Playing With Food

During Issues and Ideas, Wednesdays from 1-2:00 p.m.

A monthly piece on unique ways of looking at everyday foods on the Central Coast.

Playing With Food: Fermenting kombucha

Jan 27, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Fermented stuff is all the rage these days. One fermented product is popping up all over the Central Coast—not just for sale, but in people’s garages—and that’s kombucha. Playing With Food checked in with both a commercial kombucha brewer and a home brewer to get a taste of what is kombucha.

Playing With Food: Holiday Special 2019

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

This episode is a 'Playing With Food' holiday extravaganza, with three segments featuring foods along the Central Coast.

The podcasts for the individual segments of the holiday special can be found below and on the 'Playing With Food' page, including the recipes for latkes and Hanukkah donuts.

Playing With Food: A tamale holiday party

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

In Mexico and for many Mexican-American families, Christmas means tamale time. This little package of meat and mole nestled in cornmeal and wrapped in a corn husk can be found at many a taqueria here in California.

Playing With Food: The magic of oil at Hanukkah

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. As with every Jewish holiday, symbolic food is prominently featured in the celebrations. Since the observance recalls the miracle of a one-day’s supply of lamp oil lasting a full eight days, oil takes center stage…in the preparation of the holiday treats.

Playing With Food: A Brussels holiday

Dec 23, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

It’s the holiday season, and what goes with the winter holidays better than Brussels sprouts? So many people hate them, yet they adorn many a holiday table across the country. There is an endless supply of the cute, tiny cabbages here on the Central Coast, and in this episode of "Playing With Food," Father Ian tries to help you fall in love with them or love them even more.

Playing With Food: Mystery cracked; it's walnuts!

Nov 25, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

A mystery grove along Highway 101 turns out to be walnuts. “Playing With Food” cracks the nut on 57 years of growing walnuts on the Central Coast near San Ardo.

Playing With Food: Pomegranate

Oct 28, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

From fire-red flowers in the summer to beautiful fruit in late autumn, the pomegranate can be found in small pockets of the Central Coast. Whether snacking on the seeds, sipping the juice or making jam, pomegranates are a taste-and-see must!

Playing With Food: Lavender in the kitchen

Sep 30, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

In the early summer, many of our yards are dotted with the vibrant purple flowers of lavender. In addition to the splash of color they give to our golden lawns, the heavenly scent of lavender relaxes us when the dried buds are put in sachets and dotted around the house. But did you know that lavender has many culinary uses? There are a handful of lavender farms along the Central Coast, and Father Ian visited one to find out how to use the plant in everyday cooking.

Playing With Food: Apricots from See Canyon to beer

Jul 29, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Traipsing through an orchard of overburdened fruit trees, Father Ian sees the apricots in See Canyon are ripe for the pickin’. What are the ingredients needed to produce the best crop ever? What is a new way to use apricots? Find out on the latest edition of “Playing With Food."

Playing With Food: Picking blueberries

Jul 1, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

It’s berry season! The rain is gone; the sun is out; the berries are poppin’. Time to put on the elbow-length leather gloves and wade into the brambles, right? Not quite. 

Playing With Food: Vegan cheese with ease

Jun 3, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Vegan cheese has come to the Central Coast, and if you think it’s a passing fad, find out what Father Ian discovered up in Paso Robles. Not only can you buy it and taste it, you can learn how to make it at home.

Playing With Food: Journeys with Rachel

Apr 29, 2019
Rachel Duchak

Living in Los Osos has transformed the culinary endeavors of KCBX Morning Edition host Rachel Duchak, and it starts in her garden. Homegrown, carefully attended, and seasonally selected shape Rachel’s passion for plants. Visiting in her fog-kissed garden, we learn about her journey from the Midwest to California, and from English professor to radio host in this “Playing With Food.”

Playing With Food: Preparing for Passover

Mar 25, 2019
A Seder Plate used at the Passover Meal
Fr. Ian Delinger

The Festival of Passover is not far off. What is haroset, and why not make homemade matzo crackers? Father Ian Delinger joins two ladies who are preparing for Passover in this installment of Playing With Food.


Playing With Food: Dahl and diversity with Ermina Karim

Feb 25, 2019
SLO Chamber of Commerce

The former CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce is a Bengali woman from a small town in Illinois. She invited me into her home to experience Bengali food and to discuss diversity—and we discovered the power of sharing food.

Playing with Food: Potstickers for Chinese New Year

Jan 28, 2019
Fr. Ian Delinger

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and celebrations will be taking place throughout the state. Father Ian Delinger revisits a bit of the history of Chinese immigrants on the Central Coast, and visits with some locals who teach him how to make potstickers and wontons from scratch.

Playing With Food: Cooking Crissa’s Christmas cake

Dec 17, 2018
Fr. Ian Delinger

Many of us have holiday traditions that date back decades, and some are starting new traditions. Artist and Cal Poly professor emeritus Crissa Hewitt’s fruitcake tradition goes back at least 50 years. Her fruitcake, however, is not a doorstop…it’s a Christmas delight. Father Ian Delinger joined her for this week's episode.

Playing With Food: The Spanish grape varietal

Nov 26, 2018
Fr. Ian Delinger

There is no doubting the Spanish influence on California. The indelible imprint of Junipero Serra and his Spanish missionaries is everywhere, including much of our Spanish-native flora. Yet, our wine industry is dominated by French grape varietals. But that is changing here on the Central Coast. Come along with Father Ian as he discovers more about the Spanish grape varietals.

