1OO THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDENïš¼NOW!
Amazing Summer Salads
The Outdoor Living Issue The Future of Wine: Experts Weigh In
Kitchen Color Guide Grilling Made Easy
From the Archives
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The Outdoor Living Issue
Desert Wine Country Take a tour of a unique spin on wine country living: a house in Sonoma that takes its design cues from the desert, down to the cactus garden just outside the front door. 100 Things to Do in the Garden, Now! A regional breakdown of the projects and plantings that will get your Summer started right. Japanese Gardening With Ease Everything you need to know about the calming practice of Japanese gardening, from layout secrets to the most exquisite gardening tools.
2. HOME & DESIGN A Bungalow Perfected How a couple in Berkeley curated a tiny house into an artful expression of life, love, and DIY design. Kitchen Color Guide It’s time to brighten up your kitchen. Here are all the ways to add vibrant hues without breaking the bank. Work From Home Makeover Simple solutions for transforming your home office into a serene working space.
Cycles of Life Whether you’re a beach cruiser, an electric commuter, or trail-bombing daredevil, we’ve got the perfect two wheeler for you.
3. FOOD & DRINK Summer Salads Phyllis Grant’s vibrant salads combine seasonal ingredients and smart technique, but they also tell a story. Be Your Own Barista How to make café-quality coffee in your own home. Plus, our ultimate guide to gear and technique. Best New Grills From portable camp grills to Alexa-enabled pellet smokers, these are the best new grills and why we love them. Your Summer Cookout Plan We’ve got the ultimate prep and cook hack to make grilling easier than ever. The Pantry Popsicles, homemade juice, and other fresh and fruity summer delights. The Future of Wine Experts in the field predict what’s next, and how to make the most of it no matter how the wine world evolves.
Refresh, Repurpose, Renew Join as our writer transforms a beloved but neglected yard into an urban oasis. A Mindful Outdoor Manifesto in 18 acts. The Thoughtful Trekker Outdoor industry expert Jeanine Pesce shares her tips on how to be a stylish and conscious consumer. On our cover: Nola Burger, Thomas Harder, and Chilton relaxing by their backyard guest cabin. Photo by Thomas J. Story Illustrations by Hana Bae. IG: @hanabae_ SUMMER 2020
What We Find When We Get Lost A trip to Death Valley leads to lessons in beauty, escape, and the grounding truth of the human connection.
Sunset + method™ Present
Clean by Design
CENTER YOUR COUNTER
A beautiful cutting board displayed without clutter is an invitation to whip up a handmade meal. Small synthetic boards might be good for smaller items but we find them too tight for most projects—and too often end up chasing loose onion pieces across the floor. Size up to a display board like the walnut option below from Boos Block and you’ll find it refreshing to drop down some veggies and start a chiffonade or julienne.
You’re in the kitchen now more than ever. Why not create a serene space you’ll be inspired by?
PARE BACK YOUR PLATTERS
Less is more when it comes to sets of plates and bowls. Stow, swap, sell or donate unnecessary and outdated items and you’ll not only find yourself using your favorite pieces more, you’ll also have fewer reserves to draw from as the dishes pile up. We like the ceramic plates at left, from California artisan Eun Jin Bae (JINceramicstudio@gmail.com). Bonus: there’s less clutter in the kitchen to get in your way during cook sessions.
BE CLEAN, BY DESIGN
MIX MATERIALS WISELY
Choose cleaning products that complement your aesthetic, and your conscience. We love the wonderful color palette and silhouette of method’s new dish soaps, which come in on-trend colors easily matched with contemporary kitchen design. They’re like a remodel in a bottle. $4, methodhome.com
Kitchen surfaces often veer between the sheen of stainless steel and the hand-hewn texture of wood, ceramic, and clay. Natural accessories soften the feel of a space, and often mix well with a range of colors. Try arranging some of your wooden stirring spoons in a jar like we’ve shown below. And a natural bristle dish brush the the one at left helps elevate quick clean-ups.
KEEP YOUR SPICES AT HAND.
Stashing your spices makes it hard to brainstorm new flavor combinations on the fly. Ditch storebought containers for uniform, elegant ones like these (via Amazon) and you’ll have them at hand—and enjoy a pop of color. They’re stackable, air tight, and dishwasher safe. THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Connecting in a Crisis
GARVEY: MATT BEAN
In 1906, with the tremors of the catastrophic San Francisco Earthquake still reverberating throughout the West Coast, a group of Sunset writers and editors banded together to put out an emergency edition for a shocked region. Entitled “Spirit of the City,” the issue featured a cover illustration from famed artist Maynard Dixon that showed a woman rising, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the fires that had engulfed the city, leaving much in ruins. The past few months of Coronavirus-induced crisis couldn’t have been more distinct from the geological upheaval that rent the Bay Area more than 100 years ago. We’re connecting in the glow of Zoom calls, now, not gas lamps, and instead of a subterranean fissure we’re battling a complicated biological adversary. But the life-altering aftershocks of 1906 and today share much in common. We’ve pulled together, just like before. And just like then, Sunset is here to help you through this time. Our essential mission remains the same as the past 120-plus years: to help you live your best possible life in the West. But for now, our lives have changed. And so, too, has this magazine—right down to the screen you’re reading it on. We’ll still be writing about food and drink and design and home and gardening—but we’ll be doing it a little differently. For the time being we’re pulling back on travel content—in fact, in this issue, we’re calling that section “Escapes”—and we’re focusing as much on the mental aspects of getting away as the physical. We’re also deepening our
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relationship with our time at home, with a significant focus on outdoor living. Our recipes are simple, comforting, and nourishing, and rely on ingredients you might already have on hand. And our DIY home and garden projects will make your home feel more like a haven. More than anything, we want to help you achieve a sense of togetherness in this time of disruption and division. We’ll get through this, and just like in 1906, we’ll do it together.
MATT BEAN, EDITORINCHIEF
@mattbean1| email@example.com Mask in Place Executive Editor Hugh Garvey gathers assets for the grillling feature you’ll find within.
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Sunset Skill Share: Makers, designers, and artisans share DIY tips and hacks to help you raise your game in the garden, at home, and in the great outdoors.
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From the Archives
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Sunset + LifeStraw™ Present
From Space to Spa
Five ways to transform your outdoor living area into an immersive retreat
CHIME IN Nature has its own rhythm and wind chimes can connect us with its soothing cadence. Consider starting a collection of chimes that you can swap in or out as the mood strikes. Simply screw a J-hook into your mounting surface to make changing chimes easier.
MAKE A SOUND DECISION Complicated systems with underground wiring aren’t worth the fuss. We love the Sonos Move, which is just at home indoors on the charging dock as it is in the backyard. It works on Bluetooth and WiFi, so you’ll have soothing tunes or mantra music no matter how large your back forty. Check out the Sonos station Cruise Control for beachy beats. (sonos.com)
GET HEAVEN SCENT An aromatherapy diffuser lets you dial in just the right mood: whether you want to feel the refreshing effects of lemongrass and rosemary or the calming presence of lavender. Serene House produces a wide range of white porcelain and glass diffusers. (serenehouse.com)
FAST FORAGE Plant an edible garden for a steady supply of fresh infusions for hot and cold beverages. Dedicate individual pots to the top three herbs: mint is invasive, basil drinks a lot of water, while rosemary sips it slowly.
HYDRATE HEALTHFULLY Clean water infused with botanicals rounds out the ultimate spa experience. LifeStraw’s new Home water filter pitcher is not only made of durable BPA-free plastic, but its double filtration system protects against bad stuff like microplastics and chemicals, while retaining the good stuff like the essential minerals your body craves. Use this recipe and whatever produce you have on hand: Add 2 cups sliced strawberries or seedless cucumbers, 1 lemon, sliced, and 5 sprigs thyme, rosemary, or other fresh herbs to 7 cups of filtered water. Chill and serve over ice. (lifestraw.com) THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
GARDEN Food and Drink
Home + Design
Lifestyle + Bow
Tropical Outdoor Makeover
A designer couple chose the slow route for their outdoor spaceâ€”and it was worth the wait. By NENA FARRELL
. Photographs by HOMMEBOYS
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
esign duo Austin Carrier and Alex Mutter-Rottmayer— also called the Hommeboys—are known for their beautiful interior design and build projects, but when it came to their own outdoor space they took their time remodeling it and dialing in its final look. The couple lives in a large barn in Sonoma, California, located on four acres shared with Carrier’s family. They met in Olympia, Washington, while attending the same school and decided to move to Carrier’s hometown after graduating. Carrier’s father’s design and build business was growing, and the couple was interested in starting a new career together with the family barn as headquarters. The barn has two floors: Their wood shop is on the ground floor, while their apartment and office are upstairs. After completing a variety of interior projects steadily over the years, including creating a master suite, the outdoors came together slowly and with a small budget. “We painstakingly turned a gravel driveway, some scraggly pines, and a small decrepit deck into the space you see now,” says Carrier. “The first thing we did was add batons to the outside of the barn and painted it. And wow, it made a huge difference.” The duo then rebuilt the stairs and deck, expanding the latter. “We extended it pretty far out and created a living space with an incredible view,” says MutterRottmayer. The finishing details came last summer, inspired by the couple’s trip to Morocco. “We used Moroccan handmade Zellige tile SUMMER 2020
from Riad Tile to make some pretty stunning planter boxes, added a fire pit, and then instantly created a jungle by filling them with birds of paradise,” says Carrier. Those birds of paradise didn’t come from just anywhere, it turns out. “The white birds of paradise actually flanked the arch at our wedding last summer,” said Mutter-Rottmayer. The rest of the plantings were chosen with drought tolerance in mind: different types of palms, citrus, cacti, succulents,
INTERNATIONAL INSPIRATION: The couple sourced handmade Morrocan Zellige tile from Riad Tile to create the fire pit design (above) in their backyard.
AROUND THE BACK: Plants wrap around the sides of the barn, while the backside of the barn (right) is lined with San Pedro cactus, blue glow agave, and sedum.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
DECK DREAMS: The second-floor deck (left) was originally much smaller, but the couple rebuilt it to create space for an outdoor living room featuring an outdoor sofa and chair set from Outer, an Anthropologie octagonal table, and a vintage rug from Morocco.
and Australian natives. “Swinging on the couch under the fire pit with those tropical plants coming down is such an intimate experience and can really set the mood,” says Carrier. The majority only need to be watered once or twice a week in the hot summer months in Sonoma, and less frequently throughout the rest of the year. The only standout are the birds of paradise. “Those are consistently watered and sprayed to keep them wet since it’s pretty dry in Sonoma,” says Mutter-Rottmayer. While Carrier and Mutter-Rottmayer took their time to decide how they wanted their space to look while they remodeled, they recommend others create a plan before getting started. “Take your time and map it out. We have the ability to keep working on our space because we treat it as our test kitchen for our projects and clients. We wouldn’t recommend that to everyone, so that’s why a well laid plan that is executed over time will ultimately lead to the most useful and cost-effective outdoor space.”
PLANTER DIY: The couple made the concrete and tile planter boxes themselves. Want to learn? Check out their Instagram page (@hommeboys), where the duo posted an entire how-to on making concrete planter boxes in their story highlights.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
888-868-WEST (9378) THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
clever, fun, delicious, unexpected, restorative, meditative, and effective, things to do in your garden â€”right now! Chances are you're spending more time in your garden than ever before. Herewith, the ultimate checklist for making the most of your garden no matter where you are in the West. Compiled and edited by NICOLE CLAUSING By HEATHER ARNDT ANDERSON, KATHLEEN BRENZEL, SCOTT CALHOUN, LAUREN DUNEC HOANG, MIKE IRVINE, JIM MCCAUSLAND, JOHANNA SILVER, NAN STERMAN, MARCIA TATROE
Illustrations by HANA BAE
Architect Eric Olsen and daughters water the rosemary and succulents in their Corona del Mar, California, garden.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
THOMAS J. STORY
ardening has taken on new depth of meaning in recent months: it can provide solace, escape, an unmatched sense of accomplishment, or literally put food on the table at a time when that's not always a sure thing. Never have planting, pruning, tending, and amending felt more essential. Yes, gardens respond to what efforts we put into them, but we also respond in kind. Even if you feel as if you know the limits of your plot or container garden, or your skills as a gardener, we think this list will expand your sense of how to make the most of your space. Case in point: have you ever kept a phenology journal? If not, read on to find out what one is. Thatâ€™s just one of many projects, tasks, to-dos, diversions, and future harvests we've assembled in this master checklist curated for every kind of garden and gardener in the West.
the seeds in airtight containers in a cool, dark place, such as the freezer.
Two to three weeks before planting, position pots in the garden and fill with a fertilizer containing potting medium. This helps the super-light soil settle into place. Fill large containers with fragrant perennials so you’ll catch a pleasant scent when you brush by; good choices are lavender, nicotiana, and summer phlox. Keep a phenology journal: Track (and eventually connect) weather, insect, and bird populations, and flowering and fruiting dates in the garden. When planting annuals, pinch or prune off all flowers and buds to direct initial growth to the roots and help prevent transplant shock. MAINTAIN/ PROTECT
For most shrubs, increase the frequency of irrigation—but not the duration of each watering— as the temperatures rise. Save twist-ties from the grocery store and use them to tie up vines like clematis, grapes, and peas. For larger, heavier vines, short bungee cords do the trick.
Prune and fertilize spring-flowering plants right after the last blooms fade. Recently planted annuals and vegetable seedlings need to be kept moist. If the weather turns hot or windy, water often until they’re established and thriving, then switch to less frequent, deeper waterings, preferably drip irrigation. A sharp hoe makes all the difference in garden work. Get one made from forged or tempered steel, then sharpen it with a mill bastard file (or have it sharpened) before use. Shear hedges, keeping the base wider than the top. If the top is wider, the light-starved bottom can lose its leaves and thin out. If you use any kind of overhead sprinkler system, put an empty tuna can in the center of the spray pattern, run it for an hour, and measure the water depth in the container. Most conventional lawns (bentgrass, bluegrass, fescue, and perennial ryegrass) need 1 inch per week. PROTECT
Deadhead spent blooms of annuals and flowering perennials to encourage another round of warm-season flowers.
Keep birds away from fruit by enclosing trees with mesh netting a few weeks before the fruit matures. The less labor-intensive method is hanging strips of shiny red and silver tape near branch tips.
Rake up dried-out stalks and debris from spent spring wildflowers. To collect seeds for fall sowing, snip off flower stalks before raking and invert them over a paper grocery bag. Store
Fight snails and slugs by baiting with iron phosphate. Or use physical controls: Trap them beneath a plank of wood or a wet newspaper, or handpick and discard them.
If you let grass blades fall back onto the lawn every time you mow, you can reduce the amount of fertilizer you apply to your lawn. If yellowjackets compete for food at summer barbecues, put out traps now—pheromone lures are effective. If you provide birds with nesting materials, the Audubon Society recommends staying away from fabric, yarn, and materials that retain moisture and can increase the danger of respiratory diseases among baby birds. HARVEST
Pick edible flowers for s alads and garnishes. Most herb blossoms are candidates, including dill, fennel, garlic chives, lavender, oregano, sage, and thyme. Ornamentals such as calendulas, nasturtiums, roses, and violets also have blooms you can eat. Gather spring vegetables regularly, and side-dress rows with organic fertilizer to keep them growing. Pull globe onions and garlic. For best flavor, cure the bulbs on newspaper in the garage until roots are shriveled and dry, then braid leaves and store by hanging them in a cool, dry place.
Solanum lycopersicum THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
stalk (its deep cobalt kernels are highly ornamental). territorialseed.com
Northern California PLANT
Set out tropical and subtropicals such as bougainvillea, hibiscus, and mandevilla to be established over the warm season. In areas with winter frost, plant in a protected site like a south-facing wall or beneath an overhang. Plant gaillardia, Gaura lindheimeri, lion’s tail, penstemon, phygelius, salvia, and yarrow for color from now until fall. It’s not too late to sow seeds of beans, corn, and squash for harvesting late summer into fall. We like heirloom ‘Hopi Blue’ corn, which can be eaten as sweet corn when young or left on the
Replace thirsty Kentucky turf grass with Cynodon hybrida ‘Dog Tuff’. This drought-tolerant warm-season South African grass withstands high traffic, is fine-textured enough for play areas, and exhibits excellent durability in yards with dogs. highcountrygardens.com To add interest to perennial borders, tuck in long-blooming flowers such as cosmos, echinacea, marigolds, yarrow, and zinnias. Water weekly once established, and expect blooms all summer and into autumn. Sow seeds of sunflowers in rich, well-draining soil. Consider more a mix of russet-colored ‘Autumn Beauty’, knee-high ‘Elves Blend’, and dark-centered ‘Italian White’. Indulge a love of water-guzzling plants such as canna or elephant ear (Colocasia esculenta)
by planting a prime specimen in a single container and watering with a bucket of water collected during shower warm-up. For a cool look on a patio, combine low-water, icy-toned plants in a pot. Good choices: fountainlike ‘Cassa Blue’ blue flax lily (Dianella caerulea), trailing ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra, and frosty giant chalk dudleya (D. brittonii). Pick up roses in bloom at the nursery; a 5-gallon pot will have a more intact root system than a smaller one. To distract from roses’ bare “legs,” choose companion plants too; they should be sturdy enough to withstand raking or an occasional gardener’s foot. Try dusty-leafed blue catmint (Nepeta) with peach roses; tiny pink-blushed Santa Barbara daisies with white; and blue-purple true geraniums with yellow.
crushing snails or cutting slugs with a pair of scissors, feed them to your chickens if you havet them or chuck them up onto your roof for the wild birds to snack. To keep squirrels and birds off your ripening berries, drape a mesh netting over plants. MAINTAIN
Deadhead roses as their blossoms fade to keep them blooming for months. Snip sweet peas daily (they make a lovely cut flower), and the leaves begin to yellow, leave a few pods to go to seed. Water and feed tomatoes consistently to prevent blossom end rot; drip irrigation will vastly simplify this, but adding mulch also helps maintain moisture. Cull half the fruits on apple and stone fruit trees to get a better crop; gently twist off marble-sized fruits, leaving 4-6” of breathing room in between.
Keep aphids under control early in the season by releasing ladybugs. Let them loose at dusk, and spritz your garden with the mister beforehand; they’ll stop to sip the water then stay the night, and will get to eating pests in the morning. If deer are a problem in your garden, add aromatic perennials/shrubs like lavender, sage, and rosemary; they also avoid foxgloves, bleeding hearts, and monkhood—all good for shady woodland gardens. If cucumber beetles start showing up, either blast them with the hose or, if it’s gotten really out of control, just yank the whole plant (don't worry, you still have time to replace it). If you can’t bear the thought of
Cut summer water to California natives such as ceanothus, manzanita, Matilija poppies, and oaks. An occasional spray with the hose will help eliminate dust on leaves. The exception? Newly planted natives need regular water for their first year. HARVEST
Harvest radishes as soon as they reach full size and you begin to see the crown showing above the soil. Blooms from thyme and oregano can be used in cooking or left on the plant as a feast for bees and butterflies. When blooming is over, shear plants by one-third to one-half to encourage new growth all summer.
THOMAS J. STORY
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
THOMAS J. STORY SUMMER 2020
Southern California PLANT
Put in tropicals and subtropicals, including banana, citrus, palms, and papaya. For vibrant color in a sunny spot, consider bougainvillea; to keep the rootball from breaking apart, cradle it in your hands when you place it in the hole. Irrigate three times during the first week after planting, twice the next week, once a week for the first year, then deeply and infrequently thereafter. Bonus: banana leaves can be used as an aromatic wrapping for grilled fish. Continue planting seedlings for summer fruits and vegetables, including cucumber, eggplant, melons, and tomatoes to keep your harvests coming to fall. Plant seedlings of culinary herbs, including basil, chervil, chives, lemongrass, mint, and parsley. Once naked ladies (Amaryllis belladonna) lose their leaves, they can be divided and moved. Dig up the bulbs carefully; replant so their “shoulders” are just above the soil. For a textured green carpet underfoot, plant zoysia from sod or plugs. It’s droughtresistant and adjusts best if planted now. When replanting edibles beds, follow heavy-feeding vegetables like spinach and cabbage with nitrogen-replenishing legumes such as beans, peas, and soybeans; or plant a less-demanding root crop.
