February 2024: Issue 38

Tackle and Trim, Leather Weather, Naleśniki

by Joey Wolosz | Published March 30, 2021

A Note from Joey Wolosz
Bungalow Board

In this issue, a visit to our kitchen, where we have been tastefully setting well-provisioned tables for our wine-sipping guests.  

I catch up with leathercrafter and small business owner, Bailey Smith, as she works on the finishing touches of the boards we are showcasing tonight. More details below.

Finally, I find yet another excuse to have wine with breakfast and share the recipe for naleśniki with you. These are light Polish crêpes that are filled and gently fried in butter.  At our studio, we are serving these with a spiced white cheese and berries simmered in bitter Campari, a nice foil to our 2021 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Indeed, a breakfast of champions.

It is 10s, 10s, 10s! Tens across the board!

Tonight, at our downtown studio, we are visiting the art of the cutting board at our first salon evening. We start at 5:30 pm. There will be wine, light snacks from the kitchen, and conversation with craftswomen of custom wood and leather work, Christina Hultberg and Bailey Smith.

If you’re in the area, please join us.

If you aren’t able to make it and would like a custom walnut Gentleman Famer cutting board crafted by House of Quail, featuring hand-stitched leather from Cardigan Leather Works, email us directly at concierge@gentlemanfarmerwines.com to place an order.

Joey in the Kitchen

The transition from our Yountville cook space to the new studio kitchen has expanded our already well-stocked pantry.

Jeff and I have been fully engaged, adding to the larder, and that includes charcuterie and the accouterments.  

During the past three weeks, we have pulled out our tackle and put to use all manner of trim. In doing so, our kitchen has assembled multiple variations of pork terrine and 13 pounds of pancetta. Hanging in our basement is duck prosciutto wrapped in cheesecloth.  Tucked underneath all this goodness are crocks of sausage confit, duck confit, and the obligatory kiełbasa.

To accompany our winter bounty, Jeff has made over 30 quarts of piquant mustard featuring a key ingredient, our Chardonnay. I have seen him enjoying a little sip here and there as he blends it into the whole-grain spread.

The stocking of provisions has expanded. Concerning charcuterie, the condiment is not negotiable. Jeff has beefed up our supply of the pickled, candied, and poached, focusing his latest attention on the winter citrus, the kumquat, adding a little brightness to the array of cured, dried, and formed meats.

Our kitchen is also alive with the aroma of baked loaves (upon loaves, upon loaves) of sourdough and brioche.

And to gild it all, Jeff has even found a way to put his own spin on the childhood favorite, Cracker Jack. His new, spicy creation is dubbed, Cracker Jeff.

It is just the two of us in our tasty workroom. It warms us, getting ready each day to welcome guests with Chadonnay and a savory breakfast, a cool rosé to start a hearty lunch, or a velvety Napa Valley Cabernet with the slow pace of supper.

We love having this space, and look forward to hosting you in the kitchen with us. Grab a glass and pull up a stool.

Bailey Smith with Leather Works

Bailey Smith is an artist who brought her skill of the brushstroke and the canvas to the more tactile craft of leatherwork. She is the founder of Cardigan Leather Works. Her handsome pieces feature her hand stiching, painting, cutting, and assembly.

Recently, she began collaborating with Christina Hultberg of House of Quail, making leather straps and accents for Christina’s hand-made wood cutting and presentation boards.  These boards are featured in luxury hotels including the guestrooms of the new Napa Valley Auberge resort, Stanly Ranch.  

The two women have created a one-of-a-kind Gentleman Farmer board that will debut this February 28 at our downtown studio for gustatory well-being.

I caught up with Bailey in Sacramento when she had a break from her original art work, two sons, and Cardigan Corgi.  

You can find and follow Bailey @cardiganleatherworks.

Joey Wolosz: What brought you to leathercraft?

Bailey Smith: I’ve always been an artist. When I was a kid, I would hide in my room after school and draw. In my early 20s I got bored with drawing and painting on canvas and paper.  I wanted to see if I could translate that onto leather. That’s where it all started and it ended up working pretty well for me. I started making little things like wallets, small purses, bracelets, cuffs, and things like that. Then I started painting on them, and it stuck.

JW: Where do you find your inspiration?

BS: Primarily nature, that’s always been a big influence in my life. I’ve tried to get away from it but it doesn’t happen. So nature it is.

JW: You are teamed up with House of Quail, making wood cutting boards with leather straps and accents, one of which is a collaboration with Gentleman Farmer. How did you connect with Christina Hultberg and House of Quail?

BS: Christina actually reached out to me. She dropped into my DMs and said,” I have this huge project that I’m working on, would you be interested in meeting me and seeing if it’s something you want to do.”

