Cook Local with August Co-op Cooking Classes

Local ProduceAugust is peak harvest in our area of Nevada County, and BriarPatch loves to celebrate that plenty with a month dedicated to discovering local food.

August’s Co-op Cooking Classes focus on the theme of eating locally, in a wide variety of ways.

On August 1, Lucinda Tyrell will teach “What to do with those Local Veggies.” Learn to turn those mystery farmers market veggies into great dishes including kholrabi salad with fennel dressing, kholrabi slaw, kholrabi soup, eggplant ratatouille, eggplant chickpea tagine, green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, stir-fried greens, and a local berry dessert.

“Local and Raw Sauces, Entrees, Desserts: A well-rounded introduction to raw cuisine” with Kayla Wexelberg will be held on August 8. Learn how to create a basic range of simple raw sauces, entrees, and desserts that will make it easy to eat fresher, live foods during the local season of abundance.

The ever-popular Liam Blackmon will be teaching, “Tapas, Local-Style” on August 15. In this localvore-oriented class, you will learn to prepare mini-meals or appetizers utilizing Nevada County-sourced ingredients. Recipes will include California Babaganoush, Stuffed Squash Blossoms, and Sierra Mountain Bruschetta.

August 22 finds Chef Doug Schma teaching, “A Taste of Oaxaca, Featuring Nevada County Free Range Beef.” Oaxaca, home to some of the most varied and ancient cuisines in Mexico, is famous for its seven Moles, or sauces, two of which will be prepared in class. Learn how to braise beef with chiles, almonds, bacon, cinnamon, and cloves using a brisket from Nevada County Free Range Beef. Dishes to be presented include Carne Clavteada with Mole Chichilo (beef brisket with dark chile sauce); Legumbres en Pipian Oaxaceno (vegetables sautéed in green pumpkin seed mole); Esquites (corn braised in butter and epazote); Rellenos de Platanos Machos (plantain cakes stuffed with refried black beans); and Zoque (corn, chili, and green leaf chowder). Doug is a chef in the BriarPatch Kitchen. He loves to study and cook real Mexican food.

More classes and descriptions are listed at All Co-op classes are held on Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at In the Kitchen cooking school, 648 Zion Street in Nevada City. The fee for most classes (which includes a share of what’s being cooked) is just $30 for BriarPatch owners, and $35 for the general public. For more information or to pre-register, call BriarPatch at 272-5333×129 or email

food films


watershed“Whiskey’s for drinking. Water’s for fighting.”

A couple of years ago, I was at a natural foods expo in Anaheim, California. After a presentation, all in attendance were mingling, swapping small talk. I was chatting with a co-op manager from Colorado, and almost inevitably, the topic of water flowed into the conversation. As a northern Californian, seeing the expansive lawns and golf courses, fountains and man-made ponds surrounding Disneyland’s hometown was as frustrating for me as it was for the manager that lived at the waterway’s source.

Watershed” focuses on a new water ethic for the West, one in which everyone thinks of conservation, from the source of rivers down to the deltas. While the Colorado River and its diversions, dams, and inability to reach its delta was the star of the film, anyone in the western United States can take a lot from this tale.

There is no need to waste water. There are other options than using potable water to flush away human waste. There is no excuse for ignorance in regards to where your water comes from. Hint, it’s not from the tap.

While water may be for fighting, “Watershed” does an excellent job of focusing on the ways in which water usage can be improved. It leaves the viewer feeling inspired, and gives the audience access to tools to help with water issues.

“Watershed” asks, “What would it mean to create a new water ethic?” I think we should all be willing to find out.

“Watershed” screens in the BriarPatch Community Room on Friday, July 26, at 7:00 p.m. Come early, as seating is limited.