Water Bath Canning – Jalapeño-Honey Plum Jam


Category : Condiments, Make It Yourself, Recipes, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Jalapeno-Honey Plum JamHome canning involves a sequence of steps which may seem complicated at first. In reality, each step is simple, and once you’ve been through the process a couple of times, it will quickly become routine. If you begin with tested recipes and follow the instructions carefully, I think you’ll find the results will be worth the effort–and delicious! Continue Reading

2011 Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival

Category : Events, Farm Stands, On the Farm

2010 Cloud Mountain - Pink Pearl AppleIf you’ve never been to one of Cloud Mountain’s Fall Fruit Festivals, next weekend is an opportunity to share the joy! If you’ve been to one before, we’ll see you there!

Cloud Mountain Farm Center, located at 6906 Goodwin Rd., east of Everson, will be hosting their 22nd Annual Fruit Festival, Saturday, October 1 from 10am-5pm, and on Sunday, October 2 from 11am – 4pm. Fruit sampling of over 200 varieties of apples, European and Asian pears, kiwis, table and wine grapes, cider, and jams and jellies of unusual small fruits will take place throughout both days. Continue Reading

Incognito Dinner at Cloud Mountain

Category : Events, On the Farm

Cloud Mountain Farm and Ciao Thyme Incognito DinnerAs a grand finale for Cloud Mountain Farm’s two-day Fall Fruit Festival, Ciao Thyme is teaming up with the new Cloud Mountain Farm Center for a farm dinner to remember! Dining will begin with appetizers and wine in the orchard. Then, everyone will gather at the table for a 5-course seasonal feast with a menu that features fruits and vegetables from Cloud Mountain Farm and wines from northwest vintners. Come early and taste nearly 200 varieties of fruits and learn about the new non-profit farm center at the festival, which runs from 11am-4pm on Sunday. Continue Reading

Food Writers Attend Co-op Barbecue


Category : Book and Movie Reviews, Events, Related Organizations, Retail Stores

2011 Community Food Co-op Barbecue(Photo by Laura Steiger)–Four local food writers were featured at a community barbecue sponsored by the Community Food Co-op (Cordata and Westerly, Bellingham) last Saturday to talk about their cookbooks, blogs–and newspaper columns! Samples of their recipes were available for tasting, too. Continue Reading

Join Us at Cordata Co-op Barbecue!


Category : Events, Retail Stores, Whatcom Locavore Products

Rustic Apple TartJoin me at the Community Food Co-op’s Cordata store (Cordata and Westerly in Bellingham) for a community barbecue next Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. Whatcom Locavore (that’s me!) and several other local food writers will be on hand to share samples of our recipes and answer questions about what we do. Continue Reading

2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour Event

Category : Events, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

At BelleWood Acres for 2011 Whatcom County Farm TourWow! What a day! BelleWood Acres invited me to offer cooking demonstrations for the annual Whatcom County Farm Tour yesterday (Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011) and people began pouring in a half hour early!

Ten farms, two wineries, and the Bellingham Farmers Market were all participating in the event organized by Sustainable Connections. I don’t know yet how may people took advantage of the opportunity to visit farms, meet the farmers, and take part in the special activities available, but there was a steady stream all day.

It was a lot of fun to be at BelleWood Acres to meet people and talk about local Whatcom County food! Some were regular readers of my column in the Bellingham Herald (on Tuesdays). Others were hearing the word “locavore” for the first time. All had an opportunity to taste samples of the locavore dishes I prepared (see recipes linked below). It was satisfying to hear exclamations over the flavors and to see people coming back to my table with friends and family in tow. As I explained to people, the flavors aren’t the result of any fancy cooking skills (I don’t have any!). They are the result of starting with ultra-fresh and ripe locally grown ingredients. With quality ingredients like that, very little preparation is required.

Efforts by the BelleWood Acres farmers Dorie and John Belisle and their staff were incredible. As John says, “It takes a level of commitment that people can’t even imagine.” From directing people to parking and greeting them at the entrance to answering multitudes of questions and helping them purchase apples and other products, the staff showed an energy and friendliness that never flagged, even in yesterday’s hot sun. The tractor-towed farm “train” ride was in constant motion giving people tours of the apple orchards and thrilling all the children.

Tasting tables were set up under an open air roofed area where the breeze kept us comfortable. Besides myself, BelleWood had tables for tasting apples with various cheeses, apples with caramel or their specially made peanut butter, sparkling apple cider and more. Susy Hymas was also on hand to answer questions. Susy teaches classes in canning and other food preservation, and also teaches nutrition at the culinary school at Bellingham Technical College.

Surrounded by the wonderful scent of fresh apples, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. The Belisle’s were unflappable in the midst of it all, not only making sure that visitors were well cared for but also that staff was being well supported and getting regular breaks and meals. It was amazing to watch!

Since we were at BelleWood, I selected recipes which centered on their delicious apples. I also chose recipes which gave me an opportunity to talk about a particular food technique, including how to make yogurt cheese, how to use the resulting yogurt whey to make sauerkraut at home, and how to make a simple crust for an apple tart. Here are links to the recipes used:

Crockpot Sausage, Sauerkraut, and Apples

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, September

Crockpot Sausage, Sauerkraut, and ApplesSauerkraut and sausage are a long-time favorite flavor combination. Apples and sauerkraut* are an equally familiar and frequent combination. What if they were all combined, I wondered. Continue Reading

Yogurt Cheese Dip

Category : Recipes, Sauces and Dips, September, Snacks, Vegetarian

Yogurt Cheese DipFor the 2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour, I went to BelleWood Acres to do cooking demonstrations featuring dishes made with their stellar apples. I chose recipes that would allow me to show some locavore techniques which could be used for many purposes, and this recipe was perfect. Continue Reading

20 Ways to Enjoy Broccoli Stalks


Category : Breakfast, Grilling, Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Snacks, Soups, Vegetarian

Broccoli StalksRecently a friend called me and asked if I’d like a big batch of broccoli stems. She was freezing broccoli from her garden, and usually purees the stems to use for soups, but didn’t have room this year in her freezer. “Sure!” I said, and the next morning a big bag of stalks was on my doorstep.

For some people it’s weird, I know. Broccoli stems are often seen as trimmings, and discarded. I really like the flavor, though.  I think stems taste sweeter and less bitter than the florets. They also don’t have the grainy floret texture that children and others sometimes find objectionable. Continue Reading

2012 Calendars Available! Order Online

Category : Recipes, Whatcom Locavore Products

2012 Whatcom Locavore CalendarI’m excited to announce that the 2012 Whatcom Locavore Calendar Cards have just become available! Each month is an individual card with a calendar and photo of a dish on the front and the recipe on the back. The cards come in a reusable plastic case (similar to a CD case) which opens to become a stand to hold up a recipe on your counter top for easy use. Price is $15 per calendar (plus $4.95 shipping and handling if you’d like to receive it in the mail).

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