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southwest edible colorado Telling stories with ink since 2010

No. 29

Summer 2017

THE TOWN MILL

How to Grow a Tomato at Altitude Make Your Own Condiments Food as Medicine: Stories of the Seekers A Metabolic Approach To Cancer


Small Towns...

Big Personality

What's happening in Paonia, Hotchkiss & Crawford? Relax and savor a tasty mĂŠlange of activities. You won't forget the peaches. Or the people.

FIND MORE AT NORTHFORKCREATIVE.ORG


CONTENTS

4

How to grow a Tomato at High altitude By Rachel Turiel

8

The Metabolic Approach to cancer

12

Slow your Summer ... with homemade condiments

A Q&A with authors Dr. Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley

By Rachel Turiel

18

26

The town Mill By Rick Scibelli, Jr.

Culinary Hackery (insider tips from the pros) By Bonni Pacheco

30

Food as Medicine: Stories of the Seekers By Kate Husted

32

After Summer Dust and Shimmer Poem by Elle Metrick

The Singer family, millers at Cortez Milling (then known as Wark Milling), in this undated photograph. Jim Singer, whose father is pictured in the middle, is still a miller at the same location.


EDITOR'S LETTER

I

have never had success gardening. With the exception of a few tomatoes (literally a total of three over the past several years) that appeared to be of the ‘sun-dried' variety, my batting average is zero. It’s not for lack of effort. I start the seeds, carefully placing their perfectly compact soil pods in the miniature plastic grow house on the windowsill above our kitchen sink every spring. This is the windowsill I had my father-in-law build precisely for this reason; so I could watch seedlings hatch. If summer gardening started and ended on our sill, I would surely be teaching workshops. My seedlings are impressive. But I am notorious for not allowing time for the metaphorical glue to dry. I am genetically impatient. This can mean that I pull the cake out of the oven before it is done (fooled every time). And this can mean that I put the seedlings outside long before it is safe (My one self telling my other self that he can’t wait another minute…let’s get summer going!). This year, it was May 14 when I transferred my little beauties to their new home consisting of a meticulously prepared fluffy patch of garden soil enriched with an expensive mix of organic store-bought bat crap. I prepped more than I have ever prepped before.“You need to cover them with milk jugs,” my mother-in-law said. She grew up on a farm. Everything she ever ate she grew or raised. But you see, besides not having the patience for processes to take shape, I tend to lean towards form over function. This means no filmy plastic jugs wrecking the aesthetic form of what I am hoping will be a functional garden. Instead, I created wind barriers protecting each little plant using old firewood. I was quite pleased with the rustic outcome. I am not sure the seedlings were. Three days later the weather, right on cue, turned unseasonably cold. I noticed my plants looking pale as if they were hypothermic. Here we go, I thought. I have always harbored a theory that my hasty decisions have the power to effect markets, the flow of local traffic, and weather. On this same day, I noticed the hummingbirds were strangely absent. I envisioned them knowing something I didn’t – like that a late-season blizzard was brewing somewhere off the Galapagos and rapidly heading in this direction. I imagined my tiny tomato plants pleading with the hummingbirds to please, please rescue them from certain doom as they packed their bags for a lower elevation. “Take us with you, you prissy little bastards. Please. We beg of you,” they would say. It snowed on the night of May 18. Around 11p.m., I was putting bottomless milk jugs on the plants. Do you leave the cap on? I forgot to ask. If so, how would they breathe? Are they even alive? They look like hell. Caps off. But the heat will escape. Caps on. I truly feel like I have let these little guys down…again…but hell, I am trying to cut nightshades out of my diet right now (see the related story, Food as Medicine, on page 25). Maybe the little darlings know this? Maybe they know that my heart isn't that into it. Instead of a persnickety tomato, plant something else, I hear you

say. I have and failed. Cucumbers, which my wife hates and I have a lifelong indifference towards. Peppers, which really don’t count as a food. Cilantro. This we would eat if we could get it to grow… but again, not exactly a plant known for providing sustenance. Strawberries, which I am not sure even grow at this altitude but will never find out because the birds eat the berries long before they turn red (but at least I am feeding something). And lettuce (don't ask me what kind), which we have had a hint of success with. Success, that is, until the rabbits show up with their wire cutters, their in-laws, and a picnic blanket. If you share my problem, help can be found within these pages. Five crucial tips on how to grow a tomato on a mountain. It is too late for me. But, we hope, right on time for you. j – Rick Scibelli, Jr.

CORRECTION: In our Spring issue we failed to attach a byline to the recipe: Green Chile Baked Feta with Sautéed Spring Brassicas. The recipe was courtesty of Vera Hansen and Alison Dance at Cyprus Cafe. The feature was written and photographed by Bonni Pacheco. In a photograph on page 26 (The Grocery That Unites Us), Sarah Payne was misidentified. We apologize for the error.

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ON THE COVER Gabriel Lopez, a miller at Cortez Milling for the past fifteen years, is one of three brothers who make their living at the mill where not much has changed in eighty years. Same equipment. Same location. Same process. Same product (Blue Bird Flour). See the story on page 18. Photos by Rick Scibelli, Jr.

southwest

edible colorado MANAGING EDITOR Rachel Turiel

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Rick Scibelli, Jr.

CO-PUBLISHER Michelle Ellis

COPY EDITOR Mia Rupani

POETRY EDITOR Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

WRITERS Kate Husted, Bonni Pacheco, Rachel Turiel, Elle Metrick

PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN Bonni Pacheco, Michelle Ellis, Rick Scibelli, Jr.

INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? Michelle@ediblesouthwestcolorado.com Rick@ediblesouthwestcolorado.com

STORY IDEAS, WRITER'S QUERIES Contact Rachel at sanjuandrive@frontier.net Edible Southwest Colorado is published quarterly by Sunny Boy Publications. All rights reserved. Distribution is throughout southwest Colorado and nationally (and locally) by subscription. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2017. edible Southwest Colorado PO Box 3702, Telluride, CO 81435


How To Grow a Tomato at Altitude Story and Recipe by Rachel Turiel

I

wish I were more casual about tomatoes, more like, “Oh, tomatoes? Yeah, sometimes they all ripen, sometimes not, no biggie.” And then I’d skip off to do something fun and frivolous, something lost on people who stake their well being on several hundred red fruits ripening. Instead, come August, I’m pacing the garden, seeing each crimson orb as a future indispensable player on the field of roasted tomato sauce. I’d ripen them with the hot blaze of my attention if I could. To achieve ripe tomatoes in our climate of approximately ninetysix frost-free growing days (give or take a few hours), in which half the nights don’t get above 50, you have to want it. To want it, you have to work for it. To work for it, you’ve got to know what to do. Here are some tomato-growing tips from two growers: Lynn Coburn, who has a large, backyard Durango garden (featuring tomatoes that always ripen) and who admits that she may have crossed the thin line between pleasant hobby to obsession, and the farmers at Twin Buttes Farm in Durango, whose very livelihood depends on a few thousand pounds of tomatoes ripening. Lynn Coburn: 1. Start early. In our short growing season, it pays to put out plants that are fairly far along. I start tomato seeds in mid-March. They are just starting to flower at the end of May. My plants start setting tomatoes when night-time lows are still in the high thirties. If you are starting later, buy the most prosperous plants in the biggest pots that you can afford. Next year, if you don’t want to mess with seed starting, buy baby tomato plants in six packs as soon as they appear in the nursery and pot them up into big pots (cut-off half gallon milk cartons work great) and grow them on until it seems semi-reasonable to plant them out. 2. Plant early and pay attention to weather. I start putting tomato plants out as soon in May as I see a reasonable stretch of weather ahead, usually sometime in the second week. The early birds get wall-of-water protection on the outside of their cages. (I have a love-hate relationship with walls-of-water; they are a pain in the ass to set up and take down. And mine are an antique lot of hand-medowns with many leaky tubes, but with blankets thrown over the top on bad nights, they keep plants alive down to 25 degrees). If 4  edible

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Drawing by Col Turiel Hinds

you plant early, prepare to cover your plants for a few nights in the average year. Frayed blankets, retired mattress covers, old sheets are all suitable resources. Plastic doesn’t seem to do much good in my experience. 3. Choose appropriate varieties. Anything with a stated maturity date of more than 70 days is unlikely to ripen very many tomatoes here. 70 days in Kansas does NOT equate to 70 days in Durango. Cherry tomatoes will ripen first. My favorites are Sun Gold (in my opinion both the earliest and best-tasting cherry tomato), Sweet Chelsea and Sweet Million. The regular tomatoes I grow routinely are Big Beef, Goliath, Golden Girl and Whopper which are all rated in the 60-70 day range for maturity. I usually get a few ripe ones toward the end of July and a glut by mid-August. I have tried lots of super-early varieties, but so far none have met my taste/size standards. Improve your dirt. The more organic material you work into your planting bed, the happier your plants will be. So start a compost pile and put a shovel-full of "black gold” in the hole with every tomato plant. Twin Buttes Farmers: Pick the best spot in your yard. Tomatoes like lots of sun and warm temps. An area with good southern exposure will help fruits ripen faster.  Surrounding your plants with rocks or jugs of water that absorb heat during the day and release it at night help to create a warmer night time microclimate. Also planting next to a south-


facing wall has the same effect. Prune your tomatoes. Prune off the lower branches so your leaves don’t touch the ground. This will help to prevent disease.  When fall hits and temps start to drop prune off any new flowers or small fruit sets. This will redirect your plants energy into ripening the remaining fruits faster. Pick the right varieties. In general smaller tomatoes will ripen faster than larger ones. Your will be harvesting your cherry and roma tomatoes long before your big juicy heirloom varieties are fully ripe. Those of you who live at higher altitudes with a shorter frost free season will have better luck with smaller varieties. Don’t worry, some cherry varieties like sungolds will give any heirloom a run for their money in a taste test! Harvest your green tomatoes before the first frost. In this region you will inevitably end up with green tomatoes on the vine when the first frost hits. Don’t give up on these greenies, there are ways to get them to ripen. Put them in a paper bag or a box and close the top. The tomatoes will release ethylene gas that when trapped in the bag will ripen your tomatoes. To speed up this process you can put a banana in with them to release more ethylene gas. I have had luck pulling out the entire plants and hanging them in my garage where they won’t freeze. This is a slower process but you should get a few ripe tomatoes every week. One year we were still harvesting red tomatoes off of a dead vine on Christmas day using this method.  

Best Roasted Tomato Sauce

T

his is the very best recipe you can make with tomatoes, objectively speaking. It elevates a tomato to its sweetest, richest form and preserves it for the darkest and coldest days ahead.

Roasted Tomato Sauce (makes approx 1 quart; I recommend making double or quadruple batches) Prep time: Twenty minutes; Cooking time: One hour; Clean up time: you don’t want to know. INGREDIENTS 4-5 pounds tomatoes ½ onion, sliced 2-4 whole cloves garlic 1 teaspoon salt 4 tbsp fresh herbs or 1 tbsp dried herbs ¼ cup coconut oil, lard or high-quality olive oil. Additional vegetables, as desired

METHOD Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side down on cookie sheet in a single layer. Toss onions, garlic, salt, and herbs on top of tomatoes and drizzle with oil. Or, if you have enough for multiple batches, roast tomatoes and onions in separate cookie sheets. Roast for one hour or until the tomatoes shrivel and collapse and their juices start pooling in the bottom of the baking dish. Process the mixture with a blender or food processor until smooth. If you want to remove the skins and seeds (which is unnecessary, though it makes for a prettier, smoother sauce), run the sauce through a food mill. Notes: Because of the oil, this recipe can’t be water-bath canned. It can be pressure canned, and freezes very well. I usually roast 2 trays of tomatoes, 1 tray of onions, and then steam broccoli or kale, mince the vegetables, and add in after everything else is cooked.

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The Metabolic Approach To Cancer A Q&A with local authors Dr. Nasha Winters, ND, FABNO, L.Ac Founder and CEO of Optimal Terrain Consulting and Jess Higgins Kelley, MNT Founder and CEO of Remission Nutrition.

