This week's tablehopper: fresh start.
The taco tropical (shrimp and jicama) at Loló.
How’s your head today? Did you hit it pretty hard last night? I was in the Mission for a little bit in the early evening, and Cinco de Mayo was definitely getting underway. Meanwhile, my co-cleansing friend and I decided to have a healthy dinner at Gracias Madre, feasting on a spinach and mango salad with a spicy chipotle dressing, and one of my favorite dishes there, the “enchiladas” with mole and mushrooms (take a peek on Deep Dishing for pics and tips). Instead of a delicious margarita, I was drinking some celery-kale concoction they were offering, and was therefore feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for my workout in Alamo Square this morning.
It’s a funny thing about cleanses: I sort of dread them, but as soon as I start, I feel a kind of relief that it’s underway. As someone surrounded with a ton of temptation all the freaking time, it’s nice to be able to set up a little blockade and just focus on extremely healthy and nourishing ingredients for a while (and not just tasty, meaty, boozy, buttery ones). Although trust me, I certainly had some fab “final meals” this week at Loló (I will never tire of their shrimp jicama tacos) and Oliveto (hello, lamb’s tongue salad and a beautiful glass of Royale Réserve, Philipponnat, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ Champagne).
This month is a time for me to return to my kitchen full time, filling my apartment with brown rice and nori and vegetables (the Gagliardi delicatessen gets pushed to the back of the fridge). I’m going to be trying out the recently released Clean Start by Terry Walters (look for a bookworm from me in the coming weeks), and I always cook a bunch from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking (one of my favorite cookbooks, ever). So I’m very pleased to be running a bookworm this week from Pete Mulvihill on Heidi’s latest book, Super Natural Every Day. I’ve already cooked a couple dishes from the book, and am happy to get some of her new recipes in my repertoire—she really understands delicious.
I hoped to have finished transcribing and writing up my interview with Daniel Boulud for you today instead of a review, but it’s going to have to wait for next week.
Sunday I am going to be celebrating my dear mother, the woman who always filled my lunch bag with persimmon cookies instead of pink-and-white frosted ones, made her wonderful whole wheat bread for my sandwiches, and even sliced off the top of oranges and scored them so they’d be easier to peel. She has nourished me all my life, and in more ways than one. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for being raised with such love and tender care. And while we honor (and remember) and give thanks to our mothers this Sunday, it’s important to do so each and every day—motherhood is a full-time job.
Best wishes to all.
Wine Country Buzz (it’s what happens there)
Celebrating Mother Nature This Weekend
By 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.
Everyone’s got their cards and flowers lined up for Sunday (right?), but Sonoma County has a couple of sweet events to help you celebrate Mother Nature this weekend as well.
Saturday May 7th is Bee Day at MICHEL-SCHLUMBERGER, a part of the Healdsburg winery’s ongoing Nature series. Bee experts Kathy Kellison from Partners for Sustainable Pollination, Frédérique Lavoipierre from Sonoma State University, and local beekeeper April Lance will be on hand to chat about the environmental benefits of bees, bee-friendly farming techniques, and other ways we can help protect our honeymakers. Learn how to start your own hive, browse bee products, check out a sting-free observation hive, and taste freshly extracted honey from the estate honeycombs. An assortment of elegant Michel-Schlumberger wines will also be on hand to keep things, well, buzzing.
For last-minute reservations call 800-437-3060, or email email@example.com. 1pm-4pm; $20 for adults (includes wines), $10 for kids under 18. Michel-Schlumberger Benchland Wine Estate, 4155 Wine Creek Rd., Healdsburg.
Local legend REDWOOD HILL FARM is also opening its doors this weekend for the last farm tours of 2011. Even if you made it to CUESA’s Goat Fest at the Ferry Plaza last month, you’ve got to hit the farm to see the goats in their element. Open House Farm Days are Saturday May 7th and Sunday May 8th. From 11am-3pm, members of the public can tour Redwood Hill’s certified humane dairy operations (which are also 100% solar-powered), stroll through organic apple orchards, learn to milk a goat, and of course taste a delectable range of artisanal cheeses, yogurts, and kefirs… for free.
Bring your cooler to take full advantage of special Open House prices on retail items, and keep an eye out for Goatzilla, the terrifyingly cute little goat I had the privilege of naming. Lots of (human) kids’ activities, a straw bale pyramid, and live entertainment both days ensure that everybody will be happily occupied. And, there’s plenty of wine tasting nearby to round out the afternoon.
No reservations necessary, but the farm does ask that people carpool because of limited parking. 5480 Thomas Rd., Sebastopol.
Book Reviews (another place for your nose)
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen: by Pete Mulvihill
Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20% off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen Heidi Swanson (Ten Speed Press)
Heidi Swanson has a new book out, and I’m tempted to write a one-word review—YUM—but if you’ve made it to the bottom of another lively and comprehensive tablehopper update, you’re clearly a voracious reader and deserve better.
The new book is called Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, and it’s a gorgeous, photo-filled bargain at only $23. It includes about 100 recipes, all nutritionally packed and approachable for the home cook. And more importantly, the results are scrumptious.
As for “super natural,” don’t think transubstantiation. Think whole foods, real ingredients, vegetarian recipes. Like Summer Squash Soup (smooth with green curry paste or chunky with red curry paste). Or Broccoli Gribiche, of which she says, “think French-dressed egg salad meets potato salad, punctuated by plenty of broccoli.” It’s simple and hearty.
The book is organized by meal: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks, treats, and accompaniments. Within each section, you’ll see healthy twists on the familiar (like crêpes made with rye flour) and wholly original creations (like Honey and Rose Water Tapioca). Whatever you settle on, the recipe will be clear and easy to follow, often with notes for those with food allergies. Each recipe also includes a mouth-watering photo and a brief introduction.
Any home cook who cares about eating healthy food without too much fuss will appreciate Super Natural Every Day.
Thanks for reading.