Archive | Summer 2014

Banana Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Beth Setrakian, Beth’s Community Kitchen, Mill Valley

Banana Pudding is a simple, yet revered, Southern staple. It likely evolved from the English trifle, another
layering of cake or cookies, pudding and fruit. The favoring of bananas in the South was a natural, as
residents of port cities like New Orleans, Mobile and Charleston enjoyed bountiful amounts of the then-exotic
tropical fruit.

Like the great pie vs. cake debate, families have divided over whether Banana Pudding should be topped with
simple sweetened whipped cream or meringue. Baker and chef Beth Setrakian, whose mother hails from the
South, says either is just fine. She takes the dish to new heights by incorporating her own brand of organic
vanilla wafers.

Bon Appétit, y’all!

Yield: 10 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream, for a richer pudding)
7 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or to taste)
4 to 5 cups organic vanilla wafers
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/3” thick rounds
For the optional topping: 2 cups whipped cream, slightly sweetened with confectioner’s sugar, or meringue

TO PREPARE
Place … Read More

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Farmers’ Market & CSA Directory

FARMERS’ MARKETS

MARIN COUNTY

CORTE MADERA CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Wednesdays, noon–5pm, the plaza at Town Center shopping center, Corte Madera, 415.382.7846

Downtown San Rafael Certified Farmers’ Market Festival

April–September, Thursdays, 6–9pm, Fourth St. between B St. and Cijos St., San Rafael, 415.492.8007

FAIRFAX COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

April 30–December 17, Wednesdays, 4–8pm, Bolinas Park, 124 Bolinas Rd., Fairfax, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Gospel Flat Farmstand

Year round, daily, 24-hour farmstand, 140 Olema-Bolinas Rd., Bolinas, GospelFlatFarm.com

MARIN CIVIC CENTER FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Thursdays and Sundays, 8am–1pm, Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium and Civic Center parking lot, San Rafael, 800.897.FARM, AgriculturalInstitute.org

MARINWOOD COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Saturdays, 9am–2pm, Marinwood Plaza, 101 Marinwood Ave., San Rafael, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Marin Country Mart Farmers’ Market

Year round, Saturdays, 9am–2pm, Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, 415.461.5700

MILL VALLEY CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Fridays, 9:30am–2:30pm, CVS Pharmacy parking lot, 759 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley, 415.382.7846

DOWNTOWN NOVATO COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

May 6–September 30, Tuesdays, 4–8pm, Historical Downtown Novato, Grant Ave. between 1st and 4th Sts., Novato, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Point Reyes Farmers’ Market

June–November, Saturdays, 9am–1pm, Toby’s Feed Barn, Hwy. 1, Point Reyes Station, PointReyesFarmersMarket.org

ROSS VALLEY CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

May XX–October XX, Thursdays, … Read More

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The Artist

OKRA

You Love It or You Hate It

BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN

As a child, I hated okra. I couldn’t imagine how my mother and grandmother could swoon over each bite of the nasty green pod they simmered with tomatoes and onions.

Normally, my mother was a sophisticated and adventuresome cook, plying us with everything from French Coq au Vin to California-style Avocados Stuffed with Shrimp. However, she was from Texas, and her mother from Tennessee, and every once in a while, Southern dishes like stewed okra, black-eyed peas, cornbread and coconut cream pie would appear on our family table. When one did, my mother would explain that it reminded her of her early years growing up in Fort Worth and of her mother.

As an adult, I now completely understand why my mother and grandmother liked okra. My first revelation came many years ago when I was working on a vegetable cookbook with a botanist friend who had spent several years living in Georgia. She explained to me that the infamous okra slime, which starts oozing the minute the pod is cut into, dissipates with cooking.

“Don’t let that early slime stop you from eating okra.”

We made stewed okra … Read More

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The Good Food Activists

EILEEN GORDON CHIARELLO

On a Mission to Raise Barns, Among Other Things

BY KIRSTEN JONES NEFF • PHOTOGRAPHS BY CLAY MCLACHLAN

Eileen and Michael Chiarello

From healthy and artisanal foods to community kitchens, to educational and organic farms and more, Barnraiser is a place to meet the people behind these projects, share their inspirational stories, and fund their success.

Mission statement of Barnraiser

Eileen Gordon Chiarello is planning to revolutionize the food world, and we may have her grandmother to thank for it. Chiarello, the founder of Barnraiser, a just-launched crowd-sourcing site for food producers, grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, but spent many summers during her youth visiting family in rural Marin and Sonoma counties.

Chiarello’s mother is a Giacomini, the extended family of Swiss-Italian farmers and ranchers who have played a central role in making our Northbay counties the agricultural havens that they are today. Chiarello’s eyes light up and she smiles a wide smile as she remembers childhood stays at her grandparents’ home in California.

“Everything was homemade. I can still remember looking up at my grandmother’s pears set up in the windowsill. They were her backyard pears, lined up, in jars of sugar water.”

She … Read More

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The Winemakers

FROM STRONG SOUTHERN ROOTSTOCK

Terroir With a Touch of Red Clay

BY MONICA AND DAVID STEVENS

PHOTOGRAPH: CAROLE TOPALIAN

When you ask folks in the local wine world where they are from, only occasionally is their answer “California.” The wine industry attracts a multitude of personalities and talents from across the United States and abroad, all contributing to its vibrancy and success.