What made you two decide to write a book (The Metabolic Approach to Cancer: Integrating Deep Nutrition, the Ketogenic Diet, and Nontoxic Bio-Individualized Therapies) and who do you think should read it? Nasha: The book idea was birthed one night over a delicious meal at Jess’s house after being prodded by patients, who had attended our cancer retreats, to write a cookbook. However, the amount of time we spent debunking food myths and educating clients and colleagues on therapeutic diets showed a gap that needed to be filled first. Luckily, we switched gears to how we have adulterated the food and our planet over the past 150 years and how that has directly impacted our health and wellbeing. Since we signed our contract with Chelsea Green Publishing, at least a dozen cookbooks on low carbohydrate/ketogenic diets for cancer have hit the market. Those authors appreciate what we are sharing in our book because it compels folks to buy and use their cookbooks and have a deeper understanding as to why we need to be thinking and eating differently. Jess: Anyone looking to prevent or help manage their cancer – or any chronic illness for that matter – with nutrition should read this book. The title of your book is “The Metabolic Approach To Cancer”. Can you explain what you mean by a Metabolic Approach? Nasha: This is about what is the best and most efficient fuel source(s) for our cells in which to function, repair, and heal. When we have healthy metabolism of our powerhouses, the mitochondria, we are more resistant to all diseases. Faulty mitochondria lead to faulty DNA and a welcome mat for many chronic illnesses. What makes this book different than other books out there about diet and cancer? Jess: We take nutrition to the next level. With over 200 referenced studies and papers, we demonstrate the power of nutrition to impact a cancering terrain. We focus on the ketogenic diet and other metabolic approaches like fasting, but what sets ours apart is a deep focus on food quality, phytonutrients, and a biorhythmic approach to diet and lifestyle. How new is this approach to cancer treatment, and what success have you seen thus far? 8  edible

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Nasha: This is not a new concept. In fact, it has been well understood and articulated since the 1920s under Otto Warburg’s research. However, the research world took another path once Watson and Crick of DNA fame took us down another rabbit hole – expecting to find a single gene, single cause, and single cure approach. That has not happened though that paradigm still dominates oncology research. Warburg suggested that if we simply lower the intake of glucose (and all things that convert to glucose when ingested), we impose a ripple effect in the body that favors better outcomes. Many conventional therapies today will simply not work or be less effective if the tissues are bathed in glucose. Cancer cells are less sensitive to radiation when glucose and insulin are high. When ketones are the primary fuel source and sugars are low, we see greater response to and fewer side effects of many therapies, including radiation. The same is true for chemotherapy. Years of co-managing patients with other doctors around the country has solicited feedback that my patients looked and felt better, are able to keep on track with treatments, need less, if any, of the co-administered medications, experience less side effects, have better response to treatment, longer progression-free survival, overall longer survival, stability of disease, and many with complete response to treatment showing no evidence of disease. My patients report a much better quality of life. Most of my patients are involved in support groups and can see first hand how their experience differs from their peers who do not adhere to a metabolic or integrative approach to cancer. And, finally, the labs do not lie. I never ‘guess’ what is going on and always follow patients with appropriate and ongoing lab testing to monitor their disease, and if necessary, switch gears as their body dictates. I focus on the patient, not the tumor, and I do not treat cancer. I treat the way their body utilizes energy, and I remove obstacles, create awareness, enhance immune function, and lower inflammation. Let’s dive in to the Terrain TenTM. Describe each of the ten elements and how they relate to the cancer process. Nasha: I liken this concept to a tree. The canopy is the


epigenetics, that inborn blueprint we received from our parents, grandparents, and beyond, that we have the ability to express or not express any hiccups depending on how we think, feel, and feed them into reality. The soil is the microbiome in which that tree develops and draws its nourishment. If you aren’t offering good nutrition to that tree, the canopy suffers and expresses dis-ease. The trunk is the mental/emotional component that connects the tangible to the intangible. It is often the most ignored or downplayed part of our reality, and yet, study after study shows that if you are not mentally at peace and emotionally mature, or have any form of unresolved trauma in your history, your likelihood of contracting a chronic illness is higher and your ability to overcome it is lower. It is imperative to be mindful of any stagnation or deficiencies of the trunk and address it head on. And, finally, the branches include things like sugar intake---how and what energy source is primarily driving the growth of that tree. Circulation and angiogenesi – under stress and low oxygen, the cancer sends signals to recruit more blood vessels to feed its insatiable hunger. Hormone balance – we are all swimming in an endocrine disrupting soup these days from plastics to hormones in our meat and water sources to body care products. Circadian rhythm and stress response – impacted by our disconnect to the natural rhythms and seasons along with chronic exposure to blue light and screen time that in turn switches our internal clocks driving more cellular and metabolic miscommunication. Inflammation is the driver of all chronic illness today. We used to die of infection. Today, we die of inflammation. Immune function is key to help our cells recognize, respond, and remember correctly any assaults to the immune system and to correct it. Toxic burden is the new way of life today. It is no longer a matter of if you have it, it is a matter of how much, and it takes a concerted effort to regularly “take out the garbage” which is needed daily to keep up with the exposure. What is the Ketogenic Diet and why has it become increasingly popular over the past few years? Jess: The ketogenic diet is high fat – approximately 75 percent or more of the diet comes from quality fats. And it is low carbohydrate – around 5 percent – and also low protein, generally 15 to 20 percent or so. The body has the ability to run on two different types of fuel sources, glucose or ketones. When we eat a high fat diet, the body produces ketones instead of glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet, or achieving nutritional ketosis, is also not a new concept. Throughout human evolution, there were always times when food was scarce or only high fat animal foods were available, thus forcing a state of ketosis. Today, when applied clinically, we are seeing great results with neurological disorders including epilepsy and also with cancer. People also feel mentally sharp and lose extra weight when they follow the diet, so it has a general appeal as well. 10  edible

