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A Bounty Of Holiday Food Gifts For San Diego Foodies

December 18, 2012 1:25 p.m.

GUESTS: Caron Golden: food writer of the column "Local Bounty" for San Diego Magazine and author of the blog San Diego Foodstuff.

Catt White, co-founder San Diego Public Market

Related Story: A Bounty Of Holiday Food Gifts For San Diego Foodies


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Stay with us. Coming up are you still wondering when to give the person who has everything? No we are not going to suggest the latest gadget. We have ways to suggest how animals can be incredible presence. Stay with us.Here are some of today's headlines could conservative Republican Congressman Tim Scott has been named by South Carolina's governor to replace tea party favorite Jim DeMent Scott becomes the Senate's only African-American member. The upright piano from the claimant classic film Casablanca on which Sam plays which time goes by Fitchburg and $600,000 at an auction in New York and the world's oldest person has died. 115-year-old Tina Manfredini of Johnstone Iowa and now a man in Kyoto Japan also born in 1897 inherits the title. You are listening to KPBS where news matters. This sounds you hear are the sounds of edible gifts being unpacked on our table here. So I have a growing number of friends or boycotting Christmas presents. Except for Presidents' Day you can consume. In other words, your drink and I think many people are trying to pare down their possessions rather than accumulate more. So our guests today are the perfect advisors to inspire us with creative ideas for giving unusual gifts that can be a delight for the I and the taste buds. So we have Caron Golden. Caron thanks very much for joining us.

CARON GOLDEN: Thank you Allison

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Catt White is the author of the blog San Diego Food Source and is the cofounder of San Diego public market and also manages the neighborhood farmers markets. Catt, great to have you here.

CATT WHITE: Nice being here, Allison.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: All right some people might see think of food gifts is something you order out of the catalog or some action will change, but there's no need to get a box of pierced through the mail, is there?

CARON GOLDEN: People love the Harry and David Pears and someone mentioned last night at the dinner I was at and how exciting it is to get them, but to be honest we have such a huge food community now and there so many different options for I would say culinary gives him an adjustable because we have also really great cooking classes and this whole thing started with actually requests from one of your colleagues to me to find out the names of some cooking classes so that her husband could get her that as a Christmas gift, and experience and I thought well let's turn this into something we can talk about with other people. So we have the classes of course, we have local cook books that have come out recently, so you have a whole slew of that, we have a lot of specialty shops and we have the farmers markets. So between all of them there is something for anybody.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: There's really no excuse to be writing off to some national chain.

CARON GOLDEN: Forget Amazon, forget all of them and focusing on what you can do, really what people are growing and thinking and teaching and writing about here.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Sounds wonderful, let's start with baskets, gift baskets are always very popular. What kinds of, you get sort of idea in your head of jams and jellies and cookies, but what else could you make a basket of?

CARON GOLDEN: We have a lot of shops in town that specialize in all sorts of different teas for example we have Temecula olive oil company. We have a new place in town called leaf and kettle which is a tea place, tea vendor, who, the owner used to have a place in South Park called Halcyon tea and he closed at the end of the summer and opened up the leaves and kettle up in Delmar Highlands shopping center. And I was just up there and he has all sorts of interesting things a whole array of tees for instance and tea accessories so you can get a wonderful teapot, or you could get an electric kettle that actually can be sent to the temperature, the boiling temperature for your teas. All of that, plus he has these wonderful, I brought these in these green tea crunchies because tea can also be edible in the sense that you can cook with it. It is a culinary item. So you've got these made out of black sesame seed flaxseed rolled oats, almonds, peanut, green tea powder, so it is the macha. And some honey and salt and they are absolutely wonderful

ALLISON ST. JOHN: You would not put that in hot water, you would throw that into--

CARON GOLDEN: These are for snacking. Yes. So you put together (inaudible) oriented basket you could go to Temecula olive oil company they make baskets or you could go select what you want. You can also and balsamic vinegar and they have these wonderful flavored salts. This is a gardener salt. They have for instance they have spicy ones and then you could go to the farmers markets which cat can tell you all about.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Let's ask Catt about that because you got lots of knowledge about farmers markets. What are some of the more unusual gifts you have seen?

CATT WHITE: New it be fun to do themed baskets introduce salt caramels, salt caramels from eclipse department, salted caramel toffees from and salty sisters, salty pralines make somebody happy for a very long time.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: You are suggesting have a great time browsing on this of the farmers market and put together your own basket.

CATT WHITE: Exactly I think that would be fun

CARON GOLDEN: In some of the vendors sell baskets. Is that gorgeous? This is the African basket from Paradise Valley Ranch.

CATT WHITE: They grow avocados and oranges and they also import these beautiful African baskets and sell those at the farmers market as well. So you can take the basket that any kind of size and activities from the farmers market. Throw in some gift cards that are good at the local farmers market so people can keep shopping all year. The olive oil the be fun to add maybe some pretty lettuces and balsamic vinegar from gourmet delights or bistro blends, or a loaf of bread and cie. You have a salad basket so there's all sorts of ways you can put these together and kind of have fun themes based on the person you are giving to and worry about them.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: This sounds like a real opportunity for creativity but if you're feeling like I don't know if I'm as creative you guys obviously have the flair I can see. Presumably you can buy these baskets down at some of the farmers markets?

