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On this last trip south, I became a little obsessed with the sour prickly pear called xoconostle. They're mostly used for sauces but I had them candied and even in a syrup.


They look almost exactly like a prickly pear, or tuna, until you cut them open.


I was collecting seeds, thinking it might be a gas to grow them here in Napa. Unlike a tuna, the seeds are conveniently all in one handy spot.


This silly little strainer has traveled with all over the world with me. You never know when you'll come across something worth saving. After scooping out the pits, I rinsed them and strained them and finally let them dry overnight. Then they're simply scooped into kraft paper coin envelopes (that also travel with me on every trip) and the rest is history.


I used to germinate and start them myself but I've discovered I'm too inconsistent and now my plan is to take them to my friend Rose of Morningsun Herb Farm and let her do what she does best.

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