It was for Auberge Resorts at Stanley Ranch [in Napa]. They were for their cottages, and she was working on a board design. The boards had a leather handle. That’s where I came in. We just hit it off. It ended up just being a really good working relationship and friendship.

JW: What are your other creative outlets?

BS: I do bookbinding. It’s a newer hobby, but I’m very much enjoying it. I usually work with thrifted books. Typically, I go to Goodwill or other thrift stores. My friend and I do it together and we design all of our covers ourselves, everything is original on them. We tear them apart and put them back together and give them new life. Tomorrow I’m binding the last book of a series. 

JW: Are you working with any leather covers?

BS: We’ve done one leather book cover. I want to do more but we haven’t quite jumped into that yet. It was very soft leather. The book was Eragon so we did a black pebbled leather. It turned out pretty cool. It is about dragons so the book nerd in me will show itself.

JW: Tell me about your connection to food and wine.

BS:  I enjoy cooking and I love wine. I grew up cooking with my mom and my grandmother, those are probably my connections. We’re not recipe followers at all. We are a throw a bunch of stuff together and see what happens kind of group. My husband is much more the chef in the household.

I didn’t start drinking wine until I met, who is now, one of my best friends. She got me into wine. It was one of those things that had always eluded me. It didn’t I didn’t know that I was a wine person. She definitely got me into it and I always enjoy a good glass or two.

I also started collecting Scotch a few years back. I’m whisky, without an “e”. To me peat can be very overpowering, it has to be just the right blend.

JW: What Scotch you’re drinking.

BS: Right now, I’ve been drinking a very peated one, Ardbeg.

JW: Who are two people you’d like to share long, lingering meal with and what would you serve?

BS: Friends and family excluded, I would say my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon and Sarah J Maas. I would love to pick their brains about how they come up with these crazy, intricate stories and characters.

I might have my husband do the cooking since he is very good at it.  His Beef Wellington is always fantastic. Yes, he fancies himself a fine dining chef.  Beef Wellington, with all the sides, usually he does a parsnip puree.  That would be that would be my ideal little get together. 

JW: What do you have a really good time doing?

BS:  Anything outdoors. I love hiking. I’m into hunting and fishing as well. It is something I grew up doing that with my dad and I haven’t stopped. Basically, if I can get outdoors and do it, I’m happy.

Locally, I’ve been going to the Folsom Lake area to go hiking or paddleboarding. 

I fish with my husband because that’s what he does for a living. He fishes for bass. We go to all the local lakes.

We hunt everywhere, out-of-state and in-state. We hunt for waterfowl, upland game, big game, and deer. Both guns and archery, but I’m a bow hunter first, that’s my primary focus.

JW: Where do you hunt?

BS: Mostly local, there are waterfowl refuges in the Sacramento area. My dad and I go for deer every year together. We go up just below Chester, in the Lake Almanor area. That’s our annual trip that we do together, which is always really fun. But we’re trying to go out of state a little bit more. I’ve been to Idaho and Texas. We’ll see.

JW: Dou share the kill with your dad?

BS:  Yes. At the campsite we’ll get it all broken down. Then we’ll take it to somewhere that’ll make different cuts out of it for us or sausage. We eat everything that we kill, so none of it goes to waste.

That’s one of the most satisfying things I think, to be able to provide your own food, and know where it came from completely.

JW: Do you ever consider saving the skins and leathercrafting them?

BS: I have considered it. I had one hide that I had saved from one of my deer. I started the tanning process and it just went horribly wrong. I’ll let the professionals handle that.

JW: What would be your spirit animal?

BS:  I’m not an overly social person. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, but I enjoy the people that are in my circle. So maybe something like a wolf, with a small pack, you know, loyal to the ones closest to you.

JW: What is your motto?

BS: Live a life that makes you genuinely happy. Do whatever that takes, even if sometimes it’s being selfish, focus on yourself.

JW: Sounds like you’re doing that. 

BS: Finally.

Naleśniki

Naleśniki are Polish-style thin pancakes, like French crêpes. Rolled up or folded, they can be filled with sweet or savory fillings. My recipe is a double-fried pancake with sweetened white cheese and a berry compote, drizzled with some soured cream.

The batter is egg-rich and thinner than a traditional pancake batter. The recipe calls for twaróg, a Polish farmer’s cheese. It can easily be made at home. It can also be found in a good Polish market, or you can substitute with whole milk ricotta or whole cottage cheese pressed through a sieve.

We have been hosting “wine with breakfast” lately at our studio for gustatory well-being.  I am serving these with our Pinot Noir. I find the berries, spice, vanilla, and slight bitterness of the Campari is an interesting compliment to this morning wine.

Pairing Recommendations

2022 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Naleśniki
Naleśniki
2019 Napa Valley Red Wine