Citrus limon MAINTAIN
Inland, water more often, but not longer, as temperatures increase and humidity decreases. Water until the soil is dry about two knuckles down before watering again. Stop watering garlic, bulb onions, and shallots when their foliage begins to brown. This “drought” prompts the bulbs to form a dry outer layer that allows storage. Hand-pollinate tomatoes by flicking each bloom with your fingernail during the driest part of the day. Big plants can be taken care of with one or two shakes while holding on to their cages or stakes. Half of a melon’s sugar content develops during the last week of maturation, so stop irrigating then to concentrate the sugars. PROTECT
Weave tomato branches back into their cages to keep fruit from rotting on the ground, and pick off tomato hornworms as you see them. Throw insect- and disease-damaged plants in the trash—using them as compost or mulch can spread the problem to the rest of your garden.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
yellow-blooming perennials such as Angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis) and Damianita daisy (Chrysactinia mexicana).
For instant impact, plant durable barrel cactus. Try Mexican fire barrel (Ferocactus pringlei) for red spines; for yellow, go for the ever-popular golden barrel (Echinocactus grusonii). Lure butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden by planting ‘Hot Lips’ sage, an evergreen shrub that produces red-andwhite flowers throughout the summer. For showy flowers that entice you to stay outside longer, plant a night-blooming cactus garden. Try the Andes organ pipe (Cereus hildmannianus), Arizona queen of the night (Peniocereus greggii), or queen of the night (Harrisia bonplandii). Plant colorful, cold-hardy claretcup hedgehog cactus in rock gardens. The wine-red flowers mix well with unthirsty
Grow beautiful varieties of popping corn. Choose from selections like ‘Glass Gem’, a translucent pastel variety; ‘Flor del Rio’, a mixture of yellow, red, black, and blue kernels with stalks and husks that are often deep burgundy; and ‘Reventador’, a Sonoran variety known for lots of expansion when popping. Available from nativeseeds.org. In low-desert locations, it’s not too late to sow seeds for heat-loving edibles such as amaranth, cucumbers, melons, okra, and yardlong beans. They’ll germinate quickly—in as little as four days—in hot weather.
with chile powder, salt, and lime juice); and ‘Navajo’ cantaloupe, which has sweet white-and-yellow flesh. nativeseeds.org
by painting the trunk. Go Natural Paint is designed for citrus and will blend in better than white paint. gonaturalpaint.com
Sow seeds of gold and yellow Bright Lights cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) to attract scores of butterflies to your monsoon garden. Pair with lavender Gregg’s mistflower (Conoclinium greggii) for even more butterfly action. An annual, Bright Lights will reseed readily, so make sure to deadhead if you don’t want volunteers the following season.
Watch for signs of heat stress in plants. Fruit trees and bush vegetables (such as bell peppers and eggplants) drop leaves when stressed. To give them relief, provide even soil moisture through more regular watering, and shade beds from afternoon sun.
Sow amaranth seeds to coincide with the arrival of monsoon rains. The seeds of many varieties of amaranth can be eaten like popcorn (use them in granola and fruit salads), while the leaves, best harvested before flowering, make great additions to salads. For purple leaves, sow seeds of ‘Hopi Red Dye’; for popping, try the selection ‘Guarijio Grain’. nativeseeds.org Try a new crop of melons this summer. Our picks: the mildly sweet ‘Acoma’; juicy ‘Hopi Casaba’ (great when garnished
As it gets hotter, avoid overwatering winter-growing succulents such as ice plants, living stones (Lithops), and members of the Crassulaceae family (Cotyledon, Echeveria, and Kalanchoe). Some of these may shrink and lose leaves during summer—their dormant season. In anticipation of heavy summer rains, dig basins to protect your property from flood damage. Keep them at least 10 feet from foundations and provide an overflow that is directed away from structures. Protect citrus bark from sunburn
To move barrel, hedgehog, and young saguaro cactus, mark the south or north side of the plant, wrap it in an old carpet (to protect you from thorns), dig it up, and move it to a new location, taking care to plant at the same depth and same compass orientation. Thin tree canopies, removing up to 25 percent in species prone to wind damage (including acacia, desert willow varieties, eucalyptus, ‘Desert Museum’ palo verde, South American mesquite, and Texas honey mesquite) prior to the onset of high winds associated with summer thunderstorms.
GAP PHOTOS/ROY HUNT
As desert storms approach, sow annual wildflower seeds. Desert senna (S. covesii), devil’s claw (Proboscidea parviflora), sacred datura (D. meteloides), and summer poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora) are good choices.
outside when soil temperatures reach 70°. stokeseeds.com
To cover an unsightly fence, consider ‘Kintzley’s Ghost’ honeysuckle, a vine that reaches 8 feet tall and displays soft yellow flowers in spring and round silver bracts all summer. Grow it in full sun and water regularly.
Buy goldenberry (aka cape gooseberry; Physalis peruviana) starts at the beginning of summer. Set out the beans, squash, tomatoes, chiles, and eggplant that you started indoors, but keep an eye out for chilly nights. ‘Takane Ruby’ buckwheat is not only a gorgeous superfood, but it’s suitable for high-elevation gardens. Rhubarb is ready to pick when leaf stalks are around 10” long—pink ‘Victoria’ isn’t as red as other varieties, but has superior flavor. Set out bulbs like Amaryllis belladonna, nerine, pineapple lily (Eucomis) canna, and calla. Sow pollinator-friendly summer annuals like ‘Dara’ flowering carrot, fennel, coreopsis, and ‘Sea Shells’ cosmos. Compact blue fescue adds a pop of water-wise color to edges. Plant pie cherries for small, tough trees that produce both gorgeous spring flowers and bright red, tart fruit in late summer. Try ‘Montmorency’ (to 12 feet tall) or ‘North Star’ (to 8 feet). They are hardy to -30° and -25° respectively. Try rattail cactus (Aporophyllum hybrids) in a hanging basket. Its ropelike stems trail 6 feet or longer, with flowers in an array of brilliant colors. Plants prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant ‘Hulk’, a unique China aster with chartreuse flowers that prefers part shade; it mixes well with other shade annuals, such as begonias, coleus, and impatiens. Start seeds indoors and transplant
For orange, pink, red, or yellow flowers in late summer, plant tender bulbs of Mexican shell flower in well-drained soil. Use as annual flowers or dig up bulbs in fall and store indoors for the winter. Sow seeds of long beans for pods that mature at 12 to 25 inches. Available in bush or pole habit and with pods in shades of green and purple, long beans do best in full sun with consistent moisture. Especially attractive are ‘Chinese Mosaic’, with lavender-pink pods; deep red ‘Chinese Red Noodle’; and dark purple ‘Thai Purple Podded’ yardlong beans. rareseeds.com Try ‘Blue Jazz’ piñon pine, a dwarf globe-shaped native conifer with blue needles that reaches only 2 feet tall and wide at maturity. This evergreen likes dry spots in full sun with well-drained soil. For perennial flowers that stand up to the heat of summer, try ‘Straight Up Red’ Texas yucca, with hummingbird-attracting red spikes; white prairie clover, a butterfly favorite; and yellow Engelmann’s daisy, which is irresistible to bees. All are available from High Country Gardens. highcountrygardens.com Add tropical marginal plants to ponds when water temperatures reach 70°. Place them on ledges or upended containers so that
the soil line is just above the water’s surface. Good choices include papyrus (Cyperus papyrus), pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata), ‘Purple Showers’ ruellia, society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), and v ariegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’).
After spring bulbs are done, snip off spent blooms to force nutrients back into the bulbs and rhizomes—but resist the urge to braid daffodil leaves. To keep tall perennials like Oriental poppy from going floppy, give them a peony hoop.
Once nighttime temperatures stay above 50°, plant chocolate cosmos in a container placed in full sun. The velvety burgundy flowers with a chocolate scent bloom from late summer into fall. Water just enough to keep the soil damp but not soggy. Plan to dig and store tubers in the fall.
Grow butterfly weeds (Asclepias tuberosa and A. incarnata) to feed monarch butterfly larvae.
To cut down on work, plant perennial flowers that don’t require removal of spent blossoms to stay in bloom for most of the summer. Great choices include bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana), blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis), Gaura lindheimeri, German statice (Goniolimon tataricum), Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’, and ‘Pink Panda’ strawberry.
Deadhead annual and perennial flowers to keep blooms coming. Prune spring-flowering woody plants now, before they set the summer buds that will be next spring’s flowers.
Attract hummingbirds with butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), hummingbird mint (Agastache), pineleaf penstemon, and Zauschneria.
Pick rhubarb when leaf stalks are at least 10 inches long and 1⁄2 inch wide and have turned dark pink. Gently twist off each stalk close to the ground. Remove the poisonous leaves before cooking.
After planting perennials, fruits, shrubs, and trees, keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Whenever temperatures below freezing or above 80° are predicted, cover the transplants with a frost blanket. Give tender new plants floating row covers or a frost blanket to protect against harsh sun/hot temps and chilly nights. Fertilize vegetables like when you plant them, and every two weeks afterward. Spread straw around the base of plants to retain moisture.
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Within this simple tool resides 2,000 years of garden expertise.
By HEATHER ARNDT ANDERSON Photograph by THOMAS J. STORY SUMMER 2020
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Japanese Gardening with Ease
This summer take a cue from the West’s most impressive Japanese botanical gardens and use these principles to bring the contemplative ethos into your backyard.
Hugo Torii at the Portland Japanese Garden.
H SUMMER 2020
ugo Torii is director of grounds maintenance for Portland Japanese Garden, a space regarded as none other than “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan” by the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States. So when we wanted to learn the essential elements and how to apply them in our own gardens, we
turned to the custodian of a garden that exquisitely balances Japanese tradition with locality. While temporarily closed when this issue went to press, the gardens are a stunning combination of Pacific Northwest native plants and ornamental species from Japan, plinths of Columbia River basalt, and a genbugan boulder from Japan. No element feels forced. It’s
important to understand each material’s ki, or true essence; once you learn these, Torii says, “let them live.” This isn’t to say that the rocks and plants are left completely to their own devices: the human hand is still subtly evident. In late winter, the pines are needled (hamushiri) to give them some breathing room. Thinning (sukashi-sen-tei) and restorative pruning (Shuufuku sen-tei) don’t just control the density of the plant, they also provide a visual depth of field and make the plants more photogenic. This time of year, the pines are candled (metsumi), a process in which the apical shoots that stand up at the end of the branches like candles are snipped off to control the direction of new growth. Come summer the mosses will change from emerald green to chartreuse. Torii’s approach to minding the garden grounds is one that we can all learn from—it starts by paying attention to these signals. “We have to force ourselves to study nature,” he says. In home gardens, one might not have access to the profundity of a mature forest, but creating a miniature version of nature is one of the goals of a Japanese garden. Whether wild or tamed, large or small, green spaces like forests and gardens all basically convey one universal truth: The garden happens inside us. The way we feel when we spend time outdoors is akin to a religious experience. When the first Japanese gardens were planted (around the 6th century CE) they typically surrounded temples, which was entirely the point. A Japanese garden seeks to reproduce the humbling and peaceful sense of being in nature as it presents itself, just on a smaller scale.
PETER FRIEDMAN/COURTESY OF PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDEN
The Japanese Tools Every Gardener Needs
Hugo Torii on the tools he uses the most. All tools available from Hida Tool & Hardware at Hidatool.com 1. Pruning saw. Perfect for trimming branches on trees and shrubs. One of the most frequently used tools in his aresnal. ($51)
4. Ika hoe. If you have to clear a large area of weeds and break up the soil, the Ika hoe is the tool for you. Itâ€™s versatile, too; it has a single flat blade on one side of the head and sharp, flat tines on the other, resembling a cuttlefish. ($20)
THOMAS J. STORY
2. Hand pruners. These are used for basic trimming and manicuring on the smaller branches and stems of woody plants. ($90)
5. Hori hori. Good for digging and weeding, this all-purpose garden knife is kind of a combination between a trowel and a saw; one 3. Nejiri scraper. This tool edge is serrated for cutting (similar to a Korean homi) through weeds and small scrapes and carves weeds right branches, and thereâ€™s a out of sidewalk seams and the ruler in the blade to help you tightest soil, and makes a good plant bulbs at the proper trowel for planting. ($10) depth. ($25)
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There are four essential ingredients of a Japanese garden: water, rocks, plants, and decorations. Odd numbers, asymmetry, and crisp, geometric lines juxtaposed with soft edges are important components. There are lanterns and bridges, always in harmony with their surroundings. There are the mosses, artfully carved pines, and maples; paths—the more precarious the better— invite a careful, contemplative pace that becomes a meditation.
When selecting plants, opt for a variety of shapes, textures, and sizes, like a structural fatsia with weeping cherry and fountain grass. Try to group foundation plantings like columnar trees and evergreen shrubs in odd numbers for good luck.
Asymmetry can be easily accomplished with the artful placement of containers; try to group them at angles to one another rather than in tight rows. LISTEN CAREFULLY
Soothing sounds are just as important as the plants and rocks when it comes to creating the experience
of nature in a Japanese garden. Grasses and bamboo rustle in the wind to provide a pleasant soundscape, and furin (wind chimes) are hung in the summer to help create a cooling effect to the listener with their gentle tinkling. A water feature such as a wabi basin/ stone bowl or ceramic urn outfitted with a
fountain pump provides the refreshing sound of bubbling water, helpful for drowning out city noise. GO DRY
No water? No problem. There’s no more unthirsty garden than a traditional karesansui (dry gardens), which utilizes rocks and raked gravel to
EVAN PARKER (CC BY-NC 2.0);
Finding the ki in your own garden
COURTESY OF BONSAI MIRAI
Heavenly Falls at Portland Japanese Garden embodies many of the principles of Japanese garden design.
visually mimic the ripple of water. Stone can be cut and polished to resemble the mirrorgleam of a still pond. To convey a sense of flow, shingle flat river rocks or smooth, rounded pavers like fish scales for wending walkways and paths.
Think about capturing the view beyond the garden, too—this is called shakkei, or “borrowed scenery.” Prune selectively to take advantage of a backdrop featuring your neighbor’s beautiful camellias, for example, or to welcome the view of a nearby park to your visual landscape.
Best Bonsai Shops
With such a rich Japanese -American heritage in our region, it’s no wonder the West has some of the best bonsai shops in the country. Here are our favorite shops, classes, and eye -candy Instagram accounts.
Bonsai Mirai in St. Helens, Oregon, is so much more than a bonsai nursery: they offer live online how-to classes, garden tours, and exquisite ceramics and tools for sale. Listen to their Asymmetry Podcast, watch their Youtube videos, and take a gander at their jaw-dropping avant garde bonsai on their Instagram account @bonsaimirai. (bonsaimirai.com) Bonsai Jidai is a bonsai school in Chino, California, whose founder David Nguy specializes in molding local flora; he’s known by the Golden State Bonsai Federation as “Mr. California Juniper” for his expertise with California junipers (Juniperus californica). (bonsaijidai.com) Bonsai Northwest in Tukwila, Washington, has been around for more than 30 years, and is one of the largest in America. Stop by Pacific Bonsai Museum for inspiration. (bonsainw.com) Bonsai Vision in Las Vegas doesn’t sell trees from its website, but it’s worth a stop for traditional handmade bonsai pots, tools, and soil dressings, such as gravel. (bonsaivision.com) Soh-Ju-En in Vallejo, California, specializes in Satsuki azalea bonsai (priced upwards of $2,600!), which bloom in May-June. They also carry white pines, moss, and soils. (sohjuensatsukibonsai.com)
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Home + Design
HOME & DESIGN Lifestyle + Bow
Edit Sweet Edit
How a book designer and master woodworker made their 850-square-foot home a high-style haven by curating, tweaking, and utilizing every square inch. By SALLY KUCHAR
. Photographs by THOMAS J. STORY
Nola Burger and Thomas Harderâ€™s backyard features a cozy guest cabin.
or Nola Burger, her home’s interior design is never done. “We’re always editing and moving things around,” says the Berkeley-based book designer. While she originally purchased the California Bungalow in 2001, Nola lived elsewhere before moving back in 2017. Since then Burger and her husband, Thomas Harder, have refined the home’s interiors patiently and organically over time. “Doing things slowly over time is a better approach to interior design for us.” The biggest change was a complete remodel of the kitchen. “It was a glorified former back porch that was probably turned into a mediocre kitchen in the 70s,” says Burger. “When you were in the kitchen you were completely cut off from the rest of the house. It had no actual connection to the house or the backyard.” Burger tapped architect Andrew Dunbar of Interstice Architects to help realize her vision. Burger loves the simplicity and craft of Japanese design, so Dunbar created a design with an engawa, which is an extension of the house into the outdoors. “Our architect designed a large overhang over the backyard deck so it feels like the kitchen extends outside.” The interior of the house is also filled with intention. “I want everything to be great as far as how it looks, feels, and functions,” says Burger. “If it doesn’t hit all those notes we don’t bring it into the house.” Additionally, the house is filled with pieces that were custom made by Harder, whose woodwork runs the gamut from custom carpentry to furniture design and building. A particularly special piece is a tansu—a traditional Japanese storage chest—which is the focal point of the SUMMER 2020
dining room. “I had a giant beam of ash lumber that I’ve held onto since the 1980s. A friend of mine saw it and asked if he could use it to make a traditional tansu. He started it, but sadly he passed away, so I finished it for him. The entire tansu is made out of one piece of wood. I estimate that we both put 350 total hours into it,” says Harder. The 120-square-foot backyard cabin is the newest addition to the house. The couple’s home was technically a two bedroom, but they opted to convert the second bedroom into a library and home office for practicality’s sake. “We knew we needed a little more space. Just another room—a place to work or for houseguests.” The duo designed it together by creating mini models out of foamcore. Then Harder got to work building it from scratch. “Everything is homemade. There’s no off-the-shelf wood.” The siding is reclaimed old growth Canadian red cedar, whereas the interiors
Eclectic Inspiration This bungalow’s style comes from years of careful curation. In lieu of years to gather, these pieces invoke artistic expression through vintage finds and calls for color. —Nena Farrell
Start an eyecatching collection of color with this set of four tins, perfect for adding both storage and a little flair to the shelves. $36 for four, Hay
This bold pendant light takes retro, curvaceous design and updates it into this modern version, with four colors to choose from. $695, Circa Lighting
Blur the line between indoor and outdoor (top): “The deck doesn’t even look like a deck to me…it’s more like an unfolding of the house into the garden,” says Burger.
Add immediate design flair with a simple trick: beautiful design books. Ellsworth Kelly’s monochromatic Chatham Series is sure to catch the eye of art fans and novices alike. $22.95, MoMa Design Store Can’t build your own tansu chest? Find a vintage one instead, like this Japanese threepiece chest of drawers made of delicate kiri wood. $3,955, One Kings Lane
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Harder and Burger’s home is a place of thoughtful curation and intriguing design objects— including their unique collection of vintage Waring drink mixers.
TKTKTK new caption here The open plan master grants ocean views to both the bedroom and bathroom areas (and a shower curtain creates privacy). The fire pit shares the same vista.
have a bamboo floor and a reclaimed redwood ceiling. The desk and bed, which are built-in, are made out of poplar with reclaimed redwood for the fronts and drawers. The windows are strategically placed up high or very low for privacy without sacrificing light. “We approach the design of our home organically. Like us, it’ll continue to change and grow, which means there will always be a project on the table that we’re itching to get started.”
Customize it: “The closets that I built in the bedroom are four sliding tansu-style doors that have over 100 pieces of wood for each door. They’re made of salvaged port Orford cedar and the frame is salvaged Monterey cypress from the Presidio in San Francisco,” says Harder.
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Get Some Color From emerald green to cheery yellow, itâ€™s never been easier to add a little color to your kitchen.
By SALLY KUCHAR . Photograph by THOMAS J. STORY
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s much as we love a serene white kitchen lined with subway tile, the past two decades of kitchen design have leaned toward one too many shades of gray: ash, pewter, charcoal, and slate dominated cabinets and walls with a dose of white or wood thrown in here and there. In the last year or so the pendulum has swung decidedly more vibrant. Thanksfully, incorporating color into your kitchen can be as simple as placing a dusty pink stand mixer center stage on your countertop or as advanced as a complete kitchen renovation with cabinets emblazoned kelly green. We tapped several experts in the field to share advice on how to make the leap from neutral to colorful, and you’ll be wowed by how easy it is.
