Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, February 13, 2012
A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway
I am really enjoying the lemons this winter. Every new pick seems to be juicier than the last, cocooned in the perfect rind for zesting.
I especially love the distinctive bowl gracing my kitchen counter. This year, I decided I wanted to preserve them so I would be able to enjoy them year round. I went to my cookbook library, in search of the perfect recipe, and set my sight on Thomas Keller’s rendition from “Bouchon”. Thomas Keller is chef/proprietor of Napa Valley favorite French Laundry. It’s great to have special ingredients on hand to spruce up an ordinary weeknight to something really special.
The lemons should be washed thoroughly in sink or small tub of soapy water, rinse and drain. I like to wear some thin non-latex gloves when working with foods that will be prepared for long-term storage.
First I slice my lemons very thin and alternate sugar and sea salt in each layer. I then stack them so they can be reformed into their original shape. Be careful to remove the seeds with the tip of your knife.
Your finished lemons should fit neatly in a pre-sterilized glass jar. Put these in your refrigerator for a 24 hour period.
The juice from the lemons will release. Next, pour some Clif Family Winery – Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fill up the extra space. Refrigerate for 3 weeks. For longer storage, drain the Olive Oil which can be used for salad dressings, marinades, etc. Freeze the sliced lemons for long term use.
These lemons can be your “secret ingredient” in fish preparations, morrocan foods, cioppino, braised meats, etc. Enjoy!
6 lemons washed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut the ends off each lemon so that it stands. Slice each lemon thinly and carefully remove all seeds.
Reform each lemon. Lay the bottom slice on a work surface and sprinkle with a light dusting of salt. Top with the next slice of lemon and a light dusting of sugar. Continue alternating the slices with layers of salt and sugar. When all the lemons are re-formed, stand them upright in a snug-fitting container. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Pour enough Olive Oil to cover the lemons and return to the refrigerator for 3 days. Drain the oil and reserve for other uses. (The lemons can be refrigerated for 3 weeks or can be frozen for long storage.)
-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon recipe
Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Thursday, February 2, 2012
On January 19th, Velo Vino welcomed World-Renown Rock Climber Ron Kauk for a fun evening of rock talk which included a moving documentary (Return To Balance: A Climber’s Journey) examining the life of this incredible climbing legend. Ron shared insights and stories of his life of climbing in Yosemite to include his connection with the natural world and his dedication to preserving it. Gary Erickson (Clif Bar and Clif Family Winery Founder) hosted the event and provided an incredible narrative on the experiences him and Ron have shared on the rocks while forging a life-long friendship bounded by many of the same spiritual and planetary beliefs that guide their love and enjoyment of the active life style. Bruce Regalia (Clif Family Winery Winemaker) provided insights on the Climber Limited Release Bordeaux style wine that is a fan favorite and whose label encapsulates Ron navigating a historic pitch in Yosemite Valley called “Heaven.”
Approximately 100 attendees (many from the NorCal rock climbing community) enjoyed food provided by Azteca Market and Taqueria to include an assortment of Gary & Kit’s Napa Valley mountain mixes and yummy Clif Family Wines by the glass. The evening concluded with a question and answer session and Ron and Gary kindly volunteered their time to sign DVD’s, books and a commemorative poster of the Climber Limited Release wine label featuring Ron.
Originally Posted by Candice Crawford on Monday, November 28, 2011
Things have been buzzing up on the Farm in the last month. We have tilled under the garden and planted some cover crops for the winter. Colby has been busy planning next spring’s additional garden space layout, a swath of “bee food”, as well as figuring what we will plant for 2012 CSA.
Another exciting development is the attention we are giving to the bees on the Farm. We have a new beekeeper, Rob Keller, of Napa Valley Bee Company. Check out his blog at www.napavalleybeecompany.com. He has a great way with words and an incredible passion for bees. He came out and inspected our existing hives only to discover that two of the hives were from a hive he had split one Easter while at a friend’s house. He was very happy to see how these hives had done and is excited to follow them, as they are “great stock”. Rob has a wonderful attitude towards beekeeping that works well with Clif Family Farm’s philosophy. Of course, we are interested in procuring honey, but we are first and foremost interested in healthy bees. He believes in the sharing of knowledge and experience in order to improve the bee situation throughout the county. Upon inspection, Rob discovered that our bees would do better in a sunnier location. Although it is hot in Pope Valley in the summer, their spot was too shady and damp for the winter. Their hive boxes are insulated so the heat is not as much of an issue as the dampness. In order to move the hives we needed to move them first to a location at least 3 miles away for the bees to reset their GPS…or you can move them about a foot per day! If you try to just move them a few hundred yards away, they will return to the old spot and swarm until they run out of energy. Interesting critters!
So we decided to move them down to the Farm at the Montessori School, where Rob teaches, for about 10 days to let them adjust and then move them back to their new home on the Farm. We have some photos of their transport and new temporary home. I was interested to understand how they adjust and Rob had me stand back and watch them. As soon as we removed the burlap that was put in the hives for transport, the bees started to come out of the hive to figure out where they were. They fly in gradually larger circles around the hive until they acclimate. We plan to move them back to their new spot at the Farm next week so they can winter in the sun!
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Sunday, November 20, 2011
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Sunday, November 6, 2011
In September, Clif Family Farm became Food Alliance Certified. We are very excited about this certification as it brings us another step along the way to fulfilling our sustainability mission - to craft unique, regional wine and foods using practices that care for the earth; to support growers who use sustainable, organic farming methods; and to contribute to a more vibrant, healthy food community.
Food Alliance is a comprehensive third-party certification that focuses on the following critical elements of sustainability in the agriculture and food industry:
· Providing safe and fair working conditions
· Provide healthy, humane care for livestock
· Reduce pesticide use and toxicity
· Conserve soil and water resources
· Protect and enhance wildlife habitat
· Continually improve management practices
Food Alliance certifies more than 320 operations and six million acres throughout Northern California. At Clif Family Farm, the certification includes our vegetable gardens and fruit orchard, allowing us to offer the local community the first CCOF organic certified and Food Alliance certified CSA box in Northern California.
For more information about Food Alliance, visit their web site at www.foodalliance.org
Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, September 30, 2011