All-Day Baked Beans with Bacon, Rum and Honey

Serves 6 start to finish: 3 to 8 hours From Edible Seattle March/April 2010 The best baked beans take just moments to prepare, but much more time to cook—up to 8 hours for dark, creamy beans and caramelized bacon, depending on the type and freshness of the beans and how much water you add. But it's worth it. This version, made with thick-cut bacon, rum, local honey, molasses, mustard, and red pepper flakes for heat, is worth your Sunday. Recipe 3/4 pound thick-cut bacon (8 slices), diced 1 pound Rockwell* or red kidney beans, cooked until just tender 1/2 cup mild molasses 1/2 cup dark rum 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup spicy (such as fireweed or mesquite) honey, or to taste Steps Preheat...

Tea Time

Two perspectives on one tradition PHOTOS BY RINA JORDAN Growing up on Long Island, the first thing to hit the table at the Chinese restaurants (along with crispy noodles and duck sauce) was a steel pitcher of hot tea. My dad would proceed to put half the contents of the glass sugar pourer in the tea to "make it taste better." It's still the same back home, but here in Seattle, tea is a totally different ballgame. One Sunday in the International District, I went to sample two types of Chinese tea:  traditional tea, thousands of years old, and bubble tea, a relatively new phenomenon. Two tea shops, doors down from each other, but seemingly a world apart. I walk into New Century Tea...

Whatcom’s Edible Compound Interest

Food to Bank On nets positive results BY TIM NEWCOMB PHOTO COURTESY SUSTAINABLE CONNECTIONS Farming is about more than simply soil and sun. It's also about accounting, land stewardship, customer service and feeding the hungry. In Whatcom County, Sustainable Connections runs a program called Food to Bank On, a mentoring program that works to teach new farmers about the endless intricacies of the business. Food to Bank On was started in 2003 by the Community Food Co-op's Farm Fund and administered by Sustainable Connections' Food & Farming program as a way to simultaneously help the hungry and protect farmland. Sustainable Connections took over the program in 2005, and it has only grown since. The young farms can participate in the program for three years,...

Saving Sushi

West Seattle's Mashiko Moves Beyond Bluefin BY BECKY SELENGUT PHOTO BY Kelly O "Why are you doing this?" I ask Hajime Sato.  I'm sipping sake, tucked into a wooden booth, as the carpet cleaners finish up their late-night work. I'm at Mashiko Restaurant, a sushi bar staple in West Seattle. Mashiko has recently undergone a complete conceptual shift.  For the last several months Sato has reinvented his little restaurant, transforming it into the nation's third sustainable sushi bar, eschewing popular, close-to-extinction species such as bluefin tuna, and replacing them with more abundant and better-managed species.  Mashiko follows on the heels of Bamboo Sushi in Portland and Tataki Sushi and Sake in San Francisco. As if restaurant ownership weren't hard enough—pulling micro-thin profit margins even in...

Revolutionary Cupcakes

BY JILL LIGHTNER PHOTO BY LARA FERRONI In 1989, Maya Angelou famously said, "I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed." The principle she applied to revolution is one I apply to bakeries. If you plan on eating something that offers minimal health benefit—possibly even negative health benefits—then it needs to be great, and it needs to lead to at least fleeting happiness. It needs to feel personal, not necessarily like it was made just with you in mind, but like whoever made it really wants you—you there, in the cozy old sweater, with the chilly hands and the rained-on library book under your arm—to enjoy your treat.  It's this idea that shoots Cupcake Royale to the top of...

A Call to Inaction

Putting Dandelions to Work for You BY SUMI HAHN When you have a forager in your family, the first thing you learn is that nothing is safe from their prying fingers. The second thing you learn is that foragers will eat almost anything, as long as it's vaguely recognizable. I've caught my father rooting through my compost bin, pulling out limp carrots and black bananas to wave them overhead with an accusatory air. "Why did you throw this away? It's perfectly edible! All you have to do is cut the bad parts out." Because he's a doctor, you cannot argue with him about the extent to which such surgery renders these vegetative patients useless. If there's a morsel of food to be saved, the...

Cooking Fresh: Real Beans

RECIPES: Wine-Braised White Bean, Fennel, and Winter Herb Bruschetta All-Day Baked Beans with Bacon, Rum and Honey Simple Lemon-Sorrel Chickpea Salad Black Bean, Goat Cheese, and Roasted Red Pepper Enchiladas BY JESS THOMSON Everyone has a bean trick. Some bite, to see if they're done. Some smoosh. I fish mine out of the pot with a wooden spoon and blow on them with a big puffed-cheek sigh. When that force is enough to convince the beans' skin to curl up and away from the meat, and the inside is good and creamy, they're ready. Not a second before. But the real trick starts well before that, with a trip to the farmer's market for raw dried beans, which, cooked up at home, seem to have a much...

Beef and Bananas

The simplicity of Somali suqaar BY JAY FRIEDMAN PHOTO BY RINA JORDAN Faduma Bulale welcomes me to her Burien apartment with a cup of hot tea. I taste the cinnamon and clove, but there's something else in there. "Cardamom," Faduma says. "We use a lot of cardamom in Somali cooking, from appetizers like sambuusi (the Somali version of samosas) to cookies, cakes, and other sweets such as xalwo (halvah)." "Cardamom, cinnamon and clove are important spices for us," she continues, adding "Also cumin and cilantro and chilies." At this point, I'm wondering if it's only spices beginning with a "c" until I hear her talk about nutmeg and ginger in Somali desserts—though desserts are more of a southern thing, she says. And while the cuisine varies...

