With the election top of mind, last Saturday morning we were looking for things to do with our out-of-town house guest. Visiting all 13 presidential libraries is something I added to my bucket list last year. But ever since COVID hit, both Southern California’s Presidential Libraries (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan) have been closed. But we took a chance by doing a Google search to see if anything had changed.

And—lo and behold—although the entire permanent collection was not open, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library had a special collection that was open for visitors along with free reign of their beautiful gardens.

I have attended several events at The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum over the years, including my daughter Sophia’s senior prom, but I have never toured the actual museum. Because it was a rainy day, and due to COVID, there were actually no other visitors while were there. It was amazing to have the time to read every document hanging on the walls and to not feel rushed.

Richard Milhous Nixon was born and raised in a small farmhouse in Yorba Linda, California.  Apparently when deciding the site for his presidential library and museum, a significant parcel of land was purchased surrounding that childhood home, and that is where the museum is located. It was amazing to see the humble house he grew up in, in contrast to the huge buildings, exhibits and the presidential helicopter in close proximity, which are all part of the presidential library and museum compound.

The original childhood home of President Nixon

The small exhibit that was open highlighted the special relationships between presidents and their predecessors. Barack Obama was inspired by John F. Kennedy, Nixon was fascinated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and obviously there was a special relationship between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. There were photos of how Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush became close friends after they left office, working together to raising money for humanitarian aid after a ravaging tsunami in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The theme was really about the special brotherhood (at least for now it is all men). In fact, hanging on the wall in the exhibit is the cover of a book entitled, “The Presidents Club, Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.” I have put that book on my reading list.

As you enter the museum, there is a larger-than-life quote made by President Bill Clinton at the funeral of President Nixon (who is best known as the only president who resigned and left office due to implications from the Watergate scandal):

“May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.”

So, what was it about President Nixon and the more than four years he served as President that was so remarkable? Here are a few highlights:

Especially during the last few months of watching the presidential election campaigns, many of us may ask ourselves “What motivates someone to run for public office when every part of your personal life will be scrutinized, and you will never again have privacy?” As I walked through the exhibit, I could see the passion and love of county of so many incredible leaders: Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, FDR, Reagan, Bush (#41), Bush (#43), Clinton, and Obama. Each of them left their special mark on our nation and the planet.

As an adult, the only things I remember distinctly about President Nixon was that he was impeached due to the Watergate scandal, that he debated Kennedy during the first televised presidential debate, and his “salute” as he boarded Air Force One after he resigned. I never knew anything about what he did for women, in sports and in business, and I vaguely remember that he opened up trade with China.

Photos from the permanent exhibit highlighting the impact of Title IX


I am so glad we spent a couple of hours touring his presidential library and museum. It was just a tease for me. I hope in 2021 that the full museum will open up so I can learn more and now, more than ever, I want to be sure I find a way to visit the other 12 presidential libraries. There is so much to be learned from history.

Jack, me and our friend Rick in front of the museum.

And, in this digital time, when we are in the habit of “googling” everything or attending all meetings by Zoom … it is even more important than ever to see history, “in person.”


Los Alamitos, CA (November 2020) – Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, will speak at the opening of “From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators in California AgTech”—a virtual exhibition at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif., on Nov. 12.

The brainchild of Amy Wu, an award-winning journalist and founder of “From Farms to Incubators,” the exhibition aims to use multimedia and digital storytelling to highlight the achievements of women who have shaped agriculture through technology and inspire and encourage young women to consider careers in AgTech. The Exhibition is a companion to the forthcoming book “From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food Is Grown,” which Frieda’s Specialty Produce is also a supporter of.

From Farms to Incubators is a content and digital storytelling initiative with a mission of increasing awareness of women leaders and entrepreneurs. One of its achievements is an award-winning documentary “From Farms to Incubators,” that profiles some of the women entrepreneurs in AgTech. The initiative has been highlighted in Worth Media, Techonomy Media, at the EcoFarm Conference and the Forbes AgTech Summit. It is also a member of Women & Worth, Techonomy, AgStart and Women in Technology International (WITI).

“I hope my work serves to inspire the next generation, just as the previous generation of women inspired my work and this exhibition. Frieda Caplan is a personal hero of mine, and it is inspiring to see what she and her daughters have done for the industry. I am incredibly grateful for Frieda’s Specialty Produce’s generous support and thrilled to have Karen (Caplan) as the featured speaker,” Wu said. “Karen is a trailblazer, and it is motivating to have a woman who leads a major food company to kick off the launch.”

The virtual exhibition kicks off Thursday, Nov. 12 and will feature speakers like California Senator Anna Caballero and Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, as well as a panel discussion led by women innovators in agriculture and Ag tech. The event will also offer a sneak preview of the exhibition and a companion film series, which will include “Fear No Fruit: The Frieda Caplan Documentary.” For more information go to www.farmstoincubators.com.


About Frieda’s Inc.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

Home for the holidays? Us too!

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, you’re probably wondering what the holidays will look like this year—so are we! Celebrating the holidays may look quite a bit different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as special—in fact, there has never been a better time to throw out the old (traditions) and ring in the new! Read on to find bold, stress-free, and responsible ways to add your own unique spin to the holidays.

See You on the Other Side (of the Screen)

If there’s one thing we’ve embraced this year, it’s simplicity. While nothing compares to seeing your friends’ smiling faces in person, a virtual Thanksgiving may just be the next best thing. Not only do you get to invite as many people you want, but it’s also the perfect way to catch up with people who you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see over the holidays … minus all the stress!

Invite your friends, pick a date, choose your favorite virtual platform, set up an online doc with a meal plan and grocery list for everyone to see, and then on the chosen day, prep and cook together, if you have the time, or set a time for everyone to log in and enjoy together (virtually, of course). A great way to get ahead of menu planning is by researching what’s local and seasonal and take it from there. This year, the rules just don’t count.