For this special fifth anniversary summer issue of Edible Marin & Wine Country, we are pleased to showcase a group of our winemaker friends who hail from the South—from Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana and Texas—all having converged in Northern California, bringing with them enormous talent and passion for their craft.

Both of us hail from the Midwest, and know from personal experience that in many parts of the United States cocktails—and brews—still reign supreme. So we were very curious to find out when and under what circumstances Nicole Abiouness, Thomas Rivers Brown, Randy Hester, Pax Mahle, Jason Moore, Jessica Tarpy Shaheen, Sarah Vandendriessche and Jamey Whetstone first experienced wine, and if it was love at first sip.

Read on to hear their answers to these questions, as well as what each of them has to say … Read More

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The Farmer

VERNAY ‘PILAR’ REBER

A First-Generation Farmer Paves a Better Path

A first-generation farmer, Vernay ‘Pilar’ Reber grew up in southern Alabama and took her first formal job in agriculture at the age of 19, in Florida, where, dressed in a full hazmat suit, she spent all day spraying toxic chemicals on plants.

On a quest to find a better way, she headed to California to attend the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems program. Upon graduation, she found herself right back in the same chemical-driven system of commercial agriculture, this time in Salinas. After one fellow worker and the wife of another both gave birth to children with cornea blindness, Pilar says she knew the conventional big ag system was irretrievably flawed, and she had to forge her own path.

In 2004, she founded Sunnyside Organic Seedlings, a seven-acre organic farm in Richmond. Yes, a farm in Richmond. Today, Sunnyside supplies all-organic vegetable, fruit, flower and herb starts to many Bay Area nurseries. You can also find Pilar and her starts at the Oakland Farmers’ Market on Saturdays and the San Rafael Civic Center Farmers’ Market on Sundays.

Pilar’s menagerie also includes dogs, chickens, geese, sheep, … Read More

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The Cheesemaker and Café Owner

SHEANA DAVIS

Bringing the Big Easy to the Sonoma Plaza

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPH BY FERRON SALNIKER

It all started with a cookbook.

In 1988 Sheana Davis had just graduated from the culinary arts program at Santa Rosa Junior College. While in a bookstore, she picked up the Commander’s Palace Cookbook, a collection of recipes from New Orleans’ iconic white-table Creole restaurant. It took her into an unknown world.

What was gumbo? What was jambalaya? And what was Mardi Gras?

While her culinary school cohort went off to France and Italy, Davis hopped on a train to New Orleans. She spent two months as an intern at Commander’s Palace. It was in that kitchen where Davis prepped mirepoix, cleaned crawfish and got her first taste of Southern flavors. The grunt work was heavy and the internship was brief, but it was there that she began a love affair with the Big Easy.

Davis is the owner of the Epicurean Connection, a market, cafe and wine bar around the corner from Sonoma Plaza. She’s a petite woman and a fast talker with a purposeful walk. She told me that she wants to start taking tap dancing lessons on Sunday mornings—because although … Read More

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The Local Food Forager

CONNIE GREEN

Belle of the Southern Wild

BY ROBIN CARPENTER PHOTOGRAPHS BY CLAY MCLACHLAN

It’s a grand thing to have both parents trust you in nature and to learn to look everywhere. As children, when we swam without our parents, they taught us to watch the alligators sunning on the shore when we got in. If the number decreased, we should calmly exit.

Connie Green, head huntress of Wine Forest Wild Foods

We know the forest round us,
As seamen know the sea;
We know its walks of thorny vines,
Its glades of reedy grass,
Its safe and silent islands
Within the dark morass.

from Song of Marion’s Men by William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

Famed forager, co-author of The Wild Table cookbook and founder of Napa’s Wine Forest Wild Foods, Connie Green is a seventh-generation daughter of the wilds of the Florida panhandle.

This least populated and visited area of Florida is where Connie grew up, collecting fossils, foraging with her family and swimming in springs and lakes formed in the ice age. She was surrounded by swamps, rivers, piney woods, tupelo trees, underwater caverns and a level of biodiversity that would make the Garden of Eden blush. … Read More

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The Chefs

BY CHRISTINA MUELLER AND GIBSON THOMAS PHOTOGRAPHS BY CLAY MCLACHLAN

Barbecue or fried chicken? Bourbon or California Chardonnay? Pie or cake? Mayonnaise or pork fat? The Allman Brothers Band or Southern Culture on the Skids? Read on to learn the answers to these and other burning questions as five Southern-bred chefs making waves in Northern California reveal how their Southern upbringing shaped their craft, and influences their cooking today.

To see more on the age old pie vs cake issue, check out Southernfoodways.org/film/cake-vs-pie-debate/ for an extensive, and hilarious, staged debate on the matter between Kim Severson of the New York Times (and formerly a food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle) and Kat Kinsman, the managing editor of CNN’s Eatocracy.

STEPHEN BARBER

Executive Chef, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena

Stephen Barber grew up in an area of Kentucky where hams hung from the ceiling of every grocery store. During his childhood, smoke wafted out of so many barns, Barber thought the barns were on fire. Country ham, cured and smoked, seeped into his bones.

“With the family, I was always the guy at the grill,” he says. Barber, who went looking for a restaurant job while … Read More

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