Chefs, Cooking, Modern Grange

Vegetables and Their Secrets

On a sweltering August afternoon, farmers, vacationers, brides-to-be, and home cooks gathered in the SHED Grange on Sunday to glean bits of vegetable wisdom from Chef Steven Satterfield, author of Root to Leaf and chef-owner of Atlanta’s acclaimed restaurant Miller Union. Interspersed with tastes from his book prepared by the SHED kitchen, Steven made his way through a bountiful table of summer produce and gave words of wisdom for selecting, preparing, and cooking vegetables. Among such gems were how to select chilies that naturally impart a sriracha flavor, the difference between green onions and yellow onions, how to get an eggplant perfectly charred on the outside and creamy on the inside, and the secret to preparing perfect pole beans.  Take a peek and take away some vegetable secrets of your own.

beets

With their edible tops and stems, beets are a great example of cooking root to leaf. In fact, beets were first cultivated for their greens, much like their cousin, spinach. Steven loves the flavor combination of beets and nuts.

 

Annie Plating

Chef Annie plating the country ham and melon dish using musk, charentais, and sensation melons from Russian River Farm and S Wallace Edwards & Sons – Surryano Ham, a Good Food Award winner and a favorite of Steven’s which we carry in the SHED Larder.

 

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Steven’s recipe for roasted vegetables featuring okra takes advantage of this versatile, crisp, sweet, complexly flavored vegetable, a Southern staple whose mucilaginousness is under appreciated in the rest of the county. It’s one of his favorite vegetables.

 

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Steven explains the geometry of the onion in terms of its North Pole, South Pole, and Equator, a nifty trick when navigating the natural curves of a vegetable with a straight blade.

 

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A cold glass of Red Car rose proved the perfect pairing to the Southern menu on a hot summer afternoon. We carry Red Car’s lovely vegetable friendly wines in the SHED Pantry.

 

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Miss the event? We’ve got a signed copy of Steven’s book with your name on it, full of great advice for vegetable lovers and omnivores alike.

 

 

Thanks to photographer Karen Preuss for capturing and sharing these images.

Artisan Producers, Farming, Foodshed, Healdsburg, Modern Grange

Two Years and Dancing

With deference to our country roots, the SHED Second Anniversary Hoedown was a barrel of farmstead fun celebrating our two years in business. All afternoon we toasted and two-stepped with our neighbors and friends, our valued vendors, and our hardworking staff. Some highlights:

Animals were cuddled: Sophia Bates of Front Porch Farm and the Sustainable Poultry Network brought her hatchery chickens and chicks for up close cuddling. She’s taking orders for her homestead-raised Barred Rock chickens now._DSC8326

Pearl snaps were worn: along with bandanas and 10-gallon hats.

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Tortillas were pressed: Founder of Chepa Healdsburg, a producer of wood and stainless steel tortilla presses, Josephina Fregosa brought along her mother and a friend to treat customers to fresh hot tortillas. They were being swooped up in the Pantry as soon as you could say ‘melted butter and fresh salsa.’

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Farmers were met: Zureal Bernier of Bernier Farms came by to represent Slow Food and the Bodega Red potato, an heirloom variety brought back into circulation by the Ark of Taste, and gave tips to home gardeners. Seed potatoes are still available in our pantry for $4/lb.

_DSC8340Home cooking was grubbed: Our events staff cheerfully doled out Chef Miles Thompson’s take on the American fair food favorites: Surryano-ham wrapped corn sticks and Vadouvan-spiced kettle corn.

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Suds were sipped: Jolie Devoto of Golden State Cider poured samples of her Mighty Dry Cider to refresh the dancing masses.

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Cheese was sampled: Star White of Pennyroyal Farm was the visiting cheesemonger for the day, sampling her farmstead cheeses out of the larder.

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Partners were swung: With live accompaniment by American Nomad, square dance caller Steve Minkin called out classic barn dance moves to an enthusiastic crowd of steppers._DSC8376

 

Artisan Producers, Chefs, Modern Grange

Wrap Up: Fermentation Workshop + Dinner

Our fermentation chef/experts.

The art of fermentation evolved from the need to preserve food far beyond what was possible before the advent of refrigerators or ice boxes. Now that we have the luxuries of the kitchen fairly sorted out, we nonetheless continue to ferment and preserve. Why? Because it’s delicious, fascinating, and because our ability to understand the teeming world of tiny organisms that fix our food has never been more accessible. (more…)