Wednesday, September 28, 2011

There are moments when perfection prevails........

Cook without a lemon? Blasphemy. Why not stop using salt, garlic and an onion while you are at it. Yet his little cornerstone of perfection can and will change the way you look at food. From keeping an Aritchoke in check to sexing up a fish ...hell a nibble of MIGNARDISE at the end of a meal is my kind of ending. Lemons lemons so many kinds to choose from.......BUT I live smack dab on the coast in the middle of California which means it's MEYER LEMON country. From gardens to meadows to school yards you will find these little buggars. Throughout the Bay they have been planted as an ornamental and not a food source. And why it was never considered both is beyond me. Some like to point the finger at the ONE person who brought us mere flat palate minions to the Meyer table. Chef Lynsey Shere. Whatever, so she got the ball rolling for the 1%ers of the Bay to see their ornamental bush as a treasure of golden orbs but please.....I was sitting on my stoop as a kid with split open M lemons and packet of sugar making Mouth Lemon aide and popping pomegranate seeds as a chaser.
So odd how folks need to be THE ONE who discovered a food. Proselyization of food is gross. Exposure through example and availability to the people is beauty. The soft aromatic skin and almost sweet juice of the Meyer is so abundant in the Bay Area I could almost say no one needs to purchase a one. Every school should have lemon aide avail at almost no cost. Sigh I don't have enough time today to fully go bonkers on the M Lemon so lets get into some history shall we?

Imported from China 1908 By a botanical adventurer (whatever the hell that means) Lets guess his name was Meyer...... Over the centuries they have traveled throughout Asia, arriving with Spanish colonization of Florida in the 16th century and Cali mid 18th then Meyer brought the uhhh ahhem Meyer. Being the lemon is frost tender guess what...They thrive in Mediterranean regions and are highlighted in the said cuisine. Go figure. For such a delicate skin they are one of our most hardy varietals,so can grow in regions that rarely fall below 20F. Won't cure so don't pick green. Use asap. OCT -APRIL is the coastal season but Santa Cruz keeps them flowing almost year round. yaaaa.
EUREKA And LISBON are the most common varieties in Cali yet the Meyer is everywhere in a non commercial venue.

So don't be shy knock on that door with the bulging Meyer bush in the yard. Ask if you can glean and bring back a jar of Marmalade, lemon Aide or a nice Aioli for the gift of the lemons. What a wonderful way to utilise the forgotten fruit and to have a convivial moment with a stranger by sharing a gift from Mother Nature. If you have a lemon tree and have more than you can use. Call a local elementary school donate your over harvest. Contact a Glean web site for folks to find your fruit. It is meant to be eaten and this country is going hungry with food on trees, vines, bushes and plants. Everywhere there is food. Just like you crazy ass canning fools with a garage full of jars. give back ,share and be part of your community,by providing a local food to your neighbors to create a better sense of community and good will through food. It dosn't take much effort to share and the reward is ten fold. When I lived in Capitola with 20 hens. I had WAY too many eggs to on my way to work I leave a jar of eggs for my neighbors to enjoy. All of a sudden the kids were walking to school with Breakfast burritos and loving they were having eggs from a chicken named Fig, Ethyl Mermon, Gert, etc....All of a sudden we neighbors waved to each other and started to chat in the street at dusk . Rather than scurry into our collective huts with no connection to our surrounding humanity. A extra Zucinni with a bow to a elderly lady who is too arthritic to garden makes for a better planet.

WWW.FOODPOOL.COM Network of gleanable produce around the Bay Area great resource to food otherwise would have gone to waste. Check it!

Now unfortunately I must go. I lost a friend this week and all I can do is be there for those that are left behind. I'm bringing my knife bag and a satchel of lemons. Cause when life gives you lemons.........

I love you Lynn see you on the flip side....xoxoxo

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jesus did have a sense of humour is my guess.......

The day has come...I am now a shameless whore for promotion. Or am I? I am realizing in a climate of home canners, gardeners and fermenters : it is the ones who walk the talk and live as they project that have the real deal behind the lid.
So for the first time at Gourmet Grazing On The Green I got hassled about my riff on religion(one angry older gentleman who hadn't had a good belly laugh in years). I guess I'm a bad bad girl and that persons Jesus has no sense of humour. I mean no disrespect or blasphemy ...the very opposite and little levity in a era of rebuild after a very tough greedy economic disaster is healthy for all of us. Lighten up and see my passion for what I do and share with the public is not anything less than my version of love. OK nuff on that I really don't have time or energy to have a circular argument with someone over my sense of harmless humour. Fly your freak flag my friends. Come one come all you freaks, geeks, and all around characters I embrace you. Rest of you ease up  there are so many more important battles to be fought. Good thing "CHEESES OF NAZARETH" cheese shop isn't around here good golly could you imagine?
OK back to fun stuff....GOURMET GRAZING ON THE GREEN  The event of the season here in Santa Cruz county. A community fund raiser for local Cancer programs like Jacobs heart. It is an event that not only raises tens of thousands of local dollars(over a million since 1995) to help beat the big nasty C; yet a day for our public to be able to come face to face with those of us that feed and libate our fair county. From local beer brewers to wine makers, restaurants to the mom n pop operations that keep us who we are and local Market New Leaf with us little cottage industry food producers having a day to feed the souls of our community while loving those who couldn't be there because of the C word. We were one for a day and it really is an A HA moment when you are part of such a bigger animal.
Food is love and the binder that keeps humanity together. We ALL have some sort of relationship and culture with food (good or bad the relationship is there). For food is the bridge over troubled waters and this weekend proved that so beautifully. All of us people have so much more in common than ever gets admitted. Can you imagine if treaty talks were in a Grazing format? You just can't get pissed with beauty in your belly and sharing the experience with another. OK OK no Cumbayahh holding hands but just a real moment on a real day supporting real people. Not faceless corporations. You could bump into a Farmer, a brewer, a cook,a butcher, a cheese maker, a chef, a vintner his wife, a cupcake queen or even a littl ole jam girl all working, living with you in this county trying our best to make the world a little better place to live. Find fault in that.....
This weekend I was proud to be amongst my fellow lovers of the land and those who we feed. So when I'm toolin down the road in my little BLUE NUN that grin you see is my feeling good about my town.
OK all I have carrots to pick and cherries to macerate,I'm procrastinating as usual.
Go on get outside our summer has just arrived. The tourists are back to their lives now we can enjoy ours without the traffic and our beaches free. scoot!!!