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In addition to the Ketogenic Diet, what other types of integrative therapies do you use when treating patients? Nasha: I no longer treat patients. I sold my brick-and-mortar practice several years ago and now I consult exclusively with doctors and researchers around the world to help them learn how to do a comprehensive Terrain TenTM assessment and choose the best road map of care for each patient individually. There are no protocols here. Depending on the Terrain TenTM assessment, personal and family history, toxic exposures, current diagnosis and general state of health, current treatment protocol, and etcetera are what inform what other treatments or more specific nutritional interventions may be warranted. We must avoid being seduced by the idea of a stand-alone treatment for cancer. Cancer is not a single cause and effect. It is a collection of patterns and insults that damage the mitochondria that lead to DNA damage and out-of-control cell growth. We need to get away from the one target, one treatment ideology as we are dealing with complex terrain imbalances and the aforementioned assessment and therapies offer a multi-target approach that enhances outcomes when combined. How is your approach to cancer being received by conventional oncologists? Where do you think conventional oncology has gotten it “wrong” when approaching cancer treatment? Nasha: Frankly, it seems to be more well-received by oncologists and researchers in the academic hospital and university settings, and is still a bit slower to catch on in smaller-town practices. I continue to consult on the Johns Hopkins Mistletoe Trial that began in February of this year along with a few other trials on mistletoe (a cancer fighting plant) around the country. I am also serving as a medical advisor to various biotech companies, patient advocacy programs, and integrative medical centers around the world. I consult with doctors on how to best care for their patients, especially given the lack of time physicians have to keep up with the latest oncology research which is growing exponentially. The terrain versus tumor approach I have been preaching for a quarter of a century is finally taking root and catching the attention of patients, practitioners, and researchers worldwide, truly changing the way we think about and approach the cancering process. If you had to choose one thing for your health to lower your cancer risk, what would it be? Nasha: Obviously, change the fuel source for the body, but most importantly, reconnect with self and inner rhythm by getting out into the natural world, finding your joy, practicing gratitude, and fulfilling your life’s purpose. Jess: Decrease caloric consumption and add more nutrient-dense vegetables. In general, many Americans eat too much of the wrong foods, like sugar, and not enough of the healthy ones, like garlic, mushrooms, and cruciferous vegetables. j


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SLOW YOUR SUMMER ... with homemade condiments Story by Rachel Turiel

S

ummer has arrived like that guest for whom we’ve been anxiously awaiting at the proverbial window of seasonal change. Enter the frenzied cycle of fecundity and sweaty industry. Leaves bud, swell, unfurl, and burst into shady, green canopies, so thick and tight it seems squirrels must be surreptitiously using them as trampolines. With the door of summer flung open, everything seems possible. And yet, like an existential joke, the gifts of summer are stamped with their own expiration date. Turnaround is tight. You can practically hear the clock ticking on sun-ripened tomatoes, whole meadows of alpine wildflowers, and gathering outdoors with friends, deliciously jacketless after dark.

Photos by Bonni Pacheco

Researchers have studied why certain periods of time fly by and others unfold to a slower rhythm. Apparently, when we’re seeing new sights or learning new skills---our neural networks scrambling out into uncharted territory---time appears to slow. So, if you are not able to travel to eye-opening, distant lands this summer, there is still hope to slow the galloping horse of time. Ready? Make your own backyard barbecue condiments. Because it’s all a little new and exciting to wait, breath-holdingly, for the mayonnaise to solidify. Or to wonder with swear words marqueeing through your mind if the lids on your pickle jars will seal. Maybe you can’t go to Thailand, but you can make your own ketchup.

Ketchup If you would like to stash a little summer in your pantry, make ketchup. In the (slightly neurotic) hierarchy of tomato consumption, the very first of the season’s tomatoes must be eaten fresh; consider salting and biting into one like an apple. The next harvest to roll off the vine is chopped and cooked into an urgent frenzy of salsa and roasted tomato sauce, jars and jars of it, stored for winter. And

finally, when you think you may have achieved the existential satiety of tomato eating, make ketchup, which is the culinary manifestation of having enough tomatoes, a rare, luxurious and blessed state. Notes on ketchup making: Paste, roma, and plum tomatoes work best for ketchup because of their firm meat; save the heirlooms for eating fresh.

Mustard Long before you could buy mustard in a snappy array of metropolitan flavors, 4th-century Romans were glazing spit-roasted boars with the gritty paste. The bible advises that even faith the size of a mustard seed (approximately 2mm diameter) is enough to perform wondrous tasks (specifically, moving mountains). This globetrotting seed is found on every continent except Antarctica and belongs to the same plant family that gives us radishes, broccoli, kale, turnips, and cabbage. Mustard seeds are naturally peppery little things, and methods of preparation can accentuate or mellow that heat. Making mustard

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requires tools no more complicated than a jar and spoon (and perhaps a blender), and creative add-ins are unlimited: beer, apple cider, honey, tarragon. Because of mustard seeds’ natural antibacterial properties, it’s okay if you don’t have an entire boar to coat at once, no refrigeration needed. Notes on mustard making: This, being the easiest condiment to make, can be a gateway to DIY extreme culinary sport. Mustard seeds can be found at most natural food stores. The spiciness of prepared mustard will mellow over time.


Mayo Perhaps it’s the light garlic notes, the tangy hints of lemon or the way whisking oil, egg yolk, and water into an emulsion right before your eyes confers upon you the status: kitchen chemist. You may have previously thought mayo was something to slide discreetly between bread and a slice of cheese, rather than the inspiration and vehicle for consumption of entire vegetable kingdoms. It seems every standard condiment now comes in a snazzy array of party flavors. And right now, there is a Midwestern homemaker in the mayo aisle squinting suspiciously at the jars swirled crimsonly with chipotle chiles or flecked with pesto. This homemade mayo stands alone as dip for raw veggies, salad dressing, and topping for steamed vegetables. And yet, mixing it with curry powder, mashed avocados or a spoonful of red chile sauce elevates mayonnaise to a gourmet dip. Notes on making mayonnaise: If you use olive oil as suggested, your mayo will be a light yellow, rather than white. If your mayo doesn’t gel at first, try 1) cracking a new egg yolk into a bowl and adding, very slowly, the “un-gelled” mix into it, or 2) blend all contents in blender.

