Below is a very sweet letter that I received after a jam workshop. One of the women in the class wanted confirmation that her grandmother's salsa recipe was safe to make. The old "no one has died yet" just needed a little more confirmation. This is one of my favorite parts of what I do, connecting people with their old family recipes and giving them the confidence that it will be safe to eat. This recipe is safe to make and eat!!! I also love how she adds that she will make some for her 94 year old grandfather (tears in my eyes) and what could be a better gift for him....
"Thank you so much for the class yesterday! I feel completely more confident in my skills.
I really wanted to sign up for your Tomato classes but unfortunately I am out of town from the 3rd-10th in August!
Below is my grandma's/ great - grandma's tomato chili recipe. I grew up with it being added to basically every meat dish - meat loaf, pork chops etc. My Grandmother passed away 10 years ago and no one has attempted the recipe since then. I really wanted to be able to can some jars for my grandfather this year. He is 94 and I think would really enjoy getting it as a gift. After hearing about the change in tomato acidity I was wondering if you would just be able to look at it to see if it looks reasonable. I figure between the sugar/vinegar it should be fine, but it does add some extra vegetables in.
1 pk. Tomatoes (Great grandmother said only ½ pk. though in her recipe)
2c. chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 Tlbs. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ cup mixed whole (Great grandmother said only allspice)spices and cloves tied in a spice bag (Grandmother's recipe mentioned using a tea caddy, “works great instead of cheese cloth”)
2 sticks whole cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1. Peel, core, and cut tomatoes in at least quarters. Place in kettle and allow to drain while preparing other vegetables.
2. Pour off drained liquid from tomatoes and other chopped vegetables. Mix together.
3. Add other ingredients and mix. Place spice bag in mixed ingredients and bring to a rapid boil.
4. Lower flame and simmer until thickened and of desired consistency; about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
5. Remove spice bag and cinnamon sticks.
6. Fill clean, sterile jars and seal process in hot water bath. 10 minutes for pints. 15 min. for quarts. The hot water bath must return to a full boil before timing.
Thank you for all your help!
YOU ARE WELCOME SADIE!!!
Savor Sustainability at Cooking for Solutions 2013
Happy Girl Kitchen Co. will join the Monterey Bay Aquarium for its twelfth Cooking for Solutions celebration on May 17-19, 2013 in scenic Monterey, California. We are honored to be a part of this amazing event which features some of the more advanced minds in the food industry. It is going to be a blast and we hope you will join us.
It’s a grand culinary celebration with more than 20 celebrity chefs from across The Americas, including live cooking demonstrations, intimate salons, culinary adventures and a grand Gala event. You’ll discover how Happy Girl Kitchen Co. and some of the nation’s top chefs are finding delicious ways to protect our land, water and ocean wildlife.
The weekend of festivities will feature live events with special guests and celebrity chefs including:
Carla Hall – Alchemy by Carla Hall / ABC’s The Chew, Washington, D.C.
Cindy Pawlcyn – Mustard’s Grill, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Cindy’s Wood Grill & Wine Bar, Napa Valley, California
Joining this all-star weekend roster are 40 other celebrity and regional chefs, as well as leaders in the sustainable and organic food movements.
The signature Cooking for Solutions Gala on Friday night tantalizes your taste buds with 80 restaurants, 60 wineries and 6 breweries serving sustainable cuisine, wine and beer amid the aquarium’s award-winning exhibits and galleries.
The Gala is a splashy start to a weekend of gourmet food and wine that's good for the planet. Visit the event website to learn about other Cooking for Solutions events, including Food & Wine adventures, intimate Salons with chefs and food artisans, breakfast with Carla Hall on Sunday, and more.
Cooking for Solutions supports the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s respected Seafood Watch program. Seafood Watch is recognized as the leader in creating science-based recommendations that help consumers, chefs and businesses choose seafood that is caught or farmed in ways that contribute to healthy oceans.
Follow the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Twitter – Use hashtag #CFS13 when you tweet about Cooking for Solutions!
Chef Matt Millea has the skills to delight your pallet and satisfy your cravings for great food. We feature a different local, organic farm each time and Matt is a master of turning the local harvest into a meal to treasure! Our dinners are always a night to remember!
Please join us Thursdays at 6pm
May 9th, 16th and 23rd
June 6th, 13th and 2th
August 1st and 29th
September 12th, 19th and 26th
October 3rd and 10th
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! You can REGISTER ON OUR WEBSITE UNDER SPECIAL EVENTS AND POP-UP DINNERS!!!
A food desert is a place with no access to good food. It can be a state of mind, a physical location or a time of year. March happens to feel like the one food desert month for California. It is when the slow growing crops of winter and the delay of the spring planting meet and we are offered Fava leaves, greens, more greens and CITRUS! Even in the midst of the apparent food desert of March, there is plenty to work with and eat locally which makes me think that a food desert is really a state of mind. One can be in the middle of a bustling farmer's market, eating kettle corn and completely unaware of what to do with anything more nourishing. We live in world where empty calories and highly processed foods are common and cheap. Cooking from scratch has become a hobby and novelty and a skill. We live in a self perpetuated food desert.
