California’s Rugged Good Looks and Seaweed Abundance

Sweet younger brother 
Curious papa
Chilled, adorable mom and dad  
Sea Ranch chapel stained glass window
We harvested nori seaweed! Here it is partly dried, brought indoors from the balcony.
My mom made Bun Rieu, Vietnamese Crab Pork Meatball Noodle Soup - one of my soul foods.
We rented a home along Sonoma Coast for solid family time. As much as I love camping, I want my folks to be comfortable now that they’re in their 60’s.

However, they would be down to rough it, which I know because they’ve enthusiastically attended almost all of the Boy Scout troop trips we took growing up. Now that I'm "grown," it is so wonderful to enjoy and to cherish time with my family. 

It's nearing the end of idea seaweed harvesting season because as fall and winter roll around, the tides are higher and shores become too dangerous. I took a class last year with local seaweed expert and herbal teacher, Tanya Stiller. The experience was so profound. We rose at 4:45am to hike down to the shore and gingerly walk around the tide zones to harvest kombu, nori, bladderwrack, and sea palm.* I didn't harvest much during that weekend course because I was arrested in awe of the ocean's beauty and gifts, and way too busy photographing it

On this past weekend trip, I showed my parents how to harvest nori, and we scored a freshly washed-up kombu. Altogether, took home half a 32-gallon plastic bag of dried nori to eat.

I highly recommend incorporating seaweed into your cooking habits, especially when making soups, broths, making beans or rice! Adding a 6 to 8 inch strip of kombu adds wonderful nutrients and vitamins. Seaweed is quite the staple in Asian cultures that have a culinary and social history with the ocean. 

Do you cook with seaweed? Would you ever try it? Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend!

*Note: Sea palm can only be harvested with a commercial license in the state of California. And, please harvest seaweed responsibly. 

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