Punk Domestics & BCF Food Preservation Swap
Where: Blue Chair Fruit Kitchen, 4629 Martin Luther King Jr. (at 47th St.), Oakland; 510-654-BLUE
When: Fri., July 15, 6-8 p.m.
The rundown: On Friday, our very own Sean Timberlake (if he allows us to assert ownership) is staging a food swap for the DIY generation, in conjunction with the Blue Chair Fruit Kitchen. It's like one of those dreamy utopian sci-fi scenarios where we've abolished currency in favor of items bearing actual value: handcrafted foodstuffs. The price of admission is the (sometimes literal) fruits of your own labor. Sean suggests you barter "as the market bears," meaning that one slim bottle of your home-brewed kombucha might fetch a quart of pickled jalapenos. All manner of preserved foods are welcome; just leave your wallet in the car. But not, you know, in plain view.
RSVP at Eventbrite
Sandor Katz and Wild Fermentation
Where: Omnivore Books on Food, 3885a Cesar Chavez (at Church), 282-4712
When: Fri., May 13, 6-7 p.m.
The rundown: If you're a fermentation fetishist like Sandor Ellix Katz, no doubt you long ago calendar-alerted May 13 and brewed up a special batch of Nepalese rice beer to put down for the afterparty. If you're more of a fermentation amateur, here's a tip: Showing up at Friday evening's live appearance by Katz (feel free to call him Sandorkraut) might offer all the inspiration you need to whip up a mess of black-eyed pea-oat-seaweed tempeh. Sandorkraut's enthusiasm for natural fermantation in bread, pickles, yogurt, miso, kimchi, and other products of wild-yeast industriousness is, well: spritzy. Maybe Omnivore's Celia Sack will crack a window or something.
Tomorrow: How to Homestead
Where: Mission Recreation, 745 Treat (at 20th St.)
When: Sat., May 7, 4-10 p.m.
Cost: $5 (free with a potluck dish)
The rundown: Hitch up the wagons and head to town. Tomorrow the Mission Recreation Center hosts an old-timey day of homesteading fun, starting with a workshop on making kombucha, soda, and sauerkraut (just like your ancestors did!) from Lauren Anderson, director of Produce to the People. Next up is a bring-a-dish potluck and BBQ, with extra points for bringing vittles circa 1865 (think barley and lard). After dinner is a series of instructional movies, possibly projected onto a burlap sack, with musical accompaniment by the Sk8 Sisters. And finishing off the evening's festivities is a contra line dance. Who will lead the dance, you ask? Why it's the Knuckle Knockers, natch.
The rundown: SFoodie contributor Sean Timberlake is giving rhubarb lessons next Wednesday, and here's our unbiased take: It'll be the best class ever taught. As the founder of Punk Domestics, Sean is a harbinger of the DIY new world order, where you'll never eat a Heinz pickle or a supermarket sausage again. This time his lessons are rhubarb-focused, but you won't be making compotes and tarts. Instead, the hands-on class will take you behind the bar for instruction on rhubarb shrub, bitters, and liqueur. You'll want to change out of your business casual in case things get sloppy, and bring a pint jar for some takeaway boozin'.
Sign up at Brown Paper Tickets
Make lemonade? Screw that. I can think of about ten million better things to do with lemons. So come on, life, give me more lemons.
Lemons are burstingly abundant right now. If you're lucky enough to have a tree in your (or a friend's) backyard, you're probably about to be crushed under the weight of them. And that's okay, because there's hardly a more delicious way to die.
Marmalade is a lovely way to use lemons, especially sweet, aromatic Meyers, or maybe kicked up with some lavender. If you're the impatient type (marmalade can be a bit of a chore), opt in for a simple jam, like this one made with lovely kiwi.
Who knew there was so much pent-up demand to cure meat at home? After Cathy Barrow and Kim Foster first launched the Charcutepalooza challenge, the number of bloggers ballooned into the dozens, and then the hundreds. By the time they closed the official blogroll, over 300 bloggers had committed to participating in the challenge.
