We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Farm to Fermentation Festival in Sonoma County and Small Batch Fermented Veggies

My Traveling Tales by Linda

"We must remember, rediscover, and reclaim our ancestors, however we can, and honor, protect, and perpetuate their gifts, including tangible ones such as seeds and fermentation processes. Cultural revival is necessary in order to maintain their great legacy to us. Keeping it alive is the ultimate in ancestor worship."   — The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Scenes from the 2015 Farm to Fermentation Festival held in Santa Rosa this past Saturday.
A couple of lovebirds pose for me in front of Red Horse Pizza from Sebastopol.

   After a few years of missing the Farm to Fermentation Festival held in my neighboring city of Santa Rosa, California for the past few years, I finally managed to get the event on my calendar and purchase VIP tickets (which included access to the beer, wine and cider vendors) for this popular and casual bash which this year was held for the first time at the large Finley Community Center in order to accommodate the increasing number of enthusiastic attendees.

Woodfour Brewing Company located in the beautiful town of Sebastopol, California.
   America's increasing awareness and love of fermented foods and beverages is something that is exciting to me. I have been extolling the virtues of fermented foods for many years now, and it is great to see that the once nearly forgotten art is gaining in popularity, and people are fermenting all kinds of things in their home kitchens again, as they once did not so very long ago. I have written about how my own father enjoyed stopping by his grandparents' house on his way home from school for a dish of homemade sauerkraut, which he says that he "would rather have than a dish of ice cream".

Foxcraft Hard Ciders were delicious — I especially liked the Blood Orange cider.

Baeltane Brewing out of Novato was serving up delicious artisanal beers.
From Sandor Katz, one of the world's leading proponents and authorities on the art and benefits of fermentation:
Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious. Microscopic organisms – our ancestors and allies – transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy.
Many of your favorite foods and drinks are probably fermented. For instance: Bread, Cheese, Wine, Beer, Mead, Cider, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Salami, Miso, Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha.

Jeff Wilson of Bubbies® spent a great deal of time with us sharing info on large scale fermentation.
The beautiful fermentation crockery on the left is available from Architectural Ceramic Design.
   Mark and I happily wandered through the exhibition halls and tents, both of us sampling a huge array of fermented foods and chatting with the producer/vendors. The biggest surprise for me was just how many craft ciders are being produced. We live in what used to be prime apple-growing territory, which sadly declined in popularity when imported apples from other countries and states caused the price to drop substantially and unfortunately put many apple growers out of business in Sonoma County. It is really nice to see these old orchards reviving with the increasing popularity of hard ciders which are truly delicious. Each cider maker is putting their own spin on their creations—from fruit and herbal additions, to the types of barrels that they are using for aging the cider.

Angela Wooten of Taylor Maid Farms serves up some nitrogen draft tap cold-brewed coffee to Mark. I already had my quota of caffeine for the morning, but I did take a sip. 
Wow... absolutely delicious!
The San Francisco Microscopical Society provided several microscopes 
and slides for attendees to check out. Beneficial bacteria rules!
   We managed to hang out and be entertained for almost the full six hours. The different array of products and knowledgeable people present was truly amazing. We also participated in a fermenting class unexpectedly, when seats became available. More about that with this week's recipe at the bottom of this post.

Sonoma Brinery's handmade sauerkrauts and pickles are delicious and always in my fridge if I am between batches of my own sauerkraut or pickles.
Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks. The Barred Rock Barrel-Aged Cider
is aged in Tennessee Bourbon barrels. Yum!!
Ciders from Specific Gravity Cider Company and mead from the San Franciso Mead Company.
   Along with cider, mead, which is made with honey, is where fermented beverages began in human history. In other words—it is ancient and growing in popularity. Our friend, Carly Verhey was representing for Heidrun Meadery located in Point Reyes Station. Check out my visit to Heidrun by clicking here.

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made with vegetables and a variety of seasonings. Current research has shown that it has antiviral properties.
Aruna Lee of Volcano Kimchi—a San Francisco-based producer of quality handmade kimchi.
Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, The Bone Broth Company and Revolution Bread.
Happy Girl Kitchen Co. and Kraut Source—from whom I purchased new fermenting supplies.
Russian River Brewing Company — famous for its elusive Pliny The Elder
and other traditional "hopped-up" brews. These guys were a lot of fun.
Beer Belly Fermentation Supply was brewing right out of the nearby fountain.
   We couldn't have asked for a better day, and there was just too much to fit into one afternoon with all the classes, producers to talk to, and samples to try. We will be going back next year for sure!

Mark and I each came home with a jar of veggies to ferment from the class we attended. We are each trying out a different top that we bought at the festival. Check out the simple recipe below.

Friday, August 21, 2015

San Francisco's Amazing Legion of Honor and the High Style Exhibit — Mark's Best Ever Paella

My Traveling Tales by Linda

"Have pity, mean girl. I can't go on. I can't go another day without seeing you. Atrocious madness, it's the end, I won't be able to work anymore. Malevolent goddess, and yet I love you furiously." 
                                                                       —Auguste Rodin writing to his lover Camille Claudel

Maddie's first look at The Thinker by Auguste Rodin in the courtyard of the Legion of Honor. 
   Directly after an amazing Dim Sum experience at Ton Kiang that I wrote about last week, we hopped in my car and drove a few short blocks to the Legion of Honor which is part of the fine arts museums of San Francisco. It took us all of about four minutes to get there and find a parking space. We had discovered online that there was a special exhibit showing called High Style, and it was entering its last weekend before folding and moving on.

   Always excited by the prospect of enjoying an afternoon at the museum, Michelle and I were pleased by the chance to have Maddie experience the cultural wonders housed within. She had not visited since she was a baby, and was spoon-fed lunch on the lawn many years ago. If the weather is mild this is the perfect picnic spot.

    The Thinker, arguably the most famous of the sculptures of Auguste Rodin, graces the entrance to this majestic courtyard and building. A large collection of Rodin's work is present among the permanent collection of this world-class museum along with 4,000 years of ancient and European art that is housed in a stunning Beaux Art palace. It was formerly called the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and I still prefer that title for this jaw-dropping building that is situated on a knoll that provides views of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge.

On this Friday in July, the exhibit High Style was just finishing its run at the Legion, and we were certainly game to join in with the other visitors that day in gawking and ooghing and aahing at the haute couture creations on display. Most of the dresses and gowns had been worn by famous models and actresses, and any lover of great design or anyone who has ever handmade a dress could marvel over these creations that all represented a couture house or a famous designer.

   The permanent collection of the museum is full of gorgeous gems. From classic sculpture and Greek urns, there is also a wide variety of European paintings and French decorative arts that grace beautiful galleries. All of this amazing art is housed in this magnificent building and on the grounds.

Maddie still retained some spark for further exploration at the end of the afternoon...
Michelle, however, had overdosed on beauty.
   Legion of Honor is a treasure that I am happy to have close access to. It is truly a wonder that one should not miss when in San Francisco. As part of the birthday festivities, Mark made his famous paella, which we dined on that night. It was just about as perfect as a day can be.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...