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Help Celebrate at Happy Lot Farm

Happy Lot Farm founder Andromeda Brooks (far left) leads this volunteer effort to transform a vacant lot into a working farm for the community. Join them for a day of service on January 15.

 

Happy Lot Farm welcomes the community to its fifth annual block party and day of service. Individuals and groups are invited to help out with painting, weeding, and watering. Stay for lunch, birthday cake, music, and prizes!
 
Led by founder and head farmer Andromeda Brooks, Happy Lot volunteers have been busy over the past year improving the farm: they’ve rebuilt raised beds, planted crops, pulled weeds, and installed irrigation lines. This once-vacant lot is now a vibrant working farm with a fruit orchard, vegetable beds, honeybees, chickens, turkeys, and ducks. The farm freely gives away crops, eggs, and honey with a request that people eat what they take (or give it to someone in need) and, if possible, put in a bit of time on the farm.
 
For those who want to get involved, Happy Lot holds a work day on the third Saturday of each month and a farm camp on Sundays. Come visit, learn about gardening, volunteer some time, and pick your own produce.… Read More

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No Need to Cook: It’s Restaurant Week in Oakland

Cocktails at Eve’s Waterfront are one of many pleasures to enjoy
during Oakland Restaurant Week.

Savor the diversity of excellent food available in Oakland during Restaurant Week, when participating restaurants offer prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus. As part of California Restaurant Month, the week runs January 11–21 and includes two full weekends and over 100 restaurants. Dine at Chop Bar, Lungomare, Italian Colors, and many other spots, with meals offered at $10, $20, $30, $40 and $50. Some eateries donate a portion of Restaurant Week proceeds to the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

This year, new interactive dining experiences add to the fun: food tours by Local Food Adventures on both weekends, dinner at AlaMar with Leslie Sbrocco of Check, Please! Bay Area and Liam Mayclem of Foodie Chap on KCBS radio, and chef demos at the Jack London Square Farmers’ Market. Info: here. Follow Oakland Restaurant Week 2018 on social media: #ORW18.
 
Oakland Restaurant Week
Thursday January 11–Sunday January 21
Participating restaurants throughout the city

Photos courtesy of Visit Oakland.

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Swap Scions and Gardening Tips

Share your scions, gather new ones, and learn about grafting
at the Annual Scion Exchange in Berkeley.

Scion: A detached living portion of a plant—such as a bud or shoot—that can be grafted onto rootstock to create a new plant that joins the strength of the rootstock with the desired characteristics of the scion. Gardeners interested in having heirloom varieties of fruit growing in their yard do this sort of grafting. 

At the Annual Scion Exchange, held by the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers Association, gardeners bring and take home scions from heirloom varieties of fruit grown in Northern California. Rootstocks may also be available to purchase (subject to weather). Introductory lessons in grafting are included with admission, and custom grafting services may be offered as well. The event includes a silent auction, a drawing for plants (every $3 ticket wins), sales of rare fruits and berries, parafilm and bulk citrus sales, and more. If possible, bring seeds or a cutting from your garden to give away. Beginners welcome. Admission: $5. Info: here

Saturday January 20, noon–3pm
California Rare Fruit Growers, Golden Gate Chapter, Annual Scion Exchange
Ed Roberts Campus (next to Ashby BART)
3075 Adeline St, Berkeley

Photos by Carole Topalian

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An Elegant Evening Honors Outstanding Food

Each year, the Good Food Awards honor the best tasting
responsibly made products in 15 categories. (Gamma Nine Photography)

 

Photos © Kassie Borreson | kassieborreson.com

Be one of the first to hear the names of the 2018 Good Food Awards winners, those outstanding food producers and farmers honored for their delicious, authentic, and responsibly produced foods. Enjoy the gala ceremony led by keynote speaker Madhur Jaffrey, honorary hosts Alice Waters and Nell Newman, and master of ceremonies Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market. Following the ceremony, indulge at an after-party co-hosted by Bi-Rite at the Airbnb headquarters. Taste the winning products on five regional buffets, and sip a cocktail made with winning spirits and brews. Cocktail attire. Cost: $165. Info and tickets: here

Good Food Awards Ceremony
Friday January 19, Check-in 5:15pm; Ceremony begins 6pm sharp
San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center
401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco
 
After-Party, 8–10pm, Co-Hosted by Bi-Rite Market
888 Brannan St, San Francisco

Additional Events

Good Food Mercantile 
Saturday January 20, noon–5pm
Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd, SF

An “un-trade” show for tasty, authentic, responsible food – industry only 

Good Food Awards Marketplace
Sunday January 21, 9am–2pm
Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd, SF

A marketplace where this year’s winners sample and sell their products

Photo by RJEphoto.