Welcome to the Family

BY BECKY SELENGUT Dog Mountain Farm began because farmers Cindy and David Krepky never wanted to leave their land to buy anything. As they get closer to that goal, they may have an unplanned addition to the farm: me. I'm not-so-secretly hoping they'll adopt me. Forget for a moment that I'm pushing forty and they definitely have better projects to embark on. I first met Cindy and David through a mutual friend who encouraged me to cook a dinner out at their 20-acre farm (10 of it's forested) in Carnation. I had always wanted to cook a farm-to-table dinner and we worked out a plan to make the most of their ingredients. Before I knew it, the week had arrived, the dinner...

The Cask Ale Challenge

Whatever happened to cask ale (called "real ale" by some not-quite-militant beer-loving Brits) and its centuries-old methods? Progress!...

The Well-Fed Student

BY AMY PENNINGTON PHOTO BY RINA JORDAN Walking in to the restaurant Le Gourmand (tucked quietly into a neighborhood-that-is-no-neighborhood between Ballard and Fremont) is a slightly unnerving experience. The room shines in white brightness as afternoon light pours through the west-facing windows. The empty restaurant sits quiet and aside from myself, it is entirely empty. Like any hungry soul out for good food, I hesitate only momentarily before heading back to the kitchen. In the kitchen, I find a row of chairs lined up arm to arm, a very organized work space chock full of shelving, equipment and raw produce and, further on, a beaming and bright eyed chef, Bruce Naftaly. And thus, the cooking lesson begins. The scent of cooking onions permeates...

Curio Confections

University Way is not known for its charm, so it's a happy, slightly magical surprise to discover the little red-and-white-striped house just north of 55th Street. The fairytale building is home to Curio Confections, the brainchild of Maria Friedman....

The Cheese Plate: It’s All Gouda

BY JULIA WAYNE When I was younger, I despised Gouda. In my memory, it tasted of refrigerator and smoked meat and was invariably served with slightly stale crackers. Happily, my views of this delightful cheese changed when I started sampling some of the locally made varieties. COOK IT: I love bacon. I love cheese. I don't always love bacon in my cheese, but in the case of Appel Farms' Bacon Gouda, I'm in. Grab a couple pieces of crusty bread, some apple slices, and a few pieces of the cheese, grill and enjoy. The crispness of the bread, the crunch of apple, and the subtlety of this infused cheese make for a gourmet twist on plain old grilled cheese. www.appelfarms.com SERVE IT: Of...

Sail Transport Company

BY JULIA WAYNE A CSA, or a Community Supported Agriculture program, asks customers to invest in a farm at the beginning of the season and then eat up their investment in regular deliveries through the growing season. While many farms offer such programs, one of the most innovative ways to get involved in this process is via the Sail Transport Company. STC founder Dave Reid has partnered with Sustainable Ballard, Nash's Organic Produce, Rainbow Farm, Lazy J Tree Farm, Paul Gregory and Buck Hollow Farms to create a CSA program which uses no direct liquid hydrocarbon fuel energy—it's zero-footprint delivery . By accepting deliveries via electric trucks, loading them onto sailboats, and then unloading the shipments onto electric bikes, Reid has created...

Savour

BY JULIA WAYNE I wish I had a pantry as well-stocked as Savor’s shelves. The store is set up with a pantry, a wine cellar wall, alcoves of glassware (including Riedel), and other accessories for entertaining, a deli case filled with charcuterie, cheeses, and small bites, and a few tables which will be used for wine and beer tastings (or for customers to sit at while enjoying one of the aforementioned small bites). Non-perishables like paella rice, Boat Street Pickles and emmer farro fill the shelves. The deli cases house a variety of imported cheeses, including Cashel blue and local favorites from Samish Bay Creamery and Quillisascut Farms. Pair these fabulous cheeses with the La Quecia, Boccalone, and Fermin meats farther...

Urban Foraging: Books

Chasing the White Dog Seattle's got a handful of legally licensed bars calling themselves speakeasies these days, but running an illegal joint (or a legal joint masquerading as an illegal joint) is never as interesting as manufacturing the illegal product in the first place. If you're truly interested in celebrating the country's puzzling past with controlled substances, put down your martini glass for a moment and check out Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine. The book steps away from the familiar urban gangster myths and delves into some of the alcohol-fueled moments in America's history (the motivation for the Whiskey Rebellion isn't all that different than today's Teabaggers), while giving do-it-yourselfers some solid pointers in making some...

On Behalf of Bluefin

I recently had lunch at a new sushi place in my neighborhood, where I subjected my dining companion and several nearby strangers to a slightly crazed rant. "They're still serving bluefin? What are they thinking! That's like serving panda!" (This went on for several more sputtering minutes, but I'm sure you get the picture. As a method for changing the world, it was about as effective as standing alone on a street corner, demanding to speak to the President.) When it comes to marine biology, I don't understand much more than that the oceans and their inhabitants are in trouble. No, not every population is collapsing, and no, not everywhere is in peril. Every truth has an exception, and oceans are...