Irish moss, chicken luxury and auto etiquette

Raw-foods dessert class tops list of green-friendly things you should know about

Available at Lyon Books

Available at Lyon Books

Dessert is good for you
Durham kiwi and kiwano (African horned cucumber) farmer Katy Warren is hosting a raw-foods dessert class on Sept. 4 in the community kitchen of Valley Oaks Village co-housing near Bidwell Park. Tiziana Alipo Tamborra, master dessert chef at San Francisco’s Café Gratitude, and co-author of Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts (pictured), will teach the three-hour class, which begins at 10 a.m. and costs $50.

Tamborra will demonstrate how to make chocolate-hazelnut mousse pie, strawberry mousse pie, a meringue parfait with fresh fruit and Irish-moss smoothies—all uncooked and containing Irish moss, a common gelatinous additive in raw-food recipes.

Irish moss is a nutritious, red algae/seaweed that grows along the rocky coasts of Europe and North America that also goes by the name Chondrus crispus or carrageen moss. (Carrageenan, a thickening agent used in commercial food production, is derived from Irish moss.) Irish moss contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, D, E and K, as well as iodine, calcium, manganese, zinc, iron and protein.

Warren has eaten many times at Café Gratitude in San Francisco, as well as the café’s locations in Berkeley and San Rafael, and describes the food as “so satisfying.” She is not a vegetarian, but includes a lot of raw vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts in her diet.

Raw foods are a vital source of enzymes, Warren said. “[The enzymes] haven’t been cooked or heated out—they help build and rebuild the body.”

Warren has tried the chocolate-hazelnut mousse pie at Café Gratitude, “and I’m telling you, it’s absolutely delicious,” she said.

Contact Warren at <script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">{ document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,97,32,104,114,101,102,61,34,109,97,105,108,116,111,58,107,97,116,121,64,98,97,107,104,121,101,46,111,114,103,34,62,107,97,116,121,64,98,97,107,104,121,101,46,111,114,103,60,47,97,62)) } </script> for more information.

Chicken coops, Part 6
Jennifer Jewell, host of KCHO gardening show In a North State Garden, has the loveliest chicken coop I have ever seen. When I visited, one of Jennifer’s hens—Clover, a Black Sex-Link—had sadly gone missing the day before, but Buttercup, Checkers and Latte (Golden Sex-Link, Araucana and Cochin, respectively) were busy scratching and clucking in their luxurious coop.

Jennifer’s husband designed and built the chickens’ roomy, enclosed pen and coop beneath a grape arbor and a hybrid blue-oak tree. It features an elevated nesting-box area painted a smart yellow beneath which sits a ground-level dust-bath area where the hens can freshen up out of the rain and sun. Mice and snakes are unable to burrow beneath the coop/pen as the ground beneath it is lined, about six inches below ground, with wire “hardware cloth,” which comes up along the sides of the pen. A rain gutter runs water off of the coop’s roof into a rain barrel. And, the prettiest part: the front (pictured), boasting a tile mural and a bright-blue door inspired by the famed blue door in the film Notting Hill.

Bike-lane lesson
Cars driving in bike lanes when getting ready to make a right turn: I was stuck behind one of you the other day near the Chico Mall when I was riding my bicycle, towing my daughter in a bike trailer. The light was red; you were about six cars back from the intersection. Auto-drivers, it is hard enough to get around you in a bike lane when I don’t have a trailer on the back of my bike. Please be courteous and stay in your lane.