In the News - Friday, September
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
burning in Kings and Kern canyons,
not the Kaweah
Canyon Fire (Kern)
After an unprecedented run of smoke-free
days, Three Rivers residents awoke Wednesday and Thursday
mornings to the all-too-familiar smell of wood smoke.
The origin of the smoky particulates was mainly the
fast-growing Canyon Fire, a wildfire that started
Sunday and is burning in the Sequoia National Forest
southwest of Lake Isabella.
The dangerous blaze was human-caused, has already
burned more than 6,200 acres, and temporarily closed
Highway 178 near Lake Isabella from Sunday to Monday
morning. On Thursday, more than 100 Tulare County-based
firefighters were dispatched to assist hundreds of
Kern County personnel already battling the blaze.
As of Thursday morning, Sept. 16, the
fire was 65 percent contained, however, 250 homes
were still threatened.
This incident is Kern County’s
fourth major fire of the season. The recent Bull Fire,
north of Kernville that started on July 26, scorched
more than 16,000 acres before it was officially contained
on August 10 after destroying eight homes and six
Sheep Fire (Kings)
The Sheep Fire, a lightning-caused prescribed
burn, continues to smolder in areas of Kings Canyon
National Park and the Sequoia National Forest between
Cedar Grove and Horse Corral Meadow. The latest infrared
mapping for September 13 shows that the blaze has
consumed nearly 6,000 acres.
Deb Schweizer, Sequoia-Kings Canyon fire
education officer, said some of the smoke in the Kaweah
canyon could also be a result of the Sheep Fire, which
has been burning for two months.
There are still 95 firefighters assigned
to this blaze with about half the crew from Sequoia
and Kings Canyon National Parks. The expected containment
on the Sheep Fire is October 31 or after a significant
rain event, whichever occurs first.
Measure V debated at Town Meeting
Provide local voters with more information
on how the money will be used and why it’s needed
and they will pass Measure V, a local school district
special assessment that’s on the November 2
ballot. That seemed to be the sentiment
of the majority of audience members who asked questions
or commented at Monday night’s (Sept. 13) Town
Hall Meeting, sponsored by the Three Rivers Village
The questions were put to Sue Sherwood,
Three Rivers School principal and superintendent,
and four (Kristina Roper Graber, Scott Sherwood, Bob
Burke, Bobbie Harris) of the five (Valerie Abanathie,
absent) Three Rivers Union School board trustees who
took a seat up front to show their support for Measure
V. Sue Sherwood painted a bleak picture of the school’s
declining enrollment and revenues.
But among the positives of the 154-pupil
school are its excellent test scores that have been
consistently above 800, the state’s achievement
standard, on the API index.
Three Rivers School, we provide education excellence
and now we need your help,” Superintendent Sherwood
told the audience.
Sue explained the help is needed because
the State of California has made two consecutive annual
revenue reductions of 18.55 percent while federal
dollars have been slashed by 20 percent.
The money — about $100,000 annually
for five years — that is expected to be generated
from Measure V will be used for support of the single-grade
classrooms; extracurricular activities like art, music,
sports, and field trips; and ensuring the technology
lab keeps a paid position to manage the program.
Sue made it clear that the district has
been making all the possible cuts, but without the
special assessment of $56 per parcel the school district
would no longer maintain its autonomy. This school
is too important to this community to allow that to
happen, she said.
Gerald Avants, who owns eight parcels
in Three Rivers, said that he wouldn’t mind
paying the annual assessment of $448, but would like
more specifics as to how the money will be used.
even an extra $56 on top of what some people are already
paying can be a burden,” Avants said.
Jim Barton, who attended Three Rivers
School in the early 1930s when there were only three
teachers, said keeping the tax money local is critical
and voting “yes” on Measure V will be
at the top of his voting priorities on November 2.
Supervisor Allen Ishida was also present
to furnish an update on the countywide ambulance service.
So far, it is working and we have a better-than-average
response time over what there was three years ago,
the countywide and local coverage is better,”
Ishida said, “and one of the side benefits of
the rotating companies stationed at Lemon Cove is
that Woodlake gets better service.”
