Thursday
Jul022015

Wildfire in Wenatchee

 

As many of you are aware, a devastating wildfire recently rolled through Wenatchee. The fire in it's fury, destroyed 30 homes and several businesses in the process. The fire's path bordered one of our smaller Orondo Ruby orchards, but only did minor damage.

Our thoughts are with the families who lost their homes and we're thankful that nobody got hurt. We are also very appreciative of all the emergency personnel who worked in response to protect the great community of Wenatchee. 

Friday
Jun262015

Chow Down on a Cherry Pizza at Fire

8 Reasons to Visit Wenatchee, WA by BC Living, July 2015

"If you've never had a pizza topped with cherries (and we bet you haven't!), you've been missing out."

Check out BC Living's article about 8 reasons to visit Wenatchee, WA. Pizza topped with cherries is just the beginning...

Read the full article

 

Wednesday
Jun242015

Recipe: Orondo Ruby Sabayon

Recipe by Chef Heather Ostenson and the Balsamroot Bakery & Café. Opening in mid-July in Wenatchee. 

Orondo Ruby Sabayon 
4-6 servings

Sabayon
Adapted from Professional Baking, 6th Edition, Wayne Gisslen

Sabayon is an egg foam sauce. This preparation is made without wine or liquor, and is lightened with whipped cream.

Ingredients

  •  4 egg yolks, room temperature (65-70ºF)
  • 3.5 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz heavy whipping cream, chilled

 Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whip attachment (preferred) and steel or heat resistant bowl, or hand mixer with stainless steel bowl
  • Small sauce pan
  • Digital instant read thermometer
  • Wide, shallow mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula

 Preparation - Whipped Cream

  1.  Chill a bowl and whip or mixer beaters in the refrigerator or freezer until cold. Keep the whipping cream in the refrigerator until it is needed.
  2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl. Whip the cream to medium-stiff peaks. If you will be using the same bowl and whip for the next steps, gently transfer the whipped cream to another bowl, cover, and chill until needed. Wash, rinse, and dry mixing bowl and whip. 

Preparation - Egg Foam (Pâte à Bombe-style preparation)  

  1. Pour the simple syrup in the center of the sauce pan, and place over medium-high heat. Do not stir or shake the syrup. Heat the syrup to 248ºF. While the syrup is warming, begin whipping the egg yolks.
  2. Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl. Aerate the yolks on low speed for 30 seconds to one minute, then increase to medium speed. Whip the eggs until they are a light lemon yellow color while syrup is coming to temperature.
  3. Slowly pour the heated simple syrup down the inside edge of the mixing bowl into the lightened egg yolks while whipping at medium speed. Pour very carefully to avoid catching the syrup in the whip or mixer beaters. Once the syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium high. Continue whipping until the mixture is light in color, has increased in volume, and is at or slightly above room temperature.
  4. Gently transfer the egg foam to the wide, shallow mixing bowl. Take the whipped cream from the refrigerator. Fold the whipped cream into the egg foam, one-third at a time, folding more whipped cream in before the mixture is uniform in color.
  5. Refrigerate completed sabayon, covered, until ready for assembly.

Note: The egg foam may be prepared using a process similar to that for Swiss meringue, where the egg yolks and syrup are combined together in a bowl over a hot-water bath (double boiler) over medium-low heat until mixture is pale and light in color. Mix until the mixture reaches 140ºF, and hold there for three minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and whip until cool and volume has increased. Take care to whip the mixture continuously while over the hot-water bath to avoid over-coagulation of the egg yolks.

Orondo Ruby Coulis (koo-LEE)
Adapted from Professional Baking, 6th Edition, Wayne Gisslen

A coulis is a sweetened purée of fresh or cooked fruit.

Ingredients 

  • 7 oz Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, de-stemmed, and pitted
  • 2.5 oz simple syrup
  • 3 tsp lemon juice 

Equipment 

  • Blender
  • Small sauce pan
  • Fine sieve/strainer or chinois
  • Small bowl or container
  • Rubber spatula

Preparation 

  1. Heat the simple syrup in a sauce pan over medium-high heat to 220ºF. While the syrup is heating, prepare the cherries.
  2. Purée the cherries in the blender until very smooth. Pour the purée into a sauce pan and warm over low heat.
  3. Mix the heated syrup into the warming purée. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Strain the mixture through the sieve/strainer or chinois into a new bowl or container.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Cool and refrigerate until needed. 

Orondo Ruby Flambé
Adapted from Food Network

Ingredients 

  • 6 oz Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, de-stemmed, and pitted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 wide strips of lemon zest (use a vegetable peeler)
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier or other orange liquor 

Equipment 

  • Skillet
  • Heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon

Preparation 

  1. Place the cherries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a skillet. Stir to combine, and place over medium heat. Cook for until sugar dissolves, and mixture becomes juicy, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Flambé
    NOTE: before attempting the flambé, clear other items such as towels, potholders, from the sides and above the work area.
    A: GAS HEAT - Remove the skillet from heat. Add the liquor. Carefully ignite the liquor by holding a match with tongs, or using a long, fireplace or campfire style match. Gently swirl the pan until the flames die out.
    B: ELECTRIC HEAT - Add the liquor to the skillet with the cherries. Carefully ignite the liquor by holding a match with tongs, or using a long, fireplace or campfire style match. Gently swirl the pan until the flames die out.
  3. Set the cherries flambé aside for assembly.

