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    National Watermelon Day! 

    Yes today is National watermelon day.. The problem is that the melons of today taste nothing of the melons of yesteryear.. Since they bio produce the melons without seeds they took the taste with them. I wish that we had flavorful watermelons like years past. Now I understand why when working at Disney they had to request seedless watermelons. (You have to be a few steps ahead of kids.. Eating a wedge of melon on the sky buckets! Not good) Now how does one have a seed spitting contest now? 

    I love using watermelon in other ways then just eating.. Here is a wonderful salsa recipe. 

    Watermelon Salsa

    and Watermelon Rum Punch




    National Cheesecake Day! And the Golden Girls.

    Saturday is National Cheesecake Day! Many of you know that my first book in 2001 was “125 Best Cheesecake Recipes” then a few years later followed up “The Cheesecake Bible” Back when I was “pitching” the proposal around to publishers I felt that I would get a book deal fast (it took about a year) Why wouldn’t I? I had created the cheesecakes for the Golden Girls! (More on that later). When at Disney I would produce over 200 cheesecakes a day.. So I was perfect for the book!

    Golden Girls. When asked in class people are very interested in the taping process.  The show was taped live on Friday Nights.. the first years it was done over at the Sunset-Gower stages then moved closer to Paramount at the Ren-Mar Stages. Friday was the night! The order would come into the Prop Dept for 7 cheesecakes delivered to the stage and placed into the working (only thing working on the set) refrigerator. If you recall the fridge door would open out so only the person opening it could see in. The fridge would have space for 7 cheesecakes all on the same identical platter. The veggie drawers were packed with Coke, Diet Coke and bottles of water. These drinks were used by the “warm up” guy as incentives for the studio while they were entertained while waiting for the show to be taped. I only saw the show taped twice. It was Friday and sometimes the taping could go late. Once on Monday after seeing the show I asked the prop manager why they needed 7 cheesecakes. They had only needed one and the take was perfect.. But why 7? He informed me that I am gone when the taping is happening and if something did go wrong they had 6 backups. Sounded perfect! But then he did let me know that in honestly they probably could to it with 3-4.. But 7 could feed the entire cast and crew for a job well down.

    Here is a clip from one of the shows.


    Never Before and Never in Print.. My Recipe..

    Golden Girls Cheesecake..


    Thank you for being a friend!

    And if you would like to purchase one of my cheesecake books personalized you can here:

    Cheesecake Books


    The Line Up

    I love the sounds and feels of the Farmers Markets.. All Foodies do! You can’t take a bad picture fill of colorful produce and exciting people. When I first started my tour company we visited one of the first markets in California and the one that Julia made famous on the new at the time Food Network. The Santa Barbara: Saturday Market. I still take students to the Coda Street Market as you do get some things you cant find in stores or other markets.

    One Sunday while in San Francisco I was taking a 2-day course with Denise Vivaldo of . The day prior I had taken a few of the out of town-ers to the Ferry Building Market to take pictures and eat for lunch.. When I arrived to the class I saw that there was a market right next store..The Civic Center Market.. I was 15 minutes early and thought I would walk the length of it.. Against the wall area the Line up was about 150+ people.. Wow I thought.. what are the selling.. No what were they giving away.. Government cheese? No some of the people looked well to do.. The line was full of everyone, everything, every ethnic, Asian, tall, short, male, female, black, white, straight, gay, old, young, poor, rich.. Name it they all were in line. (Would have been a perfect place to conduct statics except one group) Ok now as I walk towards the front to see what in the world was so important to line up and pass up the just in season strawberries… Live Chickens! Humm.. I am not against seeing where your food comes from at all. In France the heads of the chickens are still on the whole chickens when you purchase them at the market. I was just thinking.. hundreds of people in a large city buying live chickens. Yes. I understand that we all buy live Lobsters but Chickens.  We all have heard the stories of Grandma on the farm cutting the chickens head off and the body runs around the yard.

    Many thoughts came to mind. Can you imagine first how to prepare the bird for cooking? If you are one of the poor in the line I was wondering how much the savings was.. If your one of the rich and wanting a fresh fresh bird.. How much different is the taste? San Francisco has many high-rises. Today you hear sounds of a live chicken in the condo next to you.. Tomorrow a bag of feathers in the dumpster.. Or do you make pillows? I can see chickens at a rural market. I saw little chicks for sale at market on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean last year.. 

    I posted a very shorten note on this last year on my facebook.. Not to ruffle feathers since I am sure I do have some PETA followers, Foodies and such.

    The comments were interesting.. One said, “If you see FOOD Inc. (the movie) you would want to see where your food comes from.” to ‘I will take my chicken in plastic wrap”

    By the way.. The chickens are no longer sold at this market but at the Chinatown  Market. 


    The House Of William...

    Here I am in Sonoma, CA.. a few miles west of Napa.. Full of just as many great wineries.. But no not with a French Laundry.. But it was the house of William. 1956.. Right off of the main plaza of Sonoma, Chuck Williams started his first store William-Sonoma. After trips to France of purchasing beautiful copper pots he decided to start the beginning of his first store. His second store was placed in San Francisco, where most of the shoppers came from. He revolutionized the cooking industry. 

    This October he will turn 96. He is one of the greats! I was fortunate to teach in his “Grand Cuisine” stores and also co-guest on the Tom Fitzmorris radio show in New Orleans.. Don’t ask me what we talked about. I was just excited to be sitting next to the icon.

    I am here again teaching and sharing the love of food here at Ramekins. It’s a unique location with a number of kitchens, patio and the top level is an Inn with 6 rooms. It’s as close to Tuscany/Provence you can get.  It has been 10 years since I have taught here and this trip I am more in the moment.. Walking the plaza, enjoying the city and the people. Last nights class was Fast and Easy Appetizers from my 650 Best Food Processor Recipes book. Tonight’s Class is on Sauces. Funny. Joannie Weir will be teaching in the kitchen next to mine.. We both for years crisscross the country teaching but never in the same city unless it’s a convention.

    Here is a recipe from last night:

    Chicken Cakes with Herb Mayo

    Julie from class finishing the cakes with the Dill Mayo. 



    The Beginning.... 

    In 1981 I hand typed all of my recipes for my new upcoming class on Chocolate. We really didn’t have the Internet or the ease of email. I recall typing 6 recipes out and putting them together for my first class I was going to teach. Just recently one of my students from that class was in a current class and brought her prized chocolate stained recipes. 8 cookbooks later and thousands of recipes and classes later here I am finally putting together a new website. It will be full of recipes blogging content and travels. 

    I do hope that you print out a few of the recipes so you can get chocolate all over them too.

    Here is a recipe from that first class:

    Chocolate Raspberry Mousee Torte










    George Geary

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