distilled spirits, or crazy adventures, your in luck because Salt Lake has it all. With the cities rapidly expanding bar scene, anyone and everyone can find something to enjoy at these special spots.

1. Whiskey Street- This nice little cocktail bar has a relaxed but classy atmosphere. A 72 foot long cherry wood bar runs down one side of this long rectangular shaped space. Shelves behind the bar are stocked with a huge variety of liquors, whisky included. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable, ask for something new and they will steer you to just the right type of cocktail. Whiskey Street also serves more then just the typical bar food, you can also get a nice steak, lamb chops, or a well composed salad. Though geared to attract Salt Lakes downtown executives the hipster crowd are also big fans; probably because this is the perfect place to spend an entire evening for dinner, drinks, and relaxation in good company.

2. Squatters Brewpub- This is the place for beer enthusiasts. Squatters produces twelve regular varieties of beer, plus a seasonal beer right on site. The restaurant also serves burgers, mac and cheese and other homestyle favorites, the perfect accompaniment to your favorite beer. If you get a chance to chat with Brewmaster Jason Stack when you visit you’ll find that he’s a quiet kind of man but he really knows his beer. He can pick any one of his Squatter’s beers out of a line up by scent alone. Stack has been producing beer for a long time now. He started playing around with home brewing back in the days when he still worked a desk job. Then in 2000 he decided to make a career change and ended up as assistant to former Brewmaster Jenny Talley. He worked his way up and now holds the brewmaster position himself. It’s definitely worth a visit to Squatters to taste his wares.

3. High West Distillery & Saloon- High West is part distillery, part restaurant. The distillery and restaurant are located in an old house in Park City, about 20 minutes outside of Salt Lake proper. This place is all wild west charm with polished wooden floors, two beautiful wooden bars, and cowboy art. The menu has some unique dishes like shishito peppers two ways, which is absolutely fantastic, to classic homestyle dishes like monster sized burgers, creamy mac and cheese and simple salads. Of course there is a terrific selection of cocktails, many of which are based on the house made whisky. Be sure to take a quick tour of the distillery areas before you leave; with tanks, hoses, and a blackboard filled with calculations it resembles a mad scientists laboratory.

4. Pedal Hopper Bar Tour- The Pedal Hopper is not technically a bar, it’s actually your transportation to the bar. The pedal hopper, also known as a “beer bike” or a “bike bar” resembles a small trolly more then anything. This crazy contraption seats up to 16 people all on bicycle seats, complete with pedals. You do the pedaling an a company driver steers, brakes, and manages the tour. The bike cruses between 5-8 miles per hour and takes you to visit all around Salt Lake and the best bars in the city. Unfortunately, due to current liquor laws alcohol is not allowed on board the bike, though the tour company would like to add that to the tour someday if permitted. Either way, you’ll have a great laugh with friends doing this one.


What Does James Bond Drink?

Although the Vodka Martini, "shaken not stirred," is the cocktail that James Bond is best known for, it is not the only one by far. There are actually many mixed drinks which the famous spy has sipped through his adventures in both the movies and Ian Fleming's novels and most of them are classic cocktails.

One thing is for sure he does have great taste in drinks. Would we expect anything less from 007?

In some of the more recent movies, it seems to be more about product placement (Heineken, anyone?) than the traditional Bond image as a cocktail connoisseur. Let's forego those and look at some of Bond's favorite drinks.

Watch Now: 4 James Bond-Inspired Cocktails


Know the difference between a dog beach and a dog-friendly beach.

If your destination has a designated dog beach (which usually means one that allows off-leash romping), ask yourself if that’s the best option for your dog. Dog beaches are a good fit for dogs who enjoy dog parks and all the social interaction that goes along with off-leash play.

Other dogs—including ours—are more comfortable at an on-leash dog-friendly beach, walking and playing at our side.


Salt of the Earth

From ancient times, the story of Appalachia has in many ways been the story of salt. And whether sprinkled on watermelon or in chili slathered on a hot dog bun, for the Kentucky native and foodways expert Ronni Lundy, it’s the taste of summer in the mountain South

Rich Valley Road, the asphalt two-lane into Saltville, Virginia, runs through a wide valley along the base of Clinch Mountain. I slow down as much to savor the glide as for safety, and in slowing, I note what is happening roadside. The closer I get to town, the closer it seems that the small frame and brick houses sit to the road, their porches facing it.

I come from porch-sitting people, so it pleases me to see most of these are occupied. Wearing clothes that still speak of work—jeans and overalls, apron and housedress—the older folk on them have earned the right to sit idle at noonday. Even in the yard of a single-wide—flower bordered, well kept, yet porchless—three iron-haired men have arranged their lawn chairs out front in proper porch order: not clumped conversationally to face one another, but turned in a single line to the road, the better to see who is passing by. Raised in the vernacular, I don’t wave but lift two fingers from the eleven o’clock position on the steering wheel and give a short nod as I pass, receiving same in return.

A gathering on the porch in Kentucky.

While porches in this valley would have been availed of an evening, or after church on a Sunday, such midday midweek idleness would not have been common in the past. In its peak years, the salt industry in Saltville required three shifts of workers daily and provided livelihood for both town and country dwellers. And well before colonial entrepreneurs discovered a secret wealth of ancient salt deposits in the Appalachians in the 1700s, this was a lively, active place. The salt licks made a rich hunting ground for the Native Americans who came to seek the diverse game that flocked in abundance to satisfy their salt need. And before the deer, elk, and bears, the salt drew huge prehistoric beasts: mammoths, mastodons, musk oxen, the giant ground sloths whose bones have been found in local archaeological excavations.

