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Proven Pearings

STORY AND RECIPE BY ELLEN D. JACKSON PHOTOS BY CHARITY BURGGRAAF "I speak from experience when I say that a pastry chef’s palette of seasonal ingredients is crowded with caramel and chocolate browns when winter rolls around. But if you look closely, there are plenty of local options for satisfying your sweet tooth. From the sweet, creamy yellow flesh of a Seckel pear, to the papery mahogany skin of the hazelnut, to the deep, dark brown of extra-dark, bittersweet chocolate, what winter’s offerings lack in bright color and flavor are made up for in richness and texture. In Oregon, pears are the number one fruit crop, and the state ranks third in national production. Washington leads the nation in pear production, providing close...

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Caramel-Poached Pears with Chocolate Caramel Cream and Toasted Hazelnut Sables

STORY AND RECIPE BY ELLEN D. JACKSON PHOTOS BY CHARITY BURGGRAAF The flavors, temperatures, and textures of this dessert demand the diner’s attention: buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with crunchy edges; sweetly yielding, slightly warm caramelized pears; and frozen chocolate cream, light as a cloud. Each of the components is quite straightforward and comes together easily. And with planning, several of the steps can be completed while an item is poaching, or chilling. When they come together on the plate, you’ll see that the combinations are exquisite. Makes 8 servings I Active time: About 1 hour Toasted hazelnut sables 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 cup hazelnut meal or finely ground toasted hazelnuts 2...

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Seeding is Believing

I am restless behind my windows, and the garden beckons. But January always offers up slate-gray mornings and frosty nights, and though the winter solstice is behind us, I feel boxed in by these short days. As I gaze out at my streetlight-lit garden in the endless eventide, I decide that the only antidote is an armchair getaway. In a time like this, gardening catalogically has to suffice....

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No Manual Required

I have always maintained that if you want to get to know someone infinitely better, all you need to do is meet their parents. This year, I’ve learned that you can gauge how someone feels about their parents by telling them that yours are building a house in your backyard. From the beginning, it was always the three of us: my mothers and me. I was raised by two delightfully stubborn women who have never let anyone determine their fate, whether that meant having a baby as a lesbian couple in 1984, opening Seattle’s first woman-owned coffee roastery, or countless other quietly subversive actions that have enabled our family to thrive. ...

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Percolating Through the Generations

It was the late 1800s. In the midst of the internal violence of Colombia’s Thousand Days’ War, a group of daring muleteers, or arrieros, ventured south from Manizales to seek their fortunes in the unexplored lands bordered by modern-day Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío: the fertile triangle of Colombia’s famous La Zona Cafetera — The Coffee Zone....

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Defying Categorization

Plums. Apricots. Dehydrated limes. Dandelion greens. Rose hips. At Urban Family Brewing in Interbay, a wild array of ingredients make their way into the off-beat beers that are continually rotating through the taps....

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Old Wines, New World

Tanjuli Winery nestles into the Rattlesnake Hills, just above the tiny town of Zillah in eastern Washington. The landscape here is rich — acres of fruit trees roll into rows of wine grapes, with farmstead homes scattered among them. Winemaker Tom Campbell and I pick our way across the graveled paths between vineyard blocks. I see globes of heavy, dark grapes on the vines ahead of us....

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Always Growing

It’s a glorious late-September day on the slopes of Grandview in Washington’s beautiful Yakima Valley. A bright blue sky is streaked with wisps of cloud. Mount Adams and Mount Rainier gleam in the distance, and the hills all around are snuggled under a striped quilt of vineyards and orchards....

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One Ingredient Three Ways: Dungeness Crab

It seems fitting that January is named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, because he reflects how torn I am about what to cook at this time of year. On the one hand, I look toward the skimpy-dress days of summer and want to eat cleanly and healthfully after the excesses of the holidays. But on the other, the relentless gray skies and torrential rain drive me to embrace the rich warmth and earthy satisfaction of traditional comfort foods....

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Collins Family Orchard

Calvin Collins sports a Seattle Seahawks cap, and his hands are covered in a hard day’s work. He’s been up since five in the morning, caring for his trees, boxing fruit, and loading a large truck to take the produce to the orchard’s warehouse in Magnolia, where it will be stored in a cold room before going out for sale at farmers markets throughout the city....

Edible Seattle Origin of a Dish

Korean Short Rib Bibimbap with Rachel Yang

“If you are going to break the rules, you better know the rules,” says Rachel Yang, chef owner of Joule, Revel, and Trove restaurants. Rachel and her husband, Seif Chirchi, have risen in Seattle’s culinary scene by, among many things, honoring authentic cuisine through reinvention....

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Early to Rise

Before sunrise, nearly every day, brothers Kit and Jesse Schumann are at their new Stone Way bakery, Sea Wolf, elbow-deep in flour. Such is life when you’re a two-person bakery – and a popular one at that. The Schumanns' venture is barely three years old, but it has a cult following, with a legion of fans built by exposure in some of Seattle’s best restaurants....

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Beer & Bivalves

A scant 10 minutes after stepping out of my car in Olympia, I’m already slurping raw oysters. My first stop on a road trip to Washington’s state capital is the Olympia Farmers Market, a year-round affair that bustles with shoppers selecting fresh produce, locally-raised meat, cut flowers, artisanal goods, and local crafts, against a backdrop of live music. The air at the market, situated about a block away from Puget Sound, smells deeply of seaweed and salt — rather like oysters....