tv [untitled] May 4, 2011 10:00am-10:30am PDT
and you don't even have to leave your car to see how farming is blossoming in one part of the state this time of year... then we put the "fun" back ifungi with tips from an expert. it's all ahead and starts now. [captioninmade possible by california farm bureau federation] >> welcome to the show. i'm your host tracy llers. we're in the beautiful mountains of el dorado county today, which is just a short drive away from sacramento. andhat brings us to our first story. if you're anything like me, you've probably consumed this next produce item at let once this week. that's because it's been called america's favorite vegeble. but we like to call it a reason to get our hands dirty and meet some real
potato pioneers. with their adaptability and versatility, it's wonder potatoes are a fan favorite. bad, mashed, diced, or scalloped, no matter how you slice it, from potato chips to french fries d almost anything in between, the potato has been a staple of our diet throughout history and today. and there's no denying we have a special love affair with t spuds. you know, on average, each of us will actually eat 135 pounds of potatoes a year, and in a wide variety of forms. in fact, potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the united states, with annual total production being about 41 billion pounds. and they've been a staple ron lehr's family farm
since the 1930s.his third genetion farmer grows more th 2,500 acres of the vegetable just outside of bakersfield, and knows just what to look for in a perfect potato. >> looking for a good potato, it could dend on the variety that you were looking for. it's, uh--as long as they're nice and firm and not tting soft and dehydrated. ty, where ron's spuds grow, is actually california's largest potato growing region. the tubers love the hot days and cool nights the area offers. which is also why brian kirschenman's fami started farming here a ntury ago. >> wl, we're a family business. um, our family's been growing potatoes for over 100 years in california. ludwig kirschenmann's probab-- rumor has it ludwig kichenmann brought one of the fst potato crops to cifnia befo the turn of the century. >> brian grows about 4,500 acres
of potatoes at his familfarm, but unlike ron, he grows sller potatoes that are called chippers, which are used mostly for potato chips and french fries. so what makes a good chipper? >> what makes a good chipper is actually, um, low sugar. you know, when you, um, caramelize something in the, um, in your--with a frying pan it turns brown. so people don't like brown potato chips, i don't know why, so that means it's high sugar content. so we've got to have low sugar in order to make 'em cook white. >> the potatoes are harvested and brought here to the processing facility where they are washed, sorted, and even tasted too. to ke sure the cpping potaes have ju the right amount sugar for their stomers, brian fries some of his potatoes up to see how they cook. thus, the wall of potato chips. >> oh, it just is really because when y, um, send a pot- ad of potatoes and it cooks dark, you get the load of potatoes back. so it's, um, quality control make sure you don't lose money. >> the potatoes are then trucked
out and distributed to a variety of fast od chains and large food processors, including lay's potatohips, as well as smaller distributors like californ chips in oxnard. >> these potatoes were in the ground in bakersfield 24 hours ago. we get them in ever day. if they come in in the afternoon, they were picked that very same day--or dug that very same day. and as you can see, they're beautiful white potatoes, very thin skins. we leave the skins on and these make great potato chips. >> after arrival, the potatoes are dumped from the hopper and moved into the slicer where they are sliced to a specific thickness. then they move through a water bath before passing under air jets that remove excess water as theflow into the frye
they stay here for a couple of minutes as paddles gently distribute them in contact with the oil evenly. they are moved, cooled, salted, flavored, and then passed through a computer to check for any imperfections. then they are sent on to their journey into a b that will hopefully find its way into a ste ar you soon. >> i eat at least a bag day. i walk it off. >> they go through about 50,000 pods of kern county potatoes a day at california chips, but each one is needed because it takes about 100 pounds of potatoes to make just 25 pounf potato chips. that's no smallotatoes. for "california country", i'm tracy sellers. so now thawe've learned about a couple of varieties of potatoes, the next question is what do we do with them? here's the chef with a couple of ideas for you. >> hi. i'm richard sluzarz, chef here at the grand hyatt san francisco. and one of the-- what we're gonna talk about today,r what we're gonna prepare today is mashed potatoes. and why--why we're
gonna do mashed potatoes, it's something that is a very simple thing, but i know there's some times some people have some issues with mashed potatoes and, you know,why did mine tu out lumpy?" "why did they turn o--maybe not so, uh creamy?" and so en youake mashed potatoes--and we start re with russet potatoes. so we peel our russet tatoes, d then we dice them, and then we put them in a pot. and we start with cold water. and you always--when you're making mashed potatoes, you should always start with cold water. put a little salt in theater. and en we put it on the stove where we bring it up to a boil ok? and the important thing is again to--to have the potatoes srt from cold. and then when you're cooking the potatoes, you want to cook them until they're nice and fork tender, so a fork goes in, you take it out, and they're nice and tender. another thing with mashed potatoes too is, depending on the type of potato you do, and en you cook them, is really not to over-- over-wp them, especially if you weresay if you were making a repotato mash. um, if you really over-whip them, then they really become kind of pasty. so y really want to make sure