I see the record of all of this at the Museum of the Middle Appalachians in the quiet, almost deserted downtown of Saltville. In a large, softly lit room, the huge skeleton of a woolly mammoth stands near a tabletop diorama of the town and surrounding valley.

The museum has a smaller space for rotating exhibits. When I am here, the room is full of quilts hand made by women from the town, a different sort of history told in scraps and imagination and impossibly small stitches. And in a large, sunny third room, the story of the earliest people who lived here—shown with flints and arrows, beads and feathered apparel—shares space with that of the latest. Photographs and artifacts tell the early history of a twentieth-century company town, presented with fond nostalgia by those who lived here and their descendants.

Salt sparked the first extractive industry in the southern Appalachians. Its processing required the harvesting of timber, then the excavation of coal, to keep the evaporative furnaces burning. In time, those resources were exported out as well, and that became a defining moment in the history of the region.

Salt is also a defining ingredient in the foodways of the Southern mountains. At some point in the ancient processing of carcasses in the salt/hunting regions, the flesh came in contact with the mineral and magic was born. Salt curing was the way that early hunter-gatherers prolonged the edibility of meat to get through the winter. Salt curing is what fueled the industry created by the colonists who came later to make their fortunes by shipping salt downriver to the meatpackers in Cincinnati, Louisville, Knoxville, Nashville, and as far away as New Orleans.

Is it any wonder that salt came to define many of the core foods of the region? Lip-puckering country ham and salt-cured pork. Sour corn and pickle beans. Melon served always with a sprinkle of salt. The ubiquitous cheese Nabs in the glove box that no mountain trucker leaves home without. Salty slow-simmered kale and pinto beans. Jerky, kraut, and pickles of all kinds. Salt is the compound that enabled life and nourishment through the harsh, stark winters of the mountains, winters that helped create a cuisine that was in one sense distinctly Southern and at the same time distinctly its own.

A Southern classic: fresh watermelon served with a shaker of salt.

Much to chew on as I make my way to the museum gift shop, so no wonder that what I gravitate toward is a spiral-bound volume with a soft yellow paper cover amid the many “official” histories. It’s the Saltville Centennial Cookbook. I am most intrigued by the evocative names of the more savory, salt-laced dishes, and the stories they conjure up: Dead Man’s Soup, Bert’s (Big Mama’s) Cat Head Biscuits, Brain Croquettes, Parsnip Skillet, Dr. Finne’s Baked Doves, Hungarian Soup (Hunky Soup), Paprika’s [sic] Csirke (Chicken), Hunter’s Goulash, Chicken and Dumplings (two versions), Heirloom Scalded Lettuce, Old Fashioned Hash. Clearly there is history here as well. Delightfully, the children, grandchildren, and friends tell a good bit of that history, as this cookbook is studded with old black-and-white photographs and laced with memories of the women, and a few men, who turned these dishes out, day after day.

“There are few people in the Town of Saltville who have never eaten any of Granny Blackwell’s cooking,” I read.

“After retiring from Olin with 42 years of service, Ralph enjoyed fishing as often as possible.”

“She was a generous person and worried over people who were in need. She liked to travel and ride the bus.”

Such fragments remind me of summer evenings as a child. Lying on the grass down in Corbin, Kentucky, with my cousins, lightning bugs flashing in the dark around us, we caught such pieces of the conversation my parents, aunts, and uncles were having on the porch above. From them we formed imagined pictures and stories of the past, our people

We were all—my father, mother, sister, me—born in Corbin. But when I was about a year old and my sister twelve, my father got word of work in the distilleries in Louisville and we moved. My parents lived in the city the rest of their lives, but they never fully left the mountains. Like most members of the various hillbilly diasporas of the twentieth century, we went “up home” whenever we could. My father worked in the boiler rooms, as a fireman and oiler, hard labor but it suited his athlete’s need for a physical challenge. (He’d been a boxer as a young man. The folks in Corbin said he’d been a good one.)

He worked swing shift, and “on call,” and picked up overtime when he could to compensate for the layoffs that were a part of the distillery process then. Whenever a stretch of more than two days off came up, we’d make the four-hour winding drive to “see the folks.” We spent every summer vacation of my growing up in those hills. The steeper and more winding the road became, the easier my father seemed to sit in his skin, to smile from someplace deep.

Summers up home were not lazy. There was always a little time on the lake for reading and cards, swimming and fishing, but there were also things to do, and my parents were always willing to do them. My mother cooked with her aunts for the passels of cousins who showed up every night to visit and remember. She helped with the canning, strung beans and then threaded them up for shuck beans, cleaned and mopped and hung out wet clothes just as she did at home.

My dad loved any job that required muscle and took him outside. One summer he and my great-uncle Charlie built a garage from the foundation up, the sound of boards slapping and the two men talking and laughing riding like a melody over the rhythm of the locusts. They would come in the house still telling a story, riffing back and forth like jazz hipsters as they got tall iced tea tumblers from the cabinet and filled them with springwater that came from the faucet. As they turned to go back out, my dad would grab the saltshaker from the table and pour some in his palm and some in Charlie’s, licking it up on his way out the door. “A man needs to keep his minerals balanced,” he told me when I asked why. “Work in the summer, you sweat ’em out.” Salt and springwater: hillbilly Gatorade.

