You Say Tomato and I say Tamato.

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You Say Tomato and I say Tamato.

Even here, in the cool wet summer of 2016 on the coast, it is Tomato season. Fresh Tomato the words evoke a sort of reverence for those of us who grew up in the hotter Midwest. I have very visceral memories of those tomatoes of childhood gardens; midwestern soil warm beneath my bare feet, the smell of the plants so strong that you nearly swoon. Holding a tomato in both hands, smooth and warm.  At my grandparents house, big slices on the plate at lunch time, sprinkled with salt and for the adults pepper. Sometimes the thunderstorm rains and blazing sun combined to cause the taunt skins to come bursting open. We loved the cracked ones, those we then got to huck at the road - my brother Bob yelling some sort of grenade appropriate holler while doing so. Splat! We hated having to search for big tomato worms, their bloated fat greenness also smelled of tomatoes, and made much smaller splats on the road. 

Moving to the Northwest I met a different kind of tomato. The plants coddled and covered. Warmth created with visqueen covered hoop houses. Not so much the problem of volunteer plants coming up in unexpected places in the garden. In the Northwest tomatoes are a frail princess, rather than a robust pirate Queen. 

And yet each year our intrepid farmers put forth all the effort needed to bring us boxes filled with their jewel like beauty. Michael McKee of Willow Grove Garden once told me a story of how the plants in his greenhouse were destroyed by late frost, then flood and then burned by an unexpected hot day while they were away at a farmers market. The plants sprang back from the roots and that year he ended up with double the plants, because he had replanted expecting the worst. They had more tomatoes than they could give away. This I see as evidence that the spirit of Queen Tomato has recognized the dedication that the McKees have offered to the altar of Tomato over the years.

2016 is a bit different - no plagues have smited his greenhouse this year.  Farmer McKee and the other Scorcher favorite farmers are bringing us their tomato bounty right now.  This is the time of year to partake of the splendor that is the fresh ripe tomato. (Or of roasted cherry tomatoes smeared on bread. ) The time is now to eat tomatoes until you don't even want to look at one, well until next year.

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Sow A Seed Farm Visit

We had the pleasure of spending an hour with Danny of Sow a Seed Farm. Driving up, we were all greeted by the sounds of inquiring honking geese and scattering chickens. Danny Muller, resident farmer, greeted us with a smile and cheerfully showed us around his beautiful farm.

Located in Seaside, Sow a Seed is a small scale organic farm created by Danny Muller, a self taught farmer and Seaside native with an obvious natural green thumb. His impressive layout of chicken coops and greenhouses showcased budding greens, many of which could eventually make their way into various Blue Scorcher dishes such as the side salad and fritatta.

Danny has been farming on the side for 5 years. When asked what brought him to it, he stated “I actually just like watching stuff grow, maybe even more than eating it, I guess.” Danny has had a few helpers over the years, but does the majority of the work himself; that is, when he has time away from his primary job as carpenter and father. It seems the green thumb may run in the family—his daughter loves to get her hands dirty in the soil, and eats the greens right off the stems.

Outside of farming, Danny likes to climb trees and has even found time to build a treehouse in his spare time. He also plays guitar. He has tried his hand at beekeeping but shakes his head at the difficulty. He stated with an exasperated smile “I’ve gone through nine hives!”

Before leaving Sow A Seed, we looked into the greenhouse to see hundreds of budding salad greens. “Those are your greens coming along!” Danny exclaimed.

The next time you eat your fritatta or salad at The Scorcher, feel proud that you are supporting a local organic farmer that is passionate about bringing his farm straight to your plate!

Thank you Danny for your warm welcome.

Sow a Seed provides fresh organic produce to The Blue Scorcher, The Firehouse Grill and perhaps 14th Street Coffee in the near future. For anyone who may want to buy his greens, he states that he may be at the Seaside Market this year with a booth; however, he is not certain yet.

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Worker Spotlight: An Interview With Nyk Stephens & Jed Campiche

Out on the farm with Jed, Nyk and their friend "Gus."

Out on the farm with Jed, Nyk and their friend "Gus."

The Blue Scorcher met up with workers Jed and Nyk out on the farm on a crisp winter day. Jed estimates that he has worked at the café for about 4 or 5 years. Nyk comments that he originally started out as "Captain Clean" and as a dishwasher. Eventually, he moved over to the Tuesday Cannon Beach Farmers Markets. Recently, he started making chocolates with Peggy, another worker-owner. Currently, Nyk is back to washing dishes. He is also currently the contact person for the art wall.

