Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Mar 29th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Worth Her Salt

dining pic 1431 01Emily Freed’s sensuous salts, plus spirits and salmon

We now have two new favorite salts on our table, keeping company with the usual Bretagne and pink Himalayan varieties. One blends parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme with kosher salt, another, called “Spice It Up Salt,” includes the kick of cayenne and smoked paprika. Under the handsome retro Farmer Freed label, they are among the six new varieties of culinary salts developed and marketed by the very can-do Emily Jane Freed. A former apprentice with the UCSC Agroecology project, Freed is now a production manager with Jacob’s Farm. “I felt lucky to get such a great job out of the program,” she says. “Every day I get to tromp through the fields” of the nine-location organic network. A few years back, Freed began tinkering around with the farm’s herbs, putting them together with salt and giving samples to her friends for feedback. “I’ve been experimenting with it off and on, and now I'm taking it to the outer world,” she explains.

Currently, six varieties of fragrant Farmer Freed Culinary Salts ($10 each) are available, including a Vanilla Sea Salt that Freed created as a baking salt—“I love to bake,” she says. For her savory salts, she chose Kosher salt. “It’s a bigger, coarser grain with a beautiful texture.” Another blend of thyme, marjoram and kosher salt is called “Sababa,” which means “awesome” in Hebrew. Freed was interested in creating a Jewish product, “one that could support Jewish female farmers,” such as the You Grow Girl project she created that helps to raise awareness and financial support. “Salt flavors our food. It brings that added oomph that makes everything taste good,” says Freed. Look for more blends in Farmer Freed’s future. For now, you can purchase these vibrantly flavored salts online, and local spots like Companion Bakeshop.

Venus Spirits
Gin Launch

Angie and I swung by Johnny’s Harborside last week for some “Drinks with the Distiller” featuring Venus Gin cocktails and a chance to talk spirits with Sean Venus. The beautiful round bottle of Venus Gin Blend No. 1 is filled with a distinctive artisanal infusion of aromatics. We detected cardamom, lemon, juniper, angelica root and lavender among the flavor notes. It made into a lovely cocktail, with lime and lychee, called (appropriately enough) “Vague Recollections.” Smart appetizers, including micro french fries with a kalamata cream dipping sauce, kept us company as we got hypnotized by the boats bobbing in the sunlight. The Venus Spirits tasting room is still a work in progress on the Westside, but meanwhile the elixir’s in the bottle and headed toward retail all over the Bay Area. 41st Avenue Liquors already has the new flagship Venus Gin Blend No. 01—$30—but you can now sample Venus Gin cocktails at Crows Nest, Cafe Rio, Cafe Cruz and Crepe Place.

Assembly Lunch:
Part III

Lunch at Assembly last week was a thing of joy. Bev ordered the house chopped salad with shredded chicken breast ($12.50), loaded with delicious little gem lettuces, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes, kraut, avocado, egg, olives, and topped with crunchy quinoa and red wine vinaigrette. My poached salmon salad ($13) was gorgeous, with fat morsels of poached salmon, ringed with chunky red and yellow beets, slices of crispy fried green tomatoes crunchy in a cornmeal batter (highly addictive!), yogurt, and drizzles of tarragon-spiked olive oil. We split an order of Pellegrino Chinotto, a bitter cola flavored drink made from the myrtle-leaved orange. Not sweet, very intriguing. Can’t wait to try Assembly’s new brunch.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals