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: Finding figs

Jan 4, 2021
Jacki Paul

Finding figs on the Central Coast is easy: there are wild trees along local river beds. Mission figs are the most common, but one Central Coast resident has been the 'Johnny Appleseed' of the Turkish fig.

Playing With Food: Flowers you can eat

Nov 30, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Have you ever been to a fancy reception with wine flowing, an array of canapés made with all manner of produce from the Central Coast, charcuterie platters in various corners of the room alongside cheese boards large enough to climb? Did you ever notice that flowers adorned these platters and boards? Often, those flowers are edible. Playing With Food ventured up to Paso Robles to find out more about these culinary treats.

Playing With Food: The season for pumpkin spice

Oct 26, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Pumpkin spice seems to be everywhere, and many are looking forward to that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. But there’s one kind of pumpkin spice that is ewe-nique to the Central Coast. 

(This version has an additional 4 minutes of content not heard during the broadcast.)

KCBX's Greta Mart speaks with San Luis Obispo County top election official Tommy Gong about what is different in this November 3, 2020 election: the pandemic, new machinery, operational changes and possible power shutoffs. Scott Yoo, music director of Festival Mozaic and host of the newest installment of the PBS series "Now Here This," talks about  filming an episode in San Luis Obispo during the pandemic. The San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation helps people on the Central Coast who cannot afford to pay for legal services, and you’ll hear from the organization's executive director. Finally, on this month's Playing With Food, Father Ian Delinger joins a quest through poison oak to collect local wild yeast for brewing beer.

Playing With Food: Hunting wild yeast

Oct 5, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Come along as Father Ian joins Chip Nasser of Night Lizard Brewing Company on a hunt for local wild yeast to make beer and bread. 

Fr. Ian Delinger

San Luis Coastal Unified School District is not only providing students with nutritious food, but making sure that no child goes hungry, even in a global pandemic. The district's director of food services tells the story.

Issues & Ideas: Coin shortage, abalone and a "quarantini" a day

Jul 28, 2020


Playing With Food: The daily quarantini

Jul 28, 2020
Dustin Colyer-Worth

While the bars have been closed, one person is doing his best to do his part to flatten the curve by staying home and recreating the ambiance of a cocktail bar right in his own home. Dusty Colyer-Worth has been creating his own unique "Quarantini a Day," and turning into a fine mixologist.

Fr. Ian Delinger

In this episode of Playing With Food: Getting authentic Southern smoked pulled pork and a sought-after Southern BBQ sauce isn't always easy on the Central Coast, but Miss Oddette's Creole Kitchen will deliver, with a side of coleslaw and more. Father Ian visits with Oddette Augustus and talks about the recent local Black Lives Matter and George Floyd demonstrations, and how nationwide calls for racial justice were felt here on the Central Coast. 

Playing With Food: Poison oak, yeast and bread

May 18, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Yeast. It’s all around us. Two popular uses of yeast are for beermaking and breadmaking. Playing With Food went on a hunt for local wild yeast and has produced a segment on each. This one is about making bread with wild yeast…specifically wild yeast captured near poison oak, which is how this segment got its name. This is how we did it.

Playing With Food: Artichokes galore

Apr 27, 2020
Liz Frost

The artichoke—California’s official vegetable—was brought here by the Spanish in the 19th century. With 99.9% of America’s artichokes grown here, they are as Central Coast as any produce can get, as Father Ian Delinger learns exploring the joys of artichokes in this episode of 'Playing With Food.'

Playing With Food: Central Coast olive oil

Mar 30, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

Explore the world of Central Coast olive oil with Father Ian on "Playing With Food."

Playing with Food: Foraging for seaweed

Feb 24, 2020
Fr. Ian Delinger

On the Central Coast, the ocean is an enormous source of food. We all know about fish and shellfish. But what about seaweed? Harvesting seaweed is super easy, and there is an endless supply. Father Ian Delinger dove right in, and took Playing With Food to new depths.

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.

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