The next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled
for Monday, Oct. 4. The discussion will feature river
access issues as Nina Dong, deputy county counsel,
will return with answers to questions posed at the
June meeting. For information, call Marge Ewen, 561-1234.
Injuries minor in MK Road head-on
Take a narrow, winding mountain road
with steep cliffs and add some unfamiliarity and reluctance
by some to drive on one’s own side of the roadway
and it’s an accident waiting to happen. The
most recent mishap occurred Friday, Sept. 10, on the
Mineral King Road about 13 miles from its intersection
with Highway 198.
Ironically, this is actually the widest
portion of the 25-mile route, but also consists of
a long series of blind curves above Lookout Point.
That part of the historic roadway can be mesmerizing
with its sweeping views of the East Fork canyon.
According to Karl Pearson, Mineral King
subdistrict ranger, a 2005 Honda Pilot, driven by
a 62-year-old Glendale man up-canyon, collided head-on
with a rented Nissan Altima driven down canyon by
a 23-year-old man from Orion, Mich.
The stunned motorists left the vehicles
in situ and called for help. After Ranger Pearson
arrived on the scene he interviewed the victims and
determined that nobody was seriously hurt.
was easy to see that the Pilot was driving in the
center of the road and was the cause in this accident,”
The driver of the Pilot was cited for
failure to drive on the right side of the roadway.
The occupants of both vehicles declined any medical
The Mineral King Road is dangerous even
to the most experienced so drivers should proceed
with extra caution up or down, Pearson said. The shoulders
are extremely overgrown with vegetation so that makes
certain sections appear to be even narrower and there
are many miles of steep drop-offs that cause some
drivers to be reluctant in staying to the right side
of the road, which is inherently important on this
To report an accident on the Mineral
King Road, call 911. All non-emergency calls should
be directed to the Mineral King Ranger Station during
regular business hours.
The Mineral King Ranger Station will
remain open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout
the month of September. To call for backcountry permits
or for Mineral King information, call the ranger station
Broken pipe spills sewage in
Maintaining infrastructure, whether it’s
roads or pipelines in the high country of the Sierra
Nevada requires constant maintenance. Just ask Dan
Blackwell, chief of maintenance and facilities at
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Last Saturday, Sept. 11, when a sewer
pipe failed that crosses the Marble Fork of the Kaweah
River just below Lodgepole Campground, Blackwell said
he wasn’t all that surprised. The excessive
runoff earlier this season severely weakened a connection
that Blackwell said was poorly engineered in the first
been monitoring that connection for leaks and trying
to come up with an interim fix,” Blackwell said.
“It’s on our list of priorities to be
replaced and is in our proposed budget for next year.”
The most recent spill, which caused approximately
6,000 gallons of sewage to enter the river, occurred
after the system was backwashed, Blackwell said. It’s
never good for any untreated sewage to enter the river,
but park officials did not document any major impacts
on the water quality.
In response, a four-mile section of the
river was temporarily closed to fishing and swimming
in the Lodgepole area down to the Crystal Cave road.
to the small size of the spill relative to the volume
of water in the river, as well as the aeration effects
of the moving water, we are confident that impacts
were limited to the vicinity of the spill,”
Park sanitation staff has continued to
monitor water quality, especially in the area of the
Log Bridge portion of Lodgepole Campground that was
served by the failed pipeline. Campers in that section
were relocated to other sites.
Blackwell also said that the Mineral
King Road bridge, in the upper Mineral King valley,
is also scheduled to be repaired in next year’s
budget after approval of a new design by the Federal
Highway Administration. The bridge is currently under
a weight restriction that prohibits standard propane
trucks from making deliveries to the cabin community
above the bridge.
to pot: The battle rages
use caution in these hills
you stumble upon a suspicious structure or makeshift
camp while hiking in a remote section of the local
foothills or mountains, don’t investigate. Instead,
hightail it out of there and call the appropriate
In the past decade, marijuana growers
have ventured onto local national park lands and plowed
fragile land, spread fertilizer and herbicides, and
dammed nearby streams to irrigate their crops.
people slip in and out of their camps for supplies,
tend and vigorously defend the marijuana crop that
can be worth millions of dollars if it gets to market,”
said Mary A. Bomar, National Park Service director.
