By Owen Segerstrom
As a thousand cliche quotes–none of which seemed worth inserting here–remind us, food is ultimately about friendship. While ingredients certainly matter, and nutritional attributes were the nominal focus of the LFX as it began, we have been reminded that the connections between people are the primary ingredients of any recipe. With this in mind, we would like to thank a few of the friends who have helped us on this journey:
When we established our family’s LFX parameters (including a 100-mile radius from Cedarville), we made a “know your farmer” exception. In other words, if friends come to the valley toting goods from their home operation, we are not going to turn them away. We probably should just dub this the “David Lee Rule,” as he was certainly at the front of our minds when we came up with it. After growing up amidst his mother’s fruit trees in Lake City, David landed near Fresno, where he maintains a prolific citrus orchard. While he assures us that the purpose of the trees is first and foremost to create a barrier between himself and the neighbors, the ancillary benefit is among our family’s favorite treats each winter. Our boys love it when “Citrus Santa” rings the Nevada doorbell (i.e. kicks up visible dust while approaching our home), and the fresh oranges, lemons, tangerines, orangequats, persimmons, and more have been a delicious source of mid-winter variety.
Within our 100-mile radius lies Tulelake, an agricultural community known for a variety of commodity crops, including organic potatoes. Having burned through the spuds that we grew, we were trying to figure out when we could get up to Tule for a bulk purchase. As if on cue, we got a call from our friend Lily, who specializes in such synchronicity. She was headed north for supplies. Now we have one hundred pounds of organic potatoes waiting for us in Cedarville. Thank you Lily, for your generosity and resourcefulness, not to mention the kombucha, handmade chocolates, and the endless other manifestations of your creativity that steadily flow from your kitchen.
We really, really miss tortillas, a weekly (and probably closer to daily) staple of our diet under normal circumstances. While we are completely partial to local meat, eggs, cheese, and veggies when deciding what to roll into a burrito, the tortillas are usually purchased. Try as we may, we’ve just never been very good at them. That’s where Pati stepped in to save us. We got a lesson from the maestra, and while we have a long way to go (and must figure out a local solution for masa harina or equivalent), we have experienced the satisfaction of crafting a dough ball and turning it into (vaguely circular) tortillas in the basket.
Brian, Leah, Zella, and Maya Taylor:
Last night it was pasta time with the crew from Bidwell Canyon Farm. Our LFX homies brought their big rolling pin, pasta board, and granny’s old school Italian technique over to our place (see photos), and a feast ensued: delicious handmade noodles (the eggs were local, while a portion of the flour blend was an exception) with a choice of local meat sauce or local pesto, fresh goat cheese, canned dilly beans, fresh salad mix from the garden, and persimmon cake (thank you David Lee), capped off by a round of Ticket to Ride. Besides the joys of their friendship and the time our families spend together, Brian and Leah’s range of skills and knowledge continues to humble us and enrich our life. Bidwell Canyon Farm is setting a high bar for the local food scene, and we are excited to rise to the occasion this year.
A heartfelt thank you to our local food brethren from the crew at Down the Mountain Farmstead!