Pickles “Pickles,” mused my son, crunching a sour, green spear at age 5, “aren’t like food you grow. They come from another food.” It could have been an answer from Jeopardy: The Kindergarten Round. “I’ll take food preservation for $100, Mama.” I could see him flipping through his mental files, perhaps conjuring up the warm September night when cucumbers, garlic, and dill seeds marched through the pickling assembly line of our kitchen. It is worth noting that pickling was originally what people did to avoid scurvy and stay alive. The original kosher dill, peddled via pushcart in early 20th century New York City, was soured by the fermentation process that occurs naturally when cucumbers are immersed in salt water, known as lacto-fermentation (This is neither scary nor difficult, and produces the most tasty and nutritious pickles). Later, the more stable medium, vinegar, also a product of fermentation, became widely available, altering the counters of Jewish delis forever. Notes on making pickles: The most important part of pickles is crunch; a soggy pickle is a wasted cucumber. To enhance crunch: Use the freshest cucumbers possible and store in the refrigerator until pickle-making day. Soaking cukes in an ice water bath for thirty minutes prior to pickling can firm up cucumbers. Cut off the blossom end (where the fruit emerged from flower - opposite of stem) of the cucumber because it has enzymes which cause softening. 14  edible

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Ketchup Makes: 3-4 cups Time: one hour Store: in fridge for two weeks; freezer for six months; canned for one year

Ingredients: 2 pounds chopped tomatoes (preferably romas, paste, plum tomatoes) 1/4 cup minced onions 1 minced garlic clove 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp brown sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional) 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 TSP each: salt, fennel, pepper, cumin, paprika, chili powder (or some combo of)

Directions: (safe to can) Heat olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed pan over low heat and add minced onion. Stir and cook for five minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices and cover, stirring occasionally for fifteen minutes. Blend with an immersion blender or upright blender until smooth. Return to pot. Add vinegar and sweetener, simmer over low heat for another thirty minutes, until ketchup thickens. Adjust salt, pepper, and spices to taste.

Mustard Makes: 1 1/2 cups Time: fifteen minutes Store: in fridge for six to twelve months

Ingredients: 1/2 cup mix of brown and yellow whole mustard seeds 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 1 minced garlic clove 2 teaspoons salt 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)


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Directions: (safe to can) Place mustard seeds in a jar or bowl and cover with water three inches higher than seeds. Cover jar and let sit at room temperature for twelve hours - longer and the seeds will start to sprout. Drain water from seeds and add all remaining ingredients. Blend with an immersion blender or stand-up blender until the mustard is at preferred consistency.

Pickles M akes: 4 pints Time: thirty minutes to an hour Store: in fridge for six months, canned for one year. If you’re not going to can the pickles, you can increase the water by

1/2 - 1 cup and decrease the vinegar by an equal

amount, for less sourness.

Mayonnaise Makes: 1 cup Time: ten minutes Store: in fridge for two weeks

Ingredients: 1 large egg yolk (save the egg white to use later in baking - and if there was ever a time to use local , or ganic, fresh eggs, this would be it). 1 - 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 small garlic clove, minced fine, or 1 TSP garlic powder

1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon water 1 teaspoon salt

Directions: Whisk together the egg yolk and 1 TSP water in a mixing bowl. Use a spoon to drip a few drops of olive oil into the egg yolk and whisk vigorously. Add a few more drops and whisk again. Do this until you’ve used about 1/4 cup of the olive oil and you have a thick, yellow, emulsified sauce in the mixing bowl. Pour larger volumes of olive oil in, still whisking, until olive oil is gone. Whisk in lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Adjust lemon and salt to your tastes. The fresh garlic will mellow over a few days. Try adding in 1 TBSP of pesto, pureed chipotle chiles, pureed sundried tomatoes, curry powder, half an avocado, minced fresh parsley.yt

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Ingredients: 2 pounds (4-6 small) cucumbers 2 cups vinegar (white distilled or apple cider, or a combo) 2 cups water 2 tbsp salt 2 tbsp dill seeds Optional, per jar: a few peeled garlic cloves, dried rosemary, fresh flowering dill heads or leaves, chiles, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, grape leaves.

Directions: (safe to can) Wash cucumbers thoroughly in cold water. Slice lengthwise into spears, or cut across into “coins.” Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a pot and heat until boiling. Pack cucumbers, garlic, and herbs into jars. Ladle brine into jars so that cucumbers are fully submerged with 1/2-inch headspace.

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Dine in La Cocina de Luz or outside on the patio


The Town Mill Story and Photos by Rick Scibelli, Jr.

O

ne late December evening in 1949 in Cortez, Colorado, the Wark flour mill burned to the ground. Within eight months, the Wark family had it rebuilt and back in business at the same location on the 300 block of Market St.. Five years later, on Feb. 17, 1955, an article in the Aspen Daily Times reported: The Wark mill is the only one of its kind in the Four Corners area, the nearest mill being a smaller operation in Bayfield, 15 miles east of Durango. The present mill is a completely modern mill in every respect with the latest type of milling equipment, new buildings and up-to-date milling procedures.

This 'completely modern mill in every respect' is still pushing out more than 40,000 pounds of flour every day with the exact same equipment using the exact same 'up-to-date milling procedures' (nothing, to this day, is automated) in the same location on Market St.. The Tanners have owned Cortez Milling (the name was changed in the 60's as ownership, bank recievership and partnerships developed, evolved and faded) since 1966. The smaller Bayfield operation that the Aspen Times refers to was started by Gary Tanner's great grandfather, that is until it burned down in 1964. (There was a time

when Flour mills seemed to be tinder boxes. More than a few burned down in the four corners area during the early 20th century). This is the same great grandfather who built the Long Hollow mill which is still pumping out Blue Horizon flour in a hollow in the shadow of the Red Mesa Ward dam (see edible Southwest Colorado, summer 2015). "He didn't know anything about milling," Gary Tanner said, ninety years later, in his office at Cortez Milling. Neither did the Wark family before they jumped in feet first in 1926. Anymore, it seems mill towns exist only in Pennsylvania and Bruce Springsteen songs. But Cortez Milling still sits in the middle of town, like a time capsule, one block from St. Margaret Mary Catholic church and three blocks from Main St. Its weathered metal exterior looks windblown as if leaning to the west. The four story building's well-worn wooden floors shimmy under foot to the rhythm of the sifters – polished wooden structures on the second floor the size of a family van that undulate at a high rate of speed (like a washing machine in a spin cycle that is out of balance) – shaking the bran (the hard outer coating) from the endosperm (the good stuff). At ground level incoming trucks loaded with hard winter wheat are weighed using a hand operated sliding scale with a punch card system. It looks like a doctors scale built in the 1930’s for elephants."Yes, it is the same scale," Tanner said anticipating the next


For the past five years, Louis Lopez has spent his days keeping Cortez Milling (and his lungs) flourdust free. This means if the mills is running he is sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting the fine layer of flour that coats the building.

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Gabriel Lopez, a miller for the past fifteen years at Cortez Milling.


Joe LeBlanc opens the hood on his Peterbilt in front of Cortez Milling so he can finish giving it a bath. Over the past eighteen years as a driver for the mill, LeBlanc says he has racked up more than three million miles.

question. The softspoken Tanner, 65, looks like a stocky football coach with the demeanor of a country preacher. "Go to any flour mill and the process is the same," Tanner said. “It's just computerized." Even the quality of the final product is determined by touch and feel. Too gritty? It goes back upstairs through a system that looks and operates like a drive-through at a bank but instead of lucite tubes with money heading to your car it is flour in pine piping heading back for another round of sifting. On this particular day four guys, including the owners son, were taking the finished flour and filling sacks, sewing sacks and loading sacks as the mill rumbled under foot - like a locomotive - and flour filled the air.

If Southwest Colorado had a milling museum it would be this actual working plant. A turn-key operation. Businesses like this – ones that source their product locally, have been around for decades and have beautiful packaging are generally self aware – producing t-shirts, mugs and tours. Not here. The Tanners don't see the novelty. You can't even order their product online as they have no website (although a domain is registered and a site is reportedly being built). “If people want it then they call and they send me a check and I mail it to them," Naomi Molina, 28, Gary’s daughter and a fifth generation miller, said. "I mailed some to the North Pole the other day." You want a t-shirt with the iconic Blue Bird Flour logo? You have


As of May 2017, Jesus Lopez, a miller, has been working at Cortez Milling for twenty nine years and three months. (see more pictures at ediblesouthwestcolorado.com)


to make it yourself. And people do. Google Blue Bird Flour Sack clothes and see what pops up. Dresses. Aprons. Handbags. Even underwear. Want an empty sack? The mill will be glad to sell you an unused one over the counter. One dollar each. Nobody seems to know who painted the etherial logo of the western bluebird perched on a sheave of grain in a harvested field with a windmill on the horizon (the bluebird seems to be announcing the good news to the world). Tanner believes it has something to do with the Navajo culture (The Navajo Nation, Tanner said, is the mills largest customer) who believe the bluebird is spirit in animal form. "We wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for them." Blue Bird is the only flour the Navajos will use for their frybread according to Tanner. They depend on the consistency of its consistency (which is a high gluten and high protein product that makes a stretchy dough). Mind you a consistency that is dependent upon a mishmash of 'thoroughly modern' machinery, 'up-to-date milling procedures' and the tactile dexterity of a human being. j

Presented by the

Telluride Institute

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We extend our special thanks to CCAASE, Telluride Alpine Lodging, Town of Telluride, Town of Mountain Village, Sheridan Opera House, TBC, Viking Rental, FUNGI Magazine and Telluride Services. Original Illustrations by Abigail Zoline. Graphic Design by Jan Hammond.


"Local Wine, International Awards"

Local Music and Local Food every Sunday 4 to 7 pm (no entry fee)

Open Daily 10-6pm, Sunday 12-7pm, Closed Tuesdays WinesoftheSanJuan.com

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505-632-0879

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233 HWY 511

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Blanco, NM

Join us in Durango, CO Saturday, August 19th

Bicycle tour of local farms & gardens. Local food lunch, drinks, dessert, prizes and live music included!

Tickets available: www.TheGardenProjectSWColorado.org


Culinary Hackery (insider tips from the pros) Story and Photos by Bonni Pacheco

T

hey invited us into their kitchens. After years of culinary training and manicuring of cooking skills, useful tricks are discovered and employed. I asked five chefs of Southwest Colorado to share with us a savvy tip, also known as a hack, that makes their culinary lives run a bit smoother. Read below for their culinary hackery.

Chef Dennis Morrisroe / Seasons of Durango / Durango, CO Garlic purée This is such a major team player in the restaurant’s salad dressings & vinaigrettes. When I think of a garlic purée, I think of ‘a long time mincing’ or a food processor. Check out this method… Peel the garlic and chop into small, manageable pieces. Sprinkle kosher salt on top of the garlic, generously. Using a chef’s knife, use the side of the blade to smash down and then drag the garlic & repeat. Smashing down on the garlic ignites the flavor and odor of the garlic and the salt does this miraculous thing. As you smash down the blade, the salt grinds the garlic into a puree, pulverizing it. This purée is fun to create! Finish by mincing for desired consistency.

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edible SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER 2017


Chef Jeremy Storm / The Container @ Ska Brewing Company / Durango, CO Juicing Citrus Fruits Fresh lime juice is an important ingredient for The Container’s jerk marinade recipe, sauces & vinaigrettes. Chef Jeremy Storm shared with us a simple technique to get all of the juice out of citrus fruits. First, make sure that the citrus you are juicing is at room temperature ( it’s easier this way.) After washing the fruit, roll the fruit over a counter top or cutting board, applying firm pressure evenly. The pressure will begin to break down the fruit membrane; you will notice how it will start to feel squishy within its shell. Then it is time to juice the fruit. You will notice that there is a higher yield of juice when using this tenderizing method; coercing the juice out will be much easier. Talk about juicing them for all that they are worth & really putting the squeeze on em’! * Take this tip home with you, perfect when making margaritas and mojitos.

Chef Lucas Price / La Cocina de Luz / Telluride, CO Chile Rellenos They can be really messy. After roasting, peeling and stuffing the anaheim or poblano peppers (anaheims have lucas’s vote) with cheese, they would then place the peppers directly in the fryer (for the majority that does not use fryers, same thing goes for pan frying with at least 1 inch of oil.) To their horror, the peppers would open up and the cheese would escape, creating a sputtering, cheesy mess. To solve this problem, after roasting, peeling and stuffing peppers, freeze them. Then when it is time to dip the frozen rellenos in the egg batter, the batter ends up sticking better to the frozen pepper. Plus, the peppers hold their integrity when frying. After savoring a relleno from Cocina de luz, I must say that what they are doing is working, deliciously. ¡Qué sabroso! (How tasty!)


