Letter from the Publisher – Summer 2023

Summer 2023 – Issue #64

Our Publisher, Anastasia Murphy enjoying a cocktail while doing research for summer issue.
Our Publisher, Anastasia Murphy enjoying a cocktail while doing research for summer issue.

A splash in the pool; the sizzle of a burger on the grill; the click of a tab opening a cold beer — my ears tell me summer is here. After a rainy, crisp winter and spring season, I’m ready for backyard barbecues and other summer festivities but maybe not the intense August heat. The cooler temperatures that stuck around and produced a late spring frost caused me to plant my tomatoes a bit late. But as I learned from The Greenhouse article all about tomatoes on page 9, that’s quite alright. Don’t miss out on the accompanying bruschetta and salsa recipes — yum.

Speaking of senses, it’s an extraordinary season for taste, especially savory flavors. Greater Sacramento fields are full of tomatoes, melons, squash, and corn, and our trees are bursting with stone fruits. Farmers’ market booths are overflowing with a bounty for all to enjoy. In spring, we visited the Arden market alongside chef Derek Sawyer, who guides us through his market routine, on page 36. With his tips in tow, take a trip to a local market yourself. Make an outing of it! A plethora of vendors will satisfy your cravings while you support local producers. 

This season, I’m looking forward to adventures with my children. So far, that involves a day trip to explore all the outdoor adventures and some culinary delights in El Dorado County. Maybe I’ll tell my young ones stories about the miners who called this area home a century ago, and we’ll sample some of the traditional mining food, like the hand pies featured on page 33. Hey, history lessons work up an appetite!

Get your outdoor grills fired up; we have some tips for cedar plank grilling on page 24. This was a delicious recipe to sample and photograph. We ate especially well that night in our house. The flavor imparted on the meat by the cedar plank is amazing, and I highly recommend it. We didn’t overlook our vegan readers and friends — find some fantastic vegan BBQ recipes on page 28. 

Each summer, my mom comes to visit, bringing bushels of fresh vegetables and fruit and bundles of sunflowers from her farm. A farmer’s life certainly is rich with flavor, a due reward for the hard, unending work. Mom often says she can’t imagine living anywhere but at her end-of-the-road farm, surrounded by the peacefulness of nature and comforting reminders of her hard work. 

I write often of my love for Greater Sacramento, save for the heat. A cold beer (or cocktail — page 40) is a relief on those sweltering over-100-degree days. We are amid a microbeer golden age, and I’m so grateful we have some of the country’s heavy hitters right here in our region (page 20). On Facebook, I’m a member of a group called SBE (Sacramento Beer Enthusiasts), where members post photos of their favorite local pours. It’s thrilling to see all the hoppenings (dorky beer pun intended), but be forewarned it can be torture on the days when you can’t join in on the fun. I beg our local brewers to keep the cold ones coming.

On that plea, I will close out, wishing you an air-conditioned reprieve from our summer weather and a calendar full of food and fun to help you stay cool. Until then, cheers!

You might also like: