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December 2004

November 2004

How do you cook me?

So this monstrosity came in my weekly farm share.  I am thinking it's a squash of sorts and although the picture does it no justice, I'd say it weighs in close to 20 lbs. and could easily be a brutal weapon, if needed.
I'm hauling the mofo home to Tennessee with me tomorrow and on Saturday, I'm going to sling it in the AGA roasting oven and let is soften up a bit (who knows how long that one will take)...Then, I'll peel it, chop it up, and saute it with butter, sherry vinegar, apple cider (from the mountain, of course), and fresh sage.  I'm thinking it will get all creamy on the inside, but be caramel-crunchy on the outside~much like a recent go I gave to some fantastic Delicata squash that showed face in the weekly box.


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The Hunt Begins: Yelapa, Mexico

So, I am starting another one of my famous lists.  This one is going to be about perfect little villages around the world to call home~for half the year.  I wouldn't want to live there full time, but certainly I'd jump ship when winter hits the city.  It's a very delicate situation, though.  There are certain requirements that I would insist upon, just for the place to even make the list.

  1. The town must be within 2 hours of an International Airport
  2. There must be water AND/OR mountains nearby
  3. There must be Internet access
  4. The town must have under 15,000 people living there
  5. The town must have a strong affinity for local, pref. organic, food
  6. The town must be affordable (anything under $100,000, pref. MUCH less)
  7. There must be a larger town (with bookstores, culture, movies, etc...) within 1 hour
  8. The town must support the outdoor adventure part of my soul
  9. There must be at least a few other people there who speak English
  10. There must be a few delicious and cheap restaurants in the town-VERY IMPORTANT
  11. The weather must be sunny, sunny, and more sunny

Those are the simple and crucial elements that I would need to have in place.  It is really a rare village indeed that has ALL of these elements.  But, I have found a few and I am continuing my journey across the world to find more.  Here is the first village in what hopefully becomes a long list of many perfect places to hang your hat.



One of the most magical places on Earth has to be the tiny village of Yelapa.  I was there a few years back, working on a food/adventure TV show, and I literally fell in love with the place.  Honestly, I think about it every single day and I'm constantly plotting my return.  I have been in touch with a woman down there who is selling a 3 bedroom jungle palapa for 28k.  Another woman is selling her house, a 4 bedroom
B & B with a rain water swimming pool and ocean views, for 50k.  Could you imagine living is a place like this for a cost like that?  Now, here's the thing though.  You can own the house but you cannot own the land.  EVER.  The land has always belonged to the Huichol Indians and that will probably never change.  So, what you have to do instead is lease the land from local Mexican families.  The lease runs from $2000-$3000 per year and you choose to sign a 10-30 year contract.  Once that deal is signed off on, you can build your little dream house in paradise.  The best thing about this little enclave (besides the fact that it meets all the afore mentioned requirements), is that is only accessible by boat.  You fly into Puerto Vallara and then take a bumpy 45 minute boat ride, headed due south.  Once you get there, you totally forget about all the chaos of life back in the USA and just somehow manage to fit right in with the 300 some-odd (could be runnin' from the law) expats that call Yelapa home (that is a pretty high proportion of expats for a town that only has a few thousand residents). 

Continue reading "The Hunt Begins: Yelapa, Mexico" »

Watch for my new column

Yeah!!  Starting on Dec. 2, I will have a new weekly food column at  Very exciting stuff.  It's all about my current obsessions and rantings about food in the city of Chicago and it's called The Raving Dish.  It comes out on Thursday of every week, so be on the lookout.  Of course we all know where I really want to be is in Yelapa, Mexico, kickin it on a boat, with an icy cold margarita in hand!! Misty_on_boat_4