Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pickled Chanterelles and My Very Real Martha Moment


Here's a very simple recipe to use the glut of chanterelle mushrooms we picked the other day.  Since our chanterelle season is going on for a while yet, I have a feeling I'm going to be making this recipe quite a few times this year.  Happily, it's really easy, and the resulting pickled chanterelles are really fantastic, tangy, earthy, spicy, and with just little sweetness from the raisins.  They are so versatile - you can eat them outright, toss in pasta, throw into omelettes, pile on top of steamed rice, use as condiment for a steak, all kinds of roasts or even a burger. The pickling liquid is sort of like a vinaigrette, so you could even toss a few spoonfuls with salad greens, perhaps add a bit more olive oil to freshen it up a bit.

I'm not sure where this recipe came from.  It's one of those recipes that got pass along from one cook's Moleskine notebook to the next, until the origin became a bit blurry.  I've heard it was from one of Jean-Georges Vongerichten books - but I don't know for sure.  Well, if it indeed was, then consider this a credit and thanks to him.  Here's the recipe, as adapted by me.

Continue reading "Pickled Chanterelles and My Very Real Martha Moment" »

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Here...mushroom, mushroom


This post is about foraging for chanterelle mushrooms, but frankly the word forage makes it sound way too hard.  We're having such a great mushroom season, so wet and cold, that one could just go out to a good spot and calls out "here...mushroom, mushroom" and the chanterelles practically leapt on to one's open arms.  That's how easy it was.  Not to mention plentiful - nearly 40lbs worth on one foraging trip alone. 

Wait, what's that I'm hearing?  Is that you, mumbling something under your breath about mushroom toxin and people dying each year from eating mushrooms they foraged?  It is scary, I know.  Really, you'd be hard pressed to find a more cowardly person than me when it came to that.  So, what was I doing foraging for mushrooms death-in-a-bite, you asked?  Well, that's because there is help yet, even for the wimpiest of us.  I went hunting for chanterelles, you see?  

Continue reading "Here...mushroom, mushroom" »

Menu for Hope 6 final total ($78,818!) and minor housekeeping

MFH6logo Just a quickie note here to let you know that our Menu for Hope 6 now has a final total $78,818!  Nearly $80K - nothing to sneer at in a recession, huh?  That's a lot of farmers we'll be supporting and lots of hungry people we're going to be feeding via the good work of the WFP.

Derrick and I are doing the final tally and picking the raffle winners, but before we can finish we're doing a bit of housekeeping on the donation records and raffle picks.  If you see an email from us today, that means there's a problem with your raffle pick (nothing big, usually just invalid item codes), please reply asap so that we can correct the records and make sure all of your raffle choices are accounted for. 

We're still on for final raffle announcement on Monday January 18.  Check back here to see if your good karma pays off!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Menu for Hope 6 - $53,765.00 and counting

MFH6logoCheck out our list of raffle items and make your bid today.  Menu for Hope continues until December 31st.

If you've already helped us, thank you so much and have a very happy holidays.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Menu for Hope 6 - $28,530 (and counting) plus new prizes

Menu for Hope 6 is beginning our second week with some very impressive numbers, we've now raised $28,530 (and counting) for the UN World Food Programme.  And, to launch into our second week in style, we're bringing in some fantastic new items to our raffle.  Over in Europe, our regional host David Lebovitz brought in some impressive stuff, including a Krups professional deep-fryer (shipped to EU countries only) and an array of delectable chocolates.  Our wine host Alder Yarrow of Vinography added to his list a luxury getaway at Meadowood Resort in Napa to his already impressive line-up of bid items. 

Over here on Chez Pim, I've got quite a few cool new raffle items to add as well.  I hope some of these new items will entice you to donate to Menu for Hope and make your bids - the more you give, the better your chances!  Ok, enough overture, let's get on to the good stuff.

UW44 Coffee with Ruth Reichl

UW44 Are you a fan of Gourmet?  Or perhaps a fan of Ruth herself?  Here's your chance to meet her face to face!  Ruth has generously offer her time to help Menu for Hope.  She'll take the winner of this bid item to coffee somewhere in NYC. 

UW45  Up your backyard gardening game with two classes with Cynthia Sandberg of Love Apple Farm

UW45 Cynthia Sandberg, the wonderful farmer behind the famous Love Apple Farm, which is also the biodynamic kitchen garden for Manresa restaurant, teaches a tons of great classes each year at the farm.  You may choose to learn how to grow better tomatoes, how to keep backyard chickens, and many other skills to up your gardening game (and your neighbors' to shame).  This bid item includes any two classes offered at the farm.  Advance registration applies.

