Friday, June 28, 2013

Free Range Friday ~ Culebra

A quick follow up to yesterday (it's okay! don't run away yet). I wrote Josh Fox, the guy from whom I bought my phone on ebay, to tell him how much I'm enjoying the earbud listening thingies - hey, they aren't really HEAD PHONES anymore, are they? - and I got an email back from him this morning.

it's so cool to hear this. Glad you're enjoying it. But just remember, you aren't ignorant.
PS -- If you want some good music, I'll put it in the mail to you.

I'd told him I felt ignorant (unaware, old fashioned, behind the times); that I didn't realize how cool listening to music/movies/etc. with little devices stuck in your ears could be. Why? Because I am usually incapable of not being able to hear everything going on around me, inclusive of whatever I'm listening to as well, without feeling claustrophobic. Paranoia? Awareness? Aural multi-tasking? Dunno. But with lots of street noise here these little things are invaluable to not miss dialogue or lyrics that are pretty relevant to understanding the whole. Ok, it wasn't so quick, but if you need something electronic on ebay that Josh Fox is selling, he seems to be a good'un and I endorse this message.


This food post is locally approved
In Northern California, it is berry season. The organic berry farm where my daughter is working is still deep in strawberries and the raspberries are coming on strong. I won't be out there this year to plant and pick and, best of all, eat the bounty, but hearing all about how much she is enjoying it is a good thing.

This weekend is an event called the Strawberry Jam Fest. There is a contest for the best strawberry whatever; it can be a drink, a dessert, a savory something. Sarah and I talked about what she could do that might be different.This is an adaptation of a recipe from Driscoll's, a berry growing company who look to be doing things in a good way, for the most part. I wish they were 100% organic, but most is better than none! I don't know for sure what she is going to really make, but this looked pretty good to me, with a few changes...

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Hoisin-Sesame Dressing
(adapted from Driscoll's)

Hoisin-Sesame Dressing
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup organic soy sauce (since most soy beans are genetically modified, I'm using either organic soy or tamari or Braggs Liquid Amino - which sounds weird and isn't. An inexpensive, good tasting soy sauce substitute! Around here you can get it at Vibra Verde)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cups thinly sliced fennel

Chicken Salad

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 12 ounces cooked, smoked chicken breast, chopped
  • 8 ounces mixed baby greens, washed and dried
  • 3/4 cups julienned jicama (pronounced hicama, if you need to ask for it in your market)
  • 2 scallions, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, chopped cashews
Hoisin-Sesame Dressing (makes about 1 1/3 cups)

Place olive oil, vinegar, organic soy sauce, sugar, organic hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, Dijon mustard, ginger, shallot, garlic and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (Or, grate the ginger and mince the shallot and garlic then whisk all ingredients together.) Refrigerate in a covered container. (Makes about 1 1/3 cups)

Chicken Salad

Hull and slice or quarter strawberries. Combine strawberries, chicken, greens, jicama, fennel and green onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with about 1/2 cup dressing and toss gently until evenly mixed. 
photo credit: Driscoll's
Make it look pretty on the plate, scatter cashews on top, serve and enjoy!
Buen provecho!
And one more thing before you go. This site, called Food Facts, is good for seeing what is in the foods you buy or already have on the shelf, the pros and cons (and it includes organic stuff, some of which isn't so organic as you might hope). Of course, it doesn't cover everything but it's pretty good! Check it out.

Have a fine food filling Friday. Do something feastable.

p.s. you can ask Diane at D's Garden (or where ever you are!) for strawberry plants and grow your own! They are easy to grow, prolific and delicious!


  1. Laughing out loud at your pronunciation of jicama! That might be a new word for me, much like "hairport", which is what my (now 17 year old) nephew called the airport, and which Lewis and I still use. Besos!

    1. Oops! Fixed it, sheesh. My dyslexia was showing.