We sweated too, children playing hard or doing chores, women working in the steaming kitchen. Maybe that’s why I remember salt so clearly as the taste of summer. We put it on our fresh cucumbers and onions. We consumed it ravenously on crisp crackers topped with tangy bologna or Vienna sausages on the deck of the pontoon boat at the lake. My cousins and I poured tiny mountains in our palms and dipped tommy-toes, still warm from the garden, before dropping them into our mouths. My great-aunt Johnnie kept a saltshaker next to her as she sat on the porch slicing tart June apples to dry, for use that winter in stack cake and fried pies. The drying sweetened them, she told me, and I knew that to be true. So did salt, she said, as she sprinkled some on a crisp sour slice and popped it in her mouth, then made one for me. I wasn’t so sure about that, but there was a mingling of flavor there that was both sharp and haunting.

Even dessert in the summer needed some salt. After supper I’d ride into town with Daddy and Charlie to a grocery store that stayed open late, it seemed just to sell the dark green melons they kept in the back in long tin tubs filled with ice water. We rushed home to slice the melon while it was still deep chilled, perfect half-moons of vermilion laid on yellowed plates with sweet flowers and tiny age veins around the edges. Nobody plunged in until the saltshaker made the rounds.

My cousin David ate cinnamon Red Hots on saltine crackers we poured salted peanuts into our glass-bottled Cokes. Even ice cream, that pure sweet blend of milk and sugar, required salt. Not in it, but in the old crank freezer that Charlie and my dad would take turns turning. The ice had to be crushed just right, then layered with a handful of rock salt. Inevitably in the process, one of the women would caution, “Don’t let that salt get high enough to seep into the cream,” and then someone would tell the story of the time that happened. And then another story, and another one, as we sat patiently on the screened back porch and waited for the cream to ripen.

When these visits ended—summer vacations, long weekends—there would be a sadness in the leaving. Tears—salt again—were shed by the women and children. The men cleared throats, mopped sweaty foreheads with handkerchiefs that just managed to slip by their eyes. Someone would say, “Going back to the salt mines, Pap?” My dad would laugh and we’d drive away.

I don’t know where my child’s image of “the salt mines” came from. A cartoon? A book I’d read? In my imagination, they were far, far away, part of an exotic desert world of swirling sand and spices. I did not know then that salt had been “mined” just one county over from Corbin.

In the 1790s, the first saltworks in Clay County, Kentucky, were started on Goose Creek. In 1807 the town of Manchester was founded there and the full-scale production of salt began. The industry peaked from 1835 to 1845 but continued for some time after. In 1862 the Union army’s leadership ordered all saltworks there destroyed to undermine the food supply of the Confederacy, even though their esteemed officer Brigadier General T. T. Garrard owned one of the biggest.

Three years later, in 1865, my paternal grandfather, David Franklin Lundy, was born. Clay County was not a peaceful place then, and that was true before the war and after. Violent feuds mark its history, but unlike the stereotypical stories of mountain feuds over moonshine or marriages gone wrong or cows gone astray, these were wars fueled by the ambitions of the wealthy entrepreneurs who owned the salt mines and dictated the lives of those who worked in them. Battles began as soon as the saltworks were established, and bad feelings and violence generated from them continued through the Civil War and on, as late as the 1930s.

Blood. Sweat. Tears. Salt is essential to each each is a part of salt’s story.

Mountain Flavor

Out this August, Ronni Lundy’s Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes(Clarkson Potter), from which this story and these recipes are excerpted, is a love letter to the foods of Appalachia, a region the Kentucky native has chronicled and championed for more than twenty-five years. Chapters devoted to mountain staples such as corn, beans, and apples, and recipes for everything from tomato gravy to black walnut pesto, continue the work of a writer who planted the seeds for the recent revival of smoking, pickling, and cast-iron frying and has influenced some of today’s most prominent Southern chefs.


3. Mayuri Indian Grill

Mayuri Indian Grill, as the name suggests, specializes in tandoori dishes. You can enjoy the spicy hot chicken and lamb at this amazing place. The vegetarian dishes served here are equally delicious. Mayuri takes note of its customers&rsquo spice tolerance and customizes its dishes accordingly&mdashwhich is a big plus. The restaurant is known for its reasonable prices and upscale ambience. Enjoy the quick and friendly service along with lip-smacking Indian meals at Mayuri Indian Grill, or you can also order online or for take-away.

Mayuri Indian Grill

Address: 1336 Foothill Dr, Salt Lake City

Website: Mayuri Indian Grill

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9pm Fri - Sat: 11am - 9:30pm (closed on Sun)


Salt Spring Island with Gourmet Food and Drink

Text and Photos by Marianne Scott

Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to do with locally produced food. It started thousands of years ago when the Coast Salish First Nations used the Island as a summer camp, collecting wild foods while also processing the abundant sea food for winter sustenance. In the 19th century, five main groups settled here and began farming: Northern Europeans—some of whom had abandoned gold rush dreams Hawaiians brought here by Vancouver Island’s second governor, James Douglas Black Americans who left California to find freedom and dignity and Japanese who liked the climate for farming. It’s a temperate rain-forest climate, with wet winters and hot, dry summers. Farms continue to dot the landscape. An enterprising couple have even planted a successful olive grove with a plentiful harvest in 2019. Who would have imagined “Made in Canada” olive oil?

Captain Passage leads boaters to Ganges, Salt Spring’s “capital,” and is one of our favourite waterways. We’ve hooked down in several anchorages, as well as docked. This time, we arrived in late summer on a brilliant day, the water transparent, the chain of islands on starboard full of birdlife, a few leaves turning golden among the jade-green conifers.

