SEARCH: Our Food Story

Our Food Story
By Ashley Vrublevskiy

ASHLEYIn my early twenties, I ventured into the world of organic foods and slowly started making healthier choices for myself. I read book after book, loving all the information.

When I became pregnant with Zander, my first son, I vowed to only feed him organic, nutrient dense foods that nourished his body. When he got old enough to start expanding his food options beyond the mashed variety, we realized he was not on board with my food revolution ideas. I became desperate to get him to try new foods. This was the beginning of our long road of food battles. “He won’t even eat cookies! COOKIES!”

I remember saying to a friend to emphasize the severity of my then three-year-old’s eating restrictions. He truly only ate a handful of foods: pretzel sticks, squeezable baby food packs, raisins, and a few fruits, namely raspberries. My only saving grace was he absolutely loved soup. I made the most vegetable filled soups I could think of to be sure he would be getting some key nutrients in his diet. He would gag and refuse anything else. He wouldn’t touch a cookie, pizza, or pasta like most kids his age. I thought he was just picky, and if I kept trying, he would eventually eat more variety.

Around this time…read more in the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

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Books: Food in Literature

Food in Literature
by Sumiko Saulson

BOOKS“She continues to cook, using the process of preparing the meal to parse her thoughts. Each act of cooking is a meditation upon her life. By the end of the meal, she decides that her abusive husband has no real power over her.”

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
In Jane Eyre, food represents comfort. During childhood,Jane and her best friend Helen Burns live in an orphanage, where the kindness of adults is gauged by their generosity concerning food. Helen is sick with consumption.

Tea, bread, and butter are staples the kindly Miss Temple offers the girls. The orphanage restricts the amount of food they are allowed to have, so that the tiny pat of butter and bit of bread are barely enough for just one girl.

Miss Temple makes up for it by supplying the girls with generous slices of seedcake to supplement the toast and butter. Caraway seed cake was a popular British snack cake of the Victorian era.

2. Love by Toni Morrison
In Love, two childhood best friends, Heed and Christine, have their lives torn apart when Christine’s grandfather takes Heed as his bride, instigating a lifelong battle over inheritance. Christine’s mother is a talented cook. Christine loves food. Heed, a trophy wife, thinks about the service more than….continue reading the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Fall Celebrations

Fall Celebrations
By Camellia Rains

CAMI’ve noticed over the years that the Dia de los Muertos celebrations have changed in San Francisco. It’s still a joyful event for Latin Americans.

When I first started going years ago, it was much smaller, and it was—how can I put this?—less Anglozied than it is now. This traditional celebration is a solemn occasion, but it’s not filled with depression like we’re used to here in America. It’s still a joyful event for Latin Americans.

Years ago, a smaller amount of people came and met in the Mission District and begin a parade. They would walk to Garfield Park where altars had been set up in advance, and people walked in a procession to an altar dedicated to their deceased family member, friend, or whoever and placed flowers or food like sweet bread, etc… to honor their memory. You can still walk the parade route and go visit your family member or friend’s or even strangers’ altars. Or you may represent your departed loved one during the parade, carrying their picture and a candle without going to the altars. I did that when… continue reading the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH

SEARCH: Chorizo Tamale Pie

Chorizo Tamale Pie
by Brian and Patricia Dake

TAMALE2Fall is a delightful time for entertaining. As sultry summer days give way to blustery afternoons and cooler evenings, we find ourselves heading  indoors for cozy gatherings and comfort foods. This month’s recipe features an entree ideal for dressing up in autumn colors and for autumn holidays.

FILLING

  • Cut ends from onion and cut onion in half. Set aside 1/2. Peel off outside layers of dried onion skin and dice.
  • Cut the top 1/4 inch off the pepper removing the stem. Cut peppers in half length-wise.
  • Set aside 1/2 of each pepper for another use. Cut pepper halves again length-wise, cut out stems and remove the white ribs, membrane and all seeds.
  • Dice peppers.
  • Spray fry pan with cooking spray. …continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: El Sobrante

El Sobrante
By Emerian Rich

EL SOBRANTE_Rancho El Sobrante used to be the home of the Huichin, an Ohlone Tribe. Spanish missionaries took over the land around 1795, and after Mexico independence from Spain, it was deeded to Juan Jose and Victor Castro. El Sobrante is Spanish for “remaining land” and it’s fitting, given the three odd -shaped pieces of land it covers in-between Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo.

El Sobrante used to have the reputation of being wild but in recent years has become a more family oriented with many parks in the area. Kennedy Grove, for example, is a great place to have picnics or toss around a football. They also have hiking trails and excellent bird-watching opportunities. For water sports, San Pablo Reservoir offers fishing, boat rentals, kayaking, and canoeing. Water birds abound at the reservoir including white pelicans, geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Along the trails, you can see wild turkey, quail, and dove, as well as predators such as eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. You might even spy a deer or a bobcat.

