Sunday, September 30, 2012

harvest moon bento 2012

Hello, all! It has been a very busy weekend in the garden for us. To start, we harvested the tomatoes grown by the former owners of this house (launching Jamison on an ambitious gazpacho project, soon to be blogged) and amended the main bed and several raised beds with a great deal of compost and other soil enrichers. Under an intense Santa Rosa sun, in went starts of broccoli rabe, cauliflower, wild arugula, onions, chives, with other beds readied for radish, carrots, peas and other seeds.
Speaking of planets, this weekend was illuminated by the enormous harvest moon, and with it a sense of rich cycles and the plenty of earth. With a garden, those cycles will be part of our daily lives in a newly immediate way. As I worked in the main bed today and removed small rocks prior to planting the veggie starts, I felt amazed by the magical potential of this one spot, newly dark with nutrients and large with the dreams of its gardeners...
This morning, the delightful Sebastopol Farmer's Market was bursting with fall color:
Beautiful microgreens from Earthworker Farm--a pleasure meeting Farmer George today. We will return to his stand for sure.
Dahlias capture the late-sun fireworks of autumn in such radiant colors and forms!
Some market bounty, back home...
 The tomato harvest from our garden:
This post and harvest moon bento is something of a blogiversary for me, circling back to my first ever bento blog post celebrating the Autumn Moon/Harvest Moon. In this year's edition, a melange of light and seasonal foods. Representing the lunar-romance theme of this holiday in Asian culture, and the almost universal association of rabbits and the glowing moon, two egg bunnies sit cozily atop soba accented with fiery farmer's market carrots and green peas.
Next door, a piece of white roughy baked with mayo and sesame-nori flakes. A small tomato and arugula from our garden reflect the harvest theme. Baby green grapes and slices of Charentais heirloom melon are from this morning's market (such a subtle, perfumed flavor--want to try to grow this variety next year!). Microgreens, orange calendula and blue borage blossoms lend autumn's Persian carpet resplendence to the last shokado box section...
May the autumn season bring you love, peace and the rich contentment of good harvests--in the garden and in life!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

wild salmon with ginger maple sauce bento

Hello! Today's bento features yummy wild caught salmon, brown rice, and from our nascent but growing garden bed, arugula, baby tomatoes, a tiny golden patty pan squash and a sunny nasturtium.
 In preparation for a friend's visit last night, we stopped by Santa Rosa's Thai Lao Market, stocking our pantry with a few Asian staples...
Fish sauce, mirin, sriracha, five spice powder and more, back home....
I blended maple syrup, tamari, minced ginger and some wonderful ginger-garlic masala powder brought by our friend, just back from South Africa, as a marinade/baste for a large and lovely piece of wild California salmon.
Here is the salmon in today's bento:
Have a lovely end of week into weekend, friends!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

settling in!

Hey guys! It has been too long since posting, and I'm excited to report that we have moved into our new place, a Queen Anne Victorian built in 1895
I love the simple yet charming woodwork that surrounds the front of the house. This is the view from my home office. Wisteria coils from the side of the porch...
The last couple of weeks have been much taken with choosing paint colors. Here is the warm peach we selected for the living room:
This refreshing French blue was painted on the kitchen wainscoting, love it! Works very well with our blue and white china collection.
I'm so excited to introduce our new family member, Saki! She is a lovely Himalayan, quite talkative and loves being picked up and cuddled...and also loves hanging out in the garden, in spots of half sun-shade, or up on the high garden wall, surveying her realm.
Here she is next to the very neat vintage stove:
A view of the garden, early morning:
There are several raised beds and a large in ground bed with good soil--arugula and spinach starts are in, and we are shopping for seeds at the Petaluma Seed Bank tomorrow. This space gets a great deal of direct sunshine, which will make not only vegetables but roses, iris and so many other beautiful flowers possible, too...
English sweet peas, to be trained up a wire screen
On a foodie note, our first breakfast in the new house was graced by mimosas made with champagne given by dear friends back East as a house warming gift (we drove across the country with this special bottle).
So yummy with a fontina, mushroom and baby tomato omelet. A locally made sourdough dusted with fennel seeds was the perfect accompaniment...
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and happy cooking!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

striped bow tie pasta bento

Hi guys! A quick bento for Friday featuring pretty striped bow tie pasta from Puglia tossed with sliced artichoke hearts, baby tomatoes and sauteed zucchini. Ripe green figs round out this light lunch.
Happy weekend!

Monday, September 3, 2012

japonica sf and salmon ginger salad bento

We had such a fun day in San Francisco yesterday, first visiting a halal Chinese restaurant where lamb was the primary attraction and the flavors of cumin-ginger-scallion sparked our dishes. After we took a meandering walk down Geary Boulevard, and relished its dense agglomeration of Chinese, Japanese, Russian shops and restaurants...every few feet was another window to peer into with excitement:
Moon festival season arriving soon...
Excited to go back to try this restaurant:
Japonica on California Street was an awesome find! Cafe, flower shop and treasure trove of the kawaii and pretty, I had the best time exploring its offerings and talking to its sparkling-friendly owner Valerie Nara. Today's lightweight and elegant wood bento was found at Japonica.
Lovely bento boxes! I chose the smallest, on top:
Elegant tenugui:
Explosive blooms in a color reminiscent of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Tomorrow's lunch, happily ensconced in my new bento box, is an open faced salmon salad sammie with a radish sprouts, juicy kiwi and baby greens. The salmon salad includes pieces of pickled ginger and diced scallion, yum!
Happy cooking this week!