Culinary Tour leader Carolyn Flam Sharp holding lavender and a lucky feather at the Lavender and Black farm.

Ganges Marina is conveniently located near the town’s shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, Covid-19 had cancelled the Saturday Market, normally one of Ganges’ great attractions featuring local foods, crafts and music. I wandered around in the downtown area, peeking in at the wonderful art galleries and Mouat’s Trading Co., but missed the bustle of the usual summer tourist season.

My gluten-free lunch pizza.

For that reason, I signed up for something different. While my husband made a boat repair, I went on the Salt Spring Culinary Tour. It was a good decision. I met the tour owner, Carolyn Flam Sharp, at the dock and we climbed into her spacious BMW SUV. Her company, GOPacGolf, also organizes personalized golf vacations that may also include the culinary tour. Normally, Carolyn runs three customized culinary tours a week from June through September. The tours’ itineraries may vary, depending on customer preference. If people want to experience and taste farm products, the tour differs from those wishing for introductions to Salt Spring wine and spirits producers. This time I was the only guest we physically distanced by my sitting in the rear seat and both of us wearing masks when in the car’s confines.

On the way to our first stop, I learned more about the Island. It’s a highly diverse community. In the 1960s and ‘70s, Salt Spring was a popular destination for hippies and US draft dodgers, many of whom stayed raising livestock and establishing small businesses. They went organic decades before supermarkets decided it was trendy. Artists and artisans number in the hundreds. But not only the brown-eggs-and-beads people discovered the pleasures of island life. Recently, Salt Spring-based InDro Robotics was the first Canadian company to employ drones to quickly deliver medical supplies to the more isolated islands. In addition, wealthy people and well-off retirees wishing to share the less hectic lifestyle and experience “island time” built million-dollar homes and upscale condos on the water. One benefit of attracting the well-heeled is that they support local artisan foods, including the delicacies we tasted on our tour.

Our first stop was located on a glorious, southwest-facing sloped hill—the Lavender and Black farm. Carolyn and I were greeted by Ben, who with his wife, Awatief, have spent the last five years building the certified-organic farm. Ben toured us around the two-acre planted grounds, where lavender plants are woven around the trees and moistened with drip irrigation. “Of the 450 lavender varieties,” he said, “50 are used commercially. Our 4,000 plants are either English or French lavender. English is sweeter, best for cooking. The French, with its bigger flowerhead, is used in scented products, like sachets, botanical fragrances, essential oils and balms.”

Moonshine Mama’s fuses healthy ingredients into immune-boosting elixirs.

The farm also grows immortelle (Helichrysum), an everlasting plant whose yellow flowers are used in dried bouquets, herbal medicine, and recently, in essential oils for skin care. Lavender and Black distills its essential oils in an old-fashioned copper alembic still. It’s a labour-intensive art: to produce 300ml of essential oil, Ben loads 17 kilos of French lavender flowers into the still to begin the distilling process. To stock their on-site and on-line store, the process is repeated many times. After our tour, Awatief offered us rooibos tea with delectable lavender-laced madeleines and chocolate.

Mira Tusz and Daniel Dragert founded their winery, Kutatás, in 2016. Both of Hungarian descent, they named their winery after the Hungarian term, “exploration” or “quest.” Mira, whose microbiology degree is useful in the fermentation of grapes, describes their approach to winemaking, which includes pressing their grapes with the stems, and developing their own yeasts, thereby imparting each of their wines with a unique flavour. Their wines include Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Ortega and three types of Pinot Noir. I sampled several (small) delicious amounts from the bottles lined up in the welcoming tasting room, then Mira showed us to a part of their seven-and-a-half acres of vines. The vines lined up in straight rows reaching well above our heads and were loaded with ripening grape clusters. She explained how judicious—and constant—pruning helps these clusters grow.

Carolyn deftly drove us across Salt Spring’s hilly and curvy roads to two food purveyors located next door to each other. The first, Laughing Daughters, where we had lunch, produces only gluten-free baked goods. The second, Moonshine Mama’s, produces “elixirs” designed to boost immune systems. These enterprises both grew out of health issues: Judy Drzymala discovered she had celiac disease when gluten-free food was unpalatable. “It tasted like cardboard,” she writes on her website. When her daughters found they had the same auto-immune disease, Judy bought a small home-based gluten-free bakery and expanded it with tasty stuff both the family and customers could eat. I munched my first gluten-free pizza and I’d happily return for more if I lived on Salt Spring. Judy also presented us with a small blueberry pie—somehow the baking team has found a way to produce yummy baked goods without that debilitating wheat protein.

With our pizza, we quaffed one of Moonshine Mama’s delightful turmeric elixirs—a drink owner Melinda Divers developed after being diagnosed with cancer. Feeling depleted and with her immune system at a low point, she researched organic ingredients that would boost her energy level. Fresh turmeric root is her top ingredient—it’s a cousin of ginger—and contains curcumin, believed to be a powerful antioxidant. She also includes ginger, lemon and honey in her recipes they’re all anti-inflammatories. She developed the drinkable elixirs to make it easy to imbibe these health boosting potions every day. Moonshine Mama’s has grown into a family affair—Melinda’s husband, daughter, and some friends, have joined the enterprise.

Salt Spring Wild’s cidery, restaurant and store.

