Seasonal Eats

Jan 2015
Torrone with Almonds

It's a funny thing, coming home with a suitcase full of treasures from a delightful adventure abroad. The less common the destination and the more distinctive the treats acquired, the more nerve-wracking it can be to decide when will be the ideal/perfect/best moment to enjoy them. From this fall's explorations in Portugal and the northwest corner of Spain, I came home with a couple dozen tins of exquisite seafood (sardines, tuna, octopus), for instance, much of it from this amazing ...

Oct 2013
Mustard Soft Pretzels: In Honor of October

I realize Octoberfest isn't relegated strictly to the month of October, in its homeland of Bavaria in southern Germany, the beer-fueled festivities tend to start late September. But still, the act of flipping the calendar page this morning to October inspired this brief consideration of the fall festival that plays out globally this time of year. My contribution to the party is this recipe for soft pretzels from my most recent book. This was one of the last additions to the Salty Snacks...

Nov 2012
Stormy-Day Chili

Based on Twitter feeds and Facebook chats, it sounds like many of us around the country were feeling a sort of solidarity with all those on the eastern seaboard being ravaged by frenetic megastorm Sandy. Honestly, the blustery weather we're having in Seattle would have been enough on its own. But hearing of those girding themselves against the extreme winds and rain, facing the dark and chill of the storm's effects...I guess our mutual instinct was to cocoon a bit ...

Sep 2012
Canning Summer: Plum Butter

It's funny how sometimes there's an odd confluence of input on one topic coming at you from seemingly disparate directions. For me this week, it's been canning: a subject chatted about at a dinner party Saturday, something Facebook friends gave me lots of guidance about after posting a quick question, and something I did by myself for the very first time yesterday. Then, today, I come across this column by Melissa Clark in the New York Times. Not so much about canning ...

Jan 2012
Hazelnut-Apple Tart

There are so many reasons that it's been as long as it has since I last sat down to write a post here. I won't bore you with details, aside from the more recent reason that I was out of town for most of December. It was a trip my husband and I had been looking forward to for many months, since springtime when he determined how he'd like to celebrate the noteworthy birthday milestone he'd be hitting this ...

May 2011
Marbled Salmon: Delicious and Distinct

Yes, I know. I just wrote about salmon in my last post. And I'm writing about it again today. Deliciously redundant because it is, in fact, officially salmon season now that the first gleaming specimen has made its way south from the Copper River up in Alaska. I'll admit to not having had a bite of the glorious Coppers yet, the most well-known harbinger of salmon season. But I did, yesterday, have a most extraordinary lunch of Washington State troll-caught king ...

May 2011
The Nature of Salmon: Northwest Treasure

Asparagus, tulips and salmon, oh my. It must be spring in the Northwest. Though, granted, this year's very chilly and damp spring has meant delay in the produce and flower departments, it's unlikely that the piscatorial harbinger of spring will be off its typical mid-May schedule by much. The Alaska fisheries managers have announced May 16 as the date for opening season of commercial fishing of king salmon on the ...

Oct 2010

It must be a bumper-crop year for chanterelle mushrooms here in the Northwest. My local grocery store, the wonderful West Seattle Thriftway, has had a consistent supply of lovely chanterelles for $8.99 per pound, one of the lowest prices I recall seeing for the beauties in recent years. And I've heard other friends chattering about high supply and low prices in recent weeks. It's been a treat to pick up a few handfuls on recent shopping trips, adding them to ...

Aug 2010
It’s the Berries: Summer Pudding

Okay, enough with the stone fruits! I've clearly been on a bent about that category of delicious summertime fruits. For a moment I'll move along from the peach and plum tones of those juicy treats and give some props to the jeweltone berries. A few occurrences conspired to put visions of summer pudding dancing in my head over the past few weeks. Random conversations. Memories. What-to-do-with-those-beautiful-berries ponderings. ...

Jul 2010
Sum- Sum- Summertime: Juicy Fruits

If I had to hang my hat on one theme about which I've written the most in my (ahem) nearly 2 decades of food writing, it's Northwest ingredients. Celebration of foods that are grown in my backyard, that have been part of my life since I was a little kid, it's a thrill when your backyard is one so bounteous as this one. Some items are pretty famously linked to the region, things like salmon, apples, oysters, foods that get ...