Friday, April 30, 2010

This week I joined a CSA!

This week I joined my local CSA here in Redmond, Washington for the first time. I'd heard a lot about CSA's but had never gone to check it out. This was my opportunity to purchase shares of a harvest which will provide local organic produce from June - October. Wow! How wonderful is that... all I need to do is go pick it up. The best part about picking up the produce is that they have fresh herbs and fresh flowers to cut. Now that sold me! The herbs and the flowers. They say that their varieties of basil really is popular during the summer. I can just taste that pesto right now.
If you are unsure about CSA's, how they operate, or how to locate one in your community you can visit this site.
The first part of June I'll be able to pick up my first box.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Urban Picinic Roll up

With spring here and summer picnic season approaching I saw on Esty a great product and had to post! It's called the Urban Picnic Roll up. Since I'm optimistic on our Pacific North West summer ahead I had to purchase one. I'm so tired of packing a basket and the utensils falling to the bottom. With this roll up you can have these re use able bamboo utensils ready to go at a moments notice. Now all I need to do is purchase the concert tickets.

What a great idea! Reusing and convenient!

The Butcher and the Vegetarian

The Butcher and the Vegetarian
Tara Austen Weaver
Over the weekend I squeezed in reading The Butcher and the Vegetarian. At the end of May Tara will be one of a couple of authors I see during a discussion in Seattle. So... I'm scrambling to read all the books being discussed!
Tara's book was very fascinating about her life being raised as a vegetarian and how a medical aliment had her seeking the consumption of meat. The book takes us through her journey of discovering meat. The act of purchasing, preparing, and consumption. As a meat eater my entire life this wouldn't seem like such a big deal but Tara's viewpoint really does open your eyes to someone who is experiencing this process for the first time and learning about the meat industry in general.
I did learn a lot about the meat industry in her book and it opened my eyes to several ranches that are practicing more humane ways of raising cattle and the discussion of grass fed vs. corn fed beef.
I won't tell you how the book ends or if consuming meat cured Tara of her ailment. I will tell you that I was pleasantly surprised at the ending.
Tara sites at the back of her book all those that she had involved in her journey so that you can look them up on your own which is very helpful
I highly recommend this book and would be a great pick for a monthly book group

Friday, April 23, 2010


Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens

This last weekend on my way home from Portland I stopped in Woodland Washington to visit the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. I have passed this exit off the freeway for over sixteen years and finally without kids in the car decided to take the exit and make the detour. Am I glad I did this time! What a jewel in a small town. The below picture is just one I took on my camera phone so the quality is very poor. However, I wanted to document my visit. By visiting the web site you will see the pictures of Hulda's home and her surrounding gardens which are open all year long. This is a great time of year because the lilac's are in bloom.

Here is a story about a woman who began in 1905 working tirelessly to cultivate fourteen new varieties of lilacs in her yard. Only to have them all wiped out in a flood in 1948. Her farm was under water from the flood for six weeks. Virtually all of her work was destroyed. However, at the age of 83 she was not discouraged. No... she and her son restored the gardens and replaced everything she lost.
Hulda loved her garden and it shows as you walk the grounds and enjoy the beauty of the lilacs and her home. For two dollars ( yes two dollars ) you get to enter the gardens and tour her home. Everything is in place as the day she left it when she passed away at 93 years old. Working up to the day in her garden.
I was very impressed by the dedication of the volunteers to the grounds and their love and knowledge of Hulda. I even purchased a Lilac bush from her garden and brought it home that afternoon. Picked a nice sunny spot!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Let us eat cake by Sharon Boorstin

Wow, I looked at my last post and it has been over a month since I've last made an entry. So much going on including a week away with the kids for spring break. Time has flown.
During our plane rides and time by the pool I read the above book,
Let us Eat Cake by Sharon Boorstin.
What a great book... sure gives you a lot to think about. This book tended to be a bit autobiographical to her life growing up. Who she cooked with in the kitchen and her relationship to the people she cooked for in her childhood and adult life.
Made me think about if I had ever cooked with my grandparents ( no ) , but I did cook with my mother growing up and we tended to have a varied menu and tried lots of new recipes and still do. However I never took the chance to cook with grandparents and learn any cultural dishes.
In my adult years I don't really cook with girlfriends. Do people still get together to cook together? I do remember in college my roommate and I would make home made bran muffins on Friday evening and eat them up ( not all of them of course ) ! I don't know if the bran was cheap, healthy, but we always had a good time!
The book also made me wonder if I was teaching my daughter enough about cooking, family recipes and sharing time in the kitchen. Probably not... our lives are so hectic that I'm usually preparing meals while my kids are at practice then once their home we sit and eat!
At least they know how to do the dishes!!!!
We'll need to work on that.
The book is loaded with with lots of recipes that Sharon shares. She really leads an interesting life and has some amazing friendships where not only lives are shared but cooking is part of the fun in the relationship!
Do you have a friend or family member that you cook with on a regular basis and what do you fix?