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Winter 2015 Issue

Last Updated December 01, 2015
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Edible Marin & Wine Country cover #28 - Winter 2015

Edible Marin & Wine Country Issue #28 - Winter 2015

As I wrote in my Grist for the Mill for last year’s Winter issue of Edible Marin & Wine Country, I had high hopes then for the coming rains that would bring relief to our farmers and ranchers, as well as other good food producers on down the line, after four years of drought. Alas, they did not arrive as anticipated.

This year we head into the winter season with widespread scientific predictions, and, accordingly, high public expectations, of a record El Niño year of heavy rains up and down the State of California. ¡Sí, por favor! I’ll be watching for the storm clouds with all of my fingers and toes crossed.

At the same time, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is talking about delaying the opening of, or even canceling, the eagerly anticipated local Dungeness crab season this year. The reason for the drastic move is a naturally occurring toxin, domoic acid, related to the rise of a tiny plant called pseudo-nitzschia that has been detected in the crabs at levels sufficient to make eaters mildly to very sick, or even cause death. Officials won’t cite a reason for the toxic bloom, but many fisherman believe it is due to the unusually warm water temperatures along our coasts this year.

Thankfully, not all is doom and gloom. Real Good Fish, the sustainable seafood CSA, reports that one of the fishermen from whom they source believes that if the deep ocean upwells occur in late fall, as they generally do this time of year, the cooler, nutrient-rich waters will cycle up and the crab will be able to rid themselves of the toxins in time to save the season—and dry the tears of many Bay Area denizens for whom it would not be Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve without their beloved Dungeness. Another addition to my early wish list for Santa this year.

All of this brings me back to being deeply grateful for the farmers, ranchers, fishermen and other hardworking folks who labor every day of the year to put delicious, nourishing food and drink on our tables. For them, the vicissitudes of the seasons are not just something to sigh over, they may well determine whether their own families will have enough to eat. By consistently choosing locally produced food and drink, and paying a just fare to their producers, we ensure that they will be able to keep doing what they do, so we can keep doing what we love to do: gather together with friends and family at a table filled with local bounty, especially during the holiday season.

Cheers to a wonderful holiday season for you and yours, with plenty of rain and crabs!

ExtraFood.Org Tackles Food Waste and Hunger with Technology and Love

Amy Phillips, a volunteer with Extra Food, and Franklin Smith, the director of the after-school program at Davidson
Sometimes the problem is the solution. Marv Zauderer, the founder of ExtraFood.org, arrived at this conclusion as he thought hard about how...

Sammy Hagar’s Rum Bloody Mary

Ingredients for Sammy Hagar's Bloody Mary
Hagar says he prefers using 100% cane rum (preferably his own Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum) in his Bloody Marys because it adds a hint of sweetness to the cocktail that provides a great balance between the...

SNAP and Market Match Program at Farmers’ Markets Makes It Easier to Eat Healthy

Market Match provides incentive tokens for food-insecure shoppers at the farmers' market
It’s a sunny late-September morning at the Santa Rosa Community Farmers’ Market and Sam Pratt, thin and brown-haired in a green T-shirt,...

Sustainable Conservation: Revving Up Restoration for Redds and Red-Legged Frogs

Sustainable Conservation at work with Green Gulch Farm
For those of us who love to spend time at Muir Beach, a lot has changed in the past few years. What used to be a confusing trudge down to...

Mediterranean Strata

Mediterranean Strata
Strata is the perfect dish for sharing. It’s comforting, endlessly adaptable and festive all in one! Use whatever cheese and vegetables you have on hand or add a handful of diced rotisserie chicken...

A More Sustainable Steakhouse

Trevor Kunk of Press
Trevor Kunk of Press is on the job. At first glance, the menu at a traditional steakhouse—beef, creamed spinach and potatoes—could be...

Deborah Madison, Food Culture Maverick Without Compromise

Deborah Madison, cookbook author
Unless you crave ceremony, Deborah Madison needs little introduction. Her ubiquitous cookbooks (14 published), so divine yet unceremonious...

Japanese Sweet Potato Soup with Rosemary and Ghee

I've long been partial to the dry sweet potatoes like Kotobuki and Hannah partly because I've felt that they aren't as sweet as the moist ones, like Garnet and Jewel. Cooked into a soup, however,...

Peppered Maple Walnuts

Peppered Maple Walnuts with Point Reyes Farmstead’s Toma cheese
These walnuts pair deliciously well with Point Reyes Farmstead’s Toma cheese.

Blood Oranges

Inside of a blood orange
My first taste of blood oranges was in a vineyard in southern France. I was helping with the harvest and my 3-year-old daughter, Ethel, was...

Rustic Blood Orange Tart

Rustic Blood Orange Tart
This is a very simple tart to make, even if you don’t think of yourself as a baker. Don’t be apprehensive about using the slices with the peel intact. It caramelizes and gives the fruit a...

Escoffier Questionnaire: Jeff Cerciello of Farmshop Marin

Jeff Cerciello of Farmshop Marin
In Farmshop Marin’s dining room, La Quercia’s highly regarded cured ham is thinly sliced on a pear and prosciutto pizza emerging from the...

The Pig Next Door

Muddy pig
Several years ago, I bit into a chop that caused me to all but eliminate pork from my diet. It wasn’t that the chop was bad. On the...

Crispy Home-Style Latkes with Homemade Applesauce and Sour Cream

Crispy Home-Style Latkes with Homemade Applesauce and Sour Cream
I love this time of year because it evokes a warm, happy, cozy feeling for me. I know it does for many others, as well. It is a sentimental time, bringing back memories of holidays past—days shared...

The 2015 Edible Gift Guide

Gift packages from Rustic Bakery
It is our pleasure to present this year’s picks for the perfect locally produced gifts to thrill all of the food and drink lovers on your...
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