California Heartland Episode 915 Transcript

California Heartland is made possible by The James G. Boswell Foundation, committed to sharing the stories and successes of California growers.  Bank of America, bank of opportunity.  Funding provided in part by, The California Farm Bureau Federation, proud publishers of “California Country” magazine.  More information is available at www.californiacountry.org .  And, by the Almond Board of California; California Almonds, loved around the world, grown in California’s Heartland. 

Coming up on California Heartland…

Is our fast food nation showing signs of slowing down?

The fundamental value is to create a food system that is good, clean and fair.

See how the California crusade for slow food celebrates healthy eating by planting a new type of victory garden!

And…

During the 40’s and 50’s, during the war everything was rationed so there basically was no wine market.

It’s the story of California’s oldest family owned winery.  Hear how the Gundlach Bundschu name survived prohibition, the war and the 1906 quake one grapevine at a time.

Plus…

It’s the taste of heirloom tomatoes.

A true tomato lover’s treasure! We’ll show you how to save your own heirloom tomato seeds for seasons to come.

Chris Burrous: From your backyard, to the back country, in a field, or on your family table, it’s all about what keeps California moving and growing, this is California Heartland.

Toan Lam: We all know what “fast” food is, but do you know what “slow” food is?

Beth McCourt: The slow food movement?

Paul Costello: No, I have not.

Beth McCourt: No.

Scott Stafford: The slow food movement?  I haven’t, have you?

Danri Baziel: No.

Joyce Mills: Yes, I’ve heard of the slow food movement.

Toan Lam: Those living the “slow life” say experience, is the best way to find out.

Toan Lam: That’s why we visited slow food guru, Anya Fernald right in the middle of her slow food dinner party!

Toan Lam: A lot of people at home may be wondering, slow food, do we eat slower…is it a diet? 

Anya Fernald: The concept is that you're going to be making food using ingredients that are high quality, ingredients that you know where they came from, and ingredients that are made in a way that is environmentally sustainable and delicious.  This is something that I can do in ten minutes after work.

Toan Lam: So, Anya what’s for dinner tonight?

Anya Fernald: We’re making pizza and hamburgers.  We’re doing the classic fast foods. 

Toan Lam: Fast food but slow…fast food but in a slow way. 

Anya Fernald: We’re making really good fast foods, we’re making it all with great ingredients, we’re using things from farmers that we know and people whose practices we respect.

Toan Lam: The slow food movement is all about healthy eating. With more than 85 thousand members worldwide, it’s everything fast food is not- eating fresh from neighborhood farms and stores.

Anya Fernald: The fundamental value is to create a food system that is good, clean and fair. So good, means delicious, clean, environmentally sound and fair.  And socially just, socially just means workers rights and that food is available affordably to all different communities.

Toan Lam: It’s a concept Anya not only lives by—it’s one that’s she’s dishing out for a living as executive director of the “slow food nation” in the bay area.

Anya Fernald: Wake up, we need to change something quick and do it joyously with small steps but we need to make a big change.

Toan Lam: In front of San Francisco’s city hall its obvious things are changing and growing in this new type of victory garden.

Toan Lam: This has become ground zero for Anya, spreading her seeds of knowledge about slow food by teaming up with John Bela, the garden’s designer.

Toan Lam: John, what's the significance of having a garden right in front of city hall, in San Francisco?

John Bela: Well, civic center is really the city's most symbolic space and everyone gets to express their values here. It just so happens that for us, it takes the lifecycle or the growing season of a plant to get the message out. So I think when people see a garden here, they say wow!  This is important.

Toan Lam: And how excited are you to see this beautiful garden?

Garden Lover: It’s really lucky to work so close to some place like this because I can just come down during my lunch break and take in the sights. 

Toan Lam: Today, this lawn outside the civic center is transformed into a temporary organic, green space.  It’s a place where people can really slow down and taste the slow food.

Toan Lam: What’s the goal of this garden?