THE COLOR IS NARRAGANSETT GREEN BY BENJAMIN MOORE.
AN EASY, LOW-RISK WAY TO MAKE A COLORFUL IMPACT IN YOUR KITCHEN IS WITH RUGS. D'ITRI MARÉS BOUGHT HERS FROM EBAY.
e b c d
MOODY YET MINIMAL
Previous page: a. KitchenAid Artisan® Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer in Matte Dried Rose ($379.99), b. KitchenAid 4.8 L White Gardenia Ceramic Bowl ($84.99), c. YIELD 850 ml Glass French Press in Honey ($85), d. Lodge Cast Iron 6 Quart Blue Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven in Lagoon ($91.95), e. Smeg Electric Kettle in Copper, exclusively available through Williams Sonoma ($229.95), f. Material Reboard Cutting Board in various colors ($35 each, three for $80)
Dark, moody jewel tones are all the rage in kitchens right now, and designer Jessica D'Itri Marés’s recently renovated dark green kitchen in her Thousand Oaks, California, home is a great example. “I wanted a color that was still a color, but could read neutral. Put it next to black or a white and it reads colorful, but if you put it next to brights or pastels, it can be a wonderful backdrop!” D'Itri Marés says.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
If you have glass fronts for your kitchen cabinetry, make the color pop by using a single type of dishware like white ceramic with small doses of brass and copper. “We understood that once we switched to all white ceramic dishware, it didn’t matter how things were put on a shelf, our collection would always look pulled together. It is so foolproof,” says D’Itri Marés.
GO WITH THE FLOW
D’Itri Marés knew from the get-go that she wanted to convert the laundry room into a pantry, and that she wanted it to include both hidden and open storage. “I wanted the pantry to feel like a little jewel box, with lots of attention to detail,” says D’Itri Marés. “It was natural to bring in the same kitchen motifs into the pantry, but we gave it something special with the bold tile floor.”
Paint tips from the pros: Nicole Gibbons, Founder and CEO, Clare Paint and Erika Woelfel, Vice President of Color & Creative Services, Behr
“If you want to add a little color to your kitchen, opting for a vibrant color on your island is a great idea,” says Gibbons. She recommends trying a light blue-green with marble countertops. “It’s a great way to add color to your kitchen without feeling overwhelming.”
From a paint standpoint, white, grays, and blues are classic. But bold colors like navy blue, forest green, and burgundy are really popular.
“Upper and lower cabinets don’t need to match. For a lighter feeling, go white or neutral on your uppers and opt for a bolder choice on the bottom. The contrast always feels very fresh,” says Gibbons.
JESSICA D’ITRI MARÉS
“Remember that your ceilings are a canvas too,” says Woelfel. “Painted ceilings are an unexpected surprise—ceilings are the fifth wall. I love to flood a room a pop of unexpected color like yellow by painting the ceiling. It helps define the mood.”
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FLAT GLASS PENDANT LAMP BY CB2 ($159)
THE COLOR IS HERB GARDEN BY BENJAMIN MOORE
“I’m pretty much all for color going all over a kitchen. Colorful cabinetry is such a high-impact visual treat because cabinetry takes up the most surface area in the kitchen.” —Interior Designer Noz Nozawa
Steal the look
From a basil-colored apron to a pastel pink refrigerator, these products are a low lift way to add a dose of color to your kitchen SUMMER 2020
Canvas Apron with Leather Strap by Chef's Satchel ($50) This apron packs a bright visual punch with its basil color, and it’s got three large pockets—perfect for those with limited counter space.
Picardie Tumbler by Duralex (set of six for $36) What better way to style open shelving and glass front cabinetry than with these fabulously colorful versions of utterly timeless water glasses?
Cookware Set by Caraway ($395) From sage to perracotta (pink + terracotta), Caraway’s colorful cookware pops. Its popular sets include a frying pan, sauce pan, sauté pan, and a Dutch oven.
TOP: © COLIN PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY
Interior designer Noz Nozawa did a complete overhaul of this kitchen in San Francisco. On determining the cabinetry color: “The client had been dreaming of a green kitchen, but wasn’t sure how safe to play it—whether she should only paint the island green, or if she should tone it down to a dusty sage. I felt we needed to fully commit to all-green cabinetry, in a true Kelly green, and as soon as the first coat went on, we both knew it was going to be amazing.”
TOP: COURTESY OF REBECCA LONG PYPER
“My design philosophy is simple: I want a happy cottage. Yellow is the perfectly happy color, and I wanted my kids to start each morning with a healthy dose of it. The (custom) yellow patterned tile was inspired by my grandma’s yellow linoleum floors. I loved them as a child and still do.” - Rebecca Long Pyper on the design for her Idaho Falls, ID home.
Mini Rice Cooker by Dash ($34.99) A great option for those tight on space—this small but mighty appliance can cook up to two cups of grains.
50’s Retro Style Aesthetic Fridge by Smeg ($2,999) Embrace the forever popular mid-century modern aesthetic with one of Smeg’s colorful fridges, ranging from pastel pink to canary yellow.
Minimalist Danish Kitchen Timer by Zone ($35) - A simple twist turns this minimalist kitchen timer on. Perfect as a gift for your favorite foodie host.
Essence Professional Single-Handle Kitchen Faucet by Grohe ($751 to $1,051; $94 for colorful kitchen spout) Create a sharp focal point with a vivid kitchen faucet. Swap colors in and out as you see fit.
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HOME & DESIGN
The Work From Home Makeover Weâ€™re all going stir-crazy right now, but making peace with your space can turn it into an oasis, instead of a lockdown. Here ar some simple solutions to clear the clutter, lift your spirts, and improve your everyday space. Vintage Sunset Poster and Frame Fin d a piec e of ar t t h a t stokes cre at ivit y and f rame it well. Mail-order fram e f rom Simply Frame d .co m.
Jax Touch Smart USB Task Lamp Ta p t he b ra ss b ut t on a n d t h i s s m a r t l a m p wi l l c yc l e t h rough i t s ill um i n a t i on m od e s ; p l us , i t p a c ks m ul t i p l e U S B p or t s . $24 5, C o nwa y E le c t r i c . co m
Walnut Desk Ma d e from wa l n ut a n d ste e l , t h i s s l e e k d e sk hides cables in a n i n t e gra t e d channel that a l s o of fe rs a n c hor p oi nts f o r t he a d j us t a b l e t ra y. $1, 49 0 , The Ar t i f ox . c om .
Key Rack with Tray
Magic iPad Keyboard
C-Shaped End Table for Couch
S t ow yo u r e ss e n t i a l s he re , a n d ke e p your keys o f f t he s he l f w he re t hey ’ l l c re a te c l ut t e r.
P rev i o u s i Pa d ho l d e rs o n l y o f f e re d o n e o r t wo a n g l e s. B u t w i th so m a ny v i d e o c o n f e re n c e c a l l s, yo u n e e d p re c i se c o n tro l o f yo u r c a m e ra . Th i s a c c e sso r y a l so a d d s a tra c k p a d . $ 2 9 9, appl e . c om
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Wood Top Shoe Rack A m i n i m a l i st m e t a l f ra m e wi t h a si m p l e t op s l a b f o r s t ora g e . $ 110 , TheYam az ak i Home
Area Rug Ha n dma d e a nd sh i p ped s t ra ig ht to your d o o r i n a b riefca s e st y l e fla t p a ck b ox, t hes e n o - n ons ens e r u g s re a lly p ull the roo m t o g et her, a s they s a y. $ 3 0 0 and up , r ev i valrug s.com
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See this wire? For years it was the only thing I saw. Then lockdown changed the way I framed my yardâ€Ś and my life.
Lessons from an accidental outdoor upgrade
I never thought a truckful of rocks would save me during quarantine. Some seven years ago I spent an afternoon shoveling the river-tumbled pebbles over the little decimated drought tolerant dirt rectangle that remained of my backyard after we completed an addition to our 100 year old Spanish bungalow. The plan was to keep the dirt and the weeds at bay while we figured out our backyard landscaping. The gravel would hold us for a year. Turned out it held us for seven more. This underplanned little private patch in the middle of Los Angeles was good to us: a persimmon tree offered shade in the summer and fruit in the fall. A $15 yard sale sofa with ill-fitting aftermarket cushions became a much contested napping spot. I'd screwed hairpin legs onto a
By HUGH GARVEY Photographs by MATT BEAN
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butcher block cutting board so we’d have somewhere to perch our negronis in the evening until my cobbled together coffee table split from the sun. Life was busy. We had better things to do. Trips to take. Off campus activities to attend to. Work to get done. The yard could wait. Then the world screeched to a halt and it was us doing the waiting. On day 17 of lockdown I found myself longing desperately to be anywhere but home. It was the first Southern California Summer-hot day of the season. Zoom fatigue was setting in. I was over it. I’d hit a wall—the kind that makes you want to hit the beach. That was out for now, so I put on swim trunks I’d last worn on the Riviera Maya, threw a yoga blanket on the warm pebbles, cued up Caetano Veloso on the bluetooth speaker, and let my mind wander as I waited for cocktail hour to arrive. My thoughts toggled through far away places as I lay rooted to the warm earth, staying still as could be, the better to commune with all that the ground touched if you traced it out some 500, 1000, 5000 miles away. I indulged the logic that enchants kids when they first learn that if they dug straight down they’d end up on the other side of the planet. But even traveling halfway around the world wouldn’t transport me to where I needed to be. I longed for a world that didn’t exist: my brother in law, who lives in China, told me to hold off on visiting, as the best restaurants weren’t back in action yet and a second surge might be coming. My favorite hotel in Italy was posting IG stories of the deserted Amalfi coast just off its dining deck. I realized it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be somewhere else on the planet as much I wanted to be somewhere else in time. With those two options an impossibility, there were two things I could control: the space I was in, how I looked at it. And I was literally looking at pebbles. Warmed by the sun. Cool clay California dirt underneath. It was
my little patch of the world and I had to admit it, here all was well. My family and I were safe. Healthy. Home. An ant climbed in and out of the rocks. Above me the persimmon tree was budding, the silver dollar eucalyptus leaves rustled in the breeze, hummingbirds darted from the power lines, the sound of homeschooled children playing kickball blew in over the fence. But the yard itself had been, shall we say, neglected. It was well lived and well loved and in need of a facelift, certainly if I was going to spend the better part of the next five months here: taking calls in the sun, working out, tending my grill, and being fully home. It was time to honor the space, and this moment in time. Yes, I had to buy some new stuff, but mostly I had to pay attention and the actions would follow. As lovely as the yard was in its ramshackle, cobbled together way it could be more unified, more calming, more… intentional. But I didn’t want it to be too intentional: no single click outdoor
If I was going to spend the next five months here: taking calls in the sun, working out, tending my grill, and being fully home, it was time to honor the space, and this moment in time. And so a hard look at how we live and what love as a family, a few well chosen pieces, and about 10 possible configurations of furniture placement, my backyard is now a place that I can’t wait to head out to on workday mornings, weekday evenings, and long sunny weekends. It’s a place of not virtual but actual travel: a short sojourn to a sanctuary, where minds are calmed, drinks are drunk, fitness is achieved, arguments settled, briskets smoked, music listened to, and life lived. It is, in a word, home, with blue sky as the ceiling, hedges for walls. It’s the slightly tamed, wild outside my door.
Above All, Love Your Space
A vintage sofa gets a second life thanks to custom Sunbrella upholstered cushions (cushionsource.com) and new pillows (blockshoptextiles. com). A Snowpeak grill serves as a popup fire pit and s’mores station ($320; snowpeak.com) while a low-profile wire lounge chair offers flexible seating ($384; bendgoods.com)
living room purchase of a pre-curated “buy it now” Balinese fantasy, as powerful a fantasy as that might be. Indulging in fantasies wasn’t the answer: ever so slightly upgrading reality was. And so over the next few weeks I practiced reframing, recurating, replacing, and renewing. I wanted to work mostly with what I had but was willing to spend a little money as this space was going to be everyone’s getaway during the ongoing lockdown and we’d gotten away with furnishing it with yard sale finds and scavenged finds left by the curb by other upgraders. We had a few requirements of the space: it needed to be tough as nails to hold up to the elements over the years. It needed to be timeless. It needed to feel like part of the house, and not exile, but also provide enough distance that when someone needed to get away from the work from home, home schooling, home yoga studio, home magazine production facility, they could.
For years I was an ingrate, complaining about how small my yard was. Ashamed as I am to say it, it took a lockdown to make me love it. Not being able to hit the trails, walk in the park, or jog on the beach, it became the sum total of my great outdoors. Whatever the size of your outdoor space, you need to love it in all its imperfections in that “Bless This Mess” kind of way. Be grateful that you have a windowsill, balcony, patio, patch of grass, or, for that matter, a sprawling meadow as far as the eye can see. Any outdoor space that you can call your own is a luxury much of the world doesn’t have. If you frame it that way, you start to see everything it contains as a gift. That trumpet vine that keeps encroaching on the hedge from your neighbors yard? It brings flowers you didn’t plant. Sure you should eventually trim it to keep it from choking your hedge, but you should also put those purple blossoms in a bowl of water and set it on the dining table to enjoy. Those less than attractive intersecting power lines peeking out behind the eucalyptus provide a safe perch to resting hummingbirds and a mama mockingbird feeding her chick. When you're able to see a utility pole as an aviary, you know you’re on the right path.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Ask Yourself: What’s Your Motivation?
Don’t be Afraid to Build Something
Mindfulness is a buzzword these days, but it’s been a daily practice of thousands of people going on some 5000 years. Science backs it up: whether it’s letting go of thoughts and focusing on the rhythm of breath, counting reps on the weight bench, or methodically pulling weeds, 20 minutes a day of repetitive, meditative action lowers blood pressure and alleviates anxiety and depression. Build in a daily practice that takes you fully into the moment and out of the past and the future. And the yard is the ideal place to dedicate a spot to it: is your repotting table your alter? Is your sofa your meditation cushion? Is a sun dappled spot under the tree your dedicated daily yoga break space? These locations and objects are not objects but tools for transformation. They’re not mere clusters of furniture but arenas for action.
By no means am I a fine woodworker, let alone amateur carpenter: My DIY cutting board coffee table split in half after just one year’s use, but those hairpin legs are as good as the day I pulled them off the old split coffee table I bought at a yard sale for five bucks. You know I’m going to find a way to use them again. A redwood step demo-ed from our old patio is now perched on two iron bar stool legs. The long table now serves as a sort of outdoor mantle, with pine cones, and abalone shells, and a 40 pound crystal that we found under our rose bushes.
Divide and Conquer By modern American yard standards my space is small, maybe 30 by 20 feet at its longest span. Not much bigger than a living room next to a dining room next to multipurpose space. And when I put it that way, placing actions and scenes within the subdivisions, it seems quite large: the framing of spots and dedicating a purpose to them activates and defines the space, inviting people in, orienting them to how to live in space and time.
Don’t Rush We took 20 years to get our yard to where it is today, and it will keep evolving slowly over time. It’s not from a look book. It’s our look: the driftwood leaning on the wall was picked up on a hidden beach on the central coast that’s been washed away by time. The galvanized tub that held ice and drinks for my daughter’s first birthday party is now filled with nasturtiums and thyme and tarragon. The pot my wife bought from her aspiring ceramicist friend who now runs a thriving business. We called three lumber yards looking for the right fallen piece of live edge hardwood for an outdoor dining table. We haven’t found the right one quite yet. We’ll keep looking. It could take a year or more and we’re okay with that.
Don’t Buy Anything At least don’t buy anything quite yet. Unless you’re doing a top to bottom overhaul, chances are you already like some of the things you’ve got in your yard. SUMMER 2020
Repurpose Is there anything from inside your house that can be repurposed outside? Nearly bullet proof (and waterproof ) fiberglass Eames dining chairs from our dining room serve as extra seating at the dining table. Wire framed knockoff Eames dining chairs hold up nicely outside too. A butterfly chair from my first apartment in New York has been redeployed, but with a brand new replacement canvas seat that we throw in the washing machine every week or so. Zero cost, high-style seating.
Set Your Sightlines Scan your yard and look at your views: What offers calm and what unsettles? Can you see that clutter in the side yard whenever you catch some shade in the back corner? Do you love the southerly vista with the distant palm trees, but aren’t nuts about the next door neighbor’s bathroom window just below? Identify primo spots and problem spots and then set to work framing or blocking. Move a chair to grab a view. Position a plant to block an electrical outlet.
Follow Form and Color Once you’ve chosen what will stay, build out on the essence of those objects, either repeating the materials and colors or contrasting them. After an edit, the pots and furniture in our color story was muted wood tones, greens, and grays, terracotta, and even little black. With that as our base color palate we repetaed those colors with our new pieces, or chose subtle complimentary and contrasting colors and shapes. The gray pebbles are a sympatico backdrop to a distressed Acacia dining table.
When You Do Buy, Shop Locally Small retail businesses and manufacturers have been hit particularly hard and are part of your
Design at your Doorstep
The direct to consumer furniture revolution couldn’t have come at a better time. Score sweet outdoor furniture and decor pieces from these brands that deliver fresh design right to your door. —Nena Farrell You probably know Article for their high-quality, mid-century sofas that come at an affordable price, but did you know the brand makes outdoor furniture too? Article’s extensive outdoor collection includes easy-to assemble lounge chairs, daybeds, and more for your backyard. (Aeri chair, $399; article.com) Founded by a married couple from Santa Barbara, Peach & Pebble is dedicated to stylish and wellmade pieces for your home. The piece that started it all? A ceramic planter (shown left) that was well made and didn’t cost an arm and leg. (from $55; peachandpebble.com) The outdoor throw pillows you’ve been dreaming of, at the right price. The Inside’s outdoor throw pillows come in a variety of prints and sizes, making it the easiest way to quickly upgrade your backyard with a little style. ($49; theinside.com)
Go totally modular in your backyard with the help of Outer. The brand specializes in modular sofa and armchairs that can be used together or separately in your outdoor spaces. Cover the cushions in the included cover that rolls out from behind the cushions, and has a 365 at-home trial period. (from $2,300; outer.com)
community. If they go out of business or lay off employees that will materially change the fabric of your city. Shop them first.
Follow the Sun As the light changes season to season you can position furniture to take advantage of the shade in the summer months and maximize sun exposure in the winter. Invest in a couple of lightweight pieces that can be moved in and out of the shade on a given day.
Love the Labor If you find yourself with a new piece of furniture that requires hundreds of twists of the hex wrench and the wrestling of various bolts and buttresses, don’t rush through it and curse the task. Focus on the repetition, the meditative twist a turn of the wrench. The constituent parts becoming a platonic ideal of a chair or table. So what if it takes 45 minutes to get it done: that’s 45 minutes you’re not randomly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or reading the dispiriting news.
Be Careful With Color We wanted our yard to be a serene space and zeroed in on the color of stone, and earth. Whatever showy hues would come from nature: The sky would be our bright blue ceiling on clear days. The cactii would bloom hot pink and the shrubs would offer lavender sprays, announcing themselves against our neutral backdrop and providing shifting organic beauty.
Be Aromatherapeutic Anyone who’s ever lit a citronella torch at a barbecue knows it makes everything taste like a lemon drop. Copal incense, the go-to mosquito repellant in buggy Tulum, it not only works but it also smells great with food.
Paint it Black Woodward Iron company’s Chantilly Rose wrought iron patio furniture seems a bit frilly for our taste, but we bought a low-slung outdoor sofa at a yard sale for $15 dollars, spray painted it matte black, and ordered a set of custom cushions upholstered in
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HOME & DESIGN
black canvas Sunbrella and transformed the sofa from fussy to fiercely modern.
Be a Materialist Wish you couldn’t see so much concrete from your driveway? Buy or make a concrete table and suddenly you’ve tied an element into your design plan. Lean in and suddenly your driveway looks like an architectural element. Study String Theory String lights are the open secret of cheap and cheerful outdoor upgrades: drape two crisscross in the trees and your backyard just became date night ready.
