Historic Moments


It’s nice to be healthy and 100! This newsletter congratulates the City of Walnut Creek as it celebrates its centennial with a special festival at the farmers’ market. Meanwhile, we’ll all be watching as Berkeley voters go to the polls, where they might make history by passing the nation’s first soda tax.

Edible East Bay's own Barbara Kobsar sells her jams and jellies at the Walnut Creek Market. Photo by Gillian Espinosa.

Edible East Bay’s own Barbara Kobsar sells her jams and jellies at the Walnut Creek Market. Photo by Gillian Espinosa.

In This Newsletter:

●   Book Club of California: Fall 2014 Symposium 10/24–10/25

●   Walnut Creek’s Centennial Harvest Festival 10/26

●   Community Milling Day at Il Fiorello 10/26 and 11/30

●   Soda tax in Berkeley and San Francisco: Vote on 11/4

●   Book Reviews: Drink up!

●   Recipes from Cottage Kitchen: Pork Tenderloin Medallions; Spinach Salad with Almonds & Raspberries


Savor the Printed Page

The Book Club of California Fall 2014 Symposium
A Feast for the Eyes: Gastronomy & Fine Print
Friday & Saturday, October 24 & 25
312 Sutter Street, 2nd and 5th floors, San Francisco

BCC_PressMark_01Bibliophiles, culinary historians, food writers, and foodies alike are invited to talks and panels examining West Coast culinary history through examples of California fine printing, publishing, food writing, and menu and label design. A two-day pass includes admission to all 18 presentations, book signings at the pop-up “Feast for the Eyes” bookshop, special letterpress keepsakes, and evening cocktail receptions. The Book Club of California, founded in 1912, is dedicated to promoting and preserving fine printing and book arts related to the history and literature of California and the West. Note: the panel discussion, California’s Contributions to Culinary Publishing, is held at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market Street on Friday, October 24 at noon. Info: jennifer@bccbooks.org or 415.781.7532. Tickets: here


Joshua Ledesma of Ledesma Family Farm at his family's market stand.

Joshua Ledesma of Ledesma Family Farm at his family’s market stand.

Honoring Walnut Creek’s 100th Birthday

Beautiful blooms from Ruvalcaba Nursery in Watsonville

Beautiful blooms from Ruvalcaba Nursery in Watsonville

Centennial Harvest Festival
Sunday October 26, 9am–2pm
1700 North Locust St (btwn Lacassie Ave & Giammona)
Walnut Creek

The Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market is a proud sponsor of 100 Ways to Celebrate the Centennial honoring the past, present, and future of Walnut Creek. Come decked out in your Halloween costume and join the festivities, including the usual smorgasbord of market delights. Test drive an electric car and receive $5 in market bucks at the Experience Electric Campaign. Enjoy live music, apple tasting, and pumpkin painting for the kids. Free. Info: here     Photos by Barbara Kobsar

Memo Garcia offers baked goods from Edith's in Modesto.

Memo Garcia offers baked goods from Edith’s in Modesto.


DIY Olive Oil

Community-Milling-Day-smCommunity Milling Day
Sunday October 26 & Sunday November 30, 9am–noon
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company
2625 Mankas Corner Rd, Fairfield

Whether you have a few pounds or a few hundred pounds, bring your olives to join with others in milling a delicious blended olive oil. The percentage of olives you contribute is the percentage of the oil you can take home. All are welcome, whether you have olives to mill or are just interested in the process. Celebrate the harvest in style with special tastings of Olio Nuovo, the season’s freshest oil, and enjoy demonstrations and jam tastings. Info: here or 707.864.1529.


Every Vote Counts

Berkeley vs. Big Soda

measureD_logo_Big-Soda-smBerkeley could become the first city in the nation with bitter news for Big Soda. Measure D on the Berkeley ballot proposes a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages including sodas, energy drinks, and sweetened teas. The measure is supported by a broad coalition of health and community leaders concerned about alarming rates of childhood diabetes and obesity linked to consumption of sugary drinks.

The Berkeley measure requires a simple majority to pass, while a two-cent-per-ounce soda tax on the San Francisco ballot requires a two-thirds majority. The soda industry has spent huge sums to battle both taxes—doling out $1.675 million against the Berkeley measure and $7.7 million to defeat Proposition E across the Bay. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who tried unsuccessfully in 2012 to ban “Big Gulp” sodas in his city, recently donated $85,000 to support Measure D. Read more about the soda tax in our current issue: here and Mark Bittman’s New York Times editorial on Big Soda: here.


Drink Up!

