SEARCH: Farm to Table

Farm to Table: Angel Hair with Garlic, Ricotta, and Fava Beans
by Brian and Patricia Dake

RECIPE2

Farm-to-table, getting back to our roots and consuming food grown in our own communities is the current trend and considered healthier for both us and the environment. Keeping that is mind, what could be better than garden-to-table? If we want to get down to earth, how about enjoying produce grown in our own backyards?

Several years ago I attended an early-season farmer’s market where I chatted with a local grower and discovered the wonder of fresh fava beans. She explained to me how fava beans make an ideal winter crop. Simply plant the starter beans – easily found at a local garden store – in a patch of earth November to December. In colder regions, you will wish to plant in autumn before the ground freezes. Once the beans are planted, winter rains will do the work for you, and I have found the stalks to be remarkably pest resistant. In drought years, you will want to make sure to water every couple of weeks, but with cooler weather and… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue

 

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EXCLUSIVE! Inside The Queen Mary

In our Summer issue, SEARCH will be highlighting The Queen Mary in our #OceanLife Faceoff as one of the best ocean-themed places to visit. As a teaser, we were offered a chance to tour The Queen Mary and it’s newly-opened “most haunted” room, B340. Below, our correspondent, Linda Whitaker, shares her experience on the ship.

 The Queen Mary
by Linda Whitaker

I was led down a steel walkway suspended over deep darkness, lit only by the faint glimmer of a flashlight and the occasional glow of a cell phone, into the musty depths of the Queen Mary’s boiler room. Our guide, paranormal explorer Matthew Schulz, narrated the experiences of previous adventurers in this hotspot of paranormal activity; tugs on clothing, touches on skin, with no apparent source for these sensations.  Hearing the stories is chilling and a series of goosebumps ran down my arms.  At length, Matthew paused our walk at the ironically signposted “Safe Room”.  Inside, an arcane array of electrical equipment to record communications from the other world was arranged on the table.  Our group entered the darkened room, the door was closed and the spirits were called.  Matthew’s invitation to those spirits, and their responses, was recorded.   Listening to the playback left me uncertain, but it just might have been “Mary” I heard in response to his posed question, “Can you tell me what ship we are on?  What Queen are we on?”  We pelted our guide with questions: “Is this real?  Are those spirits talking?”  With a shrug of the shoulders, Matthew ended our tour with a philosophical, “we’ll never really know” and handed our group off to the Commodore, a thirty-seven-year veteran of the ship.

A brisk walk along B Deck led us to the infamous Room B340 where the stage was set, complete with crystal ball, tarot deck, and Ouija board.  The Commodore’s tales of B340 were eerie and its reputation was such that the room, until recently, has been unoccupied and out of use for years.   But new guests are in luck!  The newly renovated space is now available to the public and you can book your own stay in the haunted B340.  During its earlier years of occupancy, sleeping guests awakened to find the covers flown back and figures of people standing alongside the bed.  Housekeeping reports include making up the room, only to return moments later to tousled spreads and sheets and everything in disarray.   Our group, while exploring the dimly lit room, complained of vertigo and headaches and the stalwart Commodore confessed his own extreme discomfort. “I would never spend a night in this cabin,” he added.

Our last adventure that evening led us to a glimpse of the gorgeous art deco 1st class passenger swimming pool, where wet footprints abruptly ending have been reported, in spite of the pool having been drained for decades. A few steps away, we stopped in front of polished elevator doors where the reflection of an elegant “Woman In White” has been seen by some.   Strolling down a long walkway resplendent in bird’s-eye maple paneling and carpet reminiscent of a more elegant era, we are told of an image, seen by many, of a 7-8 year old girl nicknamed “Jackie”, her arms outstretched, reaching up as if asking to be lifted and comforted.  As our tour concluded, I believe we were all looking for a bit of comfort!

The history of this ship is fascinating.  Walking up to the Queen Mary one is immediately struck by the immensity, its dominance in the harbor.  It is so PRESENT!  How does something like that even float – let alone remain seaworthy after 82 years?  Although I can’t begin to understand the engineering feat, I did, after stepping into its beautifully preserved entry and touring her decks, understand her allure.  The ship beckons you to explore. Yes, you can feel her.

