Team building, cooking events, catering, parties, and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area

April-May In the Kitchen

April 20, 2017

An Invitation - And Updated Link!

Apologies if you tried to click on the RSVP link below, and it went nowhere. You'll find it works now! Other than that, it's the same newsletter you already received!

You are all invited to my retirement party, Sunday, May 7th, from 11-2 (for brunch) at the kitchen. Tracy’s pulling out all the stops, with a little help from our friends, to present a fun an memorable event (where “mom, you don’t need to actually WORK, you get to SOCIALIZE” is the theme). Come grab a bite, and say hello! Meet the new kitchen owner, Doug Eng of In the Kitchen Culinary, maybe flip a crepe for old times sake, and even, wax nostalgic over the last umpteen years of events in the kitchen.

If you want to come, you must RSVP. Just a quick email from you will do the trick, let us know who, how many and we’ll be prepared to have enough food for all.

On Being 'Retired'

How did I find time to work? Seems like the days are always filled, but I guess that’s the nature of life. Spent a week in LA, with my new baby grandson (almost a month old now), and the most fun part of that trip was traveling with Tracy and her two kids — I’ve now got 4 grandchildren, ranging from 5- the baby.

I’m still hitting the farmers market, cooking at home, and I guess you can say, decompressing. It’s amazing how little attention I paid to my own health and well-being, work always taking center stage. Now it’s time to heal the ills, read a book, take a hike, relentlessly clean out old stuff in the house (I don’t know about you, but with the dizzying changes in electronics, there seemed to be boxes full of out-of date useless wires, plugs, and gizmos). One of the most fun things was shredding — took all the old paper to a place that gobbles it up. Not sure what's next, but not worried about it, either. 

Summer Camp

Tracy’s well on her way to selling out another summer, but there is still space in a goodly number of the classes. The Cook!Programs website lists all including letting you know what’s wait-list only, and has a simple registration link. If you didn’t know, camp is being held in an excitingly wonderful new kitchen, just on the other side of our building, 63rd at Overland. And, there’s going to be a lot easier drop-off and pick-up, as you can simply drive into the parking lot to do so (although you cannot park there, it’s permit only). If you want your kids to have a great, fun, delicious summer cooking camp experience, now is the time to sign up.

In the Market

Cherry season is about to kick off.  Whoopee! Should be a great season, we’ve had ample rain — hopefully, it stops before they ripen and start to split open from too much water! Of course the strawberries are great now, avocados are everywhere, and berries of other sorts will follow in not too long a time, if we get some warmth. Still plenty of citrus, and I’m also betting the first apricots will be along soon.

All the spring vegetables are in, fava beans, asparagus, green garlic, spring onions, artichokes. After the sturdy winter stuff, the delicacy of these items is a welcome addition to the diet. Lettuce of a more delicate nature is also great — I love little gems and Romaine, but there is something totally satisfying about a delicate head of butter lettuce, too. As always, I recommend the markets for the freshest, most delicious fruits and vegetables you can get. Some of the farmers drive for hours to get to us, and I love supporting them, and encouraging you to do the same.  Not to mention the other stuff — free range meats, real farm eggs, hand crafted vinegars, fresh picked nuts, raw milk. All the things that are so unique to California and our wonderful climate, that you really appreciate if you travel anywhere else that doesn’t have them.

Regarding Classes for Grown-ups

I no longer have a kitchen, so really can’t list them. But if you want to find out what Rosetta’s next classes are, you can simply go to her website.   And here’s Doug’s website link, so you can keep up with new offerings he may have coming. I think you’ll find, over time, that there will be a lot more classes offered to the public — as soon as he gets his feet on the floor a bit more (he’s floating happily in the glory of owning such a great kitchen, right now!).

Recipe of the Month

I can't resist putting in a recipe using cherries, even if it's another duck recipe, similar to the 'quick bites' duck recipe I last ran (a couple of months ago, now, and with duck legs, not breasts). I guess I just love duck...and cherries are magic with it. Especially since the first ones are not usually the sweetest — they lend themselves well to a cooked entree, like this Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce. You can now get Mary's duck breasts, shrink packaged, in many stores, which makes this an easy on-the-fly weeknight meal option. The packages keep for some days (do look at their sell-by date and remember to use them before it), the whole dish takes under 15 minutes to make, and you can pair it with just about anything you like. I'm partial to a small amount of some starch or legume (French lentils, couscous, Forbidden rice for example) — you can use up leftoevers in a 'fried rice' type of quick saute to put under it — and something green, whether a simply dressed salad, in which I always use a bit of the rendered duck fat instead of oil, or whatever vegetable you've got in the fridge.