Local farms make a great summer classroom.

Check out www.localharvest.com for farms near you!


punch it up.

Homemade croutons are simple, and a million times better than anything you can get out of a box.  
Start with a nice bread, cut into squares (or such), drizzle with a quality olive oil, & season.  Some people saute, but I like to bake at 325*.  Keep an eye, toss every once in a while, and there you have it.
BUT, want to punch up a simple salad?  I love to make a robust garlic & rosemary version, and the batch pictured above are seasoned with curry spices.  Easy peasy.


things to do.

Let's all welcome the EAT REAL FEST to Los Angeles!  
 The successful foodie fest from Oakland is here for the first time!
Disregard the fact that the 405 fwy is closed, and make your way to Culver City this weekend.  There are canning and butchery contests, charcuterie  and beer making demos, and plenty of our favorite food trucks.  There is even a cook book exchange on Sunday!  I'll be there, and I hope you will be too!
Check out their website for schedule, parking info, and public transportation hints.  

seeds saving, 101

Every plant is different when it comes to saving seeds.  We addressed that a little with the tomato seed saving post last year.  Tomatoes have a sprout inhibiting slime around the seeds, which you need to remove, Anyhow.....
Today: Zucchini.
The first thing you need to do is let a zucchini grow to be country fair winningly large.  

Once the zucchini are overgrown, the seeds will be large enough to save, and successfully grown next season.  Please make sure you save seeds from heirloom plants- if you save hybrid seeds they will turn into something unfamiliar next year, typically closer to what their grandpappy plant was.

So, here we go:
1. Cut off the ends.

2. Cut in half or thirds, depending on the size.  
You just want to get it to a more managable size.

3. Run your knife down the center, splitting the zucchini into thirds.
Like so....

4. Run your finger into the center of each section, removing the largest seeds.

5. Now it's time to dry the seeds.
You can space them out on a paper towel, and when they dry, put that towel into a large envelope.  You can literally plant the paper towel and it will compost itself as the seeds sprout.
Or, you can let them dry (about 1 week), and then put them in an envelope, in a jar.  It's important to keep moisture out, so don't put them in the fridge.


make yummy stuff.

It's peach season!
Take advantage with a simple and mind-blowingly tasty take on salt + sweet.  
Find yourself some really righteous french baguette, like Picket Lane Bakery's, and toast it up.  Then, layer on ricotta cheese freshly sliced prosciutto, fresh peaches, local honey and freshly cracked pepper.  (Fresh isn't being over used in the last sentence by the way. You'll understand when you taste it.)



According to my garden, it's time to pickle. 


Being present.

"A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his kitchen rules the human race. One considers him as a minister of heaven, because his kitchen is a temple, in which his ovens are the altar." 
Marc Antoine Desaugiers