Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Columns from the past year can be found at: lizwriteslife.blogspot.com. Call her at 530-467-3515.
It frosted at my house. Yep, it did last Saturday morning. After checking several weather services, which forecasted 35 and 38 degrees, I decided not to chance it. So, I covered the five tomato plants, four zucchini, eight cucumbers, three pumpkins and the only blue morning glory that came up. Woke up at 5:30 a.m. and saw the frost was coming in on the roof of the pump house. I guessed right!
I did not cover the newly-transplanted impatiens and alyssum, but they were small and better protected. They didn’t get singed. Neither did the bee balm or volunteer potatoes. So, the frost was not very long or hard. The peas are growing and climbing the page wire brace. The wild Shasta daisies are blooming, Sweet William is accented with a bright orange California poppy; and a hollyhock is five-feet tall. With the jump to hot, hot temps this week, guess we can say it is summer!
Because of the high 90-degree temps, I decided to harvest the mature lettuce. Washed it up and gave away 13 bags and a large one for a friend’s turtle. I knew the heat would make it bitter. Now, to get the green beans planted this week.
At the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on May 30, 2019, Ray Haupt, District 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, told us about a federal project that may actually be helpful to states and counties. It is called “The Good Neighbor Authority” and was part of the 2014 Farm Bill.
This GNA allows the Forest Service to enter into agreements with state forestry agencies to do critical management work on neighboring forest lands. Locally, our county is also entering into cooperative agreements with both Cal-Fire and USFS. The first major cooperative project includes increased thinning of trees! Yea! The county will also be able to keep the harvest receipts. Ray said the goal is to reinvest the revenue back into the program for more harvest projects.
At least it is a start to a problem where years of over-regulation dictating little to no harvest created a huge fire hazard throughout the West.
Eateries in Etna
The new owners of Dotty’s invited me, and several other folks, to a taste testing of their new food items for catering. One is also a hit on the weekend menu. It is a slow-smoked tri-tip tossed in barbecue sauce and caramelized onion slider. Gotta say it was delicious especially with Southern-style coleslaw added to the top. Crunchy!
Chef Jon Klous and Brandy Hudson purchased Dotty’s earlier this year and have brought-in another chef, Sam Hartman, to add trendy items. I think we started with an English cucumber topped with sliced avocado and smoked pepper jam. Yum. There was a home-keto-friendly-grown pork treat in small individual finger sizes. Then they served beef kabob’s marinated in a special sauce and chicken kabobs marinated in V-8 juice and Worcestershire sauce. Besides the tri-tip slider with soft small potato buns, they also make a miniature Dotty’s burger and mushroom Swiss slider.
Dessert was a bacon apple caramelized onion blue-cheese tartlet. They are also made in peach, blackberry and strawberry. These are cooked in the smoker, which is their large oven for most items. Oh, and the melon ball kabob with a spritz of blackberry reduced wine sauce was fresh and perky.
All the food was tantalizing and provocative to a ranch-wife type of cook. They have specials on their daily menu and make catering easy. You can order trays for smaller groups or they will do big events. Just let them know what you need.
I mentioned to Jon, Brandy and Sam that when I was in high school, I worked for the original Dotty. I mentioned that it seemed like there would be big lulls in customers, like they were all visiting down at the other corner, and then decide to show up – all at once making the cooks hustle. Guess everyone gets hungry at the same time. Brandy said it is still the same.
I don’t want to leave out the other wonderful cafés and restaurants in Etna. It has been a busy week and I didn’t stop by for updated visits, so I am writing from memory. Hope I get things right! I apologize in advance.
Across Hwy. 3 from Dotty’s Korner is South Fork Baking Company featuring coffees, full espresso bar, smoothies, teas and baked goods. They also make sandwiches and breakfast burritos. I like their donuts.
A few doors down is Bob’s Ranch House with full early-morning breakfasts to lunch and complete dinners. The banquet room is especially helpful for large groups or meetings. Oh, and they have buffets on Wednesday night, when the Wednesday Night Band plays.
Down on Main Street, Wildwood Crossings offers coffee and espressos of all kinds. I am not a coffee drinker, but sure enjoy the coffee aroma when I am there. Ahhh! They make sandwiches and luscious wraps, but my favorite is the grilled chicken in a croissant.
Up Etna’s Main Street block is the newly-opened Grain Street Bakery. I did visit, because I had not yet been in. Owner Erik makes a variety of breads, cookies and cultural pastries. A customer favorite is bacon bread! I bought a loaf of American Sourdough. It was good – and I make my own sourdough bread.
On the corner is Paystreak Brewing Company with homemade micro brews. Debbie’s salads, sandwiches and wraps are delish and Monday has an open-mic night. I saw Clint McBroom playing the fiddle on a Facebook video and kids were dancing. Maybe some of the Wednesday Night Band members play there on Mondays!
Across Diggles street is the Denny Bar Co. Distillery. Besides trendy lunches and dinners featuring homegrown Jenner Family Beef, they offer guided tours of the featured distillery every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with complimentary tasting. I really like the brick-oven baked pizza.
Etna Brewing Co. & Brew Pub is located down China Hill and open Thurs-Sun. They make all kinds of burgers and sandwiches and offer a variety of micro brews.
I hope I didn’t leave out any eateries – in Etna. I just wanted to perk your taste buds. Please check them out for yourself to find your favorite foods and drinks.