CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions are a terrific way to get started in local eating. You buy a subscription or “share” from a farm offering CSA’s in the early spring. In return you’ll get a bag or box of farm fresh food every week, usually from May through September or so. Here’s the list of farms in Whatcom County offering CSA’s for 2010, according to Sustainable Connections’ March newsletter: Continue Reading
Greenhouses allow us to enjoy fresh salad greens most of the year here in Whatcom County. DEVine Gardens has a colorful mix of various tender greens that I really enjoy.
Making a local dressing is a bit of a challenge, though. To the best of my knowledge, no one in Whatcom County produces a salad oil, the basis of most salad dressing recipes. The next alternative is frequently lemon juice, also not produced locally.
In this recipe I offer one possible solution for both problems. First, using yogurt as the main ingredient gives the dish a creamy texture similar to that given by salad oil. Second, the leaves of the sorrel plant have an acidic, lemony tang that is quite delicious. Continue Reading
One of the special delights of eating local food is trying new ingredients or using familiar foods in new combinations. I haven’t cooked much with sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes. I tried using them in a cottage pie recently, and was delighted with the flavor. This time I tried using them in a hearty beef stew.
The flavor of sunchokes is distinctive, slightly sweet, and fairly strong. It blends better with other flavors if the sunchokes are cut into small pieces. For this stew I recommend a quarter-inch dice.
This is a variation of a traditional beef stew that uses a lot of mushrooms and a thick wine sauce. Locally raised stew beef cooks up tender and tasty. Continue Reading
Cottage Pie is a mixture of ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and baked to blend the flavors and brown the top. The vegetables used are typically peas, carrots, and celery, but you can use whatever you like. This is a good dish for cleaning out the produce crisper in the refrigerator.
For this dish, I wandered through Terra Organica and found some wonderful collard greens from Terra Verde (Deming) and delightful little sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) from Osprey Hill Farm (Acme). I decided to carry the “sun” theme farther by getting some Yukon gold potatoes from Hopewell Farm and Broadleaf Farm (both near Everson) for a light sunny color on the top. Continue Reading
Some common ingredients are not produced locally. If you can’t find it, make it, find a satisfactory substitute, or simply live without it, what’s a conscientious locavore to do?
A very basic example is salt and pepper. Neither salt nor black pepper is produced in Whatcom County. Continue Reading
Foods produced by the following sources have been used in our recipes. Some do not use only ingredients from Whatcom County, but they make their products here. Also, while you may be able to buy directly from these producers, their products are often available at grocery stores or other retail outlets. Continue Reading
We have purchased ingredients used in our recipes at the following grocery stores and other food related retail businesses: Continue Reading
The following Whatcom County farms have produced ingredients used in our recipes: Continue Reading
It’s hard to find locally grown fruit in the grocery stores in winter. I love my freezer at this time of the year. I was rummaging in the fruit section of my freezer and found a bag of beautiful frozen raspberries from last summer’s harvest in my friend Nancy’s garden. I froze them spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then put them in a plastic freezer bag. That way the berries don’t stick together. After months in the freezer, the color was still so beautiful and the flavor was so sweet that I didn’t add any sweetener to this recipe. You could add a tablespoon or two of local honey if your berries are more tart. Continue Reading
I’d encourage you to experiment with this recipe, which combines two traditional elements of an American breakfast–eggs and hashbrowns. In this version, the potato “nests” are made with raw grated potatoes which are first parboiled, pressed into muffin tins, and then baked. One variation would be to pile the parboiled potatoes on a cookie sheet and use a spoon to make depressions for the eggs before baking the nests. Another possible variation would be to use mashed potatoes instead of grated.
There are multiple variations for the eggs as well. The version below cooks raw eggs in the “nests”. You could just as easily scramble the eggs first with various additional ingredients, such as mushrooms, jalapenos, etc. Another option would be to poach the eggs before topping with grated cheese and doing the final bake. Continue Reading