Loki Fish

Six Reasons Not to Move Someplace Sunnier

Last night, as the kids' swim meet was lightninged-and-rained out for the first time in living memory, following last week's meet where everyone huddled beneath umbrellas and blankets, shivering and drenched, it was tough to remember why exactly anyone chose to live in the Pacific Northwest.

Ah, late-Spring/early-"Summer" in the Pacific Northwest, why the heck do we love you? Let us count the ways...

1. Drought? What drought? We laugh at you, Drought!

Wanna see this bigger? Go to the original site.

That's right. Washington State is largely drought-free, apart from the corner where my in-laws live (and the family grows wheat). There, drought might be "developing." The next time the rain pours down on us--likely in the next few minutes--think about the glories and blessings of water.

2. It's cherry season!

How bad can it get, if we can bundle up before a roaring, indoor gas fireplace, and pop pounds of these suckers? We have several more weeks of cherries still to go, so gorge yourself. I grew up on Bings, but this particular variety might be my favorite.

3. If we can't grill the salmon, we can buy it smoked or jerked!
Something about rain showers puts the literal damper on grilling outside, but this past week my family has been enjoying smoked salmon from Loki. Just take it out of the package and warm it a little in foil in the oven, which you probably already have going because you were trying to warm up the house. Delish. We liked the jerked salmon, too. Great, protein-rich snack for rained-out swim meets.

4. Oysters love the Pacific Northwest, so it can't be all bad.

Fresh shellfish, Thursdays and Saturdays

A & K Shellfish of Dabob Bay has clams and Crassostrea gigas, also known as the Pacific Oyster, Japanese Oyster, or Miyagi Oyster (something to do with The Karate Kid, I'm betting--this oyster's flavor will knock your block off).

5. We don't have to drown our sorrows with bad liquor. As the ads for cheap beer and other mass-produced alcoholic beverages advise us, "Please drink responsibly." But if you do imbibe occasionally, why not try the local, artisanal alternative? On Thursdays we have Rockridge Orchards' many varieties of soft and hard apple cider, including the "Bit O Bite" - apple with a dash of rhubarb!

And on Saturdays the Market welcomes Finnriver, an organic family farm and artisan cidery near Port Townsend. These lovely folks are making wine and cider with everything from apples to blueberries to pears to currants.

If you don't drink, the bottles are still beautiful to look at.

The bubbly stuff

And, for those of you who have begun looking at housing prices in Southern California,

6. July 4 is around the corner, which means the sun'll come out tomorrow!

An unretouched photo -- it HAS been sunny here!

So dry out those socks and take comfort, and don't let a "little" rain stop you from coming out to our Market.

Bellevue Farmers Market: Bad News, Good News Edition

If you're like me, you always want to get the bad news over with first. But, take heart, in the instances I am about to share with you, the good news almost always outweighs the bad.

THE BAD NEWS: First off, there is a terrible drought crippling the Midwest that promises higher food and fuel prices. We had some friends visiting from Indiana, and they reported on the endless heat and wilted fields of corn. If you want to lay eyes on some pictures, Forbes ran this photo essay recently. So if you love your frozen and canned corn, your high fructose corn syrup, your ethanol, and your countless other corn products, there are rough times ahead.

Our apologies to the Midwest

THE GOOD NEWS: Washington corn is looking and tasting great! My in-laws brought us a dozen ears from around the Tri-Cities area, and they were beauties. Full-grown ears with sweet, crisp kernels. Not unlike the ones I saw for sale at Alvarez Organic Farm (Thurs and Sat). Get your hands on about 3-4 ears and try the following recipe. You will not be sorry.

Slow-Cooker Corn Chowder (modified from a recipe found in Not Your Mother's Slow-Cooker Cookbook--Market ingredients marked with an "*.")

1 Tbsp butter
1/2 of a large Walla Walla Sweet onion, chopped*
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped*
2 cups chicken broth
1 small bay leaf
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
about 3 cups fresh corn kernels, cut off the cobs*
1-2 cups diced cooked Polish Sausage from Skagit River Ranch* (ours was leftover from a barbecue, so it imparted a lovely smoky flavor)

In a medium skillet, melt the butter over med-hi. Add onions, celery and carrot and cook until the onion is transparent and browning. I dislike crunchy onions in soup, so I do this about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker and add all ingredients EXCEPT milk, corn, and sausage. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours.

