You guys, I am in Sacramento this weekend for my third International Food Blogging Conference. Let me tell you, it is HOT here. Like triple digit hot. But! I'm SO happy to be here. My favorite lady blogger and friend Morgan from Strudel and Streusel is with me and we are ready for a weekend of food-in-face-stuffing fun. Also, maxi dressed are in full effect to have the least restriction on our stomachs...so necessary.
To kick the weekend off, I decided to go on an optional Friday morning Farm-to-Fork Adventure through Historic Sacramento Delta with California Endive and California Pear to learn about California Endive and Pears in the Delta Region. Now, I decided to go on this by myself, which is kind of scary. Me. Alone. With Strangers. Some might not think of me as shy or a little introvert, but I am. I was a little anxious thinking about how this was gonna go. Thinking...uh, what? I have to talk to strangers? what is they hate me? don't get me? All that crap. Ugh. But I have to tell you how lucky I got! I met a frienddddd! And she's funny, she totally gets my sarcastic weird humor, she's obsessed with Harry Potter, and food, and I feel like I've known her for 10 years, and I'm going to add her into the lady blogger club. Because I am now making that a club. I should make sure it is OK with Morgan, but she loved her too. She is lovely and her blog is gorgeous too, please check her out at Olive and Artisan! K, thanks...
So back to my learning. Endive. On-deeve (pinky up). Our first stop was the California Endive Farm, which was literally in the middle of Nowhere, California. Very nice, rural, hot, farms - sums it up. And so what is endive? Well...since you asked. Straight from the official California Endive site, since they say it so well "Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness ."
Apparently it is super hard to grow. They first have to grow the root in a field, which is the chicory (like the New Orleans coffee? familiar?), and once it buds, they basically stick it in a dark, humid room until the endive part grows. They described it like a mushroom growing environment. Honestly, California Endive explains it so much more eloquently. Check out the site to learn all about it!
After our learning sesh at the endive farm, we got back on our lovely charter bus, took a lengthy tour of the historic region, facts of which I cannot reproduce for you since I was getting to know Karlee better, and finally we arrived over at the California Pear Orchard in Courtland, California. I was super excited about this - not only because I love pears, but because this was our lunch stop.
After our quick hike around the orchard, we all gathered to our tables under an 100+ year old sycamore tree for our fresh farm to fork lunch. Umm...hello, how amazing is that?
We enjoyed two endive dishes, one raw salad with blue cheese, and another grilled endive salad I cannot wait to try and recreate. Then, there was the pear crisp! Yes, please and thank you, of course I'll take dessert - so good.
And we sat around, enjoy ourselves with a glass of wine in hand, getting to know one another when the day started to wrap up. We were handed a big ol' bag of pears and headed back to town.
What a day! It was hot, but so lovely to be out there, learning new things, meeting my new lady blogger pal, and eating all the endive. It was a great start to the weekend of all things foods. Stay tuned for more...