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Potatoes and Onions: Keep them fresh—or make latkes

In the fourth installment of our newsletter series on delicious ways to use foods and keep them fresh longer, StopWaste shows us how to cook with and store potatoes and onions. You’ll also find holiday meal tips and a recipe from StopWaste in our Winter Holidays issue.

Back in the day, many households had root cellars or underground rooms for storage of staple foods like apples, nuts, carrots, beets, cabbages, onions, and potatoes. These spaces offered year-round conditions perfect for keeping foods fresh: fairly consistent cool temperatures and steady humidity. These days, we rely on modern refrigerators to store much of our produce, but the fridge is too cold for potatoes and onions, causing them to turn limp and weirdly sweet as their starch converts to sugar.

To keep potatoes and onions fresh longer, place them inside paper or mesh bags and stash in a dark, dry, and fairly cool (but not cold) place like a low kitchen cabinet or your basement. However, make sure the bags of potatoes and onions are stored a distance from each other, since each releases moisture and gases that will cause the other to spoil faster.

What if your spuds already show signs of sprouting and are starting to shrivel?… Read More

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Eat Out to Support Garden Education

Lend your support to Berkeley’s school gardens when you enjoy a restaurant meal on November 30.

Enjoy lunch or dinner out at one of the Berkeley Dine Out participating eateries on November 30 and you’ll be supporting garden and nutrition education in Berkeley’s public schools. These programs offer hands-on experience in 17 school gardens and five kitchen classrooms to 7,000 students. Info, including participating restaurants: here
Berkeley Dine Out
Thursday November 30 – lunch and dinner
Participating Berkeley restaurants


Photo courtesy of Berkeley Dine Out.
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Dress to Save the Planet

Above: Jumpsuit designed by GDS Cloth Goods founder Geana Sieburger. Her company creates climate beneficial clothing and is the host of this Fibershed event. Photo: Paige Green.

Could your clothing choices be part of your commitment to a sustainable world? Hear about how this is possible as local designers, fashion bloggers, shop owners, and other supporters gather this Thursday, November 16 for a presentation by the nonprofit Fibershed on the science and community behind climate-beneficial wool. Learn about how some design communities are sourcing natural, biodegradable materials from regional farms and ranches: these places are working to restore their soils and regenerate their landscapes by drawing carbon down into the ground to create healthier, more productive soil, simultaneously reducing the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. GDS Cloth Goods hosts this free event, with pastries donated by Firebrand Bakery. RSVP to Jess:
Edible East Bay covered Fibershed and its founder Rebecca Burgess in our Summer 2014 issue. Read about how the project was born in 2010 when Burgess made a commitment to wear only clothing made with dyes, fibers, and labor sourced within 150 miles from her home.

Climate Beneficial Fashion
Thursday November 16, 6:30–8pm
481 25th St, Oakland

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Civil Pops Branch Out to Market Hall Foods

Civil Pops team members enjoy the sweet fruits of their labor. Photo courtesy of Civil Pops.

The Blueberry Lemon pops are wonderfully sweet and tart. Photo by Ching-Wei Jiang.

After a summer launch at the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market, Civil Pops recently arrived at Market Hall Foods in Rockridge and Berkeley. The young ice pop business was started by Civil Labs, an Oakland-based group that creates access to jobs, education, and asset ownership for underserved communities of color. Made with organic fruit, the pops were developed in July 2016 with the help of three East Oakland teens. The business offers summer internships where local youths help make and sell the pops and take part in branding and marketing decisions. The young workers also staff fall sales events, and their booth will be back at the farmers’ market in the spring. Delicious in any season, the pops are available at Market Hall in three flavors: Cherry-Lime, Strawberry, and Blueberry Lemon. Info: here
Read our Fall 2016 story about UC Berkeley students co-creating a pop-up taco business with young teens from Civil Labs.

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Spread the Warmth: Give a Coat

If you can spare a clean, gently used (or new) coat or jacket, please bring your donations to the Ecology Center or any of the Berkeley farmers’ markets November 15–December 15. Socks and towels (gently used or new) are also welcome. Clothing is donated to Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), a local organization helping homeless community members to become self-sufficient. The Ecology Center is running this drive in partnership with the national nonprofit One Warm Coat.
Info: here

Pablo Picasso, 1901–02, Le bock (Portrait de Jaime Sabartes),
The Glass of Beer (Portrait of the Poet Sabartes)
oil on canvas, 82 x 66 cm, Pushkin Museum, Moscow
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Coq au Vin:  A Mushroom and Apple Tango

This recipe comes from the team at Oakland-based Broth Baby, known for nutritious and flavorful bone broths. Here’s how they describe their version of a classic French dish:

Fall brings so many sensations with its cool crisp mornings, softly light afternoons, and early evenings. It also whets our appetites for earthier, warmer flavors like umami-rich mushrooms and crisp, tart fall apples. When paired, these two, with their complementary and contrasting hearty and bright flavors, dance a magnificent flavor tango.

