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Food

Winter 2008

A Season for Seeds

STRANGE THINGS sprout in Skagit Valley’s fields: Monster plants with six-foot stalks covered with yellow flowers, delicate ferny-leaved things with round white heads holding hundreds of tiny blossoms, and unruly tangles of leaves, spears, and spikes.

John Roozen ’74, whose family’s name is synonymous with Skagit Valley tulips, keeps careful watch on these fields. He swings his pickup over to the side of the road and dives into a field, a curly, hairy mess of green. He plucks off the tip of a plant and hands it over. See that, he says, pointing at the dozens of small green nuggets clustered along the stem, those … » More …

Winter 2008

Rethinking the Fundamentals

Feeding the world may require us to use old knowledge in new ways. Although the prices of fuel and commodities have dropped since early summer, the volatility of their relationship will surely dog us for the foreseeable future. While stock prices may temporarily overshadow food prices in the public consciousness, some farmers and researchers are looking at different ways of doing business, perhaps moving the land-grant university back to its founding purpose. » More ...
Spring 2008

A taste of history

Methow Valley, best known for its miles of Nordic skiing and other outdoor recreation, has developed a new note, one that lands it in Seattle’s culinary scene. The rare heritage grains from Sam and Brooke Lucy’s Bluebird Grain farms have found their way onto the menus of some of the city’s eateries.

Two histories intertwine in this story—the history of farming in a secluded mountain valley, and that of a cereal that once fed both kings and common Roman soldiers.

The grain, called farro, or emmer, is a primitive wheat that retains its outer hull. One of the first cereals to be domesticated in the … » More …

Spring 2006

Cooking is its own reward

Betsy Rogers ’89 had her eureka moment while sitting in a cooking class.

It was 2000, and the Seattle-based public relations specialist had recently lost her job in a downsizing. Instead of jumping back into a new job, she decided to freelance and take her time in deciding what to do next.

“I did like being self-employed, but I didn’t like what I was doing,” she says. What she really enjoyed was food, though. With some extra time on her hands, the Washington State University public relations graduate signed up for a cooking class.

“So I was thinking about what things really get me … » More …

Winter 2002

Seasoned with Love: Favorite Heart-Healthy Recipes with Reflections about Food, Family, Friends, and Faith

Carolyn Frances Meagher (’56 Speech) conceived a passion for cooking and baking while learning to make cinnamon rolls in a high school cooking class in Pullman, Washington. In time, rich desserts and “anything with cheese” became her trademark among family and friends.

However, the high-fat dinners came to an abrupt end several years ago during a health crisis that triggered an evaluation of her family’s dietary patterns. Meagher began experimenting with her favorite recipes—and looking for new ones—to lower the cholesterol and fat content without losing flavor.

In Seasoned with Love, she presents an eclectic selection of her favorite home-style recipes, all … » More …

Winter 2002

Gardening in the Inland Northwest

If you are a gardener just embarking upon the horticultural journey of growing vegetables or fruit in the Inland Northwest, this book is quite simply the best reference you can find. Tonie Jean Fitzgerald starts out with the basics that every gardener should know about the unique soils and climate of the region. Next she gets down to the specifics of planning and planting a vegetable garden, including how to raise transplants from seed and what varieties perform best in area gardens.

She follows up with a chapter on pest control from pesky insects to damaging diseases, providing sound advice on how to limit the … » More …

Fall 2008

Reconsidering the oyster

FOR AN OYSTER LOVER, speeding down the Willapa River in an open boat toward Willapa Bay and its oyster beds must be like approaching the Celestial City. Even if it is cold for May, and gray, and spitting rain, everyone in the boat is smiling beatifically.

Approximately 15 percent of the oysters consumed in the United States come from Willapa Bay, just north of the mouth of the Columbia River. Ten thousand acres of the bay are devoted to oyster farming. Coast Seafood, whose CFO Kay Cogan ’79 and operations manager Tim Morris are escorting me to oyster heaven, is the largest oyster producer in … » More …

Spring 2006

Eat more garlic

If there’s just one thing you plant in your garden, make it garlic.

For one thing, it’s extraordinarily easy to grow. Plant it around Columbus Day. Cover it with mulch. Or don’t. Water it now and then when it starts growing again in the spring. And that’s about it.

You can start eating it at any stage, though obviously you don’t want to eat it all up before it develops heads. Thus, you need to plant a lot. You can chop the young shoots and add to a stir-fry. Pull the developing young heads and slice, using it for a mild flavoring. In early summer, … » More …