Scavenge Stylishly I’m not above pulling my car over and given a discarded piece of furniture on the curb a good look. The dining table and chairs that served us for
15 years were a wrought iron 4 top a couple was discarding: they’d upholstered the seats in simple black and white striped Sunbrella. When when we got our new dining table, we stored the chairs in the side yard and repurposed the table as a prep surface for my grill. Our teak chaise lounge is still a curbside castoff covered in dried mud and spider webs. I scrubbed it clean and it’s low key modern lines have stood the test of our upgrade.
Listen Carefully There was that moment when the soundtrack of the world went back in time and I could hear the polyphonic multi-track mix of a hundred birds in spring. Wild parrots squawking, finches tweeting and chattering, the low stuttering chuckle of crows, and warbles, whistles, and jay skreeches intertwining like never before. One quarantine quiet Sunday morning sitting on the couch, for the first time in twenty years, I heard the bells of a church four
blocks away. For weeks the whooshing role of radials on the nearby crosstown boulevard slowed to the point you could trace one car’s progress by ear. Then more people returned to the road and the sounds of cars overlapped into a near continuous whoosh of white noise. It used to bother me and does a little sometimes but now it’s also a reminder that we’re heading places again.
Iron and steel wind chimes provide a twotrack outdoor score and achieve a wabisabi patina over time. A portable Sonos Move ($399; sonos. com) and movable seating and surfaces (bendgoods.com) let you find shade when you need it. When the sun sets smart lights illuminate, extending the use of the space for hours.
Repurpose, Reframe, Renew 5 ways we worked with what we had and made our space a sanctuary
Customize Cushions A $15 yard-sale sofa was in sore need of a refresh. We custom designed black cushions that arrived quickly and fit the sofa perfectly. (cushionsource.com). Graphic pillows from Blockshop complete the look (from $70; blockshop.com)
Shop Like a Restauranteur For sturdy, portable chairs I turned to Los Angeles furniture company Bend Modern, which outfits instagrammable restaurants with its elegantly colored, striking seating. We chose the Bunny Lounge Chair in Olive for its svelte lines, sturdy build, and its garden-ready hue. ($384; bendgoods.com)
Light It Up Phillips Hue smart outdoor spotlights placed along the hedge illuminate the space well into the evening and extend the time we can enjoy the outdoors by hours. Use the proprietary app to set them on a timer. ($99; meethue.com)
Set the Table While we sourced most of our furniture locally, we ordered a sturdy acacia dining table from Article, the excellent direct to consumer furniture brand. It doubles as dining table and sprawling work from home desk and assembled easily within minutes. ($699; article.com)
Throw Some Shade Just like a window can benefit from a shade to obstruct views or let in light, consider hanging a Sunbrella canvas curtain to block a view or provide privacy. We hung one to block the view of a cluttered side yard and use a long tension rod to hang another for outdoor movie nights. (from $95; outdoorcurtains.com)
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Lifestyle + Bow
style + Bow
The Mindful Explorer
me + Design
by KATE WERTHEIMER Portrait by ANA PEDRERO
d and Drink
In 2012, West Coast-based native New Yorker Jeanine Pesce started RANGE, an agency and magazine specializing in trend forecasting and creative production in the outdoor industry. “I’m interested in the inGarden tersection of art, design, sustainability, and the outdoors,” says Pesce. RANGE produces the weekly Horizon Report and advises brands to tell stories focusing on the human connection to the outdoors rather than mere performance. Thanks to her work, Pesce thinks twice before gearing up. “It’s important to educate myself about the brands I support,” she says. “That’s how I make an impact, even if it’s a small one.” To begin your own conscious consumer journey, follow in Pesce’s footsteps: Values have value
“You can spend hours combing through corporate sustainability reports, or you can download the Good On You app, which reviews and rates tons of brands on ethical policies and practices ranging from child labor and worker safety to energy use, carbon emissions, and water impact.”
Durable = Sustainable
“I’ll spend more money on a pair of boots from a heritage brand like Danner or Blundstone because I know they will literally last forever. I also look for brands with in-house repair and rewear programs like Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Levi’s.”
“The Outdoor CEO Diversity pledge, created by Teresa Baker, shows exactly which CEOs have pledged to increase representation internally at the corporate level and externally through consumer-facing initiatives and campaigns featuring diverse athletes and ambassadors.”
Pesce’s eyecatching issues of RANGE magazine come out about two times a year.
Designed for recovery and relaxation, hit reset and the pool with these ultra-lights. Perfect for sliding into summer. $50, Chacos.com
The lightweight merino blend offers durability and thermal properties, along with versatile style. $90, Arcteryx.com
This small waistpack makes organization easy on quick trips, or as a secondary pack while traveling. $50, Arcteryx.com
A great bandana is the perfect accessory (or mask!) with just about any outfit. $19, Patagonia.com
JEANINE PESCE â€™S PIC KS FOR
Durable, stylish, and functional options
Inspired by old-school workwear, this denim jacket is made for layering. $88, Everlane.com
These essential coveralls are a nod to traditional workwear, with classic elements and a two-way stretch to stay comfy all day. $189, Topo Designs
A bright take on classic hikers, this collaboration by Topo Designs and Danner Trail is the best of both brands. $160, Topodesigns.com Made of 100% recycled nylon, these shorts include a durable water repellent finish. $55, Patagonia.com
These timeless round sunglasses are designed to fit beautifully on any face. $490, Saltoptics.com
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From the Archives
Subscribe@sunset.com for information on exclusive, subscriber-only limited-edition poster prints. SPRING 2020
FOOD & DRINK Garden
Best New Grills
Food and Drink
Home + Design
Author Phyllis Grant’s technicolor salads combine vibrant produce and simple, smart techniques—but they also tell a story.
Hearts of Romaine with Avocado Bowls and Garlic Anchovy Vinaigrette
Lifestyle + Bow
By ELLEN FORT Photographs by THOMAS J. STORY
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unlight beams through the windows of Phyllis Grant’s kitchen, lending a magazine-worthy glow to everything it touches, from the 12-foot butcher block island to the bowl of Kishu mandarins casually luxuriating on an olive wood platter. It’s clear that this is the beating heart of the home that Grant shares with her kids, Dash, 12, and Bella, 17, and her husband, the actor Matthew Ross (you’ll recognize him from roles such as Gavin Belson in Silicon Valley). It’s a natural gathering place for family and friends, with glass-paned accordion doors that open onto a generous deck, marble countertops, and, perhaps best of all, a refrigerated drawer dedicated solely to cheese. Grant, a Berkeley native, has been cooking at home for years, chronicling her life as a parent and human on her blog Dash and Bella. She’s also worked in pastry in the fast-paced kitchens of New York. Those recipes, memories, and moments are now bound together in her memoir, Everything Is Under Control. It’s the kind of book you gobble up in one sitting—and her recipes are just as alluring. You can find her most recent recipes on Instagram tagged #hellasalads. So what are hella salads? Grant’s use of the word “hella” is a nod to her Northern California upbringing, where the Oaklandoriginating slang term is used in abundance. It’s a MerriamWebster-approved expression of “extremely,” or “a lot of.” “When I moved to New York City in 1988 no one had heard it before, so we used it to show where we were from.” says Grant. “Now Taylor Swift uses it in her songs but for a while there it was our special Bay Area word. Hella rad. Hella awesome. Hella salads.” After the rocky 2016 election, the word felt especially therapeutic. “At the time,” says Grant, “I was trying to rejoice in the beautiful things in my life. I was yelling a lot about things that I loved.” The book’s 17 recipes reflect Grant’s desire to always make eating a little bit more flavorful, more satisfying, and more comforting. “The goal was to move away from the preciousness of seasonality in some ways,” says Grant. “It’s this whole idea of universal cooking and templates, and of play and repetition, that’s made me a better cook.” Giving her salads a hashtag on Instagram gave them agency, sending pristine, lovingly arranged piles of Bay Area produce out into the world. Now others are following suit, perfecting anchovyspiked dressings and finding natural light that illuminates their own #hellasalads. It might not be a full-fledged movement yet, but the idea is right. Grilled radicchio with hot honey, cabbage salad with citrus-crème fraîche dressing, or avocado bowls with anchovy vinaigrette are all hella good choices. SUMMER 2020
Clockwise from the left: Isabel Ross, Sarah Marchick, Phyllis Grant, Margi Young, and Anne Marxer toast with rosé, while white lab Bodhi hangs out below.
Hearts of Romaine with Avocado Bowls and Garlic Anchovy Vinaigrette SERVES 6 / 25 MINUTES
For this recipe, choose avocados that are firm but ripe. You want them to hold their shape during peeling. 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets 2 large cloves garlic, microplaned 2 tbsp sherry vinegar 1 large shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp) 1 tbsp creamy Dijon mustard 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 3 hearts of romaine, large outer leaves removed 3 large avocados coarse salt and pepper, to taste Handful of parsley and cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely
1. Heat a small heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the anchovies and a splash of their oil, using a wooden spoon to break them apart. Turn the heat to low and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic smells sweet and fragrant. Whisk in the vinegar and bring to a simmer, then add the shallots and cook for 20 seconds more. Remove
from heat and whisk in the mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste, and add more olive oil if it’s too tangy. If it doesn’t emulsify right away, sometimes it’s helpful to pour the mixture into a jar and shake vigorously. 2. In a large salad bowl, toss romaine with salt, pepper, chopped herbs, and ½ the dressing, using your hands to completely coat the leaves. Add more salt or dressing to taste, reserving enough vinaigrette to fill your avocado bowls. 3. Halve and pit the avocados. Carefully peel off the skin. Place the halves cut-side up on top of the dressed salad. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Divide the remaining vinaigrette evenly amongst the avocado halves. Scatter chopped herbs across salad. Serve immediately.
HOW TO #HELLASALAD Bypass the Bowl
“I used to throw everything into a large salad bowl and toss and toss,” says Grant. “The flavors were good but there was always a sad herby sludge remaining at the bottom of the bowl. I have a new approach. For more control and easier serving, I assemble my more complicated salads on a cookie sheet, large plate, or platter.”
“Toss the greens with dressing, herbs, and salt. Then layer on delicate peach halves or Yukon Gold slices or fans of sliced avocado. For more flavor (and glistening beauty!), paint or drizzle the sliced fruit or vegetable with garlic lemon oil. Next is the cheese (wisps or craggy chunks or finely grated).”
Finish with a Flourish
“Rain down roasted chopped nuts, herbs, and coarse salt or smear in a swoosh of hummus, white bean purée, or Greek yogurt (mixed with lemon zest and herbs) on the plate before assembling.”
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Cabbage Salad with Citrus Dressing and Radishes SERVES 6 / 20 MINUTES
Slice cabbage thicker than you would when making a slaw, giving it a substantial crunch that remains even after it's drenched with tangy, creamy dressing. ½ head green cabbage ½ head red cabbage ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup lime and/or lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 1 garlic clove, microplaned 1 large shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp) 1 egg yolk 1 tbsp creamy Dijon mustard ½ tsp coarse salt ½ cup whole parsley and cilantro leaves 6 radishes Extra-virgin olive oil for the radishes
Core and slice the cabbage into ½-in ribbons (you want about 4 cups total) and place in a large salad bowl. In a jar with a lid, vigorously shake together the olive oil, lemon and lime juices, lemon zest, garlic, shallot, egg yolk, and mustard, until emulsified. Toss ¾ of the dressing and the salt with the cabbage until all leaves are well coated. Sprinkle parsley and cilantro leaves over cabbage. Cut the radishes into paperthin slices with a mandoline or a very sharp knife. Arrange the radish slices over most of the top of the cabbage salad. Spoon over or brush olive oil directly onto the radishes. MAKE AHEAD: This salad can be made up to an hour ahead of time, and is excellent the next day.
Phyllis Grant and her daughter, Isabel Ross, prepping a salad together at home.
Grilled Treviso Radicchio Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pistachios, and Hot Honey SERVES 6 / 25 MINUTES
The bitterness of the charred chicories is balanced with a generous drizzle of spicysweet honey and wisps of salty cheese. If you can’t find Treviso, use any kind of radicchio, hearts of romaine, endive, or escarole. More is more with this salad so go to town with the toppings. FOR THE HOT HONEY: ½ cup honey 2 jalapeños or Fresno chiles, thinly sliced, stems discarded
FOR THE GARLIC LEMON OIL: ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, microplaned Zest of ½ lemon
FOR THE DRESSING: 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp fish sauce ¼ cup crème fraîche or whole milk Greek yogurt 1 tbsp hot honey 1 clove garlic, microplaned FOR GRILLING AND ASSEMBLY:
3 heads of Treviso radicchio 1 ½ tsp kosher salt 1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped 16 paper-thin ricotta salata wisps (use a vegetable peeler) Extra hot honey for drizzling
FOR THE HOT HONEY: Combine chile slices with honey in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. When cool, strain honey into a jar. Finely chop chile slices and place in a jar with a lid that you will use for your salad dressing. FOR THE GARLIC LEMON OIL: Pour olive oil into a jar. Stir in garlic and lemon zest. FOR THE DRESSING: To the jar with the chopped chiles, add the vinegar, olive oil, fish sauce, crème fraîche, hot honey, and garlic. Shake vigorously until emulsified.
Taste and adjust. You want it sweet and acidic enough to hold up to the bitter greens. FOR THE GRILLING AND ASSEMBLY: Cut the Treviso radicchio in half lengthwise. Trim off any unappetizing bits of the stem but make sure to leave enough to keep the leaves connected at the base. Place halves cut-side up on a cookie sheet. Generously drizzle with the garlic lemon oil and season with the salt. Heat a ridged or flat cast iron pan over
high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, place radicchio halves cut-side down in the pan. Grill until slightly charred, about 30 seconds. Flip over and grill the other side for about 10 seconds. Arrange radicchio halves on a platter, cut-side up. Drizzle with dressing, making sure it seeps down in between the leaves. Scatter with pistachios and ricotta salata wisps. Drizzle with hot honey. MAKE AHEAD: This salad holds its shape and tastes even better the next day. THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
The practice of great coffee
Making a cup can be a reward in itself. Here’s how to turn your daily habit into a lifelong passion.
ith a little know-how, coffee is one of those pursuits that you can enjoy no matter where you sit on the spectrum of expertise. Great raw materials and a little bit of technique go a long way toward a great cup. But with each new bag of beans, each new threshold of knowledge or piece of equipment, you might find yourself being pulled further and further into the cup. Just ask Scott Callender, who loved espresso so much he started giving it away for free from a counter out of his Napa kitchen. “I started putting a menu in the window, and next thing I knew, I’d throw open my window to find 20 people lined up. To this day, it was one of the purest expressions of what I wanted to do.” You won’t find Scott in Napa any longer, but that’s for good reason: The pursuit of coffee pulled him in so thoroughly that he’s now living and working in Seattle as a VP with high-end coffee powerhouse La Marzocco. Like Scott, many of the experts we spoke with started with a simple love of coffee, and sharing that love with others. “I started drinking coffee at 5 years old with my father,” says Andrea Allen, the 2020 United States Barista Champion. “People see this elaborate setup By MATT BEAN Opener photographs by REN FULLER
Base Camp Birria SERVES 8 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
When we asked Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos 1. In a large pot over medium high heat, to host a camp cooking workshop last year, heat oil over medium high heat until his advice was “don’t cook” and then taught shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions us a killer 5-minute recipe for salmon ceviche. and cook until translucent and lightly For this feature he shared a slightly more caramelized, about 5 minutes. Season involved but still easy slow-simmered take on with salt. Add chiles and garlic, cook for ubiquitous birria, albeit made with lamb another 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, rather than the traditional goat or recently cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan trending beef. peppercorns, and cook for another 20 minutes over medium high heat stirring frequently. Once aromatic, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil orange juice, water and vinegar and let 1 large white onion, diced cook five more minutes. Transfer to a 1 tbsp kosher salt blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. 10 guajillo chiles 2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. 4 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very 2 morita chile, stemmed and seeded large pot over medium high heat, cook 10 cloves garlic lamb until browned, about 7 minutes a 1 cup roma tomatoes, roughly chopped side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover 1 tbsp cumin seeds and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. 6 allspice berries 3. If you are packing this to cook later, cool 1 tsp sansho pepper or sichuan peppercorns completely. Transfer to a large resealable 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar food storage bag or vacuum pack it and 2 cups orange juice freeze flat. Keep frozen until ready to 2 cups water eat. When ready to eat, thaw bag in a 1 tbsp kosher salt 5-gallon bucket of water, transfer to a 6 lbs boneless lamb rump, cut into 4-6 inch pot, and simmer over medium heat pieces until hot. 24 corn tortillas 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and Garnish: warm corn tortillas. 2 cups chopped white onion 2 cups chopped cilantro
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"People see this elaborate setup at their favorite shop and they get intimidated. But you can make good coffee at home without much experience." at their favorite coffee shop and they get intimidated. They think it’s too big, expensive, and hard to use. That’s because they’re looking at a commercial style setup. But you can actually make good coffee at home even without much coffee experience.” Lucky for you, Andrea and her colleagues at Onyx Coffee are now teaching virtual barista classes for Breville over Zoom. Log on, and for about $100 they’ll coach you through the finer points of pulling the perfect espresso, steaming milk, and crafting pure and delicious pour-over coffees. For Jerad Morrison, co-founder of Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco and Los Angeles, inspiration came from the Italians. "My genuine interest in coffee began when I was 18 and working as a barista at the family-owned Torrefazione Italia in Seattle,” Jerad recalls. “Their approach was very traditional and had strong cultural and social emphasis, so the preparation was classic and pure—no additives, only espresso and frothed milk. It was the first time I realized that coffee was a medium that could be worked with, and, if done thoughtfully, could inspire the person it was prepared for.” From caffeine delivery mechanism to cultural and social connector: That’s how deep in our veins this simple fruit extract runs. As you go deeper into the coffee world, you may find yourself doing the math on some of the scaleddown espresso machines that will deliver café-quality drinks in the home. At $6 per cup for some speciality coffees—not to mention the immunological exposure to a trip out of the house—there’s never been a better time to invest in a quality at-home espresso machine. But great coffee is possible even without a pricey setup. Just ask Erika Vonie, the 2017 New York Masters of Coffee winner, who now works as an independent consultant across a range of different coffee businesses. “Specialty coffee can be for anyone,” says Erika. “Whatever parts of coffee that you like will help drive you forward. You can learn about freshness, countries of origin, agronomy, climate, harvest, seasonality, treatment, and so on. What flavor profiles, what strength of caffeine, what sort of method are you interested in perfecting. It creates an infinite SUMMER 2020
number of avenues to explore.” Sound like a lot? It is. But that’s why knowing how to make great coffee is a practice, a journey, rather than a race. You’ve got the rest of your life to get there. So let’s start small. Coffee Rule #1 Match Your Bean to Your Method There’s more to a blend than light or dark roast. “Coffee is like fashion,” says Scott, “and the level of roast comes in and out of vogue. We’re just coming off a period where roasters were vying to roast the lightest. If you’re enjoying a pour-over, lighter roasts will allow heirloom coffees to shine through. It’s talking about coffee like wine, for its own sake—the farm, the variety, whether it’s grown on the side of a volcano.” Whether you’re able to identify flavor compounds—floral, nutty, rose hips—is part of your individual journey. But if you take your coffee with milk, or you’re making espresso, you might opt for a darker roast. Coffee Rule #2 Buy Fresh Beans, and Treat Them Well The quality of your beans has a major impact on the quality of your coffee. “The farther out you get from the roast date the more flavor components and the more acid you lose,” says Andrea. Brew right away, however, and the coffee might not have had a chance to off-gas. If you’re serious about your beans, buy an air-tight container and keep them out of the sun and away from temperature fluctuations. Failing that, “make sure to push all of the air out of the bag before you stash it, and only grind as much as you need—ground coffee loses moisture more easily,” says Erika. Coffee Rule #3 Great Brews Start with a Great Grind Our experts universally agree: Blade grinders should be banished. No matter how hard you shake while they’re whirring away, inconsistencies in the size of the particles will lead to uneven exposure to the hot water—the same principle behind getting a uniform size on vegetables or meat before making a stew or mirepoix. What you want instead is a burr
The pourover set up at the Kyoto location of Blue Bottle, the next wave coffee company that got its start in Oakland but now spans the globe.