“And anyone who stumbles on their operations
is in real danger.”
THE BOUNTY OF HARVEST
With harvest time now in full swing for
illegal marijuana gardens, and the increased potential
for conflict because of the growing influence of drug-trafficking
organizations, hikers, anglers, hunters, and employees
of these federal lands must use caution when traveling
off-road and off-trail in and around Three Rivers
and in Sequoia National Park.
Now more than any other time of the year,
those charged with overseeing the pot plantations
are extremely protective and violent. Unlike pot growers
of the past who had smaller gardens, today’s
growers may have large gardens of 1,000 to 10,000
plants or more, as well as armed guards.
The daily sound of helicopters in the
skies above Three Rivers is most likely related to
the ongoing efforts by the National Park Service and
Tulare County Sheriff’s Department to eradicate
these pot-growing operations on local federal lands
and remote sections of private property.
Last year, law enforcement seized $1.3
billion in marijuana plants in Tulare County, a small
fraction of what was actually harvested, however.
The isolation and limited access to remote
areas of the foothills and forest lessens the likelihood
of detection, but there is potential for visitors
to accidentally stumble upon an active illegal marijuana
garden, especially at this time of year when harvesting
may be occurring. There is more invested in these
gardens than just dollars by Mexican drug-trafficking
organizations; people who typically live in these
gardens may have been told that if they lose the marijuana,
someone will threaten their families at home.
Many of these people tending the illegal
gardens have been provided with firearms and have
a propensity to take a shot at the snap of a twig,
whether due to their fear of wild animals, to poach
food, or to protect their plot from detection.
Most of the pot is harvested in September
and into October. That coincides with hunting season,
meaning a hunter could become the hunted if they are
in the wrong place at the wrong time.
THE COST OF CULTIVATION
National parks budgets are stretched
far enough without having to deal with illegal marijuana-growing
operations, said Bomar. For instance, Sequoia and
Kings Canyon National Parks now hire protection rangers
who must include in their duties “marijuana
cultivation suppression operations” and regular
participation in “helicopter missions.”
These marijuana patrol rangers’
primary duties are to proactively patrol the park
for signs of illegal marijuana cultivation and take
the lead on organizing site-cleanup missions. The
job description continues, “They will work both
day and night shifts, routinely hike in 95-plus degree
temperatures and often be exposed to poison oak. Prior
special operations experience, Spanish language skills,
and helicopter experience preferred. The rangers will
occasionally be assigned to traditional frontcountry
A K-9 (dog) handler is also a permanent,
full-time position whose primary duties are “drug
interdiction and proactive patrol work.” The
Sequoia National Park police dog is a Belgian malinois,
a sheepherding breed popular also for police and military
ASSAULT ON THE LAND
the price we pay to deal with marijuana-growing operations
goes well beyond law-enforcement costs,” Bomar
To clear the ground for marijuana, growers
remove all plant matter, including rare and endangered
plant and tree species. They terrace hillsides, impound,
streams, and introduce chemicals to pristine mountain
don’t carry out human waste or their other garbage,”
Bomar said. “And they build and camouflage living
Rehabilitation work to eradicated or
abandoned sites costs up to $15,000 per acre, and
the land takes years to heal from damages growers
can inflict in a single day.
SIGNS OF THE SEASON
Here are some clues that you may have
come across a marijuana-cultivation site:
you smell a skunk? The smell of marijuana plants,
especially on hot days, is similar to that of skunk
PVC (plastic) pipes? Hoses or drip lines will be located
in unusual or unexpected places.
unusual hiking trails? Is there a well-used trail
where there shouldn’t be one?
voices? Are there sounds coming from an unusual place
in the forest?
people loitering? Did you see people standing along
a road without vehicles present or in areas where
loitering appears unusual?
you spot an elaborate mountain camp containing cooking
and sleeping areas with food?
you spot numerous small propane bottles? Growers use
them to avoid smoke from a wood fire.
you see hikers with very heavy packs? Did you see
fertilizer, weapons, garbage, or dead animals in camp?
isolated areas? Typical marijuana plantations are
found in isolated locations, in rough, steep terrain,
typically between 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation (high
enough to tap into a year-round water source; low
enough to avoid freezing temperatures at night).