A while ago, my family and I took a trip to an actual food desert and there is a woman there who is trying to make a difference. Mercy Hot Springs is only two hours away from just about everywhere and when you get there you realize you are in another world. The place feels like it was stopped in time and that people throughout history have been making the journey here to soak in the mineral waters. It's landscape is beautiful, barren and remote.
When Lisa Peterson arrived there, she quickly realized that the visitors of the hot springs needed access to good food to support their detoxifying stay. She is developing the Mercy Hot Springs grocery service, which is an extensive collection of some of the best foods within 2 hours of the hot springs. Lisa has realized that she has a chance to curate some of the worlds most nourishing foods.
The night of our stay there, Lisa made us dinner and we had a feast that Carlo Petrini (daddy) would be proud of. Butternut squash soup from Pinnacle Farms just an hour away with fresh, raw cream from Clarevale Farms just 8 miles away. We also had greens from Heirloom Organics which is just 8 miles away which were sauteed in a local olive oil. We also had a variety of raw dips and desserts from a company in Sacramento (just 2 hours away) that were amazingly satisfying.
Lisa is really making a change at a place that needs it. It was perfect to be nutritionally nourished while enjoying the effects of the mineral baths. Camping food has the potential of being diminished to quick empty carbs, even for those foodies who normally cook from scratch. There is a vision to have Mercy Hot Springs develop into a food oasis where people can stay a few days and still have access to the abundant local harvest. It was very symbolic for me to see one person trying to make a difference in a food desert. I feel like we are all working towards this in the larger food desert of modern culture. These springs gave me the refreshment that I needed. It was a simple retreat center that was affordable, family friendly and is just about 2 hours away from everywhere. Enjoy some Happy Girl goodies from the store when you go! See you there.
It happens this time every year. January and February are full of all sorts of special events and winter pickles and ferments. We are just recovering from the holiday season. Then March hits and the phone starts ringing off the hook. Farmers from every nook and cranny are calling about their citrus being ready. I love all of the adventures down dirt roads picking up unique varieties of citrus, which will inspire me to create new recipes. We source citrus from Big Sur to Santa Cruz in many varieties. We have access to local Mandarins, Clementines, Valencia Oranges, Meyer Lemons, Rangpur Limes and Bearss Limes to name a few. It is always a great excuse to take the kids out of school and along for a journey.
We have a few more workshops where we are teaching how to make marmalade and have other fun with citrus in the kitchen. You can also order loads of citrus through the Food Preservationists for the month of March. We will consider shipping citrus if you request it nicely.
One of my favorite trips this year was to Marsalisi Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Along the way on the dirt road we passed some Miller’s Honeybee hives, which is who we source our honey from. The two brothers that own the farm planted trees for their retirement plan. They planted loads of Bearss Limes, Meyer Lemons, avocadoes and macadamia nuts (that right….macadamia nuts!). We had a blast with them in the barn and riding around with them in the orchard on their ATV. We ate tree-ripened avocadoes with fresh lime juice squeezed on them and my son had a great time cracking open macadamia nuts for us. The day was one of those little reminders that life is amazing! Marmalade is a great excuse for a journey!
(top photo: Marmalade competition in England, From left to right: bee hives, macadamia nut blossom, citrus orchard, buddha's hand)
10% off everything until Wednesday, February 20th at Midnight.
Due to popular request, we have booked a full workshop schedule through August and we want everyone who wants to learn how to preserve food to have a chance to learn. We got so excited about it that we are offering a 10% discount for everyone who wants to take advantage of this early registration. A lot of you often complain that workshops sell out early and so I am giving you a chance to pre-register now! We have taught over hundreds of workshops to thousands of people over the years and we are very grateful that they are so well received because WE LOVE TEACHING!!! We love sharing all that we have learned over the years. We love preserving the local harvest in so many different ways, it is an endless refining of craft. We have workshops booked teaching Jams, Marmalades, Salsa, Ketchup, Pickles, Ferments, cheese and more! We also do special event workshops and team building experiences. We have done team building workshops with TWITTER, CLIFF BAR AND DEL MONTE FOODS (to name a few). Please let us know if you would like us to book a private workshop event! To Get the 10% off you just need to input the coupon code "Pre-Spring2013" when the wesite asks you for it. This part is a little odd because our website only has a spot for the coupon code after you have input all of your payment information and when you are confirming the order. You just have to go all the way to the end and then input the code. The code expires on February 20th promptly at midnight, so do not delay!!! See the workshop schedule on this website to get inspired!
Del Monte Foods workshop at Flour + Water
It was a very surprising 4 hour day. I was teaching the marketing team of Del Monte Foods how to make pickles and sauerkraut. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I am a little embarrassed of my initial pre-judgements I had of the team. I thought "this is a HUGE national corporation. This is Del Monte Foods and they aren't going to have a clue about my vision of the food system. I thought they would be ignorant of seasonality and the importance of freshness. I made a lot of assumptions, after all I had invited "the enemy" into my lair. OK, enemy is a strong word especially since I do not have a desire to go big or national, but I did not expect them to have a good understanding of local food systems. I was wrong.
