Hello,

I just wanted to explain some April changes you will see in the pace and content of blogging here. Normally, I try to post five cookbook reviews and seven recipes a week. I need to step back just a tad for the next three weeks.

Suzi and I are going on spring break. We are visiting National Parks in the Southwest. That picture at the top is what is known as a slot canyon, a very narrow passageway carved by flash floods. You NEVER want to be in one of these slots when it rains. It’s a deadly mix of water and rock. This particular one is in Death Valley. This year there is no Death Valley on our agenda, but there will be Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef and maybe Arches. Suzi and I are having discussions about Arches and how much time we want to spend in the car versus on the trail.

We’ll try to blog a bit when our journey actually begins next Thursday — look for the post about the fruit pies in Fruita, Utah. This week I’m up to my eyeballs in trip planning.

Still, I’ll try to have a receipe post for many of the coming days. There will be fewer posts of recipes we have personally made and more taken from the lovely cookbooks we have reviewed. New cookbook reviews will be fewer, but this is a time to begin reposting reviews of the best books of the past few years. You may have missed a volume or two, so I’m taking this opportunity to give you a second chance to see the very best in cookbooks.

I’ll be back on the 23rd of April writing at the old pace of recipes and reviews. In the meantime, you won’t be neglected.

Oh, you probably think of Death Valley as all dry and barren. On the west side of the valley floor itself, there is a mountain range that the clouds have to scale. They can’t do that without shedding some rain, so much rain in fact that the clouds run dry.  No more water means you get that classic Death Valley floor you see in pictures with just two inches of rainfall a year. But, back to the west, high in those mountains, you can find this product of the rain:

Death Valley is hot. This water is not. I tried swimming. For a few seconds.