Stay alert no matter where you are, however,
because growers are always working to stay one step
ahead. A new marijuana plant, an import from Afghanistan
that grows at elevations up to 9,000 feet, can withstand
the colder temperatures of the high country, allowing
for a longer growing season. It can also be harvested
as many as three times a season, compared with standard
plants that produce one harvest in six months.
SEE IT, REPORT IT
As soon as you become aware that you
have entered a marijuana-cultivation site or have
encountered any of the above-listed situations, immediately
reduce the threat by removing yourself from the area.
Walk, crawl, or run out the way you came in and make
as little noise as possible.
The growers may be present and may or
may not know that you have found their operation.
They have been instructed to defend the site.
As soon as possible, contact the nearest
law-enforcement officer, ranger station, or sheriff’s
department and report as much detail about the incident
as you can recall.
to ponder before you head to the polls in November.
PROPOSITION 19 will be on the ballot, an INITIATIVE
TO LEGALIZE, CONTROL, AND TAX CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA.
Approval of this measure could effectively reduce
or altogether eliminate the assault on California’s
public lands by cutting of the funding to drug-trafficking
organizations, while reducing law-enforcements costs
and generating billions in revenue for the cash-strapped
State of California. This proposition is certainly
worthy of further research before casting your ballot.
to dinner, auction
The 19th annual Dinner and Auction, hosted
by the Three Rivers Union School Foundation, will
take place this Sunday, Sept. 19, from 4 to 8:30 p.m.,
at Lions Arena.
The event is the main fundraising event
for the Foundation and is a great opportunity to give
back to the community through bidding on objets
d’art while visiting with friends and neighbors
and meeting new people. With music playing in the
background, wine and dine on great food and drink
and stroll the grounds while viewing art and other
Many local artists and businesses have
donated art, merchandise, and services. Where else
could you find an oversized oil print by Rev. Msgr.
John Griesbach or an exquisite mosaic table created
by Pamela Lockhart? Auction items will also include
a pottery candy dispenser created by Nancy Jonnum
especially for this event; a gorgeous, hand-painted
lamp by Wendy McKellar; jewelry by Tina St. John;
miniatures by Kacey Fansett; and a handcrafted, one-of-a-kind
bench by Sal Natoli and another by Dave Sherwood.
Too numerous to list here, local businesses
have anted up with gift certificates, gift baskets,
wine, food, dinners, overnight stays at local lodges,
a cave tour, a weekend stay in a Hartland cabin, a
cord of wood with free Three Rivers delivery, and
so much more. Door prizes will also be given away.
For dinner, choose from three entrees:
tri-tip beef, chicken piccata, or roasted veggies
and pasta with Alfredo sauce. For dessert, there will
be chocolate cake and carrot cake.
Music will be provided by Jesse Belman
on guitar and Tony Rohrkemper playing flute. The TRUS
Foundation exists solely to supplement and enrich
the lives of Three Rivers Union School kids. Last
year, the Foundation provided funds to resurface the
tennis courts, purchased new bleachers for the upper
field, assisted an Eagle Scout landscaping project,
and dedicated the upper field to Maile Peck, a longtime
supporter of the school.
This year, the Foundation plans to continue
upgrading the computer lab by purchasing new computers,
will fund the 2010/2011 art program, and supplement
the band and music program and provide scholarships
to summer band camp. There are several long-term projects
also in the works.
Strong schools build strong communities.
Strong communities build strong schools. Three Rivers
Union School is one of the top-ranked schools in Tulare
County (based on API scores). Let’s keep it
Tickets are $50 per person; $75/couple.
Contact Lee Crouch (280-4628) or Mark Hirni (280-6787)
for tickets or more information. Or drop by the TRUS
Chump’s wants ‘em
down that Xbox controller and do something constructive
with your time!”
I know I heard it plenty growing up...
Well, now’s your chance to do something
constructive! Enter your own original drawings in
the Chump’s Monster Contest and show off your
skills for the town to see.
Anyone can submit a drawing. Three levels
of entry — beginner, intermediate, and advanced
— will ensure fair judging for all with a winner
at each level.
