Today was a great day Abundance Community at Bayview Mission with Mayor's Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) youth employees orienting them to the garden, cooking, organizing, and cleaning. In less than 6 hours we met baby chicks, ate plums directly off the tree, concluded our new favorite herb is lemon verbena and saw a hive of bees SWARM!
What happens when you mix together a dozen dedicated volunteers, an amazing organic farm and 24 hours? Magic!
Last weekend, about 12 men and women (and one toddler, mine) gathered at Eatwell Farm to prepare the farm for this summer’s campers. Drawn to the task by their devotion to the children and mission of Bay Leaf Kitchen, they prepared the outdoor kitchen and built a water/shade teepee to keep the campers cool. Many of us also came to get a taste of what these lucky campers get to experience on their overnight at this amazing farm (and it was such a treat to get to spend time with farmers Nigel and Lorraine and their family).
We spent a lovely evening eating a delicious potluck dinner and, after the air cooled off a bit, sitting around the campfire, sharing stories and making s’mores.
Waking bright and early Sunday morning to try to beat the heat (and fortified with Nana Joe’s delicious granola), we broke up into two teams to build the teepee and set up the kitchen.
Working together, the teepee crew gathered and erected the poles, then experimented with different methods for spreading the shade cloth over them. The final product is beautiful as well as cooling, with misters coiling around the inside over a large trough for wading. This splash zone will be a welcome respite from the high temperatures!
Meanwhile, the kitchen crew had a daunting task! They moved and assembled tables, removed cobwebs, scrubbed the sink and ovens, and set up and secured the stoves. The end result is a great outdoor area for the campers to make their culinary masterpieces.
Many thanks to our fantastic, hard-working volunteers!
All of us there wish we had had a camp like Bay Leaf Kitchen as kids -- and this summer those just a little younger than us -- ok, a lot younger than some of us -- can have this experience. Bay Leaf Kitchen is offering its first TEEN CAMP! I would have loved this opportunity as a teen. There are still spaces open, so sign your teen up now!
- Juliet Spear (volunteer)
We are thrilled to announce the new Nana Joes and Bay Leaf Kitchen collaboration, a Jr. Chef Helper blend of delicious granola. This unique and delicious Chefs Blend comes from the many great ideas of young Chefs. We had so much fun brainstorming, tasting, testing and tasting again with Michelle.
Granola designed by kids, for kids (and kids at heart)!
Try a sample and pick a bag (or 10) on December 12th from 8am - 2pm at the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Each bag is $12 and 25% of the profits are donated to Bay Leaf Kitchen programs! Order online at http://www.nanajoes.com/shop/
We have been busy, busy, busy, busy at Bay Leaf Kitchen over the last two days! It has been such a privelege to be in the Abundance Garden with this abundant sunshine, abundant harvest, abundant joy, fun and laughter. We are so sad to be ending our time in the garden for this session and are looking forward to the next time we get to have our Bay Leaf Family with us there!
In lieu of a long blog post today, I wanted to just share some photos with all of you from the last two days.
Its a bittersweet week when its your last week in camp. We are, of course, excited to be back in Summer Camp with a whole new group of kids but we are so sad that its our last week in the garden!
Our first day started with a lot of SUNSHINE! We had to make sure to stay cool in this unusual San Francisco heat. We have all been being mindful of drinking water and staying in the shade as much as possible.
Monday started with a quick game to get to know each other and a tour of the garden with Cheryl. We learned where all the different vegetables and herbs we'd be using over the next few days could be found.
We were broken into groups and then worked together to create our lunch of fresh spring rolls and wontons. It was really fun to see all the campers' different ways of folding their wontons and I was really impressed by how many each of them wanted to eat. Some of the campers told me that it was their first time eating both spring rolls AND wontons and that they loved them! Obviously, I was overjoyed.
As we were working on our lunch, groups of us were being pulled out to do something really special. Every Monday, Abundance Community Garden runs a Food Pantry where anyone who lives in the Bayview can come and pick up free food to take home with them. Today, our campers got the opportunity to help to hand out the food! It was an amazing chance for them to get to know some community members and some of the people who have been volunteering with the Food Pantry in Bayview for a long, long time. We felt really lucky to have been invited to participate.
