Favorites List (Early Summer 2007)

Favorites List (Early Summer 2007)


I know it has only been a month or so since I posted my last favorites list, but I love pulling them together to share with you so I hope you don't mind.

- For starters, I'm excited to be able to share a few of the presentations from the Robert Mondavi Winery-sponsored Taste3 Conference a few weeks back. Many of you know that aside from my cookbook and keeping the 101 Cookbooks site fresh, Taste3 is one of my favorite projects to work on throughout the year. I help scour the globe for the most compelling speakers willing to come talk about a whole spectrum of subjects that intersect the food, wine, and art realms. What you are seeing here is just the first batch of videos to be released from Taste3 2007. A little bird told me batch two will likely include Dan Barber's tale of how unrequited love shaped his vision for his restaurant (those of you who saw his talk on carrots and castration last year won't be disappointed), as well as a talk by Jeff Henderson, in addition to a few other surprises. Not that I'm playing favorites, but be sure to check out:

  • Dennis vanEngelsdorp (bee expert) celebrates the joy of bees and examines the most up-to-date theories on Colony Collapse Disorder. One of the more timely talks.
  • Ben Ripple, founder of Big Tree Farms Bali tells the story of how his interest in organic farming has helped over 5,000 Balinese farmers realize sustainable livelihoods and reinvigorate their own cultural identities. Many of you are familiar with the Big Tree Farm product line, and you've heard me talk endlessly about their amazing wild Balinese long pepper.
  • For the molecular gastronomy fans in the crowd (oops, am I still allowed to call it that?), be sure to check out Moto Restaurant's Pastry Chef Ben Roche as he demonstrates the unique dining experience at Moto with his version of carrot cake, nachos - or even better, catch a glimpse of their military-grade laser.

For anyone who is interested in attending next year, there is a special 2-for-1 discount being offered through July 31. Not cheap - but I assure you, this isn't your typical food and wine fest.

- Making a leap back in time, in the early sixties designer Alexander Girard designed nearly every aspect of La Fonda del Sol restaurant for its opening in the Time-Life building in 1961 - linens, matchbooks, salt and pepper shakers, menus, etc. The typography is fascinating in its own right! Have a look at this wonderful website that collects and highlights the artifacts of La Fonda del Sol. (link)

- Grant Achatz and his talented crew at Alinea outdid themselves with this vegetarian tasting menu I enjoyed on a recent visit. I'll also mention how much I enjoyed the wine pairings (also noted on the menu).

- The next time you want to send a mail-order treat to a friend, send a box of Mari's brownies. I met Mari Tuttle about a year ago, but I had no idea that she baked the world's most delicious brownies, and on top of that - packaged them in the world's cutest baton boxes. They make a great gift. My friend Tom has been telling me about these brownies for months and months, I finally tasted them a few weeks back (yet another perk of Taste3) - and I'm spoiled for life. I may never attempt to bake my own brownies again. They will never be this good. It is as if ten brownies-worth of trufflelike fudginess and chocolate-ty goodness are miraculously packed into each compact and sophisticated-looking brownie. I should have known, I mean Mari is no slacker. She's been both Balthazar's Director of Bakery Operations and at another point she was Design Director for fashion designer Cynthia Rowley's home line at Target. Flavors: Classic (or Classic with Nuts), Caramel Sea Salt, Coconut, Thai Coffee, Heat, and Blonde Bombshell.

- I went to the San Francisco Film Festival screening of Les Blank's All in This Tea. The filmmaker follows world renowned tea expert David Lee Hoffman into the depths of China in a quest for the best handmade teas. You can see a preview here. A fantastically informative documentary and to top it off Werner Herzog even has a short cameo. And as long as we are talking about documentaries, I also began watching the box-set of documentaries by Louis Malle. His 18-minute short on the Tour de France footage is flat-out spellbinding. Filmed in 1962. Netflix has them all for those of you with an account.

- The opening photo is a tree I discovered in full bloom as I rounded a corner into a small grove in Golden Gate Park. It stopped me dead in my tracks as the entire tree radiated with a million vibrant fuschia petals shimmering in just a whisper of a breeze. A reminder to myself to just get out with my eyes open more often.

What are your favorite things right now, as we are heading into summer? I'm curious.