Back in the BMW, Carolyn chauffeured us to our penultimate stop: Salt Spring Wild—Hard Cider Untamed. I’d already noted the many apple trees growing wild alongside the roads. They may be a century old. When non-Indigenous people settled Salt Spring, orcharding became so popular that the Island supplied apples to large segments of western Canada. But orchards were abandoned or repurposed and apple harvesting declined. Nevertheless, apple trees can survive on their own and dozens of varieties endure. (The Island’s apple heritage is celebrated at the annual fall Apple Festival.) So after former philosophy student Mike Lachelt and sculptor Gerda Lattey met and spied an apple orchard, they founded the cidery in 2014. They harvest the apples from the numerous wild trees, nearby orchards and their own apple trees. Thus their hard ciders are a unique blend of heritage apples and more modern varieties. They also blend their ciders with other fruits, such as plum, elderberry, apricot and saskatoon berry. They even age rosehip-flavoured cider in oak barrels.

Inside the Salt Spring Wild store.

Carolyn and I landed on a picnic table and we quickly received a flight of ciders—a dry cider, a semi-dry, a pear cider, the Farmhouse Scrumpy and a pineapple-flavoured cider. It was the first time I’d tasted cider made from pear, and I’ve definitely put it on my to-buy list. Having recently feasted on our pizza, we passed the food also available, although the cheese-and-charcuterie boards and poached figs stuffed with Cambozola held appeal.

Lavender-laced madeleines and chocolate.

To complete our culinary adventure, we drove up a curving driveway to the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company run by David Wood since 1996. He’d been renowned for his Toronto gourmet store. But he and wife Nancy wanted to raise their family in a more bucolic environment, so they relocated and focused on establishing a goat-cheese factory. Today, well established in his craft, David buys his milk from regional producers. The cheese factory produces four types of goat cheese—fresh chèvre, feta, Romelia and Juliette. Placards spread around the factory answer the basic questions about cheese making: take pasteurized goat milk, add rennet and let it set in a vat until it coagulates. The end product, which takes about three days, is a soft, fresh piquant cheese packed in clear plastic cups, some spiced with basil, pepper, garlic or colourful flowers. In the shop next door, we tasted several samples. I particularly like the peppercorn version.

Future Kutatas wine.

Shortly afterwards, we arrived back in Ganges. I’d thoroughly enjoyed the day and Carolyn’s company and organizational skills. Reflecting on my edible day, I appreciated the loving labour that goes into all these handmade foods and drinks, and admired the owners’ entrepreneurial spirit and their dedication to their craft.

Stuffing goat cheese rolls into containers at Salt Spring Cheese Co.

For me, taking Carolyn’s Culinary Tour overcame the only drawback to cruising—lack of land transportation. Epicurus, the Greek philosopher who extolled the virtues of good eating and drinking, would have approved.

Culinary Tour leader Carolyn Flam Sharp holding lavender and
a lucky feather at the Lavender and Black farm.


Four Special Places to Grab a Drink in Salt Lake - Recipes

I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

Here is something you don't see everyday, a jar of pickled WILD cucumbers! We first got on to these a few years ago and have them as a change from the fermented and pickled cucumbers that usually grace our pantry. Mind you, it is only an occasional change, as these beauties are as salty as all get out, which I'm theorising is because wild cucumbers might be a little bitter and are well salted to make them more palatable, in the way most older cookbooks tell you to salt eggplant (aubergine) slices to draw out the bitter juices.

As you can see, they are long and very slender, but are distinctively cucumber shaped and seem to have more in common with Mediterranean cucumbers than other varieties. Cucumbers themselves are thought to have come from India and then embraced by the rest of the world. These wild cucumbers however have nothing to do with the wild cucumber of North America, known as manroot, which are shorter, rounder and spiky.

Because of the strong salty taste, which is accentuated by the pickling liquid, describing their flavour is a little difficult, but they are definitely slightly different to other pickled cucumbers, with a slight earthiness evident. They would most probably be served as part of a meze, no doubt with some fiery arak, or lion's milk as it's known in Lebanon, which could turn into a nasty little circle with all that salt leading to just one more drink.

15 Comments:

Ah yes, that could be a dangerous circle, salt, drink, salt, drink. . .

I've never seen anything like this before. What's interesting is that I kind of recognize the logo on the jar I think that brand of stuff is sold in middle eastern stores here.

I saw that bottle somewhere but never knew what to do with this. An informative post as always.

I've never heard of wild cucumbers. Years ago I made a batch of pickles that was very high in salt. They shriveled to half their size and you could bent them in half without snapping - but were incredible crunchy.
If I ever see these I have to try them.

Strange!! This cucumber also known as snake melon in hindi word it is called " kakdi".cucumber in India are kirby type.Very rarely we get chubby cucumber with seedsand sometimes couter skin is bitter. In india ,cucumber is very seasonal and was very costly as compared to other seasonal vegetables.Probably to meet demand with supply.In India,you will find roadside vendors ( poorest just cucumber stock s only) fresh cut cucumber toasted with black salt.Other than this,You find recipes only in" raita" of north India and" pachadi" of south India .
pickled cucumber is entirely new for Indian food environment.
Thanks for giving clues for " manroot".BTW, we hardly get this ype here in USA even in indian stores.

Ah, I think I'll be making the rounds of my special grocery stores today and tomorrow. Sounds like a fun thing to try.

Sometimes I think you must just climb around stores looking for the different.

On reading "man root" , I suddenly remembered yellow cucumber which is round in shape."Dosakai " Andhra's specialty which has pickling recipe.
This of course is lemon Cuke .Is it popular in other hemisphere? andhrites enjoy this type cucumber. pickle.Thanks again.

Hi kalyn, very dangerous indeed! Hope you can find some, they are kind of interesting.

