I spent the day in heaven. Heaven is located in Eagle Rock Park, a community garden where the Los Angeles Bread Bakers held a Pizza Party. An all day, overflowing with toppings, different doughs, pastas, salads, peruvian wine, homemade jam PARTY in the winter sun of Southern California.
Everything was fired in a traditional Cob oven, built at a previous meeting of the LABB under the guidance of Kristin Ferguson a wonderful pastry chef and pizza fanatic. We geeked out over the history of home food culture in America and Europe, keeping cities “weird” (currently Portland, Austin, Santa Cruz, Boulder, Madison and Ashville keep weird), the beauty of befriending your sourdough starter but I just listened in awe as she explained the religion of pizza. And then we ate…A LOT.
I am so glad I was finally able to make it out to an event. Experts, beginners, all mingled about among the garden. Everyone there for the LOVE of DOUGH.
No one held back or stuck to the basics, there was a staggering array of different pizza’s to choose from. A few of my favorites:
White anchovy, Lemon Kumquat and Potato Pizza
Camembert, Mushroom and Prosciutto Pizza
And no one stuck to the savory either. This little number vanished in moments, Strawberry Rosemary Focaccia.
Unbelievable. With each bite I dreamed of other sweet focaccia combinations, the first that came to mind was strawberry and mint. I am so excited I will be teaching a Levain class on March 25 to a few of my fellow LABB members, I feel lucky just to be among the ranks. The LABB, with so many talented members, has accomplished so much this year besides building the oven they have shipped decent flour and grain to Los Angeles, checked out a heritage-grain planting, planted some heritage grain of our own (Harvest party this summer!!), brewed some beer and helped write the California Homemade Food Act. The California Homemade Food Act was introduced in the California State Assembly on February 8, 2012 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). This cottage food law will finally allow people in California to legally sell many goods they make at home! Most other states already have these laws on the books, but California is woefully behind. If all goes well it will be signed into law in summer, effective January next year! The best thing YOU and EVERYONE can do is write your state Senator and Assemblyman asking them to co-author AB1616. A sample letter can be found following the link. The more co-authors the further this bill will get along.
As a baker in California, I can not stress how important this bill is. To bakers, jammers, picklers and everyone trying to keep Los Angeles and greater California weird. It’s a bill that just makes sense and would stimulate the economy at a grassroots level, removing the incredible obstacles commercial kitchen usage imposes on people and providing the public an enriched pantry of homemade foods to treat themselves to. Now I must run…little did I know when I headed off to pig out on pizza, my husband had secretly planned a date night at…you guessed it a pizza joint. All Pizza All Day.
To Forget how to dig in the earth and tend to the soil is to forget ourselves.