Caramelized onions add a sweetness to savory dishes that is hard to beat. If you want to make people hungry, start sauteing some onions. Works every time!
This caramelized onion topping goes especially well on smashed potatoes, steaks, scrambled eggs, pasta, or mixed in with other vegetables. It takes the flavor up a notch. Learn to make this recipe well and I promise you’ll use it often. Continue Reading
Blackberries inspire ambivalence in most of us who live around them. Their aggressive, spiky, spreading growth requires fortitude and determination to prevent their unwanted invasions into parts of the yard intended for human use. Continue Reading
This month (April 2012), the Whatcom Farm to School program’s featured ingredient is frozen blueberries. That means participating school districts in Whatcom County will be serving at least one meal highlighting frozen blueberries. Some will also be offering students some classroom time to learn about blueberries, how they are grown, etc.
This came at a perfect time for me. When the Bellingham Farmers Market opens for the season, I know it’s time to start cleaning out fruit and vegetables from my freezer and pantry jars. I had some blueberries left from last year, so decided to make refrigerator jam with them. 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
Home 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
Nothing tastes as marvelous or feels like such a decadent treat as eating raspberries out of season. I’m not talking about forced growth or berries shipped thousands of miles from some part of the world where it’s summer. I’m talking about local raspberries, picked at the peak of perfection, and frozen the same day–then eaten in the dreary cold months. Continue Reading
Fast and flavorful, this dill salad dressing combines well with nearly any salad ingredients. It’s smooth enough to go with spicier ones such as arugula, mesclun salad mixes, etc., but also adds enough flavor to perk up blander ingredients, such as hard-boiled eggs or plain lettuce.
Since no salad oil is produced here in Whatcom County that I know of, I’m constantly looking for alternatives for dressing bases. The tangy taste of yogurt is light enough to go with most greens, and also combines well with many herbs. You can achieve a rich variety of flavors by blending yogurt with such fresh local herbs as lemon balm, sorrel, basil, dill and more. Don’t forget the garlic! Continue Reading
I love Broadleaf Farms’ napa cabbage–have I mentioned that yet today? Probably. It’s so perfectly crisp and delicate at the same time. Simply marvelous!
This week’s menu was based on a cheese fondue with bread chunks for dipping. As I tried to decide what to use for a side dish, it occurred to me that a cheese fondue has ingredients similar to a cheese sandwich. What do you have with a cheese sandwich? Pickles! Continue Reading
This dressing is so simple that the incredible flavor is almost shocking. If you have any doubts that local farm fresh food tastes better than food that’s been harvested elsewhere and shipped long distances, try this dressing. You’ll never go back.
Uses for this dressing are only limited by your imagination. Obviously it goes well with salads, but try it also on warm vegetables, over baked potatoes, or as a dip for raw veggies. Or just drink it. Okay, I’m kidding, but trust me–you’ll be tempted to take a sip! Continue Reading
I’m discovering that when I can’t find a locally produced version of a common ingredient, making it myself is sometimes easier than you’d think. For example, I’ve already posted a simple technique I learned for making butter. This week I wanted to make a dish that normally uses cream cheese. I couldn’t find a local brand in the grocery stores, but I saw several local dairy products that I suspected could be used to make it. I decided to come back after doing a little research.
When I got home, I googled “how to make cream cheese” and quickly found several alternatives. (I love Google. I tell everyone that we have to make sure it is never taken over by dark forces…) Below I describe the method I finally used. The process was incredibly easy, and the results tasted surprisingly good. The texture was rich and creamy, just as you want cream cheese to be. Continue Reading
Last week I didn’t see locally produced butter in the dairy cooler at the Community Food Co-op, which usually stocks some. Since I don’t know of any locally produced cooking oils, I’m using butter instead, and was concerned when I couldn’t find any.
I remembered a friend had told me that butter could be made from whipping cream pretty easily, but I didn’t remember the details. I saw some Twin Brook Creamery cream, so purchased a pint. When I got home, I called the Creamery to see if they made commercial butter, or if they could tell me how to make it from their whipping cream.
Debbie returned my call and said they didn’t make butter for sale to the public, but that they regularly made butter for their own use from their cream. She said the recipe below is how her mother-in-law does it. I think you’ll be astonished at how simple and quick it is–and it’s fun! Continue Reading