It's far removed from the bustling vainglory of San Francisco, the excessive hipness of Oakland and the possess of the North Bay. It’s one of the most populous cities in the Bay Area, credited with gifting the world Tom Hanks, Dave Brubeck, at least two of the Workaholics, Water world (or whatever it's called now) and the area’s great culinary contribution, the cheese zombie.
I recall zombies clearly from my days at Concord High School in the mid-aughts: ready white cloud puffs containing globs of melted American cheese, brushed with a sheen of salted butter. They were immaculate and nutritionally dubious, made flawless in memory.
Mount Diablo Unified School District students like me have been buying these things since the ‘60s. Early that decade, Mount Diablo High School bakers Decca Phillips and Helen Bullock improvised the breakfast treat in the school’s cafeteria kitchen, reportedly riffing on Bullock's husband's recipe for Piroshki.
As lore dictates, after zombies first caught on with the kids, Phillips and Bullock would arrive early to work each day and roll out sprawling sheets of white doughy fluff to meet daily demand. The next step was crucial, as it separated the Concord zombie from a similarly named (but inferior, more sandwich-like) baked good native to the Yakima Valley.
Concord zombies had to be sealed off to not allow the cheese to seep out of the fragile bun, so they crimped the edges of each roll with a special tool to ensure they’d stay tightly closed. The recipe has been tweaked over the decades to make them healthier and to account for changes to the state’s nutrition guidelines, says Dominic Mach, Mt.
Diablo Unified School District’s director of food and nutrition services. It’s comfort food, baked from scratch every day to give students a few bites of warmth before class on dry, frigid Concord mornings.
Mach, who is currently working to get MD USD Eat Real certified (which would make them the first school district in California to do so), says the zombies base has been reformulated with whole wheat flour, and its American cheese filling will likely soon get swapped over to a healthier meltable white cheese. It seems unlikely that the change is going to put any kind of dent in sales.
And Concordant still have fond memories of the food, as detailed by users in a large local Facebook group called Concord Rants and Raves. “I went to Oak Grove Middle and Ignacio Valley High and that's what sustained me all those years!” wrote one fan of the breakfast treat.
I used to have my daughter bring them home for me when she was at Oak Grove.” My mom, who attended Concord High in the ‘70s, remembers them similarly.
Like the rest of the deep East Bay, Concord’s changed some in recent years. It’s not immune to the new and young tech-employed populations moving in beside longtime residential working and middle class families like mine.
To-dos Santos Plaza is a destination now, and there’s a whole new shopping center with a Dave & Buster’s and a “Luke” cinema. Everything else evolves, but in the annals of East Bay life, zombies are the constant.
Now, he says he has no plans to phase out the food from school cafeterias. “It’s a signature dish, and it reflects a positive memory for our students presently and the alumni.
Those without an in at the local public schools can still find them sold by vendors at To-dos Santos Plaza farmers markets, at Patty’s Original CheeseZombies near Concord High, or in the recipes below. Dissolve yeast and let sit / bloom for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbles form.
Using a mixing bowl, add both flours, oil and salt to yeast mixture. Step 2. Pour dough onto floured table and form as needed.
Mist with water, place in proofed for 15 minutes to rise. If you didn’t grow up in Yakima County or select parts of Eastern Washington, the term cheese zombie” most likely means nothing to you.
But if you were lucky enough to be raised on this school lunch staple, you know what a treat it was to dunk those doughy delicacies into a cup of piping hot tomato soup. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date.
Not wanting it to go to waste, the food services supervisor created this elevated sandwich out of cheese and fresh dough. CheeseZombies remained on local school lunch menus for decades to come, with students soon realizing they were best dipped in tomato soup.
Ask any millennial or Generation X alumni from Central Washington about them, and most will tell you they always opted for school lunches on Cheese Zombie day. He grew up in foster care, hanging out with the wrong people (as he puts it), and he even spent some time homeless before completely turning his life around.
While his story isn't pleasant, it's incredibly inspiring, and it has a happy ending -- Moore now has a beautiful wife and a two-year-old son, whom the restaurant is named after. Recent specials have included freshly baked pizza, Indian tacos, and these stellar care Masada fries.
Jessica Wick is a writer and travel enthusiast who loves exploring new places, meeting new people and, of course, beautiful Big Sky Country and every part of Washington State. In the late 1950s, a school district in Washington’s Yakima Valley received an excess of subsidized cheese.
Fee includes snowshoes, tour and light snacks. Tours are limited to 16 and are held on Saturdays from December 26, 2020, through February 27, 2021.
Order online during normal business hours and just SPECIFY PICKUP TIME IN THE NOTES! The best new books this month chosen by us and other independent booksellers across the country.
Savor our alpaca products: yarn, blankets, and fashions. Maybe about home and garden decor... vintage and new... The possibilities are endless.
Date: 1/1/2021 – 1/31/2021 Location: Prosper 6th St between Bennett and Meade Prosper Downtown Outdoor Dining (weather permitting).
This closure enables restaurants to offer outdoor seating and dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner all weekend. Delight the senses, restore your body, and return renewed.
In the world of Pummeling, our commitment is making the time spent with us an interlude to be remembered and treasured. Masks are mandatory throughout your appointment and prior to entering the spa.
Please fill in and return the Health Intake Form that was emailed to you at the time of booking your appointment. Masks, shields and aprons will be worn and changed after every client.
Pick up a copy of the Waldridge Vineyard Map and create your own adventure! Wonder or hike to Cliché Canyon, find your way to the cliff trails, visit the scenic viewpoints and scout for wildlife.
*** We will be following COVID-19 guidelines (which in part, means smaller group sizes), so we suggest signing up soon to secure your spot! This includes a tasting for two, a bottle of wine (your choice), and a charcuterie board.
Our guest will enjoy a cozy table with electric blankets for your seat backs, lap blankest and warm heaters. Date: 1/15/2021 – 1/31/2021 Location: Niches 48935 US-12, Niches, WA 98937 Tubing open Wednesdays and Fridays -11:30 and 2 pm sessions only; Saturday & Sunday – 9:30 am, 11:45am and 2 pm sessions.
Tie ton Made is located on Wisconsin Ave, across from the park. Donations of $10 benefiting Tie ton Arts & Humanities are required.
Please note, a season pass is included for all Kids' Clinic registrants. January 9-10, 23-24 February 6-7, 20-21 March 6-7, 20-21 Kids' Clinic is a go for 2020/21; however we expect that some modifications will be made due to COVID-19.