 
 
 
 
For new recipes & inspirations

Your Comments


rosie
May 29, 2007

-Longer days with breezy evenings to cool things down
-The Sunday Farmer's Market under the W/X freeway and all of the wonderful late spring/early summer produce (berries, favas, artichokes, the list can go on and on)
-Sitting outside in our backyard after a long day's work
-Sipping a rose in above backyard
-Tis the season for bbq's with friends and family

I'm sure I'll think of others but that's a good start.

 

Tea
May 29, 2007

Oooh, I am eager to check out All in This Tea--I was sorry I missed it at the film festival. My mother bought Asian carpets from David back in the day (he imported those before he switched to tea) and I grew up seeing him sell teas at the Marin farmers' market. Glad you enjoyed the film.

My favorite things at the moment:
3191.visualblogging.com
Molly's French lentil salad on Orangette last week
Friday night dinners at Della Fattoria, with a drive through the Petaluma backroads.
Hey Eugene--new album by Pink Martini
Brunch at Brett's

 

1. Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes.

- I bought this book two weeks ago, and I've been in love with it ever since!

2. Longer days! yipppiiieeee

3. Summer berries! Yum!

4. Blogging.

- I started my blog in mid-May, and I've been loving it!

5. Swimming in the sea!

 

Diane
May 30, 2007

Finally being out of winter close for the next few months.

Sitting on the swing looking into the gardens, searching through a hodgepodge of cookbooks for recipes that will use this years melange of fresh fruits and veggies from our gardens.

Working in the flower gardens.

In a couple weeks, picking fresh strawberries for the freezer. Nice to have frozen smoothie throughout the year.

And coming to this site often to see what is new with Heidi.

 

ruby
May 30, 2007

Can't wait for local, juicy tomatoes and the sweet corn ever. And white peaches. And all sorts of plums and lovely New England lettuces.

Yay summer!!

 

ruby
May 30, 2007

Can't wait for local, juicy tomatoes and the sweetest corn ever. And white peaches. And all sorts of plums and lovely New England lettuces.

Yay summer!!

 

Sarah Mac
May 30, 2007

your breathtaking tree is a rhododendron - one of my most favorite flowering trees of all time!

what makes this tree even more fantastic is the fact that it loves an acidic environment which means cocoa shells!!! when i dabbled in landscaping years ago, one of my favorite gardens in portola valley was filled with rhodies whose bases we lovingly covered with cocoa shells. the result = vibrant blooms and the enchanting smell of chocolate floating on the breeze.

my faves...
• luscious fresh fruits at the farmer's market
• homemade pomegranate margaritas on the terrace at sunset
• cinespia summer film screenings at the Hollywood Forever cemetary
• fresh berry tarts
• swimming in the ocean

 

Wendy
May 30, 2007

It's my first year of growing food. I love:
* Throwing worms to the neighbourhood blackbird as I dig (he loves me)
* Popping tiny veg in my mouth as I thin out what's growing in my veggie patch

 

Winnie
May 30, 2007

(it's a rhododendron:)

 

Jenya Rusen
May 30, 2007

I can't wait for the wild blackberries that grow in profusion in Vancouver and Victoria, and home grown tomatoes. Also, frozen grapes for cooling off when the summer sun has warmed you all the way through and baked you a golden brown (or pink in my case). And lastly, sitting on the patio sipping frosty mojitos full of crushed raspberries and blackberries. I love the fresh mint smell left on your fingers after making these cocktails. It mingles nicely with pungent, fresh-cut grass.

 

Emira
May 30, 2007

- eating dinner in the evening sunshine on the front lawn
- watering the garden with a cup of coffee in the mornings before work
- the quinoa/corn chowder from Deborah Madison's Vegetable Soup cookbook
- warm, late evening bike rides
- fresh berries in the bottom of glasses of prosecco
- sun brewed lemonade
- rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb!
- and not to be too much of a suck, but honestly your cookbook, which I acquired in perfect time for a summer of backyard veg harvesting

 

Snehal
May 30, 2007

Believe it or not, but we just left Autumn behind and are on the onset of winter here in Oz. The things on my favorites list right now are ..

