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Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers

Category : July, Snacks, Whatcom Locavore Basics

Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers RecipeThis Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers recipe is a special favorite for kids. It’s a local (and healthier) version of the little fish-shaped cheese crackers kids love. Continue Reading

Winter Farmers Market

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Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, December, Farmers' Markets, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Pork Stir Fry MenuAfter Thanksgiving, my supplies of local foods were depleted, so we made a family outing to the Bellingham Farmers Market last Saturday. The sun was out, the air was crisp, and we planned to make a quick trip of it.

Most of the north end of the market was vacant, since a lot of the summer produce stands and fast food stalls have shut down for the year. Most of the remaining vendors were under the shelter at the south end. However, there were still plenty of exciting local foods still available. Continue Reading

Locavore Baking

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Locavore BakingBaking using only local ingredients presents some difficult problems. First of all, there’s the grain used to make flour. No wheat is grown commercially in Whatcom County that I know of. We’re fortunate, though, to have a flour mill based in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham. They try to get grains from as close to home as possible, and they grind them here in the County. That’s local enough for me, at least until someone figures out how to grow wheat in this climate reliably. Continue Reading

Quick Brioche

Category : Breads, Recipes

Photo of Quick BriocheBrioche. Sounds like something gourmet that would take hours to prepare, right? And it tastes like it, too. In reality, you can make a loaf of brioche in less than two hours–and most of that is rising time and baking time, during which you can read a magazine.

As far as I know, no one grows grains commercially in Whatcom County. It’s not the ideal climate. However, Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Bellingham) uses regional grains from as close to home as possible. They grind organic flour freshly each week, and they make a hard red spring wheat flour especially for use in bread making. The texture, fragrance, and flavor are delightful. Continue Reading

Blue Cornbread

Category : Breads, Breakfast, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Photo of Blue CornbreadLast week’s menu introduced Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Bellingham) and the fresh grain flours they grind weekly. This week I wanted to try some of their blue cornmeal.¬†Blue corn has more protein and lysine than yellow corn, which is high in beta carotene. The blue color is a nice change, too. Other than that, you can cook with blue cornmeal just the same as you would with yellow or white.

Really fresh cornmeal has an extra bit of crunch to it that gives cornbread a nice texture.  Some local butter and honey on the fresh warm cornbread is simply out of this world! These are flavors to savor slowly. Continue Reading

Where’s the Beef?

Category : May, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Where's the Beef MenuRaising high quality grassfed beef commercially has been a challenge in Whatcom County. First, it takes a lot of land to raise enough cattle for year-round meat availability. Second, they have to be slaughtered at a USDA-approved facility, and none was available here.

Several farms have overcome these obstacles and local beef is now available for those locavores among us trying to be healthier and reduce our carbon footprint by “eating local.” It’s very difficult and expensive for farms to get their grassfed beef certified organic, but most locally produced beef is raised as organically and humanely as possible. If you have any doubts, you can always ask the farmer (another benefit of eating locally), or ask the market where you buy the meat. Continue Reading