I was in Los Angeles last week on business. LA is fun, world’s away from my day to day life. I traveled there with 60 other Oregon winery owners to do a couple of wine tastings. We do this twice a year going en masse to different cities around the country. It’s fun to be in the same place with so many colleagues, many of whom are also friends of course. And it’s always great to explore the city, especially the restaurants! I’ve also recently discovered that I really love a lot of the architecture in LA. Whenever I travel I try to look up friends who might live nearby. This time I squeezed in a few visits with pals from long ago, including grabbing a quick meal with the friend who was the first to suggest I get into the wine business (she reminded me of that tidbit, I had forgotten, sorry to say). Last spring when we were in Chicago some of my old college gang came to the tasting and then we went out for a late-night bite after. So all in all, those trips aren’t so bad.
But the truth is I hate to be away from Oregon in September. It’s one of the most beautiful months of the year here. It’s usually sunny and dry, but not too warm. We might get a bit of rain, but that’s welcome too, as an excuse to put on a sweater!
And the primary reason I hate to be away in September? Tomatoes. Tomatoes are coming off the vines in abundance, as are all the other glorious vegetables my friends have planted in their gardens. I’ve said many times how grateful I am for my gardening friends. I don’t garden – we don’t have enough sun in our yard really, and I am cursed with a black thumb – but am blessed with other’s generosity at this time of year. (okay, maybe it’s desperation to get rid of their overflow, but I prefer to think of it as generosity). For instance, when I returned home from LA, there on my kitchen counter was this bag of goodies:
O Happy Day!
When I’m on the road for business my breakfast looks a lot like this:
And when I’m at home in Oregon and tomatoes are in season, my breakfast looks more like this:
One of the best things about the breakfast pictured above, is the salt I used to season it. Earlier this year I caught a smidge of the wonderful NPR show The Splendid Table while I was in the car. Lynne (we’re on a first name basis, don’t you know) was interviewing Sally Schneider about this herb garlic salt she makes. A quick visit to their website and I found the recipe. I’ve been making this salt regularly ever since, and I think you should too. It is perfect and easy. It is everything Lynne says it is and it is now indispensable in my kitchen.
I plan to store it up for the winter, making multiple batches now while the herbs are still thriving.
The recipe as they give it fills about a half pint jar. I won’t repeat the directions here as you can easily click over to watch the video on their site. I make the food processor version.