1. A new soup experiment everyday
2. Tending to my first ever veggie patch [I did some lovely sage, lemongrass, fennel, carrots and fenugreek last week]
3. Adding to my teapot collection and heading to the newly opened "Tea Company", a dainty little shop with fascinating displays of teapots from all around the world and row after row of their ornate tin tea boxes with neat labels of the exotic blends they provide. At the moment I am enjoying "Japanese Citrus Peel & Daisy Tea" and "Pina Colada tea .. a blend of coconut, pineapple and sunflowers".
4. Planning and obssessing about my first visit to the Sydney Goos Food & Wine Show 2007.
5. Picnics in the backyard.
6. Planting spring bulbs.
7. Reading a new Jodi Picoult book every week. :):)

 

YOYO's Cooking
May 30, 2007

learn more~

know more~

love more~

 

Paige
May 31, 2007

"ugly ripe" tomatoes - well, ANY tomatoes right now...

sweet corn

summer squash

fresh berries

evening suppers on the lanai, with the scent of jasmine and gardenia wafting along the breeze

 

vici
May 31, 2007

- Arugula!
- Roses + Dahlias
- Re-reading John Connolly's "Book of Lost Things"
- Macaroni Salad
- Watching movies on my laptop, in the hammock, after dark. Its like my own personal drive-in.

 

Cynthia
May 31, 2007

I'm looking forward to my annual trip to the US where I hang out all day at the Barnes & Noble and Border stores - in the food section of course.

Visiting the beach more often - it is 5 mins away from me 24/7 365/366 days of the year but I hardly make to the beach.

Waking up late and not having to plan my day - College is closed! End of the academic year. Yeah!

Taking time to see more of this beautiful country I live in.

That's it for now.

 

Natanya
May 31, 2007

Summer in Texas is always a double-edged sword. It's the perfect time for pools, BBQ, and great out-door parties. It's also, to be brutally honest, brutally hot. Even so, for me summer means:

--Porch parties with great grillin' menus
--Picnics at the pool with surprises in the picnic basket
--A chance to turn my husband into a guinea pig for new recipes while my daughter is visiting her grandparents
--Making ice cream with my daughter when she's back home
--Making my grandmother's BBQ chicken (no tomatoes, just sherry and some secret seasonings) for the 4th of July

 

Gail
May 31, 2007

I agree with everything Jenya said, especially the wild blackberries, I can't wait for them!

 

Jolie Ann
June 1, 2007

Late Spring in Portland Oregon is beautiful & so many favorite things to find joy in...

*Everything about my garden, especially watching all the April seeds start to sprout into vegetables, herbs & flowers
*Fresh salads from the first things harvested out of my garden: arugula, sorrel, cress, green leaf lettuce, snow peas, pansies & rose petals
* Watering my gardening while drinking tea first thing in the morning. Nibbling fresh peas straight from the plant
*Sunbrewed iced tea
*Bird watching...I set up my home office and computer right in front of the window overlooking my backyard garden. I am easily distracting from work and studying when multitudes of birds come to bath, drink, and play in my birdbaths. Several species have set up home in my backyard plum tree and there is always playful birdsong!
*Finding different ways to cook the yummy in season asparagus from my organic produce home delivery box. Especially loving the delicious big bowl quinoa recipe.
*Our first BBQ of the season last week
*My roses blooming in profusion, enjoying their smells and colors

 

Anonymous
June 1, 2007

Summer means to me :

-Lazy week-end afternoons at my brother's home, gorging up on sunshine, with a tall glass of ice-cold homemaid lemonade in hand...

-Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from the market, then coming back home and indulging in luscious salads, fruit platters, crusty bread, deliscious cheeses and pâtés...

-Soon, very soon we'll have frozen chocolate mousse (or maple, or raspberry) sold at that little "Chocolaterie artisanale" nearby; the perfect pit stop after an evening walk...

-Summer lightning storms, scary and thrilling, but a blessing on a hot day as the air is freed of its humidity and freshens up a bit...

-Summer vacation; this year we plan on going to "les Îles-de-la-Madeleine". Dunes of golden sand, the roar of the sea, the salty breeze, and meals of salmon and scallops! Nothing to do but to enjoy ourselves...

-Sandwiches and cold soups...

