patwin, frassinetto, sonora white and red fife OH MY!!!!

amber waves of grain..

cv3  these names sound like labels for wine right? these are heritage grains and some of the flavors that you may or may not have already tasted grown in Northern California mostly in what is known as the Capay  Valley Region. I am here to change that..

capay valley

Please accept my apologies.. I am back now after having had an illness I will be bringing the flavors of grain: sustainable, local and full of aroma and flavor  that you have never ever tasted before..  Its high me we take back the flavors of seed that are specific to temperature and soil and it turns out that much much wheat was grown in California before it became conveniently modified for “efficiency.”

On Monday OCT 29TH 2018.. I am bringing ancient grain bread  back.


Please let me know that you will be wanting the next loaf.. It will be Red Fife!

 reply here.. or call me at 831 626 4406.

There will be an envelope in which to put your 6 dollars for the loaf and your loaf will have you name on it . …

a village needs a butcher, a baker and  a candlestick maker…

bon apetit!

anina marcustartine






      So here we are in Fall 2018.    I had to take a mini break due to circumstances beyond my control and now I am back.  It just goes to show what John Lennon said:  Life happens when you are busy making other plans..


But for now, I just wanted to give you your pick up schedule for your bread.. so mark you calendars.

The 3rd Sunday of every month will be pick up day for the next 3 months:Oct 21, nov 18th  AND actually the last  sundayDec 30th..  As usual PICK UP the Highlands Bakery of course.  If for any reason you cannot make that date, I will be donating your bread to someone else or you can call me and I can try to freeze for you IF I HAVE SPACE IN MY FREEZER.  Please confirm with me by either calling 831 601 1065 or by responding to this email.

We have to slow down enough to appreciate true flavors and not “alternative flavors”  as some in the government  think we are doing… We have to continue to articulate the difference between the real and the fake and so making REALLY GOOD BREAD is my way of  making good bread REAL!!!!






confirming grain train pick ups:

I am just confirming that you bread folks will be picking up bread here at my house (or possibly another location) on sunday JULY 15 sundy AUGUST 19 AND sunday SEPTEMBER 23 anytime between 12 and 6> if not, the following day the bread will BE here till 12:00 otherwise it gets donated to food bank..SO PLEASE EAT.GOOD.BREAD

Please write to me to confirm.anina in the throes of baking love



It was only a matter of time.

First I fell in love with making sourdough starter.

Next; I covered my bookshelves with bread baking books and studied every baking technique for making good bread: stretch and fold, slap and fold, pinch and fold, no knead, gently coax dough into shaggy ball, firm starter, wet starter, open crumb, tight crumb, burnished crust, golden crust,  shapes of baguette, boule, batard, ciabatta, foccacia, pain au compagne,


I learned how to slit open the tops of the loaves before they go into the oven so they open up in to the myriad of patterns, visual delights that show off the breads lasting mark… AND NOW

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!  WE ARE GOING BACKWARD TO SHOW OFF THE FLOUR, THE FARMER AND THE AMAZING FLAVORS OF  THE FAMILY OF WHEATS…. PRESERVING IDENTITY … how each flour really tastes..  Just as we began to take back the flavors of heirloom tomatoes,  just as we began to taste coffees from the farms of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sumatra, Bali.. we will taste grain from small farms from the hands of the farmers who know their land..

No more middleman commodity shareholder, no more trying to “enrich” or make “shelf stable” or make more “efficient” by killing nutrient rich soil with pesticides and milling out the nutrient dense bran and germ, nor more growing the same crop year after year as in monocultures with weed killers like round up.   Instead of round up.. We will rise up to the level of great bread!I am taking you back  to grains grown throughout California on small farms preserving their individual characteristics and wow what a revelation these flavors are. Get ready!

Have you ever heard of these varieties? JOAQUIN D’ORO? RED FIFE? EDISON?  PATWIN 515 ? FRASINETTO,    Neither have I..but together we will taste them all.

