Sunday, October 24, 2010

Handmade and Local at Artisanal LA

As I suspected it would be, Artisanal LA was great. Lots of interesting and, often tasty vendors. Dan and I spent more time there than we thought we would and spent more money than we should have. But, it was great to see so many people interested in and producing local and handcrafted foods. There is more of a sustainable food movement in Los Angeles than I thought there was and that is very exciting. 

I decided to showcase some of, but certainly not all of, the vendors that we encountered at our time at this event. Above is jar of Hell Fire Pepper Jelly from Jenkins Jellies. I've tried a lot of pepper jellies before but this is by far the best one that I have ever tasted. They know how to balance the sweetness and heat. And, yes, we bought a jar. I can't wait to pair this with a nice goat cheese for an appetizer or try it with pork. 

Tried some out-of-this-world jams at the Lemon Bird Design booth. Even bought a jar of their tomato with vanilla bean jam. The acidic tomato with the lovely warmth of the vanilla beans is heavenly. This made Dan and I feel that we need to step up the creativity with our jams and preserves. Also, I have to say, that I love their logo and label design. Their booth looked great as well. Sadly, too many people to get a great shot.

Tools of the butchering trade at the Lindy & Grundy booth. This is a new butcher shop that will be opening this December over in the Fairfax area of West Hollywood. The owners and operators are two women. The shop will feature local, pastured and organic meats (beef, lamb, pork and chicken). And, they are going to offer workshops on butchering techniques. I can't wait for the shop to open even if it will be a bit of drive to get there. I have a feeling that it will be well worth it.

Super cute display of 'breakfast' ornaments at the Common Thread booth. Yes, that's a chicken, a piece of toast and a slice of bacon. Not sure why the chicken and not an egg, since there is a breakfast theme but I'm guessing it was because the chicken was cuter (yet strangely blue). This sewing studio from South Pasadena was offering a bit of crafting at the show. For a small price, you could make either ornaments or egg cozies.  

So, Dan and I could not resist the 'breakfast' ornaments. Besides, who uses egg cozies. So, for $10.00, we got to make our own set. We had a lot of fun doing this. It was a nice, relaxing break from walking around the show. Plus, we made something to bring home. Can I put that bacon ornament on a Hanukkah bush? 

Since it is time to start planting our late fall and winter garden, we stopped by the Winnetka Farms booth and picked up some heirloom Italian seeds. They also have classes and workshops on gardening with edibles and are located in the San Fernando Valley. We can't wait to see how the veggies will grow from the seeds we purchased. 

We fell in love with this group, Backwards Beekeepers. They are a Los Angeles-based collective of small-scale, chemical-free beekeepers. They also rescue feral bees and teach beekeeping skills. Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of our  produce crops as well as providing delicious and nutritious honey, so it's so important to take care of them in a sustainable and humane way. We were glad to find people teaching these skills and keeping this craft alive.

I love this flour sack towel that we got from the Miss Fruitfly booth. The towel is unbleached cotton and made in the U.S. Then Fina from Miss Fruitfly silk-screens designs and quotes onto them. I love what this towel has to say and thought it was the perfect way to end this post.

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