In the afternoon, we were joined by Guest Chef Cat from Sour Flour Bakery. Cat was really interesting and dynamic and we learned about the making of sourdough bread from local yeasts and fermentation processes, all the way to the folding, resting and baking! We even got to take home our very own sourdough starter so that we could make dough at home.
Here are some photos from Day One. Also, don't forget to check out our Facebook page for more photos and tidbits from previous sessions of camp!
After a week of fun in the garden in Bayview, Thursday begins a whole new portion of our learning. We leave the city behind and head to the BIG Garden: a FARM! This session was our first time visiting Lone Willow Ranch, a Certified Organic Ranch and Farm in Firebaugh, CA. Shelby and John were ready and waiting for us and the kids poured off the bus into an exciting new world! Lone Willow is home to goats, pigs, chickens and over 125 acres of organic fruit, vegetable and herb production. The kids had their work cut out for them!
After meeting Shelby, getting a brief rundown on the property and having lunch (of course) we got our wagon and our baskets and set out to do some harvesting. We picked yellow wax beans, cucumbers, squash, mint, basil, and squash blossoms. We learned where the pollinators like to hang out and how to tell if a squash is the right size to eat or if its too big and should be fed to the pigs.
We were all pretty hot after our morning of harvesting; what better way to cool off than to go SWIMMING! We splashed around for a bit and cooled down so that we could start our evening of cooking with all our amazing guest chefs. This week at the farm we had the amazing luck to have not one, not two but THREE guest chefs (and entourage) join us on the farm. Shannon Waters from Aatxe taught us how to make pizza and peppers stuffed with Lone Willow Goat Cheese and Basil. Tommy Quimby, also from Aatxe and the Bon Vivants, worked with us to infuse water with mint, cucumber and lime for a refreshing punch. Chef Anna, from Three Babes Bakeshop and her partner, Lenore, worked with campers to make a healthy twist on cake that had zucchini in it!
The meal was, of course, incredible. After stuffing our faces and cleaning up we all gathered around to watch each others' skits and musical performances and to eat some s'mores around a campfire. Once tucked into our tents it was off to dreamland after a hard day's work. Everyone was out like a light (after our visit from the mysterious purple carrot).
In the morning, we had a hearty farm breakfast with eggs, french toast, bacon and sausage from Lone Willow, some of Shelby's incredible house-made preserves and lots of fruit. We got camp packed up and had one last iron chef challenge where campers were provided with a surprise ingredient that needed to be integrated into their recipe. As usual, I was super impressed by the imaginations of the campers. One group even used their bell pepper as a bowl for their hummus and then chopped up more peppers to create a crudite octopus.
We had an amazing time at Lone Willow Ranch. We can't wait to go back again soon!
For more information on Adam Allegro photography, go to www.adamallegro.com
We really got to show our "chops" (teehee) on day three. Camp today was all about working together to create a super yummy meal that required our imaginations, utilizing all the skills we've learned throughout the week, thus far, and more than a few trips to the garden: TACOS! We started our day by learning, from our Jr Chef Helper Roberto, how to make the Masa for our tortillas. The Masa had to rest for 30 minutes so we all headed over to the garden to tend to the cilantro bush.
Now, you may not know this but any Bay Leaf Kitchen Camper can tell you that cilantro is just the leaves of the bush! Once its bolted it becomes something else entirely... coriander! We broke into our teams with one group in charge of picking green coriander branches for drying, one group de-seeding dry branches for toasting and one group pulling leaves for our Mexican Feast. The kids worked so hard and we had a ton of fun doing it!
After the masa had rested, we got back into our groups to make our tortillas which all had to be hand rolled and pressed with a traditional tortilla press. Each group also had the responsibility to make all the other dishes we would be sharing: roasted bean and corn salad, guacamole, salsa, rice, chicken and grilled peppers and onions. No recipes were used and the kids did an amazing job creating a feast using only their tastebuds and their imaginations!
After lunch, and some free play, we got to go down to visit Chef Kristin at All Good Pizza for a tour and informational session about the Bayview and how food comes and goes from this part of the city. We learned that it is thanks to people like Kristin and her family, that the Bayview is finally starting to see some healthy food kept within its community and they are just the beginning of the Bayview Food Revolution.
