Beginning with their iconic Country Loaf, San Francisco's Tartine Bakery has popularized European-style bread and pastries with outposts in Los Angeles and Seoul, and now through their series of beautiful cookbooks: Tartine, Tartine Bread, Tartine Book No. 3 and Tartine All Day. For our June gathering, we threw carb-counting to the wind and enjoyed a bounty of delicious breads, desserts and main dishes at Linda’s lovely home in Point Loma.
As always, several of us expanded our repertoire by making something we had never prepared before. Mary fermented her own sourdough starter as the basis for Basic Bread (White-Wheat Blend); Jen perfected a gluten-free Teff Carrot Cake, and Kim cooked with intoxicants for the first time to prepare Champagne Gelee with Strawberries.
Some cooks also covered more familiar ground: Becky, who is always on the lookout for a good brownie recipe, tested Tartine’s rich and fudgy version of this classic bar cookie recipe. MaryLou, our master bread baker, made a variation on Tartine’s Semolina Bread which added a blend of golden raisins, fennel seed and orange zest. Dianne had made other versions of Involtini before trying Tartine’s version of this eggplant dish with ricotta, lemon zest and tomatoes, which ended up the runaway crowd favorite.
Our table was largely a vegetarian one this month, with the notable exception of Adele’s Savory Bread Pudding with Wild Mushrooms, which included a with- and without-bacon version; and Susie’s Black-Eyed Peas, Ham & Collards.
With so many desserts this month, we voted for our favorite savory and sweet dishes separately. Dianne’s Involtini was the top pick in the savory category.
Next favorite was Sue’s Cheese and Pepper Crackers with Goat Cheese Garlic Spread (guaranteed to keep vampires at bay).
Our third favorite was MaryLou’s Baked Ricotta Dumplings in Rich Tomato Sauce.
In the dessert category, Kim’s cool, refreshing Champagne Gelee with Strawberries took the proverbial cake
Christina’s Shaker Lemon Pie was the group's next favorite.
Third favorite desserts were a tie: Jen’s dense and delicious Teff Carrot Cake and Patty’s moist and delicately-spiced Pumpkin Tea Cake.
We enjoyed yet another delightful afternoon together filled with lively conversation, laughter and as always, overflowing plates! Can’t wait to see you all again for our July gathering!
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