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Hands Off My Tastebuds

Daniel and I went to our local grocery store for a pre-Food Challenge extravagance just before New Years. Slightly hungry, and shopping for the Seattle Global Peace Dance snack table, we splurged on some personal treats. I was eating my donut before we left the parking lot. Brushing sprinkles from my face, I said, “I will reclaim my tastebuds from you, Industrial Sugar!” Without added sugar in my diet, a carrot or a glass of milk tastes incredibly sweet. It’s a process of calibrating the ol’ tastebuds to what’s available, and not letting them be swayed by the fat, salt, and sugar added to so much commercial food. Farewell to chips, sunflower seeds, chocolate bars, beer, kombucha, black te

Hot Mango Salsa

“It’s the least we can do, a small way to give back,” says our friend Ana. She’s arranging to bring us a very non-Food-Challenge dinner before we embark on our year of hand-harvested food. “Nothing you have to pluck, harvest, or preserve. Now, what would you like to eat?” I tell her some of the foods we have been relishing. “Salmon, broccoli, corn chips and salsa, and pineapple. That sounds like items from one of those cooking shows!” Ana and her daughters come over to our house and cook us an incredible meal. Eating by candlelight, delighted by questions and conversations with the girls, the pleasure of eating is not just about the foods we eat. There’s something more than calories n

The Palace of Cookie Dough

Cookie the Cow produces at least 50 pounds of--let's call it Cookie dough--every day. Before milking her in the morning and evening, I fill my little garden cart with pies and soaked straw from her stall. What to do with it all? Build a palace for it, that's what. In the Pacific Northwest, 30-plus inches of winter rains leach nutrients out of any compost left uncovered. I pride myself on keeping nutrients on the farm. We save our kitchen scraps, compost humanure, and treasure animal manure. Cookie's compost contributions are practically as valuable as her milk. Aw shucks, those giant beets and cabbages? That wall of towering raspberry plants? They are just a result of keeping nutrie

Butter or Not?

Behold a lovely lump of butter made from a half-gallon of Cookie the Cow's cream. Golden, eh? I kneaded it over the sink to clean the buttermilk out. This way the butter keeps longer. Gee, I I wouldn't want to waste any of the butter crumbs that fall in the sink! I had better pop them into my mouth. Oh. Except if the third butter crumb I pick up actually happens to be a flake of dirty cellulose sponge. Yes folks, that's a piece of sponge masquerading as a tasty dairy product. Clean your sink before you knead butter, that's the moral of this story.

Captivating Crucifers

After the Mr. Corncakes debacle--let's just say that I will always ask permission before I post pictures of my beloved in his long johns ever again-- I wanted to stick with a safe, sweet... POP QUIZ OF CRUCIFERS! From the slideshow, how many autumn brassicas can you name? Aren't they gorgeous? Plants in the cabbage family are called brassicas, from the genus Brassica to which many common garden varieties belong. They are staples of the Pacific Northwest winter garden, since many of them thrive in cool weather and can handle some frost. I am glad I took these pictures before their glory faded in a hard freeze. Answers for the nine pictures, with the varietal name if I know it: Red cabbage

Working Up a Corny Sweat

My last post was wordy and intellectual, so this week has a much more corporeal corn theme. I give you a photoshoot of Mr. Corncakes grinding blue corn flour. Enjoy.




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Woodinville, WA 98072, USA

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