ASSEMBLY

Components

 Sabayon

  • Orondo Ruby coulis
  • Orondo Ruby cherries, flambé
  • grated or thin ribbon orange zest, to taste
  • fresh Orondo Ruby cherries, rinsed, stem on

 Equipment

4 - 6 small dessert bowls or footed dishes

Assembly

  1. Place a tablespoon of coulis in the bottom of each of the dishes.
  2. Fill the dishes 2/3 full of sabayon.
  3. Place several flambéed cherries in each dish. Drizzle some of the syrup over the sabayon. 
  4. Sprinkle/arrange orange zest on top of sabayon. 
  5. Place a fresh cherry in each dish.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jun242015

Recipe: Orondo Ruby Salad 

Recipe by Chef Heather Ostenson and the Balsamroot Bakery & Café. Opening in mid-July in Wenatchee. 

This light summer salad blends the sweetness of the cherries with the tartness of lemon, the pungency of black pepper with the luxurious creaminess of goat cheese, and the light crunch and flavor of almonds.

Ingredients

 Equipment

  •  Mixing bowl
  • Salad bowl and salad tongs 

Preparation - goat cheese balls 

Mix the goat cheese and black pepper well in a mixing bowl. Pull a small amount of the goat cheese from the mixture, and roll it gently, with light pressure, in the palm of your hand to form a small ball, about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter. Refrigerate covered until ready for assembly.

Preparation - cherries 

Pit the cherries once the other ingredients are prepared and ready for assembly. Cut the cherries into halves, thirds or quarters, depending on their size and your preference. 

Assembly

Add the greens, cherries, and lemon vinaigrette to the salad bowl. Toss gently to coat. If serving from salad bowl, add goat cheese balls, sliced almonds, and lemon zest. If plating, plate greens mixture, then add goat cheese balls, sliced almonds, and lemon zest to plates individually.

ENJOY!

 

Tuesday
Jun232015

A Gift from Dad: a heartwarming story

This is a beautiful story written by Pat Martinez. Thank you, Pat, for sharing your story with us.

Yesterday, with a case of blueberries and various other fruits in my car trunk, I stopped at the grocery for a few other needed items. High in a refrigerated case, above the packaged lettuces, I happened to notice a row of small-boxed Rainier cherries.

While at the beach one summer, my father already in a degenerative state, I drove inland to a farmer's market hoping they'd have Rainier cherries for Dad. It was the end of the season, and the cherries were few, but I picked through browning cherries, found enough pink and yellows, rushed to the post office and overnighted them to Dad for Father's Day. When he received them, fully aware of the expense, he chided me for the gift, but, it was easy to defend myself, "Dad, I wanted to do it for you."

The cherries at the grocery didn't have a price, and Rainier cherries can be very expensive. I hunted down the grocery man and asked him how much.

"Those aren't even in our system yet, so they shouldn't be out on the shelves, but I'll give them to you for $4.99.

I gulped. It was such a small box.

"They're usually $7 or $8," he added.

"Thanks, I'll take 'em."

I brought them home, not fully understanding the purchase, for the house was full of fruit, from my food co-op pick-up that morning and Tony's recent watermelon indulgence when he found them on sale for $3.99 each. I was feeling a little guilty for buying the cherries.

My grandmother had a Queen Anne (similar or same to Rainiers), tree in her side yard that produced abundant, juicy, beautiful cherries. Dad and Mom were visiting his mother and while there, sent me a shoebox full of cherries. I was on my third week at tennis camp and the box of cherries was a welcome treat and reminder that I still had parents.

My Dad and I always welcomed cherry season together. The neighbor's mother owns an orchard and one summer her grandchildren sold us bags of cherries from her orchard. It's delightful when children's lemonade stands become cherry stands and the time of summer when bing cherry salesmen can be found on almost every major corner. If Dad was coming to visit or if I was going to visit him, I'd always pick up a pound or two of cherries. If Dad was with me, he'd always stop and support his local cherry entrepreneur.

The night before Father's Day, when Tony and I discussed it as my first celebration without Dad, I couldn't talk. I would begin to weep and we'd change the subject. In the previous months, I had intentionally shut down my thoughts of Dad--it had become so difficult to constantly think of him--where he was, what he was doing...I couldn't distinguish what was my imagination and what was possibly real. I saw Dad in my mind's eye, like he was near, like he spoke to me, but reality and common sense told me he wasn't and didn't. I wanted it to be real, but couldn't make it so.

I had to intentionally quit thinking of him, and I felt like a traitor.

I turned the photo of him on my desk, in his prime with wavy dark hair and his crooked smile, away from my view.

This morning I awoke at 5:45, unable to go back to sleep, and I wasn't sure why.

The box of cherries popped into my mind. I made my way downstairs and pulled the cherries out of the fridge, washed them and savored the first one. I brought them to my desk. With my glasses on, I saw that they weren't Rainier cherries but a new cherry: Orondo Ruby. I succumbed to the blurb: Go to orondoruby.com to find out what makes this cherry so unique!

This is what I found:
In his family's Rainier cherry orchard in Washington State, 4th generation grower Marcus Griggs noticed one particular tree that matured earlier with fruit that tasted sweeter and was more red-blushed. Careful studies revealed this was a brand new varietal – a gift from Mother Nature!

The word gift hung in my thoughts. Of course! Today was Father's Day. I could no longer buy cherries for Dad--but maybe, in a way that defied explanation and reason, he had bought them for me.