March on Martha’s Vineyard means seeds! It’s time to think about what to plant and when. I started to sprout some seeds to eat as raw salad sprouts as a reminder and inspiration of the impending spring season!
This week, I was visiting a friend and took this shot of her filing system for her soon to be planted seeds. You will notice seed labels of Johnny’s and Fedco. Fedco is my favorite seed company. I love their philosophy and their catalog which is a welcome read, filled with resources on farming, quotes, farming legislature to pay attention to, and planting information. If you are purchasing seeds, look for independent seed companies. High Mowing is another favorite. I met up with Tom Stern (owner, president) and had dinner with him in Bra Italy right after Terre Madre (Slow Food semi-annual conference) and learned his story. Do you know where your seeds come from? Support your local growers and buy their seedlings and ask them where they are getting their seeds. If they are practicing sustainable ways of farming, they will know all about their seeds.
I am excited about our terrific line up of events we are offering through Culinary Experiences this month. March 5th, 6th, and 7th feature “Italy at Your Table”. Each evening's event is a bit different.
Friday night, March 5th, will be a wine tasting with hors d’oeuvres at Mediterranean and features both Italian sommelier Filippo Bartolotta, and special guest, Fabrizio Raimondi, Press Officer for Parma Ham Consortium of Italy, who will share tastes of prosciutto.
Saturday night, March 6th, is a five course Italian dinner at Saltwater Restaurant which includes chef’s demonstrations on making fresh barrata and riccota cheese using local milk. On Sunday, March 7th, we will be at Park Corner Bistro where Jesse Martin will prepare a four course Italian-inspired menu. At all the events, Filippo will share his passions and remarkable ability to tell the story within the bottle of each one of his wines. He tastes 3000 wines a year and shares these rare sought after wines with us. In addition, each event includes Filippo’s “wine challenge” where groups will solve the challenge through lore, tasting and games.
March 12th will be the first of two Nourishing Mind & Body classes being offered with Dr. Gail O’Brien. This class features Mindfulness & Healthy Eating Habits which will include yoga class, intention setting, cooking demonstrations and lunch with loads of informative knowledge shared.
March 19th will feature a Matcha Green Tea class. It all started when my son Oren had to bring together Samurai and Buddhist practices as a class assignment. Come to the class and learn all that I have learned about Matcha Green Tea!
April 2nd features our second class in Nourishing Mind & Body with Gail O'Brien. This class is Key to Carbs-What Really Matters
and will include the same format as the March 12th program with the focus
being on healthy preparation and incorporation of
nutritious carbs into daily eating habits.
April 9th-17th brings our most popular Spring Cleanse - Cook, Move & Lose with Dr. Dardanella Slavin and Sherry Sidoti of FLY Yoga. We are expanding it a bit this season.
Please visit www.culinary-experiences.com for details regarding all the upcoming events including registration information.
On the catering front ~
ROBERT LIONETTE will be heading up our kitchen staff this coming season. I have long known about Robert through Lionette’s Market in Boston and his work with both Chef’s Collaborative and Slow Food.
Robert and I speak the same language when it comes to food and supporting our community! We will be developing recipes and menus these next few months, perhaps including a road trip for some R&D (Research and Dining!). I am delighted that we have four Farmer’s Markets in which to participate this upcoming season and we will be at all the markets. This month we will be preserving Meyers lemons, making citrus jam, as the citrus is perfect now, and developing recipes.
Informed Buying with Thought and Consciousness
We will focus on knowing the story behind our products, making contacts with producers of products we are interested in using, and learning about their story of the products that we want to have in our kitchen this year. I was recently reading the label of the mayonnaise jar, and wondered if I could make a cleaner, more delicious, consistent substitute.
Following is a recipe for Almond Mayo. This recipe is also posted on our website with notes. Please try it and tell me what you think – And, if you know the story behind a product and would like to share it with us, please do!
(based on Marcona Almond Mayonnaise from www.elanaspantry.com)
1/8-1/4 cup Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ¼ teaspoon Raw Organic Honey
½ cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4+ tablespoons either Marcona almonds OR Raw Organic whole almonds
Begin with smaller amount of vinegar and pour into blender. Add honey and blend on high for 20 seconds until combined.
With motor running on medium or high, drizzle in the olive oil to create an emulsion.
If you don’t get the emulsification, the almonds will thicken up the mixture
Crush the 4 tablespoons of almonds as much as possible before placing them in the blender either by pounding gently with a mallet or rolling pin on a cutting board under a dishtowel or pulsing in a food processor as much as needed.
Place crushed almonds in the blender with vinegar mixture-pulsing and blending alternatively-then check for thickness and texture.
If necessary, blend in another tablespoon or more of crushed almonds, until thick and creamy. Feel free to add a bit more vinegar, depending on your preference.
Now, back to some more exciting news from Kitchen Porch ~
We will be developing a wheat-free gluten-free baked goods line. Currently, we are making contacts with sources for grains that are grown closer to home. I am developing delicious whole grain recipes and look forward to sharing the results.
I want to hear your thoughts about this! Send me a story behind the food you eat. If there is a product out there that you have been curious about - maybe you did the research on it and have verified that it is real food, or you are just interested in exploring that food or product - either way, we invite you to share your thoughts and findings with us and we will share it too. We might even put it on our shelves!
Please visit us at anytime at www.kitchenporch.com – you can link to our recipes and learn about the programs, classes and events being offered by Culinary Experiences.
We look forward to your input!