UE42  Midtown lunch tour with Midtown Lunch

UE42 Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch will take you on a midtown lunch tour like no other.  He took me on it when I was in NY a couple months ago, and let me just tell you it's an experience I won't soon forget.  Even if you're already a midtown luncher and knows the lay of the land just as well as the guy in the next cubicle, you'll still want to bid on this one, because there's nothing like midtown lunching with the king of Midtown Lunch himself.  

UE43  1/2lb of black truffles from France

UE43 Are you a fan of French black truffles?  Have you always wanted to try one but never had a chance?  Your chance is now here.  The lovely Celine Labaune, proprietor of Gourmet Attitude in NYC, and the source of truffles to top restaurants such as Alinea, Daniel, The French laundry, Manresa, Per Se, and many others, will send you 1/2lbs of black truffles (value $700) from Richerenches, France.  This prize can be shipped via Fedex overnight to anywhere in the US.

Are you interested now?  Go give to Menu for Hope 6 in support of the UN World Food Programme and bid today!

To see the rest of the prizes please go to this link here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Menu for Hope, these are a few of my favorite things

I've been busy with other tasks for Menu for Hope that I've neglected to point out my own favorite things that I've gathered for the raffle.  Every year I ask friends who are chefs and producers of amazing things to help offer up the results of their hard work to entice you -yes, you- to donate to our Menu for Hope.  Here's the list of this year's items.  I hope some of these will strike your fancy. 

UW04  Dinner for two at the Michelin 2-star Manresa.

UW04You'll be invite to feast on the Grand Tasting Menu wine pairing and a personal tour of the restaurant's biodynamic kitchen garden at Love Apple Farm.  The Grand Tasting Menu+wine pairings for two at Michelin 2-star Manresa, AND a tour of the restaurant's biodynamic garden at Love Apple Farm.  Manresa is, of course, my favorite restaurant in the world - and that's not only because I live with the chef ;-) but also because I am fully aware of the care and the love he pours into his restaurant.  David's food is not only delicious but also thoughtful, rooted, and always inspiring.  If you haven't had a chance to try it, this will be an experience you will not soon forget. 

UW06  Dinner for two at Daniel Patterson's Michelin 2-star Coi. Plus, dinner for two at his more casual spot at the Ferry Plaza, Il Cane Rosso.

UW06Daniel is not only a good friend, but he's also my favorite chef in San Francisco.  His flagship Coi is an intimate restaurant, an oasis in the midst of the craziness that is North Beach.  But don't let the location deter you, once you're inside Coi you'll be treated to such a calming, rejuvenating atmosphere and the kind of food that'll make you rethink what you thought you knew about an ingredient.  Daniel's second spot, the casual Il Cane Rosso at the Ferry Building, is his new venture, and it's no les delightful.  The tiny Il Cane Rosso serves family style dinner, with scrumptious home-y food but with top notch ingredients and perfect preparation.   

WB22 Dinner with the indomitable Randall Grahm at Cellar Door in Santa Cruz, plus Been Doon So Long

WB22 My dear friend and neighbor Randall Grahm is one of the most influential figures in the American wine industry. Founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, Randall pioneered many things that are commonplace today in winemaking and wine marketing. Still at the helm of Bonny Doon, Grahm has completely changed his approach to winemaking in the last few years, going from high production to low production and embracing Biodynamic winemaking to the fullest.

For Menu for Hope, Randall invites you (and your +1) to join him for dinner at his Cellar Door cafe at the Bonny Doon winery and tasting room in downtown Santa Cruz.  He'll pull a special bottle out of the esteemed cellar, and bring a long a copy of his latest book, Been Doon So Long, which he'll gladly sign, just for you.

UW05  Six jars of Chez Pim’s artisan marmalade and jam, plus an autographed copy of The Foodie Handbook

UW05I wrote about this already, but in case you haven't seen it, I'm also offering a personally autographed copy of my book, The Foodie Handbook: the (almost) definitive guide to gastronomy, plus six jars of my own line of jam and marmalade.  I'll pick you some of my favorite varieties and personally sign the copy of my book for you, plus, I'll ship them anywhere in the world even.  Did I say I'll ship them anywhere in the world?  I did?  Good!  Because I really will ship them anywhere in the world (though any Customs problems will be between you and your Customs agents.)  More about this prize here. 

