- Wild Game
It’s fennel seed time here in NorCal. We have wild fennel everywhere here, and now is the time — before the first real rains — to gather the seeds, which have dried nicely.
I am fascinated by Nordic cooking, in no small part because it’s a cuisine of scarcity – and scarcity fuels innovation. Here in NorCal, we live in the soft, warm center of the world’s cornucopia. As I try to form my own personal style of cooking, I find myself looking for scarcity among abundance.
First off, did you know that coffee comes from berries? Probably. Now, did you know that there’s a California coffeeberry? Probably not. Actually, there are several varieties. And yes, you can make your own coffee from them. And yes, it’s really good!
It is a truism in this world that you can live around something your whole life without any inkling that it exists, and then, once it’s been pointed out to you, you can’t stop seeing it. Humans see things that we deem relevant to our lives, and, as a simple matter of sanity, filter out that […]
Elderberries are in season here in California, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy them during our hot summers is in ice cream. Here’s how to make it.
Pickled walnuts? Yep, you read right. Pickled unripe, green walnuts is a British thing that originated because in parts of Britain the climate’s too harsh for walnuts to fully ripen. They take a while to make, but once you do, they are a great sweet-sour condiment to cheeses as well as cured and roasted meats.
I don’t eat a lot of sweet things, but I do have a soft spot for cookies. These I call “Bacchus Biscuits,” and they’re my take on a Greek fennel seed cookie. It’s like a shortbread cookie, not too sweet, with toasted fennel seeds in it. They last a while and are great as a quick snack.
For most of the world, porcini mushrooms are a feature of fall. But here in the West, we also get spring and even summer porcini. In fact, the biggest flush I deal with are right now, as spring fades into summer. To do justice to these mushrooms, we cannot look to Europe. We must develop our own porcini cuisine.