-A week-end by the pool at my folks. I especially like it at the end of the afternoon, after a nice swim, when you open a book (a recipe book, mind you, wich you read from cover to cover!) and start reading as the wood thrush begins to sing...

I love summer!

 

lillianne
June 1, 2007

This day

 

Jasal
June 1, 2007

Most people think those of us in southern california don't have seasons, but you just have to learn to be in tune to notice the changes in the seasons...
We are enjoying now, and look forward to-
- more work and enjoyment in our kitchen garden w/ our 2 year old daughter
- post-dinner walks in our neighborhood to see neighbors
- our 2 year old eating tomatoes straight off our vines after a quick rinse (still to come)
- relaxed meals w/ friends around a grill at dusk outside
- homemade iced tea w/ simple syrup!

Can't wait...!...

 

Heidi A-P
June 2, 2007

Here in Greece we eat according to the seasons so favorites at the moment would be mostly vegetable dishes as there are plentiful and tasty veges. Green beans of any type stewed in a fresh tomato onion and olive oil sauce, tomatoes and peppers stuffed with tomato rice and herbs, the famous 'Imam Baldi' aubergines stuffed with onions and tomatoes and herbs then stewed in olive oil and their own juices do I have to go on. If you want to experience a gastronomic delight come to Greece and find out for yourselves. Thank you for reading this. Heidi A-P

 

My summers have been very defined the last couple of years: in the end of May I leave the US to stay in Sween for a couple of months. Just that is something a enjoy.

The colors and light of late spring/early summer is amazing. When the trees sparkle in various shades of green. It's so pure.

Ping-pong ball size new potatos, pulled up from the warm soil. Just boil them and eat with butter.

Wearing shorts and sandals. Life becomes so simple in the summer, it's like parts of me is ten years old again.However, when fall arrives it's pretty nice to change wardrobe. This is why I never would like to be without defined seasons -- although I fret something terribly in the winter.

 

Steve
June 3, 2007

Kind of funny, living only 250kms from the equator, to hear everyone getting so 'up' about the change of seasons!

Simply because we don't have them as such, and therefore food tends to be 'uni-seasonal' if such a phrase exists.

And, trying to get an organic vegetable farming business off the ground, well, constant weather can be good sometimes (you always know you'll get sunshine), and you also know you'll get rain (the bad side).

Thus, reading about the delights of seasonal foods, especially the temptations of true summer cuisine, is definitely making the taste buds tingle!

Steve

 

sarah
June 3, 2007

peaches and beaches!

 

Denise
June 3, 2007

Some of my favorite things are:

the tomatoes starting to turn red in my garden. I've had a handfull of the Sweet 100s ripen already but am eagerly awaiting the onslaught that's surely coming!

the cucumbers we've already picked from the garden and the others that will soon be ready

dark chocolate - a favorite any time of the year

the wonderful rain we've had this Spring so far - much more than usual and very appreciated

and last but certainly not least, 101cookbooks.com, always a favorite of mine.

 

carolyn
June 3, 2007

- more american poetry (especially sandburg)
- more russian lit
- fooling around with painting and photography
- cooking more from my family's garden

as i am a student, summer to me mostly just means more free time. :) so my list is mostly just things i want to do, but normally don't have time to, not exactly things related to summer. but yess, i agree with jasal's comment from above.. i also live in southern california. seasons here are definitely different than the seasons of regions more north or south of us, but we still have them. :) how i love southern california.

i love your blog heidi, and your photographs. this is my first time commenting since i first came across your blog about a year ago... i just had to after seeing that beautiful picture in this post. it's incredible.

 

chavi
June 4, 2007

- the sound of the birds waking me up in the morning
- fresh blueberry pie (or blueberries with just about anything or nothing at all)
- letting my dog, Mo, chase the waves at the beach in Tel Aviv
- the sight of my birds of paradise growing in my garden

 

Carol
June 5, 2007

Last year I was dealing with cancer, and in my memory, the whole year felt like winter. So I'm really enjoying the summer this year. Bright colours everywhere. I've been doing a lot more vegetarian cooking and dining al fresco (sp?) as often as possible.

 

jams
June 7, 2007

clipping fresh mint and lemon balm from the garden for iced "tea".
YUM!