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Sweeten Your New Year with Backyard Bees

Jennifer Radtke leads a class in backyard beekeeping for those yearning for a hive of their own.

Buzz into 2018 with a new adventure: Become a beekeeper! Learn the basics of having a Langstroth backyard beehive, and enjoy the rewards of delicious honey and increased pollination in your garden. Expert beekeeper Jennifer Radtke teaches all you’ll need to know about acquiring bees and equipment, where to place the hive, how to extract honey, and how to keep your hive happy. Cost $40. Info and registration: here

Read these beekeeping tips from Jennifer Radtke in our current issue.

Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping
Sunday January 21, 10am–1pm
Sticky Art Lab
1682 University Ave, Berkeley

Photos: Jennifer Radtke

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Winter Pruning Demos

Boost your gardening skills this winter through these free pruning demos.

Winter pruning helps your roses and fruit trees thrive in warmer weather. Learn the skills for basic pruning through these demos at Orchard Nursery & Florist in Lafayette. Free, but reservations are required. Call 925.284.4474. Info: here

Saturday January 13, 10am–noon: Roses, Fruit Trees, and More 
Tuesday January 16, 10–11:30am: Roses 
Thursday January 18, 10–11:30am: Fruit Trees

Orchard Nursery & Florist
4010 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Photos courtesy of Orchard Nursery.

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Luminous Local Gifts

Spread light and love with luminous gifts from local merchants.

Pictured here: Find recycled glass bottles at the Ecology Center; See blooming succulents at the Ruth Bancroft Garden; Pick up some charcuterie from Clove & Hoof. These are just a few of our editor’s ideas for holiday gifting that benefits our local community.

In each issue of Edible East Bay, we look to spark ideas on how we all can participate in making a more vibrant local economy. Many of our advertisers offer locally made gifts at their shops, but maybe you’ve run out of time to get there? By gifting a loved one a subscription or gift card, you don’t have to fuss over your choices, and these items are easy to order online or by phone at the last minute!

Or give a gift that renews itself throughout the year with a subscription to a wine club or CSA farm. Here are some ideas that key right in with long-established subscription programs, while others await your own DIY innovations:

  • Visit Edible East Bay‘s CSA guide for a full array of local producers’ CSA subscription options, which range from veggie boxes to fish or olive oil programs.
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Local Authors Top Our Gift List

 

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys serves up her year’s local favorites for cooks, readers, and eaters alike. Read her reviews:
 
Autentico: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way
by Rolando Beramendi
 
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
by Samin Nosrat with illustrations by Wendy MacNaughton
 
Sourdough
by Robin Sloan
 
Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life
by Emily Kaiser Thelin, photography by Eric Wolfinger

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Market Hall’s Grilled Citrus Honey Tri-Tip

Recipe courtesy of executive chef Scott Miller, Market Hall Foods.
 
Serves 6–8  (4 ounce portions)
 
“Everybody in my family loves tri-tip,” says Market Hall’s executive chef Scott Miller. “This is my go-to recipe for a succulent, juicy, flavorful, and versatile meal. I love it hot out of the oven with roasted baby Yukon Gold potatoes or sautéed squash, but it’s also great at room temperature in a salad of endive, arugula, ricotta salata, and orange segments. Or enjoy it in a sandwich with mustard, avocado, and marinated red onion. The tri-tip makes a nice addition to a meat platter alongside manchego cheese and marcona almonds.”

1 tri-tip (2 –2 ½ pounds), trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon grated or minced orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
 
Place tri-tip in a large bowl. Combine all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over tri-tip. Cover and place in refrigerator. Let marinate for 6–8 hours or overnight.
 
Remove tri-tip from marinade and let sit at room temp for 20–30 minutes.… Read More

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Bread Gone Stale? Make Bread Pudding! 

StopWaste continues its series on making great use of food that would otherwise go to waste. 

Fresh bread is one of the first things to go bad in our homes, in most cases becoming dry and stale. Old-fashioned breadboxes are an uncommon sight in today’s kitchens, but they are still the best way to keep bread fresh. That’s because breadboxes trap just enough moisture to prevent drying out without allowing your bread to get moldy. For long-term storage, you can slice and freeze bread in a sealed plastic bag. 

However, even with the right storage techniques, most of us have ended up with stale bread, sometimes hard enough to break a tooth. Before you toss your bread in the compost, consider turning it into breadcrumbs, making croutons, or giving your stale loaf a second life as a tasty bread pudding, perfect for any holiday gathering. White bread like challah, baguettes, or dinner rolls work best.
  
Holiday Bread Pudding
Serves 6

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
5 cups of stale challah (or other bread) cut into 2-inch cubes
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat milk, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat on the stove until butter is melted. 

As the mixture is cooling, grease the bottom and sides of a loaf pan and fill with bread cubes.… Read More

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