The rules are simple: All entries must
be created by hand (no digital art) and must be PG-13
and under as they will be on display for everyone
to see. Entries must have the artist’s name,
age, and contact number on the back and the monster’s
name on the front.
Deadline is Thursday, Sept. 30. All entries
will be on display at Chump’s Videos & DVDs
beginning October 1 in preparation for a town judging
where the three winners will be selected.
The winners will receive three free video
rentals and have their drawings framed and hung on
the walls at Chump’s for all time. All submissions
will be scanned and added to the Chump’s Facebook
page in the “Monster Contest” album.
With art programs being discontinued
at schools throughout the country, we need to do our
best to encourage creativity in our lives and the
lives of youth. This is why Chump’s developed
the Monster Contest. After all, where would we be
without art and creativity?
Jeremy Cormier is co-owner
of Chump’s Videos & DVDs in Three Rivers.
‘Coolest Small Town’
In Budget Travel magazine’s fifth
annual celebration of hometown escapes throughout
the U.S., the magazine revealed the results of a summer
contest that highlighted 31 nominees, including Three
Rivers. In the magazine’s September
2010 issue, the 10 winners are spotlighted.
After receiving nearly half a million
votes during the online poll, here are the ultimate
1. Ely, Minn. (pop. 3,470)
2. Brevard, N.C. (pop. 6,716)
3. Saugatuck, Mich. (pop. 954)
4. Bandon, Ore. (pop. 3,295)
5. Cloverdale, Calif. (pop. 8,454)
6. Cuero, Texas (pop. 6,571)
7. Nyack, N.Y. (pop. 6,737)
8. Egg Harbor, Wisc. (pop. 1,194)
9. Medicine Park, Okla. (pop. 385
10. Kennett Square, Penn. (pop. 5,273)
Environmental Weekend event
on food, farming
by Mona Fox Selph
How would you survive if suddenly there
were no grocery stores? If that thought has ever occurred
to you, on Saturday, October 2, you might get insights
from the presentations at the Green Faire at Three
Rivers Arts Center on North Fork Drive.
The Spanish explorers who first saw Central
California’s great valley and foothills described
the area as a place of abundance. The land and waters
were overflowing with life, and flying bird migrations
looked like shadows moving across the sky.
The ecosystem supported a large Indian
population of many tribes, yet most did not have to
work extremely hard to survive. They knew the land
intimately and availed themselves of its bounty with
time left over for games, dances, decorative arts,
This was especially true of the Yokuts
tribes who dwelled in the river drainage of the Sierra
Nevada foothills. Although there was trade with the
tribes of the coast, the Central Valley, and the eastern
Sierra, the Yokuts ate mostly locally from abundance.
In the early 1980s, I produced two murals
for the Indian Room at the Mooney Grove Museum. The
first is a reproduction of a large pictograph now
under Lake Kaweah, for which Richard Burns graciously
loaned me his slides.
The second is a distillation of various
tribes’ stories of creation and their spiritual
connection with the earth. In doing the research for
this, I became very interested in how they lived.
Some groups used “rabbit sticks” with
burs on the end that they would insert into the rabbit’s
burrow and twist into the fur to pull the rabbit out.
The Tulare Lake people lived on and fished
from reed boats for days at a time. With a strong
fishing line tied with the femur of a deer as hook,
they would catch the eight-foot long sturgeon that
dwelled in the shallow waters, then let it drag the
boat around for many hours until it was exhausted.
Then, without great effort, they could haul in the
These early peoples lived in relative
balance with nature. Their footprints on the land
Thinking of this now, where are the clouds
of birds, the antelope, and the streams swollen with
fish? In this community we call home, much has changed
in the last several hundred years.
Most fortunate Americans may not feel
the brunt of it, but there is an ever-growing crisis
in the world. The crisis is us.
There are too many people and too few
resources to go around. Not enough water, not enough
food, not enough farmland, and not enough consideration
for the inevitable result that as our own numbers
expand, the numbers of other species contracts.
We are part of an interdependent web
of life. In the long term, we must make the moral
decision to limit our own numbers so that “the
right to life” may apply to other living forms
as well. That will be an act of courage and an act
of love, which we must face up to.
Our present course is unsustainable.