Add the milk, corn and sausage. Stir. Cover and cook on HIGH another hour. Adjust seasonings.

THE BAD NEWS: No sampling of alcoholic products at our Market.

(L to R) Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Red Table Wine, & Red Dessert Wine

THE GOOD NEWS: You won't be sorry if you give those products a try! I've posted before about my deep, deep love of Rockridge Orchards' Quarry Stone Hard (Apple) Cider, and at the Saturday Market we now welcome Wilridge Winery. Wilridge is a family-owned operation with organic grapes grown outsideYakima and a tasting room at the Pike Place Market. While the selection may vary from week to week, Megan chose her recent favorites this time out. For your next meal on the patio, check out the Pinot Grigio and Viognier, two crisp whites with green apple notes and a hint of pear. If you're grilling steak, try the award-winning Red Table Wine. Or the Dessert Wine with some dark chocolate.

THE BAD NEWS: Razey's Orchard reports that Bing cherry season is drawing to a close.

THE GOOD NEWS: We still have another couple weeks of Rainiers and still longer of such varieties as Lamberts and Sweetheart. Binge while you can!

THE BAD NEWS: I locked my keys in the car at the Saturday Market and had to borrow a Market volunteer's cell phone to summon my understandably irked husband.

THE GOOD NEWS: Before I could get a hold of him, I thought I would have to walk home, bag of iced Loki Salmon, hunk of Samish Bay Ladysmith with Chives, and all. It was very hot on Saturday, if you recall, so to prevent possible heatstroke I stopped at The Juice Box and ordered their "most fruity" option, the RPP. This freshly prepared juice concoction featured sweet red bell pepper, pineapple, key lime, and coconut water. Delicious and refreshing. Next up I want to try their "Julius," which I heard them recommend to a mom as something her kids would like. Before I could even finish my treat, my hub called, and I was spared the long trek.

THE BAD NEWS: Economic times are tough (duh).

Lori, naming names

THE GOOD NEWS: Farmers markets march onward, growing in number by nearly 10% last year, according to Reuters. This is made possible by eaters like you, committed to good food and community, and wonderful folks like the Bellevue Farmers Market sponsors, which Director Lori Taylor spent time calling out and thanking last Thursday. Thank you again, sponsors and Marketgoers, for making our wonderful Market possible!

Well, We Still Have Our Farmers Market

Already missing the honey and berries (Photo: AP)

Okay, time to stop sniffling into my Bing cherries while I watch Ichiro videos, and get down to business. I wish our dear Seattle icon all the best (including--gulp--a World Series appearance), but he's only got two more days in our lovely, temperate corner of the country, so I hope he can send someone down to the nearest farmers market to grab these goodies before he goes:

Local honey. Imagine my thrilledness when I hit the Market last Thursday and found both Rockridge Orchard's Orchard Blossom Honey and Cascade Natural Honey's Blueberry Honey! I got a jar of each. Wade of Rockridge claims he can taste just a touch of the Broad Leaf Maple in his Apple-Pear Blossom Honey, and I've already posted about the luscious delights of CNH's Blueberry variety.

Wild Alaskan Salmon. Hit up Two If By Seafood (Thursday) or Loki Fish (Saturday) for the tastiest salmon this side of Seastar. We basted our last filet in olive oil and Market honey, seasoned with salt and pepper, and threw it on the grill. It was devoured.

Northwest Cherries. The season is brief, so load up. I've bought some of every variety so far and thrown in a jar of Camp Robber Jams' (Saturday) Cherry Jam with Kirsch for good measure. My visiting mom was inspired to buy a cherry pitter in the hopes of making a pie...

Northwest Berries. The first two blueberry pies are in the freezer, and I have orders to bring back another half-flat. The raspberries didn't even make it till dinner time. Clearly I didn't buy enough.

Pastries from Little Prague Bakery. Did I mention my mother was visiting? Every time we left the house, she seemed to come back with bakery boxes, and the visit to the Market was no exception. We had some beautiful berry cake-looking bar (my nephew called dibs), a melt-in-your-mouth apple cinnamon creation, and an apricot one that disappeared by the second time I looked in the box. These, in addition to granitas from Rockridge, scoops from Molly Moon's and a box of Dark Chocolate toffee from Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee. Yikes. That exploding sound is just my family blowing up after so many sweets.

