Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eating VB6-Style in San Anselmo

Since embarking on the VB6 plan more than three months ago, I've been steadfast about adhering to it.  And when you have friends like Lisa and Jack hosting you for a weekend getaway, it's especially easy!  A few weeks ago my sister Cheryl and I, along with my nephew Lorenzo and our friend Baris, took a drive up the state to visit our friends Jack and Lisa in beautiful San Anselmo, located in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.  Lisa and Jack have a gorgeous home surrounded by an amazing garden that was absolutely bursting with dazzling flowers as well as a wide variety of succulent fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

When we arrived in the late afternoon, after a long drive up the oh-so-boring Interstate 5, we were greeted by our welcoming friends and an amazing (mostly) vegan spread of crudities and hummus, black and green olives, cold fresh cherries, bread, crackers and cheese, and Marcona almonds with rosemary, along with a lovely chilled Rose.  We eagerly devoured the delicious and healthy snacks, and then I started inspecting their garden looking for things to harvest.  Lisa and Jack know I'm a vegetable freak, and particularly a cucumber freak, so they intentionally left some lemon cucumbers clinging to the vine just so that I could pluck them off.  I also discovered fresh onions, beautiful squash varieties, enormous cantaloupes, gorgeous peppers, delicate tomatillos, golden sunburst tomatoes, lemons galore, and petite strawberries.

And as beautiful as the fresh fruit and vegetable offerings were in the garden, the herbs were just to die for, and included basil, mint, rosemary, cilantro, and red and green shiso.

One thing that all of us appreciate and enjoy so much is preparing delicious meals altogether, and with a garden setting like Lisa and Jack's, who wants to go out?

Some of our collective creations over the weekend included these beautiful heirloom beets with homemade vinaigrette and topped with garden fresh herbs; quinoa seasoned with red pepper and lots of fresh Italian flat leaf parsley; mixed green salad loaded with fresh shiso, basil, cucumbers, peppers, and almonds, and more homemade vinaigrette; cold yogurt "soup" (or cacik in Turkish) made with chilled plain yogurt, diced cucumber, fresh garlic, good olive oil, and a lot of fresh mint; corkscrew pasta with Lisa's delicious homemade pesto sauce; chicken kebabs marinated in garlic infused yogurt; and of course, Lorenzo's favorite potato salad with fresh peppers, onions and herbs (recipe to come soon!).
And of course, the perfect end to a perfect meal is most definitely Lisa's fresh, delicious, and intoxicating homemade limoncello!   Deliziosa!  Cin cin!
Photo by Lisa Gunheim Adams
(Hopefully soon-to-be guest Blogger demonstrating the art of making limoncello.)

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