[This post is a part of Foodbuzz’s 24x24 program. Where 24 meals happen across the globe on the same day. I’d like to thank Foodbuzz for including this very special occasion in their 24x24 lineup]
I went to Catholic School for eight whole years, but unlike the sterotype, the nuns at my school weren’t mean. On the contrary, they were awesome. Ranging from sweet and gentle to a little mischievous with that Irish twinkle in the eye. I loved the nuns at St. Robert’s Catholic School.
One night, at a party, my mother was talking about my dad. She said, “Moe is really the nicest guy in the world.” Sister Ita felt compelled to test this, I don’t know, maybe she had to make sure my mom wasn’t breaking the lying commandment (is there one?) maybe she was just being her adorable impish self. ‘Round about 10pm, Sister Ita found my dad and said, “Moe, I need a favor.” My dad said, “sure, what is it?” She said, “I need a ride to San Jose”
“Right now?” he asked. Sister Ita told him that she needed to go right then. “Okay, let me go tell Gilda and get my keys” He was ready to jump in the car and drive 45 minutes each way- no questions asked.
Sister Ita never got tired of telling that story. It summed up how nice my dad was, but not how cool he was. He was funny, and he was easy to be around, … get the recipe
I’ve spent all but a few of my 38 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born and raised here, and while I’ve left a couple of times, I’ve never tricked myself into thinking my leaving was permanent. Sure, I’ve thought about a simpler life, a porch swing, a big rambling yard. Sometimes the dreaming drifts to living in a “real city” or finally moving to Maui or The South of France, but when I truly connect with the place I live, I fall head-over-heels in love all over again.
This past Sunday, we woke up early and lazed around in bed. I had planned on making some apple tarts to bring on our day trip, but Joshua managed to talk me into extra snuggle time, and before I knew it, I was rushing to photograph Friday night’s pumpkin soup before we were heading out the door to Point Reyes- bellies full of the last of the pumpkin goodness.
It doesn’t matter how many times I cross the Golden Gate Bridge and pass through the Rainbow Tunnel into Marin County. Each time, the beauty, the happy memories, the readiness for adventure, the sense that something wonderful could happen at any moment, is always fresh. This time, it truly would be new; we were headed up to the birthday party of Joshua’s friend’s kid near Tomales Bay. Climbing the hill to the property, we were surrounded by redwoods. Wild strawberries lined the path, and a break in the trees … get the recipe
Autumn comes in fits and starts in northern California, but at the first sign of winter squash and crisp mornings, something in me begins to take stock of the seeds I’ve sown over the year. Suddenly steamy cups of tea in the morning and warm blankets on the sofa lead to contemplation.
This fall, my thoughts have often turned to this blog- asking myself what is The Tomato Tart really about? I have spoken with friends, about this, and it was Andrew Wilder (eatingrules.com) who looked at the Mason jars in my open pantry. Row upon row of flours, grains, beans, and nuts from the bulk bins of my local co-op prompted him to say, “This visual gives a pretty good idea of what you’re about”.
Get me talking in a room, and I will passionately speak about farmers markets, food politics, living small, and trying to shop as ethically as possible. When talking with Andrew, I realized I’ve been sensitive to coming off as preachy when wanting to share more about how we eat, shop, and live—not just how we cook. It’s something I’m continuing to mull over as I grow with my blog which is now one year and one month old.
October 24th is Food Day, it’s a day to celebrate and promote eating real, to promote eating from sustainable sources, and to limit subsidies to big agribusiness. It’s a day to talk about protecting the environment and animals by standing up … get the recipe
In just under one month, I’ll be at Foodbuzz Fest 2011 in my hometown of San Francisco. This conference is especially meaningful for me. One year ago, I was a brand new blogger, attending my first conference, meeting new people, like John from Foodwishes, Greg from Sippitysup, and Marc from No Recipes. Those three were the first food bloggers I ever spoke to in person. I keep in touch with all three through Twitter and email. Marc was a contributor to my Bake Sale for Japan and John and I have become friends over the past year. Foodbuzz is also where I met a couple of my favorite people, Irvin of Eat The Love, Kimmie from Full Circle Adventure, and the ever so naughty girl Linda of Salty Seattle.
