The First Berkshire

Most of us do not have the option to live amongst farms and ranches. We don’t know where our food is coming from and we can’t see how our food is being cultivated. Which is why I have the upmost admiration when it comes to a choice our friends Chari and Craig made to purchase a working organic farm in Temecula.  There is nothing easy about farming, but what work is more important than growing the very food that keeps us alive?


Today,  one particular Berkshire became a very important “first” in quite a few of our lives.  This particular pig, was the first pig, Chari and Craig raised specifically for a food source.  This pig was the first pig Chef Cody Requejo and Chef Alex Ruperto butchered from head to tail.  This was the first time Van’s 3 year old son Knox had been to a real farm.  This was the first time I honestly took a look at my food while it was still breathing and acknowledged what an honor it was to be a part of this pigs life and death.


How do I honor this pig in a post?  I will tell you that he was a Berkshire pig, the finest and most sought out of all pork heritages. He was raised on a diet of fruits, vegitables and nuts from Chari’s farm as well as neighboring farms.  He lived out in the open air in the sunshine and under the stars amongst turkeys, goats, chickens and potbellied pigs.

When it came time to break him down, neighbors pitched in and helped the chefs maneuver the 220 lb pig from station to station, leaving the men with sore muscles for the next couple of days.


None of the Berkshire went to waste, the chefs, honored and humbled by this task,  fabricated every part of the pig from the head meat to the intestines.  The meat was divided evenly between two farms who raised the Berkshire, and to the chefs of r3Izakaya.

On March 28th, we are going to eat this pig.   Chef Cody and Chef Alex are preparing an ecletic menu to celebrate the life and death of this very fine Berkshire, and I am going to take a wild gamble that eating this hand raised pig will be a first for you too.




Sick of Being Sick



This cold/flu season has been NUTS.  These “colds” have lasted weeks.  The “flu” is packing hospitals across the country.  I have had a sore throat on and off since new years eve and came across this recipe from David Wolfe which has been a huge relief on my raw vocal chords.

For a sore throat, mix warm water, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar), dash of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  It tastes pretty good and it works within the hour.

My old friend Colloidal Silver has kept the really bad stuff away, but Sunday I was little too carefree and the fever took me.  With 3 days to go before a much anticipated trip to Costa Rica I turned to a Oil of Oregano.  I have heard about its miracoulous powers, so with watery eyes and a runny nose I threw myself at the mercy of the alchemists at Mothers Market and hoped for the best.

Well, it works!  And it works fast.  I take a shot glass of water and add 5 drops of oil.  Like a big girl I shoot the OOO and for the next few hours it tastes like I just had pizza.  Repeat 3-4 times a day drink lots of water, get some rest, and finish packing for Costa Rica.

I hope this helps get you through this sick season, the Banshees have a few parties around the corner and you are going to need your energy to keep up with us.



Cheers from the Banshees


Stage: Venice, Italy Feburary 2014

Bandmates:  Amber Wierenga, Kelly Talbot (honorary Banshee) and 2 husbands.

Wardrobe: I was dressed warm except I did not bring warm enough shoes.  The city sits on the sea, there is no earth to insulate the ground and when your feet are cold…everything is cold.

venice streets

The way the locals handle the chilly walkways is by wearing fur.  Well, I left my fur at Beyonce’s house (she just hasn’t returned it yet) so, in hopes of cheap wool or fur we stopped in a few thrift shops but nothing is cheap on this island.

Nothing is cheap in Vencie except for ONE thing.  Prosecco…which is stored in casks, and served into whatever you bring in, like your water bottle.  It cost 1.5 euro for a bottle of water in Venice, and it cost 1 euro to fill up that water bottle with prosecco.  My grandma always said “nothing warms the toes, like day drinking.”  I don’t know if she used those exact words, but the sentiment was always there.   We filled up our bottles and my feet did warm up as we strolled around the streets of Venice drunk on architecture, and tiny bubbles.



This weekend, I hope you run into a happy surprise with one of your girlfriends.  When you raise your glass, I hope you can hear, “Cheers” from the Banshees.

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