Skip to main content

A Lot to Love at the Winter Markets

Jan 30, 2015 06:44PM, Published by Jennifer Neys, Categories: Food+Drink, Today



By Lesley Stiles

February is chock full of hearts: heart for lovers, heart for health, and heart for black history. While hiking the other day, I had a random thought about my parochial days at Christ the King school as a left-handed child. How bizarre that not long ago (seriously, I’m not that old), I was being rapped across the knuckles for using my left hand to write and eat. My mom went through the same thing during her parochial career, and it occurred to me that civil rights might have traveled a similar path. At the same moment I was being whacked on my left hand for forgetting to use my right hand, black kids in America were being beaten for attempting to go to a “white” school, trying to buy a soda or ice cream after school, or even finding a place to go to the bathroom or sit down on public transportation. Schools have been integrated, and I have not checked lately, but I’m sure that left-handed kids are allowed their diverse writing style with no questions asked these days, but it seems that progress may have stalled a bit over the years. Along with opening your heart to your loved ones, try opening it to everyone and everything this month.

When my son Lucas was in 1st and 2nd grade at Strandwood Elementary, he had Mrs. Erickson, one of the best teachers in his school career, and she had a strong mission to teach children about the life skills of patience, tolerance, flexibility, humility, compassion, and love. Nowadays, these skills are referred to as soft skills because they are taught to youngsters, but I think (and I try not to say “I think” too often in this column) they are solid life skills and can go a long way towards opening hearts and fostering tolerance among all of us during this month of heart and love.

Winter produce is peaking in February, reflecting even more love for health and good foods. Princess Grapefruit, aka Cocktail Grapefruit, are shoving their large, pale yellow orbs to the front of the line, demanding a ride in your shopping bag nestled next to Paige mandarins and Satsumas. As choices and varieties of fruits hit their all time yearly low at the farmers’ markets, dried fruit offerings from the fruit tree farms are not to be overlooked. Chewing and savoring a dried white nectarine with tropical and warm flavors that burst onto your tongue is not to be missed. Local raw nuts, probably weighing down the same tables, are also sweet and crunchy on their own, without the tannins of long-stored, massively grown nuts. Ever popular Cara Cara oranges and sexy blood oranges are popular treats and are sweetly beguiling, habit-forming snacks for any time of day or night. Greens of all kinds are ever present, sporting sweet, crunchy, organic, nutritional love in every bite. Morning shakes are so amazingly embellished by the addition of spinach or kale and will keep you going long past the mid-morning slump. Vibrantly emerald, underappreciated parsley is a stellar love match for abundant lemons as eye and flavor candy on any concoction savory. In some circles, Mediterranean native parsley is considered the world’s most healthy food and offers every nutrient from vitamin A to K, with fiber, iron, calcium, antioxidants, breath freshener, plate garnishes, and palate cleansing. In days of old, parsley wreaths and boughs were invoked, incanted, and infused with spells to ward off evil drunken sprits that brought wily, late-night tricks to the manor.

Ask the French about bouquet garni, bundled up parsley w/thyme and marjoram to flavor soups and stocks. Osso Bucco would be naked without gremolata, chopped parsley with copious amounts of garlic and lemon. Delicate fine herbs artfully upset the ménage a trois of chervil, chives, and tarragon on a honeymoon together with parsley, elegantly careening across our taste buds. My personal favorite, a powerful, competition-winning, secret weapon, combines chopped parsley, fresh lemon juice and zest, chopped garlic, and grated parmesana reggiano to garnish delicate soups, seafood stews, and addictive, buttery croutons, along with anything else, including body rubs. Charmoula marries parsley, cilantro, mint, garlic, lemon, and freshly toasted and ground cumin to round out roasted codfish or grilled chicken breast. A proven antioxidant, chewing a good handful of parsley can calm your jumpy stomach while at the same time sweetening even the most potent of garlic breathe, allowing you peacefully and in a relaxed state to love your clove with whom you love.



  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • JENNY KERR BAND

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Country Rock, Blues and Soul” Jenny Kerr - vocals/ guitar/ banjo/ harmonica/ piano Philbilli...


  • Model Train sHOw & Open HOuse @ WCMRS

    07/28/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join us this coming Friday night for our "Last Friday Night of the Month" train show/open house. ...


  • Muir Orthopaedic Specialists annual event provides pre-participation evaluation and optional base...


