Going to California and Other Happenings

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to cook at the El Dorado Country Club in Palm Springs, California.  The chef/owner of Red Sky, Matt Bolus, asked me to go with him several months ago and I can’t believe its already time to leave.  We will have three days to prepare a low country style pig picking for about 150 country club members on March 21.  I will be posting details of the trip and plenty of photos when I return.

There are currently many charcuterie projects underway at the restaurant.  I have coppa, bresola, lonzino, and my first salami in the drying room.  This salami is my first attempt at using a live lactic starter culture.  This culture is the reason that salamis have their distinctive tang.  It also takes the ph of the meat below 5 which helps inhibit the growth of unhealthy bacteria.   The second round of bacon will be going into the smokehouse tomorrow.  Sean Thackery has been kind enough to allow us use of his smokehouse which should allow us to get a more controlled smoke and smooth the flavor out a bit.

Spring is upon us and I am working like crazy at the house preparing for the summer growing season.  I am growing everything that I think that I will want to eat.  I am trying to eliminate buying grocery store vegetables all together.  If there is anything that is not growing in the yard, I will be getting it from one of the area farmers.  I am ramping up tomato production this year in hopes that I can sell a few.  I currently have 36 little heirloom tomato seedlings that are just beginning to form true leaves.  The varieties include Cherokees, some french pink variety I traded for, and my favorite green zebras.  Also in the works: 3 types of beets, 3 types of radish, carrots, onions, chives, garlic, corn, beans, squash, watermelon, Malabar spinach, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers.  Most of these items are heirloom varieties.

Notes:

-Seed saving is addictive.  Seed trading is like a grown up version of baseball cards.  I actually sat in a friends back yard and traded seeds.  It was the most fun I have had in a while.

-I am addicted to my job.  I want to be there on my days off.

-No matter how much energy and love you put into your job, there are always fellow employees that just don’t appreciate it.

-Which is better, the chef that sees numbers or the chef that is more concerned with quality of food and work.  All good systems need both.  However, these two will not always see eye to eye.

-Charlie Trotter travels with personal security. Huh!

-Thyme seeds are ridiculously tiny.

-How is the ability to get instant information on any subject effecting the evolution of the human brain?

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~ by Schwarvin on March 15, 2009.

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