Question: What are your thoughts about working at The Scorcher?

Nyk: I think it’s a cool job because there’s a lot of ability to specialize in something whether it be very particular or evolutionary. So the structure is very free to try different jobs.

Jed: I make mountains of burritos, and prep other items for the line. Mostly I'm just trying to keep a good rhythm on the job so things happen as succinctly as possible and I don't have to think too much. I love all the people I work with and that's what's nice about it. The work itself is pretty repetitive, so I just try to find good reasons to laugh and enjoy the company, which is really easy here.

Q: So you find that structure good for keeping things interesting?

Nyk: Oh yes, there are a lot of opportunities to introduce new recipes or personalize your work environment.

Q: What’s the best things you’ve had your hand in making at The Scorcher?

Nyk: Nourishing bars; when I was making chocolate with Peggy last year I also made nourishing bars, which I really like.

Q: What kind of things do you like doing outside of work if you don’t mind sharing?

Jed: Yeah, that’s what I try to do the most—creative activities, mostly music. I've spent this past year studying rhythm in depth. Learning to play interesting clave rhythms, practicing drums, deconstructing other peoples music, and doing exercises with drum machines where the beat cuts out a lot and it's up to me to keep the tempo solid. This past month I’ve been getting back into keyboards and organ but I’m not as good at that yet as I am at the stringed instruments. I’ve been playing guitar since I was little.

Nyk: Right now, we are working on raising African Nubian goats. At some point in the future, we might have goat milk for sale. Stay tuned!

goat.jpg

Thank you Nyk and Jed!

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Making Cardamom Bread With Beth

Beth Kandoll, has quite the following for her amazing braided cardamom bread (also known as pulla), her pies and many other treats. Beth can be seen working busily away in the back of the bakery, especially around holiday time when special orders come in. It was a pleasure to spend a bit of Saturday morning watching Beth make her famous breads!

Watch our video of Beth at work making her cardamom bread!

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Farmer Spotlight: Local Forager Veronica Williams of All Wild

Veronica Williams is a local forager with her business, All Wild. She started picking mushrooms at the age of three with her mother in the Carpathian Mountains in her native Hungary. She remembers seeing a King Mushroom and falling in love at first sight. She now teaches her grandchildren how to spot a mushroom. Veronica picks mushrooms, salmon berries, & fiddlehead ferns. The first thing she picks in the spring are seabeans. Right after this interview, she will go pick wild celery.

 

Q: Good morning, Veronica. Thank you for being here! How did you become a local forager?

 

Oh my God, you really don’t want to go into that, do you? It might take me 4 hours to tell you (laughing). First of all, I came from the Carpathian Mountains, you know in Hungary. We emigrated here. We had an uncle here after the war. We got into contact with my mother and she remembered that she had two brothers there [in America] so we got in touch with the Red Cross and we found my uncles and the rest is history.

 

There were 4 sisters and my mom and dad. And you know we were just so fortunate because we ended up in Germany after the war, you know when Stalin came and we escaped Stalin by only a river. There was a river there and on one side was the British zone and the other side was the Russian zone. So the ones that ended up in the Russian zone—all my family, everybody they said okay the war is over, let’s go home, okay? My dad he had such a wonderful foresight he said no we’re not, we’re going to stay right here. We’re not going home.

 

These people went home—and I’m going to start crying now. Anyway, when they got home, they wouldn’t even let my grandfather go into his own house. They put him in a chicken coop. He had built 4 houses for his kids because his sons, living in America, sent him money every month. That’s how it was back then, all the boys gave the money to the father. He bought a whole section of timber and built them [his sons] homes. And when he got home, they put him in a chicken coop, and the next day he was dead. He died of heartache. After that, the rest of my family went to Siberia. My whole family spent 25 years in Siberia. Did you know Siberia was built on slave labor? Well, now you know.

 

So after 25 years, then Stalin croaked and Hitler croaked, I don’t know which was worse, Hitler or Stalin. At the time, we believed in Hitler because my dad came to work in Germany and he had nothing but nice things to say about Hitler. Jesus, everybody had a Volkswagon. We believed Hitler was great until he went nuts and started killing our Jews, our neighbors. We cried when they left. They took them away but they said “don’t cry for us, because you’re next.” And we were. We were.

