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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gotta Love Springtime in The Rockies

 As I write this column, I am sitting at my desk, just outside Richmond, VA, having been out here for a little over a week as our Fair & Festival Season has kicked in. It has been in the 90’s the past few days and thank goodness the summer humidity has not kicked in yet!

We did The Central Virginia Wine Festival on Saturday and as I was talking to people there and they found out that I still live in Colorado most of the time, two subjects were coming up a lot. The first was almost always about Colorado’s new law regarding the ‘Green’ and I try to explain to them that I do not live in Boulder or Denver and that the Western Slope is just… a little different than the Front Range. (Gee, ya think?)

The other subject was the snow that was hitting the Rockies and how could I live out there when the weather is like that.. In the Spring!! Smiling, I try to explain to them about our little ‘slice of heaven’, The Grand Valley and while, yes, the mountains around us do get nailed, we seem to have our own little eco-system, which spares us from most of mother nature’s fury. But as most of them seem to keep thinking that all of Colorado is like Denver, they just do not understand.

So, while I continue to grow our VA operations, I still am proudly a Palisidian and a small part of the Grand Valley!

Now that people have survived this last onslaught of our lovely Springtime weather, it is time to start getting ready for the Fairs, Festivals and Farmer’s Markets, some of which have already started, some are this weekend, (Try explaining to people in VA what Mike The Headless Chicken is all about!) and starting up in June, we will have the Farmer’s Markets starting up in Grand Junction, Palisade, Fruita, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and more!

If you have been getting cabin-fever this past weekend, why not come out to Fruita and check out The Mike The Headless Chicken Festival on Friday and Saturday!

When I think of Festivals, I always think back to when I lived in the Almaden Valley in South San Jose. When the wind was right, it would blow up from Gilroy and the garlic that grows there. My first major festival out in California was The Gilroy Garlic Festival, back when they only had a few thousand people show up, yeah, they get a few more than that nowadays,
Now that I got myself thinking of garlic, our ‘Website of the Week is from The Gilroy Garlic Festival and as you may guess, it ‘reeks’ at the Stinking Rose!  (

Our 'Recipe of The Week' is from that same site, Baked Garlic! Talk about an easy and tasty treat!

And don’t forget to come out to Palisade this weekend for the 1st Brews & Cruise Festival!

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Baked Garlic
Dried thyme or oregano
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Peel loose, papery skins off garlic bulbs. Slice top of each head (pointy end) so that the flesh is exposed. Arrange in a baking dish or garlic baker and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil or baker lid and bake for about 45 minutes until the garlic is soft and golden. Cool before serving.

Squeeze soft garlic out of skins and spread on meat or French bread.

Serve toasts with remaining oil.

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