Compile your own list of Can't-Miss Items at this week's Markets! Maybe we could send Ichiro a care package. He'll need it, with those Yankees fans.

Off the Beaten Digestive Tract

You hear plenty about the benefits of eating organic, local, sustainable, etc., but not enough is said about how farmers market offerings provide variety from the run-of-the-mill produce at the supermarket. In their efforts to promote biodiversity and keep heirloom varieties in existence, our farmers don't just raise cherries, peaches, blueberries, and so on--they raise particular strains of them. If the variety's name isn't listed on the sign, ask!

This past Saturday, in my determination to branch out from Rainiers and Bings, I bought a pound of Van cherries. Dark red/purple like Bings, but a little sweeter. Nothing may surpass the blushing beauty of Rainiers, but a blind taste test might win Vans new converts.

Speaking of blushing, the array of peaches and apricots is dazzling. When I read David Mas Masumoto's Wisdom of the Last Farmer, I learned that "blushing" varieties of peaches crowded out non-blushing in supermarket demand, simply because they were prettier, not more flavorful. Yes, we are really that shallow. I've noticed both blushing and pale-faced peaches and apricots at the BFM and am determined to try them all. Consider Collins Family Orchard. I bought a couple pounds each of their peaches and apricots, put them in a brown paper bag at home, and enjoyed them a couple days later at the peak of perfection. Mouth-watering. For my fellow peach-pie makers, Collins reports that freestone peaches should be along in a few more weeks. And, if you buy them by the box (as pie-makers will), they'll be $1.20/lb! For a great peach pie recipe, check out the Bellevue Farmers Market Cookbook.

It's not only fruits and vegetables which can be called by name. Salmon lovers have long had their favorite varieties as well, fished in favorite locations. In our house we've been into the fresh sockeye found at Two If By Sea on Thursdays and Loki on Saturdays. I'll leave you with this recipe we enjoyed last night, adapted from Good Housekeeping:

Honey-Grilled Salmon
3 Tbsp Daniel's Honey (Wild Flower variety)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper

Sockeye salmon fillets, up to 24 ozs total

Mix rub ingredients with 1 tsp very hot water to blend. Spread this all over the salmon fillets. Grill over medium heat until salmon turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork, turning salmon once with a wide spatula. (We just grill it on a rack.)

Try one new thing this week at the Market. You'll be glad you did.

News from Over the Mountains

Gloriously Sunny Richland, Washington

Like many of you, I spent the 4th gadding about--in this case, east over the mountains to the Tri-Cities. Sadly, I missed our Bellevue Farmers Market but was thrilled to see plenty of fresh produce that will make its way to our Thursday market this week. Cherries abounded, both Rainier and Bing. More strawberries (my mother-in-law bought a flat for Independence Day strawberry shortcake). Blueberries. Green beans and snow peas from Yakima.

On the Day of Days, we grilled up hamburger patties of grass-fed beef hailing from the Dudley ancestral hometown of Dayton, Washington. As tasty as you might imagine, and leaps and bounds more flavorful than the Costco patties I've been downing at the weekly swim meets. If you haven't tried the pastured beef and hamburger patties available to us through Skagit or Samish or Sea Breeze, this is the week! Fire up the grill and give it a go.

My in-laws treated me to dinner at the Apollo Greek Restaurant in Richland, where I was pleased to see our own Tefft Cellars Winery on the wine list. With such agricultural and viticultural bounty, "eating local" has experienced a resurgence east of the Cascades as well. We had two lunches at Frost Me Sweet, a bistro that began as a cupcake business and now encompasses lunch and dinner. Local food where possible, soups and salads to die for, and--of course--cupcakes! I tried the "Elvis"--chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and an injection of carmelized banana. Wow.

