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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

What to do with those hop cones ripening on your vine?  Making beer is the first thing that comes to people’s minds as this plant is what gives brews their distinctive bitter flavor but there’s a lot more you can do! What exactly is hops? Hops are hardy perennials that can grow up to 26 […]

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Making Fruit Wines

We are just finishing the last bottles of our plum wine from two years ago and buoyed by our delectably intoxicating success are trying it again with this year’s large plum and grape harvest. I think we got pretty lucky the first time so this year I am doing more testing and measuring.  Here is […]

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Acorns!

  Even the acorns are ripening early this year.  It takes some work to harvest and process these seeds but they are worth it. So how do you get the good ones?  You are looking for nuts that aren’t super bitter, don’t have a lot of worm holes in them and are a light color without cracks.  You […]

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I am working on a thesis for my public health degree and when my mind wanders it goes towards luscious sweet things.  I have been experimenting with herbal caramels for a while and they are delicious.  You can use almost any herb such as rosemary, thyme or lavender.  Today I tried using green fennel seeds […]

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Plum Crazy

With all the heat this summer the plums are ripening sooner than usual.  Yippee! I never really understood the term “plum crazy” until this year’s banner harvest; I can’t stop picking when there is ripe, juicy fruit to be had and every possible space is covered with some plum related project. “Are you nearly done?” […]

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This year is incredible for tomatoes.  So incredible that for the first year in a while my family can’t keep up with the bounty.  The cherry variety is especially sweet and tangy dried.  These little gems can then be used in sauces, marinades, soups or any other place you need a little burst of summer […]

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Plum Torte

I dream not in sugar plums but in Italian prune and this year my dreams are all coming true; the neighbor’s tree is bursting with succulent blue fruit.  I harvest the plums in succession for each recipe tastes best with a different level of tartness. First up are the wonderful New York Times Plum Tortes. […]

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Last night I went out into the garden and was amazed at how much was ready to pick.  I know people here in Seattle have not been thrilled with this year’s hot summer but it has done wonders for tomatoes, squash and other warm season crops. With a basket full of squash, beans, herbs and […]

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Friends have been telling me about the virtues of Pomona Pectin for quite a while. I recently got some from PCC, and now I’m hooked. Because it doesn’t require sugar to jell, you can easily vary the amount of sugar you use or you can use a different sweetener all together; the result is a […]

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Dried Apples

The apples on my front parking strip are starting to fall and people are asking if I am going to pick them or can they have them.  It’s time to do something with those apples!  Over the years I have made apple sauce, apple butter, apple pie filling and several other types of apple based […]

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