Posts tagged Georgeanne Brennan
A Gorgeous Head of Cauliflower

Home Grown "A cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education."-- Mark Twain.  My first attempt growing cauliflower has been very surprising and rewarding. Last November I started a winter vegetable garden and ventured into the unknown. I had never grown many of the winter vegetables, including cauliflower.

Cauliflower seedlings can be found at local nurseries. Look for varieties that are self-blanching, which means you don't have to tie leaves overhead as soon as the center white curd forms to protect them from sunlight. Cauliflower seedlings are easy to grow, but need space. Plant seedlings 16"-18" apart and in rows 2 1/2' apart. Water regularly and soon you will have a large white cauliflower head to harvest. Cauliflowers are ready to harvest when edges begin to loosen.

The exquisite flavor of a home-grown cauliflower makes it really worth growing in your own garden. Harvest a cauliflower by cutting the center white head at its base. Rinse your cauliflower head. It is delicious raw, cut up in bite size pieces. Why not serve it, with the original Green Goddess Dressing as a dip. What a treat, that just doesn't get any better.

My chickens love cauliflower leaves as a treat. Please share if you grow cauliflower in your garden. Please share your favorite recipe for cauliflower.


Green Goddess Dressing

This is a classic dressing, just as popular and versatile today as the year it was created. It is thought to have originated at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1927. The only difference now, is we use a food processor, rather than mincing and mixing all of the ingredients by hand. It can used as a dip, with seafood, and as a salad dressing. I was introduced to this recipe when I attended Georgeanne Brennan's "Provence in California Culinary Weekends" in February 2011.

1 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, chopped

3 anchovy fillets, chopped

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

Combine all ingredients in a food processor; puree until a luscious green and blended. Makes about one and a half (1-1/2) cups. Yum.


Cooking With Georgeanne Brennan

Pork Loin Roast With Young Turnips, Savoy Cabbage and Potatoes Maybe I should have titled this post, cooking with one of my favorite authors. When Sunset magazine, May 2010 issue, featured a wonderful "taste journey" about Georgeanne Brennan's new "Provence in California Culinary Weekends," I was ecstatic.

I have an affinity for Provence, and so does Georgeanne Brennan. I satiate my Provence fix with "two week stays" in Provence, while Georgeanne Brennan has lived off and on in Provence for over thirty years. Now mainly residing in Northern California on a beautiful 10 acre farm, she shares her Provencal cooking expertise in day, and weekend classes.

I thought I had read most of Georgeanne Brennan books until she mentioned in our cooking class she has authored and co-authored over 30 books. Hearing that, reinforces my esteemed opinion of her as a forceful food visionary, placing her alongside Alice Waters, Rosalind Creasy, Michael Pollan, and distinguished others.

Meeting Georgeanne Brennan is such a delight. Immediately you are ease with the peaceful energy she exudes, and the easy going comfortable way she manages her cooking classes. Her cooking classes usually are small and intimate with about 6 students, because they are hands-on cooking classes, pairing up with a new friend to make each recipe.

Georgeanne Brennan's culinary classes generally start at the classy Davis Farmer's Market, where students are given "market dollars" and their own list of ingredients to buy and bring back to her kitchen. Before actually cooking preparation starts, it is out into her massive potager to gather more fresh ingredients for our soon-to-be-made recipes. You can almost close your eyes, and believe you are in Provence. Fresh, seasonal ingredients. Colorful Provencal recipes. Beautiful country ambiance.

Two hours of cooking and baking merits a break for appetizers and Provence rose wine outside under her gigantic walnut tree. Back inside to finish our class, assembling and serving up a gastronomic experience, relaxing at a sit down lunch together sharing tips on making the recipes, stories from Georgeanne, and fun!

Cooking With Georgeanne Brennan

Georgeanne Brennan is busy. A new cheese cookbook out this spring with Williams-Sonoma. Her "Provence in California Culinary Weekends" are popular and sell out fast. She frequently posts seasonal recipes on her website, Georgeanne Brennan. She is frequently asked to write articles for many national magazines, and is on the guest chef circuit at the world renown spa, Rancho La Puerta.

When I think of Georgeanne Brennan, I think of inspiration. Inspiration for fresh, vibrant food. Inspiration for seasonal growing and eating. Inspiration of the Provence culture. Inspiration for the passion of food. Inspiration for sharing a great meal with family and friends. Thank you Georgeanne.

"Postcards From Provence"

Magic of Provence, Red Poppies Blooming in May I am not an expert on Provence, France, but I have studied, researched, and created two wonderful 2007 and 2008 spring itineraries that my husband, John, and I followed to experience the heart and soul of Provence. There is something so magical about Provence, it reaches to my very core. I snapped the above photo, roadside on an early Sunday morning, heading to the famous and fabulous L'lsle-sur-la-Sorgue antique market.

It is hard to pinpoint why Provence is so special. Is it the light that Van Gough would talk about and try and capture in his paintings? Is it the Roman influence of ancient engineering masterpieces, roads, and villages that survive to tell their story? Is it the legendary "mistral wind" that bellows through the famous Cote du Rhone valley? Is it the unspoiled rural countryside beauty? Is it the absolutely charming people full of rich tradition and culture? Is it the incredibly fresh and mouth-watering seasonal foods and time-proven wines? Is it the fact that you never know who you will run into at a cafe, or bump elbows with at an outdoor market? Ah, you will just have to go sometime and ponder these questions yourself. If you have been to Provence, and have some wonderful stories, please share.

Writing about a few things that makes Provence so magical a place is difficult. I could jot down a long detailed list, but prefer instead to share with you a few snapshots, that those fortunate to call Provence their home experience on a regular basis, if not daily.

Generally, my itineraries are "off the tourist beaten path", preferring to visit the lesser known special places, such as Edith Mezard's tiny linen and embroidery shop in Lumieres, the Abbaye St. Andre gardens across the river from the popular city, Avignon, or the little cheese shop, Lou Canesteou, in Vaison-la-Romaine, to name a few. Rick Steves' Provence and The French Riviera 2009 is a good guidebook for general information, tips, and proven itineraries for those wanting a starting point.

Some of my favorite books written about Provence, were the catalyst to visit this special part of France, and experience it first hand. If you can't get to Provence in the near future, perhaps you would like to begin by reading some of these wonderful books. For more information on these books, just "click" on their titles. A Good Year. A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France. A Year in Provence. Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France.

Please follow along with me for more snapshots of Provence.