Team Bees’ Knees: The foraging, growing, and cooking begins
IN THE FOREST
Thomas and Tina Keller of The Bees’ Knees are expert mushroom-hunters, and are scouring the forests far in advance of their One-Block party to scoop up what’s available and then dry it so it’ll keep. (Thomas is from Switzerland, and, like so many Europeans, grew up knowing how to find good food in the wild.)
Here’s a sample of what the Kellers found on one May expedition, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 4,200 feet: Plump morels and an orange-peel fungus, which likes to grow near the mushrooms and makes a very handy beacon for the morel forager. (The Kellers left the fungus behind, since it’s not very tasty, but isn’t it amazing-looking?)
Thomas and Tina with their morel haul.
To preserve the harvest for the One-Block Party,
the Kellers used a dehydrator.
They found black trumpets, too, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Big, meaty ones.
IN THE GARDEN
The Arkens and the Olivers, planting the Arken garden. Check out the cool headboard trellis.
In the Keller garden, cucumbers (below left) and tomatoes begin their ascent….
…and a volunteer sunflower has already reached full glory.
Maybe its seeds will show up at the party.
Chicken eggs are key to the Bees’ Knees plan for their dinner. Tina is keeper of the hens, who consider her garden their rightful domain. So when new planters arrived, they had to be thoroughly chicken-inspected.
Yikes! Clara Belle found the corn seedlings.
“I planted them anyway,” says Tina. “I don’t know how many will survive.”
IN THE KITCHEN
It’s going to be a spirited party, what with Nate Cartmells’s limoncello
(a potent Italian-style lemon liqueur) made with the zest of home-grown lemons.
Tempting, eh? Nate’s lemon curd, using homemade butter
and eggs from the Kellers’ chickens.
Check back next month for more from Team Bees’ Knees!
A photo gallery update from Tina Keller, team leader. Photos courtesy Tina Keller and Nate Cartmell.
Posted by Margo True, Sunset Food Editor