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Hot Cider Toddy Recipe

Category : Beverages, Holidays, November, Recipes

Hot Apple Cider ToddyThis recipe is inspired by fresh apple cider from BelleWood Acres. However, it also includes a beverage experiment I tried several years ago.

I was living in a cabin with a huge walnut tree just outside the door. Every year, I’d watch for the walnuts to ripen, but every year I’d awaken one morning to the sound of blue jays. That was the day the walnuts would all be gone. The jays were faster than me when the walnuts were ripe.

One year I read about an Italian liqueur called nocino, which is made from green walnuts steeped in vodka for a couple of months, sometimes with added herbs and spices. At last! I’d found a way to enjoy at least some of the walnuts before the jays ate them.

At first, the nocino I made tasted bitter, but everything I read said the flavor would get better with age (as in years). It did.  Continue Reading

2013 Ciderfest at BelleWood Acres

Category : Farm Stands, On the Farm, Retail Stores, U-Pick Farms

BelleWood Acres Apple on TreeI’d been looking forward to the annual BelleWood Acres Ciderfest for weeks, and I finally got there on Sunday afternoon. When I came in the door I was enveloped in the sweet, fruity smell of fresh apples and the lively sounds of the fiddle and guitar combo of the Gallus Brothers.

I got there just in time for a late lunch, so I made my way through the crowd to the Bistro area. Fresh cider, hard cider, cider cocktails–the beverage menu options seemed endless. It was clear that the heart of this event was an apple orchard farm.  Continue Reading

Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival 2013

Category : On the Farm

2010 Cloud Mountain - Pink Pearl AppleWeather cooperated, and the day was reasonably warm and partly cloudy as we made our way to the annual Fall Fruit Festival at Cloud Mountain Farm Center near Everson. Cloud Mountain has been hosting this festival at the farm for more than 20 years, and our family looks forward to the event held in early October.

Several key elements go together to make the Festival the remarkable event it is. The centerpiece is a tented area where an incredible variety of fruits are available for guests to taste. Apples are the main feature, but you can also taste varieties of: quince, both wine and table grapes, plums, prunes, currants, gooseberries, pawpaws, josta berries, walnuts, akebia fruit, persimmons, medlars, cranberries, kiwi, blueberries, peaches, cherries, garlic, and both sweet and hot peppers. Continue Reading

Smoked Salmon Potato Galettes

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Category : Appetizers, Holidays, Recipes, Sauces and Dips

Smoked Salmon Potato GaletteFresh caught local wild salmon is one of the great gastronomical perks of living in the Pacific Northwest. Smoking adds an extra special layer of flavor, but can also add to the cost (unless you know a fisherman). Fortunately, it doesn’t take much smoked salmon to enhance the flavor of otherwise mildly flavored dishes. Continue Reading

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin for the Holidays

Category : Holidays, Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes

Savory Stuffed PumpkinColorful 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

Squash Cider Soup

Category : Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Squash Cider SoupSquash 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

Apple Cider Stew

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Apple Cider StewThere’s nothing like the taste of the first fresh apples of the season! We have an opportunity to taste a remarkable array of literally hundreds of apple varieties every year at the Cloud Mountain Farm Center’s Fall Fruit Festival.

Apples can be eaten and enjoyed in dozens of ways ranging from raw as a snack to cooked into delicious apples pies or tarts. A quick and easy way to add intense apple flavor to cooked dishes is to use fresh apple cider. Continue Reading

2011 Fall Fruit Festival

Category : Farm Stands, October, On the Farm, Related Organizations, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Chopping Apples for Cider at Cloud Mountain Farm CenterAnticipation was in the air as we joined other families arriving at Cloud Mountain Farm Center for the second day of their Fall Fruit Festival. Almost immediately my grandson was recruited to try turning the wheel on the apple chopper for the hand cider press. The fun was underway! Continue Reading

2011 Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival

Category : Events, Farm Stands, On the Farm

October 1, 2011
10:00 amto5:00 pm
October 2, 2011
11:00 amto4:00 pm

2010 Cloud Mountain - Pink Pearl AppleIf you’ve never been to one of Cloud Mountain’s Fall Fruit Festivals, next weekend is an opportunity to share the joy! If you’ve been to one before, we’ll see you there!

Cloud Mountain Farm Center, located at 6906 Goodwin Rd., east of Everson, will be hosting their 22nd Annual Fruit Festival, Saturday, October 1 from 10am-5pm, and on Sunday, October 2 from 11am – 4pm. Fruit sampling of over 200 varieties of apples, European and Asian pears, kiwis, table and wine grapes, cider, and jams and jellies of unusual small fruits will take place throughout both days. Continue Reading

Incognito Dinner at Cloud Mountain

Category : Events, On the Farm

October 2, 2011
4:30 pmto7:30 pm

Cloud Mountain Farm and Ciao Thyme Incognito DinnerAs a grand finale for Cloud Mountain Farm’s two-day Fall Fruit Festival, Ciao Thyme is teaming up with the new Cloud Mountain Farm Center for a farm dinner to remember! Dining will begin with appetizers and wine in the orchard. Then, everyone will gather at the table for a 5-course seasonal feast with a menu that features fruits and vegetables from Cloud Mountain Farm and wines from northwest vintners. Come early and taste nearly 200 varieties of fruits and learn about the new non-profit farm center at the festival, which runs from 11am-4pm on Sunday. Continue Reading

Join Us at Cordata Co-op Barbecue!

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Category : Events, Retail Stores, Whatcom Locavore Products

September 17, 2011
10:00 amto2:00 pm

Rustic Apple TartJoin me at the Community Food Co-op’s Cordata store (Cordata and Westerly in Bellingham) for a community barbecue next Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. Whatcom Locavore (that’s me!) and several other local food writers will be on hand to share samples of our recipes and answer questions about what we do. Continue Reading

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

Apple Brown Betty

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Vegetarian

Apple Brown BettyAfter tasting honeycrisp apples grown at BelleWood Acres, I wanted to prepare them in a dessert that would change the flavor as little as possible. Many fruit desserts have so much added sugar and spices that it’s hard to enjoy the basic apple taste. Continue Reading