Taking Stock – Making Stock

Winter is the perfect time to move your attention from stocking your pantry to stocking your freezer. The absence of farm fresh greens brings dependence on root vegetables and alliums—perfect partners for making homemade stock....

Raising a Glass to the Governor

The delicious legacy of Albert Rosellini BY CHRIS S. NISHIWAKI I am use to fathers refusing to let me take their daughters out, but late last year the tables were turned. No, no, I don't have a daughter. You see, late last year it was a friend's daughter who declined my invitation to take her father out to dinner. The father, in this case, is former Washington Governor Albert D. Rosellini, in many ways the father of the state's food, restaurant and liquor industry. His daughter, Jane, was concerned that her 100-year-old father was not strong enough to leave the First Hill assisted care facility where he's recovering after breaking his hip in September of 2009, when he fell at his Madison Park...

The Ins and Outs of Internships

BY ABRA BENNETT Searching for a farm internship or apprenticeship? Take a look at the GrowFood and ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) websites and you'll find literally thousands of farm internships and apprenticeships offered. On first reading, they look like exciting learning opportunities. But under U.S. Department of Labor and Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) regulations, they're almost all illegal. Under federal labor law, any internship must be similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; and be "for the benefit of the intern." The formal details are intimidating and complex: The intern must not displace regular employees, and the employer that provides the training must derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern....

The Farming Underground

Willing workers, happy customers and the puzzling reality of agricultural internships BY ABRA BENNETT PHOTOS BY CAROLE TOPALIAN The shortest day of the year has passed, but we're still mired in the depths of winter. Long gone are those leisurely weekend trips to the farmer's market for armloads of basil and flats of heirloom tomatoes. Faced with a pile of flavorless January tomatoes flown in from Holland, my mind wanders toward a fantasy of getting my hands into the soil, imagining the pleasures of planting seeds and watching them turn into tonight's dinner. Who hasn't dreamed of tossing all the cards in the air, quitting that daily grind job and trying to make it down on the farm? In the real world we know...

A Garden Named “Freeway”

The community gardens of Yesler Terrace BY HEIDI BROADHEAD PHOTOS BY DELLA CHEN On a rare sunny day in October 2010, a group of Community Corps workers are clearing the weeds and cleaning up a 10,000 square-foot garden, preparing it for winter. Organized into neat beds with tidy mulch paths, a shaded picnic table on the side, the patch has a wide assortment of vegetables growing there: tomatoes, corn, onions, peas, squash, fava beans, purslane, and arugula. To the south, you can see Mount Rainier, and, just to the right, the stadiums and I-5. "Yesler Terrace is the most urban of the SHA [Seattle Housing Authority] locations," says says Nate Moxley, who first started managing the "Ballpark" garden there in fall 2009. "When I got...

Walking Around the Woods

Barnacles, pine needles and a new definition of island cuisine BY JESS THOMSON photo courtesy the Inn at Langley Matt Costello paced across his restaurant in crisp whites, searching for the best words to describe how Whidbey Island's Saratoga Woods inspired his lamb loin entrée. The chef had been walking there, just down the road from his kitchen at The Inn at Langley, the week after hiking in the Cascades with his daughter. He wanted to capture the essence of late summer: the verdant pines, the damp earth, the remnants of the previous years' snows. On our plates, we found his hike in edible form: perfectly cooked lamb loin perched on a red wine and pine reduction, surrounded by green tea "moss," chanterelle...

Heart-Healthy Ham

Three experts work towards a more perfect pork BY REBEKAH DENN PHOTOS BY LARA FERRONI Turning onto Utopia Road, the pavement segues into gravel. Soon after a chicken strolls past, a herd of cows munch white clover, and a goat snags a mouthful of celery leaves from the farmer carrying an armful of produce. It's utopian enough already at Skagit River Ranch, the well-regarded farm on that road, owned and operated by George and Eiko Vojkovich. But the farmers' latest venture goes past the idyllic and into the uncharted: "Can we make pork heart-healthy? That was our goal," George said. Yes, he means heart-healthy hams. And bacon, and sausage, and all the other parts of the pig. Specifically, the Vojkoviches are raising pigs whose meat contains high...

As Local as It Gets

At Home with Nettletown's Christina Choi BY BETHANY JEAN CLEMENT PHOTO BY KELLY O THE SUBJECT: You can't get much more local than Christina Choi. The cofounder of local wild foods purveyor Foraged & Found now has her own Eastlake restaurant, Nettletown—which, naturally, emphasizes local, seasonal and foraged ingredients. Choi lives two blocks from Nettletown, in the apartment where she grew up. To be completely accurate, Choi's family lived there until she was five years old. "When the fifth kid was being born, my parents decided it was time to move," she laughs; it's a two-bedroom apartment. The family moved all the way to Montlake. When she was growing up, her parents both cooked, she says; with six kids, family dinners were the rule,...

BINGE: Local Jam

BY JESS THOMSON As spring begets summer and summer begets fruit, the Seattle area is blessed with juicy orbs of all varieties. But in January? We eat jam. When we can't eat our editor's Hood strawberry jam (face it, Jill, it's the best out there), here are some of our local favorites. [ed. note: Jill says that 95% of the credit goes to the Thulen Farm for growing such outstanding Hood berries, and the other 5% goes to her willingness to cook down an entire half flat of berries into just a couple pints of jam.] Rhubarb Made with only as much sugar as absolutely necessary, Redmond's Blue Cottage Jams' rhubarb spread is chunky without being stringy. A bit of butter balances the...