Fellows at the Graze(if I missed you I so appologize)63 in all vendors......
Sones,  Beauregard,  Silver mountain,  Muns, B School,  Hallcrest,  Villa,  SC Mountain, Vino Tabi,  SCM Brewing, SmoQe,  Seabright brew,  Delk honey,  Coastal Catering, Rio, Shadowbrook, Johnnys H, Chaminade,  New Leaf,  Redwood hill,  Bargetto, Mission Hill Ice Cream,  Zameen, Alfaro,  Kathryn Kennedy,  Friend in Cheeses, Loma Prieta , Poetic, Stars cup cakes, Hollins house, Peachwoods, SC Farms,  Roudin Smith,  Hulas, a brewery in Capitola forgot name bomb beer, Fresh prep kitchens, ok Im stuck thats all I can recall.......
Point is what a collection of the finest SC has to offer all under one goal.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On becoming a GOURMET

Understanding this crazy over used word just might help you find your way through the ARTISAN Highway to hellish uppity tom foolery. Rather a word to express a feeling toward the consumable arts....
Insistent signs in the market invite the shopper into the "GOURMET foods Dept", where one might almost expect to find magIcal potions to produce an effortless fine meal. Every day we read and or hear the phrases "GOURMET cookery", "GOURMET recipe"" GOURMET Kitchen" etc blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhh
BUT alas, in fact the word "GOURMET" is not just another adjective in the language of salesmanship, like "super" or "fancy" or even "special". It is a title that applies only to a person, a title of honour, confirming certain skills which have been learned by study or practice.
So you see the good ole media is trying to rope you in on a slippery string of mis used words to make you feel you must keep up to compete in the hipness of the plate. Stop drop and roll with your own senses and rely more on the seasons , simplicity and what looks smells and tastes like a good time.

Oh plus the word comes from ole Luis XIV looking to keep his Versailles Noblemen busy ,he made up a bunch of bullshit jobs so they had no time to conspire against him. One of those positions. The household managers were given the title GROMET( yes my lil surf dudes this is where GROM in tights in France) so the KItchen GROMS job was to shake down the farmers,fishermen ,butchers,millers, pay a tithe. One tenth of a harvest to the king as the Gromets went out and took from the peasants the best of their wares for the kings daily meals. Kinda the Gourmonds were basically GOMBAS in tights.....
Interesting the word still hold us hostage. ......

Go now eat an Apple they are ripe for the pickin here in SC County. Don't jam it can it or preserve the first of the in the moment and experience Mother Natures intent. Crisp, tart , crunch

Go on.... get!!!!!
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Monday, September 5, 2011


COOKERY: It means the knowledge of all herbs,fruit,spice,balms and all that is healing and sweet in the fields and groves and all that's savory in flesh. It means carefulness and inventiveness,willingness and readiness of appliances. It means the economy of your grandmums and the science of the modern chemist; it means much testing and no wasting;it means English thoroughness,and French art and Arabian hospitality;and ,in fine; it means that you are to be perfectly and always , ladies_ loaf givers_
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Traffic Jam coming to a road near you...

I have realised over the years its not just the product but the whole package. Unfortunatly the pretty girl gets farther in life by just being pretty. BUT if the package rocks as hard as what is inside well you have $. I had a 1959 Ford Escort wagon come my way and I took the risk and put my $ where my delivery is.....I have to walk my talk on all levels to make any sense in the end. It is Greener than any modern machine Electric or otherwise. 40 MPG all recycled and no nasty lithium battery that is mined in Canada , shipped to France to be refined then shipped to China to assemble the battery THEN shipped to Japan to be installed in car and last shipped to USA. Humpgh Green? thats a carbon footprint for mental midgets. I have a market mobile, French Bulldog transport , glean machine, catering truck and a delivery system for my Jams.......yup 3 gears, no cd player and I do have to manually operate the windows. Yet you won't forget me when I'm tooling down the road...I'll be the red head with the grin.

  The wacky trends of preserve,pickle n jam will find a good healthy middle ground at some point. Lets hope because no matter how hard you try you can not preserve, pickle or jam everything.....So when the dust settles and  the trendbots  receed to the newest cool thing(perhaps lowered trucks will make a come back...shit waxed facial hair did)....I will still be putt puttin down the road sellin my wares with you and Mother Nature in mind.

oh and the Scooter.....My freedom train.