Even the chats at the church potluck yielded interesting nuggets. I happened to meet Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's head of environmental research. He mentioned having been over in Sequim to check on a project measuring the impact of electromagnetic forces underwater on marine life. (People think of everything!) They wanted to see if all the human activity, and the possibility of using the ocean to generate power, bugged the clams and oysters and fish and crabs. Well, it turns out the crabs were bothered. You might ask, as I did, how they knew? The answer: they moved funny. Crabs move oddly to begin with, but I didn't have a chance to follow up on this point. The second nugget I learned was that they're studying three local dams to see the pass-through rate of salmon. They surgically implanted transmitters in tens of thousands of salmon and then monitored them as they negotiated the ladders. I was thrilled to learn that the pass-through rate is in the mid-90s, percentage-wise, and that the study will soon be expanded to include seven dams. Next time you want to complain about your job, just think--you could be performing tens of thousands of surgeries on salmon.

And one final vacation thought: Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm is a great read. Not only does it recount the rough lives and riveting deaths of several Gloucester, Massachusetts, fisherman, Junger also covers the area's commercial-fishing history and how technological advances and governmental oversights led to industry collapse. Fascinating. Read it and you'll know why getting your fish from Two If By Seafoods and Loki Fish is the way to go.

Let Barbecue Season Begin!

I know some of you gas grillers go year-round, but my husband is a purist. Meaning, only charcoal in a tidy pyramid and only on days that are sunny, dry and decently warm. (Definitions of "decently" vary--in 2011 it includes any temperature above 60F.)

Photo courtesy of Loki Fish

Tonight the first salmon goes on the grill, and if you have the same idea, you'll be happy to hear that both Thursday and Saturday markets will feature fresh salmon this week! On Thursdays you'll find Two If By Seafoods. Shannon Ford captains F/V Paul Revere in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a region swept by the radar from Dutch Harbor made familiar to many on the television show The Deadliest Catch. Dad Ernie expects Sockeye, Coho, and some King Salmon to available to market shoppers. On Saturdays you'll meet Amy of Loki Fish, and Amy also expects fresh Sockeye and possibly other varieties. Another treat? Fresh ikura, or salted salmon roe.

A friend of mine prepares her salmon in foil packets under a layer of thinly-sliced sweet onions and a splash of soy sauce. Delicious and easy to clean up.

In our family we 're pretty fond of the crust formed on grilled fish, so we tend to marinate and then grill on a rack. One tasty recipe that can be either packet-steamed in foil or just plain grilled is:

Asian Salmon
(Serves 6)

2 lbs fresh salmon fillets
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T brown sugar
1 T honey
2 T soy sauce
3 T Dijon or flavored mustard
2 t fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 t minced fresh garlic

Combine marinade ingredients and let sit in the refrigerator up to two hours or at room temperature for twenty minutes. If cooking in foil, make a packet with a double bottom and loosely tent the foil over the top. Otherwise, place the salmon on a rack and slide it onto the grill. Cook until fish flakes.

While we're on the subject of barbecues, I love beans on the side. Alvarez Organic Farm offers a variety of dried beans, perfect for refried beans, baked beans, or just cooked beans for salads. Joe recommended the Mayo Coba butter bean with a little garlic and tomato in a salad. I gave the black beans a try, cooking them in a  few hours in the crock-pot and filling burritos with them. Because their beans are fresher, you can reduce cooking times, and they often don't need the overnight soak!

Add some fresh-baked bread with Golden Glen garlic butter and tossed greens with Market vegetables, and you're set. May this be the first of many sunny days...

Two Farmers Markets Left!

The good news is we aren't going anywhere for Thanksgiving because the parents are coming this direction. The bad news is we aren't going anywhere for Thanksgiving because the parents are coming this direction. Meaning, I don't have to be organized when it comes to luggage and the kids' schoolwork, but I do have to get my act in gear about Thanksgiving dinner. Especially since there are only two Saturday markets left!

When you're thinking about eating local for Thanksgiving, don't forget the following goodies on the shopping list:

  1. The perfect hostess gift. Caramels? Toffee? Smoked Salmon? A jar of jam? Fancy cheese? Flowers, naturally.
  2. Appetizers. Assemble a cheese tray with Golden Glen's Cheddar with Red Pepper and Samish Bay's Ladysmith (Jalapeno, if you feel adventurous). Or whip up some cream cheese and serve it alongside Handmade in Seattle's Ginger Pear Butter. Or stop at Hama Hama for some smoked oysters.

