tv [untitled] May 31, 2013 10:00am-10:31am PDT
[captioning made possie by cbyifornia farm bureau federation] >> coming up on "california country," meet a farming family finding a way to give back to their community. then find out why this crop is coming out of the dark literally. next, it's turkey time. learn how to make a new recipe with the holiday favorite. and travel to one of the most unique farmers markets in the stata. it's all ahead, and it starts now. you would think being around watermelons all day, you might
get sick of eating the sometimes messy snack, but not for farmer dan van groningen. >> that's good. that's crispy. it's sweet. it's wet. it's everything a watermelon should be. >> but then again, he's had a lot of practice eating watermelons at his family farm in ripon. for more than 70 years now, they've been growing the picnic favorite and have loved every minute of it, seeds and all. >> 1939, we started growin' watermelons the first time. my grandfather did, and, uh, my father was young then, and he would do the harvesting. they would, uh, load the watermelons into small, little trucks and-- and bring 'em to the rail car and load 'em--stack 'em by hand in the rail car, and that's how a lot of the watermelons were shipped. >> dan's right. when it comes to the harvesting of watermelons, not much has changed over the years. the melons love the warm days and cool nights the central valley offers them, and they take about a hundred days to grow before they are plucked out of the fields by workers
who transfer them to the harvest truck. while they still grow the traditional seeded ones, they have planted more of the seedless watermelon varieties in recent years, as they are becoming a consumer favorite. but no matter which one you like, how do you pick the best melon? we turned to the expert. >> so, anyway, i would pick this watermelon, simply because it's all filled out on the end. this is a--this is the fill-out end. you know, here's the--here's where we cut the stem off right here. ok, and this is where it's growing. it's growing from this end, and it's all filled out. see how it's all filled out right now? if it's indented somewhat, it's still growing. >> ok. >> now, that is one of the things to look at. you wanna have one that sounds good. >> no, yeah, what's the thumping? i mean, is that-- is that an urban legend, or is-- >> well, the--the thumping is after you've--you've picked the watermelon in the store. let's say you assume all the watermelons are ripe in the store. >> mm-hmm. >> every one in th bin or on the shelf are ripe. then you wanna start feeling them. if they have a good sound to 'em, it means that they're not
overripe, when they have a-- a flat sound, uh, doesn't have a good ring to it. this has got a nice ring to it. if it's got a flat sound, it's either overripe, or maybe it has a hollow heart. >> after the watermelons leave the field, they are taken here to the packing shed, where they are sorted and even polished up a bit. there are now several generations of van groningens working together at the farm, including dan's 86-year-old dad. in recent years, the family has diversified the farm and has 4,500 acres in production of a variety of crops, so now when the sun goes down on the melon harvest, work just begins on the other big crop, sweet corn. >> yeah, we like to do it at night, uh, because the corn's
cooler at night, and we-- it takes less to get the heat out of the corn at--at night. uh, if we harvest during the day, there's way too much heat in the corn, and the corn will go into a starch. >> after harvest, the corn is kept cool at the packing shed and is quickly sorted and boxed up on ice. dan says he hopes to harvest more than 19,000 ears of corn per acre, and with 1,000 acres planted, that's a lot of kernels, to say the least. but luckily they've got a lot of loyal customers, like the cattlemens restaurant chain of northern california. >> we get it here. we, uh--we prep it, get it--we wash it real good. we get it ready for the pot. i-it's in the pot, i would say, no more than 20 minutes. soon as the water boils, we turn it off. we ice it down, and we just put it away ready for the cooks. all the cooks do after that is just put it on the broiler--on the broiler. they grill it for a good--i'd say no more than 8 minutes just to get a nice color on it. make sure it's got enough butter on it, and we serve it up right away. >> the restaurant proudly displays their close relationship with the farm on each table, and despite being a
meat-and-potatoes type of joint, they're doing a steady business in corn. they go through about 500 ears of corn a week at their vacaville location alone. but not all of us are fortunate enough to have a nice meal out. a growing number of people in need of assistance in the san joaquin valley has prompted the farm to give back to its community. each week, the farm sends truckloads of produce to local food banks as part of the california association of food banks' farm-to-family program. >> we were seein' folks that when we went to the store, you recognize them working in the store, and then all of a sudden, you see them at our doorstep, uh, needing food assistance, needing help. uh, it's not just the single parent, the single mother, single father. you know, it's--it's the working people, uh, that still can't make things--uh, you know, ends meet. >> i think what each of us are
given, you know, if we're given much, we're required to give a lot. and i think that's very important. you know, that's the way i was brought up, too. you--you have to give. >> giving back to the community that supported them for more than 70 years now is just one of the many reasons this family farm continues to thrive now and no doubt well into the future, too. for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. >> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide family of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance. on your side. from farm to feast, stay tuned for more of the tempting tastes of california.