The annual El Sobrante Stroll is an event…continue reading in the Fall issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Entertain With Style

Entertain With Style
by Heather Roulo

TABLEDRESSING.jpg

Some casual gatherings don’t require more than paper plates and an invitation to grab a drink from the cooler. Other times, it’s an excuse to get out the fine china and dress the table to impress.
Jeanine Beckley, a house manager and professional caterer with thirty years of  experience and a strong sense of humor reminds us, if you love it, use it—just remember you’ll still have to wash it all at the end.

STYLE

Incorporate the style of your house into your entertaining. After all, some people prefer elegance. Your party should fit you. Jeanine knows a professional interior designer who always goes modern. “She’s not a little bit country, and she’s not rock and roll,” Jeanine recounts with a laugh. Her table reflects this with white-on-white flowers and candles.

SETTING

Consider your event. Picnics bring to mind checkered tablecloths and simplicity. A barbeque might be similar, but with more napkins for saucy fingers. Dining al fresco is generally more casual, but be sure to….continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Working from Home

WORK FROM HOMEWorking from Home
by AR Neal

When I tell people I work from home, I typically get a look of envy accompanied by, “I wish I could work from home.” or a look that suggests I’m some sort of deviant.

Depending on the audience, I respond with an explanation of the circumstances that led to my decision to give up the long commute, business casual attire, and board meetings.

Until the summer of 2013, I had a brick and mortar job. When the contract ended, I stayed home to give emotional support for the first time to my son, who has special needs. He was 18. The realization that I had been away from him for his entire life was sobering. Around the same time, my late husband’s health deteriorated further, and I became his caregiver. I started teaching online part-time. After my son moved out and my husband died, I realized I had no desire to go back to traffic jams and tight schedules.

I share this history for those who envy my situation as well as those who think… continue reading the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Don’t Kick the Cook

Don’t Kick the Cook
by Tim Reynolds

TIM.jpgI have been eating for over half a century now and have spent a great deal of time in kitchens, professionally, practically, and even romantically.

If you can’t nuzzle while stirring pasta, what’s the point of cooking Italian? Although my skills have serious limits, I have discovered Three Basic Rules of food prep that I now pass on to you.

One: Salt to taste.

Two: Singed eyebrows grow back.

Three: Preheat the oven.

Salt to taste: My buddy Craig and were up at his family cottage for a weekend of fishing, rum, and cribbage. Since the fish weren’t biting that day, we went to our back-up plan, a simple, manly goulash that two twenty-something former Boy Scouts considered to be Cordon Bleu gourmet dining. Meat, veggies, more meat…perfect. When it came time to add a touch of seasoning, Craig tapped a pinch of salt straight from the shaker into the pot. Unfortunately, the shaker lid wasn’t screwed on quite as tight as it needed it to be and a half-full shaker’s worth of salt slid straight into the goulash… continue reading in Fall 2017 issue.

SEARCH: The Power of Aroma

The Power of Aroma
by Murdo Morrison

MURDOI spent my childhood years during the 1950s in working class neighborhoods in Glasgow, Scotland. In those days any money went to necessities, and special items were things you saved up for.

Luxury items were often out of reach, with much of it yet to be invented. Not only was there less variety, but much of the produce was seasonal. We waited expectantly for the fresh strawberries and rich tarts the baker created. Fresh peaches, one shilling each at the time, were only an occasional treat.

The heightened senses of childhood made for a richer experience. It was a time when many items were served from barrels or bins. Potatoes were scooped onto a heavy scale, cheese was cut from the round. A simple shopping trip would be marked by the distinct aromas of the various stores where the air was filled with a heady mix of Provolone, Salami, spices, and other exotic aromas that, at the time, I was unable to identify. The strongest notes in the ‘perfumed symphony’ were played by the freshly roasted coffee beans. In our world, coffee, when we drank it at all, came from small tins of Nescafé in the form of a powder we mixed with hot water from the kettle. Perhaps it was then the idea… continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Abie Ekenezar, Actress

Abie Ekenezar, Actress
by Emerian Rich

abieActress and writer Abie Ekenezar grew up in Clapham, England. She knew she wanted to be an actress in secondary school and although she was nervous in her first play, the acting bug caught her and has not let go.

As a child, she was inspired by William Shakespeare, Tim Curry, David Tennant, Angela Bassett, and Halle Berry. She’s appeared in recent TV Series such as Grimm, Z. Nation, The Librarians, and Twin Peaks.

SEARCH had the pleasure of chatting with her about acting, writing, and what keeps her going.

What is the first creative thing you remember writing?

My poems. I thought I was an actual badass poet.

What books did you enjoy as a child?
RA Salvatore, Drizzt series, Goosebumps, Fear Street from RL Stine and Harlequin, yes I read Harlequin growing up!

What television series were your favorites?
Voltron, ThunderCats, and Are You Afraid of the Dark… continue reading the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.