that you don't do that, because at that point it seems like there's not--you c't add enough cam to make them, uh, creamy. we've got our mashed potatoes. i've taken some caramelized onions--so we've takesome onions, we've slow-cooked them so they've got nice color, kind of caramelized the sugars in the onns, chopped them up, and now we're gonna d them to our mashed potatoes. and then it's just gonna be a quick, simple mix. but the sweetness from the onions, the caramelization, it just makes it a terrific, uh, mashedotato. another one you could , ani have some more mashed here, is a roasted garlic mashed. and the nice thing about that is it's very simple to do the roasted garlic. you could take your cloves-- uh, what we do is we just toss th with a little bit ooil and roast them in thoven. and then we're just gonna add these to the--our mashed potatoes. and you can--i'm doing this--because the cloves are small, i'm ing whole cloves, but you could do--you could mash them if you like. but the garlic imparts a great flavor in there. the possibilities are pretty much limitless. whatever you'd like to add. cheese, scallio,
bacon, whatever you'd like to do. but it's a great way to dresup your mashed potatoes. >> thanks, richard. and incidentally, if you want any of those mashed potato tips, you can check them out on our website. coming up next, we're taking a drive in theountry. find orchards, vineyards, and a little bitf history without really ever having to leave your car? wl, we have onidea for you. check it out. here in california, there is one sure sign that spring has officially sprung. the opening of theentral valley blossom trail. each spring, the orchards he explode into beautiful colors and fragrance as theruit trees blossom
and officially begin the changing of the seasons. >> well, the blossom trail is really a way for us to share with visitors and locals alike the beauty of our agricultural offerings l around us. >> blossom trails of a single variety fruit are big all across the country, but it's the variety of cps that makes this one so popular. they say that traffic increases by about 30% thiq timof year, which means big business for a pretty sml community. the path through peach, plum, apple, orange, and nut orchards shows off the picturesque side of the san joaquin valley's staple industry, agriculture.
the colorful tetops set against the majestic peaks of the sierrnevada are part ob a changing landscape re. already, the trail has been altered several times since its 1988 inception to accommodate the region's growing population. >> well, it's important for our area. it's important to fresno unty that we preserve agriculture. >> the trail traces the outskirts of suctiny central valley towns as reedley, selma, and sanger. and as the landscape wakes up around the area, so does business. take simonian farms, for example. just outside thfrno city limits is where you'll find this 20-acre family owned operation that has grown 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables for more than00 years, and doesn't looc to close shop atime soon. especially if the lion of fans the place has earned over the years has anything to say about it. >> oh, my god. just for people to see it. i don't think they've ever seen anything likthis. toee the beautiful blossoms, and the colors, and thcountryside,
and what--what it really takes to doing farming. i mean, i think--god, i just-- i just think they get a lot out ofhis. >> blossoms are one of the most visible signs a new crop is on the way. and for about 6 weeks out of the year, you can see this spectacular sight, trees flushed full of blossoms. some have as many as 20,000 per tree. but the one thing yo discover quite quickly about the blossom trail is, besides highlighting the beauty of the area and the bounty of agriculture the county has to offer, the trail is really all about one thin..eating. >> we have lots of the products. everything that is here, we offer in the store. >> making her own homemade fresh-from-the-farm granola is just part of the entertainment at another stop on the blossom trail, luke's almond acres. continuing luke's agricultural traditi,
this family farm's country store offers nuts, fruits, and chocolates, all in a beautiful almond orchard setting th is primed for educational opportunities about farm life at go bend the granola. >> so here's our trail mix that you guys will be making. we have a variety of driedruits and nuts as well as chocole, écause you have to have chocolate in it. >> you've always heard these stories about people that live in the big cities and they go on these--and you ask them, "well, where do you buy--where does milk come from?" "oh, from the grocery store." "where does the egg come from?" "from thgrocery store." you know, i think these ople have the right to know where this stuff comes fr. >> but before any of this fabulousood even es up on the trees, much less my stomach, the orchards are helped out byhis man, brian beekman. you see, with more than 40 million blossoming almond trees throughout the central valley, there is a lot of work tdo.
it's anxciting, action-packed me of the year as bee keepers bring in their winged forces to do the job. >> what happens is when the trees bloom all at the same time, then the beego from-- from one tree, they work one tree, then they fly across the road to the other ones. and they actually touch the pollen from--from the other tree to the other tree that they landed o they do that all day long every day. and that's what produces nuts and fruit and whatever the bees are-- or whatever the farmer itrying to produce. >> on average, it takes re than 3 million bees to do the job. having to pollinate all of those trees in a short amount of time brings up the question who'really busier this timof year, the farmers or the bee >> uh, you know, i'd say they're busier than me 'cause they work
7 days a week. and i do, too, but--but, uhthey never--that's why i have to work 7 days a week, 'cause they never take a day off, so--ha ha. >> and while it's a busy time of the year for both bees and farmers,ll will agree it's worth it in the end. more than 3 1/2 million dollars in income and thousands of jobs are geneted from these orchards, orchards that end up feeding the nation and world and will no doubt end up on a dinner table near you sometime soon. for "california country", i'm tracy sellers. and in case you're curious, almond, plum, citrus, and apple plants tend to have the white petals, while nectarine, peach, and apricot plants tend to have the pink petals. there you go. ha ha. coming up next, we're going to a one-of-a-kind spa.
day of walking arod, it's nice to just relax a little bit. and, if i could speak for them, our four-legged friends would probably agree with me, right? well, as charlotte fadipe shows us, now horses have a place to relax and rehabilitate. >> looking at shor enjoying himself in this pen, it's hard toelieve that this 27-year-old cutting horse was once so ill, he waslmost crippled and his ownersere considering having him put down. but, after some tender loving care at a special rehalitation center in the tiny town of jamestown between sacramento and fresno, shorty is clearly back on his feet again. >> well, we were raised in a ranching background around cattle and horses our entire ves, and it's just something that we love to do naturally. i come from a rodeo background where that's what i did growing up. we'd trel everywhere, and you create a bond with your horse. and when your hor gs injure you need that horse back. and this was just a great way to help get
these performance horses back into action. >> your eyes do not deceive you. that is a horse having a spa treatment, comple with jets and pumps. but this is no luxury session for four-legged animals. for one thing, this piece of equipment, known as a hydro therapy spa, uses ice cold water. it's designed to prent and heal all kinds of leg injuries by reducing inflammation and improving circulation. >> right now, the horse is standing in 35-degree water. there's a heavy concentration of epsom and sea salts in this water to draw whatever we can out of the legs, any inflamtion, any swelling. if there's an open wound, it acts as a cleanser. uh, the jets are going, like i said. they create circulation through the legs. >> he says it can treat a variety of horse injuries including tendonitis, shin splints, and hoof injuries. catting, a four-ar-old cutting horsfrom lincoln, california will soon be taking part in a show in oregon. andhe seems to love the a treatment
just like so many other horses. >> uh, small horses have very small feet. they're very injury prone because they have a very demanding work load. they're always being asked to stop, slide, come back, turn o their legs. >> the spa session lasts about 12 minutes. some horses may get this treatment twice a day, several times week. pat says you can sometimes see and feel the difference immediately. it's [indistinct] wow. it's just one of the treatments at the premier equine center in jamtown, which is run by pat grohl and amie allen. >> it's nice to see, like, i mean, horses are bound to get hu. it's just what they do. they're large animals. they're athletes, just like we are. and to see how ey progress and how you can help them heal faster and make them feel better, it's nice to be able to see that progress. >> pat and amie admit when they started the business, they initially met a lot of skeptical people. but now vets recommend
horses to the center a the time. it's quickly becoming one of the most innovative heing and rehabilitation centers for horses in america, with clients coming from as far away as oklahomand canada. >> well, you know, horses are athletes. and, uh, we ask them mo and more to do more and more. and we expect more out of them. and as we have become, i think honestly, better educated, we realize that there are other therapies that we can do to the athletic horse to help th rehab from injuries. >> we pretty much have the only spa out re on the weoast. they're very popular in europe, annobody knows what they are out here. >> like this gadget known as a p3 machine. it's an electro magnetic pulsing ring which stimulates the horse's muscles and blood flow to speed up the healing process. >> if there's a muscle that's tight, or if there's something strain, it can actually go in anread it and change its frequency accoingly so that it can make that relax and get
