Modern Pantry

The Proof is in the Parsnip

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Fine words butter no parsnips.” In other words, flattery (“buttering up”) is meaningless without the behavior to back it up. A variation of sorts on “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it’s a particularly apt turn of phrase when speaking of parsnips, that humble root vegetable whose gnarled exterior is at odds with its creamy, sweet interior.

Spilling the Beans on Fixing Favas

I admit it: I may have moved to Seattle, first and foremost, because of the food. Growing up in the Midwest, I’m no stranger to Jell-O salads with dubious add-ins like carrots and whipped cream. I can, with unnerving accuracy, predict the contents of a noodle-heavy casserole (called “hotdish” in Minnesota), even under its customary layer of gloppy cheese…

A Very British Picnic

Surprisingly, although the British summer is often non-existent, we Brits have a splendid repertoire of traditional summer foods, which we particularly love to enjoy at outdoor picnics and festivities…

Quinoa

Food trends have a way of coming on quick and fizzling out in much the same way. When I started to see quinoa on even the most casual restaurant menus, I had a feeling it was destined for burnout, but surprisingly (and thankfully) it seems to have some real staying power. And for good reason…

Baked Lemon, Honey, and Rosemary Cheesecake

At this quiet time of year, when the earth is still sleeping and only a few green shoots remind us that we are about to tumble headlong into the madcap cacophony of spring, the pickings are slim when it comes to seasonal produce…

Brrrrrrrrr!

When the temperatures drop, it’s time to turn to comfort menus and heartier dishes. There’s nothing like coming home to a warm family meal after a day on the slopes or a nice winter walk. Here is a perfect winter meal that does just that. This menu also works well for entertaining, and a lot of these components can be prepared ahead of time, so you can relax with your guests…

Farro for the Cold

Seattle winter always feels most acute in January and February. The buzz of the holidays is behind us, and the days are increasingly shorter. When I first moved to the city from California about five years ago, February was a struggle. I recall strolling the farmers’ markets, wondering where the citrus was displayed and forcing myself to take a lot of walks — even in the rain — because that’s what most locals said I should be doing…

Sorghum: The Versatile Grain You’ll Fall For

In our kitchen, the cooler months beg for pantry items that are versatile. I often find myself hunkering down a bit more than usual in the winter, as many of us do in Seattle, relying on old standbys like soups and stews, homemade bread, and roasted vegetables.

The Mother of All Condiments

This past fall I had the great fortune of teaching a quarter-long class on preserving to an eager audience of health-minded, highly educated individuals at Bastyr University. Using the prolific campus garden and taking cues from local farms, I built a thirteen-week course based solely on what was seasonally available to put up for the pantry.

Apple Chutney/ Pumpkin Butter

In late fall, gardens heave a near audible final breath and give up the last of their fruits. Fields turn fragrant with the pungent smell from fermenting fallen fruit and the last of anything sweet is gathered from bare tree branches or browning vines.

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