Those of you that know us well may have noticed that Mike and I have become a little bit obsessed with cider lately. From planting apple trees in the backyard and fermenting just about anything we can at home, to running the cider category of the Good Food Awards and just drinking a whole lot of the stuff - we definitely have the bug. On a recent trip to Chimacum, Washington, we got to visit one of our favorite producers, Finnriver Farm and Cidery. There, we toured their beautiful farm and saw how they make some of the most interesting cider around.
Last weekend I headed up to Sonoma to meet with some more farmers from the Farmers Guild for this delicious cookbook project I am helping with out with. I met Andrea Davis-Cetina who runs Quarter Acre Farm (which I learned is now actually closer to a half acre!). She is growing some beautiful dry-farmed tomatoes which were super flavorful and sweet.
I am really excited to announce that I am helping my friends at the Farmers Guild create a cookbook of recipes from their farmers. The Farmers Guild coordinates meet-ups for farmers in California to facilitate a sharing economy. Each month, there is a sharing of resources, knowledge, and conversation (also beers). It's great to work with a group so focused on community building and education. They recently launched a scholarship fund to help farmers gain new skills. I am going to be working on this cookbook over the next few weeks to collect the recipes and stories of the farmers behind their organization. I will be sharing bits and pieces of what I am working on and the amazing farmers behind the meals.
The emergence of cute online boutiques in the past couple of years have not been great for my wallet, but awesome for my kitchen. These are the best sites for home and kitchen items- perfect for when I feel like a splurge or need to buy a gift for someone. Hope you like them as much as I do...
Anyone interested in pickling at home needs to know the name Sandor Katz. This dude knows what's up. Seriously. Learning about using bacteria to preserve food has been a personal journey for me. I grew up in the world of TV commercials claiming that bacteria was evil. Anti-bacterial soap was everywhere. Katz actually has a section in his book The Art of Fermentation dedicated to this very subject. I am glad that we are slowly turning the tide and realizing that most bacteria actually help us, not harm us.
I would like to start off this post by saying that anyone can make an unforgettably amazing meal with just two things: a deep love of food and good ingredients. With that said, I do have a few kitchen essentials that I use everyday. If you are thinking about investing in some kitchen tools, I would highly recommend these.