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Blueberry Blue Corn Muffins

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Category : Breads, Recipes

Blueberry Blue Corn MuffinsThis week I didn’t have time to go to the mainland to buy groceries (I live on Lummi Island), so I relied on what was in my pantry and what I could find at the Lummi Island Farmers Market and the Islander grocery store. What a delight to walk into the Islander and see fresh Boxx Berry Farm blueberries in boxes on the checkout counter!

Some didn’t make it home, of course, and others promptly disappeared upon arrival, but I had enough left to bake into something. I had a little blue cornmeal from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill on hand in my pantry, so decided to make some “blue in blue” muffins. Continue Reading

Sauteed Red Cabbage

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Sauteed Red CabbageMy daughter’s employer is a farmer at heart, and was able to make time to grow a vegetable garden this year. He recently had more red cabbage than he could use, so passed some along to us. Continue Reading

Finding Local Food

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Category : About Food Sources, August, CSAs, Farm Stands, Farmers' Markets, Grow Your Own, On the Farm, Retail Stores, Seasonal Menu Ideas, U-Pick Farms, Whatcom Locavore Basics, Where to Buy Local Food

Finding Local Foods, and Red Cabbage MenuFinding locally grown organic food can be a fascinating treasure hunt, but it also can be time consuming, especially at first. Here are some food finding tips to help jumpstart your locavore lifestyle:

1. Start close to home.
You may have noticed that I mention some farms more frequently than others. That’s because they are the best sources I’ve found close enough to my normal errand routes to be convenient. My goal is to find the quality I want as close to home as possible. I go to Half Acre Farm for u-picking vegetables, but you may be able to locate a u-pick you like closer to where you live. Continue Reading

Stuffed Zucchini

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Stuffed ZucchiniZucchini is infamous for how quickly and easily it grows around here. If you don’t pick it while it is small, zucchini just keep growing, getting larger and larger until it gets ridiculous. One plant can easily produce a dozen or more zucchinis. I find it to be a good source of garden humor.

If we are honest, virtually every gardener who has ever grown zucchini feels a little angst when thinking about the harvest season. No gardener wants to waste the smallest bit of the food they grow, but what do you do with the vast surplus of zucchini that seems to appear overnight if you aren’t rigorously diligent at picking it? Giving it to friends works for awhile, until we begin to see the look of panic in our friends’ eyes when we offer zucchini yet again and they frantically try to think of a polite way to say, “No more!” Some gardeners I know resort to dropping off zucchini by the door at night, or when they know their friends aren’t home. Others simply put it out in front of their own house with a “free” sign. Continue Reading

Trying New Local Ingredients

Category : About Food Sources, August, Farmers' Markets, Lummi Island, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Try New Varieties and Stuffed Zucchini MenuAs we begin to approach the peak harvest season in Whatcom County, I enjoy going to the Farmers Market to look for different or unusual varieties of vegetables I haven’t tried before. Instead of sticking to a shopping list, sometimes I like to let the vegetables themselves inspire my menus.

Zucchini is a familiar ingredient, of course, but this week Hillcrest Farm (Lummi Island) had a variety that was new to me. “Eight Ball” zucchini is almost perfectly round, and each was about the size of a grapefruit. They practically begged to be roasted and stuffed. Continue Reading

Centennial Smoothies at the Fair!

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Category : Related Organizations

NW Washington Fair Centennial LogoEveryone is invited to visit the Northwest Washington Fair this week in Lynden to taste a very special Centennial Smoothie. Whatcom Farm Friends, a sustainable agriculture policy advocacy group, coordinated with the Washington Red Raspberry Commission and the Whatcom County Dairy Women to develop a smoothie using all locally grown ingredients in honor of the Fair’s Centennial this year. Continue Reading

Vegetable Beef Soup

Category : Holidays, Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Vegetable Beef SoupHere’s a soup recipe I made recently from leftover vegetables and herbs that needed to be used before they became too ripe.  The ingredients can be varied in almost every way you can imagine. If you want vegetarian soup, leave out the beef. If you have local chicken or turkey on hand, use that instead of beef. You can leave out or add just about any vegetable that grows around here. If you have homemade soup stock on hand, you can use that instead of water. Continue Reading

Rainy Day Soup Menu

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Category : August, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Rainy Day Soup MenuFixing a meal that takes awhile to cook just doesn’t sound inviting on hot summer days. A nice aspect of our Northwest climate is the occasional cool rainy days which give us a break from warmer weather.

A rainy day is a good time to take a look in the produce drawer of your refrigerator (and in your garden, if you have one). What needs to be used before it spoils or gets too ripe? Continue Reading

Locavore Pizza

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Locavore PizzaOf all the recipes I’ve created so far with local ingredients, this pizza is my all-time favorite. It’s so fast to prepare you won’t believe it, especially if you prepare the pesto a day or two in advance. You don’t even have to let the crust dough rise. Most importantly, the flavor was extraordinary! I’m not exaggerating. Continue Reading

Quick Pizza Crust

Category : Breads, Recipes, Vegetarian

Quick Pizza CrustPizza is a go-to food when time is short. For homemade pizza to be a serious contender for dinner, I had to find a dough that was fast–and I mean really fast–and easy to make.

This recipe fills the bill beautifully. It’s yeasted, but you don’t have to wait for it to rise. You don’t have to knead it. You don’t have to toss it in the air. Continue Reading

Shopping Farmers Markets

Category : About Food Sources, August, Farmers' Markets, Lummi Island, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Farmers MarketPizza was on my mind as I drove to the Lummi Island Farmers Market last Saturday morning. To make a pizza, I need four things–crust dough, a sauce for the base, toppings, and cheese to melt over it all.

I’d found an unbelievably quick pizza dough recipe I could adapt with local ingredients. For the sauce, I hoped to find some early season tomatoes at the Market, but I knew that was being wishful. Plan B was some leftover Locavore Basil Pesto sauce, that I felt sure would make a good base sauce if I didn’t find enough tomatoes. I also knew I could get some Ferndale cheese later that afternoon when the Artisan Wine Gallery opened for Saturday tastings. Continue Reading

Potato Salad

Category : Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Potato SaladClassic potato salad is one of the joys of hot weather meals, especially picnics. The creamy version has become as American as apple pie.

Early potatoes recently came into season, so I went to a nearby u-pick farm and dug up some perfect beauties. Potato Salad was the first thing I wanted to make with them. Continue Reading

Stuffed Onions

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Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Stuffed OnionsI always look forward to the first availability of Walla Walla onions in this area. They are wonderfully sweet, large, and delicious!

Walla Walla onions originated in Italy on the Island of Corsica. They were brought to the Walla Walla valley here in Washington state by a French soldier over a hundred years ago. Now they are grown in many other places as well, including Whatcom County. (Read more about Walla Walla onions.) Continue Reading