Hi anh, don't we all have a bottle of some such thing that we've never tried before. Sometimes you just have to grab the nettle.

Hi katiez, when you think about it, there are, apart from fish, not a lot of wild foods available, so it's nice to try them. We do cucumbers every year, not pickled but fermented.

Hi ramya, isn't it funny that they originated in India, but are now wild in the Middle East? Very informative info re cucumbers, funny though, I would have thought they would be freely available there all the time. I don't know about yellow cucumbers but will look out for them.

Hi tanna, I really don't go looking as such, it's just when something catches my eye, promise!

I grew up in Lebanon and had these fresh and pickled. I usually rinse the pickled one to get rid of some of the salt before adding it to my sandwich. The fresh ones are not bitter at all, actually, they are kind of sweet and very tasty, I wish I can find them fresh in the US :(.

I ate at a place called Pita'z today at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids Iowa. They put wild pickles on the pitas. They were salty but it was a nice touch.

These are called Mikty in Lebanon ( Arabic) they are not bitter at all. My father used to grow them for market as a lot of lebaneses do. When my mom used to pickle them the rule of thumb for the salt ratio to water was to add salt until a raw egg floated on the water and also added vinegar so that they would last. My husband grows a patch of these here in Canada, they need hot dry weather and we only water them when the plants are small, then not at all after we cover half the plant with soil

continue- they are also called Fakous in Syria(Arabic) but I don't know what the name for these in English is other than wild cucumbers. I got here because I was searching for their name online. When these pickles are made at home they're not as salty. I think the store bought ones are salty to make them last longer on the store shelf, a good tip is to soak them a bit in water to reduce the salty taste. Another note, the fresh ones are great in salads or just to munch. Enjoy.


Four Special Places to Grab a Drink in Salt Lake - Recipes

I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

Here is something you don't see everyday, a jar of pickled WILD cucumbers! We first got on to these a few years ago and have them as a change from the fermented and pickled cucumbers that usually grace our pantry. Mind you, it is only an occasional change, as these beauties are as salty as all get out, which I'm theorising is because wild cucumbers might be a little bitter and are well salted to make them more palatable, in the way most older cookbooks tell you to salt eggplant (aubergine) slices to draw out the bitter juices.

As you can see, they are long and very slender, but are distinctively cucumber shaped and seem to have more in common with Mediterranean cucumbers than other varieties. Cucumbers themselves are thought to have come from India and then embraced by the rest of the world. These wild cucumbers however have nothing to do with the wild cucumber of North America, known as manroot, which are shorter, rounder and spiky.

Because of the strong salty taste, which is accentuated by the pickling liquid, describing their flavour is a little difficult, but they are definitely slightly different to other pickled cucumbers, with a slight earthiness evident. They would most probably be served as part of a meze, no doubt with some fiery arak, or lion's milk as it's known in Lebanon, which could turn into a nasty little circle with all that salt leading to just one more drink.

15 Comments:

Ah yes, that could be a dangerous circle, salt, drink, salt, drink. . .

I've never seen anything like this before. What's interesting is that I kind of recognize the logo on the jar I think that brand of stuff is sold in middle eastern stores here.

I saw that bottle somewhere but never knew what to do with this. An informative post as always.

I've never heard of wild cucumbers. Years ago I made a batch of pickles that was very high in salt. They shriveled to half their size and you could bent them in half without snapping - but were incredible crunchy.
If I ever see these I have to try them.

Strange!! This cucumber also known as snake melon in hindi word it is called " kakdi".cucumber in India are kirby type.Very rarely we get chubby cucumber with seedsand sometimes couter skin is bitter. In india ,cucumber is very seasonal and was very costly as compared to other seasonal vegetables.Probably to meet demand with supply.In India,you will find roadside vendors ( poorest just cucumber stock s only) fresh cut cucumber toasted with black salt.Other than this,You find recipes only in" raita" of north India and" pachadi" of south India .
pickled cucumber is entirely new for Indian food environment.
Thanks for giving clues for " manroot".BTW, we hardly get this ype here in USA even in indian stores.

Ah, I think I'll be making the rounds of my special grocery stores today and tomorrow. Sounds like a fun thing to try.

Sometimes I think you must just climb around stores looking for the different.

On reading "man root" , I suddenly remembered yellow cucumber which is round in shape."Dosakai " Andhra's specialty which has pickling recipe.
This of course is lemon Cuke .Is it popular in other hemisphere? andhrites enjoy this type cucumber. pickle.Thanks again.

Hi kalyn, very dangerous indeed! Hope you can find some, they are kind of interesting.

Hi anh, don't we all have a bottle of some such thing that we've never tried before. Sometimes you just have to grab the nettle.

Hi katiez, when you think about it, there are, apart from fish, not a lot of wild foods available, so it's nice to try them. We do cucumbers every year, not pickled but fermented.

Hi ramya, isn't it funny that they originated in India, but are now wild in the Middle East? Very informative info re cucumbers, funny though, I would have thought they would be freely available there all the time. I don't know about yellow cucumbers but will look out for them.

Hi tanna, I really don't go looking as such, it's just when something catches my eye, promise!

I grew up in Lebanon and had these fresh and pickled. I usually rinse the pickled one to get rid of some of the salt before adding it to my sandwich. The fresh ones are not bitter at all, actually, they are kind of sweet and very tasty, I wish I can find them fresh in the US :(.

I ate at a place called Pita'z today at Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids Iowa. They put wild pickles on the pitas. They were salty but it was a nice touch.