>> welcome back to "california country." >> at the kitchen in sacramento, chefs are busy preparing tasty dishes using a vegetable that's increasing in popularity. california endives are showing up on more and more dinner plates. >> i mean, you see a lot of people use, uh, the endive as vessels. so they'll take
just the leaf off and put things in it and serve it that way. uh, i think it has a lot of different uses. >> the chances are if this vegetable's on your plate, it's probably grown by california vegetable specialties, a company headquartered in the tiny hamlet of rio vista, between san francisco and sacramento. the first thing the owner did was give us a lesson in pronunciation. >> so what we grow here at cvs is spelled e-n-d-i-v-e. however, it'pronounced quite differently, and the correct pronunciation is this--on-deev. >> obviously, uh, rio vista, where rich works, is about as far away from france as you can get, so we tend to call it en-dive. now, i know rich is cringing in his seat as i say this, as he has when he's come here for dinner, but, uh, that's kind of the ongoing-- the ongoing joke.
>> on-deev. >> you can learn to say it pretty quickly, but this vegetable takes a long time to grow, almost 6 months. first step is to plant chicory seed. then months later, harvest the root. >> well, what we're after is a chicory root. this is a big one. this little bud here, along with the support of this root, will render an endive. you know, chicory roots through the centuries have been used for teas, coffees, medicinal purposes, and the legend is that about 8--in 1830, a farmer had some chicory roots in his-- his cellar. this is in--in the outskirts of brussels, belgium. and he forgot about them. he was gonna use them as a coffee substitute after drying and roasting them. uh, in the spring of 1831, those roots in the dark confines of that cellar had sprouted, and he then noticed
the sprouts that had come from the top of the chicory roots. >> the mature roots are actually harvested by machine, each one producing just one bud and ultimately just one endive. this 55-acre field will produce tens of thousands of buds and will probably end up on salad plates in america, japan, and other asian countries. >> i love growing things, a-and as a way to make a living, growing food is very, very, very fulfilling. >> endives are really grown and harvested in 2 different types of fields. the first is a traditional one like this one here in turlock, and the second, a more specialized facility in rio vista. this next step involves growing the roots in a huge dark room. >> of cgurse it's completely dark. i mean, you come in here and turn the flashlight off, and it is the definition of darkness. there is no light. because the light would in fact,
if you will, contaminate the endive by helping it green up. these roots have been here for aproximately 3 1/2 weeks, having come out of cold storage, and you can see that the buds now on top of the chicory roots are growing, and there's a--a lot of growth down at the bottom with the feeder roots that are in about an inch and a half of the fertilizer solution. uh, under the exact same conditions, this still has ab@ut a week to go. it's, um, very, very similar in technique, but of course different color. >> how many of this would you say goes on a day, a week, an hour? like a gazillion here. >> h, we--yeah, we do produce a lot of endive. um, oh, golly, we're producing, uh, approximately 5 million pounds a year. >> uh, you find that most people like it, and i--i just think it's one of those products that--that works for everybody. i mean, it works with lemon. it works with blue cheese. it works with--obviously with olive oil.
this is the type of thing that we do at the kitchen all the time is take things that people, uh, aren't so sure about and turn it into something where they go, "wow. i--now you've really opened up my eyes to something." >> in rio vista, charlotte fadipe, "california country tv." >> hi. my name's mike fagnoni, and we're at hawks restaurant in granite bay. we are making an apple and endive salad with chef's blue cheese, a champagne vinaigrette. get started. we have a, uh, fuji apple from, uh, gold bug farm, placerville. we're gonna just--ooh. just slice that. nice and thin. we have some belgian endive. wanna just make sure to cut 'em in half and cut the core out. we're gonna slice across. do, uh, one more half. it's about an endive and a half per salad. now we have a fennel bulb. we're gonna cut just across, very thin. important to cut the fennel really thin.
then we're gonna go to our bowl, put everything in. now we're gonna add some shallot, fine herbs. it's a, uh, herb blend that we use here quite a bit. 's tarragon, chervil, parsley, and chive. this is, uh, chef's blue cheese. it's aged in the sierra nevada, real nice blue cheese. champagne vinaigrette. just drizzle a little in there. then we'll season it with some fresh black pepper, little kosher salt, and just give it-- give it a good mix, make sure the apples aren't all stuck together. then we'll go to our
plate. you wanna plate it in stages so that you can kind of build up a little bit of height. yet letting it fall naturally wherever it--wherever it tends to go. and there is our endive salad with fuji apple and chef's blue cheese. >> wanna create for yourself one of the unique recipes from today's show? log on to our website at cacountry.tv for full details. this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation. the people, the places, the unforgettable tastes of california will be back in a moment.
has been a staple on american dinner tables since the days of the pilgrims. in fact, ben franklin oved them so much, he wanted turkey and not the bald eagle to be the official united states bird. turkeys have a long history in the golden state. for more than 50 years, the diestel family has ranched in the peaceful foothills of tuolumne county. tim diestel has a hands-on approach to make sure his birds are at the peak of health. this is country living at its finest, a free-range setting, meaning the flocks have a chance to spread their wings and explore their surroundings. >> this is definitely home of the happy turkey. there--there*s no question. i--i don't think you could have a better, nicer setting for--for a turkey than this ranch right here.
