While riding in the Pinedorado parade with the Newcomers Club, I felt really joyful at being part of this wonderful community. Millie Huffaker, Glenda Heald and our driver, Jorge Santos, joked and waved red, white and blue “hands” — not only to salute those veterans who served our country, but also to respond to all the onlookers along the route.
The great number of spirited spectators was gratifying, as we had joked earlier that there were so many of us in the parade, who would be left to watch?
We noted the passing of summer, and I commented about the transition of produce at the farmers market. We’ll still want to gather those luscious watermelons, peaches and table grapes coming in from the San Joaquin Valley, with its sun-drenched heat producing flavor just bursting with the natural sugars. But now we are seeing the unique fruits and vegetables of our coastal harvest appear in abundance, and I am also hearing news of the wineries going into fall production.
I’d had a conversation at the Newcomers luncheon at the Dubost family ranch and winery with Joanna Hamburg about trends and tastes. As a student at CSUF when it was Fresno State in the 60s, I took a course in the very first enology department in California established there. That piqued my interest, as I was not impressed with fellow students imbibing Ripple and Thunderbird. I liked Mateus Rosé, and over the years watched with interest as different wines emerged in popularity.
Jackie Kennedy drank cabernet sauvignon, so thousands followed suit, then over time went on to Chablis, white “zin,” merlot, and now chardonnay. We all know what “Sideways” did for pinot noir! Serious wine aficionados have always done their homework, and researched good quality and fine wines. So, according to Joanna, the time has come to tend to an overlooked gem — dessert wines.
Our Central California wine country has more than 80 wineries gaining international acclaim for its production, including sweet wines. Joanna is putting together a book about types, wineries and their locations, prices, tasting and serving, and food pairing. Sounds like a comprehensive guide to me, and I look forward to her publication date. Meanwhile, let’s celebrate September as California Wine Month.
You must have seen the unique entry in the Pinedorado Parade, Sarah Blair-Field inside the lower half of a scarecrow named “Sunny Cambria,” striding along behind the Cambria Historical Society’s “Strawbillies” float. They were calling attention to the society’s Oct. 9-10 Harvest Festival and scarecrow displays, creative not-your-garden-variety scarecrows which are already appearing all over our village. At that event, I will have the pleasure of assisting Shanny Covey at the Fruits of the Harvest Pie Tasting and Contest. Check the next Cambrian for entry blanks.
Meanwhile, please enjoy Leile McPherson’s casserole she shared at our volunteers’ potluck. Leile is a part of the team devoted to hand watering and maintaining the grounds of the Cambria Historical Museum at the Guthrie-Bianchini House.
Mexican Spicy Rice
3-4 cups of rice cooked in chicken broth
2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 pint light sour cream
1-2 small cans diced Ortega peppers
2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese with jalapeños
1 cup corn
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6-8 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. chopped jalapeño, seeded and patted dry
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together and bake uncovered about 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Make your choices about the amounts where indicated, based on how creamy you’d like it. It’s great with barbecue chicken or ribs, and she chuckles, “I even like it for breakfast!” Please send your recipes and ideas to Consuelo, c/o The Cambrian, 2442 Main St, Cambria CA 93428; or e-mail Cambrian@the tribunenews.com