One day in a drift boat along Henry’s Fork in eastern Idaho, Kyle Smith ’07 felt the lure of the trout, fly fishing for a signature fish of the West.
“The Henry’s Fork is just about as legendary as it gets among trout fishermen,” says Smith. “I remember casting Renegades, my favorite dry fly for trout, and catching five or six rainbows in a row.”
Smith’s trip cemented itself in his memory and led him to a career in trout conservation with Trout Unlimited. It’s his unique experience, but it matches the stories of many anglers, stories of steelhead and brook trout, cutthroat and browns, … » More …
Not everyone will love a beet, but it has long been a vegetable of love.
The deep red of a beet and its earthy sweetness speak to some people, who adore the vegetable in all kinds of dishes. Beets have a lot of healthy qualities, too, and even potential chemical uses in solar panels.
That’s not to say beets don’t have detractors. That same earthiness, produced by the substance geosmin, puts off some palates.
The beet—Beta vulgaris, also known as garden beet, blood turnip, beetroot, or red beet—was cultivated in ancient Greece and Rome, but there are stories of beets in the Hanging Gardens of … » More …
Of all the fruit trees, it sometimes seems like the most common backyard resident is the plum. Whether you live in Lynden or Lind, if you don’t have a nearby plum tree, chances are you can find one. A neighbor might even give you a big bag of purple fruit.
Although apples, pears, and cherries dominate the commercial tree fruit of Washington, the state produces the second-most plums in the nation. To be fair, California commands that sector, with 97 percent of the plum market.
That doesn’t diminish the plum as a tasty addition to any homegrown suite of fruit. In fact, Washington … » More …
4 c. plums, seeded 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. sugar ¾ c. apple cider vinegar 1 c. seedless raisins 2 teaspoons salt ⅔ c. chopped Walla Walla sweet onion 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. mustard seeds 3 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger ¾ tsp. chili powder
Combine sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. When the … » More …
Kids love peas—as long as you don’t make them eat them. (Eating fresh peas out of the garden is different.) The tiny spheres are fun to push around on your plate, and push off your plate, onto the floor, where the dog, faithful friend, eats them happily, thus relieving you of that onerous chore. Peas are hard to get on your fork, again because they’re spheres, which is why you don’t often get them in restaurants. Your waiter doesn’t want to see you struggling with your peas.
Peas are just another fruit. That’s right, your favorite fresh … » More …
large clove garlic, minced (I actually use much more than this, but don’t want to scare people off)
2-3 slices of good thick bacon, chopped
a little Mexican oregano
1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce)
1 cup pardina lentils
large tomato, chopped, or 8 oz. canned chopped tomato
6 cups water
hard boiled egg
Melt a couple of tablespoons lard over medium heat in medium dutch oven. Cook onions and garlic until translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add tsp. or so of Mexican oregano and stir. Add mashed up pepper and … » More …
All Ray de Vries asks is that we enjoy leeks three times a day. The Skagit Valley farmer known as the Leek King is not being selfish, though. He’ll also tell you how to grow leeks so you can eat them all year round—and that everyone in the Pacific Northwest should grow them. “We’ve got the perfect climate,” he says.
The de Vries family got into leeks after Ray’s dad, Ralph, retired from dairy farming and planted a large produce garden. Ralph went to Seattle’s Produce Row and asked sellers what they needed. “We need leeks! As big as you can grow ’em!”
The Central Asian home of leeks and the other alliums is a global Center of Diversity. Useful to both crop-plant breeders and conservation organizations, these centers were first proposed by Russian botanist Nikolai Vavilov in the 1930s. Knowing where a plant’s wild relatives hail from enables breeders to bring new genetics into a line, or conservationists to work to preserve that area to ensure genetic diversity for the future.
Chemist Eric Block, author of Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science, calls the Central Asian home of the alliums “a tough neighborhood” where plants must fend off insects and other … » More …
Among the fruits of summer, one stands alone for its juicy sweetness, sunset colors, and soft fuzzy skin. There’s a reason we refer to good things as “peachy.” Washington’s fame may be apples, but peaches sit proudly next to them, as well as our pears and Rainier cherries at roadside stands and farmers markets.
The volume of other tree fruit grown in the state dwarfs peaches and their siblings, the fuzzless nectarines. According to the USDA, Washington produced 13,800 tons of peaches in 2015, compared to 3.15 million tons of apples and 340,000 tons of pears.
The smell of rain-soaked earth permeated the logged-over clearing in the woods in mid-May as my friend Mike and I peered closely at the ground and walked slowly. We were hunting mushrooms.
Mike’s more adept eyes spotted a cluster of light brown, honeycombed caps. He sliced the morel mushrooms with his knife. After a while we filled a small bucket, which we took back to Mike’s mom. She battered and fried them and, as a teenager in northeast Washington years ago, I had my first taste of the rich flavor of the wild Northwest mushroom.