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|2018-11-29Nov 29, 2018
By the mid-1800’s the cocoa butter was being mixed back with the cocoa powder to form moldable chocolate candy. Fudge, a true American invention, came by accident, from a bungled (“fudged”) batch of caramels. In the late 1880’s, a student at Vassar College got a recipe for fudge from a cousin in Baltimore.
|2018-06-26Jun 26, 2018
June is the beginning of summer and the time of year when all of our favorite produce starts rolling in. It’s a sight to behold and one that only gets better as we ease our way into long summer days.
Eggplants make their arrival in June and continue through October. Some call them Aubergine, which comes from the French. Eggplant is a member of the Solanaceae or nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.
|2018-05-01May 1, 2018
Examination of starch grains, from 30,000 year old grinding tools, suggests that flour was made from cattails and ferns by Stone Age cooks. Mixed with water and baked on a hard, possibly greased rock, it was more akin to hardtack than the modern hot cake, flap jack or crepe.
|2018-11-04Nov 4, 2018
BREAD…spread it THICK with BUTTER fresh from the oven - Sonoma-Marin Bounty. I have come to the conclusion that what elevates these international hot spot’s breads is their outstanding butters that go along with them. In the past few years though, there has been a profusion of new local butters. So I called the crew together recently to test them out: A thorough Sonoma County bread and butter tasting, just to see.
|2018-10-29Oct 29, 2018
Maybe it's my Southern heritage that leads me to green beans. I have found that these long slender beans are one of my favorite vegetables to find at the farmers' market. It's also a standard on my Thanksgiving feast menu when I am in charge of cooking. My perfect snack is a simple recipe of blanched green beans then slightly sautéed with sea salt. Fresh and crispare the way I prefer them.
|2018-10-03Oct 3, 2018
When I was young girl we had a pomegranate tree in my backyard. The neighborhood kids and I would pluck off the fruit from the tree and bust it open to find all the little seeded jewels inside. We would fill up our hands and pop the plump juiced filled seeds into our mouths and let the juice explode, satisfying our thirst and sweet tooth all in one fall swoop. It's an experience that I still get excited about as an adult. I get giddy at the first signs of pomegranates at the farmers' market. The pomegranate tree is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe.
|2018-09-27Sep 27, 2018
The Aztecs, the last of the great pre-Colombian native civilizations adored the avocado and made “bitter water” from ground coca beans and spices. They incorporated the areas older and newer cultures, along with their agricultural methods, in the mid-15th century.
|2018-09-01Sep 1, 2018
At the farmers’ market you will find all sorts of grapes in season from Concord grapes to seedless grapes to green grapes. They are great for making jams and jellies, juice, grape seed oil, raisins, currants and sultanas, not to mention wine. Although my favorite way to eat them is by popping them off the vine and into my mouth.
|2018-08-31Aug 31, 2018
Cucumbers were first cultivated in Thailand centuries ago and spread rapidly throughout Asia and India. Vinegar has been used in one form or the other for more than 10,000 years. Their pairing goes as far back as 2400 BC when cucumbers were pickled along the Tigris valley.
|2018-08-06Aug 6, 2018
Raspberries, a member of the rose family, are believed to have originated in Eastern Asia. The red raspberry was probably introduced to North America by pre-historic people who had crossed thru the Bering Strait.
|2018-08-02Aug 2, 2018
Melon season is really when I feel summer is in full swing. As I walk the aisles of the farmers’ market and the undeniable smell of melon is in the air I am in heaven. As I child I loved using a melon baller to eat the interior flesh of a cantaloupe. In all honesty this is still the way I prefer to eat the sweet flesh of any melon.
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