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Fruit Ball Delight Recipe

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Salads, September

Fruit Ball DelightOne fall day at the Bellingham Farmers Market, Nooksack 9 was offering Butterscotch melons, a deeply flavored variety of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is something I’ve missed since moving to western Washington state years ago. Continue Reading

Creamy Lobster Mushroom Sauce Recipe

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

Creamy Lobster Mushroom SauceLobster mushrooms have a meaty texture, even more than portobellas. For that reason they are often used by vegetarians in recipes instead of meat. People also use lobster mushrooms to dye fibers for knitting or weaving.

Lobster mushrooms are particularly fascinating in the strange world of fungi. Read my article about Lobster Mushrooms.

If you’re interested in learning more about mushrooms and how to identify, collect and eat them safely, I’d recommend contacting the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA). Call Jack Waytz at (360) 303-4079 or Margaret Dilly at (360) 675-8756, or see their website at: www.northwestmushroomers.org   Continue Reading

Honey Minted Poached Pears Recipe

Category : Desserts, Recipes, September

Honey Minted Poached Pears RecipePoaching is a simple cooking technique used for things which need to be cooked gently, either because they are very tender or because they cook really quickly. Poaching is very forgiving in terms of slowly cooking things to the point of being perfectly done.

Tree fruits are often good poached. The low heat of poaching allows you to cook them slowly so you can determine when they are just soft enough to pierce with a fork, but not so soft that they begin to fall apart. Continue Reading

Brined Salmon Roe

Category : About Food Sources, Appetizers, Condiments, Holidays, Other Food Producers, Recipes, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Brined Salmon RoeWild salmon are considered by many to be the stars of Pacific Northwest cuisine. Smoked, grilled, or baked on cedar planks, the flavor of fresh wild salmon steaks and fillets is distinctive and adds a note of special elegance to any meal.

Salmon is even nutritionally suited to people of the Northwest. What’s a vitamin in which most of us are deficient? Vitamin D, the sun vitamin. What vitamin does salmon have in abundance? Vitamin D. How convenient! Continue Reading

Eggplant!

Category : Recipes, September, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Eggplant for CaponataEggplants, those lovely deep purple vegetables with smooth skin and undulating curves, are difficult to grow in our climate. That makes it a particular pleasure to find at the Farmers Market or in a home garden.

I recently found some beautiful certified organic eggplant at the Sunseed Farm booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market. I wanted to make some caponata (see recipe below), so selected one to bring home with me.

At the last minute, just as I was getting ready to do the cooking, that eggplant met with an untimely end in my refrigerator. Now, since I had planned to write about eggplant for this column, I had a full blown eggplant emergency. something for which I had no preparedness plan.  Continue Reading

Tomato Canning Process

Category : Canning & Preservation, September, Vegetarian

Canned Tomatoes In the life of a locavore (a person who eats only locally grown food as much as possible), summer is a time for both enjoying the seasonal harvest bounty and planning ahead for the winter food supply.

Instead of providing a recipe this week, here’s the process I use for canning tomatoes. It’s a classic method, not something I invented. Continue Reading

Spicy Beef Sausage Recipe

Category : Breakfast, Main Dishes, Recipes, September

Spicy Beef Sausage RecipeHere’s a beef sausage recipe I created as a substitute for chorizo in a recipe for Caldo Verde from the Winter Harvest Cookbook (see my review of the book). While this does not make chorizo, the spicy flavor makes a good alternative. It’s really quick and easy to make from locally grown grassfed beef. Continue Reading

Caldo Verde Recipe

Category : Recipes, September, Soups

Caldo Verde RecipeThis recipe is reprinted from Winter Harvest Cookbook by permission of the author, Lane Morgan (p. 68). (Read my review of the book.) I chose a robust soup for our chillier fall evenings.

The recipe is shown exactly as published, with notes added about how I adapted it to use all locally grown ingredients, including sources. I sauteed the beef sausage before adding the leeks and garlic.

2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour Event

Category : Events, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

September 10, 2011
10:00 amto4:00 pm

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

New Foods From the Familiar

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

New Foods MenuWhen you go to a grocery store to buy produce, you don’t usually expect to learn anything about the fruits and vegetables available. The store may have recipe cards nearby, but in general you already need to know what to do with what you purchase.

One of the wonderful things about shopping at local farm stands (small stores located on the farms) and talking to home gardeners is getting to learn about food from the experts–the people who grow the food themselves. To me, that’s a priceless benefit. Continue Reading

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Category : Make It Yourself, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Pickled Beets MenuIt’s pickling season! If the idea of making pickles conjures up hours of  sterilizing jars, trimming and peeling pounds of produce, and wondering later if the lids sealed safely–relax! You can certainly go through that whole process if you enjoy it (as I do), but there’s also a much easier way to prepare homemade pickles.

Several vegetables commonly pickled can be  prepared as “refrigerator pickles.” Refrigerator pickles won’t keep as long as pickles canned the traditional way, but they are fast to make and will last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the vegetables and the recipe you use. Continue Reading