Meet Dianne Jacob, a Canadian-born author, blogger, speaker and coach who lives in Oakland, California. Thanks to her book and her blog, Will Write for Food, Dianne is a mentor to countless food writers around the world. Her posts are inspiring and uniquely thought-provoking – I know of no other blog that adds so much the topics it covers through the comments section (and Dianne replies to all!). She is also a speaker at many conferences around the world and chatting with her is always a highlight of the ones I choose to attend.
Oakland, California. I live in Oakland, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a cook’s paradise, as there are at least a dozen farmer’s markets every week, and some of them operate year round. As someone who loves produce, nothing thrills me more than visiting the markets and chatting with farmers about new items and how to cook them. There’s always something new and dazzling to try too — a blood orange, a purple micro green, or tender radishes. A few days ago a farmer explained how to cook small artichokes. I had always avoided them, but I bought some and I’m going to give them a try. You peel off the outer leaves, stem them, and saute with lemon, olive oil and garlic.
Stone Fruits. I can’t get enough of the stone fruit at farmer’s markets here. A few farmers still sell delicate Blenheim apricots in the spring, and I snap them up while their short season lasts. Pluots (a cross between a plum and apricot) are rampant in summer and fall in at least a dozen varieties. I adore the Flavor Grenade for its concentrated sweetness. And I try to be patient for the profusion of peaches and nectarines, particularly white nectarines. Sometimes I make a cobbler with cherries, yellow nectarines and kirsch, but most of the time I just slice and eat stone fruit out of hand. Why mess with perfection?
- More info about one of Dianne’s favorite markets, the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market
- A list of all of Oakland’s Farmers’ Markets (they have so many! lucky them!)
- Here’s what pluots look like
- All about peaches & nectarines and apricots, via About.com
- Lots of cobbler recipes, and a pie, for good measure
Next Week on Edible Cities
Next week, Lindsey Johnson, food blogger on Café Johnsonia, is taking us to Norway. Don’t miss it!