Big Sur’s shroom fest boosts a family member, plus peanut-butter naan.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Rachael Short was recently asked what she looked forward to most about getting some of her range of motion back after a gruesome Halloween accident off Highway 1 rocked the Big Sur community and stole movement from much of her body.
As her rousing recovery blog Be the Light documents, her response was vivid: “Picking my own nose!” she said.
Blogged boogers have never been so inspiring. That’s only appropriate with Short, who has long inspired the community with her photography. Now it’s her patience and resilience that are proving moving – just the fact that she is articulating those nasal explorations with such verve after she couldn’t breathe without help, and doctors told her she wouldn’t walk again, is huge. She returned home this month in a wheelchair to a celebratory family, overwhelmed by the support she’s received and attacking her rehab.
“I have faith that I’ll one day be back in Big Sur,” she writes on the site, “standing on my own two feet. Call me crazy, but that’s what I’m thinking.”
The Big Sur community will stand with her again at the Feb. 26 Big Sur Chanterelle Cook-off, where proceeds will fuel recovery funds. That makes an already special event more meaningful.
At last year’s sophomore run, there were chanterelle-marsala-bacon sausages swirled in pinwheels, Bloody Marys with chanterelle vodka and a chanterelle-pork Napoleon as tall as a wine glass, but it was a humble Dory Ford strudel that took the title from a panel of judges that included Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser. I tried Ford’s recipe the other night; check it out on the blog.
This year the judging belongs purely to the people at the noon-3:30pm showdown ($50 general; $40 locals). But before 16 chefs craft their chanterelle treats – pros like Cy Yontz of Rio Grill, Truman Jones of Ventana, Greg Lizza of Nepenthe, Domingo Santamaria of Deetjen’s, Cal Stamenov of Bernardus andMichael Jones of Cachagua General Store – there’s an expert-led 9-11:30am “FUNgus Hunt” ($30, or $65 for both) that peels through the park’s redwood sanctuaries and along its trickling streams and closes with a talk. Back at the Big Sur Lodge for the main event, around 10 wineries – think Talbott, Tudor, Morgan – and Fire Stone Brewery will pour and a silent auction will proffer deals with a tax write-off. A brunch happens Sunday at Fernwood. All proceeds go to Short.
“Rachael was to be the team photographer of [sibling event] Big Sur Food & Wine,” BSCC chair Toby Rowland-Jones says, “but this terrible accident happened and we are doing [our] small part to help. She has a long road to recovery and is a tremendous fighter, but she needs help from many different angles.”
Ring 667-0241 or visit www.bigsurchanterelle.org for more.
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There is a place where they promote Baby Ruth-stuffed jalapeños and a “mandog,” a meat wad of hamburger, ground veal, sausage, egg, breadcrumbs and spices stuffed with hotdog, bacon, sauerkraut, cheese and banana peppers, all on a hoagie roll. It’s the amazing-eats website This Is Why You’re Fat.
And there’s a place-by-the-sea where a little local wrote a peanut butter sandwich recipe that could earn national champion status: Carmel.
That’s why food is wonderful – because it can entertain, baffle and appall. Yup, food can do it all.
River School’s 10-year-old Paige Downing is a finalist in the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest. Something about that is just awesome – beyond the fact that she bested hundreds. While her take on satay – she blends PB, mango chutney, yogurt and curry powder with diced cucumber, golden raisins, chicken and cilantro on naan – comes off as clever and culturally appropriate, other finalists have put together recipes that could very well appear on This Is Why You’re Fat, like the Peanut Butter, Bacon & Maple Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast and Re-invented Chicken ‘n’ Waffles with PBQ Sauce. (They also sound more like breakfast than sandwich.)
Take a peek at her recipe on the blog.
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It can be a little tiring, albeit noble, to always quiz servers on where they got their fish. Help is here: SeafoodWatch now has an iPhone app that allows folks to report their sustainable seafood finds, “from sardines in Sacramento to mussels in Minneapolis.” Log onto mobile.seafoodwatch.org to download it, as well as new pocket guides and a Super Green eating list. And, speaking of the Aquarium, Cooking for Solutions tickets are now on sale, 647-6886… Spindrift Inn on Cannery Row (646-8900) has won the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for “Most Romantic” hotel in the U.S. for the second year in a row… Monterey Regional Waste Management Districthosts a free basic composting workshop 11am-12:30pm Saturday, Jan. 29 (384-5313)… Rich Pepe’s grandpappy came to the U.S. 100 years ago with $20 and some recipes. They’re celebrating by kicking down complimentary hand-tossed “San Gennaro” brick oven pizza at Little Napoli (626-6335) – “No strings attached!” they say – with a coupon from Carmel Bakery (626-8885) on Ocean… “You better cut the pizza in four pieces,” Yogi Berra said, “because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”