Entomologist Steve Sheppard has never gotten over his wonder at how people came to raise swarms of stinging insects for the honey they produce.
“To see this guy dumping out thousands of bees to collect honey from their hive. . .” He shakes his head. “It’s amazing that humans ever figured it out to do that.”
But the Washington State University associate professor, who not only keeps bees himself, but unflinchingly opens beehives with his bare hands, understands the passion for honey.
People prize it as a delicacy and demand it as a staple. They cherish some honeys for their color and admire others for … » More …
Judging by his occasional ribald references to the potato, Shakespeare considered the exotic tuber primarily as an aphrodisiac. Although the time of the potato’s introduction to Europe from the New World is not clear, recent scholarship has determined that the potato was grown in Spain as early as 1570. But the potato is an odd vegetable. Potatoes of that era were not uniformly oblong and smooth, but came in many colors and shapes, with odd protuberances that reminded some of, well, body parts. Although Indians had eaten them for thousands of years, Europeans were mystified, if not titillated.
But they got more adventurous. And the … » More …
Blackberry is a flavor of fall in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you sample blackberries straight from the bush, still warm from the sun, or bake it into a pie and top it with a cool scoop of ice cream, it’s a deep, sweet taste that conjures up those last days of sunshine.
Blackberries live in the rose family and are close relatives of red raspberries. Their commonly cultivated versions include the black and shiny marionberry and red-black hybrid Boysenberry. Both varieties are available mid-July through early August here in Washington. They are grown mostly on farms in the Puyallup and Mt. Vernon areas and sold … » More …
There are few things finer than a perfectly ripened pear. We Washingtonians are thus among the luckiest people on earth, because after wide geographical and temporal wandering, the pear seems to have found its true home in our state.
That being so, is it not strange that the pear is not more popular? The question is hardly new. In fact, U.P. Hedrick, in the monumental and beautiful Pears of New York, spends three large pages exploring why, even in 1920, the pear was not more widely eaten.
Given that Washington grows more than 24,000 acres of pears, it would seem that many people do enjoy … » More …
After a winter’s break, the goats at Rhonda Gothberg’s farm have kidded and their milk is rich and sweet. The soft French-style cheese she makes is delicious with just a nuance of that goat tang. Maybe it’s because the animals have added tender green grass to their diet, maybe it’s because it has been a long winter without fresh goat cheese, but “June chèvre is my favorite,” says Gothberg.
With a few acres in Skagit Valley, Gothberg is raising 29 milk goats for her farmstead cheese business. Early each the morning, just as the sun illuminates the shape of Chuckanut Mountain in the near distance … » More …
Local. Delicious. Neglected.
From The Pea & Lentil Cookbook: From Everyday to Gourmet published by the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council,Randall Duckworth, editor. Photos by Mark LaMoreaux are from the book.
Our first night in the Yucatan this past December, my wife ordered lentil soup. Flavored with bacon and garnished with plantain and lime, it was delicious. Odds are that it was made with Pardina lentils grown here on the Palouse. In fact, you may be more likely to eat Palouse lentils in Latin America, India, or Turkey than in Washington.
I may be exaggerating a little, but seriously, … » More …
medium yellow onion, chopped fine
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
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 cook for … » More …