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Homemade Corned Beef Recipe

Category : Main Dishes, Make It Yourself, March, Recipes

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe Spices

“Corning” beef is actually a method of pickling. The raw beef is soaked in a salty brine for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the recipe you use. (I opted for a few days, because that’s the way I am.) Continue Reading

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Roasted Squash Seeds Recipe

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself, October, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Roasted Squash SeedsWinter squash (including pumpkins) have a nutritional treasure at the center–and a tasty one, too! In the middle of the stringy pulp are the lovely squash seeds. They are quick and easy to roast, filling the kitchen with a wonderful fragrance that only comes in the fall.

Cleaning the seeds can be a bit of a chore. They grow in little clumps, and I pinch them off one at a time like picking grapes. Then I put them in a colander and rinse well under cold water, rubbing the seeds together to remove the slippery juice. (Learn more about how to cut open winter squash.)

Don’t let seed cleaning stop you from fixing this healthy autumn snack. Just put on some good music and have at them! The rich flavor and concentrated nutrition makes it worth the effort. Continue Reading

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Winter Squash Adventures!

Category : Grow Your Own, Make It Yourself

Sweet Meat SquashFall is the time for ripening winter squash. Most people are familiar with acorn squash, pumpkins, and maybe delicata or hubbard varieties, but there are dozens of squash varieties available to grow.

They all have one thing in common–most have a very hard shell. The bigger the squash, the tougher the shell. As a result many cooks limit their culinary squash choices. Continue Reading

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Beef Jerky Recipe

Category : Make It Yourself, October, Recipes, Snacks

Beef JerkyWhen our family takes driving trips, we like to have snacks to munch on along the way when fueling stops and hunger pangs don’t align. Beef jerky is a snack I grew up eating, and it’s perfect for traveling. It doesn’t require refrigeration, is loaded with flavor, needs no preparation, and provides a long-lasting energy boost because it’s mostly protein. Jerky also takes a lot of chewing, so a little lasts a long time.

Jerky is a good snack choice for hikers, skiiers, backpackers, people who fish, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Since it’s dried, it weighs relatively little and takes only a small amount of space. It can be broken into bits and used almost like dehydrated bacon in campfire or cookstove dishes, such as pasta. It punches up the flavor, and adds protein and salt at the same time. Continue Reading

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Learning to Cook

Category : Make It Yourself, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Learning to CookLast fall at a farm event, a woman told me she always enjoys reading my recipes. I asked her if she had a favorite. “Oh, I’ve never tried one,” she said. “I don’t know how to cook, but your recipes always sound so good.”

I was reminded of our conversation again just recently when I found an online video interview featuring Food Network star Alton Brown. Brown was asked if he thought a person could learn to cook by watching TV shows. He emphatically replied, “No.” Food shows could entertain and educate, he said, but too much about cooking requires hands on experience best learned from someone in person. Continue Reading

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Homemade Paneer Cheese

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Category : Appetizers, Make It Yourself, May, Sauces and Dips, Snacks, Vegetarian, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Homemade PaneerIf you love cheese, learning to make it at home can open a whole new world of culinary adventure. While some cheese requires special ingredients and tools, many cheeses can be made with equipment you probably already have in your kitchen. Continue Reading

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Brown Beef Stock

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Category : Make It Yourself, Recipes, Sauces and Dips, Soups, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Brown Beef StockWhen 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

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Frozen French Fries

Category : Make It Yourself, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Frozen French FriesPotatoes 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

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Locavore Convenience Food

Category : Make It Yourself, Menu Ideas, October, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Manufactured Convenience Food? Not Necessary!

Photo by Alejandro Linares Garcia

Eating as a locavore (a person who eats only locally grown food as much as possible) doesn’t mean you have to give up convenience. It also doesn’t mean you have to eat processed foods.

Are you a busy family cook who sometimes doesn’t have time to do more than grab a frozen something from the freezer, heat it up, and serve? With just a little planning and preparation, you can still make those freezer dinner raids when you’re strapped for time. The difference will be your meals will have better nutrition, fewer chemicals, better quality and taste, and you’ll know you’re supporting local family farmers and the local economy. In short, you can still have those frozen french fries–but they’ll be a lot better for you, your family, and your community! Continue Reading

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Homemade Sauerkraut

Category : Condiments, December, Make It Yourself, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Homemade SauerkrautA 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

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Water Bath Canning – Jalapeño-Honey Plum Jam

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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

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Local Food Classes

Category : Make It Yourself

Rabbit Field Farms - Who Grows Your Food?As I began transitioning to eating as a locavore (using only locally grown food as much as possible), I naturally did more cooking at home. I rediscovered a love for cooking and preserving fresh, delicious foods. I also started looking for ways to learn more about food preparation and local farms. As always, I found an abundance of local resources. Continue Reading

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Freezing the Harvest

Category : Make It Yourself, Menu Ideas, October

Freezing the HarvestFall has arrived. U-pick farms are starting to shut down their operations, some farmers markets have shut down for the year, and home gardeners are preparing their gardens for winter.

Now is a good time to get late summer produce at good quantity prices. It’s also time for locavores (people who eat locally grown food) to lay in food supplies for the winter. A well-stocked pantry and freezer can add a lot of variety to local winter eating. Continue Reading

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