Chef Vera Hansen/ Cyprus Cafe / Durango, CO To Chiffonade For a restaurant that is working with a tasty flux of fresh herbs and greens, this technique is used constantly. Chopping herbs and greens can cause them to bruise. This is a a tried and true technique, a hack that has been used over time, chances are once you try it, you will be doing it a lot. Chiffonade refers to a slicing technique where greens are cut into long strips. Vera demonstrated this technique with spinach and lemon balm. Wash the chosen greens, remove stems, then stack leaves on top of one another and roll up long ways. Then, slice perpendicularly, creating long, loved slices. Another way, for greens that are wispier, such as parsley, is to roll it all up in a ball and slice while applying pressure. This helps in minimizing the bruising and saves time. This technique can be used for salads, garnishes and has an extremely plush future in my kitchen. * Remember to save stems for stock!

Chef Joe Goulet / The Farm Bistro / Cortez, CO Cutting corn off the cob (from ear to ear)

With corn soon to be in season and plentiful, Chef Joe Goulet shared a technique for corn that is mighty efficient. It seems to be corn’s nature to fly all over the place when slicing it off of the cob. Next time, take a small bowl and place it upside down inside of a large bowl. Stand the cob up in the middle of the upside down bowl and slice the corn off of the cob with a knife, the kernels will land safely in the bowl instead of flying all directions. Make sure that the larger bowl you select is large enough so that you can slice down the entire ear of corn, from ear to ear. Another corn related tip from Joe Goulet is to save the cob for vegetable stock. It contains a lot of milky substance that flavors vegetable stock in such delicious way. j 28 

edible SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER 2017


Saturdays @ 7:30 A.M SW corner of Main & Elm

Info at cortezfarmmarket.com or friend us on Facebook! Debit and EBT/SNAP* Cards gladly accepted! *Double Up Food Bucks participating market.

Fresh local food, tasty cold beverages, incredible views, and great company. The Southern Pacific outdoor eater y is a must for any visit to Silverton!

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SILVERTON , COLORADO www.thewyman.com


Food as Medicine: Stories of the Seekers Story by Kate Husted

H

ere we are, amid the seductive pages of a food magazine. Mouth-watering photographs, tempting recipes, and invitations to dine out abound. It’s a perfect place to discuss restrictive diets, or eliminating certain foods entirely. Think about taking a culinary comfort, perhaps your most favorite, and waving goodbye. I recently began an elimination diet that excludes most carbohydrates, including sugar and sweeteners, grains, fruits, root vegetables, beans, and alcohol. I’m not eating dairy either, except for the dollop of cream I tip into my coffee each morning. My goal is to avoid the hay fever that plagues me every June, making me feel useless with low energy and an itchy, puffy face. My husband, an enthusiastic rock climber, is on the diet with me, and his usually achy knees hurt and inhibit his movement much less since he started. Meals in our house consist of meat and vegetables. This is not my first experience with a restricted menu. When I was younger, I suffered from recurring urinary tract infections. Every time I showed up in a doctor’s office with a positive test result, I was prescribed a round of antibiotics. My symptoms would subside, only to re-emerge in a few weeks or months. I decided that repeatedly assassinating my gut microbiome, the very beings who might help me fight my chronic infections, was no longer my preferred method of treatment. I resolved to address my infections with herbs and diet. I visited a naturopathic doctor who put me on a protocol of antimicrobial herbs. I read a book with a Chinese medicine-informed approach to diet. After concluding that my constitution was too “hot” and “damp,” a result of my deep and abiding love for cheese and ice cream, I stopped eating dairy, sugar, and gluten. I ate a lot of broth, mushrooms, asparagus, and beans cooked down to mush. My repertoire eventually expanded to include more vegetables and gluten-free grains. As time passed, I felt better and my infections never returned. I concluded that diet had been the root cause of my recurring infections. The experience of healing myself with food and herbs rearranged the way I approached health, and started me down the path towards becoming a clinical herbalist. The adage “food is medicine” took on new meaning. But the theories behind food sensitivity are controversial, and those who try elimination diets have mixed success for various reasons. It seems the number of people restricting 30 

edible SOUTHWEST COLORADO SUMMER 2017

foods is on the rise and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that it can make us feel better. Dr. Michelle Hemingway, MD, believes that certain foods, even those generally considered healthy, have the potential to irritate and chronically inflame people. The mechanism works like this: In a healthy intestinal lining, the cells that make up the gut wall adhere tightly to one another, forming an impenetrable layer. If those cell walls become weak (which can result from inadequate nutrition, frequent use of over-the-counter painkillers, viruses, parasites, etc.), they shrink away from one another and leave open spaces where undigested food can pass through. This is called leaky gut syndrome. As food particles penetrate the intestinal walls, they encounter lymph and immune cells, which treat them like invaders, attack, and cause inflammation. Inflammation is a perfectly normal and healthy immune response until it becomes chronic or excessive (like every time you eat). Then, it can cause disease. Arthritis, irritable bowel, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer can all have their roots in chronic inflammation. This is why Dr. Hemingway often recommends elimination diets to her patients. The treatment is to heal the gut. Along with supplements and herbs, her method often includes completely eliminating a group of potential offenders for between six weeks and three months. The list includes: citrus, gluten, grains, corn, nightshades, dairy, sometimes eggs and nuts. Once the patient starts to feel better, they can reintroduce foods one by one. By watching and tracking their symptoms, they can find out what irritates them. She says that elimination diets are appropriate for almost anyone who has any chronic condition. Ronda Ramsier, NP, on the other hand, doesn’t think food sensitivity causes inflammation. The theory behind leaky gut syndrome seems to her to work backwards. “True food allergies are rare and can cause an autoimmune response, which eats away the gut lining, like in Celiac disease. But not the other way around. I don’t think leaky gut is a widespread problem that’s leading to disease,” she says. Ramsier says her office does a lot of tests on the upper gastrointestinal tracts of patients, and blood tests looking for markers of non-specific inflammation. She believes she would see high levels far more often if leaky gut were so widespread: “I don’t see evidence that