the blood circulating there so that there's t any tension and it caneal faster. >> and then there's the eurocizer. it's sort of like a big lker for horses. the machine allows you to choose a program so that horses walk, trot, or canter for a set amount of time every day. vets give it the thumbs-up. >> it's a great way, if you're trying to rehab a horse from an injury, to get them ntrolled exercise. 'cause tha's really hard to do with a horse. youan't say "ok, i just want you to walk." >> younow, at any one time, you might find up to about 25 different horses here, all of them receiving a range of treatment. and sometimes the very best treatment is for the horse to simply stand still under special infrared heat lamps. pat says these lamps put out infrared heat that is the same type put out by the sun,ut without the harmful uv rays. he says it helps strengthen the horse's immune system. many of the horses stay at the rehabilitation center for about 30o 60 days, depeg on what a vet
recommends. the $1,500 a month fee is often covered by insurance. >> we hate to sehorses in pain, we hate to see them not being able to be in competition, so this is just a great outlet for those horses. >> from ice-cold spas to infrared lamps, special walkers and more, pat believes that working horses deserve cutting edge treatments when they become fatigued, sore, or sick. and just like shorty, many get just that at this unique rehabilitation center. in jameswn, charlotte fadipe for "california country" tv. >> and gd ws, the equine center actually has expanded, and it's now in oakdale. and it has a mobile spa, too, for horses. don't u wish they had that for us? that'd be nice, huh? ha. coming up next, are you >> 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, 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 ansacramento. 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's pronounced quite differently, and the correct pronunciation is dhis--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 ha 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 ling, 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 course 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 approximately 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 about 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. >> uh, we--yeah, we do produce a lot of endive. um, oh, golly, we're producing, uh, approximately million pounds a year. >> uh, y find that most people like it, and i--i just think it's one those products thatthat 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 he time is take things that peopl 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." >> so today on "food 101", we're going to be talking about mushrooms. here to help us out is greg corrigan, senior director of produce and floral here at raley's. greg, good to see you again. >> hey there. >> so when i wk up to this display, i have idea what makes a good mushroom or a bad mushroom. so how do i pick a good one? >> well, the mushroom guys would argue that they're all good.
but there are some differences, and you do want to look for mushros that are nice and white, and fresh, and not a lot of decay. >> ok. >> so you definitely want to stay away from the ones that are turning brown and looking dehydrated. they actuay have some of these new cool packages that are easy anconvenient for the consumer to close. so easy to put in the fridge, store--always want tore them nice and cold in the fridge right away, don't keep them out. um, but se great varietieto choose from. >> so these guys--so i walk up to this--and they do all look good, i will give you credit. they all do look good. but, i mean, what makes a good muroom, like-- >> well, you know, one of the growing trends is going to, like, a crimini shroo. it's a little bit nuttier, a little more woody flavor, a little more robust flavor compared to the traditional white mushroom. >> ok. >> so if you're really wanting to do a stir-fry, or sautee some mushrooms and get some reay robust flavor, try some of the criminis out. they're great. >> and so i get this home-- my big questio washing it. ok? do we put it under the tap, do a little damp cloth? what do we do? what do we do?
>> well, you know, you definitely don't want to wash them beore you're ready to use them. so always wait until you're about to use them. so don't think you have to wash them before you store them in the fridge. that's a bad thing. >> ok. i would do that. >> but you do. you always want to either brush th with a soft brush or rinse them lightly before using. just to get all the debris that may be othere. >> that is gonna do it for the show today. if you have any questions about the recipes or the stories you've seen on the show today, check out our website at www.californiacountry.org. and we'll see you again next week on "california country". [captioning made possible california farm bureau federation] [ctioned by the national captiong institute --www.ncicap.org--]