Kelsey Siegel: The goal of this garden, there are several goals! mostly to inspire people to start growing their own food again, to get back to that obviously, to reduce your carbon footprint, to grow your food as close to home as possible start off by going to farmers markets.  If you're so inspired, you can grow it in your own backyard.  Of course it starts with that.  The reason why food is such a good way to educate people about it is because it’s the one common denominator that we all share.  We all have to eat, we may have differences in our lives but ultimately we all have to put this food in our mouth. 

Toan Lam: The victory garden isn’t a new concept.  Its historical roots were inspired by the self sufficiency efforts of World War II where yards from coast to coast were planted to send more resources overseas. 

John Bela: And then the city made land available.  All over the city, Golden Gate Park, backyards, front yards…almost every available scrap of land was used put to a productive use.

Toan Lam: Victory also means feeding thousands.  Each week, the harvested veggies from this garden go to the San Francisco Food Bank, where they’re sorted and sent to local food pantries.

Toan Lam: Paul, how much fresh produce comes out of this?

Paul Ash: Well, we have about 30 million pounds of fresh produce every year, and you can see some of it is heavy stuff then we have lettuce that’s light, watermelon, things like that. All great products, people are just thrilled to take this.

Toan Lam: San Francisco Food Bank’s executive director, Paul Ash believes the benefits of the garden and the movement is doing more than just filling the fridge.

Paul Ash: We want families to take that food home and take the time to prepare it and eat together as a family.  And that’s one of the values that we understand from people, build stronger families. 

Toan Lam: A lot of people may think, slow food, what does that have to do with food bank? I know that it really goes hand in hand, in your mission to get fresh organic produce out there right?

Paul Ash: Right, we know that when our families, people we serve go to the grocery store the most expensive place they can go to buy calories is the produce aisle. So often times, they can't go there. So when we can provide produce that is a whole segment of food that they’re probably not going to get anywhere else.

Rebecca Sullivan: Is this from your Dad’s garden Anya?

Anya Fernald: Yeah it is…Armenian Cucumber.

Toan Lam: I’ve never seen a cumber like that juicy! Very good!

Toan Lam: For followers of the movement making the connection with food, family and friends presents a shift in life physically, emotionally and socially.

Toan Lam: How did it change your life?

Rebecca Sullivan: I’m just really conscious of where I get everything now.  Really conscious and I want to know who’s been involved in making it, I don’t do fast food anymore.

Toan Lam: So I get it slow food, is about connecting with food.

Anya Fernald: Absolutely! To know where that food comes from and to pay that little bit of attention might help them make a choice that is healthier for them and healthier for the environment.

Rebecca Sullivan: It’s just more satisfying doing it this way.

Toan Lam: Cheers.

Rebecca Sullivan: Yeah, cheers to this tomato.

Kin O’Hair: Well, the garden is just such a motivating tool for the kids to get them to understand where food comes from. 

Kid: I was surprised because I didn’t know what pumpkins, squash and tomatoes could come out of there.

Kin O’Hair: It’s just real life, hands on experience.  It connects where they’re at and how they learn.  They’ll come out and try the flowers that they didn’t know were edible.

Kid: I didn’t know you could eat flowers. 

Kin O’Hair: So, the facts that they helped pick it and helped make it and they ate it.  Just different experiences, who gets to eat a flower?  Just look at any child’s face that comes in here, the enthusiasm they have, how much they learn, how much they love it- all of the vegetables they ate that they picked, you can’t get that out of a textbook. 

Kid: The best part is you get to learn more, education about the plants and stuff that you never knew before and sometimes it’s actually interesting.

Kids: We love working in our school garden!

Chris Burrous: From the chicken house to your house!  Poultry production is a two and a half billion dollar business here.  No wonder California is the fifth largest egg producing state in the nation!  And did you know that eggs are loaded with protein and full of essential amino acids your body needs.  Food and lifestyle expert Laura McIntosh is bringing it home from the crops to your kitchen.

Laura McIntosh: Well thanks for joining me, we are ready to cook it up and I’d to introduce to you our chef today, Tony Baker.  Thanks for joining us again.

Tony Baker: No worries this is awesome.