sensitivity is the first step on the road to disease.” She’s not alone. Many in the allopathic medical community are skeptical of the idea that leaky gut syndrome causes other ailments, while the theory is widely accepted by alternative medicine practitioners. Ramsier does agree that foods can cause health issues, and often suggests dietary changes to her patients. “Food intolerance and sensitivity are on a continuum, and it has to do with the body’s ability to metabolize. Some people do not have the right enzymes to digest certain foods,” she says. She asks her patients to “be scientists, and to pay attention.” Write down everything you’re putting in your mouth. If you don’t feel good, what did you eat? If you have gas, you’re not digesting what you just ate. She adds that when she has enough time to work with a patient, determine which foods they don’t digest well, and come up with a plan, she often sees results and improvement. When Karen (who asked me to change her name for privacy), a former baker with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid, was told by her naturopath to give up gluten, she replied, “How about you just cut my left arm off instead?” Karen had years and years of recipes she had to give up. “I was baking all of my own bread. Bakeries are a sad vision for me, I can’t even go in there,” she laments as she remembers the hardest parts about saying goodbye to one of her favorite foods. “It’s hard to wrap your mind around when someone tells you [to eliminate something you love], especially when it’s not an allergy, so it’s not like I’m going to double over in pain if I eat it.” But Karen saw the research illustrating that people with Hashimoto’s do better without gluten and she bit the bullet. “You just have to decide to do it. It’s like quitting smoking,” she says. Lo and behold, after she had been on a regimen of medication, supplements, and herbs, regular blood tests show that it was removing gluten from her diet that stabilized her thyroid hormones. For the first few years, every time she inadvertently ate some gluten, “usually in a sauce, sauces are hard,” she would experience intestinal gas and uncomfortable digestive changes, but she’s become less sensitive over time. “I think in the long run, it’s probably been a saving grace,” Karen says. She’s always been able to eat whatever she wants without gaining weight, but she “checks every box at the doctor’s office” when it comes to illnesses in her family. She says it was in her best interest to be forced to change her habits. Not everyone who practices dietary restriction is able to make such clear connections to their symptoms. Sandy Thomson is a mother of three and a childcare worker in Bayfield, Colorado. Twelve years ago, she started feeling constantly tired and sapped of energy. Her joints hurt, she was always in a bad mood, and she struggled with brain fog and depression. Like many patients who share her ailment, she sought help for years before finally being diagnosed with Lyme disease. “I’ve tried everything from antibiotics to hyperbaric chambers to shamans,” says Thomson of her long-lasting efforts to feel well. The first time she tried an elimination diet, she cut out wheat, corn, eggs, and dairy for six weeks, and then reintroduced one food per week. She didn’t notice any differences in the way she felt, and

that made her lose incentive to continue being strict about food. “I’m not the best person to notice that stuff, either,” she confessed. “I was a busy person. I had three kids, I lived in a co-housing community and had responsibilities there.” Since then, Thomson has spent time on a handful of different dietary regimens. “I haven’t had a lot of luck with diets helping my symptoms. I wasn’t very systematic. I would do it, not do it, do it again. Being in a family and trying to do different diets, I just found it really difficult. People would be eating things in the house, so I wasn’t very good at staying on plans for a long while,” she says. Thomson joins Ramsier in stressing the importance of writing down data and keeping good records when trying a diet. She took part in a program where she kept charts rating ten symptoms every day. She saw an improvement in her numbers over time, but was never able to connect that to any specific foods. Thomson did eventually feel better, and she attributes her recovery to “mind and body stuff. Your thoughts are important.” She practices meditation, records five things she’s grateful for each day, and participates in conference calls where many people with Lyme disease talk about improvements in their health. “I believe it worked because I saw people in my group getting better and I believed I could get better,” she says. Dr. Hemingway and Ronda Ramsier both stress that each individual is unique, and they treat each patient on a case-by-case basis. When someone identifies an irritating food, Dr. Hemingway’s recommendations depend on the person and their problem. “I tend to not be super rigid [about never eating that food again]. For some people [being strict] is helpful, but for some people that doesn’t tend to work great. I suggest they try another three months to let their gut heal, at which point you can decide if it’s worth it. Usually over time, they like feeling good so much and they don’t want to feel bad anymore,” she says. Ramsier warns it’s possible to be “too tuned in. Some people are looking for the magical solution to make them feel better and be happy and solve all their problems. Don’t turn food and health into a religion. Be scientific, tune in, but don’t obsess.” This need for balance seems to be the crux of sticking with my own elimination diet. I swing on a pendulum between motivation and compliance, and a “screw it” attitude. I see myself in both Karen and Sandy: I value and physically feel the benefits of sticking to a plan, but staying on the deprivation train can be really difficult in stressful moments. Food is a powerful coping mechanism. A graceful dance between discipline, mental health, and enjoyment is required. The belief that restriction is morally superior is seductive, and causes guilt and shame when the rules get broken. My goal is to do just enough “cheating” to make a diet sustainable, while staying true to my goals. Changing our eating habits may not make us happy, successful, morally righteous people, but it clearly solves some problems. Dr. Hemingway encourages all of us: “It can be quite challenging, but the body always wants to heal, so if you don’t give up, you will find what works.” j


EDIBLE POETRY PAGE

After Summer Dust and Shimmer  

Oh, let me be roasted ‘til the sweet ting of these crimson bells rings in my bones, ’til blood runs bright as this slick warm flesh slipped from its charred skin. Oh, that I could be seared ’til tight flesh gives way beneath tongue’s wet, bursts into thrust of caramelized sun on gums and teeth, sings in the fecund language only abundance speaks.   Oh, to be plucked from this still-green skeleton of late summer, palmed like warm plum tomatoes, popped in the mouth like these firm cherry buttons bursting.   Oh, I could thrive here in this cliff-steeped river loam heat where hearts fly on swallow-sharp wings. Right now, this season is our art, hearts in full fledge, soaring with summer’s abundance.   Our art is season; plant, hoe, pluck, can, eat, sleep.   Autumn is as close as the cold woodstove, forgotten in plain view since thaw, just as all too often I forget you.   Come, let us lie down in this roasting pan, let the flames change bitter flesh to sweet succulence.

– Elle Metrick

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Summer 2017  

Edible Southwest Colorado. Telling the story of local food throughout the four corners region. Real Stories. Real Journalism. No Agenda.

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