Playing With Food: Traipsing the tailgating trail

Oct 29, 2018
Fr Ian M Delinger

The smell of BBQ, the wafts of smoke, pounding music and a sea of green: it's the pre-game tailgate party at Cal Poly. Where did this American tradition come from, and what makes it so special?

Father Ian traipses the tailgating trail to experience this festive way of Playing With Food.

Fr Ian M Delinger

A fancy festival fruit – Etrog – is grown right here on the Central Coast. Used in the Jewish festival of Sukkot, the Etrog has deep symbolism. But can it be utilized in the kitchen? Fr Ian Delinger experiments with Etrog on Playing With Food, part of Issues & Ideas.

Screaming For Ice Cream

Aug 29, 2018
A taste of the delicious ice cream from the Scoop Truck in Harmony, CA (pop. 18)
Fr Ian M Delinger

It’s summer and it’s hot outside. Ice cream is the summer favorite. But where did it come from? How did it impact society? And is there anything new? Ice cream’s versatility and utility goes beyond anyone’s imagination. Playing With Food will have you Screaming For Ice Cream!

Playing With Food: In the kitchen gardens

Jul 25, 2018
Fr Ian M Delinger

Gardens across the Central Coast are busting with fruits and vegetables! Just as you might be utilizing your backyard bounty, so too are some bigger operations. Father Ian visits kitchen gardens that feed large groups of people in a college cafeteria and an upscale restaurant. Discover how garden-to-table is improving the way we eat out on Playing With Food.

Powering With Food

May 30, 2018
Monterey Waste Management Agency

Do you ever wonder if your food scraps can be put to good use? Well, now they can! Fr Ian Delinger when the a journey of organics-to-energy to discover how food waste is turned into electricity…and it’s happening right here on the Central Coast. The next episode of Playing With Food is all about Powering With Food.

Imagine going from juvenile hall to julienne vegetables! The Drummond Culinary Academy invites at-risk teenagers to learn valuable skills in the culinary and restaurant industries that will be useful for the rest of their lives. Fr Ian Delinger gets alongside those who are learning and growing by Playing With Food. Part of Issues & Ideas on Wednesday March 25 at 1pm.

Playing with Food: Learning and growing

Apr 25, 2018
Shilo and his assistants prepped 3 hotel pans of enchiladas, all made from scratch.
Fr Ian M Delinger

Imagine going from juvenile hall to julienne vegetables! The Drummond Culinary Academy invites at-risk teenagers to learn valuable skills in the culinary and restaurant industries that will be useful for the rest of their lives. Fr Ian Delinger gets alongside those who are learning and growing by Playing With Food.

Playing with Food: Blending with beard's bananas

Mar 28, 2018
Bananas
Fr Ian M Delinger

Did you know that there are bananas growing on the Central Coast? When I think about banana plantations, I think about warm, tropical places like Panama, Ecuador, or maybe Hawai’i for somewhere in the United States. But we have bananas right here on the Central Coast. Father Ian Delinger explored a banana plantation in Goleta that has been in existence since 1978, and was inspired to go bananas in the kitchen yet again with Central Coast produce, and Blending with Beard's Bananas.

Bag of food
Fr Ian M Delinger

Imagine playing with food as your job! Father Ian met up with the Nutrition Program Manager at the Food Bank of SLO County whose job it is to develop tasty and nutritious recipes from the food that is distributed through the Food Bank. Father Ian follows the process from the grocery bag to the stove to the distribution center with this tasty creation.

Playing with Food: Creating with cannabis

Feb 5, 2018
Fr Ian M Delinger

As of January 1, the sale, purchase, and possession of marijuana and its products became legal in California. This prompted the “Playing With Food” Crew to flirt with the idea of Creating With Cannabis! Will Father Ian Delinger create an elaborate feast with cannabis? For sure, some issues and ideas are explored.

Creating With Kiwi

Dec 28, 2017
Bright green Kiwi grown right here on the Central Coast!
Fr Ian M Delinger

Did you know that Kiwi fruit grows on the Central Coast? Did you know that it grows on a vine, not a tree? Fr Ian Delinger didn’t know either of those fun facts, so he went out to discover the highs and lows of kiwi farming. When he returns from the vineyards, he gets back in his kitchen and does some creating with kiwi.

Other People Playing With Food

Nov 29, 2017
Chris McIntyre of 3 Flies On A Knife prepares his Tumeric Loaves
Fr Ian M Delinger

“There are people who play with food in their kitchens and get paid to do it! Cottage Food Operators changed the game in artisan foods on the Central Coast. Fr Ian Delinger goes right into the homes and kitchens of some of the Central Coast’s most delicious entrepreneurial efforts. ‘Other People Playing With Food’ is part of this week’s ‘Issues & Ideas’.”

Playing With Pizza

Oct 25, 2017
SLO Fire Chief and his wood-fired pizza oven
Fr Ian M Delinger

Fr. Ian Delinger is “Playing With Pizza.” A wood-fired oven is an item that may or may not be something one would think a Fire Chief would have—shouldn’t he be putting out fires instead of starting them—or is he the safest person to start that fire? SLO Fire Chief Garret Olson has a passion for pizza. He invited Fr. Ian into his home pizzeria for a pizza tutorial and a look into the life of a firefighter.

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