After some Q&A with Kristen and an informational session about our FARM TRIP tomorrow, we all pitched in to get camp ready for our last day and our departure to Lone Willow Ranch!
The farm is really a special time at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp. I can't wait to see what it has in store for us!
Today was a first in Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp history - we had four back-to-back guests come visit us! In the morning we learned all about honeybees from Cheryl and got to take a peek at some of the hives inside the garden. Do you know how you can tell which bee is the Queen Bee in a hive? The Queen Bee is the one that all the other bees are looking at and when she moves, they all move. (We named Rachel the Queen Bee of our camp.)
Cheryl gave us a taste of the fresh honey from the hives! It was so delicious.
Our second visitor was Chef Kristen Houk from All Good Pizza right down the block. She and her husband Matt have been making pretty awesome pizzas there for the past three years. We were so lucky to have her come teach us some pizza-making skills - like why it's important to check if your yeast is still fresh or the benefits of weighing your ingredients. For our toppings we used tomatoes and basil from the garden and also some summer squash and mushrooms. It was absolutely divine!
After lunch, the campers met Theresa from Treehouse Yoga. This is Theresa's third time joining Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp and we love having her back. She taught us how to focus on our breath and the importance of noticing how your mind and body feels by leading us through some fun poses. Check them out!
Our last guest of the day was Chef Shakirah Smiley of Bi-Rite Market. Chef Shak had so much fun with us in Session Two that she came back for this session to teach pickling and preservation. We picked purple carrots from the garden along with snap peas from Swanton Farms to pickle. Pickling is a great way to preserve food at its freshest point to enjoy at a later time.
It was a fun-filled day packed with yummy food, full bellies and laughter. Can't wait for tomorrow!
Today we launched our first week of programming from INSIDE our new space in the Abundance Community Garden in the Bayview District. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful partnership with Nina, Cheryl and Christine at Abundance!
We started our morning by playing a game and getting to know each other a little bit. We had some new faces and some old and even a couple of campers who came back for more after being in Sessions One and Two!
After our morning taste of stone fruits (where campers and counselors could be found listening to, touching, smelling, looking at and tasting peaches, pluots and nectarines) we got a chance to take a tour of our surroundings with Cheryl! Cheryl showed us around the bounty that Abundance Community Garden had to offer. We learned about how different fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in close proximity to deter pests and about the effect the drought has had on what has (and hasn't) been able to grow this year. We used all our senses, again, to experience everything in the garden and then, after a brief lesson on the correct way to pick things, we got down to cooking!
We chopped veggies and sautéed some for the filling for wontons. Then we all got to make our own spring rolls. It was amazing to see all the bright colors and to watch the kids augment their recipes by running back and forth to the garden for various herbs. How lucky are we?
After lunch and recess we were joined by two very special chefs: Jen and Darren from Da Flora Restaurant in North Beach. Jen and Darren have both been cooking for over 20 years (they caught the bug young) and, besides being husband and wife cook almost every day together in the intimate Italian Restaurant where they work. We learned that they work so hard that, when they want to take a vacation, the restaurant actually closes.
J&D taught us how and why we needed to mix two different types of flour to make the right texture for pasta. We made the dough, cut it into pieces and then got to feed them all through the pasta making attachment until is was as this as paper. Some campers used the electric machine and some the hand crank and most liked either one or the other more.
The pasta, which we paired with sautéed summer squash and heirloom tomatoes, was delizioso and everyone went back for second and thirds.
After clean up and journaling it was time to go home. Our first day sped by and I can't wait until tomorrow!
The last two days of camp are always a bit magical - the group of campers and counselors that have connected over the week and grown as one team, travel together to Eatwell Farm in Dixon CA. There, we visit the source from which the food we have been cooking with all week arrives. After getting to the farm, we explore the grounds with Lorraine. It amazes me that every time I am with a new group we see something different and exciting. This time of year (end of June) we explored not only the strawberry and mulberry fields but CORN fields. The corn was almost ready to be sent out in Eatwell Members 4th of July week CSA.
After a day of exploring, enjoying and learning on the farm, Chef Eric Nyeste from Foghorn visited to lead us in a delcious dinner production. We made peach cobbler, fire roasted summer squash, sautéed onions, green beans and whole grilled trout. I think the trout was the group's favorite and all the kids wanted to try the fish cheeks and eyeballs. It was delicious!