  • Artist in Residence Open Studio

    07/29/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Bringing inspiring Bay Area artistic talent to the six acres of lush, natural landscapes at The G...


  • Eat Stay Love Lafayette Food Tour

    07/29/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Green Hills. Great Schools. Good-tasting Eats. Our Eat – Stay – Love Lafayette food tour is a tw...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/29/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • You are invited to a Party with a Purpose benefiting Monument Crisis Center and Contra Costa Inte...


  • SHARK ALLEY HOBOS + JACKSON & THE IMMORTALS

    07/29/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    SHARK ALLEY HOBOS Che Prasad (guitar, banjo, uke, sitar, accordion, vocals) John Howard (guit...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    07/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • THE SUNDAY PAPER

    07/30/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    "Bay Area Funk" With former and current members of Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Sly & The Famil...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    07/31/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/01/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/02/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Ninth Annual Mascot Day at Jelly Belly

    08/02/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit your favorite mascots at the ninth Annual Mascot Day at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Mr....


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Plant Spotlight Classes

    08/02/2017
    12:30PM — 01:00PM

    Bring a sketchbook or notebook to The Gardens at Heather Farm as we spotlight one special plant i...


  • Party Under the Palms

    08/02/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    Unwind under the palm trees at Jack London Square with the coolest craft cocktails as CUESA and t...


  • Habit is the first complete personalized nutrition solution, helping you eat right for your own u...


  • Volleyball at OPCC

    08/03/2017
    08:30AM — 12:30PM

    Registration is now open for this intensive camp is for 4th-8th grade boys and girls. Taught by ...


  • Ballfield #2, Heather Farm Park 301 N. San Carlos Drive Bring your family and enjoy this FREE...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/05/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Cute Critter Live Draw

    08/05/2017
    03:00PM — 05:00PM

    Join the Bedford Gallery for their Cute Critters Live Draw and art auction from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • The Electric Band: David Laflamme - violin/ vocals Linda Laflamme - vocals Val Fuentes - dru...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/05/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Summer Contra Costa Crystal Fair

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    The fantastically marvelous Crystal Fair is coming to Walnut Creek on August 5-6. It will be a sp...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/06/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Free First Tuesdays at Bedford Gallery

    08/08/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Free admission first Tuesday of the month (when open) Sweet n Low features artwork from over 1...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/09/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • BANJOJAZZ featuring HOWARD ALDEN

    08/09/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Jack Convery - banjo Howard Alden - banjo/ guitar Dave Marty - banjo Gary Newman - piano Bob ...


  • The Danny Green Trio

    08/10/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguishe...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/11/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • DEREK IRVING & HIS COMBO

    08/11/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Retro Rock 'n Roll & Rockabilly” Derek Irving - guitar/ vocals Vance Ehlers - upright bass ...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/12/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • THE LADY BIANCA SHOW

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “Blues and Soul” Bianca's Annual Birthday Party at Armando's! 2015 International Blues Chal...


  • Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center

    08/12/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    Jazz Experience at the Lesher Center, presented by the Diablo Regional Arts Association, will ret...


  • Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

    08/13/2017
    03:00PM — 04:00PM

    Satisfy your sweet tooth this this one-hour guided walking tour that helps kids of all ages explo...


  • SOULFUL SECURITY

    08/15/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Classic Rhythm & Blues and Soul" Glenn Walters - vocals/ drums Jeff Tamelier - guitar Tony ...


  • Volunteer Gardening

    08/16/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    It takes a lot of effort to maintain six acres of lush garden space, and as a small, nonprofit or...


  • Community Garden Swap Meet

    08/16/2017
    12:00PM — 12:30PM

    Have an excess harvest of yummy and pretty things from your home garden? Bring fruits, vegetables...


  • Happy Hour & A Half

    08/18/2017
    04:30PM — 06:00PM

    Live music No cover charge Beverage discount Doors open 4:00


  • THE JESSE BREWSTER BAND

    08/18/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    "Alt-Country, Folk Rock" Jesse Brewster - guitar/ vocals Dave Sampson - guitar Ryan Low - dr...


 

 

 

 

July 2017

 

Oasis Veterinary Pet Adoption Connection

 

Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article

 

Interested in advertising or becoming a community sponsor? Contact us at 925-335-6397 or email us at info@ourcommunityfocus.com