Hi All you Lunatics;
I know, I know....I am a week late....but it is so crazy outside, that I had to fix my drip system at the house, re-organize all my outside potted plants, pot up all my summer starts, walk the dog, and....those were the priorities needing to be dealt with.....and I love doing them this time of the year.
The big decision? Are we going to try to grow tomatoes (again) this year. I am for NOT doing it, Gary, the happy couch-farmer, says WE MUST. Why though? I figure that all of the tomatoes we harvest cost us about $8.75 each, after the purchasing, the fertilizing, the watering, the fretting, and then there is the wine I must consume each time I find one of those hideous green and yellow tomato worms on them....
therapy sessions are not even included in this price factor!..
And the best reason??? We have several great Farmers Markets to purchase them from instead!!! No bugs, beautiful tomatoes, and a much greater selection!!! Did I mention NO bugs???
In my mind, I am a Martha-Stewart-Man farmer: nattily dressed, nothing out of place, no weeds, perfect soil and compost balance, pristine plants bearing hoards and hoards of tomatoes,fruits, and vegetables, when in reality I am more like if George Costanza from Seinfeld were to try to grow vegetables: all out war would be engaged upon the environment because it didn't pan out correctly, shirts and clothing with rips, paint smears, and ill-fitting, and it would result in a panic attack, all-out lies to fellow farmers, exaggeration beyond belief and loss of friends and then on top of it all I would find out I am allergic....and ultimately: no tomatoes.
I know my limits....tomato plants are off-limits.
And then I have to be nice to people on top of this??? If you know me, you know that this is not something that just rolls off my tongue.....
Bitchy? yes. Prone to sarcasm? easily!! Being nice? Not so easily....I would rather sit back and just observe the craziness of life rather than have to participate in all of it.....but that is why I am in the back room and Gary is in the front.
We know our stations in life.
He likes people.
I myself? I am in the back room listening to Leo LaPorte pod-casts, and humming along to African rhythms and chants that are recorded on my Ipod. And just cooking away, making more condiments and oils, and emulsions, and chutneys....now that is when I am happiest!!
Speaking of condiments: I love them. IF you were to come and visit our house on any given day or night, we would be able to open the refrigerator and find about 40 different condiments we like to cook with. I love to experiment and play around with this type of quick-on-the-fly type cooking where you take a great single ingredient and enhance it simply with a great "go-together" type condiment. You know what I mean: chutneys, salsas, flavored oils, emulsions, puree's, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
We have a great item on this months menu which is a Grilled Skirt Steak on a bed of fresh Arugula leaves, sliced, and then topped with a Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Oil. It is fantastic in my opinion. I should be using it for dipper for our breads, or as a condiment for fish or chicken, or anything that needs something flavorful on it. This whole dish was designed around this condiment we whipped up in the back room of the kitchen.
Then, my produce man brought me some excellent Arugula to go with this dish, and so we made an Arugula Oil to top our soups with. Another item that would be spectacular as a bread dipper.
Sheri and Sally were in the other night and I made them try these, and they are the ones who thought bread dipping condiments would be the bomb. I know they are right. They have excellent taste. It is always fun to have someone else make some observations about things: sometimes I get so caught up in tunnel vision that I forget to expand the universe with foods we make. So they come in and they tell me this and that and all of a sudden it blossoms and evolves into something completely different. This is the best part of cooking: collaborations with friends. and this is how new recipes are created....
Cafe Luna came in 2nd Place on KCRA's A-List for Best New American Food Restaurant. (Double click on it to go there)
Thank you for your support on this, and the emails and the reply's and the messages....it was fun. KCRA told us more that 94,000 people participated in this voting.....how fantastic! Now.....what do we do with it???
I don't know. But it was a hoot to get involved in it all....caught up in the moment I guess.
Thank you one and all who helped us on this. Our friends at Boulevard Bistro in Elk Grove deservedly won first place. If you have not visited Bret and Debora's wonderful restaurant, do it soon. They have a great Sunday Brunch, and serve lunches and dinners (Click on their name to go to their website). Congratulations!!!
To all of us....
Enjoy our weather, go to the wineries, go to the nurseries, get involved in spring. Come to Cafe Luna, see Gary and Richelle and Maria, and Courtney and Chelsey, and say hello. We love to see you, and I love to hear back from you.