If we had a high-season for bone broth, it would be fall. But it’s not just the shifting weather and falling leaves that have us sipping more steamy broth—it’s also our bodies telling us we need that immune system bump as noses start to run and coughing becomes commonplace.

Thus the inspiration for our Coq au Vin, a traditionally French dish of chicken braised with wine and mushrooms. We fire it up with our chicken bone broth and some bacon for a slightly different take on the French classic.

Our Coq au Vin is a simple one-pan dish that takes less than an hour from prep time to table. The lingering benefit is that it makes the house smell heavenly, so don’t be surprised if your neighbors come a-knocking.… Read More

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Create Your Own Holiday Gifts at Preserved

Preserved owner Elizabeth Vecchiarelli offers hands-on workshops covering a variety of food preserving skills. Photo by Robin Jolin.

Oakland’s Preserved offers a wide variety of workshops in skills related to preserving foods. Classes are taught by local experts, and the shop also sells a range of DIY items, books, and artisan foods. Classes fill up fast, so sign up soon for upcoming holiday gift-making workshops. You’ll enjoy a hands-on learning experience as you create handmade gifts for the season. Info and registration: here

Sunday November 26:
Preserved Lemons, 10am–noon  $75

Thursday November 30:
Cocktail Shrubs, 7–9pm $75  

Sunday December 3:
Epicurean Pickles, 10am–noon $75  

Thursday December 7:
 Fermented Hot Sauces, 7–9pm $75  

Sunday December 10:
Healing Hand Salves, 10am–noon $75  

5032 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

Read our story about Broth Baby and Preserved and the connection between these two female-owned businesses.

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Dine Out for Black Restaurant Week


Chef Terry Braggs (at right) offers a pop-up dinner at Port Kitchens
as part of Black Restaurant Week.

Black Restaurant Week comes to the Bay Area for two delicious weeks, offering special prix-fixe menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Celebrate the area’s best black-owned restaurants and chefs as you dine on soul food, barbecue, Ethiopian and Caribbean cuisine, and other tasty options. A restaurant panel discussion, catering tasting showcase, and exclusive pop-up dinner with Chef Terry Braggs add to the festivities. A portion of dining proceeds will be donated to the Oakland Food Pantry and the Freedom Farmers’ Market. Info, including participating restaurants: here

Black Restaurant Week
Monday October 23–Sunday November 5  
Participating restaurants listed at

The Art of Flavor: Pop-up Dinner with Executive Chef Terry Braggs
Saturday November 4, 7–10pm
Port Kitchens
344 20th St, Oakland

Photos courtesy of Bay Area Black Restaurant Week.

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Don’t Waste those Flavorful Fresh Herbs!

Learn how to keep both hardy and tender herbs on hand with these tips from StopWaste as they offer the third installment of our newsletter series about delicious ways to use foods and store them right to keep them fresh longer. You’ll also find food storage tips and a recipe from StopWaste in our Fall issue.

Many chefs—professional and amateur alike—consider fresh herbs to be a secret to their success. No matter if you use them in traditional ways or experiment with new pairings, fresh herbs can infuse dishes with flavor and fragrance in a way their dried counterparts cannot.

But how do you keep fresh herbs handy in the kitchen? You could grow your own herb garden to always have fresh ones on hand. But if you are buying fresh bundles every time you cook for just those few twigs you’ll use, some simple storage tricks can extend the life of those fresh herbs for up to two weeks.

Tender herbs

For tender herbs like mint, dill, parsley, and cilantro, remove any wilted leaves, trim the stem ends, and place the bunch into a jar or glass with 1–2 inches of water. (Be sure to change the water when it starts to get cloudy.) Loosely cover the herbs with a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.Read More

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Departed Spirits Fill the Air at Calavera

Calavera offers special food, drinks, and decor during its week-long Día de los Muertos Festival.

For its annual Día de los Muertos celebration, Calavera is transformed with elaborate marigold decorations and festive altars of flowers and candles. Inventive cocktails and special dinner options combine both ancestral and more modern elements. Chef Gustavo Romero offers rotating à la carte menu specials that highlight heirloom corn. Come in costume to the Halloween party, complete with a DJ, face painters, and complimentary mezcal tastings. Info and reservations: 510.338.3273 or here
Día de los Muertos Festival
Thursday October 26–Wednesday November 1
2337 Broadway, Oakland

Photos courtesy of Calavera.
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