Friday morning started at sunrise with many campers eager to continue exploring the farm and meet the farm animals, chase some chickens, and cuddle with baby chicks. We had a hearty breakfast of eggs, potatoes, french toast with strawberry jam (made by campers with strawberries harvested the previous day) which gave us the strength for our final meal, harvesting, prepping, and packing up.
On the bus ride home the campers and I reflected on what a informational, fun, and yummy week it had been. Milo said, "My favorite was eating a whole fish, oh and cooking it. I had never done that before." We were also excited to read the great article "CUESA’s Foodwise Kids Go to Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp" by Julia Irwin and Ana Valdes (CUESA Interns) and see photos from the past two weeks in CUESA's weekly newsletter - we felt like celebrity chefs :)
On our third day of camp we learned about different spices such as turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin, and got to use them all in our morning cooking activity. We made chicken and vegetable curry, daal, raita and apricot chutney along with delicious, freshly baked naan bread to soak up all the wonderful flavors. The kitchen smelled heavenly!
In the afternoon, Chef Michael Mauschbaugh from Sous Beurre Kitchen visited us. He showed us how to make savory crepes using wild rice instead of flour. The wild rice was pulsed in a food processor until it became fine enough for our crepe batter. Our homemade wild rice flour gave our crepes an unusual color and also gave them a heartier taste.
For our crepe fillings, we chopped up garlic, walla walla onions, pancetta, and shelled English peas. Chef Michael also brought along Mousseron mushrooms which were the tiniest mushrooms we've ever seen! We also made a simple side salad of spinach and red cabbage. The crepes were delicious!
It was so cool to learn that Chef Michael started working in restaurants when he was 14 years old and started as a dishwasher and worked his way up. We had a lot of fun that day and many of us are excited to visit Chef Michael at Sous Beurre Kitchen soon!
Day Two at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp came with more smiles, new guests and campers excited to go out into the farmers market.
Our first guest was Julie Cummins, the Director of Education at CUESA. She taught us why its super special and important to shop locally and get to know your farmer. We also learned about the value of farmers markets and how they connect us to delicious sustainable food.
Next, we got to go out into the farmers market and do our own shopping for the morning cooking project. We explored and shopped in the farmers market and sampled a ton of tasty treats. We also learned a fun fact from the folks over at Star Route Farms: Apples are the only fruit that hold their nutritional value for up to 8 months! Yummy and extra healthy, who knew?
Our morning menu consisted of make your own Farmers Market Pizza. We used a ton of creative and delicious toppings like sliced, roasted potatoes, purple and orange bell peppers, rosemary, olive oil and much, much more. We also sautéed summer squash with thyme (from Abundance Community Garden) and basil. Chef Amy also taught us how to make sweet Zeppolli, a deep fried Italian pastry.... which everyone, obviously, loved.
After a yoga break in the park with Theresa from Tree House Yoga, we were right back in the kitchen with our guest for the afternoon, Shakirah Smiley from Bi-Rite Market. Shakirah taught us how to preserve produce in the height of its season. We pickled rainbow carrots from Capay Farms and sugar snap peas from Swanton Farms. Shak’s Recipe Tip: "These pickles are perfect for taco night! Have leftover brine? Feel free to pop leftover veggies in your jar or use as a brine for pork and chicken." We each got to take a jar home and canned a bunch to take up to Eatwell with us! I can't wait to use them in whichever amazing recipes we have in store for us up at the farm.
That's all for now!
Session Two of Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp started yesterday in the CUESA Kitchen. No surprise that we have another amazing group of campers (some new and some who've come back after being campers last summer) so we started the day by getting to know each other. Everyone went around and told the group what their favorite food is. For any potential future campers who are reading this, Elianna's is ALWAYS crispy tacos. Feel free to pretend you guessed on Day One of Camp.
After getting to know each other a little bit, we started to awaken, and learned how to use, our Five Senses. Amy demonstrated how to use each of our senses with a raisin. The coolest part was that, when we were ready to use our very last sense, taste, and we held the raisin up to our mouths, we could feel our mouths watering! The campers learned that this is the first step in digestion! After, we broke back up into our groups and practiced what we'd learned with White Nectarines and Donut Peaches. Delicious!
