Welcome to our November Box
Olio Nuovo 2020
Séka Hills – Brooks, California
Olio Nuovo means ‘new oil’ in Italian and is a celebration of the beginning of the olive harvest season. The olives are crushed just like for other olive oil, however, it is not put into tanks to settle, but rather bottled immediately. This bottle of Olio Nuovo from Seka Hills, from their estate orchard of Arbequina olives, is layered with aromas of green grass and has grassy and peppery flavors. These flavors will also evolve daily. This bottle is meant to be used within months of opening and is best stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Only a limited number of bottles of this oil is produced each year, and we were lucky enough to secure some.
Séka Hills is owned by the Wintun Nation people tribe known as the Yocha Dehe. Their ancestors were the original inhabitants of the Capay Valley. Today, the Yocha Dehe consider themselves stewards of the land and all decisions are made through the lens of that legacy of their ancestors and how they lived to protect and preserve the natural balance of the environment. With a commitment to the future of the Capay Valley the Yocha Dehe partner closely with local and national experts to help guide them to best practices in caring for the farmland, rangeland and water resources.
Learn more about Séka Hills by reading our blog post here. Seka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room in Capay Valley offers complimentary olive oil tastings. If you can’t make it to their tasting room, we have this handy video featuring Edie of Seka Hills demonstrating how to taste olive oil. It’s a fun thing to do at home if you have a few bottles around.
The Good Stuff – Sacramento, California
Janet McDonald, Owner
Oh, how we have been waiting for this jar of jam. It’s a real treat this time of year to savor the end of tomato season and capture it in a jar that is both slightly sweet and spicy, almost like a chutney. Janet McDonald, owner and maker of The Good Stuff knows her farmers and hand selects all of her produce for her jams. She tests each recipe and makes them with no pectin. This jam is perfect for chilly afternoons and paired with a grilled brie or on your next burger.
There are so many things we love about The Good Stuff, owner Janet McDonald and her jams, we don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with the jams. Janet creates flavor combinations that are enticing without being trendy or overboard. Some of our favorites are the Chili Apricot Jam – it’s got just the right amount of kick without being overpowering, and well...the apricots are just sublime. Read more about Janet and the apricots she uses in our blog post. Fig Orange Brandy is another favorite of ours. It’s versatile enough to be paired with everything from Brie or Goat Cheese to a warm croissant.
Then there is Janet! She is low key, intelligent and affable. She is thoughtful before she speaks and you can tell that she puts that same thoughtfulness into her recipes. She has a creative background and great taste. We think this makes her jams extra special too. Meet Janet by watching our video below.
Smoked and Seasoned Beef Strips
John Ford Ranch – Willits, California
I am comfortable saying this will be the best jerky you ever have. Really. It comes from a cattle rancher, whose business is cattle. A real deal cowboy, John Ford, who when we met by phone was busy moving his cattle around to avoid the fires and losing his herds, is all business and a storyteller. The jerky became a sideline after he made it each year and folks begged for more. It’s perfectly seasoned, and tender...and addictive. This is another rare item we are thrilled to share with you.
John is old school and raises his cattle free from antibiotics, and they are naturally grass fed. He isn’t fancy and prefers calling on the phone rather than email. His business ethic is strong and he has a simple approach. I think that is why I love this jerky so much. The ingredients are natural and simple and it results in one of the best jerky's you will ever have. It wasn’t easy to track down this jerky because it’s not sold in stores, but it was worth it. We feel lucky to have met John Ford and to have partnered with him, and to be able to share his wonderful product.
Sun Dried Figs
Full Belly Farm – Guinda, California
Wow, are these good! I know people say nature’s candy all the time, but these figs really are. They are bite sized morsels of sweet and chewy goodness. You can eat them right out of the bag, like I do, or throw them in your morning chia bowl. Or get creative and add them to your holiday Chex Mix recipe (after baking. Get our recipe here), or make a sauce for your pork loin. They are certified organic, from Full Belly Farm in Quinda. Full Belly is legendary in the Sacramento area and grows a huge variety of things (including grains and wool), they make jams and pastas and even offer a CSA box. We were thrilled to get our hands on these figs for November.
