Edible Monterey Bay

Edible Notables

Department of Unique Gifts for Foodies

Rare cookbooks ripe for discovery are just a mouse click away

By Anina Marcus 

Liz Pollock has lovingly collected rare cookbooks and vintage cooking ephemera from auctions, book fairs, library sales, private collections and her own personal travels over the last 30 years—and lucky for us, she offers them for sale online or by appointment at her Santa Cruz home.

“When you are a lifelong lover of cooking and books, every vacation turns into bookstore browsing,” Pollock says, speaking about the methods she’s used to assemble what she calls an “old-fashioned” online bookstore, called the Cook’s Bookcase.

Unlike more conventional online book retailers, which automatically spit out titles of any books that relate to your buying patterns, hers is a curated collection of books … Read More


Cup of Gold

Terri Madrid is converting Salinas to matcha,
one cup at a time

By Elaine Hesser 

The dramatic black-and-gold-flecked bar inside Gold Leaf Spice & Teas on Gabilan Street in Oldtown Salinas seats just 11, so sometimes—especially while the Saturday farmers’ market is going on outside—the place is standing room only. The draw? Terri Madrid, the owner who cheerfully greets her regulars by name, and her green matcha—often iced with a bit of limeade, in a riff on an Arnold Palmer.

“Matcha’s our number one best seller,” Madrid says, smiling with pride at having introduced so many locals to the ancient Japanese brew. Her customers swear by its energy-boosting properties; scientific studies suggest that it offers a range of heath benefits. She demonstrates proper preparation of the tea, … Read More

Coffee-Braised Lamb Shanks

Courtesy Camilla M. Mann, culinary-adventures-with- cam.blogspot.com

Serves 8

Inspired by my coffee roasting adventures, I decided to create a coffee-based entrée, braising lamb shanks in an earthy mixture of coffee, beer and the soaking liquid from dried mushrooms.

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced

8 3⁄4 to 1 pound lamb shanks

White whole wheat flour or white flour mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cardamom for dredging

2 cups coffee

2 cups beer (I use a coffee stout)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon ginger syrup

1 cup boiling water

1 cup dried shitake mushrooms

2 cups fresh oyster mushrooms, sliced

Sea salt, freshly ground

Pepper, freshly ground

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy, large Dutch oven over medium- high heat. … Read More


Bean to Cup

Coffee is getting a lot more local 

By Camilla M. Mann

Until the late 19th century, people commonly roasted their own coffee beans. But eventually, home roasting was eclipsed by the convenience culture that pervades much of our society.

Given that there are only two elements to transforming raw green coffee beans into ready-to-grind coffee, I’m shocked that until this year I’d never met anyone who roasted his or her own beans at home.

That changed when a tip led me to Seven Bridges Cooperative in Santa Cruz. After witnessing their vast array of green coffee beans, home coffee roasting equipment and coffee books, it became clear that this art is enjoying a revival among local home brewers.

Seven Bridges’ Andrew Whitman offered to give me a … Read More


It’s late August and at the edge of the Santa Lucia Mountains appellation the marine layer has settled into the Arroyo Seco Valley. A soft, golden light washes over Hahn Family Wines’ 650-acre network of vineyards. The grapes are nearing their peak sugar content and from the onset of ripening, known as véraison, to harvest time, this extremely valuable fruit must be tirelessly protected. So on the outskirts of the vineyard, Jim and Kathleen Tigan have set up camp with three dogs and six of their birds of prey. The husband and wife behind Tactical Avian Predators are deep into their sixth year at Hahn, working their magic against the European starling.

Starlings are an invasive bird—first introduced to the United States in the 1890s by an eccentric named Eugene … Read More