It’s an interesting time to be English. On Thursday of this week, the 300+ year-old partnership generally known as the UK, but more formally known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, may begin to break apart. Every resident of Scotland over the age of 16 has the opportunity to go to the polls and cast their vote for or against independence from the UK. Currently the pundits put the Nays ahead by a thread; my gut tells me that’s probably where it will end up, but this is not going to go away. You can be sure that, if the Nays do prevail this time, there’ll be another referendum in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, we'd all just better have a cup of tea ... (this is how the English do anarchy)
Happy Humboldt Local Food Month! This week we're giving you a closer look at a local maker and producer. Elizabeth Nester took over Celebrations Tamales and Sauces in 2011, a year after her son Jahmel was born. She has a small staff that helps prep the tamales, but Elizabeth does much of the cooking, packaging and delivery herself, often with Jahmel in tow. She is also the owner of Redwood Organics (yummy Thai almond sauce.)
Along with Local Food Month (see last week's post), the start of a new performance season at Dell'Arte is a big part of my September happiness.
This year, the first production of the new school year is written by Dell'Arte alumna Robin Shaw, who also appears in the production; the piece is directed by Dell'Arte's Producing Artistic Director Michael Fields. Originally created under the auspices of the Merrigong Theatre of Australia, Beneath the Soulskin tells the story of Charlie (played by Shaw), a young woman adrift in an uncharted sea at night.
Performers Robin Shaw and Bradley Stryker in "Beneath the Soulskin"
Almost every day I go up into my shop, light a fire and move metal. Most of the time I want to go. The fire lights easy. I am at a place in a project of enthusiasm, hope or determination. All of my tools are working. Then there are the hard days. It is ridiculously hot , heavy and dirty. Blades break and tanks run out. Everything takes forever and then goes wrong. It is on these days that I am most grateful for the support of my mentors and the blacksmithing community.
Alan Clark is used to seeing smiles when he and his grill arrive. The two-time Baconfest Championship Winner just returned from an unusual catering gig: cooking for crews at the Coffee Creek Fire in Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
"They were definitely happy to see me," he says, "They had been eating mass-produced meals for weeks. They were like, 'real eggs!'"