These are called Mikty in Lebanon ( Arabic) they are not bitter at all. My father used to grow them for market as a lot of lebaneses do. When my mom used to pickle them the rule of thumb for the salt ratio to water was to add salt until a raw egg floated on the water and also added vinegar so that they would last. My husband grows a patch of these here in Canada, they need hot dry weather and we only water them when the plants are small, then not at all after we cover half the plant with soil

continue- they are also called Fakous in Syria(Arabic) but I don't know what the name for these in English is other than wild cucumbers. I got here because I was searching for their name online. When these pickles are made at home they're not as salty. I think the store bought ones are salty to make them last longer on the store shelf, a good tip is to soak them a bit in water to reduce the salty taste. Another note, the fresh ones are great in salads or just to munch. Enjoy.


Old Salts and Sea Salts

The old sea salt expression “Over the transom” can generally mean one of two things we have lost something overboard, or something arrived unannounced. Most often if something arrives unnannounced, we just toss it back into the sea, however, sometimes the object can prove to be a real treasure. So, another boating cookbook arrived at our door without any advance warning and the choices were to chuck it overboard, park it on the shelf with our other boating cookbooks, or crack it open and see if it was really something special. Wow, we were hooked like a salmon!

Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley by Alison Malone Eathorne, Hilary Malone and Lorna Malone with photography by Christina Symons and published by Harbour Publishing, instantly came to life. The photograhy is spectacular with stunning images from the Pacific North West, personal glimpses of the authors and of course, mouth watering photos of incredible meals and snacks. While much of book details the Malone family`s love of food, it is also an odyssey of a sailing family moving to the West Coast, embracing their passion for sailing, growing as a family and taking full advantage of the bounty of local foods and of nearby food artisans and growers, but the book also brings a sense of richness and satisfaction to the pleasures of eating aboard a boat .

The first thing that we did was to select some recipes and then we dove into trying to replicate the offerings from the book. It became a little addictive! The Galley Guys strongly recommend this book and want everyone that does not have access to the the special foods, ingredients and flavours of the West Coast must not fear using the book as a guideline will help you to discover your own local flavours and local suppliers, who by the way, are usually interesting individuals that make onboard dining so memorable. Plus, the stories and adventures enountered when sourcing great food and preparing the meal, can spice up your dinner conversations.

The Galley Guys wanted to know more about the authors and started a dialogue, first through their publisher and then directly with Lorna Malone. Lorna is the Mother of the Malone family, but it quickly became very clear that Sea Salt was a collabrative affair with Mom and her two daughters. Our conversations became more involved and we went on to explain that we would be cruising in the Gulf Islands this year and we asked if there would be an opportunity to meet and interview the authors. Well, one spoon lead to a fork and then to a knife and before we knew it, the table was set to meet up with the Malones on the East Coast of Vancouver Island for dinner.

The destination was Genoa Bay 48° 45’ 29” N, 123° 35’ 58” W, a half way point between Port Sidney and their home base of Nanaimo on the north side of Cowichan Bay at the south end of Sansum Narrows. Just being in Genoa Bay was a thrill. Post card pictureque, a little funky, bit rustic, and totally laid back. Genoa Bay is surrounded by mountain vistas, towering pines, calm waters and a very eclectic aray of vessels. It was perfect!

The origins of Sea Salt started with sailing and racing on Lake Huron in Ontario and then in the late 1970s came the big move to the West Coast. Although the Malones spent many years without a boat, it was always in their plan. They commissioned Bent Jespersen and crew from North Saanich to build a McCurdy & Rhodes design to be called Aerial. With much pride Lorna says that after 25 years, Aerial looks as magnificent as the day she was launched. But it was also fun to watch Hiliary start to unpack all the food, trimmings and supplies in the galley of Amritha, a Lagoon 400. Their sailboat , Aerial, is a traditional single hull wooden sailboat with a galley built for both racing and cruising. When Hilary`s eyes scanned the Lagoon`s enormous galley she smiled and said this was going to be fun! Hilary, the fearless cook of the family (who won the Gold Medal in the Skills Canada BC 2013 competition), is a graduate of Vancouver Island University’s Culinary Arts Program and she jumped into action right away.

Dinner Highlights

Balsamic Beets and Goat`s Cheese Crostini.

Each element of this dish had a story and both Hilary and Lorna were excited and proud to identify “their partners”, the local suppliers The Crostini loaf was made from grains grown and milled on Vancouver Island by the Cowichan Bakery, the tangy goat cheese is from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, the beets are from their own garden and are ``punched` out to give a unique shape, and the sautéed beet greens, (when is the last time you had beet greens?) to give the dish an earthy tone. Chef Hilary selected a sparkling wine from Unsworth, a local vineyard, for its crispness - a great starter for any meal.

Dinner with friends needs great food and lots of time to talk, laugh and learn. The Seared Qualicum Beach Scallops with sweet corn-basil puree and heirloom tomato salad came with an overview of the changes happening to the Qualicum scallop industry. Lorna was quite concerned that with the rising of the water temperature and changes to the acidity in the water, the scallops needed to be brought to market sooner and are noticeably smaller than the scallops harvested just a few years ago, something she learned. As boaters we often have a firsthand view of the results of our changing climate. It was suggested that this meal should be planned for the beginning of a voyage while the produce is still fresh. Hilary selected a Gewürztraminer, again from Unsworth Vineyards in the Cowichan Valley, as its dryness paired well to offset the sweetness of the scallops.