VONIE: @ZACSANTANELLO; CALLENDER: SHAYAN ASGHARNIA
TOP: SEONGMI HONG/UNSPLASH; MORRISON: MICHAEL O'NEAL;
ANDREA ALLEN WINNER, 2020 UNITED STATES BARISTA CHAMPIONSHIPS, CO-OWNER ONYX COFFEE ROASTERS AND CAFE
SCOTT CALLENDER VP LA MARZOCCO, FORMER AMATEUR ENTHUSIAST
JERAD MORRISON CO-FOUNDER, SIGHTGLASS COFFEE
ERIKA VONIE 2017 NEW YORK COFFEE MASTERS CHAMPION, COFFEE GRADING CONSULTANT
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grinder. These come in electric or hand cranked form, and you should look for an adjustable solution that allows you to dial in the grain size. For pourovers, you might want a coarser texture, but for espressos a fine texture capable of providing backpressure against the water is desired. In lieu of a burr grinder, have the local coffee shop grind your coffee for you before you bring it home or before it is delivered.
Coffee Rule #5 Watch Your Ratios When baristas weigh the “portafilter,” or espresso device, before brewing and then the cup as it fills, they’re trying to get the ratio of raw materials to finished product correct. “Just as you would in baking to ensure precision, you really want to make sure you get the right water-to-coffee ratio,” says Jerad. “Think of it as a basic recipe that consists of coffee and water.” No scale? No problem. With a pourover, Jerad says you can keep the handy 1:4 rule in mind. That's one tablespoon of coffee for every four ounces of water. NOTE: The following rules apply primarily to espresso systems Coffee Rule #6 Match Your Gear to Your Passion “Some equipment gives you an exponential jump in capability,” says Scott. “But some of it is more about appreciation. The more you know about wine, the more that $100 bottle is going to be worth it. If
you buy into the story that it makes it not only good to drink but to think about, then it earns its keep. As you gain appreciation you can start to tell the subtle differences.” Coffee Rule #7 Tamp Wisely, Tamp Evenly Espresso machines are all about a fine grind, which provides resistance to the pressurized boiler head as it forces water through. Some espresso machines come with pressure-gated portafilters, which like capsule espresso options, cheat with a mechanical system for restricting the flow of water. This is like driving in the “manual” mode with your automatic car. What’s the point? If you’re getting this deep into the hobby, you want the real deal, where the size of your grind and the evenness of your tamp are of utmost importance. Dialing those in, shot after shot, is how you learn. Thereafter, mind the tamp. Use your bathroom scale (after a cleaning) to develop a steady 30-40 pounds on the tamper, holding it like an ice cream cone pointed down. An even grind, and a good, level tamp mean there are no escape routes for the water, which create an uneven brew with off flavors.
Palo Alto co-working space HanaHaus is home to a Blue Bottle Café. TOP LEFT: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES; TOP: COURTESY OF BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
Coffee Rule #4 Take Temperature into Account "One of the biggest problems I see with beginning coffee enthusiasts is brewing temperature,” says Andrea. “Many of them don’t get up past 165 degrees.” You want between 165 and 195 degrees. A rolling boil is up at 212 degrees, so Jerad says he usually waits a minute after removing from the stove. “You want enough heat to extract the flavor, aroma, and body characters from your coffee grounds,” he notes, “but not too hot as that will begin to degrade these qualities.” Brewing duration will depend on the method of preparation as well as the coarseness of the grind.
Crazy Coffee! Inspired coffee concoctions don’t have to come with a wide-diameter straw and a dialysis machine. Specialty coffees are part of the competitions that both Andrea and Erika have won, and were a source of inspiration for Scott early in his career. Here, he tells us how to make a preparation called The Peacemaker. 2 1/2 oz. whole milk 2 1/2 oz. half & half 1 oz. Tuscan Sunrise simple syrup (recipe below) One extraction of espresso (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 oz.)
63% OF U.S. ADULTS DRINK COFFEE DAILY
THE PEACEMAKER: JENN CALLENDER
–The National Coffee Association USA
13oz Optimal amount of coffee for mood-boosting impact –2020
Harvard Medical School Study
Coffee drinkers were less likely to self-report depression –South Korean National Health Study of 10,000 Adults
1. Pour milk, half & half, and simple syrup into steaming pitcher. 2. Prep a shot of espresso. 3. Pull shot into drinking vessel. 4. Steam milk, half & half, and syrup mixture. 5. Pour milk into espresso. 6. Sprinkle ground clove on top. Tuscan Sunrise Simple Syrup 1/4 oz. black tea 2 cups water 1 cup white sugar 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground clove 1 tsp orange zest 1/2 cup orange juice 2 dashes of orange blossom water* *If you can’t find orange blossom water, increase orange zest to 1 1/2 tsp and orange juice to 3/4 cup. 1. Steep black tea in hot water on low heat for 10 minutes, until bitter. 2. Remove tea and add sugar to create black tea simple syrup. Whisk until all dissolved. 3. Add cinnamon, clove, and orange zest. Let sit on low heat for 10 minutes. Whisk often. 4. Strain to remove any sediment. 5. Add orange juice and orange blossom water and stir to combine. THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Coffee Rule #8: Froth, Pour, and Enjoy “Texturing milk is one of the hardest things to tackle,” says Andrea. But without mastering this step, next-level lattes, cortados, and macchiatos will remain out of reach. A few quick tips: Watch on YouTube (or take one of the Onyx classes) to learn how to position your steam wand in the pitcher. You can practice with water if you don’t want to waste milk. Use your hand to gauge the temperature of the milk: When the milk hits 98.6 degrees, that's the sign to lower the pitcher to begin introducing air; when the pitcher is almost too hot to hold, it’s done. The consistency should remind you of wet, white paint. Pouring is an entirely different skill. To create designs, pour in two waves. The first provides a canvas floating on top; the second creates the design. The greater the distance the steamed milk has to travel to reach the surface of the drink, the more it will gather speed and dive below. That’s why latte cups are low and wide. So tilt the pitcher, and tilt the cup together, and use momentum as your friend. AND NOW: The gear you need to get going!
THE GEAR: Chemex pourover ($43, chemex.com), Snow Peak Kettle (pictured at right; $130, Snowpeak.com) Time-tested and beloved by baristas and home brewers alike, the pourover offers a pure expression of a bean’s flavor profile. Designed in 1941 by an eccentric chemist, timeless.
Coffee Grinding Size
GROUP PHOTO: MATT BEAN
THE SETUP: Slow and Simple
THE SETUP: Cold-
brew, Overnight THE GEAR: Hario Coldbrew System ($35, Bluebottle. com) Stop paying $6 for iced coffee. It’s not rocket science: Throw some ground coffee in the filter of this unit and you’ll have wonderful coffee all week long, for a tenth of the price of store-bought brew. Next Wave, Now Cup Instant Coffee (pictured at left; $20, SwiftCupCoffee.com) Advances in freeze drying technology mean you can make a high-quality cup of coffee with the same dump-and-stir ease as the Sanka of yore. This batch from Canyon Coffee (pictured at left) in Los Angeles promises cocoa nib and peach flavors; it’s made by Swift Cup Coffee alongside dozens of other highend roasting brands. You’ll pay about $3 per cup, but if you’re in a hurry (or on the trail), it’s worth it.
THE GEAR: Swift
machines boasts a dual boiler system for keeping the brew head and steam wand ready for action simultaneously. You’ll coax wonderful shots out of this unit, but like a Leica rangefinder camera or a vintage manual race car, it requires finesse to see top results. Isn’t that part of the goal? Easy Espresso AeroPress ($30, Aeropress.com) Invented by the same entrepreneur behind the Aerobie, the magical flying disk, this system pressurizes coffee and water and pushes the brew through a thin paper filter. It baosts devotees across the country.
THE SETUP: THE GEAR:
The Convert Breville Barista Pro ($899, Breville.com) A perfect all-in-one solution for the at-home barista, this unit takes up minimal counter space, and looks good doing it. We’re huge fans of the integrated burr grinder— which saves additional space—as well as the smart grind adaptor feature. The best part: It’s ready to brew mere seconds after firing up. THE SETUP: THE GEAR:
The Virtuoso Linea Mini ($5,400, LaMarzocco.com) Used in many commercial contexts, the Ferrari of espresso
THE SETUP: THE GEAR:
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Thrill of the Grill
Whether you’re a propane proponent or disciple of the slow and low, we’re living in the golden era of grilling. These are the best new grills in the west. By SUNSET STAFF
. Photograph by REN FULLER
FOOD Stahl Aluminum Firepit Packable and light, this aluminum camping grill is perfect for impromptu tailgates and carry-in overnighters. $500, Stahl.com
Base Camp Birria SERVES 8 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
When we asked Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos 1. In a large pot over medium high heat, to host a camp cooking workshop last year, heat oil over medium high heat until Big Green Egg XL his advice was “don’t cook” and then taught shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions The legendary Kamado-style us a killer 5-minute recipe for salmon ceviche. and cook until translucent and lightly ceramic grill rightly has For this feature he shared a slightly more caramelized, about 5a minutes. Season it cult-like following: can smoke, sear,cook and bake, involved but still easy slow-simmered take on with salt. Add chiles and garlic, for hold heat for 12 hours, and is ubiquitous birria, albeit made with lamb another 5 minutes.virtually Add chopped tomato, indestructible. rather than the traditional goat or recently cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan $1,200, Biggreenegg.com trending beef. peppercorns, and cook for another 20 minutes over medium high heat PK Go with stirring frequently. Once aromatic, add FlipKit 2 tbsp vegetable oil orange juice, water and vinegar and let This US-made 1 large white onion, diced aluminum cook five more minutes. Transfer to a 1 tbsp kosher salt hibachi is a blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. 10 guajillo chiles study in func2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. tional portabil4 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded ity: cam-locks Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very 2 morita chile, stemmed and seeded keep the lid on large pot over medium high heat, cook 10 cloves garlic tight in transit lamb until browned, about 7 minutes a and twin vents 1 cup roma tomatoes, roughly chopped create true side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover 1 tbsp cumin seeds two-zone and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. 6 allspice berries cooking in a 3. If you are packing this to cook later, cool sturdy, tidy 1 tsp sansho pepper or sichuan peppercorns package. $270, completely. Transfer to a large resealable 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar PKgrills.com food storage bag or vacuum pack it and 2 cups orange juice freeze flat. Keep frozen until ready to 2 cups water eat. When ready to eat, thaw bag in a 1 tbsp kosher salt 5-gallon bucket of water, transfer to a 6 lbs boneless lamb rump, cut into 4-6 inch pot, and simmer over medium heat pieces o all the Grills I’ve Loved Before until hot. 24 corn tortillas There are ceramic grill obsessives, PK freaks, pellet 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and grill devotees, and propane proponents who swear Garnish: warm corn tortillas. their grill, and only theirs, is the ne plus ultra of 2outdoor cook- white onion cups chopped ery. But that’s just not me. The rogue’s gallery of2sooty, dusty, cilantro cups chopped grills up and down my side yard and driveway is a testament to the fact that I’ve never been binary about BBQ. I just got my sixth and it’s a stunner: an extra large Big Green Egg. It can reverse sear a thick duroc pork chop, roast smoked paprika fingerlings, and bake za’tar-spiked sourdough flatbread on the pizza stone on a single load of charcoal. I’m going to learn everything I can from it in the coming months, because every grill has something to teach, if you're willing to put in the work to learn. My favorite grill one summer was the Japanese Hari Konro on which I cooked burnished teriyaki over the clean-burning bincho shaped PK Grill forged in Arkansas and cook plump jidori tan charcoal preferred by yakitori specialists. It produced an chicken thighs over applewood. My propane-fueled Weber is a intense dry heat that rewarded the attentive cooking of very 20 year veteran of impromptu weeknight grilled chicken thigh small pieces of vegetables and food. It was not a grill you turned dinners. We now mostly use it to cook smash burgers on a cast to for convenience, but for the push pull of turning, basting, and iron plancha because we’re really missing going to diners these seasoning. In turn you were rewarded with delightfully tender days. Each grill brings me a different kind of joy, requiring and savory bites of food that you found yourself eating with the varying degrees of focus, each with a distinct utility. I admit it. same attention that you cooked it. And then one day it was gone, I’m a polygrillist. I’m irrationally in love with each of my grills. stolen by a thief with very good taste. My trusty old kettle grill And I can’t wait to use them all this summer. —Hugh Garvey now looks forlorn whenever I fire up my cast aluminum capsule
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he Call of the Smoker
One morning fairly soon, I’ll wake just before dawn, stroll outside in my bathrobe, and start a fire in my barbecue. Newspaper lights charcoal lights oak, sending curls of sweet smoke through the 20-inch steel barrel, up the chimney, and out to perfume my neighborhood. Onto the grill I’ll load a lot of meat—pork belly, pork butt, a brisket, occasionally a whole pig—and then… I’ll wait. I’ll drink coffee, do a crossword, listen to NPR or a mix of 1984’s best pop music, water the herb garden, and monitor the smoker’s temperature, adding wood or adjusting the flue to maintain the slowand-low heat essential to good barbecue. It will take a long time—till mid-afternoon at least—but that’s precisely the point. Human beings have been smoking since the Stone Age, devoting untold millions of hours to transforming hard-won meat into savory, long-lasting meals. Today, engaging in that ritual feels more vital than ever. We are encouraged to stay home, close to hearth and family. We have time, often more than we know what to do with. And we are newly devoted to the fundamentals of life, to transforming raw ingredients with care into food that will sustain both body and soul. For months we’ve been baking and preserving— and now it's time to start smoking. You don’t have to geek out off the bat. My first was a cheap Char-Griller from a hardware store, and though it leaked smoke and heat, it yielded several summers’ worth of festive meals. Fatty cuts of pork make excellent starting points (they’re forgiving) with simple rubs of salt, pepper, and ground chiles. From there, progress to beef short ribs, salmon or bluefish, maybe a duck—and always remember to throw on a couple of eggplants, for turning into babaganoush. And if, one day, you wind up (like me) loading whole animals into a smoker the size of a locomotive that occupies half your backyard, I’ll gladly accept the blame—along with an invitation to your next barbecue. —Matt Gross Ferno Grill Born on the central coast of California, the burly ceramicinsulated, gas-fueled Ferno grill’s unique crank wheel allows you to raise and lower the burners underneath the grate to control heat and prevent flareups. $5,000, Fernogrills.com
Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill Pellet grilling enthusiasts love the ease of use, precise temperature control, and smoky results. The Pro Series sports a beefed up drivetrain and is now Alexa enabled, $800, Traegergrills.com
Base Camp Birria SERVES 8 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
Three barbeque essentials
When we asked Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos 1. In a large pot over medium high heat, SNOW PEAK to host a camp cooking workshop last year, heat oil over medium high heat until CAMPER’S MITTEN his advice was “don’t cook” and then taught shimmering, The about 1 minute. Add onions lobster-claw shape and slip-on us a killer 5-minute recipe for salmon ceviche. and cook until translucent and lightly ease of this set Spark Grill For this feature he shared a slightly more caramelized,makes aboutit5aminutes. favorite Season ColoradoinvolvedThis but still easy slow-simmered take on with salt. Add chiles indoor andand out.garlic, $42, cook for based upstart Snowpeak.com ubiquitous birria, albeit made with lamb another 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, upends the rather than the traditional goat or recently cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan charcoal grill trendingcategory beef. with peppercorns, and cook for another electric igni20 minutes over medium high heat tion, app-constirring frequently. Once aromatic, add trolled temps, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and proprieorange juice, water and vinegar and let 1 large white onion, diced tary briquets cook five more minutes. Transfer to a that can 1 tbsp kosher saltheat blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. steadily from 10 guajillo chiles 200 to 900 2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. 4 ancho chile, stemmed degrees. $800, and seeded Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very 2 morita Sparkgrills.com chile, stemmed and seeded large pot over medium high heat, cook 10 cloves garlic lamb until browned, 7 minutes a FILSON TINabout CLOTH 1 cup roma tomatoes, roughly chopped APRON side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover 1 tbsp cumin seeds Stripped down and and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. heavy duty, this 6 allspice berries 3. If you are packing this to cook later, cool apron is fashioned 1 tsp sansho pepper or sichuan peppercorns to break intotoa filarge t completely. Transfer resealable 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar your frame as food storage bag vacuum pack it and youoruse it. 2 cups orange juice freeze flat. Keep frozen until ready to $95, Filson.com 2 cups water eat. When ready to eat, thaw bag in a 1 tbsp kosher salt 5-gallon bucket of water, transfer to a 6 lbs boneless lamb rump, cut into 4-6 inch pot, and simmer over medium heat pieces until hot. corn tortillas Barebones24 Cowboy Grill 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and The grate on this low-slung kettle Garnish: and swivels, warm corn tortillas. grill is height-adjustable cups chopped allowing you2to position yourwhite food onion precisely to 2 avoid and get just cupsflareups chopped cilantro the right amount of char. Forthcoming from Barebonesliving.com
KINGSFORD WOOD PELLETS
These pure hardwood pellets amplify the flavor of your food in five varities, including cherry, hickory, and maple. $15, Kingsford.com
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hen you’re cooking on a trek, you make do with what you have. For me, that’s real food-not the fake stuff. I refuse to resign myself to shrink-wrapped, freeze-dried, shelf-stable simulacra. Why eat like an astronaut when you’ve got the great outdoors for a kitchen? The purists eschew even grill grates, scoff at utensils. I’ve thrown a frozen steak into my pack, then cooked it later that day directly on the coals. A bag of potatoes, ground meat, onions and spices tossed into the flames was a common meal during my Boy Scout days. Argentines prop meat up at an angle above the flames to mouthwatering effect. Elevate your toolkit just a bit and you’re able to coax out flavor from the commonest of ingredients. On the bed of a moss-covered riverbank, a friend and I once used a tiny gas stove to cook a baggie of par-boiled pasta noodles and pre-cooked bacon into an incredible carbonara. He’d carried a baguette in the straps of his backpack meant for hiking poles. We’d gone 25 miles that day; I fell in love with that pasta. I love the constraints as much as I do the freedom of cooking outside. Throw your tortillas directly onto the grates— after giving them a scrub with the foil you carried the tortillas in. Use a prong or a stick to fire-roast red and green peppers to perfection, rotating to reach all sides equally as you might a marshmallow. Have a spice kit, and a tiny vial of olive oil, at the ready in your camping kit at all times. Direct flame, titanium pots, prongs and prods and skewers: I’ll take ‘em all. Outside, you’re not just a chef but you’re managing the fire too—which delivers a deep satisfaction that I’m sure is hard coded in the cro-magnon part of our brainstems. When your kitchen is the world, it’s hard to make a bad dish. —Matt Bean
Yoder Durango 20
A pro-grade smoker designed to cook enough brisket, sides of salmon, or whole hogs for 50 people. 900 pounds of American craftsmanship that should last a lifetime. $2,299, Yodersmokers.com
Snow Peak Takibi Grill
Portable grills can skimp on functionality. Not this smart setup from cult outdoors brand Snow Peak, which folds into shape in half a second. The grill surface can be raised in increments away from the flame, allowing you to vary heat and intensity; additional add-ons include a pizza oven and a cast iron rack. The entire setup folds neatly into a canvas carrying bag. $320, Snowpeak.com
LA chef Charles Olalia grills on a Snow Peak Takibi
THOMAS J. STORY
Big Green Egg XL The legendary Kamado-style ceramic grill rightly has a cult-like following: it can smoke, sear, and bake, hold heat for 12 hours, and is virtually indestructible. ($1,199); biggreenegg.com) THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Your ultimate summer cookout solution
Campsite cookout or backyard bacchanal, itâ€™s time to think like a chef. The secret? Plan, prep, and, yes, bag your food in advance. The payoff? A super-fast outdoor feast. By ELLEN FORT & HUGH GARVEY Photographs by REN FULLER
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e asked the West’s best chefs to tell us how to eat well in the wild. We didn’t want to hear their impossible fantasy of handcaught trout and foraged berry clafoutis served on tables lined with beeswax candelabras. We wanted to know how they really cooked, without a battalion of prep cooks to back them up, equipped with just a cooler, a pot, and open flame. We’re happy to report that not one chef offered up ideas for artisanal s’mores or gourmet hot dogs. Their advice was refreshingly, resoundlingy, emphatically the same: prep, cook, and, yes, bag what you can in advance. While a vacuum sealer certainly helps, you can go the more eco-friendly route and use washed ziploc bags or reusable silicone bags such as those made by Stasher. It turns out the chefs' advice also happens to apply perfectly to the home front. Now that we're shopping less frequently and cooking more than ever, meal planning and prepping in advance can make our lives so much easier, and our meals more enjoyable. Whether you're making stews in advance and freezing them for an easy mid-week meal or pre-marinating meat and vegetables on Saturday for a lazy Sunday cookout, the solution is in the bag.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with Thai Black Mustard Glaze SERVES 4 / 45 MINUTES
RENDON: STAN LEE
We all know food cooked over the open fire in the wild tastes amazing, even humble burgers and brats. You know what tastes even better? An exceptional cut of heirloom pork, like this Berkshire bone-in loin chop. The marbling on this cut is exceptional, but the complex, deeply flavored glaze from Juan Rendon, chef de cuisine at Gwen is Los Angeles, would make even a humble supermarket chop sing. Squid ink gives this mustard its deep black color. Squid ink is available online, though the mustard is delicious with or without it.
