bowl of yogurt

Adventures in Fermentation

When I was in elementary school, my mom packed my lunch every day. I wasn't one of those kids who glamorously got to wait in line for a hot lunch; I was the one with a grease-stained paper bag....

tree planting

Arboreal Agriculture- The Beacon Food Forest

The seeds for the Beacon Food Forest were planted in 2009, in a Permaculture class led by Jenny Pell and Marisha Auerbach. As a final project, student groups planned installations using all they had learned about designing for sustainability....

Lilac Torpedoes

saffron blooms in the rainshadow BY MEGAN HILL PHOTOS BY LARA FERRONI It's not easy to miss Jim Robinson's tent at the Ballard Farmers Market, even when the street is clogged with shoppers and dogs and strollers. Robinson's market stand is crammed with hundreds of varieties of tiny succulents, vividly colored and Seussian in appearance. Adorable as they may be, the succulents aren't the reason Seattle's cooks grace Robinson's stand.  It's likely they're after the decadent strands...

Catching at the Moon

restoring cabbage to its rightful place at the table BY ABRA BENNETT PHOTOS BY ABRA BENNETT AND SHEL HALL Imagine that you’re sailing alone around the world, storm-tossed and craving green vegetables. No problem, you’ve got a few cabbages safely stored under your bunk. There’ll be no scurvy on your ship, because cabbage is loaded with the necessary preventive, Vitamin C, and keeps without refrigeration. Following the wind, you visit every continent—you’ll have no trouble restocking your...

The Art of Leaving Welts

BY BECKY SELENGUT This is no Bourdain-esque Kitchen Confidential tale. No half-baked delinquent line cooks sautéeing your dinner in one hand while razoring out a line with the other. I’m going to tell you a cook story less often told, but more accurate according to my 10 years in restaurants. In Seattle we glorify the image of chefs plucking perfect produce out of gardens while conversing about sustainability. No doubt this is happening. What is also happening is...

Find the Beans

You can buy Rockwell beans for eating from chefshop.com and seasonally at Bayview and Coupeville farmers markets. Seed beans are available from Uprising Organics (uprisingorganics.com). The Rockwell is a bush bean and, planted at the end of June, grew a bumper crop in my raised bed in 2012. They’re still in limited supply, and if you grow some this year, I encourage you to save some seeds both to replant in your own garden and to share with friends in Western Washington.  ...

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We Will Rockwell

Willowood Farm—you have to practically wade through bald eagles to get there—is in the central, section of long, skinny Whidbey Island. These days, it’s as lovely a stretch of farmland as you could find driving through the Skagit Valley, but it’s also the farmland that almost wasn’t....

Double Duty

By Jess Thomson This issue, we’re debuting a new format for Cooking Fresh. The goal is simple: We’d like to give you dependable, delicious recipes for food from your local farmers market, all year round, but we know you also need quick, easy meals occasionally. And let’s face it, very few of us would survive without a regular grocery store. Now, Cooking Fresh will give you both, in every issue. Here’s how it works: We’ll give you a shopping list,...

becky and squid

The Jig Is Up

Suddenly I feel the tug on the end of my line. A dull weight bends the tip of the pole down slightly. I pull my rod up in the air, reeling furiously, and go mad with joy, screaming out “I GOT ONE! I GOT ONE! SQUID ON THE LINE! HAHAHAHAHAHA” My neighbors are both slightly disturbed by my intensity and proud of me for my first ever squid....

A Spirited Business

the life lessons and seasonal flavors behind a microdistillery BY SONJA GROSET PHOTOS BY SONJA GROSET AND KELLY CLINE When the last leaves fall from the trees in November, Mhairi Voelsgen, co-founder of local liqueur company broVo Spirits, craves a cocktail with ginger and a little rum. “Something warming and a little dangerous,” she says. “It makes me think that winter is coming and it’s time to batten down the hatches.” Much like recipes for various...

Home Space

lucky Renee Erickson and the art of welcoming STORY AND PHOTOS BY TARA AUSTEN WEAVER When you walk into a Renee Erickson restaurant you can feel it. There's a gracious elegance to the space, a feeling of being welcomed. Whether it is under glowing lanterns hung from whitewashed beams at Boat Street Café, or at the bustling and convivial bar at The Walrus & The Carpenter in Ballard, where customers tuck into oysters and small plates of...

naches heights

OUR AVAs- Naches Heights

"Naches Heights" sounds like a housing tract, but it's actually a 13,000-acre agricultural plateau at the northwest corner of the Yakima Valley....

Urban Foraging: Books

Salty Snacks I possess an unusually dedicated sweet tooth, but truthfully I am an equal opportunity snacker. In Cynthia Nims’ lovely new book Salty Snacks, she covers all the most popular salty bases, and tosses a few delectable new ideas into the mix (I’m looking at you, deviled bacon), all of them thankfully lacking the incomprehensible ingredient lists and inflated prices of store-bought snacks. Her recipe for “the best crackers” is just that; it’s possibly ruined...

Editor’s Letter

You'd think I'd be used to this feeling by now, but it strikes every few months: I just get overwhelmed with delight in the eternal and outlandish adventures that are being had by residents of Washington. Sure, most saffron is grown in Iran—but what's to stop us from growing it here? And while we're...