Words: Mike Madison / Illustration Hans Bennewitz
A thirsty person has a wide choice of drinks: beer, wine, cider, or perry; apple juice, orange juice, tomato juice, or prune juice; cow’s milk, goat’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk; Coke, Mountain Dew, Ginger Ale, or Moxie; coffee, green tea, black tea, or herbal tea; whisky, brandy, tequila, or ouzo; and many others. And yet, despite seeming diversity, all of these drinks are merely embellished or disguised forms of the one true drink: water. Water is a physiologic necessity to us, and without it we perish rapidly. If you are in good health at the outset, you can pass an unhappy month without food, but our survival without water is measured in hours, or a day or two at the most.
Not all waters are equal. Some are lively, some are flat, some are laden with minerals or salts, others are redolent of organic molecules. As with any variable drink, there will be occasions when a drink of water is special or unusual enough to stick in your memory. Here are a few of my memorable drinks.
In what must have been the hottest summer of the 1950’s, my parents decided … Read More
Words: Julianna Boggs / Photos: Debbie Cunningham
In the midst of our current foodie culture, the word “harvest” is a romanticized idea that glosses over the hardships and realities of long hours in the winter shade. In September or October, a few days beneath the full silver canopy of the Oleaceae wouldn’t be so trying, but come late November when the olives are just turning from bright green to a darkening mottled red, numb hands and tired backs are the sacrifices required for the liquid green gold of fresh-pressed olive oil.
Every year at the Cuneo family ranch, the late fall olive harvest is a community effort with grandmother Carole Marz alongside her grown children and nearby-neighbors pressed into service for two days of “back to the land.” In this grove of some 300 trees perched on a steep hill of burnt sienna colored clay, someone must shake the olives from the trees while another clears the fruit of leaves and twigs.
Perhaps most important of all, someone must prepare and deliver lunch for the crew—preferably a large pot of hearty stew with thick slices of fresh toasted bread and heavy drizzles of last year’s oil, all served from the … Read More