A wildly delightful time at Mission Heirloom in North Berkeley last night. Sat with a warm, super-educated bunch of foragers, healers, a writer and a biologist, who made the best company on a journey of flavors and textures that blended and blurred rich landscapes of tastes, fragrances, and emotions. My friends and I had the best seats in the house--right next to the main forager of the night, Alicia Funk, who told us stories of manzanita berry cider in summer, elderberry plants flourishing along highways in inland California, the ceremonial heritage of Mugwart in the Sierra Nevada, and how placing some of it under your pillow can encourage vivid dreams. A Douglas Fir-infused snow was a shot of X'mas in early summer. Wild Coyote Mint with a hunk of braised lamb, and an ice cream of Madrone Blossoms atop a sensuous soup of heirloom cacao soup, were some of the most memorable moments of the night.
One winter several years ago, I traveled to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in the People's Republic of China. I met my travel companions and tour organizer in the city of Xining and set out on a 24-hour railway journey up the Tibetan plateau to Lhasa the following day after dinner. These are some photos from that trip between Lhasa, Shigatse, Everest, and some places in between.