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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Raspberry Shrub

Shrub is a drink that is sweet, tart, bubbly and cool; the perfect mixture for a hot summer day. The unusual name comes from sharab the Arabic word for syrup.  This colonial era beverage was much sought after as it both quenched the thirst and preserved the fleeting flavors of summer fruit.  It fell out […]

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Fennel

The herb fennel is so plentiful and grows so well in the Pacific Northwest that some people think of it as a weed and do their best to eradicate it. Horrors!  This plant is useful from its seeds to its roots and should be cherished! According to Wikipedia this herb was well known to the […]

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Edible Flowers

Many of the flowers that grace our yards are edible.  They can be used as accents in a salad or as garnish on a main dish. Here are a few of my favorites: I like to use chive flowers in salads to lend a slightly onion flavor.  Here’s a recipe for omelets with chive flowers. Lavender cookies are […]

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Oregano!

My family loves Italian style food so we go through a ton of the herb oregano each year. Luckily it’s very easy to grow; you can start it from seed or buy a plant at most local nurseries.  It does best in full sun and doesn’t like to be water logged but do be aware […]

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Pickled Snow Peas

Each summer I start off eating the new pea pods thinking there will never be enough, soon it’s time for succulent stir fries with mushrooms and chicken then before I know it there are snow peas everywhere and I don’t know what to do with them.  Last year I tried pickling them and they are […]

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Brining grape leaves is best done in the spring or early summer when the leaves are more supple.  These leaves are used to make a Greek dish called dolmades and can also be used as a decorative accent under cheeses.  They have an earthy, salty taste that is complementary to savory foods. First pick your leaves, […]

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Now that you have dried herbs making your own blends is easy! These make great gifts as well as stepping up the flavor of your own dishes. Here are some of my favorite blends: Herbes de Provence Herbes de Provence usually contains basil, bay leaf, marjoram, rosemary, summer savory and lots of thyme. Lavender can be […]

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It’s Thyme!

Right now is a great time to harvest thyme.  To harvest this useful herb just take your kitchen shears and snip off bunches.  I usually trim off the top three inches and make sure to leave a lot of the plant intact; if you clip off too much you can kill the plant. You can […]

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Focus on Collards

Collards grow well in the Seattle area so it’s one of those fail safe crops that I plant every year.  To get a good yield enrich your soil with some compost and manure then sow your seeds once the soil has warmed.  I often start these indoors then plant them out to get a jump on […]

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Focus on Arugula

This week I think my arugula plants have grown about three inches.  This spicy plant can be eaten in salads with an oil and vinegar dressing or used as a zesty garnish.  We really like to top a just baked pizza with this richly flavored plant. Arugula likes cool weather and a nitrogen rich soil. […]

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