from the editor
Photo of Gary and Amanda Burden courtesy of family
This issue is dedicated to my father, who passed away on March 7.
He was a beautiful rebel of a man, full of rock-and-roll attitude, creativity, and spirit. He had a profound impact on everyone he met and was revered for his artwork and extraordinary experiences.
He taught me to be adventurous and imaginative. He impressed upon me the importance of cherishing nature, respecting the environment, laughing and being joyful and silly, living by my own rules, and thinking for myself (and not trusting "the man"). He also taught me to appreciate the finer aspects of life, including automobiles, music, literature, fashion, design, high art in museums we walked through, and eclectic treasures in shops we visited on our road trips. He was an avid flea market and thrift store shopper who had a knack for unearthing one-of-a-kind deals. Shelves in his home were snugly packed with his finds.
He influenced me when it came to food, too, introducing me to delicious dishes, whether served in fine or hole-in-the-wall restaurants. He passed down his taste for hearty beef stew and chili. Additionally, I assumed his ravishing delight of summer berries and vanilla cakes. I take a lot after my dad in terms of our food preferences. Just like me, he adored Mexican fare, gratifyingly digging his fork into tamales, chile rellenos, and enchiladas. We also shared a love of well-toasted grilled cheese sandwiches paired with tomato soup.
Prior to my dad's illness, coincidentally, we had planned this COOKS! issue to have a wellness focus, and, also synchronously, the cover story became centered on Native American food traditions. My father was a huge collector of handcrafted tribal baskets, ceramics, and leather goods and was an enthusiast of Native American philosophies and spirituality. A shaman even presided over his marriage and death.
This issue is a perfect tribute to my dad, who lived life to its fullest. I hope you enjoy it.
Hold your loved ones tightly, and teach and feed them well.
About the cover Seventeen-year-old John Rupert, a member of the Washoe/Duck Valley Shoshone Paiute tribes, is surrounded by native dishes, including, from left, pine nuts, trout (in his lap), and marinated bison steak. He took down the 1,500-pound bison with a bow and arrow. He and his father, Ben, regularly hunt for elk, rabbits, and ducks; fish for Lahontan cutthroat trout; and forage for wild onions, pine nuts, and berries. Photo by Jeff Ross