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Archive for September, 2009

The humble Italian Prune Plum has been on Whidbey Island since the time of the first generation of settlers.  I love them for baking and preserving and they are happening right now.

The humble Italian Prune Plum has probably been on Whidbey Island for over a century. There is nothing better for baking and preserving and they are happening right now.

If I am going to eat a fresh plum, then a Santa Rosa Plum, with its super fragile, water-balloon-like flesh is my hands down favorite.   But when it comes to making jam, jelly or a plum tart, they cannot hold a candle to the much less sexy but ever more versatile Italian Prune Plum.  It just so happens that we have a bumper crop Italian Plums this year in Coupeville.  Here is what you can do with them. (more…)

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Total Take

Monday September 7th, as the sun was setting and darkness descending on the Sound, I pulled up my last crab pot of the summer season.  At 8:09 p.m. the season ended in most of Puget Sound, and I have to say that I am pretty sad about it.  It was a good season for my family, with plentiful amounts of crab on the table every weekend and some extra to share with friends, too.  This piece is a retrospective on the season, detailing what I have learned and revealing some of my secrets.  It is also intended to give you a basic overview of how to crab in Puget Sound and allow you to learn from my mistakes. (more…)

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The Score is even: 3 to 3... But who is keeping track?

The Score is even: 3 to 3... But who is keeping track?

My best friend Dave worked at Pike Place Fish and Pure Food at Pike Place Market for many years.  Of course that was years after we both worked together at the Captain Whidbey, when we were kids.  We both have a lot of fish in our past, Dave even more than me.

I was talking to Dave the other day and I told him that we had started catching salmon right on the beach here on Whidbey.  What were we catching, he wanted to know.  When I told him we were getting Pinks, he said with disdain, “Yeah, I don’t eat Pinks.  They aren’t very good.” (more…)

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Willowood Farm's Fresh Potatoes are a thing of beauty

Willowood Farm’s Fresh Potatoes are a thing of beauty

My three-year-old-daughter Molly is a big fan of potatoes in just about any from.  She likes them with or without skins, boiled, fried, simply mashed with olive oil and salt or pureed and adulterated with cream and butter.  Regardless of how they are prepared she refers to them as “mash potato”.  Last Saturday at the Farmers’ Market in Coupeville, we got a variety of fresh potatoes from Willowood Farm.  My wife, Tyla, roasted a whole chicken last night, and she prepared the potatoes very simply to go with the chicken.  She cut them in half, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them beneath the bird as it roasted, along with some whole cloves of garlic still in the skins.  I made my contribution by stirring the spuds a couple of times during the roasting process.  The result: They achieved that incredibly crisp crust on the cut side, the side that had been in contact with the bottom of the pan and the love from the chicken, while maintaining a light, fluffy-creamy texture inside.  They were perfect. (more…)

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