WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE – Ann M. Evans
I’m officially excited. Sacramento Bee loved my latest book, Davis Farmers Market Cookbook, Revised Edition (Elderflower Press, 2016, $26.95). The book is available at the Davis Food Co-op, Davis ACE, Avid Reader, UC Davis Stores, Hot Italian, Creme de la Creme in Davis, CA, and at the Davis Farmers Market. In Yolo County, find it at Seka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Brooks. Find it on line through UC Davis Bookstores (hot link gets you to the book to buy) or Amazon. In Winters, find the book at Preserve’s new General Market. In Sacramento, find it at Avid Reader Books – Sacramento and at Soil Born Farm, and in San Francisco, find it at Book Passage at the Ferry Building. The book has 72 seasonal recipes (20 are new), features the market’s farmers and vendors, and has a year of monthly seasonal menu’s using recipes from the book. Read my story of the history of the market. UC Davis Magazine also featured the students who started the market, including me. Read it.
On my website you’ll find information about my consulting business, Ann M. Evans consulting, recipes, articles/books, consulting work, and illustrations available as notecards or for single use in the design of personal and commercial communication. My illustrations are mostly from my garden. I design notecards because I believe in the hand written word, a lost art in today’s electronic age and because if you eat seasonally, you’ll want a wardrobe of seasonal stationery. Below are some of my latest recipes which I hope you’ll enjoy. My column, At My Table, can be found in the Davis Enterprise and the Woodland Daily Democrat.
Edible Flowers, like those of Arugula at left, are an important part of my year round kitchen garden. Right now, April, I’m harvesting bright orange calendula petals for green salads with fava bean leaves, cream colored, spicy arugula flowers for decorating grain salads such as with farro, bright blue rosemary flowers to go with grilled chicken or beef, and violets, which I like to candy and put on top of cupcakes for the children in my life, little and big. Read more about edible flowers you can plant.
Preserved Lemons – Meyer (thin skinned). It’s March, and my Meyer lemon tree is loaded with fruit. So I recently made preserved lemons with Meyers, which are sweeter and thinner skinned than the classic, sour Eureka or Lisbon lemons. I serve this with roast chicken or any Middle Eastern dish. I also have a recipe on my website for preserved lemons with the Eureka lemon.
Marmalade. It’s February, which means my Naval oranges and Eureka lemons are ripe. This year I’m making marmalade with Allie Lesser who’s teaching me how to cook Lebanese food. The recipe uses no pectin, so while it’s easy, don’t multiply up, and do watch for the gelling point. I give some tips in the recipe, but practice makes perfect. Too liquid — syrup for a sponge cake; too hard — chunky topping for ice cream.
Lemon Curd. With an abundance of lemons on both my Meyer and my Eureka Lemon trees, I’m making lemon curd this January. I use it warm on toast for breakfast, serve it for a late afternoon tea on an English muffin or a crumpet, and, in a small tart for a dinner dessert on the weekends or for company. Sometimes I eat it by the spoonful from the jar. This puts me in the mood for a proper tea party.
Cranberry Shrub with Buddha Hand Citron and Ginger. I’m serving this Christmas evening before dinner, with sparkling water or wine. Make the fruit syrup several days ahead of time, it will store for several months in the refrigerator. My Buddha Hand Citron tree grew two fruit this year, which is how I happened upon putting them in the shrub. You can substitute lemon peel if needed.
Olde English Piccalilli is a favorite condiment recipe I make at the end of summer with green tomatoes from my garden. My English husband loves it with any cold meats, chicken, ham, roast beef. It will transport you to an English pub and bucolic countryside, I promise. I include it in my new Davis Farmers Market Cookbook.
Quince Chutney is a favorite fall product to can. I pick them from a French friend’s tree, usually early November, and trade him some of my bee’s honey for his quince. Though I’ve made it for years and changed it a bit, the recipe is from Annie Main, in 2004, when we had a business together making confitures, Evans & Main. She still makes it and offers it for sale at the Davis Farmers Market. It’s delicious.
Fig Jam is a staple in my glass pantry and I make it every September. I serve it with a cheese course in the fall with fresh walnuts and some of my bees’ honeycomb. I don’t have a fig tree, but my friends who do are very generous and provide me with enough for several batches of jam.
Homemade Ketchup is a favorite pastime of mine in August. I devote a day to it and then enjoy it the rest of the year. This year, I’ve made a date with my niece Rayne to make it together. I enjoy the time in the kitchen with her, and then she has something special for holiday gifts and her family’s table. Call me American, but I especially enjoy this ketchup on scrambled eggs made fresh from my chickens.
Mint Infused Simple Syrup with Fresh Lemonade is what I make in June and July when my lemons are dropping off the tree and I’m madly pulling out the mint which spreading throughout my garden. I serve it French style, inspired by sipping Citron Presse in Provence many a summer on the village square. The mint syrup lasts for up to three months in refrigerator and is good in sparkling wine or water as well.
Elderflower Cordial is what I make in April or May, from flowers I gather on the roadside in Yolo County. It’s a lovely and easy way to preserve the season, and no one can quite believe the taste — a hint of herbal, of lemon, or wild, of vanilla, or lemon verbena. Great in sparkling water or wine with ice.
The drawing to the left is of elderflower I drew in Monterey County. It grows along the roadside throughout California’s back country roads. Elderflower is a popular drink throughout England and France, and many there, like I do, make their own simply syrup elderflower cordial.
Cherry Ginger Chutney is great to make in April-May-June, cherry season. It is perfect with a cheese course, with Indian curry, or with duck breast and any kind of pork roast or chop.
Candied Kumquats are a sweet and tart sauce to add over almond pound cake or ice cream. You can make this now, in March-April, while kumquats are still ripe on the tree, and freeze it for later use.
Marmalade with Three Kinds of Citrus is one of my specialities. I make it with my navel oranges, lemons and a neighbor’s grapefruits in February, and then store it in my glass pantry throughout the year, occasionally using it as a hostess gift. My English husband and brother-in-law love it. This is a real marmalade lovers’ marmalade, a little bitter with lots of peel.
Preserved Lemons is a favorite winter recipe. To the right is my drawing of the Eureka lemons in my garden. The lemons are ripe now, any varietal will work. Use them with roast chicken and various Middle Eastern dishes. You can also find this under Recipes on my website. There you’ll also find recipes for preserving by the season, and making festive dishes.
I’m working on the Revised Edition of the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook. Look for it in Spring 2017. In addition, lately, there’s been interest in the changes took place in food in the 1970’s with co-ops and farmers markets. Here’s my tale of the history of the Davis Farmers Market, Introduction to the Davis Farmers Market Cookbook, a cookbook which I coauthored with Georgeanne Brennan. I’ve decided the time has come to write a history of the Davis Food Co-op, contextualized within the California Food Movement of the 1970’s. I cofounded the store at the same time as the Davis Farmers Market, and served in the Jerry Brown 1 administration which participated in many of the changes that provided for the growth in certified farmers markets we have in California today. Stay tuned. I begin in 2016.