Books that take you way beyond soda

Reviews by Kristina Sepetys

Drink the Harvest 
by Nan K. Chase and DeNeice C. Guest
(Storey Publishing, 2014)
Many fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be concocted into delicious beverages that are healthier and more economical than their store-bought counterparts. Drink the Harvest shows you how to create juices, ciders, wines, meads, teas, and syrups to drink now or put up for later in the year. From strawberry juice to pear cider, dandelion wine to spiced apple mead, citrus peel tea to kombucha, the book offers instruction for growing a beverage garden and harvesting ingredients for maximum flavor and quantity.




by Michael Dietsch
(Countryman Press, 2014)
Shrubs, Victorian-era drinks which rely upon vinegars for their tart edge, are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. The history of shrubs, described in this new book, is as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. These sharp and tangy infusions are simple to make and use. Mix up some Red Currant Shrub for a Vermouth Cassis, or Apple Cinnamon Shrub to mix with seltzer, or develop your own with Michael Dietsch’s directions and step-by-step photographs.





Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well
by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores, Hayden Slater
(Ten Speed Press, 2014)
The founders of Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery explain how juicing and juice cleansing can be part of a fit and healthy lifestyle. The book features 75 recipes for the shop’s most popular juices, requiring only a juicer or blender. Find instructions for using greens, roots, citrus, fruits, aloe, and chlorophyll water to create beverages like Chocolate Almond and Coconut Mint Chip. This handbook outlines the benefits of juicing, explains how to do a juice cleanse safely, and shares testimonials from people who have experienced personal health transformations after integrating juice into their lives.




The Blender Girl 
by Tess Masters
(Ten Speed Press, 2014)
A slow cooked meal is wonderful, but sometimes a quick meal mixed up in a blender is even better, especially when it’s nutrient-dense. The debut cookbook from the blogger behind theblendergirl.com features 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes for drinks and meals easily whipped up in a blender. Many recipes are raw, nut-, soy-, corn-, and sugar-free, and use natural sweeteners. Besides smoothies, soups, and spreads you’ll find recipes for appetizers, salads, and main dishes with a blended component, like Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce. Read about the benefits of soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating; healthful food combinations; and the benefits of eating raw, probiotic-rich, and alkaline ingredients.




Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy
for the Modern World

by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel
(Grand Central Life & Style, 2014)
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bone broths! Morell, the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author ofNourishing Traditions, together with Kaayla Daniels, presents a comprehensive guidebook on the science and benefits of homemade bone broth. The authors explore the many ways bone broth can promote healing, treat a variety of ailments, and promote general good health. Find cooking techniques and nearly 150 pages of recipes for making various broths, from simple chicken broth to rich, clear consommé and shrimp-shell stock.




Recipes from Barbara Kobsar’s Cottage Kitchen

Edible East Bay’s own Barbara Kobsar is a regular at the Walnut Creek Farmers’ Market, where she sells her Cottage Kitchen jams and jellies. “I always get inspired by what’s in season,” says Kobsar, who has penned the magazine’s “What’s in Season” column since 2006. At the markets in Walnut Creek, Orinda, and San Ramon, Kobsar sells preserves she makes from fruit she picks herself or obtains from local growers. She concentrates on berry jams; her best sellers are olallieberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and strawberry. “Kids come for the PBJs, and adults want jam for toast and yogurt,” she says. Kobsar is the author of two cookbooks, Traditions: Healthy Home Cooking and A Foreign Affair: An Adventure in Home Cooking. She shares two recipes below. 

Spinach Salad with Almonds & Raspberries

Serves 8

3 tablespoons Cottage Kitchen Raspberry Jam
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
Lots of fresh ground black pepper (optional)

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Allow to sit about 30 minutes, then correct seasonings if needed.

½ cup raw almonds
2 bunches (about 2 pounds) young spinach, washed and dried
1 cup fresh raspberries

Spread almonds on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes. Turn almonds once and watch carefully since they can burn quickly. Cool. Crush almonds in a food processor and toss with spinach and vinaigrette. Garnish with raspberries.

Pork Tenderloin Medallions

Serves 4

2 to 2½ pounds pork tenderloin
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
4 tablespoons Cottage Kitchen Blackberry, Boysenberry, or
Olallieberry Preserves (Jams)
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cut tenderloin crosswise into 1 ½ inch lengths, stand on end, and pound each piece into about 3/4 inch thick medallion. Sprinkle both sides with pepper and sage and rub into meat. Heat olive oil in frying pan, and cook meat quickly on both sides until done (about 5 minutes per side). Remove meat slices to plate.

Heat jam in a small pot and strain out seeds (optional). Place jam in frying pan and stir over low heat. Add vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring well. Add meat back into sauce to reheat and serve.
Cottage Kitchen: cotkitchen@aol.com or 925.933.2552