Laura McIntosh: Give me some background on you, where did you learn how to cook…

Tony Baker: Well, I’m English.  I’m from Bristol which in the Southwest of Britain and I worked at a lot of fancy foo-foo places before coming to the states.

Laura McIntosh: (laughs) Okay.

Tony Baker: And one of the places that I worked at was call Lucknam Park and they had this egg dish there that was to die for.  It had fresh shaved truffles and asparagus, so I’m doing a twist on that today.

Laura McIntosh: You’re going to make it California style?

Tony Baker: Yes, exactly!

Laura McIntosh: I love that!

Tony Baker: Okay!  So for this we’re gonna’ start by deep frying some butter. 

Laura McIntosh: (laughs) Deep frying butter, okay!

Tony Baker: So get your cardiologist.  Now, we’re going to do a simple thing called panning, we’ve all had everything breaded before.  Your flour, egg and crumb, it’s quite simple.  I have regular old all purpose flour. 

Laura McIntosh: Okay.

Tony Baker: I have eggs.  It’s a good idea to keep one hand wet and one hand dry, because if you get both hands wet, it ends up being one big gooey mess.  So egg, the flour makes the egg stick in case you didn’t guess.

Laura McIntosh: Of course!

Tony Baker: Ok, I’ve got some bread crumbs here.  These are those Panko breadcrumbs; you can get them at the store.  They are Japanese white bread crumbs. 

Laura McIntosh: Yeah, they’re great.

Tony Baker: Ok now, we’re gonna’ do what’s called double panning.  Pop it back in the egg.

Laura McIntosh: No way!

Tony Baker: And then hit it back in the breadcrumbs.  Now let me move this out of the way, I’m making a mess here.  I’m gonna’ put it on a clean counter, and just press it down a little bit we want a square we want nice clean edges.  Alright!

Laura McIntosh: Alright! This, deep fryer!

Tony Baker: Deep frying butter! 

Laura McIntosh: The temperature?

Tony Baker: 350, about 350.  It doesn’t take long; it’s already starting to get some color.  Yeah.  Ok, here’s our deep fried butter.  I’m going to cut this top off.

Laura McIntosh: I can’t wait to see this.

Tony Baker: Okay, we’re gonna’ get our bowl of butter. 

Laura McIntosh: That is amazing!

Tony Baker: And there is the base of our breakfast dish. 

Laura McIntosh: I’ve never seen anything like that before.

Tony Baker: It’s our deep fried butter. 

Laura McIntosh: Tony that is the coolest thing that is the coolest thing ever!

Tony Baker: Ok let’s get to our uh…we’re going to do something that everyone considers pretty simple, scrambled eggs.

Laura McIntosh: Yes!

Tony Baker: Nothing special about scrambled eggs.

Laura McIntosh: Okay.

Tony Baker: I like to spend the extra money and get the free range eggs. 

Laura McIntosh: Okay.

Tony Baker: And there is a difference, the taste.

Laura McIntosh: They do taste different, they’re very very good. 

Tony Baker: Now, there’s something in egg whites, when you add salt to it breaks it all down.  So the salt you do not want to put in until the last second before you cook them.

Laura McIntosh: I did not know that. 

Tony Baker: And I’m going to take some of this butter that we have left over and this is what we’re going to cook with. 

Laura McIntosh: I mean look at it, you deep fry it and it’s still hard.

Tony Baker: Oh yeah, that’s what’s clever about it.  Pop that butter in there ok.  Meanwhile down at the ranch we’re gonna’ do some asparagus. 

Laura McIntosh: Okay.

Tony Baker: This asparagus I’ve blanched, which means putting into boiling water and pretty much cooking it most of the way and shocking it into ice cold water. 

Laura McIntosh: Okay, so it keeps this green color?

Tony Baker: It keeps the beautiful green color, a little al dente, which means to the bite.  It’s got a little pop to it.  So you probably want to use five tips per serving.  And we’re going to season that with a little salt and then you can turn that off.

Laura McIntosh: Alright!  It’s done!

