Harvest Breakfast

When our friends came to help us pick one ton of our Merlot grapes a couple of weeks ago, I made a harvest breakfast for us all.  You have to look after the workers!  I love using everything we grow in our garden for these breakfasts and in a previous post, I'd listed the menu.

We started with all-day-long oat bites - one of my staples and then had a parfait with berries, homemade marmalade granola (no sugar added) and homemade soy yoghurt.  I have to tell you that the highlight in my kitchen in the last few months has been my homemade soy yoghurt.  I'll share my recipe for it in the next day or two, but it has changed my life! I love it so much and its only 4 ingredients!  But, I digress.... the parfait was a blackberry base layer, then yoghurt, then granola, then raspberry, then yoghurt then granola.  Topped with fresh mint.


Then there was a a fig frittata, and also a roasted vegetable flat bread, with homemade sun-dried tomato hummus as its base - on a gluten free flax base:


Then came the an apple banana bread with an almond drizzle, and a discussion on whether sweet and savory dishes should be served on the same plate - or even on the same plate at the same time!!!   It is obvious that there is a big difference between Americans and British!!!

To finish -  the lemon cheesecake - dairy free, sugar free, gluten free ( and served on clean plates!!) Topped with citrus caviar!  Made with cashew nuts for the "cheese" and dates and almonds for the base.


And of course, it was our 10th harvest, so we did have to get out our ten year old Birdland Merlot wine to see how it was doing - and by the time we ate, it was lunch time!!  Every year we change the color of our wine label - our first year was yellow, as you can see below.  I wonder what color we'll choose for our 10th year?


Everyone seemed to enjoy the ending of our harvest


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Healdsburg Shed

On Saturday we went to Healdsburg Shed.  It's been open about 10 weeks and we had only just heard about it - so thought we'd give it a go for our Saturday lunch.  We try, as often as possible, to go somewhere different to have Saturday lunch together.



Healdsburg Shed is "a food community that sustains people, our environment, and our local economy.  Our inspiration comes from the words of Wendell Berry."

An agrarian mind begins with the love of the fields and ramifies in good farming, good cooking, and good eating.


We both really enjoyed it.  It's a wonderful open and light space.  You can shop, drink and eat there.  The cook shop had a few unusual items, but we found more interesting stuff in the food area.  We bought

  • chocolate that was made from the beans of a single farm in Madagascar 
  • 24 blackbirds chocolate - which I thought was a lovely name : >
  • celery bitters - not sure what I'm going to do with those yet, but I'll let you know
  • some Godello wine from Spain - as we grow Godello and our release is this August
  • small batch tonic - as in gin and tonic - made with quinine, lemongrass and orange peel. You add sparkling water or soda to make it into tonic water! Can't wait to try it.
They also sell shrubs - which are fruit vinegars that you drink. Lots of things to try which is always fun.


We had a great lunch. I had a bean and pea salad and roasted padron peppers with figs.  It was all very yummy and in a great atmosphere.

They hold classes there too and rent out for the space for events. 


If you live nearby, give it a try. We'll be going back, so maybe we'll see you there.
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(Mini) Grape Harvest

Linda and Stephen
Last week we harvested our Godello grapes.  We grafted this varietal on 300 vines a couple of years ago and so this is really our first harvest of any quantity of them.

Meta and Jane

Godello is a Spanish varietal of green grapes and not typically grown in the US - except here at Birdland!  We were asked to try growing it by a couple of local wine makers and it was pleasing to see a good crop for them to make our first US Birdland Godello wine.

Don - who later had a bad back!
Instead of using our usual vineyard management group to harvest these, we invited some friends to experience the fun as we were expecting only a ton or so.  However, the Godello were a little more difficult to harvest than we had imagined.

John
As bunches of grapes, they grow as a mass and are quite solid as a bunch - not individual grapes.  Most of the time you can't see where the top stalk is, where you want to cut the bunch off, and they get wound up in the wires and leaves....It therefore took us much longer than we expected to harvest the 1.5 tons.
Ken
We wore out our friends - and ourselves!  Even the harvest breakfast I made (which was all gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free) didn't quite leave us kicking up our heels! I think what would have been better would be to have had a massage therapist waiting for us all!


Tomorrow is the Big Grape Harvest, as opposed to the mini grape harvest. It is of our merlot grapes and we are expecting something like 20 tons!  It is earlier in October than usual for us - the grapes have ripened well.  
Fig Clafoutis
This time, our vineyard management crew will come in  - starting at 4am in the dark!  A few friends will help out by pulling out the leaves in the bins, but we won't be picking as we'd slow the crew down!

Kale puffs
Wish us luck for tomorrow!
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