CARON GOLDEN: A lot of the vendors have decided pretty easy to take packaging the salt farm has seen little bags and things like flights of different kinds of infused sea salt and some of the olive oil folks are former starters and tailors are packaging of little groups of infused awfully quails and vinegar so they are ready to go they have got goes on them,*sassy spice student little stacks of spice blends and rubs with pretty tensile and cellophane on them so you can really grab and go if you are doing a hostess gift maybe it's on someone you know very well and you are in a hurry and you don't want to do the wrapping and packaging yourself and you know you can never go wrong with wine triple B ranch in San Diego is one of the few wineries in San Diego that is qualified to sell in the certified farmers market because they grow the grapes and the bottles and they are just wonderful lines. They've got your (inaudible) Merlot and Cabernet that you can take and impress people not only drinking from California or San Diego County

ALLISON ST. JOHN: That idea would be a good excuse to go a little wine tasting

CARON GOLDEN: Wineries up in Temecula also have a (inaudible) package as well and a lot of these small shops also have their own so for instance if you were to go to Leaf and kettle he's got some gift packages made up. That is up and Del Mar Highlands and Temecula also a company and they've got a couple new wine shops in town.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: To follow up on the vineyards, can you give anybody recommendations where they can go to vineyards?

CARON GOLDEN: To be honest I haven't been up there recently so I don't know who to go to.

CATT WHITE: Triple B designates, Vespa vineyards they do special events and you can go on the website and find events you can sign up and go to where they serve dinner and not vineyard that would be a good gift because I think you are right people don't want to accumulate clutter, they are looking for experiences and food is never the wrong size.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: And it is such a good excuse to go shopping or wine tasting and put together your own basket kind of thing.

CATT WHITE: The cooking classes too, again if you've got someone who you know loves to cook and would love to do a cooking class with a friend there are so many venues that are offering cooking classes and really fun ones some of them are demonstration classes so you are sitting there and the chef or instructor is going to make dishes and then you will get handed some samples of what they are making or you've got hands-on classes in which you are participating and some of them you are each assigned to one dish for a whole menu and some of them you're going to participate in the making of each dish. So depending on what your person's abilities and interests are you could come up with all sorts of really crazy ideas for like Sur le Table offers wonderful cooking classes and I did one with them that was a food truck class so they picked the dishes that you find you could pick those kinds of dishes.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Do have to be careful about giving a foot class as a gift in case they take it as an influence insult?

CATT WHITE: People looking to expand their ability is there also knife skills and basic baking, there also some interesting and sophisticated ones where if you know someone loves to make Mexican food, that you could take, give someone a class for making some very exotic style Mexican food?

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Where would you find out about the classes?

CATT WHITE: Great news is sort of the standard here and here (inaudible) they have a wonderful retail shop and in the back they have this beautifully built out kitchen for cooking classes. Those are mostly demonstration classes. But we also have, and I mentioned Sur le Table and another one that opened in the last couple of years is called hip cooks.

CARON GOLDEN: They are adorable, there just across from the North Park Farmer's market they sometimes bring students over to the farmers market.

CATT WHITE: Take a class on dim sum or tapas or pasta or mole. So you have a lot of writing there. Rancho LaPuerta, which people know of is the spot down and cutting has Saturday said the ranch and you can get a package there that drives you down to Rancho LaPuerta which includes lunch and everything and includes a cooking class.

CARON GOLDEN: I think that's what I want

ALLISON ST. JOHN: You've gotten us inspired we have somebody who wants to join the conversation careless on the line thanks for joining, Darrell.

NEW SPEAKER: Thanks for having me

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Give something to read to the culinary suggestions?

NEW SPEAKER: You guys were talking about some of the different wineries have never percent Paschal winery here in San Diego it actually here in San Diego and Ramona we have over 70 wineries. There San Diego vintners Association, you can find information on tours and times and tasting rooms are open.

ALLISON ST. JOHN: And you have to leave city and go in to the backcountry to find the tasting rooms?

NEW SPEAKER: Actually there are some concentrations of different ones. Our winery has a tasting room and La Mesa and the main winery is in Pacific Beach. There's a couple other wineries around also, (inaudible) down in old town, and Ramona area you have (Fairfield) rose winery, Salerno

ALLISON ST. JOHN: The these are places you can taste the wine before you buy the bottle?

NEW SPEAKER: Yes excellent wines

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Is there anyone single-chip Darrell, you could give assess to what to look for if you are looking for wine is there particularly good year in San Diego wines for example?

NEW SPEAKER: There are different wineries that do some amazing stuff and specialize in certain things like triple the ranch I'm very familiar with, Alisha was my vendor management teacher. And they do an amazing wines their Cabernet is outstanding, our the winery does a nice passion for wines and we we have a regular passionfruit habanero passionfruit that goes actually with chocolate, Wilson rose winery up and Ramona does an excellent top from, and also has an amazing Grenache. And it is very personal. They grow the grapes on the property. They tend to him and make the wine, and a lot of people

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Darrell, thank you so much for the suggestions I really appreciate your call because I think this is one of the times of the year one I think you have a good excuse to tastings of the antidepressants for other people. I just wanted to get to on other people one other thing, There are some gives that gifts that keep on giving to our deliveries that come regularly.

CARON GOLDEN: You can do the farmers market gift cards set up at the farmers market or public market but also certain farms in the area, Susie's farm and JR organics in particular have CSA boxes we've been signed up a friend or family member for 12 weeks of CSA community supported agriculture and come to the farmers market each week, the closest market, pick up the box authority assembled and add whatever you are missing to it.

CATT WHITE: Then you can take a cooking class to learn how to use the produce. Sissies for actually does cooking classes at cups and greatness. So they will bring a CSA box and then they will do a class based on what that produce is for that particular week

ALLISON ST. JOHN: Wonderful hopefully we will all be eating better and cooking better as a result of these local sources of good food. So Caron Golden I would like to thank you very much for molding us,


ALLISON ST. JOHN: And Catt White, co-founder of San Diego public market thank you for joining us. And stay with us for evening edition tonight on KPBS television. We will be back tomorrow with the Midday Edition. I am Allison St. John in for Maureen Cavanaugh.