Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I went to the Ferry Building at lunch, and sampled all of the delicious fruits. There were bosc pears, pluots, plums, oranges and apples.
And after my little tour through the farmer's market, I went inside and somehow ran right into this adorable little cupcake.
The perfect compliment to my free sample of Starbucks Via Instant Coffee!
Visit their website at:
at 1:55 PM
Monday, September 28, 2009
I went to see the movie, "The Informant," this past weekend. The movie is based on a true story and it stars Matt Damon.
It's dark humor, reminiscent of "Fargo," and not only is it incredibly funny, it also touches on more serious issues - including whistle-blowing,bipolar disorder and other mental health issues.
This movie kept me interested, but tended to slow down toward the last twenty minutes.
To see a trailer of the movie, copy and paste this link in your browser:
I would give it four stars out of five. . .****
at 9:05 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I was pleasantly surprised this morning when my barista offered me a sample packet of Starbucks Via Ready Brew Columbia to go with my Greek Yogurt and Honey Parfait.
Even though this product will not be available until September 29, it's already created quite a "buzz" (pardon the pun).
This is my second sample - the first was an Italian Roast (rich, bold, excellent) and the Columbia is milder but still surprisingly good for "instant coffee."
This is what Starbucks says about their new product:
This is not instant coffee as you know it. This is rich, flavorful Starbucks® coffee in an instant.
Starbucks has found a way to offer a truly great cup of coffee that you can prepare by just adding water. Other instant coffees taste flat and lifeless. Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew is different – it’s full-bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks® coffee you know and love.
It’s made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans. The magic is in a proprietary, all-natural process that we spent years perfecting. We microgrind the coffee in a way that preserves all of their essential oils and flavor. No other coffee company takes this step, and it makes all the difference.
ARE YOU READY FOR STARBUCKS VIA READY BREW?
SAVE THE DATE - SEPTEMBER 29
at 9:25 AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Barkley's own, Ana Costa, was recently featured in the Contra Costa Times and their various news outlets regarding the 25th birthday of her son, Alex, (aka "The Peace Baby").
Please copy and paste the link below to read the details of her and her former husband's amazing journey to the Soviet Union to give birth to their first son - all in the name of Love.
Happy Belated Birthday, Alex!!
at 1:37 PM
Many of you know, Beverly Johnson, former legal recruiter for Pathways and Landmark Personnel.
Bev has embarked on a full-time career as a vocalist. She's quite amazing.
Copy and paste the link below to your browser to listen to her rendition of "Ave Maria," on youtube
at 10:33 AM
Monday, September 14, 2009
Everything you wanted to know about Early Girl tomatoes but were afraid to ask!
Okay, thanks to Lorraine and Jerri, I no longer am ambivalent about tomatoes. In fact, I think I'm now obsessed with tomatoes. But not just any tomato. The "Early Girl" Tomato. So much so, that I now find myself in search of not only Early Girls*, but "DRY FARMED Early Girls." This I learned the hard way.
I trekked to the Marin County Farmer's Market on yesterday in search of some Early Girls. Forget about the rising cost of gasoline and bridge toll, life is short - I get my thrills where I can.
I was amazed at how many people knew what "early girls" were. All I said to one vendor selling cheese was, "Do you know where the Early Girl Tomatoes are?" And four people responded, "OH, they're three rows over. There's a bunch of people selling them." After scouting out the different booths which were selling Early Girls, I settled upon on with a nice woman vendor who was not only happy to let me sample the Early Girls, she let me sample the Pineapple Tomatoes - another story - another blog.
So, I buy a sack of early girls, bring them home, wash them, slice them and pour on my favorite Stone House Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Very good. However, there was something missing and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
So, I call Lorraine this morning and I say, "Hey, those early girls are really good. Thanks for turning me on to them." And then Lorraine further explains that not just any old early girls will do - they must be dry farmed. . .and they can be found at the Ferry Building Farmers Market on Thursdays.
Here's what Wikipedia says about these little red rubies:
*The Early Girl tomato is a medium globe type F1 hybrid popular with home gardeners because of its early fruit ripening. Early Girl is an indeterminate variety. It is tall growing and needs support as the plant grows. Fruit maturity claims range from 50 to 62 days from transplanting, which appeals to growers in climates with shorter frost-free seasons. (However, the plants of this variety are not particularly cold-tolerant.) Plants are reliable and prolific.
The ripe fruit is about the size and shape of a tennis ball -- very much a standard tomato -- and weighs 4 to 8 ounces (~130g). It has a bright color and good flavor, but is usually replaced at the table by later-producing varieties which are considered better tasting. Open-pollinated alternatives that take roughly the same amount of time as Early Girl include Matina, Sasha's Altai, Silvery Fir Tree, and Stupice.
The Early Girl VF hybrid is verticillium and fusarium wilt (strain I) resistant. The VFF hybrid is resistant to fusarium wilt strains I & II. The patent holder of the Early Girl variety is Monsanto Corporation following its 2005 acquisition of vegetable and fruit seed company Seminis, Inc. An open-pollinated version has also been bred, although it is not widely available.
And here is what the CENTER FOR AGROECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS says about "Dry Farming:
“Dry farmed” means the plants that produced your tomatoes
have not been watered since May 2, when they were transplanted
into the field. Their roots grew deeper to follow the
moisture as the soil dried down. The idea behind dry farming is
to produce a tomato with more concentrated flavor, and save
water to boot.
So. . .tip of the day - Early Girls. . .Dry Farmed.
at 11:47 AM