Fall Colors

Two favorite annual events are just around the corner. Feast on artwork, poetry, and dance in Emeryville, then head over to College Avenue in Oakland for fine foods and cooking demos.


“Garden of Delights” by Emeryville artist Susan Avila. Digitally printed silk backed with industrial felt and recycled muslin, free-motion machine stitching, 2012. Photo courtesy of Genevieve Antaky



Arts Extravaganza 


“Muse (Back)” by Linda Goodman, color monotype, water based, 2010 Photo courtesy of Genevieve Antaky

28th Annual Emeryville Art Exhibition
Friday, October 10, 6–9pm (Opening Reception)
& daily October 11–November 211am–6pm

Edible East Bay will be there in search of art for our pages, so why not join us! Emeryville’s annual exhibition features works by 117 artists and craftspeople (both established and emerging) who live or work in Emeryville. Now in its 28th year, the event is expanding to include poetry readings by local poets laureate and two site-specific dance performances. Visitors can meet the artists at the opening reception, where a no-host bar raises funds for the Emeryville Youth Art Program. Free admission.

Poetry Readings with Emeryville Poet Laureate Sarah Kobrinsky
Sunday October 12, 2–4pm & Thursday October 23, 6:30–8:30pm

Two 20-minute dance performances by Nancy Karp + Dancers
Sunday November 2 at 3pm and 4pm

All events at Heritage Square:
6121 Hollis St, Suite 900, Emeryville
Info: here or 510.652.6122


Calling All Gardeners

seeds_1Seed Gathering Class
Saturday, October 11, 1–2pm
Dimond Branch Library
3565 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland

Learn the basics of seed gathering: how to prepare your plants for seed collecting, the process of collecting, and how to store dried seeds. This free class is led by permaculturist Carmen Cortez. For more info, contact Rebekah Eppley at 510.482.7844.


A free library class teaches the ABCs of seed gathering.
Photos courtesy of Rebekah Eppley.


Sweet Street Life

Market-Hall-Pumpkin-paintingRockridge Market Hall Annual Picnic in the Street
Sunday October 12, noon–6pm
In front of 5655 College Ave, Oakland, and along the avenue
Rockridge Market Hall merchants take to the street, offering succulent foods, comparative tastings, demos, a pop-up pantry, and the ever-popular Cookbook Exchange—bring a used cookbook and take another. Children love the prize wheel and pumpkin painting. Picnic in the Street is just one part of the huge Rockridge Out & About street festival, where the chef stage alternates live music with demos and tastings from Market Hall food experts and the district’s top chefs and mixologists. Enjoy dancing and live music throughout the day at the BART Plaza. No charge except for purchases. Info: 510.250.6000 or rockridgemarkethall.com

Waste Not!

Feeding the 5,000
Saturday October 18, noon–4pm
Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland
(just across the street from the 12th Street BART station)

As part of a global campaign for action against food waste, 5,000 lunches made entirely from fresh food that would otherwise be wasted are instead served for free to the public. Chef Peter Callis of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County creates a delicious soup made from surplus vegetables including misshapen sweet potatoes, crooked carrots, and onions that are not cosmetically perfect or exceeded demand. On stage, local chefs cook delicacies made from unusual cuts of meat. Event organizers areEnd Food Waste and Feedback with collaboration from local groups St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda CountyFood Shift,People’s GroceryOakland Unified School District, and theEcology Center. Feedback has used similar events to launch national food waste campaigns in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Dublin. All are invited for lunch and to learn about solutions to food waste available at home and across the food supply chain. Free. Info: here


Pumpkin Paradise

Family Pumpkin Carving 
Saturday October 18, 10:30am
Pollinate Farm & Garden
2727 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland

Pollinate Farm & Garden and Outdoor Afro team up for a family-friendly fall activity. Learn about the diversity of pumpkins, squashes, and gourds and how and when to grow them. Explore common and unusual carving tools and look at an assortment of fun, spooky, and over-the-top pumpkin carving designs. Head out to Pollinate’s demonstration garden for some Jack-o’-lantern carving creativity of your own. Participants can take home their creations. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: Adults $15, Children under 12 – $8. Info and registration: here

Image courtesy of Pollinate Farm & Garden.