4 1 ½ inch bone-in pork loin chops 1 large shallot (about 3 oz), halved, peeled 6 garlic cloves, peeled 6 Thai chiles 1 serrano chile 1 tsp coriander seeds 3/4 tsp cumin seeds 2/3 cup packed brown sugar ½ cup rice vinegar ½ cup Dijon mustard 4 limes, juiced 1/4 cup fish sauce 8 cloves black garlic 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 2 ½ tsp kosher salt 1 bunch Thai basil, leaves and tender stems only (about 4 loosely packed cups) 1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only (about 4 loosely packed cups) 1 tsp squid ink, optional
heat, add coriander seeds and cumin seeds and cook, stirring occassionally, until toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add toasted seeds to blender. 3. Add sugar, vinegar, mustard, 1/3 cup lime juice, fish sauce, black garlic cloves, ginger, and salt to blender. Blend until mixture is completely smooth, scraping sides as needed. Add basil, cilantro, and squid ink, if using, and blend again until completely smooth. Check seasoning and add more salt and lime juice, if necessary. Let cool, transfer to a shatterproof container, and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. 4. To make the pork, build a two-zone fire in a charcoal or gas grill, or fire ring. For a gas grill set half the burners to medium-high heat and the other half to low. For a charcoal grill or fire ring, bank the hottest coals up and to one side of the cooking area. 5. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook for three minutes on one side, brush the top with sauce, and turn over. Cook for three minutes more. Brush the top with sauce and flip pork chop. Cook three minutes more. If the sauce begins to burn or flare-ups occur, move the pork to the cool side of the grill. Repeat until the pork chops are burnished a deep golden brown and the internal temperature reads 125 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer pork chops to a cutting board. Let rest ten minutes and then slice into ¼ inch slices against the grain.
Charred Spicy Broccolini SERVES 4 / 45 MINUTES
1. To make the sauce, preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add shallots, garlic cloves (not black garlic), Thai chiles, and serrano chile, and cook, turning occasionally, until charred all over (about 4 minutes for Thai chiles, 6 minutes for garlic, 8 minutes for serrano chile, and 12 minutes for shallots). Transfer charred shallots, garlic, and chiles to a blender. 2. Heat a small heavy skillet over medium
Partially cook this spicy cruciferous side dish in the kitchen before finishing it on the grill for more smoke and char. 4 bunches broccolini, about 3 pounds 2 tsp kosher salt 5 cloves garlic, sliced 3 Thai bird chiles or 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced 2 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
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FOOD Charred Spicy Broccolini (continued)
1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add broccolini to a pot and cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about three minutes. Transfer broccolini to ice water to chill. Once broccolini is cool, transfer to a colander and drain. 2. Add garlic, chiles, fish sauce, sugar, and sesame oil to a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined and sugar has dissolved. Combine broccolini and fish sauce mix in a large resealable food storage bag or vacuum food bag and seal. Refrigerate immediately. 3. Build a two-zone fire in a charcoal or gas grill or fire ring. For a gas grill set half the burners to high medium-high heat and the other half to low. For a charcoal grill or fire ring, bank the hottest coals up and to one side of the cooking area. 4. Place broccolini on the hot side of the grill.
Packable Pozole Rojo SERVES 6 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
COOPER: KORT HAVENS
Brett Cooper, Culinary Director of Sightglass in Los Angeles, loves camping in Big Sur with his family. To make his outings hassle-free he cryovacs and freezes much of his food in an advance, including this hearty, smoky, pozole rojo. If you want to skip the added time and effort of cooking dried hominy, feel free to use canned. 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on 16 oz dried hominy (can substitute 32 oz canned/cooked) 2 tbsp smoked paprika 4 guajillo chiles, dried, stems and seeds removed 4 ancho chiles, dried, stems and seeds removed 6 cups chicken stock 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1/2 yellow onion, peeled 2 dried bay leaves 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp ground toasted cumin salt black pepper
1. The night before you want to cook the pozole, soak the dried hominy in water, covered by at least 3 inches. This can be done at room temperature. Season the chicken thighs with salt, black pepper, and a dusting of smoked paprika. Place them in a container covered in the refrigerator. 2. The next day, make the hominy. Drain the hominy and discard the liquid. Place the hominy in a pot and cover it with water. Add a pinch of salt and simmer aggressively over medium-high heat until they are all splitting open and tender, about 2 hours. Remove from heat and let stand in the cooking liquid. 4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. Place the chicken thighs into a high-sided baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and lower the temperature to 375. Carefully add 1/3 of the chicken stock, 2 cloves of garlic, half of the onion, and the bay leaves. Cover with foil and return to the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is falling off of the bone. Let it cool for a while in the liquid, then remove the skin, bones, and bay leaves and discard. Strain out the garlic and onion and place it in a blender. Shred the chicken meat and return it to the cooking liquid and set aside. 5. Place the chiles on a pan and toast in the oven at 375 for 4 minutes. Place them in the blender with the cooked onion and garlic. Add the rest of the raw garlic and onion, the oregano, cumin, and the rest of the chicken stock. Blend on high until very smooth, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine sieve (optional). Add the blended ingredients to the shredded chicken and its cooking liquid. Add as much hominy as you'd like and season to taste.
A Camper’s Cryo Cooking Countdown
Buy the best coolers possible and stock up on low profile ice packs. You want your coolers at 37 degrees for the entirety of your trip. And we say coolers plural because you’ll need enough space to accommodate your food and ice packs (a good rule of thumb is a ratio of 50/50).
2 days before travel day, cook, cool, and bag your food. We used a mix of food-safe gallon-sized resealable bags and cryovac bags sealed with a Nesco American Harvest vaccum sealer. For a zerowaste version use Stasher storage bags. Freeze soups, braises, and meats intended for days two and three. Day one food bags don't need to be frozen. They can double as supplemental ice packs in your cooler.
On travel day load in your food with the last day’s food on the bottom of the cooler and the first day’s on top. Dedicate one cooler to meats, poultry, and fish. Keep vegetables and sauces in another. Cook the most perishable foods on the first day of your trip.
Thaw frozen foods in a 5-gallon bucket of water that can double as a dish rinse bucket at the end of the trip. In twenty minutes they’ll go from rock solid to ready to cook. Be sure to bring everything up to the recommended cooking temperatures before serving.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Base Camp Birria Packable Pozole Rojo (continued)
6. If you're thisACTIVE to cook later, SERVES 8 / 90saving MINUTES TIME
allow the posole to cool completely before transfering When we asked Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos 1. In a large pot over medium high heat, a large resealable storagelast bag, or to to host a camp cookingfood workshop year, heat oil over medium high heat until into a vacuum sealable bag. Freeze flat. his advice was “don’t cook” and then taught shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions to eat, thawfor bagsalmon in a 5-gallon us When a killerready 5-minute recipe ceviche. and cook until translucent and lightly of water, a pot,more and simForbucket this feature he transfer shared a to slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Season mer over medium heat until hot. Serve involved but still easy slow-simmered takewith on with salt. Add chiles and garlic, cook for cilantro, birria, diced onion, and lime ubiquitous albeit made withwedges. lamb another 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, rather than the traditional goat or recently trending beef.
Base Camp Birria SERVES 8 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
2 tbsp vegetable oil When we asked Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos 1 large white onion, diced to host a camp cooking workshop last year, 1 tbsp kosher salt his advice was “don’t cook” and then taught 10 guajillo chiles us a killer 5-minute recipe for salmon 4 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded ceviche. For this feature he shared a slightly 2 morita chile, stemmed and seeded more involved but still easy slow-simmered 10 cloves garlic take on ubiquitous birria, albeit made with 1 cup roma tomatoes, roughly chopped lamb rather than the traditional goat or re1 tbsp cumin seeds cently trending beef. 6 allspice berries 1 tsp sansho pepper or sichuan peppercorns 2 tbsp vegetable oil vinegar 1/2 cup apple cider 1 large white onion, 2 cups orange juice diced 1 cups tbsp kosher 2 water salt 10 guajillo chiles 1 tbsp kosher salt 4 ancho chile, and 6 lbs boneless stemmed lamb rump, cutseeded into 4-6 inch 2 morita chile, stemmed and seeded pieces 10 corn clovestortillas garlic 24 1 cup roma tomatoes, roughly chopped Garnish: 1 tbsp cumin seeds 2 chopped 6 cups allspice berrieswhite onion 2 cups chopped cilantro 1 tsp sansho pepper or sichuan peppercorns 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 2 cups orange juice 2 cups water 1 tbsp kosher salt 6 lbs boneless lamb rump, cut into 4-6 inch pieces 24 corn tortillas
cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan peppercorns, and cook for another another 20 minutes over medium high 20 minutes over medium high heat heat stirring frequently. Once aromatic, stirring frequently. Once aromatic, add add orange juice, water and vinegar and orange juice, water and vinegar and let let cook five more minutes. Transfer to a cook five more minutes. Transfer to a blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. 2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. 2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very large pot over medium high heat, cook large pot over medium high heat, cook lamb until browned, about 7 minutes a lamb until browned, about 7 minutes a side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. 3. If you are packing this to cook later, cool 3. If you are packing this to cook later, cool completely. Transfer to a large resealable completely. Transfer to a large resealable food storage bag or vacuum pack it and food storage bag or vacuum pack it and freeze flat. Keep frozen until ready to freeze flat. Keep frozen until ready to eat. When ready to eat, thaw bag in a eat. When ready to eat, thaw bag in a 5-gallon bucket of water, transfer to a 5-gallon bucket of water, transfer to a pot, and simmer over medium heat pot, and simmer over medium heat until hot. until hot. 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and warm corn tortillas. warm corn tortillas.
AVILA: BRADLEY TUCK
2 cups chopped white onion 2 cups chopped cilantro
1. In a large pot over medium high heat, heat oil over medium high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions and cook until translucent and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add chiles and garlic, cook for another 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan peppercorns, and cook for THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Granola Berry Base Camp Birria Barb Crisp SERVES 8 / 90 MINUTES ACTIVE TIME
This easy fruit When dessert we asked fromWes Valerie AvilaGordon of Guerilla Tacos of Valerie Confections to host a camp in Los cooking Angeles workshop last year, comes together his advice in minutes. was “don’t Use your cook”favorand then taught ite granola us fora the killer topping 5-minute alongside recipethe for salmon ceviche. berries of your For this choice. feature Bonus: he shared It’s alsoa inslightly more credible forinvolved breakfast. but still easy slow-simmered take on ubiquitous birria, albeit made with lamb than goat or recently 2 1/2 cups rather rhubarb, cutthe intotraditional ½-inch pieces trending beef. 2 cups mixed berries 3/4 cup sugar 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 large white onion, diced 2 cups granola 1 tbsp kosher saltand diced 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold 10 guajillo chiles 1 tbsp sugar 4 anchoflour chile, stemmed and seeded 1 tbsp all-purpose 2 morita chile, stemmed and seeded cloves garlic 1. Preheat 10 oven to 325 degrees. Generously cup roma roughly chopped butter an1 8-inch casttomatoes, iron skillet. 1 tbspsized cumin seeds 2. In a medium bowl, combine rhuallspicesugar, berriesand cornstarch. barb and6berries, tsp sanshoskillet. pepper or sichuan peppercorns Pour into1 prepared 1/2 cup apple vinegar 3. In the same bowl, toss cider granola, chilled 2 cupsand orange butter, sugar, flour.juice Cover the fruit cupsthe water mixture 2with granola mixture and kosherorsalt bake for 145tbsp minutes until fruit bub6 lbs lamb rump, cut into 4-6 inch bles up on theboneless sides and topping appears pieces crisp but not overly browned. 24 corn tortillas
Garnish: 2 cups chopped white onion 2 cups chopped cilantro
Compound Interest 1. In a large pot over medium high heat,
We’re already of the opinion that heat oil over medium high heat until everything's better with butter. shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onions And compound butter (butter and cook until translucent and lightly combined with herbs and other caramelized, about 5 minutes. Season flavor boosters) is even better. with salt. Add chiles and garlic, cook for These combinations from Kirsten another 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, Dixon of Alaskan adventure travel cumin, allspice, sansho or sichuan company Within the Wild, can be peppercorns, and cook for another made in advance and deployed at 20 minutes over medium high heat camp or at home. Dixon recomstirring frequently. Once aromatic, add mends filling packets of parchorange juice, water and vinegar and let ment paper with butter and vegecook five more minutes. Transfer to a tables or protein of choice before blender, blend thoroughly, and set aside. cooking on the grill. Or slather 2. For the lamb, preheat oven to 325. them onto grilled meat, roasted Season lamb liberally with salt. In a very potatoes, crusty bread, and pretty large pot over medium high heat, cook much anything else that strikes lamb until browned, about 7 minutes a your fancy. side. Add blended sauce to pan, cover and cook in oven at 325 for 2 1/2 hrs. 3. If you to aredo packing How it: this to cook later, cool completely. to a large resealable First, chooseTransfer a good butter. Soften 1 cupstorage (2 sticks) to room food bagoforbutter vacuum pack it and temperature. Add butter and defreeze flat. Keep frozen until of ready sired ingredients to the bowl a to eat. readyPulse to eat, thaw bag in a foodWhen processor. until mix-ins are fullybucket incorporated. Taste, and to a 5-gallon of water, transfer adjust ingredients as needed. Transpot, and simmer over medium fer to small containers and chill;heat until hot. stores well for up to a month. 4. Serve with diced onion, cilantro, and Cocktail Hour Butter warm tortillas. 1/4 cupcorn grated Parmigiano-Reggiano + 1/4 cup dry-cured olives, chopped + 1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/4 white miso + 1/4 cup tbsp sake + 2 tbsp nori flakes + 1 tbsp granulated garlic + 2 tbsp minced chives
Dried Fruit and Nut Butter
1/4 dried fruits, chopped (apricots, cranberries, blueberries) + ⅓ cup dried nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts), + 2 tsp vanilla extract + 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
GORDON: VALERIE CONFECTIONS
Spicy Hot Butter
2 tbsp hot sauce + 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes + 2 tbsp furikake + 2 tbsp minced chives
1/4 mixed mushrooms, chopped + 2 tbsp shiitake powder + 1 tbsp granulated garlic + 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
By ELLEN FORT AND MAYA WONG
. Photographs by THOMAS J. STORY
The Sunset Pantr y 1
Keep your cool on a hot summer night with ice-cold fruit-forward treats that use real, fresh produce like locally sourced watermelon and sweet mango purée—just don’t call it a kid’s dessert. 1. GoodPop Watermelon Agave
Fresh, locally sourced Texas watermelons make for a juicy base, while fair trade organic agave nectar adds a touch of sweetness. $5.40; goodpops.com
2+3. Chloe’s Fruit Pops
These creamy popsicles are vibrant orange and purple thanks to a minimalist blend of mango or pomegranate, lemon juice, water, and cane sugar. $4; chloesfruit.com
4. Solero Organic Strawberry Colada Crushed Fruit Bar
Coconuts are pureed into a fine cream then mixed with sun-ripened strawberries and pineapple for a flavor that tastes like summer vacation. $3.70; solero.com
5. Outshine Lemon Fruit Bars
Sweet tart fresh lemon juice gives these bars zip. Cocktail hack: Let one melt into a glass, spike it with vodka, and change backyard BBQs forever. $4; outshinesnacks.com
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EDITORS ’ OBSESSIONS
What we’re drinking, devouring, and firing up this season
Smoothie O’Clock Quick Concoctions for Every Morning Schedule
TWOMINUTE SMOOTHIE Top off Daily Harvest’s premeasured frozen mango, papaya, pineapple, and acerola cherry with your liquid of choice and blend. We like oat milk for a creamy consistency. Daily Harvest Mango and Papaya Smoothie, $7.99 each for a box of 9; daily-harvest.com
FOURMINUTE SMOOTHIE Sambazon’s acai base packs are known for changing the at-home smoothie game. Add one to a blender, top with frozen berries, a banana, and coconut water and blend for a Brazilian-inspired breakfast. Sambazon Organic Frozen Acai Blend, $5.50; sambazon.com
Soft Spots Four Places for Walk-Up Soft Serve and Sorbet This Summer
“Other folks might be making sourdough, but I’m on a corn tortilla bender thanks to Masienda’s Masa Flour ($7; masienda. com) made from organic Oaxaca corn. Masienda has elevated my Taco Tuesdays. The flour has a naturally sweet corn flavor and yields a tender, tasty stack of fresh tortillas. I enlist my wife as dough ball roller and my son as tortilla presser, and I fire up two cast iron pans. It gives a lift to our family meals.” –Hugh Garvey, executive editor
“‘Isn’t it just a fancy Instapot’? My friend asked. ‘Not really,’ I said. ‘It’s much slower.’ And that’s the point. You don’t buy a Vermicular Cast Iron Precision Cooker ($670; vermicular.us) because you want to turbocharge your food. You buy it because the cast iron’s near-perfect seal retains moisture from cooked veggies and meats, makes the best scrambled eggs, and doubles as a rice cooker. I’m sold on slower, especially these days.” –Matt Bean, editor-in-chief
SIXMINUTE SMOOTHIE Start with 1/2 cup coconut milk and a teaspoon of Golde’s shade-grown green tea leaves from Uji, Japan, then add frozen mango, frozen banana, and spinach for a naturally caffeinated green smoothie. Golde Pure Matcha, $32; golde.com
RACHEL’S GINGER BEER SEATTLE THE ORDER: Passionfruit Vanilla Ginger Beer Soft Serve
ASATO FAMILY SHOP HONOLULU THE ORDER: Pickled Mango Juice Sorbet
MR. TRUSTEE SAN DIEGO THE ORDER: Captain Crunch and Malted Milk Soft Serve
WAX PAPER LOS ANGELES THE ORDER: The menu rotates, but always includes one dairy and one vegan flavor
Shake it off
Upgrade summer fruit with these flavor-packed toppings
TAJIN CLASICO SEASONING
The Mexico-made classic adds a mouthwatering, puckering lime zip that ends with a mild heat. $3; tajin.com
ORGANIC CHAAT MASALA
Transfer this cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin Indian spice mix to a grinder for a fresh, aromatic taste that sends your tongue reeling each time. $7, pureindianfoods.com
LI HING MUI DRIED PLUM POWDER
Popular in Hawaii, this salty, sweet, sour dried plum powder is used on apple slices, pineapple, and mangoes. $10, leilanisattic.com
We Just Love This Hurom Slow Juicer I came to the Hurom juicer out of necessity. The smoothie shop near my home had driven a shunt into my financial veins, a juice lien siphoning off $4 per day for lemon-ginger-cayenne immunity shots and nearly $10 for green juice. Enter the Hurom juicer. Yes, it can make the same juice you’d buy commercially, and at a tenth of the cost. And no, cleanup is not that bad. Is it worth it? In less than a month, it paid for itself—and I had the added benefit of extra fruits and veggies on hand. These days that’s the kind of math I’ll drink to. –Matt Bean
Now That You Have Juice, Make It a Popsicle
FOR EASY STORAGE Lekue Stackable Ice Lollipop, $16; lekueusa.com
FOR KIDS Tovolo Dino Pop Molds, $16; tovolo.com
FOR CLASSIC POPSICLES Zoku Classic Pop Molds, $15; zokuhome.com
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Whatâ€™s next for the wine industry? Socially-distanced harvests? Discounted yet delicious bottlings? Virtual wine clubs? We spoke to the wine industry's heaviest hitters to find out what awaits us in a post-pandemic world. By MATT BEAN Photograph by THOMAS J. STORY
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The Source: David R. Duncan, Chairman and CEO
he wine industry is no stranger to adversity. Fire, flood, pestilence, and drought are just a few of the hardships vintners have had to endure in the past few decades. Now comes the coronavirus crisis, which has brought vino-tourism to a grinding halt even as wine seems more vital than ever. What will the winemaking landscape look like when all this is over? Will it ever be over? We approached a few of our most trusted prognosticators to give us a glimpse into not just the future of wine tasting, but also as to how wine will be marketed and distributed, and the ways in which our drinking and purchasing habits may change. SUMMER 2020
© DAMION HAMILTON PHOTOGRAPHY 2018
Silver Oak's Healdsburg tasting room
Silver Oak, Twomey, and OVID wineries in Northern California; member of the Board of Directors of the California Wine Institute, which has worked closely with California ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) to ease restrictions on winery-direct purchasing and shipping in response to COVID-19. The Predictions: As we re-emerge, we’re likely to see a large increase in regional Bay Area visitorship. In return, wineries will have to get creative to accommodate that demand. The way we receive small groups or even set-up standard tastings is likely to change in the foreseeable future. Coronavirus shouldn’t change wine style, but we are thinking about vineyard management through the lens of social distancing. Specifically, Napa Grapegrowers has done some great work to help educate the local vineyard community, including revised safety protocols, bilingual public health campaigns and distributing face masks. Virtual tastings are also here to stay, and with that there will be a greater onus on brands to deliver interesting, structured content. It’s important to remember that without the vibrancy of a winery and tasting room to enhance the enjoyment of wine, we need to come up with new ways to make these in-home experiences feel personal and special. There was a lot of forgiveness the first few weeks of virtual tastings while everyone was figuring out new platforms and formats, but now brands need to deliver engaging and educational content to stand out and hold people’s attention. Finally, this is a digital tipping point. Brands are prioritizing e-commerce and DTC, as well as wine tasting and delivery apps such as Vivino and Drizly. At the same time, consumers are turning to each other more than ever for social proof while getting accustomed to these new conveniences. As a result, the wine industry will prioritize digital marketing, social media and e-commerce skills, and compete with other lifestyle industries for these talents.