UW07  Four months subscription to Citizen Bean, plus the Welcome Kit

UW07I've been a fan of Citizen Bean service for almost two years now.  They have beans from some of the best names like Victrola, Gimme, and Counter Culture.  But the best part about Citizen Bean is how they introduce me to tiny roasters from faraway places I would never otherwise know about, like Doma in Post Falls, Idaho ( their Ruby's Organic Espresso is on my favorite list) and Kickapoo in Viroqua, Wisconsin which has just been named Roast Magazine 2010 Roaster of the year.  Citizen Bean sent me beans from Kickapoo long before this top honor.  Mal, the proprietor of Citizen Bean, who's also become a friend, has a nose for this kind of thing.  For your $10 donation to Menu for Hope, plus a little luck, Mal will send you four months subscription, and also the welcome kit which has just about everything you'll need to be properly caffeinated every morning.

UW08  *emera Camera Tote Bag

UW08Get an *emera bag of your own!  Tote your favorite DSLR in style in my favorite camera bag, the one-and-only *emera Bag!   It's a camera bag that doesn't look at all like a camera bag.  Instead, it's a very comfortable, stylish tote bag that comes with the kind of protection you'd expect from any good camera bag, plus there's enough room for my purse, keys, and even my magic make-up pouch.  I took the bag with me to Tokyo on my recent trip, and I can't tell you how many timesI was stopped and asked where I got my gorgeous camera bag.  I might have opened a whole new market for them! You'll love one too, I'm sure.

UW09  Two spots in a hands-on butchering class by Ryan Farr of "4505 Meats" in San Francisco

UW09Haven't you heard?  Butchers are the new rock stars!  Or maybe it's butchers are the new black.  Ok, whatever.  But butchers are sure hot right now.  Julie Powell wrote a book about it.  So did my friend Tea.  Even Epicurious agrees.  And if you want to try your hands at being one, or just get a little closer to learning where the meats we eat come from, you'll love to join one of Ryan's classes at 4505 Meats in San Francisco.  You can learn how to butcher a whole pig, or a lamb, or how to make your own sausages.  You'll learn lots and even become a little more hip in the process.  How can you beat that? 

MFH6logoFor the full raffle item list organized by theme, go to this post.

For the donation form and our spiffy bid selector tool, go here.

Or if you want to browse the list by region, visit our regional host blogs:

Europe (hosted by David Lebovitz)
Asia Pacific (hosted by Ed of Tomato)
USA: East Coast (hosted by Helen of Tartelette)
USA: West Coast (hosted by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl)
Canada (hosted by Tara of Seven Spoons)

plusour special wine blog host: plus Alder of Vinography

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Menu for Hope has a spiffy new donation form

spiffy new Menu for Hope donation form

No more writing down bid item codes in a little piece of paper.  No more typos.  No more wondering if you put the codes into the right box at Firstgiving.  This spiffy new donation form does it all for you.  Just click on the picture to go there.  Or click here, if you must.

Bidding is now super easy, donate now!  (Or come up with a new excuse, quick!)

UW05: marmalade, and book, for hope?


Here's my personal offer for the Menu for Hope raffle in support of the World Food Programme: six jars of Chez Pim artisan marmalade and jam, plus a signed copy of my new book, The Foodie Handbook: the (almost) definitive guide to gastronomy (bid item code UW05).  I'm sure you've heard of the book, but many of you might not know that I also make marmalade and jam.  That's probably because I only make small tiny batches at a time.  I have them up for sale on my Etsy shop about twice a year, and usually sold out a couple days after the shop has been stocked.  Some of them are even sold on futures, that's to say spoken for before they're made! 

UW05 The marmalades are my pride and joy.  They're made from rare, exotic citrus grown sustainably in the hills of Watsonville, California.  Each small batch is handmade from a single varietal to preserve its own distinct qualities, adding only minimally refined organic sugar, and using the pectin naturally extracted from citrus - because commercial pectin is only for the timid.  The jams, also my favorites, are made in much the same artisan manners - with heirloom fruits grown in the local area.  No pectin in these either. 

I'm offering a selection of six jars, with marmalades (mostly haven't been made yet) and jams from the summer.  I promise you'll love them. Make yourself some toasts, spread them with good butter and my jam or marmalade, then snuggle up with the book for a cozy Sunday morning in.  

Go ahead and get to the spiffy new donation form to donate and good luck on the raffle!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Menu for Hope 6 - the delectable list

[You may also jump directly to our donation form where you will find the list of all the raffle items, showing hot items and cold items (which means you have a better chance to win).]

Here it is ladies and gentleman, the official list of delectable items for your bidding pleasure.  Donate to Menu for Hope 6 in support of the UN World Food Programme and good karma might help you win one.

Once again, food and wine bloggers from all over the world united to offer up a list of these delectable items for the Menu fro Hope raffle.  We've got something for everyone. 

Dining is your pleasure? One of these meals might suit you. 

