Tuesday, October 7, 2014


   "The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself…In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation."
                     John Kennedy October 25, 1963

    Morro Rock is perpetually fascinating in an infinite variety of light or cloud.
     It is one of "seven sisters-" tectonic/volcanic mounts that ridge the central coast from Morro Bay to south of San Luis Obispo.
   On our first trip to this area in 1969 we stopped to pick up fish and oysters on the docks of the fishing port next to what we called "the big rock."
   The cars and people in the foreground give you a perspective to its size.
     In coaxing brother John and I into the world of good manners Mom would offer "Mind your table manners. You're not eating in a barn" a variation of "Close the door, you weren't born in a barn" which made sense as she was a farm girl in her youth.
     Mom would get a delight in this. I relied on those manners, including which fork and knife for what course, recently in a barn!

   Hope you can read the menu, because the Halter Ranch Wine Club Ancestor Dinner was first class.

   The lemon-pine nut pot de creme' desert, that I failed to photograph, was served with vin de paille.  The frame below is vin de paille in the making. Vin de paille, or straw wine, is similar to ice wine.  The grapes are permitted to dry for an extended time, building up the sugar content.  
    Another Paso Robles wine maker uses a syrah grape, dried in the vineyard.  La Vigne's Amerone is a superb wine too. The Paso appellation is rich with creativity and great wine.

   Lest those of you in other climes come to think that Epicurean delights are all Cambrians pursue, here's an update.
    Sunday morning a group presented a personal account of a recent back packing adventure across an 11 thousand foot passage on the John Muir trail in the high Sierra.
     The trek was not without incident, some got lost which raised the very real thoughts of life's fragility. It all ended well and each of the team presented personal insights, observations and reflections. It was a meaningful and enlightening time.
                              HOME TOWN POLITICS

   A standing room only crowd filled the Unitarian Universalist Community meeting room to see the six candidates for the Community Service District board of directors election. Two of the incumbents are up reelection and face 4 challengers.
  The CCSD board serves as the government in this village where everyone has an at least one opinion and where everyone is correct and knows the absolute right way things should be. Just ask anyone!
   Water is a big issue in year three of a drought. So too is growth in this village, the last population of significance on the Pacific Coast Highway between here and Carmel. It's good of these neighbors-everyone is a neighbor in a village of this size-to put themselves out there.
    Stay tuned. In the meantime my favorite Cambria heroes are the artists in this enclave of originality.

   See you down the trail.


  1. Love the rock. Nice barn, nice dinner. But be very afraid of those Unitarian Jihadists, you never know what they're thinking while you have a quiet cup of coffee with one.

  2. Yes the rock is gorgeous and gigantic. The pictures of the barn brought to mind the huge horse farm that Terry Bradshaw is wandering around on and in during the cutaway shots for his commercial about Shingles. Apparently that's one ex-football player that didn't blow all his money before he retired.

  3. Always loved that rock, I was there the last time 4 years ago, put my truck camper in that RV place just north (?) of it. Got seafood at the dock, loved my times there.

    Your dinner looked incredible....was that last food one duck breast? The scallop look exactly right.

    1. The braised lamb shoulder on melted spinach with a pomegranate glaze is on the left, while the miso charred beef tenderloin on a truffle pomme puree is on the right. The scallop was on whipped ginger flavored parsnips with watercress and topped with vanilla bean oil. It's a little more exotic than what comes out of my kitchen, but was delicious.

      Please let me know the next time you are roaming the central coast.

  4. What a delightful gathering. Great photos! As to Unitarians, I was a congregant unit in the '60s but failed to find out whether Jesus's mom used that "born in a barn" line when scolding him. Enjoyable post, Tom!

  5. When i think of giant rocks like Morro rock my mind wanders to The Pillars of Hercules and Jason and the Argonauts Here in Cannon beach we have Haystack Rock, and I can stare at it for hours..