Right at the beginning of Sea Salt, there is a section called the “Tool Box”. Over the years of cruising and racing Lorna has put together a list of all the kitchen tools and gadgets that she feels are essential for running a proper galley for a journey at sea. One important item is a large stockpot for crabs, soups, and stews or when a large crowd shows up. The large pot on the Amritha came in very handy for Hilary’s Pacific Cioppino. The Cioppino is a show stopper and a perfect al fresco meal. This fish stew has its origins in San Francisco and from the name you can guess it has Italian roots. Chef Hilary uses a combination of salmon, white fish like halibut, scallops, mussels, prawns and clams, or what is fresh and available. Make sure you have a crusty loaf or two of artisan bread to mop up all of the saffron infused tomato broth.

It was during the Cioppino that Hilary announced that she has just came back from Beijing China where she had represented the Malone family by accepting the award they won third place in the 2014 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards’ competition for the World’s Best Fish and Seafood Book. The results were announced at the first Beijing Cookbook Fair on May 20 and 21, 2014. The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards had named Sea Salt Canada’s Best Fish and Seafood Book in late 2013, which made it eligible for this worldwide honour. All at the table raised their glasses of 2011 Pinot Noir from Averill Creek’s Cowichan, Black Joie Farms to toast their marvelous accomplishment.

Often it takes a little extra touch to make something extra ordinary become something unbelievable. A coffee cake for dessert sounds very ordinary but this was no ordinary coffee cake. It burst with cranberries and hazel nuts and with Hilary’s flare for food styling, the presentation was a show piece. Actually, it was made ashore days before and kept in an air tight container as it did not need refrigeration. The coffee cake with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt, fresh raspberries and edible flowers along with a glass of local port was like the finale of a fireworks display.

Many of the traditions and practices of the naval services are passed from generation to generation of service members by sea stories as told and retold by old salts. An old salt might be heard saying “this is how we have always done it on this ship”. On all boats, there will be always limited storage space, small galleys, long distances to markets and limited refrigeration space that often keeps us from eating like the admiralty. The Malone girls think not! Experimenting, seeking out local suppliers and taking some risks have taken them from racer/cruisers to internationally acclaimed cookbook writers. Maybe it is time to revisit your spice locker? Old Salts meet Sea Salts. Three cheers to Alison, Hilary and Lorna!!

Photo 1 & 2 - Genoa Bay on Vancouver Island is a little funky and laid back with wonderful restaurants.

Photo 3 - Greg Nicoll with Hilary and Lorna Malone.

Photo 4 - Hilary Malone in the Galley of the Amritha Catamaran.

Photo 7 - Unsworth 2012 Gewurztraminer from Unsworth Vineyards in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.

Photo 8 - Pacific Cioppino from Sea Salt: Recipes from a West Coast Galley cookbook.


Appropriate Worship – Honoring the Gods the Right Way

One issue that comes up often for people learning about modern Pagan spirituality is the concept of appropriate worship. There tends to be some question about what, exactly, is the right offering to make to the gods or goddesses of one’s tradition — and how we should honor them when making those offerings.

Let’s imagine that you have two friends. First, we have Jill. She likes French cuisine, Meg Ryan movies, soft music and expensive wine. She’s someone who lets you cry on her shoulder when you’re feeling blue, and she offers some wise and thoughtful insight when you can’t solve a problem on your own. One of her best qualities is her ability to listen.

You also have a friend named Steve. He’s a lot of fun, and sometimes shows up at your house at midnight toting a six-pack. Steve likes watching movies with lots of explosions, took you to your first Metallica concert, and can rebuild a Harley with his eyes closed. He eats mostly bratwurst and Funyuns, enjoys picking up strippers at bars, and is the guy you call when you want to have a good time.

When Jill comes over, are you going to have a nice quiet dinner with a glass of wine and Josh Groban playing in the background, or are you going to hand her a cheeseburger and a beer, pull out the Wii for a round of God of War, and stay up until 3 am seeing who can burp and fart the loudest?

Likewise, if Steve shows up, are you going to do things that he enjoys, or are you going to say, “Hey, Steve, let’s watch Steel Magnolias and talk about our feelings?

Much like our friends Jill and Steve, the gods have certain things they like and value, and certain things they don’t. To offer one of them something better suited to another is not only disrespectful, it shows that you really don’t know them at all and worse yet, haven’t even taken the time to learn about them. What do you think Steve is going to say when you offer him a vegetarian soup and turn on some chick flick? He’s going to bail, that’s what he’s going to do. Because not only did you present him with something he dislikes, but you’re showing a fundamental lack of knowledge of someone you claim is your friend.

Sure, you love Jill and Steve equally, but they’re not the same person, and they don’t have the same likes and dislikes. The gods are the same way — you may honor both Aphrodite and Mars, but that doesn’t mean Mars wants to you to leave him a bouquet of flowers and a glass of milk while you sing him Kumbaya. You can also be sure that Aphrodite probably isn’t interested in offerings of blood and raw meat, or warrior chants.

The idea of right or appropriate worship is not about someone telling you what’s “right or wrong.” It is simply the concept that one should take the time to do things – including worship and offerings – in a way that is conducive to the demands and needs of the god or goddess in question.

When you honor the gods, take the time to put some thought into it. Ask yourself what it is you hope to obtain by making the offering — are you trying to gain something, or merely show your appreciation and gratitude to the Divine? Learn about the types of deities you’re about to honor, and study the specific gods and goddesses of your tradition, so that when you do make an offering or present a ritual in their name, you can do so in a way that truly does them honor.