This year, at Foodbuzz Fest, I’ll be leading a breakout session called Blog Design Bootcamp with Kristin of The Cuisinerd.
This session will be a super fun look at branding and designing a food blog.
- • Here are some of the things we’ll cover:
- • What is your brand?
- • How to build that brand, visually
- • How to use photography to build your brand– on the cheap
- • How to make individual posts more beautiful
- • And, we’ll walk one blogger through a real time branding exercise
I know that this year will involve meeting new friends and seeing some of the friends I met last year like Nate from The Chocolate of Meats… get the recipe
When I started the journey of October #unprocessed, I knew that there would be certain challenges. I mentioned the biggies in my guest post on Eating Rules.
- Breakfast and lunch had to be prepped the night before since my husband and I eat both meals out of the house on most days
- Avoiding eating out and ordering in by having some easy to make meals in the fridge just in case I was too tired or too hungry to make a full blown dinner
The things I thought less about were the little things. Life, is made up of all those moments in between. Sunday morning, some friends invited us out to brunch. That was easily avoided when they accepted an invitation to our house. I made challah French toast and baked eggs. We drank fresh squeeze OJ and laughed and I almost screwed up the French press YET again.
One thing I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) avoid was an afternoon trip to the movies with my brother. Oh no, I thought, popcorn! I don’t generally eat processed junk food, and anything partially hydrogenated was exorcized from our house about seven years ago, but movie popcorn is my rare exception. I decided I would one up the movie popcorn. I called up my rebel spirit and made some amazing coconut curry popcorn to sneak into the theater with two apples and a few squares of dark chocolate. I did buy a bottled water there- not to assuage any guilty … get the recipe
Hot slaw? Really? This is one of those times when my lack of a traditional American upbringing had me a little stumped. As I read the recipe, I was still having a hard time imagining a hot slaw until one phrase sang out, “cook all ingredients over fire until it looks like custard”.
I’ll back up a little, some of you may know that I participate in a vintage recipe swap led by my friend, Christianna, who writes the blog Burwell General Store. Each month, Chris selects a recipe from a vintage cookbook/hymnal that she picked up at a junk store. So far we’ve tackled chicken pie & drop biscuits, lemon cake, jelly cake, taffy apples and potato doughnuts, to mention a few.
This time, it’s hot slaw. While I adore all things cabbage, and I love making homemade slaw, I had never heard of this. A perfunctory search proved that “Alfred E. Brumley’s All-Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground” is not the only place hot slaw exists. As a matter of fact, it seems to be a fairly popular dish. It also appears to contain bacon in many instances. Custard, bacon, cabbage, these are ideas a girl- even a girl who didn’t grow up with recipes from the heartland- can understand.
I popped down to the farmers market; apparently cabbage is not quite in season for us Californians yet, but that’s alright, because escarole is. A lovely bitter green, escarole begs to be … get the recipe
October: while many people’s thoughts are turning to orange leaves, crisp mornings, and what to wear for Halloween, this October holds new meaning for me. My friend, Andrew, from Eating Rules put the call out to take a pledge to go #unprocessed for the month of October. Everything about Andrew’s invitation spoke to me, so when he needed help designing a logo, I was glad to jump in. I was even more pleased when Andrew invited me to contribute the first guest post for October #unprocessed 2011.
October #unprocessed couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The last two months have been unbelievably hectic. Between our move, the chocolate party, SF Chefs, house guests, a death in my family, and crazy work weeks, I was starting to feel run down, exhausted, disconnected, and really tired of take out. Joshua and I decided to start October #unprocessed during the last week of September. (read more about it, and take the pledge here)
This recipe came about for two reasons. Firstly, I had just made a HUGE jar of homemade salsa de molcajete (recipe here) and secondly, the butcher at Avedano’s had recommended this gorgeous cut of meat. One nice thing about buying something like a shank is that it’s not a fancy cut, so it’s not terribly expensive. This means, I get to buy really nice quality meat—pastured, organic, humanely raised meat, and it’s affordable. The other nice thing about a shank, is… well, it’s about the … get the recipe