Thursday, May 04, 2006

Barbary Coast Kitchen II

We have the luxury of buying local oysters from Tomales Bay. We have local milk and cream. We have local spring onions.
Honestly, as this month evolves, I'm feeling embarrassed about the bounty. Oh. But I shouldn't. Because this is exactly why I live in Marin County.
Look: My house (a condominium) costs a zillion times more than the average American abode. I'm not proud of that. You'd think it proves I'm wealthy, but in fact, it proves I'm poor — I'm spending way too much to live here.
My house is a 30-year-old townhouse with gutter leaks and foundation issues... and a really wacky homeowners' association board. Oof.
Yet. Here we are in an environment that allows Cranky and me to re-create a turn-of-the-century meal, Oyster Stew. Good old San Francisco dining from the Gaslight era.
So. Episode Two of the Barbary Coast Kitchen.
We procured Tomales Bay oysters (from Whole Foods market; so sue me). We got milk and half & half from Clover. We grated a local spring onion (forgot the provenance). Local chile powder. Salt (not talking). And we had the idea to beef up the stew with some local potatoes (again, forgot the provenance). OK, and a splish of local white wine.
It was "best ever," says Cranky.
Those ugly brown squares are, in fact, tasty whole-wheat crackers made from local flour. The flavor is similar to Wheat Thins, but I'm such a lousy baker, mine came out more like Wheat Thicks.


Dagny said...

Oyster stew is one of my mom's favorite things to make. She makes it throughout the summer. She makes hers from a recipe she got from a restaurant in the Nugget in Reno, though.

Hmmmm. That reminds me. I've got to buy a Mother's Day card.

Jamie said...

We are lucky in that regard, too. Apalachicola oysters! Yum! (Not within 100 miles, but within about 200.) But havoc on the pocketbook, unless you are in the town where they're fished. As it should be, I guess, because only then are they truly local.

Kevin said...

My condo cost next to nothing and I even at the height of summer the options for local food are poor.[sigh]

dancingmorganmouse said...

Right then, I'm off to the sydney fish markets for some local oysters. I can't vouch for the rest of the ingredients but I'll give it a whirl.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing the "challenge" too (in SF) and am wondering -- where in the Bay Area is wheat grown? I've been looking for local flour and can't find ANYTHING! Locally ground, yes -- locally grown, no. Anyway, your crackers sound delicious. I'm totally jonesing for wheat!

cookiecrumb said...

Glad you asked. Full Belly Farm brings milled whole-wheat flour to my Marin Civic Center market twice a week, and I know they bring it to the Ferry Plaza market too. (They also sell whole wheat berries.)
The wheat comes from Guinda, CA, in the Capay Valley.

Bacon Press said...


Salt is in the "foodshed" (I think that word is becoming my second hated favorite after "tablescape".)

Ever heard of Diamond Crystal brand?

Manufactured by Cargill in Newark and Redwood City.


(sorry, I'll snark less next time)

cookiecrumb said...

Hey Snarky: Yeah, I know. I use Diamond. It's just that there seems to be a backlash against Cargill in the local foodtopia (how do you like *that* word?).