We recommend shaking up the classics and giving them a vibrant upgrade, like this Hearty Stokes Purple® sweet potato and cipolline onion breadless stuffing, or a Creamy Stokes Purple® sweet potato soup which not only keeps the menu light and easy, but is also bright and festive!


And what are the holidays without a little liquid celebration? Try a citrusy Kumquat Ginger Smash or the heady Passion Fruit Mojito, and the fortifying Rainbow Carrot, Turmeric, Ginger, and Blood Orange Juice—delicious with or without alcohol!


(Socially Distanced) Sugar Rush

If a full menu sounds like too much, why not keep it simple and skip straight to dessert? Host your very own virtual bake off, and while there may not be any Great British Bake Off grand-prize winner, where there’s pie, everyone’s a winner. We highly recommend the no-sweat, easy-peasy Frieda’s Stokes Purple® sweet potato pie with fluffy maple whipped cream for a fun, modern twist on a classic Thanksgiving favorite.

Not a pie person? Try these Stokes Purple® sweet potato dark chocolate coconut cups, which are a great way to exercise portion control and restraint (even though you may not want to!). Plus, they pack a nutritional punch with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which is something we all could use right about now. Not convinced? Read all about the nutritional punch these purple sweet potatoes pack here.


The Great Friendsgiving Drop-Off

Still want a big meal without all the leftovers and hard work? A door drop-off is just what you need. Divide up the menu and have all your friends cook one (or several) of their favorite dishes, divide up the portions, and drop them off at each other’s door—the perfect way to get your fill of sweet, savory, and of course easy!

Looking for inspiration? Try these Hasselback Stokes purple® sweet potato with ginger turmeric glaze, easy to make and transport! Pro tip: Make a double batch of the glaze and save the leftover for spreading on toast or adding zippy flavor to roasted vegetables. If you’re looking for something a little more comforting, try making a batch of these Stokes Purple® sweet potato biscuits with maple butter glaze, a deliciously cozy and easily transportable dish to drop off to friends and family. They’re perfect to pair with your Thanksgiving spread or enjoy in the morning before the big feast begins.

Would it even be 2020 if we didn’t mention the year’s biggest vegetarian food trend … the cauliflower? This multicolored cruciferous veggie is not only delicious, but also extremely versatile and easy to cook, especially our Whole roasted colored cauliflower with salsa verde or the incredibly breathtaking (tasting?) Whole roasted purple cauliflower with a romesco sauce…*chefs kiss*

Pro tip: If you decide to make the turkey, make sure you take into account food allergies and restrictions.


Charcuterie Board Banksy

Kick your virtual happy hour up a notch and add an element of creativity with a fun charcuterie board contest. A charcuterie board is typically filled with cured meats, cheeses, veggies, dried fruit, nuts, and crackers, but since we’ve done away with the rules, add whatever you want!

Start by defining a theme—rainbows, desserts or good old Thanksgiving foods are a few easy options- appoint a judge (preferably one who can’t be bought with yummy treats) and then get ready to get competitive! If you’ve got your eye on the prize, then amp up the drama with fresh dragon fruit, kiwi berries, finger limes, kumquats, rambutan and watermelon radishes to not only set your board apart, but also add bright and festive pops of color.


So Close, But Just Far Enough

If nothing can replace the feeling of actually being together, host a small and socially distanced gathering in your backyard with a potluck style spread. Set up an outdoor projector, watch some movies and have a small fire going, and let your guests graze on hummus and crudités, assorted skewers, Stokes Purple® sweet potato crostini with goat cheese, slices of our Winter Citrus Tart that hits all the right notes of sweet and tart, and cozy up with a mug of Golden Milk Turmeric Chai, or a nourishing Ginger and Turmeric Sipping Broth that feels like a hug in a mug.

Sure, this might not feel like your typical Friendsgiving dinner, sharing drinks and dishes—and the occasional drama—but it’s still worth celebrating. The celebrations may require putting in a little more effort than years past, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out—whether that’s 6 feet or 600 miles apart.

Wishing you all a safe, yummy, and inspiring Holiday season!

Los Alamitos, CA (October 2020) – Immunity will be top of mind this winter. In fact, according to a recent study by Hartman Research, 68% of consumers are either using functional foods or are interested in using functional foods for immunity benefit this year1. Give shoppers easy, delicious ways to dose-up on vitamin C and add variety to their citrus rotation with Frieda’s new calamondin and limequat grab-n-go pouches.

Limequats are a hybrid of two favorites—limes and kumquats—characterized by a sweet rind and tart juice. Sweeter than lime and fully edible, this fruit can be used in cocktails and treats like limequat bars. Calamondin, also known as calamansi, are small hybrids of mandarins and kumquats that are perfectly poppable—skin and all! (Think teeny, tiny oranges that are sour & tart, making them ideal as an ingredient when creating a glaze for fish or poultry.) They are very popular throughout Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine for adding that tangy citrus flavor to dishes.

“Shoppers have become accustomed to discovering new citrus favorites every year,” says Alex Berkley, director of sales at Frieda’s. “First it was blood oranges, then came the Sumo mandarins. Last year shoppers fell in love with our mandarinquats, and this year they’ll be coming to the store to see what’s new & addictive in citrus.”

Frieda’s calamondins and limequats are available in 12/8-ounce pouches, with availability after Thanksgiving. Call your Frieda’s account manager today to request samples and pre-book.  Supplies won’t last!

1 Functional Food & Beverage Supplements, April 2020, The Hartman Group, total sample (n=2,637)



About Frieda’s Inc.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit and dragon fruit to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.