Black Hawaiian Sea Salt from the San Francisco Salt Company.
Boxers or briefs?
Pie or cake?
Salty or sweet?
In answer to the last question, I decidedly favor sweet.
But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate salty, and in particular, how a pinch of salt evens out sweetness or rounds out the flavor of most anything.
The San Francisco Salt Company understands that. Its British founder Lee Williamson originally started the company to sell bath salts, because he was hooked on its therapeutic and relaxing effects from soaking in the tub after a long day of work.
It wasn’t long, though, before he turned his attention to culinary salts, too.
Durham Ranch bison ribs right out of the smoker.
Love the brawny taste of beef, but feeling a tad guilty about all that fat and cholesterol that go along with it?
Then, take a taste of bison.
Buffalo meat has much the same satisfying flavor, but with less fat and cholesterol, as well as fewer calories. Consider that a 3.5-ounce serving of choice beef has nearly 19 grams of fat, while the same portion of bison has just 2.42 grams. The bison also has more iron, B-12 and protein.
I admit I’ve eaten far more beef than bison, simply because it’s easier to find in most stores. So, I jumped at the chance when Durham Ranch of Wyoming offered to send me some samples to try.
The 55,000-acre ranch was started in 1965 by Armando Flocchini, a former butcher in San Francisco. It remains one of the largest bison ranches in North America.
Chef-Owner Jin Suzuki of Saratoga’s Hachi Ju Hachi is so finicky about his ingredients that he even makes his own salt.
At his restaurant, he practices the art of washoku: traditional Japanese food based on the principles of harmony, balance, simplicity and restraint.
Experience a taste when Suzuki joins me for an inspired cooking demo at 6 p.m. March 14 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
Enjoy a “Meet, Greet, Eat & Signing” with yours truly at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Sunnyvale Library.
Can you think of a better way to spend a part of your Sunday afternoon?
Nope, didn’t think so.
The signature Rachel’s Cake. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
Hands-On Valentine’s Baking Classes
Sure, you can go out to dinner with your sweetie in honor of Valentine’s Day. But why not bake something together for an especially sweet time instead?
Rachel’s Cakes of Burlingame is offering just that — two-hour, hands-on classes designed for couples to bake and decorate homemade sugar cookies.
The classes are: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 13; and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 14.
Each class is limited to four couples, and includes lessons in rolling, baking and decorating. Appetizers and beverages also will be served. You can take home your decorated cookies, as well as any unfinished ones with a supply of icing to complete them at home.
The class is $150 per couple. Reservations are required by calling (650) 393-4514. If you can’t make it to any of these, you’ll be glad to know Rachel’s offers other classes throughout the year.
On the flip side, if you want to leave the baking to someone else for Valentine’s Day, owner Rachel Richanbach will be happy to create a rustic or custom cake.
I had a chance to try some samples recently. Her cakes are all very moist, and taste quite homey.