A Press Democrat Blog

Eat this now

Seasonal Pantry at your fingertips

Green Bean Season!

The most important thing to understand when cooking green beans is that they need actually cooking for their full flavors to develop. Uncooked or undercooked green beans were one of Julia Child’s pet peeves. Your teeth should go through a bean with just a tiny bit of resistance. If it is crunchy or bitter, it hasn’t been cooked long enough.… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Shallots, Peas & Tomatoes in Sonoma

Because I had to be in Sonoma this morning anyway, I stopped by the farmers market, in part to see how the season is unfolding and in part to search for shallots. I was in luck. Paul’s Produce has plenty of large shallots, beautiful ones that I’ve cooked with several times in the last few months. Other vendors–Armstrong Valley Farm, Middleton Farm–are sold out. If you want shallots, this is the place. They also still have plenty of their delicious… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sonoma Valley

On Friday morning, the Sonoma Valley farmers market is filled with customers–shopping, chatting and lingering over nibbles such as hummingbird-shaped cookies and lumpia–as a stream of moms, grandparents and nannies usher babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and pups into the adjacent park. Two vendors, Paul’s Produce and Oak Hill Farm, are located nearly across with each other, with their similar harvests an evocative expression of this valley’s <<ital>> terroir<<ital>>. Both have extraordinary carrots, with the thinnest of skins, an appealing snap and… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Green String Farm on the cusp of spring

If you turn from Adobe Rd. into the long driveway that leads to Petaluma’s Green String Farm Store, you’ll notice several leafless trees with thin golden upright branches. Morning sun glances off them so beautifully that it is tempting to simply stop driving and drink in the sight. If you continue to the farm, as you should, you’ll find some of these branches–they are willows–bundled for sale. You can take some a bunch home to decorate your porch  say, or… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Santa Rosa Saturday Market

Intimations of spring punctuated Saturday’s farmers market in Santa Rosa: fresh fava leaves from Bernier Farms, strawberries and Haas avocados from the Central Coast, and an Italian variety of avocado, thin-skinned, deliciously buttery and reminiscent of Hawaiian avocados, though smaller, from DeSantis Farm. EarthWorker Farm offered sunflower spouts, First Light Farm sold out of pea shoots early in the day and eggs, scarce a couple of weeks ago, were more plentiful. With a soft blue sky overhead and fresh aromas… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Santa Rosa

In January. farmers are reading seed catalogs and planning their spring strategies. Many are farming, as well; we are blessed with year-round farmers markets with plenty of freshly-harvested produce. The Santa Rosa farmers market is our largest and it thrives in the winter. In addition to market regulars, heavy hitters like Triple T, Bernier Farms and Orchard Farms, which attend weekly with a great diversity of crops, others come and go, as their harvest and the market’s space allows. In… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Green String Farm Store

There’s a wreath on the door of the Green String Farm Store, located at the corner of Adobe Rd. and Frates Rd. in Petaluma, made of beautiful feathers, some of which I recognize as coming from Barred Cochin hens. All the feathers in the wreath are from the happy chickens who live here. In a far corner, there’s a record player and a growing collection of vintage vinyl, much of it dropped off by customers who no longer want the… Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Sonoma Valley

The Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market is one of the county’s year-long markets. In mid-Autumn, it offers a glorious way to shop for nearly everything you need to feed yourself and your family. … Read More »

Fresh From Our Farmers: Healdsburg in the Fall

Summer is sliding into fall, with a glorious abundance of local produce that is showcased at the Healdsburg Farmers Market. … Read More »