Our morning cooking lesson involved learning how to make veggie spring rolls, mushroom dumplings and cucumber salad! Elianna demonstrated safe knife skills for each vegetable we were cutting which was super useful since each recipe called for a ton of veggies!
To go with our spring rolls and dumplings, we learned how to make healthy fried rice with Chef Hollie Greene of JoyFoodly and the Joyful 12 Online Vegetable Cooking Lab for Families. We learned that you have to use cold rice when making fried rice because keeps the fried rice ingredients from sticking together and becoming mushy when being cooked over high heat!
Hollie also told us that, if we wanted to sign up for her amazing online cooking lab, she was going to give Bay Leaf Kitchen friends and family 50% off! Click here to register your family for the Joyful 12 Online Cooking Lab for Families.
After our morning meal, we headed to the park for some stretching, relay races, and two different rounds of tag.
In the afternoon, we made peach and blueberry crumble with Chef Hollie. We learned that it's always good practice to taste your fruit before you bake it in a dessert like this so you can adjust how much sugar to add. If a fruit is super ripe, you don't need to add a lot of sugar!
We played Foodie Balderdash with Maggie while we waited for the crumble to bake and then we ate our hearts out! Camp dismissed!
I can't wait to see what today will bring.... I hear there is a special guest who is going to teach us a whole new way to enjoy vegetables.
For those of you who have followed our blog posts over the last year, you have probably all noticed something. WE LOVE GOING TO FARMS! Furthermore, going to farms with 24 extra special, extra talented, extra excited kids, just can't be beat!
We arrived, on Thursday morning, at Eatwell Farm ready to learn and get our hands dirty (and boy did we ever.) We were greeted by Lorraine who, along with her husband Nigel and an incredible team of farmworkers and other staff, runs Eatwell Farm! We got to spend some time with Lorraine, walking through the fields and tasting as we went. Around every corner was a new and exciting treat and Lorraine taught us the best way to pick, smell, taste and enjoy every single thing we passed. We learned about seasonality, right as it was playing out in front of us and got to hear some interesting tidbits about how the drought has been changing the harvest for some of their most popular crops. Lorraine is a fountain of knowledge and let us all pick her brain about everything from how to tell when a mulberry is ripe to the difference between their Heritage Birds and other egg-laying chickens you might know.
After working up quite a sweat on the farm tour, we all joined in some messy, muddy, fun in the sun and cooled down with some water.
In the afternoon, campers divided into two groups. One group got to sit down with our friend Kourtnii Brown, the Founder of Common Compost to learn about one of the most important things that goes on in the dirt. That's right, you guessed it: COMPOST!
While one group learned about living things in the soil, the other half of the campers learned about live yeast and how to wake it up and turn it into bread. Campers got to use cooking techniques like baking, temperature control, kneading, measuring and, sometimes the hardest lesson, waiting, under Lorraine's patient and careful tutelage.
With rolls in the oven, we were ready to welcome our guest chef for the evening and get some dinner on the "table." Chef Lauren Kiino of Il Cane Rosso and Red Dog Restaurant, is known for her approachable, innovative and local fare which made her a perfect fit for a lesson on the farm. Campers created a feast of spinach salad with beets and peaches, crostini with fromage blanc, summer squash, mint and olive tapenade, Long & Bailey Spareribs with Lauren's famous BBQ sauce, kale and new potato salad, the rolls (made with Lorraine) and finished it all with a strawberry compote made from Eatwell strawberries and lavender that paired with panna cotta.
With full bellies we settled around the camp fire to watch campers perform the skits they'd been rehearsing throughout the week. We are always so impressed with what they come up with! Then, it was off to sleep in our tents under the bright farm stars.
On Friday morning (after making a delicious breakfast with Chef Elianna) we set about the serious business of Iron Chef! Groups were each given a secret ingredient and had 45 minutes to create something, using all the skills they'd garnered throughout the week, to share with the group. We had some really innovative recipes this year. One group, who's secret ingredient was summer squash, used the sun's strong rays to toast some bread and melt cheese over the summer squash to make a crostini; they were a total hit!