***These flavors are expensive  $4.00/11/2 pound. You know what I mean?

The subscription of 6 breads will now cost $36.00 … a small price to pay for 1)saving the soil  2)contributing to  local farm economy 3)preserving the distinctive flavor of grains … each to where they are suited rather than let the suits make the grain fit their pocketbooks. 4)nutritionally packed  with bran intact. 5)the sheer excitement of discovering a long lost flavor.   Yes in the end it is just good bread… whichever way you slice it (sorry)  but for me now it is also about starting a discussion ONCE AGAIN. about where does our food come from? what makes it so good?  Taking back our food to where it belongs…in our hearts and minds and souls.

To those that cannot afford it, I give loaves away every week.. I want it enjoyed pure and simple. Thank you all for contributing to the greatness of the community and the grain!

best, anina


butter still life













starters and stirrings:

Greetings from the land of Dough.  By now all of you have hopefully tried some of the latest breads; It could have been Maple Autumn Rye or Walnut Sage (all the sage came from free pick from Earthbound Farms herb garden) or the White Rye sour toasted sunflower seed.    I have been loving my new baking book called BIEN CUIT (well baked) The baker is Zachary Golper from Brooklyn.. his love is  leaving the doughs for up to 24 hours in the fridge .. then baking them right from the fridge at high temperatures which  results in a burnished.. the “almost but not quite burnt look”  and  simply put: the longer a bread has a chance to sit.. big chains of molecules break down into smaller ones producing amylose, maltose into glucose.. proteins into amino acids and we get to taste AMAZING FLAVOR!!    This baker has me making pumpkin flour out of pumpkin seeds, finding white rye,  using maple syrup with rye.. he is pushing the dough into unchartered territory and I am pushing it or gently folding it into your hands.

Some of you may know that I bake in a $99 oster table top oven.. You are right. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE OVEN.  its about good ingredients, a bakers temperament, and a very healthy sourdough starter and then you have a fighting chance at good sourdough.  I also use a quarry tile set on the base rack of the oven which holds the heat better and helps with getting good even color on the bread.

I am getting closer and closer to achieving what are called the “Ears”.. that beautiful way the top of the bread opens… creating a flap or an overhand on one side.. It is just so tricky. it involves timing, a light touch with the lame (this razor on a stick gizmo that slashes bread) and proper angling of the wrist.. Yes. It turns out to be one of the most elusive parts of this whole baking process.. Just take it from me.. I cannot wait to bake another bread just to see if I can get the proper opening on the top of the bread again.. Yes it is an endless quest.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT:   I wrote a piece that will be published in Edible Monterey Bay  in September about  a long correspondence in letters I had with a wonderful food writer named MFK FISHER  culminating in a chance to meet her at her  Glen Ellen Ranch in 1989.. suffice it to say along with the piece, there are photos and you will see pictures of my little bakery on the hill here in the highlands.

MISE EN PLACE: (everything in its place)

As we have swung out of summer and are now falling into fall.. there have been graduations and weddings, birthdays, funerals and anniversaries.. many milestones in peoples lives. In my life my mama turned 90!  I remember when Paul simon sang: “how terribly strange to be 70.. and now we are entering the bold new 90’s.. talk about unchartered territory. I have a patient turning 100 this week and lucky for her she can afford help!!  What will happen to the rest of us living way beyond what we ever thought possible?

I had one brief shining moment of great insurance coverage thanks to that long ago great missed president: Barack Obama.  It was called the Affordable Care Act.. Now I heard from my insurance that “do to the uncertain times” we are living in (translation: due to the greed and wrath and corruption of Trump) Anthem will have to pull out of providing subsidies so that I will no longer be getting affordable insurance.. yes for me obama was a  kind of  Camelot.. especially as a single part time working woman in America.  He was looking out for me.. oy.

I am profoundly greatful for the Osio Cinema back again here in Monterey.. because where else could I see great independant movies (even if its is just me and a friend in the theatre)   like Paterson and I, Daniel Blake… both miraculous movies.

PLEASE STRETCH your bodies..  as a physical therapist… I cannot tell you how important it is to keep those muscles like rubber bands..  not like strips of leather… as we age.. it makes getting up and sitting down not hurt half so much..   Raise you arms to the sky and breathe at least 3x a day …


Lastly:    I am looking forward to  baking new breads and still hope for better “ears on the tops,  to more dancing,   to traveling to possibly Cuba or Greece or elsewhere, to looking up at the moon and to watching the sun go down. to digging in the dirt.. and communing with my  friends..


pink ladies