Small Bites: Holiday 2017-2018
KITCHEN FIT FOR A CASTLE
For the ultimate historical kitchen experience, head to Hearst Castle (HearstCastle.org) in San Simeon for the “Cottages and Kitchen Tour,” offered daily.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst entertained hordes of famous guests on his “enchanted hill,” including Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo and Winston Churchill; the home’s enormous industrial kitchen fed them all, and stands today exactly as it did nearly a century ago. Check out the period kitchenware and appliances, as well as Mr. Hearst’s private wine cellar, where empty bottles of famous vintages remain on display.
For tickets, visit HearstCastle.org
Looking for a restaurant-grade pizza peel or commercial-sized stock pot? With the closing of both Arroyo Grande’s Vera’s Go Gourmet and, soon, the kitchenware section of San Luis Obispo’s Forden’s (a stalwart of downtown SLO, now focused on grills and fireplaces solely in their warehouse; Fordens.com) home cooks are especially grateful for the opening of Chop Restaurant Supply (805ChopSupply.com) in San Luis Obispo, which sells professional tools to the public. “Anyone from kitchen enthusiasts and caterers, chefs and foodies can find what they need here at a fair, affordable price,” says manager Ruben Basuoto. And if they don’t have what you want? They’re happy to order it.
Find Chop at 3053 South Higuera Street in SLO.
COOKIN' ON SUNSHINE
Here in SLO County, we have an unusually high number of sunny days year-round, which makes solar cooking an easy, affordable and eco-friendly option for anyone interested in capitalizing on the strength of the sun’s rays. “It’s just the most wonderful method of cooking,” says Phyllis Davies, who hosts solar cooking seminars on her farm in San Luis Obispo. “The other day I made spare ribs in my solar oven and they cooked beautifully. All I had to do was orient it toward the sun.”
Solar ovens are essentially boxes with reflective surfaces to maximize heat and adjust the cooking temperature. Davies has built several of her own solar ovens, but she highly recommends purchasing one for $250 or less on Amazon.com.
To learn more about Davies’ free solar cooking seminars, search for SLO Solar Cooks on Facebook or call 805.440.9346.
EAT LESS WATER
Did you know that 70% of freshwater ows to the elds and ranches that grow our food? Or that experts predict two-thirds of people on earth will not have enough water by 2025? e solution, says Central Coast water activist, Florencia Ramirez, could be as close as our home kitchens. In her new book, Eat Less Water (Red Hen Press, 2017; EatLessWater.com) Ramirez covers the water needs of di erent foods and pro les conservation-minded farmers and ranchers across the U.S. (including Paso Robles’ own grain dry-farmer, John DeRosier of With The Grain Farm), followed by recipes and strategies for conscious home cooks. Find the book at Amazon.com, and stay tuned for the Eat Less Water Kitchen Tour, coming the evening of January 23 to a home kitchen in San Luis Obispo.
For more information, follow @edibleslo on Instagram or visit EdibleSLO.com.