top of page

Big Appetites

Have you ever heard of a kind of grain called einkorn? Einkorn is an ingredient that has generated a lot of interest in the baking community; when used to make bread, it gives off a wonderful scent and has a unique, nutty flavor. I used einkorn grain in my most recent batch of bread. When it came out of the oven, my husband, Russell approached me and remarked, “I heard this week’s bread is special because it has corn in it!” I couldn’t help but burst out laughing; Russell thought that einkorn was not wheat but rather a species of corn called ein-corn, and that I had baked corn bread. 

Throughout the day, as I remembered Russell’s little humorous misunderstanding, I started thinking about the real importance of grains like einkorn. Of course this doesn’t only apply to the world of cooking and food, but more generally; there is so much knowledge and spread of information out there that we can choose to learn about and open our eyes to. Yet at the same time I was thinking that there’s something warmer, more special, in making a discovery that is experience-based, whether it be in tasting your wife’s bread, in gardening, in cooking together, in laughing and talking over a meal. The einkorn story is perhaps an example of how humor and discovery are sometimes the most glorious pairing.

I am a huge food lover (obviously!), so going to the market and picking out vegetables or climbing a tree to pick some fruit are my greatest joys. During this pandemic, my trips out to the grocery store have been some of my small moments of happiness. Recently, I started partaking in a local farmshare called County Line Harvest. Once a week, I receive a box of very fresh, seasonal assorted vegetables and fruit from them. The farmshare is organized by a work partner and friend of Elisa named Leah. Leah has a business called Semolina Artisanal Pasta in Pasadena, and the farm share pickups are coordinated at her store once a week. Of course, I don’t choose what comes in the box, and figuring out how to cook everything is sometimes a challenge. (there can be items I’ve never used before). I once had to text my daughter to ask her to help me out with a dinner plan using the new produce. But these vegetables are so delicious. When we received fresh potatoes, we steamed them and ate them with butter and a little soy sauce; it was so good! As I was eating them, I thought about the person who had harvested those potatoes only a few days before, wondering if maybe they thought about the way those potatoes would be used and eaten. So it isn’t necessarily the produce I choose, but because I can feel a kind of kinship with the local farmer who grew and cared for this food, there’s a deeper sense of appreciation. I recommend anyone who’s interested to reach out and do some research into farmshare! I can vouch for the incredible freshness of this produce. 

This month is a widely varied menu. The pear tart is a dessert I remember looking up in cookbooks when I was little, dreaming about making it on my own even though back then I didn’t have the skills nor the ingredients. In Japan, specifically in my town, pears were not available, and so the thin slices lined up in a perfect row, glistening inside a thin crust were just a fantasy for me. Perhaps because of these memories, pear tart holds a special place in my heart. This time I’ll be using organic pears from my local Bloom Ranch, cooking them in a little sugar and wine before baking in the tart. 

I will also be offering baked quiche using seasonal vegetables and ingredients. The quiche will have a light crust stuffed with mushrooms and root vegetables; what exactly I will use will likely depend on the produce available then. It is good when paired with a salad and delicious bread. 

Finally, I will be offering a variety of cookies that I have sold in the past as a set: double chocolate cookies and matcha shortbread. The combination of texture and rich flavor is, at least to me, irresistible. 

I will continue to make bagels and English muffins. For those interested: please email me with requests! 

There’s a motto in Japan that says, “Fall is the season of big appetites!” I hope this too will be a month filled with good food and flavors for all of you. I look forward to seeing you under my new noren!


食いしん坊の私は、何よりマーケットで季節の食材を見つけたり、自分で木に登って果物をとることの方がとにかく楽しくて、このパンデミックでも完全防備で買い物だけは空いている時間に出かけることが唯一の楽しみだったのですが、最近、County Line Harvestというファームから届く野菜やフルーツのボックスを利用するようになりました。エリサの企画したイベントにも一緒に参加したことのあるLeah。その彼女の経営するセモリナパスタで週に一度ピックアップできるシステムです。与えられたものを料理する、というのはなかなかのチャレンジです。中には知らない野菜もあって娘に使い方を聞いたこともありました。新ジャガイモが届いたときには蒸して、バターとお醤油で食べたらその美味しいこと!きっと昨日は誰かがこの大切に育てたジャガイモを抜きながらどこでどう食べてもらえるか考えていたのかなあ、と思うと自分で選んだ食材ではないけれど、育ててくれた人のために大事に食べよう、という気持ちが自然に湧いてきて、これもいいものだなあ、と思うようになりました。こういったサービスはいろいろ他にもあるように聞いています。皆さんも興味があればお試しください。とにかくお野菜は新鮮で美味しいです!

10月は盛り沢山のメニューです。洋梨のタルトは私が子供の頃、ケーキ作りの本を見ながら作ってみたいと何度も思い断念した特別な思いのあるお菓子です。その当時日本には洋梨など少なくとも私の住んでいた街にはなく、写真だけを繰り返し見て、洋梨の薄いのスライスが綺麗に並んだ美しさが子供なりにすごくエレガントに見えた記憶があります。フランスの伝統的なタルトですが、今回はいつもお世話になっているBloom Ranch のオーガニックの洋梨をお砂糖とワインで火を通し、タルトに加えます。手の込んだ、でもシンプルで素朴な味わいのタルトです。お試しください。






27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

I'm Back


bottom of page