After clean up, thank you cards and a final romp around the farm to deliver compost to the chickens, it was time to say goodbye for now to Eatwell and head back to San Francisco so we could tell everyone about our adventures.
Good times were had by all at Session One of Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp. I can't wait to see what Session Two will bring!
Did I mention that we had a professional photographer come up to the farm with us this time? Scroll through Adam Allegro's photos below to get a glimpse into our time at Eatwell Farm and go to www.adamallegro.com to see more of his work.
Day Three at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp is always one of my favorites. Not only have we all gotten a chance to really get to know each other, but everything is tinged with the excitement of knowing that the next day is FARM DAY!
It was amazing that anyone could concentrate but, as per usual, everyone surpassed my expectations in the kitchen and also in their groups and with our chefs.
We started the day with making our dough for Naan from scratch. We all got a chance to smell what yeast smells like when it becomes alive after eating some sugar.
After, we played a game where the campers got to flex their creative muscles by making up recipes that included a particular spice that they were assigned (Garam Masala, Cardamum, Cumin and Tumeric). Then, they read out the description of the real recipe and the fake one and the rest of us had to guess which one was real! Most of the made up definitions got as many votes as, if not more than, the real ones. I was really impressed.
In our groups, we each were responsible for a portion of the meal. Cooking mindfully and for each other we created Dahl, Vegetable and Chicken Curries, Raita, Chutney and then seasoned and fried our Naan. The meal was a real feast and I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY that almost every single camper not only cleaned their plate but wanted seconds, thirds and as much more as they could get. What a pack of adventurous eaters!
After some, slightly damp, outdoor activities, we headed back to the kitchen to greet our guest chefs, Anna and Lenore from Three Babes Bakeshop.
Anna and Lenore talked to us about the importance of understanding our ingredients, measuring, working with the most basic tools around us (sometimes its nice to forgo the fancy stuff) and using the best fruits for our fillings! The Babes believe in supporting a system of encouragement for farmers and organic growers by buying organic and local produce and creating a demand for those products.
They taught us how to make a cardamom peach crumble. We chopped peaches and mixed them with cardamom and sugar and hand mixed a topping out of brown sugar, organic butter, flour, oats and spices. After baking the crumble topping on a baking sheet we "crumbled" it over the fruit and topped with our hand-shaken whipped cream.
I am so excited for our big day tomorrow. I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt and show all of these campers what is so special about cooking in the outdoors with field-fresh ingredients.
Stay tuned for all the details!
It was another fun, nutritious, innovative and silly day at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp on Day Two!
In the morning, we made personal pizzas with flour from Eatwell Farm - their Heirloom Sonora Four has a much nuttier taste and gave our pizzas another depth of flavor.
We also made bruschetta, a three bean salad and zeppoles which are a kind of Italian donut.
One of my favorite things about the day was our opportunity to shop for our ingredients in the farmers market! We got to use our five senses to taste, touch, smell, hear and see our ingredients right before using them to cook. We also had the opportunity to talk to and learn directly from the farmers who were selling their produce. We learned some pretty interesting things such as the color of honey depends on the type of flower or tree the bees pollinate and that Royal Blenheim Apricots are the hardest to grow since they ripen from the inside out!
During recess, we were visited by Theresa, a local yoga instructor who practices all over the Bay Area and has her own Yoga Instruction Company called Tree House Yoga. Theresa brought a whole new dimension to Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp by teaching us that its not just about what we put into our bodies but what we do with our bodies that is so important. We did yoga on the grass and learned some fun new poses to try at home.
After play and exercise time, we went back to the kitchen where Chef Beatrice from Sur la Table taught us how to make crepes with a stone fruit and berry compote. She taught us about all kinds of fun spices like green cardamom pods, star anise and whole cinnamon sticks. The fragrant smell of the spices filled the whole kitchen. Beatrice began cooking at the age of 8 and never stopped!
All in all, another good day at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp!
Don't forget to check out our Recipes from each day on our website.
Thanks for reading!
It was an exciting first day at Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp, 2015! It felt great to be back in the CUESA Kitchen with old friends and with a whole new slew of campers!
We started out, as always, with some tastes to awaken our senses. The theme seemed to be stone fruit as, throughout the day, we tasted apricots, doughnut peaches and green plums all from our friends at Hamada Farms.
