It Was All A Dream

At the beginning of October, I spent a week and a half at World's End Farm.  I'm not sure there is a more magical place in the world.  

My friend Sarah is the creative visionary behind Saipua and World's End Farm (and together with our friend Nicolette, Little Flower School).  One reason why we get along so well, despite being so different on the surface, is that we share a commitment to beauty, to community, to hard work, and to the highest standards.  

Those ten days filled me up with enough creative juju to get me through the next six months, at least.  The dinner was stunningly beautiful, a celebration of so much.  It all photographed so well.  But what will stay with me is how tirelessly so many wonderful people came together, working for a week straight to put on this party.  For the love of it.  We built tables and chairs.  We erected tipis, moved rocks, built paths, and constructed outhouses.  We stapled the most glorious Indian corn I've ever seen 25 feet up a tree.  We collected rusty nails and dyed napkins.  We butchered lambs, stacked wood, and cooked dinner for 85 people entirely over coals.  People drove ten hours and more to come help cook and put on this meal.  New mamas and papas camped with their babes in the woods to wake up early and help set up the barn.  We built fires to boil water to wash dishes.  I sent friends all over the state on wild goose chases in search of produce, bread, and cheese.  People from all over the eastern seaboard brought us homemade pie for dessert, including a pie made by Sarah's mom Sue with precious elderberries from the farm.  I was blown away by how eager everyone was to help at any moment, even though we were all exhausted from days of preparation.  

               Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

               Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

Perhaps most remarkably--and certainly most movingly for me--women were in charge of it all.  My friend Phoebe drove from Vermont to help me cook; we two women cooked stood in a firepit for 14 hours cooking everything--squash and corn in the coals, lamb from the farm cooked three ways, brussels spouts and kale from the garden, beans simmered over the fire.  Watching Sarah lead the meeting each morning with such clarity of vision, and the way her team responded to her, gave me chills.  Yes, there were wonderful guys there helping us, and we couldn't have done it without them.  But this was definitely all about the lady juju, in the very best way.  

Photo by Holly Carlisle
Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

Photo by Sarah Ryhanen

Photo by Julia Turshen

Photo by Julia Turshen

Photo by Phoebe Halsey

Photo by Phoebe Halsey

I spent my first week at the farm working on recipes and headnotes from dawn to dusk in an attempt to finish another round of revisions.  Though I was working my ass off in my own way, as I watched everyone else schlep and saw and dig and move stuff all week long, I started to realize the grand scale on which we were working.  I began thinking to myself, "Man, I really have to deliver with this dinner!"  Sarah and I started talking about this dinner a year ago.  She knew the barn restoration would be done by this fall, and that she'd be ready to cull her first round of rams before this winter, and wanted to celebrate with a lamb roast.  World's End is a huge and beautiful place, but until now, there hasn't been a space for everyone to gather.  I can only imagine how special and powerful it was for her and Eric to finally invite everyone she's been wanting to invite up to the farm.  

                                                            Photo by Holly Carlisle

                                                            Photo by Holly Carlisle

Photo by Grace Bonney

Photo by Grace Bonney

Photo by Nicolette Owen

I'll still be processing everything for months to come.  In the meantime, though, a shoutout to my World's End family: Sarah and Eric, Nikki and Genevieve, Dan and Deanna, Taryne, Alex and Vanessa, Phoebe, Mark and Jennell, Nick and Eddie, Amy, Robinson and Arlo, Fay, Sarah S., Julia and Grace, Kari, Nic, and Tamar, Ziggy, Nea, Blondie and Pucci, I am so very glad I could share this insanely beautiful experience with you all.  Heather and Holly, thanks for the photos.  Thank you, too, to Iceman and the other two rams who fed us so well.  It was the best kind of dream.

Photo by Meg

Photo by Meg

Photo by Sarah Searle

Photo by Sarah Searle

Photo by Holly Carlisle

Tartine Afterhours x Violet Bakery: Wednesday, October 14

Following an epic hiatus, Tartine Afterhours is back!  First up: a special book-signing dinner with Claire Ptak of London's beloved Violet Bakery.  

Claire and I met as cooks at Chez Panisse, and from the start I was enchanted by the way she seemed to somehow simultaneously prioritize both flavor and aesthetics.  

Her sweet, tiny bakery in East London is where she puts her art into daily practice.  Her preferred palette of ingredients includes whole grain flours, less refined sugars, and fruit at the peak of its season.  Our cooking styles fit hand-in-hand, so when Chad and Claire called to ask if I wanted to cook a special Afterhours dinner to celebrate her book, I answered with a resounding YES!  

After shopping at the Tuesday farmer's market Claire and I will put together a menu inspired by both her book and the unrivaled variety of flavors of the season.   This summer-to-autumn limen is one of my favorite times of year to cook, and the menu will reflect a market ripe with tomatoes and persimmons, eggplant and quince.  Chad and his bakers will complement the menu with breads and desserts made with a variety of ancient grains.  

The cost of each ticket includes: a multi-course dinner, drinks, sales tax, tip, a signed copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook, and a few secret surprises!

We can't wait to see you!  Get your tickets here.   



