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Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe

Category : Canning & Preservation, Holidays, Main Dishes, March

Corned Beef and Cabbage RecipeSince beginning the transition toward eating as a locavore (a person who eats only locally grown food whenever possible), I’ve learned to make a lot of things myself that I used to buy ready to eat. In the process I’ve made four simple discoveries which have revolutionized my overall approach to eating and feeding my family. Here they are: Continue Reading

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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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Nettles Tea

Category : Beverages, March, Recipes, Wildcrafting

Nettles TeaSo now you’ve gone out and foraged some stinging nettles, and you know how to handle them comfortably. How do you cook them? Easiest place to start is making tea. Nettles tea is very healthy and will give you a good opportunity to see what nettles taste like. I thought it might taste kind of “green” but it’s got a sweet note that makes it very pleasant. The color is simply spectacular. Continue Reading

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Stinging Nettles

Category : About Food Sources, April, March, Wildcrafting

Photo of Stinging NettlesFor many people, stinging nettles (Urtica dioica and the closely related Urtica urens) conjure up images of nasty burning sensations caused by brushing against the nearly invisible spines on the leaves of an otherwise lovely green plant. Nettles grow wild in damp, shady woods, and can reach several feet high.

Nettles’ sting comes from sharp silicate-bearing, hair-like structures on the leaves that actually shoot irritating substances into your skin like a hypodermic needle. Unlike plants which cause reactions for only some people, nettle stings affect virtually everyone who touches them.

So why not just avoid nettles altogether? Continue Reading

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Honey Lavender Pound Cake

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Category : Breakfast, Desserts, March, Recipes

Honey Lavender Pound CakeI had an inordinate amount of eggs on hand, and was thinking about recipes which use lots of eggs. Pound cake usually has lots of eggs in it, but I had never tried making it with honey instead of sugar. Continue Reading

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Honey Egg Custard

Category : Breakfast, Desserts, March, Recipes

Honey Egg CustardToday, I continued taking advantage of the abundance of locally produced eggs currently available. When I was young, one of my favorite pies was custard. During the years that eggs were getting a bad rap for causing heart disease, I quit making or eating custard pie. Now that I know better, I wanted to try making a locavore custard. Continue Reading

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Locavore Deviled Eggs

Category : Appetizers, March, Recipes, Snacks

Locavore Deviled EggsDeviled eggs remind me of my Indiana grandmother and annual family reunions on various family farms where there were more people than you could count. My mother also developed the knack for making wonderful deviled eggs. I can’t help but continue to play with the recipes, though. My results have been turning out much better since I started buying locally produced eggs laid by healthy, happy chickens. Continue Reading

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Dispelling Egg Myths

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Category : March, Menu Ideas, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Free Range Eggs

Photo by Fir0002

Since the 1970s, we’ve been told by scientists that eating eggs could increase our blood cholesterol, leading to clogged arteries. A lot of this was based on the fact that eggs contain cholesterol. Recently, though, researchers have changed their recommendations. For example, eggs also contain lecithin, which can help keep cholesterol in solution in the blood, helping to prevent it from being deposited in the blood vessels. When you eat a whole egg you get both cholesterol and lecithin, and they work together. Continue Reading

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Stewed Kale With Tomatoes

Category : March, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Stewed Kale With TomatoesWhatcom Farm to School’s “Harvest of the Month” for March 2012 is kale, one of my favorite local greens. I’ve been growing, eating, and enjoying kale for years, so I was surprised to find that many people think of kale as an unusual vegetable. If that includes you, let me fill you in on what you’ve been missing. Continue Reading

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Early Spring Après Gardening Menu

Category : March, Menu Ideas

Photo of Early Spring Apres Gardening MenuEarly spring in Whatcom County is when gardening begins in earnest. Soil needs to be fed and loosened, beds are spruced up, seeds are started indoors, and plant and seed trading picks up momentum. The first sunny days when you can actually feel the warmth draw us outside to get our hands dirty, but the weather can be a bit dicey. A garden project that starts on a warm morning can end in a cool–even rainy–late afternoon. When I’m tired and muddy, cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do.

Today I headed for the garden with a smug feeling knowing that dinner would be ready and waiting for me at the end of the day. When I entered the house a few hours later, it was filled with the smells of a hearty warm entrée. I roasted some potato wedges, mixed a dressing I’d made earlier in the day with some tasty salad greens and beautiful Easter Egg radishes, and voilà! A warm, tasty dinner after a chilly day of gardening. Continue Reading

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Sunny Solstice One Dish Meal

Category : March, Menu Ideas

Photo of Sunny Cottage Pie MenuOn a cold, rainy solstice day, my thoughts wandered to hearty hot dishes. Cottage Pie seemed a perfect solution for this week’s locavore meal.

Cottage Pie is the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional English dish made using lamb or mutton (hence the name). Basically a layered casserole, Cottage Pie uses ground beef  instead. It’s mixed with several vegetables, all topped with a layer of mashed potatoes and then baked to blend the flavors. Continue Reading

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Dressed Up Breakfast Menu

Category : March, Menu Ideas, Vegetarian

Photo of Dressed Up Breakfast MenuEggs and hash brown potatoes are a classic American breakfast combination. For this week’s menu I wanted to offer a little bit fancier version of the standard–and delicious!–breakfast fare.

In earlier articles I talked about sources for local eggs, potatoes, and cheese. The new ingredient this time is creamy Golden Guernsey Yogurt from Grace Harbor Farms made from non-pasteurized whole milk. I also used some raspberries from last summer that have been waiting for just this moment in my freezer.

This menu also requires a note about salt and black pepper, neither of which are produced in Whatcom County. It would be possible to create salt by dehydrating seawater. Evaporation would take forever in our humid climate. Boiling off the liquid would take many hours, perhaps even days–not exactly an efficient use of energy. Peppercorns, as far as I know, can’t be grown in our climate at all. Continue Reading

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Have You Tried Bison?

Category : March, Menu Ideas

Photo of Have You Tried Bison MenuEvery weekday, when returning from Bellingham after dropping my daughter off at work, I see a small sign along Slater Road advertising bison meat. I’ve been curious to learn more, and even detoured a couple of times to find the farm–Twisted S Bison Ranch (near Ferndale)–which looks beautiful. They are only open to the public on weekends, though, so I haven’t yet stopped by to visit.

Last week I went to Terra Organica (Flora and Cornwall in Bellingham) to see what locally produced foods they had available. Imagine my delight to see a full range of bison products from Twisted S in their freezers!

Local bison is available only occasionally. Twisted S raises as much as they can, but bison take a lot of grass acreage and family farms in our area are not large enough to supply all the demand for bison in Whatcom County. Most of the year, Twisted S brings in frozen bison from North Dakota. The quality of everything  they sell under their brand is consistently excellent, but if you care about getting locally raised bison (and I hope you do), you’ll need to call ahead and find out when it will be available. Continue Reading

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