Full Belly Farm is 400 acres in the upper Capay Valley tucked away among beautiful rolling hills. They grow over 80 crops, including vegetables, herbs, nuts, flowers and fruits and are committed to keeping their crew employed year round. They are also committed to sustaining the land for future generations. In addition to organic practices, they maintain habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife and provide educational opportunities to schools. If you are local be sure to attend their next Hoes Down Festival in the Fall which is a fundraiser that has been called one of the best in the nation.
Meanwhile enjoy these figs straight out of the bag as a snack, or get fancy and make a fancy sauce for your next roast.
Blood Orange Brownie Mix
Sutter Buttes Olive Oil – Yuba City, California
We confess, we were attracted to this item as much for, well...brownies, as for the fact that it’s a kit and it comes with the cutest bottle of olive oil ever. Add in the blood orange twist and we were sold. We all need a helping hand during this busy season and having an item like this in the pantry will solve your last minute entertaining needs, or perhaps just your cravings. Sutter Buttes Olive Oil has done it again with this one, winning yet another Sofi Award for this product. These brownies are simply delicious and so easy to make.
Sutter Buttes constantly produces high quality award winning products. You may remember from our September Box we featured their Sofi Award winning Indian Butter Chicken Masala Sauce. Sutter Buttes is the product of hard work and love by owners Alka Kumar and Arek Kazmierczak. They combine their family traditions and their love of food with their travel experiences to develop winning flavor combinations. They began as olive growers and producers of olive oils, then branched out to infusing their olive oils using locally sourced produce. Things grew from there and they now offer a wide array of items such as tapenades, jams and sauces all using locally sourced ingredients.
Eatwell Farm – Dixon, California
Eatwell Farm is another working farm that has been providing fresh produce to the Sacramento area for decades. They also have a CSA and produce seasonal items such as their seasoned salts. We feature their Rosemary Salt in our November Farm to Fork in a Box because we love having a variety of salts in our pantry, especially this time of year. Rosemary Salt screams Fall roasting - so sprinkle it on chicken thighs, eggplant or butternut squash, or rim the glass of your next Bloody Mary with it. Rosemary salt is great for finishing, such as a steak right off the grill. You’ll feel like a pro dashing this on plates right before serving!
Eatwell Farm is located just outside of Dixon, southwest of Sacramento. They’ve been producing organic produce and pasture raised eggs for over 20 years. They grow hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables on 105 acres, headed up by owner Lorraine and a 15 member year round crew. These small farms continue to be able to operate through their CSA's. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and usually refers to a box of produce delivered straight from one farm or a farm collective to you. Most CSA’s now offer choices when it comes to each week’s selections as well as vacation holds. If you are not already getting a CSA, consider signing up for one. They support local farms, and provide you with the most direct way to get seasonal and usually organic local produce.
Chocolate Covered Candied Almonds
Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates – Sacramento, California
Couverture chocolatier Ginger Elizabeth is a local favorite for those in the know in Sacramento. Her chocolates are exquisite, her macarons perfection, her ice creams sublime. Everything she creates is with thoughtfulness and care. She is committed to sourcing as many of her ingredients locally as she can and personally visits all of her farm partners. These chocolate covered almonds are a simply indulgent treat made with the finest ingredients and passion.
Ginger’s passion is evident in everything she does from creating her confections to designing her own interiors. She recently opened a new bakery in Sacramento to compliment her chocolate shop. It’s adorable and very her. If you are local be sure to stop in her shop on L Street to get the best hot chocolate you have ever had, then pop over to her new Patisserie on J Street and grab a perfect Butter Croissant or Lemon Currant Cream Scone… you really can’t go wrong. If you are not from the area, you now how a stop on your itinerary for your next visit. Check out Visit Sacramento for other ideas while you visit.