Tony Baker: Oh yeah, we’re just literally warming it up. 

Laura McIntosh: Did you guys see that?  Easy easy!  This is great this morning, this will be wonderful.

Tony Baker: Ok, I put my eggs in there.  Now remember we’re soft scrambling these, I don’t want these to be all hard and…

Laura McIntosh: So what you’re doing, and what I always tell my daughter is you have to continually stir scrambled eggs. 

Tony Baker: Stir scrambled eggs, yeah and the other thing we’re going to do to help us here, is we’re going to throw in a tad of heavy cream. 

Laura McIntosh: Mmm hmm.

Tony Baker: Just to make it even more heart healthy. 

Laura McIntosh: You’ve really blown this out of the water now, just too…I’m throwing that out there for all of you to know that I know and you know and we know.

Tony Baker: While that’s cooking, and that’s cooking kind of slowly, we’re going to get our plate here. 

Laura McIntosh: Ok, but a quick question.  You added the cream to the warm pan, it’s not gonna’ curdle?

Tony Baker: No, no we’re not going to boil it or anything.

Laura McIntosh: Okay, do I keep stirring it?

Tony Baker: Yes please, keep stirring it.  So our little bread basket is still warm because we just cooked it.  If it wasn’t you might want to pop it back into the oven just to bring it back to life again, alright?  Now, we’re going to take a couple tips of asparagus, excuse me. 

Laura McIntosh: It’s all ready to go?

Tony Baker: Thank you very much.

Laura McIntosh: All in the butter oh this is going to be fantastic.

Tony Baker: I’m going to pop them in the basket.  Ohh look at that!

Laura McIntosh: Look at that!

Tony Baker: 5 tips…just to add a little bit of richness to it and you don’t have to do it, but I’m going to add some smoked salmon. 

Laura McIntosh: Okay.

Tony Baker: So, I’m just going to put some beautiful smoked salmon on the plate.  You can certainly buy the salmon from any good super market.

Laura McIntosh: Yes.

Tony Baker: And our eggs are cookin’ up a storm there.

Laura McIntosh: What are you thinking?

Tony Baker: Just a little while long, you want them…

Laura McIntosh: Yeah, because I don’t know if I could do runny.

Tony Baker: No, you don’t want runny.

Tony Baker: Now remember the cream is not going to set, so the more cream that you add the softer they’re going to appear, even though the eggs are cooked.

Laura McIntosh: I see, okay.

Tony Baker: Ok, let me see that now Laura.

Laura McIntosh: Ok, you ready?

Tony Baker: I think we’re about ready, this is bangin’!  Now, you’ve got to remember if you cook eggs too much they’ll go green. 

Laura McIntosh: Oh they will?  I guess I’ve never cooked them too much.

Tony Baker: And the top!  This looks so great!  What an amazing dish!

Darrell Corti: Ok, everyone likes cheese and wine.  But sometimes you have to have a specific wine with a specific cheese.  A lot of times white wine goes better with some cheeses than red wine does.  And here we have two, petite syrah which is making a come back in California.  And a very old variety called Sauvignon Verte which are probably the only one’s left in the United States to grow.  Here you’ve got a white wine that goes very well with the soft paste cheeses and red wine that goes very well with the cheddar.  Apples, almonds, grapes- they’re all accompany to cheese- But just remember with California cheese the best things is California wine.

Chris Burrous: The roots of California’s farming families grow deep.  This is the heritage of our heartland.

Jacob Gundlach: I’m Jacob Gundlach’s great great grandson.  My name is Jim Bundschu, I restarted Jacob’s winery in 1973.

Jeff Bundschu: I am Jeff Bundschu, Jim Bundschu’s son and I’m the 6th generation Bundschu to grow grapes and make wine.

Manny Ramos: Hard work and a love for wine and laughter have carried six generations of the Gundlach Bundschu family through the ups and downs of what is today a successful wine business.

Manny Ramos: But entwined between the vines and the vintages, lies a story about a family that survived earthquakes and prohibition to become California’s oldest family-owned winery.

