Eat Mendocino

2 women, 365 days, 3,878 square miles


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What the postman delivered

I must be doing something right, because I got the best mail today. After a long, full day at the farmers’ market, I went by the post office to mail something and was surprised to find two packages awaiting me. When I opened them, this is what I found:

Eat Mendocino Mail

The first package held some hand-sewn cloth “pockets” which are like an apron/fanny pack combo. Our lovely graphic designer, Jen Barbato, came up with this signature design when she became a mom and needed more places to put things. She sewed a custom jar with a heart on this pair for me. Love love. Jen says that these pockets are for “mothers, artists, gardeners, travelers and do-ers,” and she makes them in pretty patterned prints, or solid colors. I’m infamous for rocking an AARP look by wearing my fitover sunglasses and a fanny pack and some of my friends will be much relieved when I sport these adorable pockets instead. Here’s a better look.

Pockets by Jen Barbato

The second package came from Chico, mailed by a friend and Mendocino native, Isa. (Funny how we’ve swapped hometowns!) She send an issue of the Edible Shasta Butte magazine, pointing me to an article about the Chico Seed Lending Library. Very cool concept which allows people to borrow and return seeds from the Butte County Library!

“Here’s how it will work. Home gardeners check out donated seeds, plant them, let some plants go to seed, and return the seeds to the library collection. No obligation, no fines – just opportunity.”

How awesome is that? We have a few great seed and scion exchanges around the county every year, but it would be wonderful to extend the concept into an organized library, available year-round. So many good ideas… but, a locavore’s got to make time to mop the floor and fold the laundry, too (which is exactly what I decided to forgo all other plans to do.) While flipping through the rest of the magazine, I found this poignant quote, which was photographed at a local dairy farm.

Thomas Jefferson quote

Then, my email inbox dinged. A friend forwarded me a message about a very clever online Farmers’ Market Recipe Generator from the New York Times.

“The Recipe Generator is essentially a one-armed bandit of ingredients and techniques, offering more than 50 combinations of things you’re most likely to find in a market or your C.S.A. basket, with recipes that make wonderful use of them.” – NYT

You start by choosing your produce item, or cooking method, or herbs, and it will concoct a recipe accordingly. Or you can select “randomize” and it will do all the thinking for you. It’s really fun to play with, check it out!

Seems to me that all of these little surprises are the law of attraction at work. The deeper we get into this year, the more good news seems to arrive on our door steps. Food connects all of us, so by getting closer to our food, we are getting closer to each other.  When these little packages show up, or when strangers introduce themselves at the market just to let me know that they have been seriously moved by what we are doing, it is a concrete reminder that we are operating within the universal vein. And, when you tap into that, abundance is the law.


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Learning How to Cook – Some Wise Words

Had to share this post by our friends at Mendocino Organics. When people ask us for recipes we are usually speechless; all of our cooking pretty much follows method number four, based on what is seasonally available and on hand. Thanks, Mark Bittman for validating that we have reached a certain level of culinary genius.

Mendocino Meats

We can’t help it, but we have a thing with Spanish cuisine right now. The climate is similar to our’s, and we both have Spanish blood running through us. Last year, we borrowed and watched all the episodes of Spain…On the Road Again. Who can resist Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, and Claudia Bassols on an eating road trip through Spain, and a theme song sung by Willie Nelson? Fortunately, there is a companion book to the show, including recipes and cultural notes about the places they visit.

Flipping through the recipes of fried eggplant, cordero lechal, and images of jamon, there’s this great transcript of a conversation between Mark Bittman and Gwyneth Paltrow when they were visiting the Alhambra. There’s a bit of the conversation that is actually really poignant in the current conversation about getting back to eating locally and seasonally, and ultimately about…

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