A Paleo Conversation : From CST to PST, a bi-regional take on living paleo.
  • Viva La Kiva

    Dearest E!

    Go, Grandma, Go!  100??  WOW.  Let’s plan on having an epic cocktail party when we reach that eminent age.  What a great way to celebrate!  Looks like you made some wonderful connections, and fabulous food too. What did you use to wrap those enchiladas?  I myself do indulge in the occasional corn tortilla, but a better wrapper might put this on the weekly rotation, rather than every few months.

    As for us, it’s been a busy month, as usual.  Sure beats being bored.  A round of influenza and ear infections knocked the stuffing out of us for a couple of weeks, and then we found ourselves in a mad scramble to prepare for, go on, then recover from a trip to Texas.  I took John down for a week with my parents, my brother, and his family.  We were a roiling mass of humanity for  a week together.  It was awesome, and I can’t wait to take you there!

    My parents, as you know, are taking a wee vacation from retirement to rehabilitate a derelict restaurant and bar in the mountains of west Texas, in the erstwhile mining village / ghosttown / tourist trap of Terlingua, just west of Big Bend National Park and east of Big Bend Ranch State Park.  Their place is called La Kiva (Instagram here!) and though it is currently a bar, it is likely only days away from being a restaurant and bar.  It’s lovely there, surrounded by mountains and desert, and dug into the bank of Terlingua Creek.  It’s mostly built out of rock, and possesses a naughty imagined big cat fossil in the wall, named *ahem* the Penisaurus Erectus.

    The patio at La Kiva on the banks of Terlingua Creek.
    The patio at La Kiva on the banks of Terlingua Creek.
    Skipping stones to Mexico.
    The patio really is lovely.
    The desert in the park.
    The desert in the park.
    Santa Elena Canyon. That's Mexico right there!
    Santa Elena Canyon. That’s Mexico right there!
    In the side room at La Kiva, with a creek view.
    In the side room at La Kiva, with a creek view.
    The bar, with P. Erectus in all its glory.
    The bar, with P. Erectus in all its glory.

    I’m pushing hard on management to help make the place Paleo-friendly.  Not exactly trying to get the menu Whole-30 compliant, but trying to have a menu that doesn’t involve going completely off the rails, if you don’t want to.  Efforts are also being made in the direction of vegetarian-, vegan-, and gluten-free friendly too.  I’ll also push to get a good allergy statement letting people know where the dairy, soy, etc. is.  The kitchen team, so far, are fabulous – on board with the idea of cooking food from ingredients, not just tipped out of ready-made bags.

    I also made the acquaintance of a good friend of my parents’, a one Jeff Leach.  As in Jeff Leach from the American Gut Project and Human Food Project.  I told him a bit about us, and some ideas we have for projects, and he was very interested, very encouraging, and wanted to hear more.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to chat for very long – I had a minivan full of kids and siblings to contend with, and they weren’t in a place where I could ask them to hang on for an hour or two while I talked about poo with the nice man.

    In other news, Jeffrey is 11 months old today.  It’s hard to believe our babies are growing up so fast – I remember when your wee Henry was this size.  John is just about to turn six.  Today, Roman and I did some math and figured out that we have enough frozen breast-milk to make it to the end of the month, so as of today, I’m officially done pumping!  We did exclusive pumping / bottlefeeding for Jeffrey for various reasons that make me fascinating to talk to at cocktail parties, and I’m both excited and a bit bereft to be done.  12 months on breast milk for the baby – that was the goal!

    Much love to all of you and yours,


    PS.  Snowed this morning.


I've been paleo since I discovered four years ago that it could help me manage my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis among other things. The more I learn the more I want to learn and the less I feel that there is any one solution out there that will work for all of us. I try to advocate for paleo and lessons from paleo without being a crashing bore at parties, with perhaps only moderate success. I was born and raised in England, then Oklahoma, then Minnesota. I'm married to one of the world's most patient men, and I've got two pretty nifty sons and a dog. I've a background in science, design, and communications.


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