Manny Ramos: Thirty-nine year old Jeff Bundschu is now at the helm- his passion for family and wine fueled by the stories of how it all began.

Jeff Bundschu: He was 33 when he left Germany, his name was Jacob Gundlach and set out directly for San Francisco.  You know, attracted by the gold rush. 

Manny Ramos: …A trip that could have meant a different fate for this famous farming family.

Manny Ramos: So he was shipwrecked off the coast of Africa?  How long?  What happened?

Jeff Bundschu: It was a period of not very long, a couple weeks.  He was able to get himself to Brazil on another ship, then he was stranded there for about 6 months while he tried to regroup the ship and the company wouldn’t pay the rest of his way so that when he finally did get transported all the way around the cape and up the West Coast of South and North America, he arrived in San Francisco a year to the day that he left Germany.

Manny Ramos: Jacob arrived in San Francisco in 1857, too late for the gold rush, but did strike it big in the wine business. He purchased 400 acres of land in Sonoma and christened it Rhine farm.

Jim Bundschu: Jacob realized that if he could grow grapes along with some other vintners in Sonoma Valley, if they could grow grapes and produce wine that there was a burgeoning market for them on the East Coast of the United States.

Manny Ramos: The actual operation, still based in San Francisco, really took off when Jacob met savvy businessman Charles Bundschu in 1868.

Jeff Bundschu: He was another German immigrant to the city of San Francisco and had gone to work with Jacob and had ultimately ended up marrying Jacob’s daughter.  That’s how it went from Gundlach, to Gundlach and Bundschu.  Um, it was a father and son-in-law thing.

Manny Ramos: Charles not only married Jacob’s daughter, Francisca, he added his own creative sprit to the family business of making spirits.

Jeff Bundschu: He was a great writer and a great poet even in his adopted tongue of English.

Jeff Bundschu: The title of the piece is, Meditations on Wine.

Jeff Bundschu: The exhilaration power and stimulating inspiration imparted by a glass of pure wine, at all times benefited mankind in whole soled aspirations.

Manny Ramos: Charles led the family business through an event that changed the course of the winery’s history forever, the 1906 earthquake, which destroyed the San Francisco operation and forced them to relocate everything to the Sonoma vineyards.

Jim Bundschu: In forcing the family to move up to Sonoma they built a house where I was born and raised.  And, it involved them more in the community of Sonoma. 

Jeff Bundschu: Walter was my great grandfather and he basically had to pick up the pieces after the earthquake and he made wine until prohibition.  He stumbled along until prohibition was over, his wife Sadie was a prohibitionist and didn’t want him to open the winery again and so they were done. 

Jim Bundschu: She logistically owned the winery because after the fire and earthquake, the winery had to be refinanced and she had money from her side of the family and she literally padlocked the doors on the winery. 

Manny Ramos: With prohibition in full swing and the winery locked shut, Sadie’s son, Towle continued to keep the business in business—by growing grapes and selling them to other vintners for sacramental and medicinal wines and it stayed that way for decades.

Jim Bundschu: My father had the most difficult time because no one was drinking wine in the late 40’s; it was World War II when everything was rationed.  There basically was no wine market because there was no value in the wine, basically the winery he burnt it down.  He was a very intelligent man, but it just points out to me how little hope there was for him to maintain a viable ranch and vineyard in the 40’s and 50’s.

Manny Ramos: Towle struggled to keep the farm going but did so by adding pear orchards and cattle.  Until his son Jim and perhaps history beckoned to return the family winery to all its glory…by making wine again.

Manny Ramos: Jim’s underage foray into winemaking paid off. Today Gundlach Bundschu produces 50 thousand cases of wine in a massive operation run by Jim’s son, Jeff, the sixth generation of this venerable family, but what of the next generation- Jeff’s daughters, 9 year old Georgia Grace and 6 year old Eva?                                                                                            

Manny Ramos: So what do you think of the wine business?

Georgia Grace: I’ve tried wine, but it doesn’t taste too good. 

Manny Ramos: So are you going to take over the winery?