 Commissioned in 1936, the Queen Mary was a state-of-the-art luxury cruising vessel, one of the grandest ocean liners ever built.  During World War II, with resources being scarce, she was retrofitted as a troop ship, nicknamed the “Grey Ghost”, and began service to the allied forces.  After her return to civilian life, in the late 1940’s, she again spent a number of years in the luxury liner industry, but travel was a changing landscape and more and more people took to the air.  The Queen Mary was tired, weathered, and no longer in demand.  In 1967, finding a resting place in Long Beach, California, she’s become an iconic landmark that everyone should attempt to see.

Fortunately, not only is the Queen Mary still with us, and perhaps still hosting a number of passengers from the past, but she also offers a myriad of experiences for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike.  There are so many ways to experience the Queen Mary.  You must give one a try!  Oh, and if you see the little girl in the hallway?  Give her a hug from me.

The Queen Mary offers:

  • Historical Tours – For the history buffs.
  • Haunted Encounter Tours – This tour highlights stories of famous hauntings.
  • Ghosts & Legends Tours – Special effect enhance this tour experience.
  • 4-D Special Effects Theater – Sight, sound, aroma and wind to enhance your experience.
  • Paranormal Ship Walk – Be prepared, I’m told if the activity is hot, you may spend hours at this experience.
  • Dining with the Spirits – Dining, followed by the Paranormal Ship Walk.
  • Dark Harbor – Annual Halloween Event where spooky mazes of horror are staged onboard and in areas immediately adjacent to the ship. The event runs from late September through the end of October.  A sneak peek at the “Kitchen of Horror” maze leads me to believe a return visit is in order.
  • More information on events here: http://www.queenmary.com

SEARCH: Harp in the Garden

Harp in the Garden
by Michele Roger

MUSICHARPIt’s a beautiful, spring night. I’m out listening to the peepers, young frogs, newly awakened after a long, hard Detroit winter and ready to sing. A small bonfire crackles at the edge of the deck. I hold a glass of Pinot Noir in my hand, and as I look over at my Kiwi partner in crime, I pick up the phone to set the wireless sound system to play.

It’s the first opportunity we’ve had to play music outside, and it’s kind of a big deal. For the outdoor speakers, it’s a maiden spring voyage. I’m a harpist and hence, I often enjoy listening to the work of fellow harpists crazy enough to fall in love, like I did, with an instrument that requires time, talent, and patience to handle an instrument twice my size. The sound system is primed, and the garden is under a blanket of stars.

Perhaps your garden is unpredictable and flourishes with colors and new shoots that are both beautiful and surprising. Then, you and your garden may love some jazz harp. I suggest streaming some tunes by harpist, Carolyn Sykes. While her list of music is vast, her most popular album… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue

SEARCH: Hand Fan Museum

Hand Fan Museum
by Emerian Rich

In Healdsburg, California, about an hour and a half northwest from Contra CoFAN MUSEUMsta County, is America’s only Hand Fan Museum. Opened by Pam Sher in 2002, the collection started with about one thousand fans, but now is about four thousand.

Pam was a history teacher in Oakland when she became fascinated with fans. As she collected more, she wanted to share them with the public.

Most of the fans on display are from the 1700s of French or Japanese origin. Their oldest fan is from the 1600s. Every fall they invite an American collector to show their fans in their museum for a special event.

The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 4pm, except on rainy days, when they close to protect the fans. Director Liz Keeley is on hand to answer questions and give more information about the fans, and they have a few fan related items you can purchase so you can take… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Benefits of Culinary Herbs

Benefits of Culinary Herbs
by Suzanne Madron

COOKING WITH HERBSDuring the winter months more often than not two things have happened. We’ll have been huddled over a bowl of steaming soup or a steaming cup of tea. When the winter chill gives way to the spring, some things change. Others stay the same, such as our love of herbs, be it in those soups or teas.