>> part of diestel's flocks include birds of a different feather, an older variety popular when he was a boy. tim is working to bring the breed back and has 8,000 heirloom turkeys this year alone. heirloom turkeys are catching on in the culinary world as a growing number of diners are willing to pay more to gobble up this slice of americana. >> so there's definitely an interest in preserving these old birds, and it's kind of fun, and we like it because they're so pretty, and they make the ranch. it's really exciting. uh, it's something different than just a white turkey, and so this kind of brings me back to my childhood, because when i was real young, th-this was the kind of turkey or the look that we had on the farm then. >> it goes way back, 'cause i started raisin'--didn't start raisin'--my uncle used to raise turkeys, and this was the bronze turkey, and i used to work there when i was goin' to high school and whatnot. that's what really got me started in the turkey business. so, yeah, they're just--they're kind of part of us. [laughs] >> the care put into these birds
pays dividends. diestel turkey is known for consistently high-quality meat with a true turkey flavor. the meat is a big hit with rob banworth of banny's cafe in nearby sonora, who, like many, has figured out there's more to turkey than roasting it whole for the whole holidays, which is good news for the diestels, who plan to maintain their long ranching tradition. >> and so it is exciting when chefs take interest in using turkey in dishes that are nontraditional, nonholiday meals. it's to show that the application of turkey tenderloins, ground turkey, turkey sausage can take the place of, um, other proteins and be very tasty in dishes. >> welcome to disney's grand california. i'm andrew sutton. i'm the executive chef for the napa rose restaurant, and i'm gonna help make the holidays a little bit more easy. nothing's more intimidating than a turkey, believe or not, even though it's just laying here on this bench. but this is a beautiful american
bronze turkey. but sometimes they can be intimidating. how many minutes do you put it in the oven for? how long do you cook it? can i get the dinner on the table in time? well, i got the secret for you. this is gonna work out really slick. this is my, uh, 6-minute turkey. you can have this thing on the table in 6 minutes with a little preparation. what i've done is put a little--i have a precooked turkey breast that i've sliced into nice large eaks. i've oiled them lightly and put a little secret rub on that you can get through the website and through the magazine. and i have a little bit of a--a stew which we've made up. now, you're watchin', uh, the ballgame, and you're havin' a great time, and you're not sure when everybody wants to sit down, so this is the best way to time it out. have a nice hot grill, and we're gonna go ahead and mark the turkey right on the grill, and that's gonna be what warms it up and just makes it so tasty. the spice rub gets a nice little char to it and adds kind of a nice rustic kind of california
elemeft to the dish which makes it really, really yummy. we're gonna mark these off. they take about 2 minutes a side, maybe 3 minutes a side, and then we're gonna go ahead and serve it with this nice little stew. in the stew, i've got a little bit of some sweet potatoes, chanterelles, corn. i'm gonna add a little bit of green beans right at the last moment. so it's kind of all-inclusive, easy to serve, but incredibly flavorful. aw, beautiful. look at those grill marks. aw, jeez. perfect diamonds. so now we have this beautifully grilled turkey. it's moist on the inside. it's supertender. it's warm. it's hot. it's kind of cut in little steaks so you don't have to worry about the carving, and it works out great. you just need to buy a beautifully roasted, uh, turkey that you can prebuy at a lot of--of the, uh, more gourmet grocery stores. i'm gonna put down a little bit of a holiday stew. again, sweet potatoes, chanterelles, corn, the works. and what we're gonna
do is lay the turkey right up on top. i like to kind of shingle it so they--people can, uh, easy grab. really enjoy something i think is very special for the holidays. and i love to garnish it with just a little cranberry relish. this is a cranberry salsa. it's cold. it's ground, done with a little bit of orange and jalapeno. and tuck it in there. and then i'll garnish it with a little bit of chopped sage, uh, fried sage. and what's nice about this, again, most of this can be set up in advance, so then all you need to do is warm and grill and serve, and i think you have a wonderful holiday made easy with a beautiful 6-minute turkey. from andrew sutton, this is napa rose.
a party than a market. >> ♪ i thought i knew where i was goin' till i heard your laughter flowin', came upon the wisdom in your eyes ♪ >> it's just more of a-- it's like a hangout. >> ♪ hass avocados for you, for you, for you ♪ >> i live around the corner. i'm here for the food and the music and the atmosphere every--every week. >> it's amazing that everything grows here year-round. >> ♪ you know joleen, she's the hopedragon from "the neverending story" ♪ >> many of them are really good friends, yeah, people that i know for 2, 3, 4 years that we've been in th-this market. we go to other, 12, 13 markets every week. many of these people go to different places looking for our flowers. >> i make it very apparent to 'em that i'm the farmer. i'm the one harvesting it and cleaning it, and i'm not here to compete with anyone. >> it's a nice, nice place where people are friendly. they have time to get to know one another, and it's a social place, you know, where you
can hang out and--and be together for a while, and people like that. >> these people that we see i will say once a week, sometimes, uh, every other week. and they--they'll normally come back every time. >> that's the most important thing for me is to see the people's response, to see people come back healthier and happier every week because you're providing something that tastes good and feels good. >> thanks for comin' to the o.b. farmers market. i had a great time. i hope you did, too, and i hope to see you all soon. >> that concludes today's tour