February brought out the crowds with perhaps the most popular food in history, bacon. Well, to be fair, the challenge was for the salt cure, so you could do pancetta or guanciale, or even gravlax or preserved lemons. Only, you know, most everyone did bacon. Conversation on the #Charcutepalooza hashtag reached fever pitch as people boasted about their massive pork bellies curing, hanging, roasting, or smoking ― and then came the deluge of dishes enhanced with porky goodness: There was of course a BLT or two, some very drool-worthy bacon jam, and more outré entrées, such as a pig's head pâté and a miso-cured bacon tarte tatin with pho-cider vinegar caramel. And some didn't restrict themselves to Our Friend the Pig. Can you say yak bacon?
SFoodie's Sean Timberlake weighs in today at Punk Domestics on the fight over usage of "urban homesteading" and its variations. Timberlake explains:
In October of last year, the Dervaes family, of Homestead in the City in Pasadena, ... acquired registered trademark status for both "Urban Homestead" and "Urban Homesteading" ― and have been sending notifications to blogs and other sites that use those terms to either change the usage or apply the ® symbol and give credit to them for it.Since yesterday, when the story blew up, OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano has been documenting the Dervaeses idiocy in real time, idiocy that includes firing off cease-and-desist letters to DIY blogs (also: the Santa Monica Public Library, which hosted an urban homesteading event) who use the term.
Timberlake wonders about the Dervaeses' legal bullying here in the Bay Area, notably against Oakland's Institute of Urban Homesteading, which Timberlake says has had its Facebook page blocked. (For more, including an interview with the Institute of Urban Homesteading's K. Ruby Blume, check out the story by the Bay Citizen's Twilight Greenaway. "'They're trying to boot out everybody whose using urban homesteading to describe what they do, so they can make it distinctive,' says Blume. 'That's what a lot of big corporations do.'")
Free Pickling Class
Where: Macy's Union Square, 170 O'Farrell (at Stockton), 397-3333
When: Sat., Feb. 5, 2 p.m.
The rundown: Salt your pork, pickle your peppers. It's not just meat that needs preservation in the long winter months, and the other half of Good Food Month's charcuterie week is dedicated to pickling. Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, will co-teach a free workshop on Saturday that spans a range of pickling techniques, from the standard (vinegar) to the chic (miso). Co-host JoEllen DeNicola, a Good Food Awards finalist, will also show you how to make her storied arame and ginger sauerkraut salad. There will be lots of tasting, and the two picklers will stick around after class to sign books. Macy's says the signing won't last long, though, so bully your way to the front before Solomon and DeNicola are whisked off to their escape helicopters.
Menu Planning for the Time-Strapped
Where: 18 Reasons, 593 Guerrero (at 18th St.)
When: Tue., Feb. 1, 6-8 p.m.
The rundown: Have you started to notice the occasional Hot Pocket creeping into your lunchtime regimen? Are brownies from the box not seeming like a crime against dessert? Did you bring Hamburger Helper to your last potluck? Before your foodie friends stage an intervention, get thee to 18 Reasons for this class Taught by registered dietician and time-management wizard Tali Sedgwick, you'll learn a bushel of helpful hints for eating homemade, healthy meals three times a day. She'll show you how to prep a week's worth of meals in advance, and to cook quickly and simply every day. Sedgwick will also prepare and serve a veg-friendly meal, and help you stretch that meal into tomorrow's leftovers.
Register for the class here
BioFuel Oasis may sound like opaque corporate doublespeak (see: Deepwater Horizon), but it's actually one of the happiest little co-ops in the Bay Area. Founded in 2003, this five-person Berkeley operation specializes in making ever-useful biodiesel fuel from recycled vegetable oil. More important for you, oh aspiring DIY-er, is the host of affordable classes BioFuel Oasis is hosting in 2011.
With offerings ranging from Backyard Goats to Sourdough Cultivation, these classes are a hot commodity for anyone interested in city farming and food cultivation. So hot, in fact, that they've been filling up in a Berkeley minute. This weekend's offerings, Backyard Beekeeping and Urban Fruit Trees, are already at capacity* but here is your chance to sign up for future classes before it's too late. Still available: