Category Archives: Wanderlust California

Sierra Azul Hiking Trail. Mount Umunhum Area. Santa Cruz Mountains, California

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are ready for a great weekend!  After days and days of stormy, rainy, cold weather here in the Bay Area the skies cleared out the last couple of days and we had glorious sunshine 🌞.  Sunny skies were beckoning me to get outside and do something nature oriented – that’s why when my friend Padmini asked if I wanted to join her on a hike on the Sierra Azul trail off Hicks Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains I didn’t think twice – I just said YES! Continue reading Sierra Azul Hiking Trail. Mount Umunhum Area. Santa Cruz Mountains, California

A Little About Fennel

Fennel is an interesting vegetable and a fairly new discovery of mine. For a long time I assumed that fennel was from the plant that produces fennel seeds.  Not until fennel started showing up as a vegetable in cooking magazines did I get curious to do some research on fennel.  This is what I found out. Fennel is a flowering plant closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. There are two types of fennel. One is treated as a spice (Foeniculum vulgare) and the other one (Florence fennel or Finocchio) is treated like a bulb – this is what’s used as a vegetable. Foeniculum vulgare fennel grows 3-5 feet tall with fine textured foliage resembling dill with flat topped clusters of yellow flowers. The stems, leaves and seeds of this type of fennel are harvested and used as a spice. On the other hand, Florence fennel is the more popular type of fennel and is grown for use as a vegetable. This is the fennel bulb that is widely available nowadays at the grocery stores and is sometimes called fresh anise. Continue reading A Little About Fennel

January in the Garden. 2019

January has been wet, wet, wet for us here in the Bay Area.  Rain and more rain and chilly temperatures made for a tumultuous time in the garden.  One of the storms we had was so fierce that one of our eucalyptus trees got ripped off its trunk. The latter part of January however we have had spring-like temperatures in the 60s!  The birds were chirping away thinking spring has arrived early. It has definitely been a roller coaster ride weatherwise. Continue reading January in the Garden. 2019

Tastes, Tales and Traditions by the Palo Alto Auxiliary For Children Benefiting Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital

Like beautiful paintings, a few nostalgic stories, and a lot of old fashioned recipes with proceeds from all sales going to benefit a children’s hospital?  Then this book is for you. Tastes, Tales and Traditions presented by the Palo Alto Auxiliary For Children benefiting Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital is a wonderfully original and beautiful cookbook that. I picked up when visiting the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, California. for their Spring Garden Tour. Folks, this is one outstanding cookbook. Continue reading Tastes, Tales and Traditions by the Palo Alto Auxiliary For Children Benefiting Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital

Wreath Making at Guadalupe Park Garden Conservancy. San Jose, California

I’ve never made a wreath before, that’s why when my friend Rose asked if I wanted to join her for a wreath-making class at the Guadalupe Park Garden Conservancy in San Jose I was excited to go. But what I had in mind is totally different than what I experienced.  I assumed I would be making a typical wreath with the usual pine-tree leaves and just tie them around a pre-fabricated wire circle.  Little did I know I would be in a nature-inspired wreath-making workshop like no other! Continue reading Wreath Making at Guadalupe Park Garden Conservancy. San Jose, California

Peanuts!

I absolutely love, love, love Peanuts! Not the peanuts, but the cartoon strip Peanuts by Charles Schultz.  The one with Charlie Brown, and Lucy, Lionel, Snoopy, and the gang. I don’t know what it is about this cartoon strip that has me smiling even thinking about it 😊😊.  Maybe it’s the simple story lines that convey meaningful messages or maybe it’s because the stories are just that – simple life lessons conveyed humorously through the trials and tribulation of a bunch of young kids in their daily lives with their friends. Or maybe I like Peanuts because the comic brings a sense of nostalgia when kids played outside and worried more about which friend to invite to their birthday party, or what games to play. Continue reading Peanuts!

Grape Juice Tasting in Anderson Valley. Mendocino County, California

Anderson Valley Wine Trail is an undiscovered area of the massive California’s wine country that is our family’s all-time favorite wine trail. I say undiscovered because where else in California can one go for wine tasting where the only other customers are another couple? At Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. What makes Anderson Valley so special is that it is a treat for the entire family – kids and adults. Continue reading Grape Juice Tasting in Anderson Valley. Mendocino County, California

Persimmon Picking in Silicon Valley

Last week I went persimmon picking with my friend Basanthi and my daughter Rani to a persimmon farm right here in the middle of Silicon Valley.  Seriously, when I say this farm is smack in the middle of Silicon Valley, it really is! This persimmon farm has been here long before Silicon Valley got formed and tech companies started building all around the farm. Today it is the only farm in the middle of hundreds of tech companies right off Hwy 880 and Montague Expwy – which is a funny sight to see! I only know about this farm because for years my friend Basanthi has been dropping off the most luscious, crunchy, sweet giant Fuyu persimmons from this farm. Continue reading Persimmon Picking in Silicon Valley

November in the Garden

November in the garden was an interesting one for us here in the Bay Area.  We had days of warm weather, followed by chilly temperatures in the 30s, 40, 50s and 60s, followed by ten days of the worst air quality caused by the California wildfires, followed by rain and sunny clear skies.  Despite our rollercoaster of a weather ride, the garden faired really well. Continue reading November in the Garden