Northwest Treasures

Aug 2017
Farms and Mines and Salmon

It's been a big week for salmon, at least here in the Seattle area, with two sizeable stories in play. One new, one older but with a new timeliness. The new news was the terrible failure of farmed salmon pens near the San Juan Islands. I'll admit to not having been aware of how many salmon farms operate in the Puget Sound area, so along with the massive dump of Atlantic salmon into the native habitat of wild salmon comes the ...

Jul 2016
Oysters in Summer

"What's the deal?" a number of people have been asking me lately. "Isn't there something about not eating oysters in the summer?" Yeah, there is. Or was. The truth in the "don't eat oysters in the months without an 'R'" relates in part to the basic biology of oysters. When summer brings along an increase in water temperature, it induces natural oysters to spawn. These oysters aren't harmful to ...

Jan 2015
Oysters for The Ark

So, first some news. Things have gotten pretty briny around my house, and that's not just because the Puget Sound is a brief stroll from here. I hadn't anticipated that my 2014 would wrap up fully engrossed in oysters, but that's how it played out. By complete coincidence, two Seattle publishers reached out to me about oyster-related projects. The first, an article for Seattle Magazine, appeared in the December issue and covers both the current boom in oyster bars ...

May 2014
Salmon Season Special Offer

Between gin, snacks and salmon, it's kind of hard to know which of those favorite topics I touch on more often here. But with the traditional mid May launch of Copper River salmon season just passed, it's little surprise salmon is on top of mind right now. It's something like the swallows back to Capistrano, an event that signifies the general launch of key commercial salmon fishing season throughout ...

Oct 2013
Northwest Cuisine: My New Series

Thrilled to announce that my first-ever self-published e-book was released earlier this week. For this initial entrée into the new realm, with The Northwest: Crab, I have revived some content from projects dating back a decade or so. The Northwest Homegrown Cookbook Series was one of the most personal projects I had the opportunity to ...

May 2013
Oysters + Wine, Bliss

I've been in Paris nearly two weeks now and so far only indulged in oysters once. It was at a tiny, bright, delightful little spot in the Latin Quarter that I'd read about in research, Huitrerie Régis. Got there just after doors opened at 6:30 on Saturday evening and scored the best among just about 7 two-tops. Never been to a place with as limited a menu (not counting a hot dog cart), it's ALL about the oysters, plus shrimp ...

Aug 2012
Green Goddess Crab Salad

It's such a delightful problem to have. More crab than you can eat in one sitting. Friends who have a home on Whidbey Island had had pretty good luck with the crabbing last weekend,  got through as much as their family could consume, then dropped a quick email to see if we'd like to take some off their hands. Next thing you know, we're picking a parking lot to meet in, they handed off 4 Dungeness crab that had been caught-and-cooked the ...

Feb 2012
Sun Setting on a Seattle Icon: Le Gourmand

I was heartbroken when I first heard Bruce Naftaly's voicemail message this morning, letting me know that he and his wife and business partner Sara had decided to close Le Gourmand and Sambar in early June. I've been a card-carrying fan of Le Gourmand for many years, and of Sambar from the first French 75 I sipped on that glorious garden patio. How could the news be true? But a few minutes later when I had a chance to ...

Aug 2011
Albacore and Ale in Astoria

It had been a good 15 to 20 years or so since my last trip to Astoria. So I was especially happy when an invitation came through from the Oregon Albacore Commission and the Western Fishboat Owners Association to join on an albacore escapade to Astoria last week. Didn't hurt that I'd recently put my latest cookbook to bed. The prospect of a mini road trip to the ocean coast sounded like just what the doctor ordered after a particularly hectic few months ...

Aug 2011
In Search of Wild Mushrooms

I love this snippet about "How to Forage for Mushrooms" from a not-too-long-ago issue of Esquire magazine. (My husband pulls random pages out for me -- this one doesn't happen to have the issue month on it.) Step 1 reads "Find a humid forest." followed by Step 2: "Leave that forest and go to a farmers market or a good grocery store." They then go on to talk about general tips for choosing mushrooms. At the store. I had to laugh ...