Love to try delicious foods from all over the world?  We've got just about everything for your appetite. 

If chocolate is your vice, we've got just the list for you.  

Or maybe some wine? We have stuff here that'll impress even the geekiest of wine geeks.

Need another culinary book?  We've got many, and some even autographed. 

Not quite enough tools in your kitchen, we've got some amazing stuff that'll turn you and your cuisine positively pro! 

Your life is getting too much and you could use a getaway?  We've got the most perfectly delicious places to hide.

Want to improve your photography skills? Of course you do!

We've also got other miscellaneous cool gifts you want to check out.

So check them out and head over to First Giving to donate - the more you donate, the better karma, and the bigger chance to take one of these delicious things home.

Continue reading "Menu for Hope 6 - the delectable list" »

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu for Hope 6


(The full list of bid items is now up, click here to go directly there.)

Welcome to Menu for Hope 6.  Yes, it's been six years since our first little-campaign-that-could was born, banding together food and wine bloggers from all over the world to raise funds in support of worthy causes.  For the past three years we've worked with the UN World Food Programme and raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars in support of their school lunch program.  This year, we're once again working with WFP, this time to highlight the Purchase for Progress

MFH6logo What is Menu for Hope?

Menu for Hope is an annual fundraising campaign hosted by me and a revolving group of food bloggers around the world.  Five years ago, the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia inspired me to find a way to help, and the very first Menu for Hope was born. The campaign has since become a yearly affair.

Each December, food bloggers from all over the world join the campaign by offering a delectable array of food-related items for the Menu for Hope raffle. Anyone – and that means you too - can participate. For every $10 donated, you earn one virtual ticket to bid on an item of your choice. At the end of the two-week campaign, the tickets are drawn and the results announced on Chez Pim on Monday, January 18.

In the past three years, Menu for Hope have raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to help the WFP end world hunger.

Who is the beneficiary of this year's campaign?

Menu for Hope (for three years and counting) supports the good work of the UN World Food Programme.  WFP is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good. 

In the last two campaigns, we helped support a school lunch program in Lesotho.  This year we're changing our direction a tiny bit.  We're highlighting a new initiative at the WFP called Purchase for Progress (P4P).  P4P enables smallholder and low-income farmers to supply food to WFP’s global operation.  P4P helps farmers improves farming practices and puts more cash directly into their pockets in return for their crops.  This will also help buoy local economy by creating jobs and income locally.  We food bloggers understand the importance of buying locally and supporting our local farms, P4P helps do the same for farmers in low income countries around the world.  More on P4P at

Also, in a symbolic move, we're joining the WFP's A Billion for A Billion campaign.  For the first time ever, over a billion people are chronically hungry worldwide. There are also over a billion people who, like you and I, are in the position to help.  Taking part in the Menu for Hope raffle and you can join the billion who chose to make a difference.  Find out more about A Billion for A Billion here:  You can make a donation directly to WFP there, but if you want to join the Menu for Hope 6 raffle you'll have to play here with us.

Who collects the money?  The local hosts?  Pim?

Definitely not me.  Nor any other bloggers participating in the program.  We use a third party site called First Giving who collects the donation and send the money directly to the WFP.  No one's sending me a check or money order, and no one on the Menu for Hope team is making a dime out of this - unless you count good karma dimes, in which case we've made aplenty.  Find out more about how FirstGiving works here.

How can you help?

Browse the amazing array of delectable items offered by food and wine bloggers from all over the world.  You may also browse the bid items by region:

Europe (hosted by David Lebovitz)
Asia Pacific (hosted by Ed of Tomatom)
USA: East Coast (hosted by Helen of Tartelette)
USA: West Coast (hosted by Shauna of Gluten Free Girl)
Canada (hosted by Tara of Seven Spoons)

or if you're a wine geek you might want to head directly to see Alder at Vinography for the wine related bit items.

(The full list of worldwide raffle bid items will be up in just a little bit.  Check back here soon!) is now up!

Once you find an item or items you want, then go and make a donation to Menu for Hope 6 at First Giving.  For every $10 you donate, you may select one raffle bid item.  The more you donate, the more chances to get the item(s) you want. 

Even if you don't have much to share, don't count us out just yet.  In the past three years, over 80% of our donors gave less than $50, and in the same period we raised nearly $250K.  That's a lot of ten dollar bills from people just like you to make up nearly a quarter million!

If you don't want to indulge yourself with our delicious raffle bid items, consider donating $10 in your friend's or family's name, pick something they might like from our raffle.  Who knew, your $10 might get them the chef's Grand Tasting men with wine pairing for two at the Michelin 2-star Manresa in Los Gatos!

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