Why “On Aisle 6”? Well, because where I shop, that’s where the martini olives are.

We all feed ourselves, our families, our friends. Food isn’t something we should use to judge others, or ourselves. Omnivore, vegetarian, vegan – you eat what you want and I’ll do the same. If we happen to agree on a recipe or two more’s the better. Food is what we all have in common and it’s the thing that can bring us together despite political, religious or ideological differences.

It’s amazing what you can find in a grocery store these days compared to when I was a kid. When I was a kid I didn’t even know what couscous was – now it’s a staple. Of course, when I was a kid if you’d said the words “genetically modified” to me I would have assumed you were talking about the X-Men, not my tomatoes. I was fed margarine, because it was healthier!, and Tang, instead of orange juice.  When I left home I vowed that I would never buy anything but real butter ever again – that was it, my big act of rebellion. My mother was shocked. We do the best we can with what we know at the time.

Everyone has their place where they are “regulars”. If you haven’t yet, learn the name of that guy behind the meat counter, listen to what advice he has on how to cook the perfect steak, even if you think you already know. Talk to your produce guy about when the pomegranates are coming in and how to seed them without your kitchen looking like a scene from The Walking Dead. Smile. Listen. Say hello. Visit your local farmer’s market and buy the ugly organic apple just to freak your kid out with it.

Living in California’s Central Valley means , despite a historic drought and the threat of an equally historic El Nino, living in a culinary garden of Eden. You want it? We’ve got it – and we’ve probably got it grown locally and organically. I know we have options here that a good portion of the world doesn’t have and for that I’m grateful and humbled.

So please stop by, say hello, see what I’m cooking, listen to a tongue in cheek rant about having to hand stuff my martini olives with blue cheese. Offer a suggestion when I fail miserably at a recipe or when I buy butternut squash and have no idea what to do with it.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” ― Luciano Pavarotti.

Note: to avoid infringing on any copyrights I will not publish recipes, but will offer links or information on where to find them.

All pictures were taken with the Samsung Galaxy 4, then filtered through the app SketchGuru.


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