Here Comes the Grain Again

Mention millet, and people of a certain age might launch into a diatribe on the pitfalls of commune food. I can't erase the 1970s, but today, cooks and bakers are incorporating grains like wheat berries, rye, and quinoa into everyday foods, and learning that not all whole grains taste like burlap. In fact, forget that whole grain treats offer superior nutrition, and they taste downright great--nuttier and richer than foods made with plain white flour, with more lasting power. It's incredibly feasible to find fresh grain products that were grown locally. Maritime farms include Nash's Produce and Finnriver Farm, while central Washington is home to Bluebird Grain Farms and Lentz Spelt Farms (who also grow emmer, camelina and einkorn. So go ahead....

The Oyster Garden

Bainbridge Island's backyard shellfish farms STORY AND PHOTOS BY CAMERON KANE Shellfish have been a northwest staple for thousands of years. Over the millennia, oysters, clams, mussels and geoducks have made substantial contributions to the health of Puget Sound by filtering out excess nutrients, while providing us with some of the best-tasting seafood in the world. Recently, an increasing number of waterfront homeowners on Bainbridge Island have begun helping nature along, growing their own palate-pleasing shellfish and improving the health of Puget Sound in the process. Joe Michael was an early convert to shellfish gardening; he's been at it for over a decade. It hasn't always been easy. His beach on Port Madison gets the full brunt of northern winds and is hit...

Fat Cat Fudge

As with many recipes, it's tough to sort out fudge's myth from historical reality, although it's believed to be both recent and an American original. The earliest printed recipe dates from 1888, in a letter from one Vassar student to another....

Miles Thomas’ Better Bitters

In the past two years, thanks to his boutique line of specialty cocktail condiments, Thomas' nickname is rapidly becoming synonymous with bitters—and not just in Seattle. Across the nation, you can find Scrappy's Bitters at discerning lounges and vendors including Provenance in Chicago; the Cask in San Francisco; and New York City's Cocktail Kingdom....

Recipe Box: Tavern Law Fried Chicken

A few months ago, over late night drinks with friends at Tavern Law, I fell in love with their fried chicken, which showcases game hen instead of regular fryers. Ever since, I've been trying to replicate it at home, not knowing that the Tavern Law kitchen incorporates the sous vide method of cooking as one of the steps. Since I only know of two home cooks in Seattle who own the posh SousVide machine and use it to cook at home, I skipped this step (148 degrees for 4 hours, prior to frying) and cooked the game hen a little hotter, for a little longer, as suggested by Kyl, the kitchen manager. Granted, ours is by no means a carbon...

Pacific Feast & Pacific Coast Foraging Guide

BY JILL LIGHTNER These two separate works are useful individually, but even better together. The laminated foraging guide is sized to tuck into a shirt pocket and includes more than 40 close-up color photos of a variety of shellfish and plants you can find around Puget Sound. Alerts caution you when a species requires particular care (like harvesting nettles) and the guide wisely doesn't get into mushrooms, focusing instead on wild rosehips, seaweeds, berries, and tree blossoms. One entire page is devoted to best practices, giving clear advice to promote respectful, and legal, behavior while foraging. Pacific Feast is part field guide, part cookbook, and part forager's notebook, describing the flavorful history behind numerous wild foods while also explaining how and where...

Starving Farmer Gourmet Popcorn

BY JILL LIGHTNER All popcorn is not created equal. Much of it is actively bad, relying on insane doses of fat and salt to make it palatable. Happily, a family farm in Quincy has come to the rescue, offering the Japanese Hulless popcorn (an old heirloom variety also known as Australian Hulless and Tom Thumb) for your snacktime consideration. It pops up tender and bright white, and nearly as free of hulls as the name implies. Best of all is the flavor: a little nutty, a little sweet, with a subtle flavor note that is nothing more than pure, old-fashioned corniness, for lack of a better term. It pops up nicely in the microwave, WhirlyPop or air popper, with nothing more...

Skagit Fresh Apple Cider

BY JILL LIGHTNER A new product from the Skagit Valley farmers behind the Skagit Fresh carbonated juices, this cider inspired love at first sip. Pasteurized using a heat-free infrared system, the cider has all the sweetly complex flavor of the finest apples—and as the mix of varieties in each batch is slightly different, you'll taste subtle changes throughout the season. It's equally terrific hot or cold, plain or fancied up with mulling spices—and makes a tasty sorbet, too. Available in gallon and half-gallon sizes, from Camano Plaza IGA, The Goose Community Grocer, Metropolitan Market (all locations), San Juan Island Food Coop, Skagit Valley Community Food Coop, Snoqualmie Ridge Kress IGA, Spud.com, and Whole Foods (Seattle and Eastside locations)....

Editor’s Letter

BY JILL LIGHTNER I never get tired of this place. Whether I'm walking around my neighborhood, zipping up to Pike Place Market on the light rail or driving a few hours to visit a farm, at some point every day, I encounter an astonishing story that relates to this magazine. It might be the discovery of a new apple cider, brought to us by a combination of stubborn farmers, smart grant writers and a grocery store buyer who's been given the directive to source locally. It might be a complicated tale of using a rediscovered grain in pig feed, with surprising, inspiring results. Or it might be something out of season to look forward to in warmer months, like a wistful...