Thursday, July 21, 2005

Countdown to August

The prospect of eating strictly locally during August has got both me and BH&CC thinking a lot about menu planning. I've been doing a little Googling of regional rice (California rice comes from Colusa, just barely outside the 100-mile limit) and beans (hah: Rancho Gordo in Napa, as well as Phipps Ranch in Pescadero), and Jen at Life Begins at 30 has a nifty list of local farmers of fresh produce, meat, cheese and oils at her site. (It's actually a little incomplete -- didn't see any mention of McEvoy olive oil from Petaluma, which will surely sustain me through the month; I practically drink the stuff daily -- or cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station. I'm also researching local cured olives; will post what I find out.)
Anyway, it's been fun thinking about strictly local. Oh, we have beer and wine, too, from Marin, Sonoma and Napa! It'll be so easy.
So what did we have for lunch today? Well, it's still July, right? And there are pantry items to winnow. Evil, vile, non-local foodstuffs that must either be consumed or pitched.
We consumed.
Voila, le Chili de Dennison's aux Saltines. Topped with Trader Joe's cheddar cheese from Monrovia, CA. Doused with Cholula sauce from Texas. Consumed with a quaff of Bud Light.
Expect to see more scary food over the next 10 days. Aux barricades!

19 comments:

drbiggles said...

My wife and I had a conversation about this a week ago. We can both get a little cheeky and figured we'd try to find a specific book she knows about, I cain't remember the name of it. But it's a book about eating locally alright. I believe it's about Native American food, stuff that grows in our yards. Dandilions and stuff like that. I figure, if you're going to eat local, make it your back yard.

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

OK, got one for ya. Wild miner's lettuce. Unfortunately it only grows Feb.-March. But I was definitely harvesting it from my (heh -- front) yard for a couple of years until we moved to condoland. It's superbly tender and tangy (Vitamin C).
Once we even drank a bottle of Mill Valley wine (think it was called Backyard, but I'm not able to Google it). That was ever so local. Then the couple that made it split up. Just as well -- it had absolutely no cellaring potential.
When you think of the book, tell me.
xx

drbiggles said...

You need to ditch that condo action and git yourself some dirt. It'll lend your daily Mad Level to a lower function. However, weeds will make you mad again.
I did Condo for a while, 2 years or so. Between pinheaded neighbors and owners associations I was madder than ever. And the old kermudgeons that bought the condo next to the pool wanted the pool paved over so they didn't have to listen to anyone at the pool.
Why would you buy a condo next to a pool and not want to deal with the pool?

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

Yeah, but see: nearly a half acre of oak trees, deer and poison oak at the old place. Precariously perched on a hillside. And a million-dollar view, which we sold for -- a million dollars! Retirement is secure.
We have all that now, at our new place, but we don't have to tend it! And the deer can't come onto the patio and munch the 'maters.
There's plenny of dirt -- most of it in pots.
Nah, mainly I'm just mad about (shhh---) W.

drbiggles said...

So, yer an ol' fart? Retiring? How nice is that? Very.
I hope I make it to old age.

I have a solution for deer eating your maters, it's called Venison.

MmmmMm, venison salami. Ahh, the good ol' days.

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

The cool thing is, I'm not that old! Got fired a coupla' years ago and decided to call it "retirement." Then BH&CC's parents died and we inherited, um, "income."
Now, lissen: The two old wimmen who owned our Mill Valley cabin before us SHOT the deer! With BB's, so there probably wan't any venison. Just wanted to scare them away.
I long harbored fantasies of butchering one, though. Old version of Joy of Cooking tells you how to do it. Yeah, I have the old version.
OK, I'm old.

drbiggles said...

Neat, what's the date on the Joie du cook? I think I gots one here from the early 1950s.

I think I'd still ditch the condo. Mostly because of the those bastard dues the homeowners association charges. I don't like payin' nothin' to nobody.

Been looking at Larouche LA and we can get a wonderful 7k sq ft home with 5 bedrooms on a huge lot for 130k. It's about an hour and a half rom New Orleans. I think Larouche may be a county, not a town. Even so, we could sell our home here in Richmond and buy a small mansion with some left over. Then go eat food.