So we ended up in the British zone, lucky for us that we didn’t go home.

 

I have memories of my grandmother—she died in Siberia. I loved my grandmother and always wanted to see her. She would always say “Veronica, come here I have something to give you. Look what I’ve got for you.” Her name was Sidonia. My grandmother taught me to knit, I was three years old and I’m still knitting. Look at this. Isn’t this cute? I do it because it relaxes me—I’m hyperactive.

 

When I first came to this country, I met an Indian woman. She told me Veronica, I’m the one who initiated [harvesting] the seabeans—we didn’t have stores back then, and seabeans were the first things we picked—and I’m the one who started it. And now they’re shipping them clear to New York. I first picked seabeans, and then salmon berries. I pick salmon berries to this day. They are so beautiful! And I sell to Chef John Newman from Newmans at 988. He takes them whenever he goes to New York to the James Beard House, he wants to take me but I’m so busy in the fall and so far I haven’t been able to get away.

 

Q: What do you like about The Blue Scorcher?

 

The Blue Scorcher, my God. It’s the neatest place. It’s funky, but I love the people. I love Iris and I love Joe. I don’t mind eating vegetarian—not that I am vegetarian, but like this is to die for (pointing to the frittata and potato breakfast she is about to eat when we finish our interview). They make great soups. The best soup they make is the curry soup either with cauliflower or something else. When they make it, I take one home so I can eat it again later. And they make the best pastries and they use my berries!

 

Veronica also has two amazing books for sale: Coastal Bounty, A Book of Recipes Gathered by Veronica Williams & Woodland Bounty, Mushroom Delights for Gatherers Gourmets.

 

 

 

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Magazine Rack

The Blue Scorcher Magazine Rack

Here at the Scorcher, we are famous for our eclectic magazine selection. We have a wide array of titles that cannot be found anywhere else in our area. Karmen, a Scorcher owner has been ordering magazines for quite some time now. We carry magazines on a wide variety of topics such as pets, farming, and cooking—just to name a few. Below is a list of magazines titles that can be regularly found on our magazine rack.

Farming:

Earth Island Journal

Communities

Urban Farm

Acres

Mother Earth News

Permaculture

Grit

Heirloom Gardener

 

Sailing

Wooden Boat

 

Food/Cooking

Vegetarian Times

Saveur

Lucky Peach

Best Vegan Recipes

Bon Appetit

Living Without’s Gluten Free

Nourish and Heal

The Art of Eating

 

Design/Craft

Dwell

Green Craft

Home and Garden

Atomic Ranch

Victorian Homes

Mollie Makes

 

Travel

Afar

National Geographic

 

Political

Harper’s

Yes!

The Sun

The New Yorker

The Atlantic

Adbusters

 

Eastern Philosophy

Tricycle

Shambala Sun

 

Nature

Audubon

Orion

The Surfer’s Journal

Bird Watching Digest

 

Pets
Modern Dog

Bark

Best Friends

 

Art

Hi-Fructose

Provincetown Arts

Cineaste

Art Ltd.

Art Forum

Professional Artist

 

Women

Bitch

Hip Mama

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Bring Tea for the Tillerman

Question: What is your title here at the Scorcher?

Dave: I call myself “The Tillerman,” You know “bring tea for the tillerman, steak for the son?” No, actually you can just call me “administrative” or “bookkeeper in training.” I share the duties of closing the till with Karmen.

Q: How did you start working at the Scorcher?

Dave: My daughter, Rachel works here, too and she needed a backup in the evenings so she could take care of her daughter (my granddaughter), Zoe. And, so I volunteered to help her out, and here I am!

Q: What do you like about the Scorcher?

Dave: Oh, it’s nice. You know, nice people, good food. It’s a Co-op, which is nice. Joe is a good guy to work around.

Q: What’s the best thing to eat there?

Dave: I’m going to get a shirt that says “I’ll work for oatcakes.” I like the breakfast burritos, but I’m trying to cut back. However, the oatcakes have always been a favorite.

Dave Douglas is a retired fisheries biologist from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He is a regular programmer at KMUN, Friday late nights at 10p.m. He wonders if he is the oldest employee, but he hasn’t gotten around to asking.

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Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to The Blue Scorcher Bakery and Cafe's new blog! Please visit us often to check out the delicious things we're cooking up including fun behind the scenes videos, farm visits and interviews, interviews with Scorcher workers,news on our art wall, our unique magazine display and events!

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