Tag Archives: local

Chile-Brined Fresh Whole Ham

Last November when I was trying to make a decision about the turkey we’d prepare for Thanksgiving, quite by accident, I saw a news segment about a local turkey farmer In San Diego?  I immediately researched to find that yes, we really did have someone who raised turkeys in Valley Center, just north of San Diego.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity and ended up not only with an excellent organic turkey, but I was able to meet the farmer, Jack Ford of Taj Farms who delivered the bird to my kitchen.  We had a great talk about how he started raising poultry and other animals on a farm that actually began as a hobby.  But this isn’t about the turkey.

It’s about pork.

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San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale!

When you live in San Diego and write a food blog, it doesn’t take long to figure out that you’re only a blip on the radar when compared to those who blog from L.A. and San Francisco.  As much as I have always known (and met) a few San Diego food bloggers and am always looking for more, I was surprised recently to learn of a few I hadn’t discovered, thanks to Marie of Meandering Eats.  She has rallied a number of us to participate as the San Diego branch in the National Food Blogger Bake Sale, the brain child of Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking? The proceeds from this national event will benefit Share Our Strength, an organization that strives to end childhood hunger in America by 2015 through funds raised from a variety of food-focused events.

This year, San Diego joins the national group and will be meeting on Saturday, May 14th to sell baked goods at Great News! Discount Cookware and Cooking School in the Pacific Plaza shopping center at 1788 Garnet in Pacific Beach from 10-2.

Want to get involved?  You don’t have to be a food blogger to participate.  You can either donate home-baked goods to sell, or stop by and purchase something sweet and delicious on the day of the sale.  If either of those options doesn’t work, then you can also donate directly on behalf of the San Diego Team to the cause here.

If you’re not from San Diego, then by all means, check out Gaby’s information above to find out where in your state or city a bake sale is being held and seize the opportunity to donate some freshly baked goods.

Clearly, I have some decisions to make before that day.  What should I make?  I’ve sifted through my old posts with bake sale on my brain…

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San Diego’s Specialty Produce: Vegetables Galore!

One of the difficulties that arises when I cook is not being able to find particular ingredients.  Most often, the item is one of a few featured in a recent issue of a food magazine I enjoy, and because the content is seasonal, one would believe that finding those ingredients might be easier.

Unfortunately, it isn’t true, and when it comes time for me to cook something new, I have to drive to several stores to find what I’m looking for — if I can find it at all.  When I am able to locate that one special ingredient, I’m left wondering where it was grown, and by whom, annoyed that most often, it isn’t from anywhere near San Diego.  Thankfully, I have a new venue to track down those one of a kind ingredients when it comes to fresh fruit or vegetables:  Specialty Produce.

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Specialty Produce and tour their facility in Middletown, an industrial sort of neighborhood relatively close to the airport and downtown.  It’s a bustling place where employees are either wheeling unique merchandise through the warehouse, or monitoring phones and computers taking orders from local chefs and other merchants.

Here was finally a place I could get chervil, or purslane, or chanterelles when no one else has them.  And there’s a great section with produce from area growers with items I’ve never seen before — like Red Frill Mustard and Watermelon Radishes.  It was like being in a candy shop when you’re a veggie lover like me — the only drawback is that one can only purchase so much fresh food and still be able to enjoy it within the next day or so.

The best way to utilize this great San Diego resource if you’re an avid home cook like me is to check out what’s in stock using their website.  It will tell you not only what’s in stock, but what’s in peak season and at the height of quality.  Nutritional information is also available which is something I always keep my eye on.

Along with the mustard and radishes I mentioned above, I brought home Black Kale, Yellow Foot Chanterelles, Green Garlic, Oro Blanco Grapefruit, and some cute little Hauer Pippin from Windrose Farm in Paso Robles.

Oh the fun I’ve had cooking with this food…

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