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

Hard to say for sure: The copyright page fell out of the hardcover, and in the paperback there's a whole slew of dates, the most recent being 1964. The venison instructions are on the same page as recipes for -- no sh*t -- opossum, bear, raccoon, woodchuck, beaver and peccary. Next page has elk.
Yow: Louisiana. I like that mansion idea. Ever been to Mosca's in Waggaman? Started up by Al Capone's chef.

drbiggles said...

Hey Spanky,

Just checked out your "complete profile" there on blogger. It didn't mention anything about being an editor of anyone.
If people don't know who you are, they won't return or be that interested.
For instance, have you any doubts who Biggles is? Or Sam from Becks Posh? No, I didn't think so.
You have some wonderful gifts, at least let us share.
I'm sorry if I seem a bit distracted, I've found some JC transcripts of my failures and am schredding them as I go. Heh.

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

Big Boy:
Well, I'm new at this blogging-fangled biz, and I sorta wanted to be anonymous in case I found myself spouting off about Michael Bauer or something...
But yeah, I should stuff some embellishments in the profile.

Sam said...

oh no - Biggles is moving out of town?
the mad one has a secret background we are not all party to

and who is going to tell me where I can get locally milled flour please?

drbiggles said...

Hey Sam,

Mill your own, we do. Just go to some local hippy store and dig up some wheat berries. See if you can find local, don't know. Then dig out your VitaMix or borrow one, make sure you get the container that says DRY, there's one for WET too.

One has to be careful though, you won't want to heat up the flour too much. So you do it in pulses, but it works GREAT.

Biggles

cookiecrumb said...

But who grew the wheat, Bigs?
Sam, I think I read something in the original SFChron story about locavore with a source for locally *grown* wheat flour. Will do some snooping for ya.

cookiecrumb said...

Yeah, Sam! I reread the Chron piece, and Full Belly Farms is (oh, I think you'd say "are") grinding its (their -- heh!) own organic wheat. They're in Guinda, which is 93 miles from San Rafael... (Does that mean you have to drive there to get the flour? Dunno.)

Jennifer Maiser said...

cookiecrumb - I am glad that you mentioned McEvoy in Petaluma. Tried to look through that list for completeness, but it's a little difficult ...

I am using Lundberg farms rice for August, which is 125 miles, but it will be an exception I guess. I am pleased it is so close. And if you ask me, Colusa county is where rice is supposed to be farmed in CA.

There is a guy who goes to the Tuesday SF Farmer's market who may have locally cured olives. I will let you know if I find anything out.

And yes, thanks for answering Sam's question about wheat. Full Belly is at the Berkeley Market (Tuesdays) and Marin market (Thursdays) and Palo Alto Market (Saturdays).

Jen

cookiecrumb said...

Oh, Jen: Awesome that you updated me. Thanks so much.
And! There is so much local cheese. I've been casually checking it out, and I'll get a meager list together. (Can you believe I have a cheese company in San Rafael?) I'm also looking for local tofu. And tortillas.
This is gonna be so cool!
Oh, so there's an olive company called Musco about 93 miles from Marin. I e-mailed them yesterday to learn where they sell; no reply yet.
love you, dolly

cookiecrumb said...

Um, Jen: No, it's the wheat place that's 93 miles. Musco is only 72 miles from San Rafael. Cool.
Wish I had an anchovy pond in my patio...

Sam said...

thanks everyone - I maybe will check out the flour, but i am not sure how environmentally friendly it is to drive all over the place.

guess its about time i got my arse down to the marin market, since i have been working 4.5 years in San Rafael and never been once. Now work is moving to SF, spose it is time to test the waters, huh!

cookiecrumb said...

Yes, Sam, come to the market. Since you work in San Rafael, perhaps you can take an early lunch and try it on a Thursday. It's a smaller market, and a lot less of a zoo (not as many clueless tourists and babies in strollers). And I really shouldn't give this away, but if you get there close to closing time (12:30 is a good time) the prices are reduced at many booths.