Hail to the Jerk
Our favorite travel snack? Jerky. Here's how to make your own, according to A.D. Livingston, author of Jerky: Make Your Own Delicious Jerky and Jerky Dishes Using Beef, Venison, Fish, or Fowl
1. Get a very lean cut of beef. Eye of round is perfect.
2. Cut the meat into narrow, ½-inch-thick strips, across the grain.
3. Sprinkle finely ground sea salt liberally on both sides. Add a little cayenne.
4. Put the strips in a plastic container and toss to coat all sides with the salt rub.
5. Set aside for half an hour, then toss the batch again.
6. Place each strip on a tray in an oven set to its lowest settingabout 150 degreesand leave the door slightly ajar for six to eight hours, until the meat is leathery but not brittle. Store the jerky in airtight jars and it'll keep for weeks out of the refrigerator.
Two things to take to Sonoma this fall: a road bike and an appetite. The farm-heavy county is home to miles of bike-ready roads that pass by enough organic farms to feed a Tour de France peloton. Make the town of Sebastopol your base (rent a cottage at the Full House Farm for $245; fullhousefarm.com) and pick up a bike from West County Revolution (from $30; westcountyrevolution.com). Ask co-owner Bradley Saul to point you to the 65-mile Peach Tree Loop, which starts in town and heads north across the Russian River. Then ride. And eat. Want veggies? Love Farms Market's organic salad bowl, in Healdsburg (lovefarms.com), serves up greens picked daily. How about fruit? The Golden Nectar farm, in Windsor, grows everything from apples to Chinese wolfberries (goldennectar.com). Wait, you're ridingyou need bacon! Hit Bud's Custom Meats, in Penngrove (707-795-8402). If you're ready to take the action off-road, do as local cycling star Levi Leipheimer does and roll the 40 miles of jeep and singletrack trails through Annadel State Park, 14 miles from Sebastopol. Before leaving, carbo-load with a takeout feast from sometime ski bum Gerard Nebesky (gerardspaella.com), who, up until the first snow, serves the best paella in the state from a stall in the Healdsburg market, at the top of the Peach Tree Loop.