WHO: the fab folks at TartineViolet Cakes & me
WHAT: Book-signing Dinner Extravaganza
WHERE: Tartine Bakery (600 Guerrero St. SF, CA)
WHEN: Wednesday, October 14th at 8pm
WHY: to highlight the joy of good food and good company
TO RESERVE: Buy tickets here

Sea Level Farm Tomato Flash Sale, Sunday, August 9th

My friends Jane and JP from Sea Level Farm grow some of the best tomatoes around, and they're up to their necks in them.  So they're having a FLASH SALE of their dry-farmed early girls, grown in Corralitos, California, this Sunday, August 9th.  Dominica has graciously agreed to host the pick up from 9am - 10:30am at Cosecha in Oakland (907 Washington Street, inside the Old Swan's Market).   

Pre-order your tomatoes by filling out the form below.  Don't forget to press "submit"!

WHERE: Cosecha (907 Washington Street in Old Oakland)

WHEN: Sunday, August 9th from 9am-10:30am

HOW: Fill out the form above to pre-order your tomatoes, and show up on Sunday with CASH to pick them up!

Recipe: Chez Panisse Meyer Lemon Curd

I'm posting this recipe as much for myself as for all of you.  I need to record it somewhere public, so I have access to it wherever I am.  There are countless Meyer lemon curd recipes, and many dozens of them are Chez Panisse versions, but this is the version that they serve in the restaurant today, and it is perfect.  The key is balance--of sweeter Meyer and more acidic Eureka lemons, of sugar and acid, of heating the eggs enough so that they set, but not so much that they overcook.  

Since I've got that Nomiku on my hands for another week or so, I thought I'd experiment using it to cook the curd.  Instead of plastic, which I just can't bring myself to use as a cooking vessel, I just poured the raw, tempered curd into sterilized mason jars and cooked them for 45 minutes.  The results: perfect.  The smoothest, creamiest curd I have ever made.  Though it took longer than the classic method, it wasn't active time.  I washed dishes, ate snacks, and took copious photos of my eggshells while the curd cooked. 

Make the curd, and then make meringue softies with the leftover whites.  

  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ cup Eureka lemon juice
  • Zest of 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • 7 whole eggs
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 16 Tablespoons cold butter

Classic Method

Combine lemon juices, zest, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves.

Set up a double boiler on the stove: pour 2 inches of water into a large, wide pot and bring to a boil.  

Place the eggs and yolks in a large bowl.  Temper the eggs with the warm lemon juice mixture by adding it in slowly, in a thin stream, while continuously whisking.  

Place the bowl of tempered eggs over the pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until the curd just starts to thicken.  Remove immediately from the heat, add the chilled butter, and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Cover immediately with plastic wrap pressed against the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Keep refrigerated for up to five days, but it's doubtful the curd will last that long.

Sous Vide Method

Sterilize 4 pint-sized mason jars and their lids.

Set the immersion circulator in a large pot, fill to the minimum, and set the temperature to 180°F/82°C.  

Combine lemon juices, zest, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves.

Place the eggs and yolks in a large bowl.  Temper the eggs with the warm lemon juice mixture by adding it in slowly, in a thin stream, while continuously whisking.  

Divide the curd mixture evenly amongst the jars, cover, and set in the water bath.  Cook for 45 minutes, then remove the jars from the water bath and stir 4 tablespoons of cold butter into each jar.  Cover with plastic wrap or parchment pressed against the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Keep refrigerated for up to five days, but it's doubtful the curd will last that long.


And, if eating the lemon curd straight out of the jar isn't exciting enough for you, then layer it between shortbread cookies, or sugar cookies.  Spoon it into thumbprint cookies.  Spoon it into a blind-baked shortcrust tart shell and gently bake at 325°F until just barely set, about 20 minutes.  Serve a dollop alongside ginger-molasses cake, lemon pound cake, or olive oil cake.  Spoon atop ice cream.  Eat with berries and whipped cream.  The Meyer lemon sunset sky is the limit.

Recipe: Parsi Deviled Eggs

I didn't grow up eating deviled eggs, so I don't have a sense of nostalgia for any one particular version of them.  To be honest, I actually have to be in just the right mood to even want to eat them at all.  But the first time I had this version, from Niloufer Ichaporia King, I was a goner. As Patty Unterman first wrote in the SF Examiner, Niloufer found this recipe in a book published in Bombay in the 1940s, with the confounding title of "Italian Eggs."  The flavors, though, aren't Italian at all--they're much more reminiscent of India, Thailand, Vietnam or Mexico.  Make these, and soon they will be your preferred version of deviled eggs, too, no matter what you want to call them!


  • 6 large eggs, hard-cooked
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt 
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


Shell the eggs, cut them in half, and put the yolks in small bowl.  Set the egg whites aside.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the mayonnaise, to the yolks and mash with a fork until well combined.  Make sure the honey is well distributed.

Stir in the mayonnaise and taste.  Adjust lime and salt as needed.  

Spoon the mixture into the egg whites, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  

To serve, let the eggs return to room temperature and garnish with cilantro leaves.