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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

By Garrett Okrasinski It was recently just my mother’s birthday. Every year as her birthday comes around, the tomatoes start to ripping, zucchinis are plumping and the basil bolting. With my garden in full swing, I decided to make her a veggie summer pasta dish. Everything harvested from the garden goes in! This year I […]

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A summer staple for my family is a hearty garden fresh potato salad.  We have this sustaining dish with almost every outdoor meal and prepare it for guests as well. Walking through the garden I found onions, nasturtium flowers, peas, purple potatoes and new eggs from the hens. Ready for 4th of July picnics it’s time […]

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Anise hyssop is a lovely plant that grows well in our climate. This edible licorice flavored member of the mint family can be grown from seed, divided from another plant or purchased at a nursery. Here are some of its many uses: Cut flowers Dried flowers – the flower heads dry to a pretty navy […]

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Summer has been here for a while and the raspberries are ripe and ready!  Turning the berries into jam is an easy, almost magical process that brings back the flavors of summer deep into winter. Of all the jams I make raspberry is by far the one that people like the most. This is great as […]

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Oregon Grape Jam

The Oregon Grape in the park near our house is a luscious deep purple blue color and the berries are just a bit soft to the touch. On the way home I picked some berries then made jam with my harvest. This deep blue jam has a great flavor and pairs nicely with sourdough bread or vanilla ice […]

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Rose Hips

Growing up in the desert in Arizona rose hips always sounded so exotic but now that I live in the Pacific Northwest I can find these vitamin C rich tasty fruits everywhere. While all bushes make hips, Rosa rugosa is the variety that has the biggest, sweetest fruits. They are ripe now and can be […]

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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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