This won't be a requiem for Huell, as I didn't know the guy. But the work speaks for itself, and I loved the work. Long before I started reading Jonathan Gold, I got ideas for food adventures from Huell's programs. I could spend an hour trying to think of places and foods I either discovered or finally tried because of Huell and still leave some out. (Zacatecas Raspados, apple picking in Oak Glen, Noriega's, Galco's, Kruegermann, the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the French Garden, China Islamic, Mr. Baguette... and this is just off the top of my head.)
When I was a kid he also did a segment on E. Waldo Ward in Sierra Madre, though I don't know if I ever saw it until I was in my 20s. I've been a fan of E. Wado Ward's foods for a long time, and I brought three of them back with me from my recent California vacation. I wasn't really planning to write them up, or at the very least I was going to just throw them into one of the "Snack Time" posts, but in the last couple of days I've been thinking about the concept of California's Gold and decided that E. Waldo Ward deserves its own post.
E. Wado Ward - the man, not the company - moved to Sierra Madre (my hometown) in 1891 and planted 20 Navel orange trees. After a while he started making marmalade and preserves. 120 years later his descendants still make products using the best ingredients possible and old-school methods.
I have had more than a dozen items over the years. All of them have been good and I wish I could have brought them all back with me, but I only had so much room in my suitcase. So I chose my three favorite. (In case you're wondering, you can order from Waldo Ward online. My favorite items that I did not have room for are the mango chutney, tartar sauce, "meat & barbecue" sauce, and jalapeño-raspberry jam.)
I won't mince words here: it is the best steak marinade I have ever used.
For years, my friend Murph raved about the flank steak that I would cook. I made it for him two years in a row on his birthday. I told him that I did something special to it, though I wouldn't say what. The truth is that I always picked up a Prime flank steak and marinated it for at least two days in this mixture of orange juice, sherry wine reduction, garlic, soy sauce, jalapeno puree, and a few other things.
I definitely miss this place. Yeah, I could order more things online, but it's not the same as being able to head to the local butcher shop and pick them up.