My visit to the Bellingham Farmers Market last Saturday was the first since the Market was rearranged into its winter configuration. It was like exploring a new Market, except for the delight of finding familiar faces in unfamiliar places. There were a few vendors set up along the sidewalk, and a small handful of the “fast food” vendors on the other side, but most remaining vendors had moved in under the main shelter across from Boundary Bay Brewery. It was nice to see everyone looking relaxed and happy as the busy season begins to wind down on their farms.
Besides picking up our weekly egg CSA from Red Barn Lavender, I didn’t really have a shopping list on this particular day. Instead I was looking for inspiration, something a little unexpected or surprising, that I could turn into a new locavore dish using other autumn ingredients. Continue Reading
Colorful leaves, a chilly bite in the air, howling gales and horizontal rain–ah! Fall in Whatcom County, just the way we like it! And at the Farmers Market and farms all around the County, what says “Fall is here and winter holidays are coming!” more than beautiful orange pumpkins? Continue Reading
When I mentioned to a friend on the phone the other day that I was making beef stock, there was silence on the line for a moment. Finally she responded, “Why? Doesn’t that take a long time?”
My reasons are simple. Besides the fact it’s the only way I can get stock made with local ingredients, the flavor of homemade stock is light years better than any commercial products I’ve tried. Continue Reading
This omelet recipe is a perfect example of incredible local flavors. Cascadia Farms shiitake mushrooms are the highlight–they make nonlocal shiitakes seem like tasteless paste. I’m certain you’ll savor this dish.
We’re fortunate to have a diverse variety of locally made cheese from which to choose. I use local goudas a lot because they often come flavored with herbs or spices. For this recipe, though, I used a plain gouda made from goat milk. The goat milk flavor was all that was needed to balance the eggs. Continue Reading
Frizzles are a fun way to prepare winter root vegetables. While this recipe uses carrots and beets, just about any root vegetable can be used–potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac (celery root), and so on.
I like to include carrots to add a touch of sweetness to any root combination. Some roots have a slightly bitter taste, and carrots will help balance the flavor.
The crispy texture and whimsical appearance are delightful. They also offer a simple way to make any menu seem a little fancier for entertaining. Continue Reading
Squash can be a little scary to work with in the kitchen. Getting through the tough outer shell can be a formidable challenge, to say the least, and the solutions often veer toward the dramatic. People use heavy meat cleavers, small hatchets, serrated electric knives, or they may drop squash from stairs or ladders onto concrete decks. I finally opted for safety, eating only smaller squash varieties with thinner skins, such as delicata.
This year, though, my friend Nancy Simmerman came up with a less drastic solution for almost any kind of squash. It still requires one cut to divide the squash in half along its “equator”–halfway between the stem end and the end where the blossom used to be, but then it gets easier. Continue Reading
Potatoes are one of my favorite foods to substitute for commercially prepared convenience versions, especially for health reasons. For example, commercially frozen french fries typically contain all kinds of unhealthy trans-fats and preservatives. By spending just a little time in the fall, I can have delicious–and healthy–frozen french fries throughout the winter. When I take them from the freezer to fix for dinner, I cook them exactly the same way as the commercial variety. In other words, it’s just as convenient. Continue Reading
A couple of months ago when I was harvesting the last produce from my home garden, I brought in a cabbage which weighed ten pounds after I had removed the outer leaves and cleaned it up. Since this was about the third head of cabbage that size I’d had to deal with, not to mention a half dozen heads of more normal size, I decided it was time to learn to make sauerkraut. That way I could spread out eating the cabbage over several months. As it turned out, making sauerkraut is pretty simple. Continue Reading
Pork is a perennial favorite in our family. Roasts, chops, sausage, bacon, ham–there are so many cuts and preparation methods from which to choose that I think of it as one of the most flexible meat sources. The simple pork chop recipe below tastes amazing (if I do say so myself) and is perfect for a holiday main course. Continue Reading