Food that fills the soul.

Most people cook.  Some people cook well, others really well.  And a very few folks cook in a way that fills up our soul, leaving our belly content and our mind relaxed.  Everything feels balanced and good.  Simple, yet perfect.  They make it look and feel easy.  Those cooks give a true gift through the act of feeding.  They share their art, their soul, and in turn, we feel their knowledge and relax, knowing that someone else carried the responsibility of our nourishment.  We may not even consciously know this is happening – things just taste delicious, but if we stay quiet and feel, it is.  Recently, John and I were blessed with such a meal.

Our investors came to Apricot Lane for a another quick visit last week, providing us with the opportunity to plan another special evening on the farm.  We invited Chef Suzanne Tracht of the LA restaurant Jar up to fix a supper for us.  But first, we gave her a tour of the farm, including the following…

Very soon, another 170 of these lovely ladies will begin laying pastured eggs with bright orange yolks.

A section of the farm called The Fruit Basket, 72 varieties of fruit trees all surrounded by Buckwheat cover crop to attract beneficial insects, keep down weeds, prevent erosion and provide organic matter to the soil.

Baby Flora with her Auntie Gethin.

Sage, Great Pyrenees guard dog, we have two more puppies coming this Saturday!

The sheep making use of their new mineral cart. They free-feed from this cart, which includes things like sea salt, clay and more. All nutritious "vitamins" for livestock.

Once back at the house, Suzanne and her Chef-de-Cuisine Preech Narkthong (cool name, right?) settle in the kitchen, something that cooks do really well.  As though using some unique GPS with downloaded maps of every kitchen in the world, a good cook can enter a foreign space and follow commonalities that serve as the only foundation they need, to create.

Meanwhile, taking full advantage of a night away from the stove, I did this…

I’d like to share the menu, but let me first mention the highlights.  The Lamb Rib with Tamarind Sauce was one of the best things I’ve EVER put in my mouth.  I hear they’re on the menu at Jar – as they should – it’d be a crime for everyone not to taste something that delicious.  My second favorite was the Fluke, a delicate white fish served raw over sliver thin slices of plum with a citrus oil and little itty bits of jalapeno.  Each bite popped, more like exploded, with summer and the sea, while staying delicate, and somehow understated.  Like a perfect sundress.  I loved it.

Dinner at Apricot Lane Farms with Suzanne Tracht
Wednesday, May 30th

Signature Cocktail
Blackberry Gimlet
Square One Organic Vodka, Fresh Lime, Muddled Pudwell Farms Blackberries

Crab and Shrimp Cakes
Roasted Garlic Tartar Sauce (no breading!)
Lamb Ribs
Spicy Tamarind, Sweet Onion

Fluke Crudo
Black Plum, Avocado, Lemon Oil, Jalapeno

Santa Barbara Shrimp

Crisp Pork Belly
Apricot Lane Farm Organic Egg, Frisse, Pickled Red Onion

Short Rib and Beef Tendon
Chinese Broccoli, Braised Turnip, Star Anise, Ginger

Artisan Cheese and Farmers’ Market Fruit
Chef Suzanne Selection, Marcona Almonds, California Dates

xo –

Organic Spark


  • Sandy Schrecengost

    Delicious descriptions of a delicious meal. Just affirms the power of food. Thanks for capturing that meal in words so that we all could “taste”!

    June 14, 2012
  • Thank you so much for this wonderful post! The photos alone were worth the visit!

    June 15, 2012
  • Perfection in every way…

    January 7, 2013

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