Not only do herbs enhance the flavor of our food, but they provide health benefits as well. For example, that calming chamomile tea not only soothes nerves and helps you relax, but it also can be used as a hair rinse, skin toner, (let it cool before applying) and to calm a stomach upset. Fennel is also an excellent stomach soother, but may not be appealing to those who are not fans of the taste of black licorice.

Some other ingredients for herbal teas include mint and lemon balm, which are both mints and both helpful for stomach upset and calming the nerves. Lemon balm can also be used dried in a sleep pillow (a sachet of herbs) with lavender and hops to help you catch… continue reading the Spring 2018 issue

SEARCH: Top Five Music Apps

Top Five Music Apps

by Elliot Thorpe

The way we listen to recorded music has evolved over the last few years and is miles away from what our grandparents or even parents had.

TECHThe first half of the twentieth century saw the advent of the 78rpm 10 inch records which give way in 1949 to the smaller 7 inch vinyl singles, pioneered by RCA Victor and playing at a less-nippy 45rpm. The first LP record played at a more sedate 33rpm on 12 inches in diameter preceded the 7 inch single by under a year in 1949. As the century thundered along and adapted to the quickly-changing world, so did the formats of how we could take our favorite recording artists home. In addition to the 7 inch and 12 inch vinyls, we had 8-track cartridges, reel-to-reels, compact tape cassettes, and mini-discs, all eventually phased out to be superseded by the mighty compact disc. This shiny, 5 inch circle remains as the world’s most popular physical format. (The current resurgence of vinyl and, to some extent, compact tape cassettes are bringing back the halcyon days of music collecting.)

The new kid on the block, the digital download, arrived with the 21st century technology explosion. Following in its wake came software application that can be added to a cellphone, tablet, or…continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue

SEARCH: Author Spotlight Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTWhat’s an article you’ve written for SEARCH that you enjoyed? And why did you enjoy it?
I enjoy them all, because I’m the lucky one who gets to write almost all of the humor articles for SEARCH. People may not believe this, but my articles are all based on true stories in my life, and there is no hyperbolic exaggeration for effect. And because they’re true, I have great fun remembering the incidents and getting them down on paper, to share with the readers, rather than just friends on the deck. One of my favorite stories, though, is the one about Santa, Seniors, and the Goat, mostly because it revolves around my favorite time of the year, Christmas, and one of my favorite places on the planet, Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
Make believe. Whether, making up covert ops for my G.I. Joes or creating plays for my two sisters and I to perform for our parents, it was all about make believe.

Do you have a hot tip for us?
I’m an introvert. I’m really not a big fan of listening to conversations I’m not part of or hearing other people’s music pulsing out of their headphones, but I spend so much time on public transit….continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

 

SEARCH: Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California
By Sumiko Saulson

CITY SPOTLIGHT BERKELEYBerkeley is a progressive college town, well known for its commitment to arts, culture, and the ecology. It’s the first US city to create accessible spaces and curbside cutouts for the mobility impaired back in the seventies.

Farmer’s markets, pro-cyclist events like Sunday Streets Berkeley, plentiful bicycle lanes, and automobile-free zones, community gardens, composting, recycling centers, urban farming, and parks dedicated to preserving native wildlife are part of how Berkeley works towards a greener planet.

University of California Berkeley is home to a beautifully manicured thirty-four acre botanical garden featuring foot bridges, relaxing streams, lush flora, and aromatic flowers from around the globe. It’s Student Organic Garden at the corner of Walnut and Virginia Streets, encourages urban farmers to grow healthy, earth-friendly fresh foods…continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Bartram’s House & Garden

Bartram’s House & Garden
by Murdo Morrison

BARTRAMS.jpgPhiladelphia’s role in the history of the United States is well known. In 2016, 41 million people visited the city, and many surely visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the other historical sites and museums located throughout the downtown area.

However, the visitor willing to make a short trip away from the city center will be amply rewarded with the opportunity to see an amazing survival from the 18th century, the Bartram House and Garden.

John Bartram (1699-1777), often described as ‘the father of American botany’, established his house and garden in 1728 after purchasing land bordering the Schuylkill River. In addition to his important role in the early history of botany in North America, Bartram and his friend Benjamin Franklin were among those who founded the American Philosophical Society in 1743… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.