The Sources: Eugenia Keegan, Oregon General
LEE: TIM SANCHEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
The Source: Theodora Lee, founder of Theopolis
Vineyards and winner of multiple gold medals in the Sunset International Wine Competition for her Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah The Predictions: The future of wine is bright for those who are nimble and fully embrace direct to consumer marketing. I’ve always considered myself a mobile and digital winery. During shelter-in-place, virtual tastings and seminars with wine journalists and wine shops have truly helped me grow my business. Recently, I participated in one with about 300 people on Zoom and Facebook Live. Those people didn’t know me before. But afterward, they bought my wine. It has just been wonderful. Our business model has never been based on tasting room sales. However, I do have a funky little tasting room that’s open during our annual harvest and bottle release party. Even though the State of California has allowed tasting rooms to open, I am cancelling the harvest party this year. Until there’s a vaccine, there’s a risk. I’m not willing to risk the lives of my customers. Our wine sales have doubled, and on Blackout Tuesday, sales skyrocketed even more as there was a social media movement to support black businesses. Since then, I have processed more than 300 orders. My fellow black winemakers and I have received tremendous support. New wine lovers are discovering the love, compassion and dedication we give to each and every order we have been blessed to receive. The wine industry as a whole has a real opportunity to create systemic change, to serve as a catalyst to promote justice and equality. The BLM movement isn’t just about the black community, it’s about everyone. We all eat and drink good wine. What better way to have a conversation about racism than to sit and break bread together? Let’s hope this is not just a moment, but a movement.
Manager Jackson Family Wines, and David Adelsheim, founder, Adelsheim Vineyards. The Predictions: We’re going to see an interesting generational shift occur. It’s a question of when does a generation have enough money to support a lifestyle, but it’s also the question of what does a generation choose to spend its money on. People will make less of the expensive wine, but they still have the grapes—and that will trickle down into lower tier markets. What that means is we’ll gain a group of consumers because we’re training them to drink better wine. People paying $20 are getting $50 juice. And this will be a significant shift, just like it was in 2001 and 2008 and even 1982. The sales paradigm will also shift dramatically, away from meeting with distributors and retailers and restaurants and over to [places like] Instagram. There will be celebrity wines, [like the Ashton Kutcher / Mila Kunis “Quarantine Wine”] and that part of commerce will continue. There are 30,000 wineries in the United States, and most of them are never on the shelf anywhere—they focused on on-premises tastings. How are we going to sell wines that are all about place, that are special that might require a visit to the vineyards to really understand them?
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The Source: ASHLEY P. SNIDER, Owner and Proprietor, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard The Predictions: Post pandemic people will continue to enjoy wine because it adds a nice
The Source: CRAIG BECKER, managing partner and winemaker at Somerston Estate, a grower for high-end wineries and the producer of Somerston and Priest Ranch wines The Predictions: As a grower, we have a bird’s eye view of the industry. Cash flow is everything. Some wineries are taking a conservative route—for instance, we lost a few grape buyers for the 2020 harvest because these wineries are planning to lower their production. We’ve since replaced these buyers with similar or better producers who are seeing this time as an opportunity to gain market share. For our own brands, Somerston and Priest Ranch, we are looking to get more creative and try to improve cost savings while maintaining our high quality wine production. This spring, we’ll release 100 percent estate canned Rosé and Grenache Blanc from our property, which should be fun. The wine industry is often slow to try new things but necessity is the mother of invention, so we hope to continue to see many creative ways to make and sell wine post COVID. On the employee side of things, it has always been very competitive in Napa to find great employees, and now we expect to see more talent, which is positive for a company like ours that is trying to grow.
The Source: THOMAS SAVRE, Winemaker Lingua Franca Wines in Oregon, board member International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC); worked at French powerhouse Domaine de la Romanee Conti during his winemaking education at the University of Burgundy The Predictions: Even winemakers are benefitting from this increase in connectivity. Anyone with a connection to other parts of the world is learning to use things like Zoom instead of hopping on a plane. For example, Dominique Lafon [a celebrated French winemaker and consultant who works with Lingua Franca and other vineyards], typically comes three times a year. We needed to reproduce the way we taste when we’re all together in a room—but individually in our rooms. Instead of our usual corks we used neutral cork. And we had everyone open all 21 pinots and all 21 chardonnays at the same time. And everyone, from Dominique to our winery staff here in Oregon were on the screen. The hardest part was dealing with the 9 hour time difference: If we were tasting at 10 a.m., Dominique was tasting at 7 p.m. his time. But we figured it out. As for events, we’ll need to find a responsible way to eventually resume them. It’s the first time in 34 years that IPNC [a pioneering wine and culinary festival each July in McMinnville] won’t be held. It’s going to take a lot of energy and creativity to make it happen.
SNIDER: © CRAFT & CLUSTER; BECKER: ROBERT HOLMES
element of elegance and celebration to their daily lives. I do believe, however, that the way people purchase their wine, and the places they enjoy it will shift. During this pandemic period, consumers became much more comfortable with buying on-line—whether directly from the winery or third party “e-tailers”—and that won’t change. As we begin to socialize again, we’ll choose to do so in places where we feel safe: our homes, friends’ homes, block parties, etc. Space and distance will remain important in our society for some time to come and that will influence consumer behavior for wine, dining out, and many other things, including visitation to winery tasting rooms. We're planning to focus on more seated tasting experiences, capitalizing on both indoor and outdoor spaces that allow for social distancing. Close ties between wineries and existing customers (wine-club members) will be strengthened because of a comfort level with staff and the wines produced and the positive memories they evoke. Other than the addition of temperature checks, face masks, and social distancing efforts in the cellar, we don’t foresee any big changes to our normal harvest routine.
The virus pushed us into finding the good in technology where I only saw the bad (“dammit, what is my password?”) The Source: ANDY PEAY, pioneer of cold climate grape
growing and winemaking on the far West Sonoma Coast The Predictions: In the next 6-12 months we will travel less
The Source: JASMINE HIRSCH, General Manager and Winemaker, Hirsch Vineyards The Predictions: The two tasks in our winery that require folks to get close to each other are bottling and fruit sorting during harvest. We're getting ready to bottle, and we’re resolving these challenges by spacing out work stations, using face shields, and alternating worker positions when needed. We estimate we’ll have to slow down the bottling line by about 10-15% to keep everyone safe. We normally only sell wine during short allocation periods a few times a year. But when the COVID crisis started, we received so many requests to purchase wine to drink at home we decided to open the cellar and move to a more relaxed allocation model. Our mailing list members can now go to their online Hirsch account anytime, and they will always find something delicious there to purchase. We’re keeping a few wines available to them at all times. When it’s safe and legal to reopen, we’ll host appointments outside, and one at a time. We expect most tourism to wine country this year to be local, as people will likely be more comfortable traveling by car than airplane. There is going to be pent up demand for human connection, nature, and just getting out of one’s home. So as soon as it’s safe to do so, I expect we will see local visitors coming to wine country by car. The deliciousness of our wine and food and the beauty of our landscape are unaffected—we just need to find a way to share it safely.
nationally, and more locally. We will crave experiences with friends and family. Outdoors. Our parks and coastline will be crowded and heavily managed. People will revert to the tribalism of the early 2000s where groups of friends and families banded together. Instead of heading to Burning Man and throwing parties as a collective, however, they will create “safe” communities where they can interact with one another in their compounds. Wine tourism—locally—will see heavy demand but the awkwardness of tasting 6 feet apart with a mask, talking through plastic shields, and eating only prepackaged food will diminish the experience to a sterile-feeling outing perhaps not worth the effort. As a result, wineries will adapt their typical tasting offering and create more outdoor tasting experiences which aren’t good for assessing wine but are a lot more fun—which is the point. As for the future of virtual tastings? Ours have been great and will continue for the foreseeable future as we interact with hundreds of customers—see their faces, crack jokes, relate—across the entire country. This is way more intimate than in pre-COVID days where that simply did not happen unless we were in town or people visited. The virus pushed us into finding the good in technology where I only saw the bad (“dammit, what is my password?”). Too predictable, I could posit locusts in the fall but that is also obviously on deck. After the massive earthquake hits SF. And a massive comet crashes into Earth. Wanna go skiing in upstate New York tomorrow?
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Remember Warren Buffet’s great quote, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
The Source: DAVID RAMEY, Past winemaker for Simi,
Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus, Rudd, Ramey Cellars, and Sidebar Cellars, based in Healdsburg, California, since 1996. The Predictions: Combine virtual tastings with general anxiety over flying, and winery personnel will be doing much more business remotely rather than in person. On the restaurant side of things, that channel will take several years to recover, and many may not come back. Those of us who’ve had strong on-premise business will be cultivating other avenues. Ditto for small, aspirational wineries, or those over-leveraged. Remember Warren Buffet’s great quote, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” There will be many new bargain-priced labels as some bottlers take advantage of depressed bulk wine prices. These will not last; everything is cyclical. Those of us who make classically-styled, food-friendly wines will always have a market.
The Source: VANESSA CONLIN, head of wine for Wine Access, a national e-commerce wine retailer with a leading wine education platform for consumers. Conlin became the 52nd Master of Wine in the United States in February of 2020. The Predictions: For the last several years, there has been a lot of talk about how millennials want a story and a personal connection to wine and the people behind the labels, but COVID-19 has proven everyone else does, too. We created The Wine Access Experience on Facebook, which is open to our members as well as any wine-lover. We've virtually hosted winemakers and vintners, and talked to folks outside of the wine industry such as film director Jason Wine of the SOMM movies, and Chef Casey Thompson of Top Chef. These virtual meetings have been a fantastic way to step behind the curtain and to ask questions not only about wine, but to find out if Julia Child ever made a dish that Tor Kenward (of TOR Wines) had to pretend to like or if being the father of triplets makes Chris Cooney (of Dana estates) a more patient winemaker. These real conversations are what wine drinkers want to hear, and we will continue to have these post-COVID as part of our core offerings. Another thing we’ll continue to do is host tastings for groups of business associates who normally would connect at mixers and conferences. We are responding to that demand by creating formats that can appeal to a wide range, with themes such as How to Assess Quality in Wine or Comparative Tastings of the Right and Left Bank of Bordeaux, for example.
The Sources: CHRIS PHELPS (father), associate
GROCHAU: JOSH CHANG
The Source: JOHN GROCHAU at Grochau Cellars The Predictions: The first challenge I see is a pos-
sible labor shortage in the vineyards. The labor shortage is already an issue now with the rapid shoot growth in the vineyard, but will get more acute during harvest as weather can hasten picking decisions. Everybody seems to want to pick on the same day when a heatwave or large rainstorm is in the forecast. Working proximity is going to be an issue in the winery during harvest, when we usually have 4-6 people working on our 8-foot long sorting table. In order to maintain proper distancing, we will have to work with fewer people on the sorting table and will thus have to run our equipment at a slower rate of speed to ensure we are removing all underripe or overripe grapes. We are a medium sized winery where our workforce largely works independently; we will have to look at all procedures to make sure we are keeping our staff safe. Labor cost will go up and productivity will go down. There could be a lot of vineyards who won’t be able to find homes for their grapes this year. I don't own any vineyards, so I buy all of my grapes from many different people, all of whom are small, family owned farms. I have seen a 50% drop in sales since mid-March as we lost all of our restaurant business and I simply can't make the same amount of wine as I did last year. I will honor every contract that is in place, but I can't renew any contract that isn't currently in place for the 2020 harvest. I think a lot of winemakers and vineyard owners will find themselves in the same position.
winemaker, Inglenook, and JOSH PHELPS (son), winemaker and owner at Grounded Wine Co. The Predictions: Chris: We now exist in a liminal space, caught between what was “normal,” and what some say will be the “new normal.” The truth is that everything will be different. With people staying at home, there is less pollution. In the future, we’ll respect our environment more—good news for grapes. Virtual tastings are a little surreal. Moving forward, we’ll integrate our estate chef and other winery personalities into this virtual space. [Once restrictions ease] Inglenook’s Chateau has ample space for private tastings in cellars and salons, as well as fresh-air, naturally-distanced outdoor options. We will see that we always had the inherent ability to “reinvent” rather than just settle for “normal.” Josh: Napa relies on tourism. I believe we will return to a revised normal, with restaurants and tasting rooms slowly reopening. Many are anxious to travel and dine out, while locals rely on the wine and hospitality industry as their livelihood. People want, and need, to get back to work. Brands strong in retail have increased sales during the pandemic and will likely increase production. Other wines that have historically been restaurant-focused may decrease production or revise distribution channels. When money gets tight, people will gravitate toward affordable wines that they trust and know. However, there will always be creative methods for smaller, lesser-known brands to build their audience and find their niche.
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The Source: ROBIN DANIEL LAIL, founder and
The Sources: RYAN HARRIS, President, and MICHAEL FAY, Director of Viticulture and Wine-
making at Evenstad Estates The Predictions: Ryan: We have put even stronger
efforts behind connecting with and relating to guests and customers. Interactive video tastings allow us to really focus on the customer and their specific taste preferences and interests, as well as to present wines that we feel will enhance their personal experiences. We are actually very excited about the future, as this crisis has not diminished the need for us to engage with each other, but has taught us that there are new and innovative ways to do so. Michael: As for the winery and vineyards, we are grateful that we’ve only had to modify our working methods, i.e. allowing for social distancing and providing PPE, but still are able to perform necessary duties such as bottling and the green work in the vineyards. When harvest arrives in September, we will hopefully have a better idea of what the future holds. Harvest efforts in the vineyard are the least likely to change as social distancing is perhaps most easily accomplished in rows of grapevines.
“I believe we will seek recognizable habits that will continue. At the top of the list is the enjoyment of wine, deeply embedded in our culture. Wine is about exhaling, delight, deliciousness, elegance, magic, art, friends and pleasure.”
The Source: KAREN WILLIAMS, Owner of ACME Wine shop, Napa Valley The Predictions: Since ACME has the unique position of being based in the Napa Valley, our
colleagues, friends, and neighbors are winemakers and winery owners, and we are among the first to learn about—and get access to—debut projects, micro-production wines, bottlings from historic vineyards, and coveted cult classics. Our lives are intertwined in so many ways, not just the buying and selling of wine. Now more than ever, we feel greater partnership with the small producers we work with who have been struggling without visitation and restaurant sales since March 15. They have been offering us wines that are usually allocated to and designated for restaurant wine lists only. We feel fortunate to be able to support our winery friends and partners by having a vehicle to market and sell their wines, and simultaneously our clientele are excited to have access to these wines that they have wanted in the past. These times are GREAT for the consumer. SUMMER 2020
HARRIS: JOS PHOTOGRAPHERS; LAIL: ART & CLARITY; WILLIAMS: EMMA K. MORRIS
president of Lail Vineyards, part of a six-generation Napa Valley family The Predictions: When thinking about the future, I believe we will seek recognizable habits that will continue. At the top of the list is the enjoyment of wine, deeply embedded in our culture. Wine is about exhaling, delight, deliciousness, elegance, magic, art, friends and pleasure. I anticipate that establishing a new wine custom will take time. Online wine purchases remain critically important for small, quality wineries. At Lail Vineyards we will continue to engage and seek to delight our fans, to build an evergrowing, active following. For us the personal touch is paramount, and the authentic story behind the wines even more important. Wine, at best, is about people. Retail wine sales at grocery stores and wine shops will continue to be strong, with discounting likely among value brands. Restaurants will come back slowly. I anticipate a positive wine future. We are grateful for everyone’s robust, direct support.
“Wine is fundamentally about connection. Connecting humans to nature. Connecting humans to each other. Connecting the past with the present. Connecting our outer self to our inner self. That’s what makes wine the greatest beverage in the world.”
The Source: NOAH DORRANCE, co-founder and
winemaker, Reeve Wines The Prediction: As far as this crazy virus has
pushed us apart, I think we will come back together in the future with even greater magnetism. Wine is fundamentally about connection. Connecting humans to nature. Connecting humans to each other. Connecting the past with the present. Connecting our outer self to our inner self. That’s what makes wine the greatest beverage in the world. It really can be the catalyst for all of that magic. I believe that local wine tourism will come roaring back as people get out of their houses and breathe in something more natural and less digital. Even before this all happened, we could sense the restorative experience people were having on our patio as they drank our wines and bathed in the vineyard view. If anything, demand for that experience will be even higher. There are some ideas that we developed as a result of shelter-in-place that will carry forward. For example, we will continue to incorporate practices like free weekly personal deliveries. I have had the best time showing up on our members porches with wine. I’ve received homemade kombucha, cookies, chocolate bars, hand lotion, and much more in return. It’s been amazing. We are going to triple down on activities that enhance that connective fabric
The Source: ANDY BECKSTOFFER, founder of Beckstoffer Vineyards including the 100-point perennials To Kalon, Dr. Crane and George III; instrumental in Napa’s Winery Definition Ordinance The Predictions: The premium table wine business runs in cycles, like most other businesses. Fortunately for us, the “up” cycles historically last from 6-8 years, while the “down” cycles run 1-3 years. We are currently about one year into a “down” cycle. Things could be different this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the change in drinkers’ demographics: fewer baby boomers and more millennials. We could see an extended “down” period and depending upon on how the wine marketers react, a following longer “up” period. The grape glut is all about demand. The grape supply stayed at its recent percent increase, while demand slowed significantly. Winery and vineyard operations with good brands and strong management will experience some pain, but in the end, will be fine. This pandemic may turn out to be like the early 1990’s phylloxera infestation in Napa. Phylloxera forced the farmers to become modern viticulturists. COVID-19 may force the wineries to adjust to the new market realities. In the meantime, consumers can enjoy some excellent wines at less expensive bottle prices while the growers suffer.
