Salinas Valley Early Summer Salad

Salinas Valley Early Spring Salad

Serves 4–6

“There was always some little delicacy, very special and good—foie gras or a tossed salad, pastry bought at Lang’s Bakery, just across Main Street.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


The Salinas Valley is just inland from Monterey Bay. The mouth of the Valley begins at the Pacific Ocean in Moss Landing. From this ocean portal, the fog pushes up the valley and settles into the cradle of Salinas located on the valley floor. A cooling moist blanket of fog envelopes our early summer. The traditional summer months of June and July are more foggy than sunny. Perfect for growing lettuce and strawberries. Our summer is late, beginning in August. September is our most consistent summer month. By the first week in November, it becomes cooler and we know fall has arrived. READ MORE . . .

Oatmeal Cookies with Apricots and Almonds

Oatmeal Apricot Almond Cookies
Freshly-baked oatmeal cookies with apricots and almonds

Makes lots of cookies! About 6 dozen 2-inch cookies

Inspired by The Wild Plum restaurant in Monterey, California.
Their cookies are really good, but so are mine!


These cookies are a bit more sophisticated than traditional Oatmeal Raisin. Although, raisins and walnuts may be substituted and will make a divine oatmeal cookie, just omit the almond extract. For a more unique cookie I use a raisin assortment that includes golden and flame raisins in addition to regular raisins. A sophisticated variation of this recipe is dried tart cherries with almonds but omit the cinnamon. I like these three variations so much I haven’t tried any others. I’d love to hear what you try!

“Lee was stewing apricots. He left the stove and closed the kitchen door and went back to the stove.” READ MORE . . .