In the short term, we are finally recognizing the
impact we are having on our planet’s water,
air, and soils, the source of all life. Using earth
core research in the African Sahil to interpret dust
emissions over long time spans, scientists have established
that in the last 150 years of modern farming and plowing,
vast quantities of top soil have been lost and, in
the process, this has significantly affected the climate.
The same has happened everywhere to varying
degrees relative to moisture and winds. Increasingly
now, farmers are using techniques to disturb the soil
Chemical fertilizers expand food production,
but do little or nothing for the living soil itself.
More small farmers are returning to natural fertilizer
and compost to preserve and enrich the soil’s
structure and nutrients.
Water conservation techniques are in
every farmer’s thoughts. A company called Re:Char
is working in Africa using biochar, a charcoal created
by pyrolysis to enrich and stabilize the soil while
at the same time sequestering carbon dioxide almost
Most of our great-great-grandparents
were farmers or at least backyard gardeners with a
few chickens scratching up bugs and worms. During
the expanding industrial revolution of the past 150
years, as corporate farming combined with the flowering
of capitalism and obsessive consumption, most of us
divorced ourselves from the land.
Now we are looking to relearn what we
have forgotten, to reconnect with stewardship of the
land, conservation of resources, and responsibility
for our food choices. Gardens are growing everywhere:
on walls, on roofs, on sides of buildings.
A few hens live in backyards, people
plant more fruit trees, and neighbors with pasture
keep some cows and sheep. The more of our own food
we can produce locally, the smaller our footprint
on the planet.
Hopefully, things are turning as we again
become more aware of our interdependence with the
land. On Saturday morning at the Green Faire, speakers
Don Mosley and Paul Buxman will tell us about grass-fed
beef and organic gardens and farming.
Following their presentations, a new
short film, Artists of the Great Western Divide, will
Beginning at 2 p.m., the California Native
Plant Society will feature archaeological researcher
Mary Gorden, who will present a program on local Native
Americans and plants that dwelled here 600 years ago.
Kristina Roper Graber, archaeologist
and instructor of anthropology at CSU Fresno, will
elaborate further on challenges faced by early peoples
procuring food and how this changed over time.
Save the date for those presentations and more features,
including the attendance many of well-known area writers
The weekend continues on Sunday, Oct.
3, with the Three Rivers Green Home Tour, part of
the National Solar Tour, the world’s largest
grassroots solar event. Call 561-4676 for a reserved
spot on Sunday’s tour and check out www.nationalsolartour.org.
Mona Fox Selph is
an organizer of the Three Rivers Environmental Weekend.
WELCOME TO MY FOOD COLUMN
Ballymaloe Cookery School
by Tina St. John
PART THREE: SALADS
This is the next installment in a continuing
series about the author’s two-week visit last
month to the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in
rural County Cork, Ireland. Previous installments
may be read by clicking Newspaper Archives in the
menu on this page, September 3 and 10, 2010).
goes without saying that the salads made at the Ballymaloe
Cookery School are as fresh as fresh can be. My very
first job at the school was making a green salad.
This was not an ordinary green salad
with a few different greens and herbs I was used to
making at home. First of all, the size of the salad
was abundant and the wooden bowl it was all going
into was sufficient as well.
The two-inch thick bowl was three feet
by three feet, give or take a few inches. There were
35 students plus a large staff that had to be fed.
One of the gardeners brought in trays
of various heads of lettuce plus a tub of several
different herbs and other specialty greens. Each had
been picked minutes before arrival.
I could smell the dirt that was still
lingering on the tiny threads of roots. The morning
dew dripped from the leaves and down my arm as I transferred
The aroma from the herbs was intoxicating.
I found myself frequently taking deep breaths to absorb
the freshness of the pungent scents. My thoughts wandered,
“What if this scent were bottled?”
Well, I’m sure that in some Parisian
market it’s been done already. I felt happy
and anticipated lunchtime with excitement.
One of the head cooks had asked me if I knew how to
make a good dressing.
sure. I’ll make my own,” I said.
As it turned out, my simple dressing
became a lunchtime favorite at the school.
Owner Darina Allen had come in that morning
when I was halfway finished washing and mixing the
greens and herbs together. She explained to me that
eating the combinations of greens is excellent for
any digestive system and to not tear apart the lettuce
leaves too small.