  3. Potatoes. Whether chopped and roasted or mashed with tons of butter, the Market carries every variety. And I've said this before, but after you read Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire, you will never want to eat a non-organic potato again.
  4. If you aren't making rolls, grab some tasty bread at Ble. Slice it and throw it in the freezer until you need it.
  5. Don't forget that Samish Bay carries sausage, if you prefer sausage-and-cornbread stuffing. Not to mention, onions and celery can also be found at several stalls. If you like oyster stuffing, hit Hama Hama.
  6. Having a pescatorian Thanksgiving? Treat your guests to Food Magazine's Thanksgiving Salmon recipe, complete with cranberry sauce. Loki Salmon tastes wonderful cooked any which way, and the diehards might not miss the turkey.
  7. And finally, for dessert, there are plenty of apples for homemade apple pie, and I've even spotted a few pie pumpkins. Tiny's Organic had a new apple--the Golden Russet. Not as dramatic to look at as their Arkansas Blacks, but very tasty and crisp.

Get cracking, and we'll see you on Saturday!

Good News, and I Don't Mean the Weather Report

It was with guilt I sent my children running through the pouring rain this morning to their respective school bus stops. Maybe I should be homeschooling them, so they could huddle at home on icky days, wearing their sweats. Not that I would know anything about that. The only problem is that I don't have it in me to homeschool, so their education would go out the window. Is it better to be comfy and dry, or literate?

Well, better than either option is to be well-fed. Therefore, rather than wrestle with such weighty issues, let me distract you from the soggy gloom with good news about our food providers at the Bellevue Farmers Market.

First off, Samish Bay recently competed in the American Cheese Society's annual competition at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, and--drumroll, please--took home a boatload of awards!

First Place, Fresh Unripened Cow's Milk Cheeses: Ladysmith

Second Place, Farmstead Cheeses Aged up to 60 Days: Aged Ladysmith

Third Place, Farmstead Cheeses with Flavoring: Ladysmith with Chives (all I can say about this is, if Ladysmith with Chives got third place, I really have to get my hands on first and second place because this is a huge household favorite!)

Third Place, Cultured Products from Cow's Milk: Samish Bay Yogurt Cheese (Labneh)

Congratulations to Samish Bay! Today for lunch I'm making myself a sandwich with roast beef, Ladysmith with Chives, and cucumber. And for breakfast I had their Greek Yogurt, to which I added BFM's Sweet as Can Bee Honey, Hedlin Farms blueberries, and homemade granola. Delish.

In other good news, Loki Fish reports a banner year for the Frasier River salmon run. This tasty variety rivals King for oil-content but is slightly leaner. Get Frasier River salmon fresh now. Loki also has fresh King salmon from Pt. Roberts, Washington, and frozen Keta. Remember: buy 10 lbs and get 10% off!

And my last tidbit: the first apples of the season are in. This is the lovely part of the year where peaches and pluots and berries and apples overlap. Could it get any better? I snapped up some Gingergolds, but once my children tasted them I realized I didn't get enough. This Thursday and Saturday I plan to remedy that.

Swing by the Market this week, whatever the weather, and enjoy the bounty of our award-winning farmers and producers!

May Day

Good news, everyone! The countdown to Opening Day is on. If you follow any other local farmers markets, you see them all gearing up. My own hands are twitching for some Loki salmon, some Fishing Vessel St. Jude tuna (can you say "multi-can discount"?) and a quirky new vegetable to try, depending on what's on offer. Word has it Foraged and Found will be there with possibilities like nettles, morels, various wild lettuces, and fiddleheads! (Recipe ideas for such items can be found in the Bellevue Farmers Market Cookbook or at a blogsite such as Mixed Greens.) The kids and I were also sitting at MOD Pizza last night, agreeing that it, while tasty, couldn't touch Veraci at the Bellevue Farmers Market.

Market Season also means I'll have fresh blog fodder for you, rather than just fear-inducing food factoids that I've trolled from the media. Speaking of which, here's the round-up for the week:

1. If you haven't yet seen FOOD, INC., it's an informative and entertaining movie. And it's now on Netflix Instant Play, for those of you who considered seeing it in a theater but thought you might be stoned for bringing in your processed snacks and super-sized Diet Coke. I confess I have a thing for smart bald guys who talk about food, and this movie has two: Eric "Fast Food Nation" Schlosser and Michael "Omnivore's Dilemma" Pollan. (Celeb farmer Joel Salatin may also be bald, but he never took off his hat.)

