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Archive for December, 2009

The way it should be. My buddy Chuck Tessaro's home made Pancetta, made from Berkshire or Kurobuta pork, will give you faith in pork again.

We had the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Seattle last week.  For country mice like us this is a pretty big deal.  On my agenda for the visit – along with taking the girls to see the lights at Westlake and visit the Zoo – was getting some of the food we cannot find at home on Whidbey.  Itineraries and priorities are almost always set by our stomachs in this family.

Pork is one of the things I have been missing.  I will not buy factory farmed meat, especially not pork.  I know how fully sentient pigs are and I am not going to eat something that I know has led a miserable existence, especially not if it was aware of it.  I have found a source for pork from a small farm on Whidbey, but it is only available by the half or quarter animal, and since we lack of a big freezer that is not really an option for us.  So the trip to the city was our chance to visit a good meat shop and get turned on to some fine swine.  Boy were we in for a disappointment. (more…)

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The Real Thing

I wish I could say that making real eggnog at Christmas time was a Nattress family tradition.  It was not.  We had the Dairygold variety out of the box when I was a kid.  Oh sure, we grated a little extra nutmeg on the top of it and my parents added some booze, but it was pretty pedestrian stuff.  Then I married a Mayflower Princess and Fanny Farmer came into my life.  And once you have had Fanny’s nog, there is no going back. (more…)

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I was over at a friends house last week.  As we were getting ready to sit down to dinner she asked me what I would like to serve my daughters.  “I have water or non-organic milk,” she said.  Clearly, my reputation preceded me.  My friend, who has two growing boys of her own, told me that she goes through so much milk she doesn’t even consider the possibility of buying organic milk because it is so much more expensive.  (more…)

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I have yet to find a beach on which I can forage for oysters.  I still haven’t figured that one out.  But Tyla and I are blessed, living here in Coupeville in that our local grocer carries oysters live in the shell.  At least once a week this fall our lunch has consisted of a dozen of the bivalves.  We like them simply topped with our compound butter du jour and broiled just long enough for them to plump and release their love.   (I have included a couple of our favorite recipes at the end of this post.)

Oysters are equally delicious and nutritious, but you may be unaware just how important they are to marine ecology.  They provide both a literal and a metaphorical foundation for aquatic ecosystems. (more…)

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