Tuesday, February 19, 2013

San Diego Herb Club

Today I was the guest speaker for a meeting of the San Diego Herb Club, at the invitation of one of my farmers market friends, Barbara.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I was given a broad mandate as to subject matter. The group is into serious gardening as well as cooking, culture and fine living.  These ladies have traveled extensively, had they seen it all?  Let me see what I can come up with that will fresh and fun…..to start, a kir royale: Champagne or sparkling wine with a liqueur.  Today we used the crème de Pêche de Vigne that comes from the best of the best, Briottet in Dijon.  It was a big hit, not to mention delicious~


The ladies had their regular meeting while I prepared a last-minute addition to the menu, the Gruyere gougères or cheese puffs that I love so much.  I gave everyone a copy of the recipe, and then they enjoyed several batches.


Before I tell you about the event, I want to tell you that I walked in to Barbara’s home and went gaw~ there are not many homes I walk into and say “I could live here”…but this was definitely one, love love love her kitchen, starting with the dual Gaggenau ovens with side-opening doors and the beautiful counters, cabinetry, and display of English culinary antiques~


I brought a pumpkin soup with crusty crouton garnish, all heated up in a copper faitout of course~


We also made a wonderful salad of Chino Farm greens, vinaigrette made with Maille fine de Dijon mustard from Beaune that everyone loved, and celery root, also from Chino.  I took the group on a recipe tour through a few cookbooks I had brought…discussing celery root, gougères and a few other interesting topics….


We also had puff pastry apple tarte and divided up a series of French seed packets; and discussed the full range of celery.  Who know celery and seeds could be so exciting??!~


Barbara’s home is definitely photo-worthy, and it makes me miss my Anglophile days…..why didn’t I buy more when I lived in London?  I’m hoping she will let me come back and do a special photo session on her home and her collections and pine furniture for publication.  You would love to see all of her home!


Many thanks to Barbara and the San Diego Herb Club for having me today.  I made so many wonderful new friends, and I look forward to circling back with many of you.  Let’s do this again soon!


  1. I think they were the lucky ones!!!

  2. Merci à vous pour cette merveilleuse publication et ce partage de belles photos accompagnées de bons mots...
    Gros bisous

  3. Sounds like a delightful day, good conversation, friends and food.
    I have that French cook book.


  4. Dear Andrea,
    Thia is just the sort of group I would love to join! When I first moved to San Diego I was introduced to the Kir Royale by a new friend. The Peach liqueur with champagne is so delish!

    Love Barbara's collections and home!

    Love and Hugs,

    Art by Karena

  5. I would love the cheese puff recipe. Had them for the first time in Paris last month. Everyone said they are très facile but they don't look like they would be!

    1. Virginia, you can find the recipe here, with a pic of how they are served in Beaune: http://frenchbasketeer.blogspot.com/2011/12/gougeres.html

  6. Sounds like a day I would enjoy very much, food, gardening,cook books....her home is lovely, it looks collected, lived in, enjoyed! Perfection! N.xo

  7. Andrea, this looks like a wonderful day to spend a few hours. I am sure that your lecture and tasty treats were enjoyed by all in attendance. I am looking forward to your new ebook!

    Have a great week, Elizabeth

  8. Sounds like a fabulous event at a gorgeous home.

  9. This is a fine example of the depth and breadth of your talents. It sounds as if the San Diego Herb Club had a wonderful day with you at the helm. When are you running your inaugural tour of Burgundy - you are so knowledgeable and have much to offer the most seasoned traveller. Bisous