Georgia Grace: Maybe.

Manny Ramos: Well it may be too soon to look into the future for these two, but with 150 years of bottling history under their belts it’s pretty easy to see how this family will be celebrating for many generations to come.

Jeff Bundschu: So the toast is the gift of this place, the privilege of living its story and the honor of working with you to continue it.  Cheers!

Come see my California Heartland.  My job here at the co-op is to make sure all the rice gets here.  We store it and we ship it and we make sure that the quality is the best that we can get it.  So I’ve pulled a sample and we are shaking it where all the rice stays at the top and what falls through the holes are the bugs.  We check those probably 4-5 times a trailer.  Rice is everywhere, you see rice in your cereal, you’ll see rice in your soups and rice even in your beers.  It’s very important to the California economy, and I really enjoy being a part of the industry.  Thank you for coming to visit my California Heartland.

Chris Burrous: Everyone’s a farmer when it comes to their own backyard, try these tips for doin’ it Home Grown.

Fred Hoffman: Heirloom tomatoes, they’re gaining in popularity.  More and more farmers and backyard gardens are growing these beauties of antiquity.  Some heirloom tomatoes go all the way back to the 19th century.  The reason for their popularity- the size, the color, the flavor, the shapes but most of all it’s the taste of heirloom tomatoes.

Fred Hoffman: Nurseries now carry over a dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes, but there are plenty more available- over 100 varieties available as seeds from specialty seed companies.  The choice is yours, find the one you like and save the seeds for next year if you follow a few simple rules.

Fred Hoffman: We’re at the table where I’ll show you how to save heirloom tomato seeds.  The first rules to remember grow the plant you want in isolation from other tomato plants so it doesn’t cross pollinate.  Otherwise, you might end up with something like this- a mystery tomato!

Fred Hoffman: To save heirloom tomato seeds pick the ripest juiciest one you can find.  This is one of my favorite tomatoes, it’s called the Bloody Butcher from England and dates back to the 1800’s.  To save the seeds you want to use a serrated knife, and cut across the equator of the tomato exactly in half.  And then you’re going to squeeze the contents into a clean plastic or glass container…oh you see all that juice, that’s why it’s called Bloody Butcher.  After you’ve squeezed the pulp into the container take a lid and apply it loosely.  You want to keep this in a warm dark location for about two or three days.  This allows it to ferment and this will dissolve the gel coating around the seeds.  But don’t leave it for more than 3 days in here, otherwise the seeds may germinate.

Fred Hoffman: Just like the old prospectors used to pan for gold, heirloom tomato growers can pan for the greatest tomato seeds in the world.  First of all, you take the big chunks out and leave behind the seeds and the liquid.  Then you’ll strain the liquid and the tomato seeds through a good sized strainer into your compost can.  And what’s left?  Beautiful heirloom tomato seeds for the next growing season.

Fred Hoffman: To save the seeds what you need is a dry coffee filter or a paper plate.  And you’ll just scrap the seeds out of the strainer into the dry coffee filter.  You’ll need to keep it there in a dry cool place for about 2-7 days.  You may have to take your fingers and work them around to loosen them up, but at the end of that time you’re going to have some very nice seeds.

Fred Hoffman: Be sure to store your tomato seeds in a cool dry location, like under your bed.  Put them in a glass jar, that’s perfect.  And be sure you put a label on it so you don’t forget what they are.  These tomato seeds they’re going to last 5 to 7 years, that’s a lot of growing seasons for you to enjoy the taste of home grown tomatoes and nothing beats the taste of an heirloom tomato.

Chris Burrous: That’s California Heartland, for more information on any of these stories go to Californiaheartland.org I’m Chris Burrous see you next time.

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California Heartland is made possible by The James G. Boswell Foundation, committed to sharing the stories and successes of California growers.  Bank of America, bank of opportunity.  Funding provided in part by, The California Farm Bureau Federation, proud publishers of “California Country” magazine.  More information is available at www.californiacountry.org .  And, by the Almond Board of California; California Almonds, loved around the world, grown in California’s Heartland.