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Food Puzzle–Ground Cherries

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Category : Grow Your Own, October, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Ground CherriesUsually I only write about ingredients which are readily available from The Community Food Co-op, Terra Organica, or the Farmers Market. This week is an exception. It all started with a food puzzle. Continue Reading

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

Dragon’s Tongue Beans

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Category : August, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Dragon's Tongue BeansToday’s recipe is a good example of how little you need to do to produce extraordinary flavors when cooking with fresh, local ingredients picked ripe. There is so much natural flavor in Dragon’s Tongue beans that a little butter, basil, salt and pepper are more than enough to round out the dish. Dragon’s Tongue beans are a variety of green beans which are yellow like wax beans, but with vivid purple stripes. They are tender and sweet, with no tough strings. Just wash and steam! How easy can it get?  Continue Reading

Cabbage Vegetable Bake

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Cabbage Vegetable BakeMy garden (and my friends’ gardens) produced an overabundance of cabbage this year. What to do with all that cabbage?

Fortunately I enjoy cabbage, but I usually prepare it as a side dish. In order to use sufficient quantities this time, I decided I needed to come up with a main dish. Continue Reading

Shellout Beans

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Shellout BeansI always enjoy learning to use familiar foods in a new and different way. For years I’ve eaten green beans, but it had never occurred to me to remove the pods and have only the beans inside.

In the fall after most green beans have been harvested, there’s always some left on the vine whose pods have become large and tough. They’re really too tough to eat as usual by steaming them. Continue Reading

Quick Pickled Beets and Eggs

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Category : Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Pickled Beets and EggsMy personal favorite pickled food is pickled beet eggs. As a child, when my grandmother opened a jar of her pickled beets, she would remove beets to serve and then fill the jar space with peeled hard boiled eggs. By the next day, when we sliced the eggs open, the colors were gorgeous! The egg whites were deep purple on the outside, shading to white around the bright yellow yolks (see photo). Beautiful! The flavor was delightful, too–the tang of pickled beets balanced with the mild taste of hard-boiled eggs. Perfect!

As soon as I spotted the first fresh beets at the Farmers Market this year, I was eager to get them home and into pickling juice as quickly as possible. Because I planned to eat them in the next few days, I used a “refrigerator pickle” recipe. 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

Sour Cream Plum Pie

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Vegetarian

Sour Cream Plum PieThis recipe was quite a challenge. First I had to figure out how to substitute honey for sugar in a pie crust that is essentially a replacement for a graham cracker pie crust. The dough was similar to the texture of silly putty, but had a beautiful silken sheen from the honey. When I first put the crust in the oven to bake, I expected it to melt to the bottom of the pie plate. Happily, that didn’t happen! The crust didn’t shrink at all during cooking. Continue Reading

Finding Local Food

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Category : About Food Sources, August, CSAs, Farm Stands, Farmers' Markets, Grow Your Own, On the Farm, Retail Stores, Seasonal Menu Ideas, U-Pick Farms, Whatcom Locavore Basics, Where to Buy Local Food

Finding Local Foods, and Red Cabbage MenuFinding locally grown organic food can be a fascinating treasure hunt, but it also can be time consuming, especially at first. Here are some food finding tips to help jumpstart your locavore lifestyle:

1. Start close to home.
You may have noticed that I mention some farms more frequently than others. That’s because they are the best sources I’ve found close enough to my normal errand routes to be convenient. My goal is to find the quality I want as close to home as possible. I go to Half Acre Farm for u-picking vegetables, but you may be able to locate a u-pick you like closer to where you live. Continue Reading

Vegetable Beef Soup

Category : Holidays, Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Vegetable Beef SoupHere’s a soup recipe I made recently from leftover vegetables and herbs that needed to be used before they became too ripe.  The ingredients can be varied in almost every way you can imagine. If you want vegetarian soup, leave out the beef. If you have local chicken or turkey on hand, use that instead of beef. You can leave out or add just about any vegetable that grows around here. If you have homemade soup stock on hand, you can use that instead of water. Continue Reading

Locavore Pizza

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Locavore PizzaOf all the recipes I’ve created so far with local ingredients, this pizza is my all-time favorite. It’s so fast to prepare you won’t believe it, especially if you prepare the pesto a day or two in advance. You don’t even have to let the crust dough rise. Most importantly, the flavor was extraordinary! I’m not exaggerating. Continue Reading

Potato Salad

Category : Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Potato SaladClassic potato salad is one of the joys of hot weather meals, especially picnics. The creamy version has become as American as apple pie.

Early potatoes recently came into season, so I went to a nearby u-pick farm and dug up some perfect beauties. Potato Salad was the first thing I wanted to make with them. Continue Reading

Stuffed Onions

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Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Stuffed OnionsI always look forward to the first availability of Walla Walla onions in this area. They are wonderfully sweet, large, and delicious!

Walla Walla onions originated in Italy on the Island of Corsica. They were brought to the Walla Walla valley here in Washington state by a French soldier over a hundred years ago. Now they are grown in many other places as well, including Whatcom County. (Read more about Walla Walla onions.) Continue Reading