Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spotlight on Devoto Gardens

This week we stopped at the Inner Sunset farmers market to talk to Jolie 
of Devoto Gardens in Sebastopol. The farm, started by Jolie's parents Susan 
and Stan, is home to 55 varieties of heirloom apples, with funny names like 
Hubbardston Nonesuch, Ashmead's Kernel, and the humble Best Ever

In addition to being an apple expert, world traveler, and Gravenstein apple 
ambassador, Jolie and her fiance, Hunter, started their own business this summer,
and it's great for all us gluten-free folks! Welcome Applesauced, your source for 
local heirloom single origin hard cider. After planting 500 cider trees in 27 varieties, 
Jolie and Hunter will be starting their first batch of cider on Wednesday! 

Taking a break to get married in September, they'll be bringing their cider to 
farmers markets as soon as it's ready to drink (October). Look for it at the Inner 
Sunset market (Sundays 9-1), Ferry Plaza Market (Tuesdays 10-2, Saturdays 8-2), 
or take a trip up to the farm to see the operation first hand.

And in case there wasn't enough to do, Devoto Gardens has a small army of
beautiful organic flowers growing. Jolie and her mom, Susan, are the Devoto
florists, and bring their flowers to weddings, parties and farmers markets
throughout the Bay Area. Check out their mission to know your farmer, know
your flowers here.

You can find Devoto Gardens apples in this week's Apple Cinnamon Bread, and
Pink Pearl Rose Muffins. Order yours here or find us Thursday at the Mission 
Community Market.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spotlight on beets

Hello all! 

We're switching things up with the spotlight this week, in order to feature one 
of our favorite vegetables: beets! We stocked up on red and golden beets at 
the Castro Farmers Market, destined for the Golden Beet and Savory 
Sourdough, the Beet Green and Chive Cornbread, and a bright red batch of 
Red Velvet Muffins. Order yours here.

While snapping some photos of the beets at Blue House Farm's stand, we met 
a fellow beet enthusiast, Gregory, who was kind enough to share his mother's 
recipe for Cold Beet Borscht. If you've never tried borscht, you're in for a tasty 
surprise. Served cold in the summer, this soup is refreshing, light and absolutely 
beautiful. Try it with plain yogurt or slices of avocado, garnish with dill, and eat 
outside in the sun.

You'll be able to find Gregory's recipe in this cookbook, coming soon!

Cold Borscht
            All family recipes are inexact and morph with the generations, so in 
veganizing my Lithuanian mother’s cold borscht—transmitted to me on a note 
card, perhaps the first time it had ever been written down—I am making it my 
own before I hand it on to my descendants. It’s a pretty simple recipe that, 
with its striking fuschia color and refreshing seasonal flavors, always gets 
stunning results at a summer luncheon. It loses nothing in veganizing.

4 beets
8 radishes
half an English cucumber
four scallions
a clove of garlic
hemp milk
salt and pepper
cider vinegar
fresh dill
new potatoes

Cook three or four beets in their jackets, cool them, peel them, 
and grate them. 
            Trim and dice a bunch of radishes and half a peeled and seeded 
            English cucumber. Add these to the beets.
            Thinly slice three or four scallions and add those too, along with a 
            small clove of crushed garlic.
            Add a liter of unsweetened milk substitute (I prefer hemp milk, but 
            almond or soy works fine) and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. 
            Stir gently and add salt and pepper (and more vinegar) to taste.
            Put the soup in the fridge for a few hours to ripen the flavor and color.
            When it’s time to eat, stir the soup again and ladle it into bowls. Top 
            each bowl with warm boiled new potatoes and a generous sprinkling of 
            chopped fresh dill. 

(And if you must, in the traditional recipe just substitute buttermilk for the liquid 
and top with sliced boiled eggs along with the potatoes and dill.)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spotlight on Happy Boy and Yerena Farms

These past two weeks we've been spending some extra time talking to people 
from Happy Boy and Yerena Farms at our new digs, the Mission Community 

Happy Boy has long been one of my favorites from my days working in Fort 
Mason. Their produce is not only delicious, but beautiful, owing in no small 
part to the amazing market staff. Taking up a quadruple booth, Happy Boy 
Farms is one of the first to the market, setting up 2 hours early to make sure 
their display is top notch. Signs, made by designer and marketeer Tent Gillette
depict smiling tomatoes and dancing summer squash, complete with recipes. 

Check out their booth Wednesdays at Market x 16th (4-8p), Thursdays at 
Crocker Galleria (10-2), 21st x Bartlett (4-8p) and North Berkeley, 
Saturdays in Noe Valley and Grand Lake, and Sundays at Ft. Mason and 
Temescal. For a complete list of markets, visit their website.

Yerena Farms is becoming a new favorite. On 22 acres in Royal Oaks,
CA, Yerena Farms grows certified organic strawberries, raspberries,
blackberries, tayberries, yacon, cactus pears and summer squash. We
picked up a flat of raspberries and blackberries for this week's muffins,
and can't wait to bake them! The berries are exquisitely sweet, keep well
refrigerated, make an excellent jam, and turn muffins into muffin pies.

The folks at the Yerena market stands also work at the farm, so be ready
with a joke or something to lighten their afternoon! Find Yerena Tuesdays
and Saturdays at the Ferry Building, Wednesdays and Sundays at Civic
Center, and Thursdays at the Mission Community Market.

Here's a recipe for my favorite cold-weather summer snack:

Padron Pepper Poppers

1 basket padron or shishito peppers from Happy Boy Farms
1-2 T olive oil from O'Live Healthy
pinch of salt

In a hot skillet, add a generous amount of olive oil, and toss in rinsed peppers.
Sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.