2. And I read Susan Brackney's PLAN BEE: EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HARDEST-WORKING CREATURES ON THE PLANET. Very fun and educational book. Given all the buzz (forgive me) about the honeybee's demise, I must say I was heartened by a few things I learned here. For one, honeybees aren't native to the Americas. So if they completely disappear here, it'll be us going native. For another, "killer" bees also help with pollination and make honey! Brackney reports that apiarists can also cultivate this hardier species, at a certain increased risk to themselves. And for finally, they may not make honey, but butterflies, birds, and bats also help with pollination. If only the bats were just a tiny bit cuter...

3. More good news for saturated fat lovers! Scientific American confirms what other studies and Nina Planck already pointed out: natural, saturated fats found in things like butter and bacon were not the killer after all. The food and diet industry hastened to replace saturated fats with such "improved" ingredients like transfats and soybean oil and carbs, carbs, carbs, only to find this move didn't help a bit with heart disease, diabetes and such. Butter and bacon fat are back on the menu! And--bonus--they taste way better.

4. And, lastly, if your house is overrun by mice, you may want to consider putting out some soda pop and processed food. Science Daily reports that the phosphates in such items have been shown to reduce the little squeakers' lifespans. Extrapolated to humans, researchers conclude that "high levels of phosphates accelerate signs of aging...[and] may also increase the prevalence and severity of age-related complications, such as chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification, and can also induce severe muscle and skin atrophy." Whoa, there--we may not care one bit about chronic kidney disease or cardiovascular whatchamacallit, but premature aging??? Soda, we are through!

For some happier reading, if you haven't already checked it out, peruse my article on the BFM for Bellevue.com. Ever wonder how many people come to our Market? Check out the interesting statistics Lori provided.

Loki Online, for Starters

Just FYI, BFMers: our own Loki Fish is offering a 15% discout to first-time online orderers in the New Year. Just type in the code NEWYEAR. They've added shipping options, and of course you will find their delicious line of products. Good news, considering RealAge reports that eating one serving of fish per week will make your "real age" (must be like wind-chill factor) up to 2.7 years younger.

A recent CBS poll finds that only a third of Americans feel "very confident" that the food they buy is safe. I do wonder who fell in that "very confident" bucket, since just the other day I was buying a bag of baby spinach at QFC with misgivings. I hate to get the big tubs of organic because I don't like buying giant pieces of plastic, but if I went with the conventional bag of baby spinach, was I going to be laid low by e Coli? Or was I fooling myself, and it was just as likely that storebought organic could be contaminated, but thankfully with organic cow manure?

At least with spinach I could be sure my children wouldn't eat any. I can't say the same for the downed cows--I mean school lunches--I let each child buy twice a month, out of my laziness and their desire for hot food. I figure the food supply is a game of roulette; by knowing my farmers and food sources some of the time (read: during Bellevue market season), I increase our chances to stay healthy.

Oh, and a final tidbit for those of you who have not yet abandoned your New Year's Resolution to work out: Eating Well blogged about foods that build endurance. The short list? Onions, apples, grapes, berries, cabbage, and broccoli. All contain a certain antioxidant that--in supplement form, at least--helped bikers bike that extra mile. If you go for the onions, just watch out who you do all that extra exhaling around!

Sound the Retweet!

Just FYI, the following food information came through my Twitter account, which I'm happy to pass on here. You can also follow me on Twitter (CNDudley) for quick re-tweets of food- and market-related breaking news.

MasterChef the television show will be holding auditions in Kirkland, come January! This time you don't have to be a professional chef--home cooks welcome. If you don't feel your home cooking receives enough criticism, or if it's been your lifelong dream to be yelled at by Gordon Ramsey, don't miss this.

While recent studies have shown that fresh fish has a greater detrimental environmental impact than frozen, Loki Fish Company points out that the case doesn't hold true for those of us around the Puget Sound who have access to low-environmental-impact fresh-caught fish: http://tinyurl.com/ybskwsa.

And finally, if you've not yet picked up your Christmas tree, King County has a list of Puget Sound Fresh tree-growers.

That's all for now!