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…As this week’s temperatures will highlight, we’re still clearly in summer, but some of the fall fruit is starting to make its way to local markets. Last week, Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville brought pink pearl apples to downtown Santa Cruz and Aptos Farmers Markets, a beautiful, versatile apple good for snacking, baking, storing and juicing, including the Striking pink flesh reveals itself when you bite into it. This week, Warren pears from Live Earth Farm are ready for markets and CSA boxes. These large, rough-skinned pink pears have the sweet, floral taste and silky texture you always want from a pear. And in Watsonville, the Santa Cruz Cider Company team harvested the first crop of Gravenstein apples at Five Mile Orchard, a century-old orchard in Corralitos. Soon they will be pressed and the juice fermented into hard cider, the quintessential autumn drink. I love this time of year when tomatoes and stone fruits start to mingle with the fall harvest.
… This is your last chance to make reservations for the Santa Cruz Mountain Winemakers Festival this weekend. More than 30 wineries based in the Santa Cruz Mountains will welcome visitors for a tasting Saturday and Sunday, including those recently opened Regan Vineyards Winery, Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards and Lester Estate Wines. This event might remind you of the old Passport Days, but there is one crucial difference: all tastings must be booked in advance. In order to limit crowds and maintain the safety of visitors and staff, customers can no longer simply show up at a participating winery. The organizers hope this will enhance every tasting experience and help you calculate the distance between wineries. Access to exclusive local wineries, many of which do not have regular tasting times, is the same. Tickets are $45 for one day or $80 for both; gather your friends, choose your vineyards and reserve your places on winesofthesantacruzmountains.com.
… Alright, foodies, I need your help – who serves the best BLT in Santa Cruz County? BLT is one of my favorite sandwiches and can really only be enjoyed for a few months each year when the tomatoes are ripe. It’s right now, and I make them regularly at home with bacon from Corralitos Market & Sausage Co., tomatoes perfect for young girls, and organic greens. Homemade is great, but there has to be a chef somewhere killing it in the BLT department. I’m willing to eat as many BLTs as it takes to find the best in the county to crown the ultimate winner – such is my commitment to my community. Email or text me to tell me your favorites!
The My Lily Belli on Food newsletter was launched six months ago – this means that for six months, timely, critical and often amusing reports on your local food and drink scene have arrived weekly in your mailbox. If you enjoyed reading, now is the time to become a member. We are now offering 20% off membership with offer code Lily, or click on the image below. Members only have full access to all Lookout content, including Eaters Digest, published every Friday with restaurant news, reviews and the best dining events in town each week. Lookout strives to create a better Santa Cruz County with high-quality, trusted local news and information, and that includes sharing the stories of the people behind our food. Become a member today.
The Lookout team and I have been hard at work on the Ultimate Guide to Santa Cruz County Farmers Markets. Soon you’ll find information on all nine seasonal and year-round markets, including a full searchable list of vendors, tips and tricks for getting the most out of your visit, the history of the farmers’ market, interviews with craftsmen and farmers and a lot more. We hope this allows locals and visitors to take full advantage of these special weekly events while deepening their connection to our local farming community. Keep an eye out for our series of stories.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
If you enjoy eating small portions of perfect pastries with homemade jam and clotted cream, sipping fragrant teas from delicate china cups while munching on an assortment of savory snacks, I recommend keeping an eye out for tea afternoon from Vim Dining & Desserts. I attended the first monthly event a few weekends ago and was delighted with the service and the chef Jesikah StolaroffImpeccable creations. Check out my experience in Friday’s Eaters Digest.
50% — The percentage of businesses in the Capitola Mall owned by local owners. With the eventual reconstruction of the mall still years away, the general manager Brian Kirk strives to attract local business owners with low rents, flexible leases and a “can do” attitude. So far it works. Find out how his vision transforms the mall into a “community market”.
LIFE WITH THE BELLIS
If you’ve been splurging on peaches, plums, and nectarines and are having trouble finishing them off before they go soft, I have a solution — my mom’s peach bread pudding recipe. My mother, Jennifer, had a restaurant, market and wine bar in Murphys, my small hometown in the foothills, in the early 2000s. Many homemade items were popular with local residents and tourists, but none looked like his bread pudding. More than 15 years after it closed, my mother still has people asking her for the recipe. It’s rich and creamy without being heavy, and a few tablespoons of good bourbon enhance the vanilla and warm spice notes. I was browsing her old cooking blog the other day and found the recipe, this time edited to include some cutting edge summer fruit. It’s simple to make — I used to make this for my friends in college — and goes just as well with yogurt for breakfast as it does with homemade whipped cream and caramel sauce for dessert. She even tips the bottom to peel the stubborn-skinned peaches. If you do, let me know! Maybe together we can bring her blog to life – there are a ton of great, simple recipes out there.
THIS WEEK, I AM A LITTLE SURPRISED…
..that six weeks after “The Bear” was released on Hulu, food writers are still posting about it. It’s clear that this show’s eight-episode first season, centering on an acclaimed gourmet chef who returns to his hometown to revive his late brother’s Italian beef shop, has struck a chord with the music industry. restoration. The show lays bare the passion, abuse, hurt, intense camaraderie and financial struggles of many who work in restaurants, and it comes at a time when the industry is struggling to regain its footing after the pandemic. A opinion piece in the New York Times shows how a scene from the show between the chef and his sous-chef reflects the desire of restaurant employees to improve conditions for workers. Writer Helen Rosner noticed in an article for The New Yorker that “the most authentic thing about beef might be how awful it seems to work there”. Star Jeremy Allen Whitewhose portrait of the leader has made him a unlikely sex symbol, says Eater how the restaurant workers tell him that the show made them feel “seen”. I loved the show and at times it reminded me of my own time working in restaurants in a way that felt personal and real. Any show that inspires so many conversations in the industry is worth checking out. I’ve said it before, but look at it. Let me know what you think!
FOOD NEWS TO READ
➤ Can you dig? (edible Monterey berry)
➤ Find the perfect cake recipe for your current mood with our interactive recipe tool (Epicurious)
➤ Where to eat on your road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles (San Francisco Chronicle)
Thanks for reading! Eat well, my friends.