With her beautiful Irish accent, she
said, “Keep them larger so one can enjoy the
different textures and keep the nutrients intact.”
One day I made a fruit salad where the
grapes had to be peeled. That’s right, peeled.
In fact the instructions said, “There
is no simple way to peel grapes; the best thing to
do is to make a cup of coffee, sit on a high stool,
and listen to something riveting on the radio.”
That’s just what I did except for
the radio part and began to peel more than 100 grapes.
It was a very Zen-like experience.
But, as the recipe explained, the taste
of peeled grapes enhances every other fruit in the
salad. After eating the salad, I had to agree this
Salads are an incessant flow in daily
menus aside from the regular green salad. Because
of the size of gardens and all the different vegetables
and fruits grown at the school, there never seemed
to be a shortage of salad dishes.
Being the Californians we are, I‘m
certain you‘ll find the salad recipes that accompany
this column not only appealing and healthy, but useful
and delicious for your eating pleasure.
Melon and Mint Salad
The honeydew melon is not the most flavorful
of the melon family, however, this recipe turns it
into a delicious salad. The flavor of the grapes and
melon with mint is immeasurably better if the grapes
2 cups of grapes
1 small melon
1 tablespoon fine sugar, optional (I cheated and used
only a very tiny bit because I don’t think fruit
needs any sugar)
2-3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
peeling the grapes and cutting the melon into small
pieces, squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon
and pour over fruit. Toss gently with the mint.
Summer Fruit Salad
I was surprised by how much sweet geranium
leaves are used in cooking. I had no idea they are
edible and delicious. This recipe can be made in the
winter as well by using frozen berries.
1 cup loganberries
1 cup red currants
1 cup black currants
1 cup small strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
Syrup for berries
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 cups water
6-8 sweet geranium leaves
in saucepan and boil for only 2 minutes until sugar
is dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes and then pour over
bowl of berries. Allow to macerate for several hours.
Remove the geranium leaves. Serve chilled with softly-whipped
cream or vanilla ice cream or alone. Garnish with
a few geranium leaves.
Red Onion and Mint Salad
6 very ripe firm tomatoes
1 small red onion
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sugar
Fresh mint or basil
I want to give you an idea of what went into the green
salad everyday. The list:
Red Leaf, Green Leaf, Romaine, Butterhead, Tango,
Arugula, Red Oak, Chervil, Sorrel, Dandelion Greens,
Red Beet Leaves, Kale, Mustard Greens, Mizuna, Sorrel,
Curly Parsley, Frisee, Edible Flowers; Marigold Petals,
Nasturtium, Borage, Chive Flowers, and Arugula Flowers.
MY SIMPLE DRESSING
1/3 cup balsamic or white wine vinegar
2/3 cups cold-pressed olive oil
Dash of salt
1 large clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon of honey
Mix and shake well.
1931 ~ 2010
Ray Shields of Three Rivers passed away
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, from complications due to
Alzheimer’s disease. He was 78.
Ray was born December 9, 1931, in Van
Nuys. He was one of nine children.
In 1976, he married his wife, Karen.
They resided in Canoga Park until they moved to Three
Rivers in 1990.
Ray was a carpenter for 52 years until
he retired in 1999. He loved to stop by any job site
he could find to talk to the crew about what they
Ray was an active member of the community,
loved to talk to everyone and anyone, and never in
all of his years passed up an opportunity to tell
a joke. He was a member of the Three Rivers Lions
Club for 18 years and volunteered at the Visalia Senior
Center for eight years. He was an avid bowler and
spent 50 years on various bowling teams. He loved
to travel and took trips with his wife, including
cross-country road trips and several cruises to various
countries around the world.
Ray is survived by his wife of 34 years,
Karen; his three children, Rusty, Tina, and Jonie
Shields; and three grandchildren, Erica Aviles, Tarrance
Vickers, and Alisha Shields.
Funeral services were held yesterday
(Thursday, Sept. 16) at Three Rivers Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be
sent in Ray’s name to the Kings County Commission
on Aging, Alzheimer’s Fund, 680 N. Campus Dr.,
Suite D, Hanford, CA 93230.