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Food and Drink
Home + Design
Lifestyle + Bow
Travel has changed. But the right set of wheels can help you explore the nature nearby. By MATT BEAN
. Photograph by DANIELLE GUYDER
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The Rolling Revolution
Cycling’s new wave promises to shake up your ride By MATT BEAN T H E G E A R : The
Smart Helmet THE REVOLUTION:
A We l l - L i t L i d With built-in LED headlights and taillights, this helmet helps highlight your m o v e s to d r i v e r s n e a r b y. Wireless turn signals are triggerd via a handlebarmounted switch. Better still, slow down and brake lights a u t o m a t i c a l l y a p p e a r. $179, Lumoshelmet.co T H E G E A R : 10 0 P e r c e n t H y p e r c r a f t S u n g l a s s e s T H E R E V O L U T I O N : Woven Carbon and Nylon Frame
C y c l i n g g l a s s e s a r e p a r t s h i e l d , p a r t s u n b l o c k e r. H e a d i n g d o w n h i l l a t 4 0 m i l e s p e r h o u r, a b u g c a n f e e l m o r e l i k e a rock. These are made from carbon fiber woven with nylon for a lightweight, durable profile. They’re just 23 grams in all. $155 and up, 100percent.com
T H E B I K E : Canyon
Endurace THE REVOLUTION:
DTC Discounts Backed by a no-questions-asked r e t u r n s p o l i c y, a n d shipped with an industry-leading setup kit and instructional materials, Canyon’s bikes bring their top technology right to your doorstep. That means you can save a buck, or better yet afford higher-end components. This road bike boasts electronic shifting levers and hydraulic disc brakes. Endurace starts at $1,400. Canyonbicycles.com
T H E G E A R : Thule Helium Bike Plat form
C a n n o n d a l e To p s t o n e
Contactless Bike Restraint Car carriers that grab your frame can cause damage through the bumps. This aluminum setup features easy-to-apply tire restraints that secure your rims in a moment. What’s more, it includes smart security features for locking everything in place. $560, Thule.com
T H E B I K E : Infento Genius Kit T H E R E V O L U T I O N : DIY Frames
Learning to ride goes meta with this ingenious DIY setup, which turns the customization process into a lesson in frame construction for you to share with your kids. A total of 28 configurations allow the setup to evolve as they do. $549 and up, Infento.com
The Flexible Frame Gravel bikes represent one of the newest categories of cycling, borrowing a bit from both the road bike and MTB worlds. This setup includes a “kingpin” beneath the seat affixing the rear part of the frame to the forward triangle. The result: just enough flex to soak up bumps without adding the weight of complicated shock setups. $2,700 and up, Cannondale.com
T H E B I K E : Diamondback
Release 29 T H E R E V O L U T I O N : Bigger Tires, for Bolder Trails Used to be, mountain bikes sat on 26-inch tires. These days, behemoths like this rule the trail. Why the i n f l a t i o n ? Fa t t i r e s o f f e r more contact with slick rocks for better traction, and provide a shallower attack angle against rocks, logs, and anything else that c o m e s i n y o u r w ay. T h i s setup boasts 140 mm of t r a v e l i n f r o n t a n d a Fo x shock to absorb bumps in back. $2,200 and up, Diamondback.com
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888-868-WEST (9378) THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
By MATT BEAN Photographs by HELMUT NEWTON
DEPTHS A barren landscape reveals the secrets of the Earth, the wonders of the night sky, and the value of human connection By MATT BEAN Photograph by DARK SKY PHOTOGRAPHY
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FROM LEFT: TAYLOR WELDEN, SENIOR EDITOR OF CARRYOLOGY, IG: @TAYLORWELDEN; WYATT COXEN/SNOW PEAK
t was around midnight in the stillness of the Valley when we found the scorpions. The purple beam arced through the dusty desert air and caught a spot of purple in the dirt: an exoskeleton aglow. “What,” the scorpion shrugged. The little creature scuttled about, yawning through its primordial book lungs. The interlopers would be gone soon enough. Endurance takes on a different meaning when your species pre-dates dinosaurs. The whole thing started as a social experiment. How far outside of the world could we get? How far outside of ourselves? Could we reset our relationship with travel, with experience, with each other? Death Valley, known for expansive views, unbearable heat, and an absence of artifice, seemed an ideal backdrop as any to begin that quest. This was a week before the lockdown, when travel wasn’t such an indulgence, let alone travel to a place that far-flung. Along with a crew from the cult Japanese outdoors brand Snow Peak and the Vegas-based Four Points outfitters, our group of writers and photographers set
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WYATT COXEN/SNOW PEAK
WYATT COXEN/SNOW PEAK
out to visit the Panamint valley about 120 miles or so Northwest of Vegas and 300 miles Southeast of LA. It promised to be barren. Dusty. Open. You could hear yourself think, maybe. This was my final foray of travel after three dizzying months of suitcase living. I hadn’t had much of a home during that time, crashing on couches and eating in hotel bars during a move that dragged on and on. Whether a natural consequence of all of that restlessness or something for the shrink’s chaise, I’d become oversaturated with detail, blunted to the revelations, both personal and philosophical, that travel can stir. I was too easily awed by spectacle, calloused to the small but wonderful, mired in the middle where the banal settles. Time to recenter. Instead of asking more from the world, I wanted to ask: what did I even need from it in the first place? What had I lost to the blur? Like any proper interrogation of nuance, our inquiry began in Las Vegas. A squad of us hit the main drag, and Taylor, every bit a young Gimli, chose as his drink a margarita served in one of those horn-shaped plastic flagons. His wiry ochre beard tangled with the handle. Everything was larger than life. Except the architecture. Faux fires blazed on 1:3 scale pirate ships; a half-sized Eiffel tower glittered in the dusk. Jets of water surged in sync with a recording of blind tenor Andrea Bocelli. We wandered a Venice canal system seemingly reconstituted in the atrium of a regional Best Western Hotel. Coasters dove and swerved in front of a sad stucco replica of “New York.” Showgirls in flamingo suits preened for warmth on the corner. There was a still chill in the air.
Back at the hotel, vendors hawked sweatshirts embroidered with programmable LED billboards. Second-hand smoke perfumed orgiastic piles of food at the buffet. I lost $100 immediately at the roulette table and slept soundly despite my roommate’s midnight thunder. For the bed-starved, this 1990s hotel with faded curtains might as well have been the Ritz. The next day, our Four Points Adventure guide Todd Rogers met us outside the hotel. His lovingly worn-in Toyota Landcruiser towed a self-built articulated trailer capable of handling rough roads. Todd had stints in mountain rescue and deep-sea oil rig maintenance, and despite his rugged resume had a folksy bedside manner that made him the anti-Rambo. We sipped coffee and ate Starbucks breakfast and milled about as Todd lay down the ground rules. “I love the desert for everything it reveals,” he said. “The geology, the beauty, the starkness. But it is the desert, and we have to stick together.” Todd handed out walkie-talkies as a squadron of spandexclad tourists milled about. They gawked at our phalanx of rental Jeeps painted like Tropical Skittles. Bumper cars in front of a hotel dressed for a Jumanji premiere. “We’ll lose cell service in an hour or two,” Todd said. Sorry, what? I called my sister. She was pregnant with her second child. She had just gone into labor. Two weeks early. I stalled. Everyone stared at me from inside the Jeeps, breaking out snacks. I slumped in. We were off. I checked my phone incessantly. A couple hours outside of Vegas we encountered an alien themed gas station. Death Valley and the surrounding area are second only to nearby Area 51 for Alien theorists; both are used for military testing. Coincidence? Or COINCIDENCE?!
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By 1927 the mine had collapsed, with just seven miners remaining, carving at the barren walls with hand tools. Scraping. Searching. Believing. A very different Sunset magazine than this one skewered the conman in a serialized story in late 1927. Called “The Great Julian ‘Pete’ Swindle” it was written by our magazine’s thenVice President Walter V. Woehlke. The series began with a rhetorical exclamation: “Will Anyone Be Punished for the Theft of Many Millions?” “He came to Los Angeles six years ago, broke,” Walter wrote. “In twenty active years he had not made one lasting success. Eventually, everything he undertook had failed.” Human belief and fallibility, the evidence of which remained standing nearly a century later. Julian the preternatural influencer, a master of the smokescreen, then the radio waves and newspapers. Even legendary director C.C. Demille was fooled by his mirage. Ore, aliens, just fodder. Plot points. Apart from the ramshackle ghost town and occasional mine tailings—cast-off piles of debris from holes poked in the hills here and there—we saw little evidence of human intervention. Nearby lay the site where paleontologists unearthed a fossilized Titanothere, a massive Rhino-like creature dating back to 35 million years ago. An abandoned borax mine nearby laid bare the earth, terrace by terrace peeled back to yield... defeat. Still no messages. Deeper into the rock, the slotted canyons grew taller and the sun dropped, casting sharp shadows from the shoulders of each Jeep. This peculiar geology was unforgiving—not Red Rock, not Moab, and as a canyon not particularly Grand, but a sight
FROM LEFT: MATT BEAN; WYATT COXEN/SNOW PEAK
Either way, the lore ran deep. Inside we found a UFO-themed fortune telling machine, in which an ovoid Gray species with great black eyes had displaced Zoltar as the avatar. The shop sold alien-themed tequila, alien-logo condoms, and “beef ” jerky that was made primarily of pork. A sign above the bathroom sink implored: “do not wash body parts other than your hands.” Next door stood an alien-themed brothel. The oasis was one last sonic boom of the macabre before we escaped the influence of Vegas. A membrane. The cartoonish commercialization of the alien. A perversion of our ability to believe. Everything that was good and bad about humans. Around lunchtime we reached the dunes. Roving piles of time, the infinitesimal writ large thanks to network effects, force vectors, friction coefficients. We ate hungrily. I learned that mayo on a sandwich is a bad idea when everything around you is made of sand. I’d received no text messages. I’d sent dozens. But my outgoing notes were forever a progress bar half-full. Chasing light, we crossed over into California and trundled on through Titus Canyon, great grooves in the rock banded by mineral deposits. The road we were on was rugged, but our rentals had fantastic insurance. Used by mining teams a century back, the passage featured the Leadville ghost town. Leadville had boomed in 1926 thanks to the promotional flair of the investor C.C. Julian, who held a dinner for hundreds in the canyon buoyed by full-page ads in the Los Angeles papers. But his reputation as a con man put him at odds with the mining commission, and it didn’t help that the ore deposits had proven disappointing.
Vintage Sfa Fets
to behold nonetheless. We broke through to an overlook toward the back end of the park. Groups had gathered at the natural vista, overlooking a downward slope toward Panamint. I checked my phone. 3G! I’ve never been so happy to have shitty cell service. “Well?!” I said, as my mother picked up. “It’s a boy, and he’s wonderful,” she said. “Your sister was just so amazing. She was telling the nurses what she wanted. She was just so confident.” A fighter jet tore across the canyon, etching a mottled, chalkwhite trail against the blue, connecting the horizons. I exhaled. We reached the campsite just before sundown. As spartan as our surroundings might have been, our site was anything but. Outfitted in Snow Peak gear, we had raised cots, spacious tents, and were huddled around their signature Takibi grill stations for warmth—and chocolate grilled bananas. I appreciate the ascetic’s tradition of minimalism but when there’s room in the trunk, why not bring along a figure eight of firepits and two dozen padded camp chairs? As dusk approached, Scott Lange, the owner of our site and founder of the Eastern Sierra Observatory, began calibrating his howitzer-sized telescope. It had cost him $10,000. I’d harbored a deep skepticism for telescopes from an early age, when my Uncle Vernon brought one for my birthday. It was a yard-long blue cardboard tube with a small mirror mounted on the inside. It was a generous gift, but I was expecting the cosmos to burst forth inside that lens.
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My Aunt Alice died too young. They’d never had children, and Vern never would. And despite that—or maybe because of that—he always worked hard to connect with this weird little kid two hours north of him. Maybe I never looked hard enough through that scope. Back in Death Valley, Scott was hard at work on his rig. The telescope was calibrated to rotate steadily, ever so slightly, on rotors programmed to match the spin of the earth. This meant long exposures would yield brilliant images of nebulae, galaxies, clusters, tie-dyed phantasms of purple, blue, and white in which surely an extraterrestrial might dwell. In bright places such as Vegas, light pollution renders the most beautiful formations all but invisible. Only the garish survive. Not here. “What’s that star, right there?” I asked Scott, pointing to one of the brightest points in Orion’s sword. “Oh, that’s not a star,” Scott said. “That’s a foundry, where stars are born.” Later, as he trained the scope on the moon, a group huddled around the aperture. It felt natural to harvest the image for Instagram. I stayed on the fringe, wary of my phone now that it had served its purpose, searching for something larger in the crags and valleys than a like. Better writers than I have stared into the dark lens of social media and asked: what remains of us, when we turn ourselves inside out for the world? I was after a more personal inquiry. Was I sharing the right parts of myself with the right people? Was I seeing the right parts of them? Or was I drowning them out, blurring the image, rotating off-axis, out of sync?
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TAYLOR WELDEN, SENIOR EDITOR OF CARRYOLOGY, IG: @TAYLORWELDEN
Earlier in the trip we’d hiked a slot canyon to its natural terminus, a gigantic boulder that had been wedged, 10 feet off the ground, between two shoulders of rock. A flash flood had brought it there. Taylor posed below, acting as Atlas under the weight of the Earth, and we took pictures and laughed. “Flash floods, they’re no joke,” said Todd, now the everyman’s Rambo. I learned Todd worked in the water below oil rigs. In space suits with propulsion systems. As great walls of toothy barracuda curled around his boat. I took him at his word. “It could be coming from 15 miles away, the water,” Todd continued. “It sounds like a freight train, the rushing. And you’ve just got to run. Run up, get as high as you can. Or…” He shook his head. Todd had a friend of a friend, another guide, who lost most of an extended family one trip. Maybe a dozen of them died. Just the guide and the father survived. Imagine scrambling up that canyon wall. Finding a foothold. Imagine being the father.
Imagine being the guide. We all looked around, listened for anything that sounded like a train. Maybe it was the new baby, but I couldn’t shake the story. Death is often a surprise. The valley, it was dark and indifferent. The rocks, the stars, the scorpions, even the donkeys everywhere SOAKmilling IN YOUR were teenager-grade bored by my impermanence. SURROUNDINGS My sister in tent thatThe night glowed tub, bright like claw-foot salOrion’s sword. The birthplace of stars. I haven’t vaged from a home that flooded always been able to see her. Weduring all getKatrina, warped by situated nearguilty the edge our own gravity. I haveis felt especially of of the slope for optimal that sin. But I can see river her now: exponential, views. A pair of searing, immortal. stumps is a catchall for Arachnids and aliens.shampoo Ore and Orion. What does and towels. it mean to search for these things, if we can’t see clearly what we already have? Back in Los Angeles, and safely moved into in my new home, I peered into a telescope more powerful than Scott’s. His was made by Meade, this one was powered by Zoom. I calibrated the device. Aimed the screen. Entered the code. And I saw my sister and her family, now four, floating in one constellation. Myles, that was the new boy’s name. He was almost as chubby a newborn as I was. In another cluster, I saw my parents. My mother donned a funny red hat. She wiggled her head. My older nephew Ellis laughed. I pressed my mind up against the aperture and took a picture.
Sunset Looks Skyward
Weâ€™ve long looked up for inspiration, especially in moments of celestial cinema, like the 1910 Halleyâ€™s Comet. Here, an excerpt from April, 1910.
Is Venus Inhabited?
TAYLOR WELDEN, SENIOR EDITOR OF CARRYOLOGY, IG: @TAYLORWELDEN
By T.J.J. See, Director United States Naval Laboratory, Mare Island, California The planet Venus, the twin sister of the Earth, is the most interesting of all our planetary neighbors. Indeed, Venus is the only planet with striking resemblance to the Earth; and the Kinship to our planet has been so strongly emphasized by recent discoveries that it becomes almost a certainty that Venus is an inhabited world, with all the characteristics of our terrestrial globe. We have long been accustomed to the idea that Mars
might be inhabited by intelligent beings of some kind, but heretofore very little thought has been given to Venus; and yet it turns out, after all, that this latter planet is the one best adapted to life as we know it on the Earth. And as the Earth is so full of life of every kind, it is impossible to doubt that a great variety of life exists on Venus, and the probability is that much of it is as highly organized as on our Earth. The Greeks from the earliest ages had recognized Venus as the most beautiful of all the Stars. And now we see that it is not only the most beautiful ornament in the heavens, shining like a great lamp hung in the morning and the evening skies, but also the most interesting of all the planets, and the only planet besides the Earth which seems certain to be inhabited by beings of a high order of intelligence.
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7 tips for beginning stargazers
Scott Lange, founder of Eastern Sierra Observatory and an accomplished night sky photographer, shares his tips for beginning stargazers and aspiring astrophotographers. For more information on the observatory, visit EasternSierraObservatory.com and check the Sunset Instagram feed for a Chance to win a “golden ticket.”
2. Start With Binoculars Buying an expensive telescope shouldn’t be your first move. Meade TravelView 10x50 binoculars can be purchased for $30, and provide a great tool for simple, stress-free star gazing. They’re hassle free, and immediate. For stability, use them while sitting down in a chair or laying on your back on a blanket. It’s easiest to locate the object you want to view with your naked eyes first, and then bring the binoculars up to your face. When in doubt: The moon’s always a mindblower. 3. Find the Negative Space Point the binoculars at a seemingly “empty” area of the sky and watch as stars and
galaxies come into view. The Andromeda Galaxy is a great one to view with binoculars, and will have your mind spinning at the realization that the smudge of light entering your eyes is really a gigantic grouping of a trillion stars, along with nebulae, planets, and so on— some 2.5 million light years away from Earth. 4. Choose a Telescope Wisely If you’re ready to move up to the big guns, spend the extra money to get a telescope with a Go-To mount. This will not only make finding objects easier, but it will also help keep those objects tracking in the eyepiece as Earth spins. Initial alignment procedures can be a little daunting, but it’s worth it to take the time to learn how to properly align your ‘scope, which can take 30-90 minutes from setup to being aligned. You’ve already mastered more stress-free stargazing with binoculars, so hopefully by the time you want a telescope you’ll have the patience to learn its functions. If not, stick with the binoculars. 5. Find Dark Skies You know you’re getting serious about stargazing when you find yourself driving two or three hours to find the darkest
skies possible. If you’ve never seen the Milky Way before, then avoiding light pollution is an absolute must. Use a tool like the Dark Sky Finder app to locate the best skies near you. 6. Learn to Capture Nightscapes & Astrophotography Today’s DSLR and mirrorless cameras make this easier than ever. Start with a wide angle lens—preferably 24 mm or below—so that a longer exposure time can be used without star trails occurring. A tripod will help stabilize, and use the timer mode or a remote shutter trigger to reduce blur. If you don’t have a tripod, you can prop up your camera on a table or even the ground.
7. Master the Art of the Edit In a good photo editing program, you can bring out dramatic details in your photos. Start by boosting the exposure a bit, and most importantly for night shots, set the tone curve to “medium” or “strong” contrast — this is the main key to bringing out detail in the Milky Way. Try boosting saturation and you’re done with your simple shot. Capturing the cosmos in this way will definitely have you diving deeper into every aspect of the nighttime sky. You may even find yourself attaching your camera to a telescope to get close-up images of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. The possibilities are endless.
DARK SKY PHOTOGRAPHY/EASTERN SIERRA OBSERVATORY FROM TOP: DARK SKY PHOTOGRAPHY/EASTERN SIERRA OBSERVATORY; TAYLOR WELDEN, SENIOR EDITOR OF CARRYOLOGY, IG: @TAYLORWELDEN
1. Put your Phone to Work Knowing when to look is just as important as where. Download and demo a few planetarium apps to see which one you like best. Scott recommends Pocket Universe, Star Walk, and SkyView. In the better apps, you’ll be able to quickly deter mine Sun and moon periods, planet behavior, Milky Way schedules, and details on galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and all other astronomical objects. Most can even send alerts when meteor showers or other events are happening.
THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
COUNTERCLOCKWISE FROM TOP: DARK SKY PHOTOGRAPHY/EASTERN SIERRA OBSERVATORY (2); WYATT COXEN/SNOW PEAK
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