Foods for Long Life

Eating for Life with Rebecca Katz,
presented by the Commonwealth Club
Tuesday October 21, 6pm check-in,
6:30pm program, 7:30pm book signing
Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette

Join nutrition expert and chef Rebecca Katz to learn how superfoods like asparagus, basil, dark chocolate, and even coffee can enhance memory, strengthen the heart, and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In her latest cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen, Katz offers more than 100 recipes highlighting superfoods proven to fight chronic conditions. Katz is also the author of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen and One Bite at a Time. She is founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which educates the public on the healing power of food. Cost: $22 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID). Info: here



Apples and Almonds:

Here’s a set of very useful fall recipes from Niles Pie Company, a retail and wholesale bakery dedicated to using locally sourced and organic products. Owner and head baker Carolyn Berke runs a welcoming storefront at 32990 Alvarado-Niles Road, Suite 960, in Union City, but you can find her wares on Thursdays (through October) at the Livermore Farmers’ Market, Fridays at the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market, Saturdays at the Niles Farmers’ Market, Niles Town Plaza, Fremont, and Sundays at the Montclair Village Farmers’ Market.

Carolyn buys the produce for her baked goods at the East Bay farmers’ markets where she sells. She especially likes the organic Jonagold and Mutsu apples from Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville. Her favorite organic almond grower is Inzana Ranch, which is located near Modesto and sells at the Montclair Farmers’ Market.


Quick Whole-Wheat Puff Pastry

applepuff-(1)This quick puff pastry has a great butter flavor, and the whole wheat lends its own flaky, nutty quality. It won’t puff up as high as regular puff pastry, but that’s just as well for these recipes.

The quantity here is enough for three 9-inch double-crust pies. If you don’t use the pastry all at once, you can freeze it and make another pie on another day.

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound very cold unsalted butter (preferably “European-style,” which is high in butterfat), cut into small chunks (do this ahead if you can and refrigerate so it’s cold.)
1 cup very cold water (Either put the measuring cup in the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start, or pop in some ice cubes a few minutes ahead.)

Put flours and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter all at once and pulse about 15 times until the butter is the size of baby peas or smaller. Dump the flour-butter mix into a very large mixing bowl and add the water. Using a plastic scraper, mix the dough gently but thoroughly. If you need more water, add by the tablespoon, until dough comes together and is not crumbly. Pat into a neat square, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a nice clean space on your counter and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out into a 12- by 18-inch rectangle that’s about 2 inches thick. Fold in thirds like a letter. Then turn the dough 90 degrees and fold again. Repeat this 3 times. If it gets too warm in the kitchen and it seems like the butter is getting greasy, put the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes. After you’ve completed the 4 turns, refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Apple Almond Free-Form Tart

1 cup whole almonds
½ cup sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 large apples
½ recipe whole-wheat puff pastry (see above)
½ cup sliced natural almonds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny chunks
1 egg mixed with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Whirl the almonds in a food processor with the sugar until they are very finely ground. Add the butter and whirl until mixed, scraping the bowl once. Whirl in the egg and the almond extract, and if needed, add a tablespoon of water to get a thick batter-like consistency.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to make a 10-inch circle about ¼-inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and spread on the almond filling, leaving a 2-inch border. Peel, core, and slice the apples and arrange over the filling in an attractive pattern. Fold the border of the pastry up around the filling, crimping as you go. Place the whole thing in the fridge for at least ½ hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º. When the tart has rested at least ½ hour, sprinkle the butter chunks on top of the apples, brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking after 25 minutes. If the apples are getting too brown, cover the top with foil for the remainder of the time.

Chicken Apple Almond Tart

Carolyn says, “I use Mary’s air-chilled organic chicken. It has a very nice flavor, but I’ve found it does dry out more quickly than conventional chicken, so take care when cooking. I cut it up into pieces and poach it with herbs and a carrot or two. After cooling and shredding the meat, I return the bones to the pot, adding an onion (skins and all), another carrot, some celery, and some parsley stems to make the stock. If you do this the day before, you’re set.”

1 whole chicken, cooked and shredded
½–1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine (optional)
2 Jonathon or Mutsu apples, peeled, cored, and thickly diced
1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
About 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
½ recipe whole-wheat puff pastry (see above)
Egg wash, as above
½ cup sliced almonds to garnish

Roll out puff pastry to a 10-inch circle (as above) and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Sauté the onion in olive oil until softened. Add apples, cinnamon, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté about 5 minutes or until just golden. Add the chicken, ½ cup stock, wine (if using), and honey. Sauté another 5 to 10 minutes to combine. Cool and add the almonds and parsley. Adjust seasonings, adding pepper and more salt to taste. If the filling seems dry, add another ½ cup stock. You want it moist, but not soupy. Allow filling to cool completely before continuing.

Mound filling on the middle of the pastry, leaving at a least 2 inches of border. Fold the pastry up around the filling, crimping the edges. Refrigerate ½ hour, while preheating the oven to 375º. Brush the outside of the pastry with egg wash, sprinkle with the sliced almonds, and bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Watch the filling. If it looks dry, cover with foil for the remainder of baking.