Our morning cooking project was Vegetable Spring Rolls with Carrots, Tofu, Bell Peppers and Lettuce as well as Mushroom Dumplings. Campers learned how to work with the tricky wrapping papers and made delicious dumplings in the shape of cranes, envelopes and traditional crescent moons.
After lunch and some fun in the unusually sunny weather, we prepared for our first afternoon guest!
Jen Musty, founder of Batter Bakery, came to teach us how to create and transform two different delicious batters into quick bread and muffins. Jen loves teaching kids because she started baking when she was very young.
Of course, local fruits and ingredients were used to bake these delectable treats!
It was a good (and good tasting) first day at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp!
Stay tuned for day-by-day recaps of what's cookin' at Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp and click here for access to today's (along with many other) recipes. We want you to bring some Bay Leaf Kitchen into your own home!
For the past month, Bay Leaf Kitchen has been partnering with Chef Hollie Greene of Joy Foodly and the Joyful12 to bring healthy cooking and food education to Lu Sutton Elementary School in Novato. Hollie's online platform, Joyful12, provides its users with access to recipes organized by seasonal ingredients and chock full of interesting information, videos, tutorials and tips for parents to get their kids in the kitchen and get cooking! For the last four weeks, Amy, Elianna and I have been working with Hollie in Novato where she has taught parents, and we've worked with the kids, on a new recipe each week.
Over the last month we got to swoon over Brussels Sprouts, get excited about Asparagus, munch on Spinach, and go wild with English Shelling Peas. We found the Lu Sutton Elementary School kids to be eager, excited and creative and we all had a ton of fun! In addition to our Wednesday cooking classes, kids and families from Lu Sutton were also challenged try a new fruit or vegetable each week. It was exciting to hear about the new ways students and parents were exploring and experimenting with fresh fruits and vegetables and integrating healthy cooking and fun in the kitchen into their everyday lives!
We are looking forward to hearing from Lu Sutton Elementary School families about how their cooking projects are carrying on at home. We hope we can work with some of these bright and exciting students in Bay Leaf Kitchen programs in the future!
CUESA is one of Bay Leaf Kitchen's partners and if you don't know much about them, they are a great, local non-profit that works in educating our community about sustainable agriculture. On Saturdays, they host free educational cooking demos and asked Bay Leaf Kitchen to participate this past Saturday. We had a lot of fun teaching how to make Spring Greens Pizza and talking about our programs with our amazing Jr. Chef Helpers.
We taught the audiance how to make Spring Green Pizzas using Sonora Heirloom wheat from our friends at Eatwell Farm. Did you know, at one point in our history it was the main wheat variety grown throughout California? Now it has virtually disappeared from our markets, but Eatwell is growing and harvesting it in hopes to bring it back. The flour is similar to a whole wheat flour and has a slight nutty flavor. Our toppings included green and purple asparagus, leeks, green garlic, and ancho and pepper cress and some delicious cheese from Nicasio Valley Cheese Company.
Elianna and I would agree the best part of the demo was working with the Jr. Chef Helpers and watching them eloquently pass their knowledge on to the community. We are so proud of them and all they do with us and couldn't be happier sharing their talents with the community. Go kids in the kitchen!
Last Friday night in Duboce Park, Chef Caetie Ofiesh held her 100-Mile Dinner to benefit Bay Leaf Kitchen, won by Jeanna Wallenta at the Bay Leaf Kitchen fall fundraiser at Red Dog Restaurant.
Treated to donations from Siren Fish Co. and Parducci Winery, 6 guests enjoyed an extremely local meal of little neck clams, fresh whole roasted rock cod, potatoes with wild fennel, asparagus with nasturtium pesto, local greens salad and fresh strawberries and cream for dessert.
With her experience working with ForageSF’s Wild Kitchen dinner pop-up, Chef Caetie incorporated many wild foraged ingredients into the menu, including wild fennel, nasturtium leaves, wood sorrel, oxalis flowers, lavender and chamomile.
The 100-Mile Meal concept is one of Chef Caetie’s specialties. Designed to highlight the incredible bounty within the Bay Area, all major meal components come from within 100 miles of the event location, and Caetie does all her shopping and transportation on her bike, towing a bike trailer when necessary.