About 20 young and hip professionals came to the test kitchen of flour + water in the mission bursting with enthusiasm and joy. They had interest and questions before I even began. They also had a lot to inform me of about their company like a good marketing team! There are a lot of facts that I could not believe and did not yet check, but one thing is they knew their stuff and were sincerely interested. Everyone was very bright and knew where the peaches grew and knew that green beans were preserved within 6 hours of harvesting. They knew more about our local seasonal availability than a lot of my "foodie" friends. They are trying to save the can rather than convert to plastic like the rest of the industry. They spoke of sustainability and solar powered plants with zero waste and water re-use. I felt I entered another planet.
They seemed to forgive me for my ignorance of their product after I explained I grocery shopped only about once every 6 weeks and only in a small local grocery store that does not carry Del Monte products. I had no idea their product was based in California and cared about freshness. They tried an organic line, but their consumers did not buy it. It was a wonderful afternoon of making pickles and sauerkraut together and sharing ideas and food. I look forward to a plant visit soon. I was grateful to be so pleasantly surprised.
What are the Food Preservationists? A "jam and pickle club" is the easiest way for me to describe it. Happy Girl has always been a farm driven company that works exclusively with the local harvest. It is how we always have such a fresh flavor in our preserved foods. We created a way for you to have access to bulk amounts with the same amazing local harvest as the seasons change. Join our email list to begin receiving our seasonal offerings of
produce. Throughout the year offerings will include whatever is exciting
that the farmers are growing: apples, pears, quince and citrus in the
autumn and winter –all in bulk box quantities. You can see the info on our website at the Food Preservationists tab.
This past week is a perfect example...a farmer from the Santa Cruz Mountains had a crop of organic Bears Limes that all turned yellow and he can no longer sell them to the wholesale market he was previously selling to. They are gorgeously juicy, tart and nearly seedless. Perfect for marmalades, salt cured preserved limes, candied citrus peels, freezing the juice, lime zest for citrus salt, lime spritzer...it goes on and on. And so we are offering a 20 pound box for you to purchase this week only as supplies last. You can pick up your box at convenient spots from Monterrey to San Francisco and Oakland. If you email me, we may even be able to ship them to other places in the country for all of you who are not conveniently located in the Bay Area. We, at Happy Girl Kitchen, want to encourage you to preserve the local harvest any way we can. We include recipes with the boxes of produce and give lots of workshops throughout the year. Make gifts, make preserves, make love in a jar! YUM!
What is Eco Farm?
This year marks the 33rd Annual EcoFarm Conference, the oldest and largest gathering of ecologically sustainable agriculture advocates in the West. For 33 years, they have convened to create, maintain, and promote healthy and just food/farming systems. The multi-day conference yields myriad opportunities for over 1,500 participants to network with colleagues, discover the newest ecological agricultural research and techniques, and build, both individually and as a community. We are very lucky to have this event right in our small town of Pacific Grove.
Every night for the conference, from Thursday to Sunday, we will be celebrating the organic local harvest at happy girl in LOTS of different ways. Connecting people through food and ideas. Our food is organic and local and house made from scratch. We make all of our own pickles and jams in house. We are trying to walk the walk and talk the talk! (and dance and sing too!)… Come join in the fun! Thursday,
Thursday, January 24th 6-9pm
Dinner and the live music of Anne and Pete Sibley
On the menu: Lasagna, salad and garlic bread. $$ about $15 for dinner. No reservation required.
Music: “Their harmonies are warm, tight and soulful; and their performances simple, poignant and unforgettable.” Nashville Public Radio We even have local music!
Friday, January 25th 6-9 pm
Dinner and pickle packing party and the live music of the Baysiders
On the menu: Chili, cornbread and salad. $$ about $15 for dinner. No reservation required.
Music: The Baysiders are a lively group playing many styles of jazz and will rock your socks off!
Pickle party: Now is your chance to make your own jar of pickles! Time for ACTION! We will have everything you need and it will be ready by the time you leave to take home. $5 per jar. This is a fundraiser for Live Earth Farm discovery program, which connects hundreds of kids with the farm every year. Be a part of the revolution!
Saturday, January 26th
Fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz – SOLD OUT!
This is sure to be a very special night. We have been working on the ingredients for months (and some for years, like our 5 year old miso). There will be a collection of fermented foods made in house and thoughtfully curated from artisans in the area including goat milk ferments and olives from Charlie Cascio and Jersey milk ferments from the Big Sur Forrest family. There will be many house-made ferments including a hard cider and mead. Good times. $55 per seat. Tickets sold at café or at happygirlkitchen.com.
Sunday, January 27th 6 pm
Featuring the skills of local legendary chef, Matt Millea and the amazing harvest of Live Earth Farm, this dinner is sure to delight. There is a great energy that is created at these events that fulfill many yearnings for community, good food, good fun and connection. $55 Per seat. Tickets sold at café or at happygirlkitchen.com