Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sorry I've been so negligent in posting over the past few months. Things have been crazy as the wedding quickly approaches. In addition to that, the summer was been an odd one. We planted a ton of veggies this year and even built a new raised bed to house the lettuces, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and various asian cabbages. The lettuces did a little too well and we had a hard time keeping up with them before they got too large and bitter. We're definitely going to do some more playing around with the soil next year to figure out what the right ph is, especially since the broccoli ended up being a bit bitter.
The plants relegated to pots and other containers included various peppers, basil, chard, kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, and strawberries that supplemented the remaining strawberry plants from last year. Of everything we planted the only things that did well were the lettuces and the strawberries. The tomatoes have just come in the past few weeks, about two months late. The peppers have pretty much done nothing but taunt us and chard was the biggest disappointment because last year we feasted on it all summer and this year we haven't eaten any. Despite those lackluster performers we did enjoy some really great strawberries. The new strawberry plants we put in delivered a few crops and we have eaten freshly picked strawberries as recently as last week. The plants leftover from last year were just as productive and both sets of plants produced much larger and sweeter fruit compared to previous years.
Our plants weren't the only ones behaving weirdly thanks to the weather. Much of the crops were producing much later than usual thanks to a cold summer. Some things came out as late as two months after they should. But that didn't stop us from feasting on some great locally produced food. We really got to know a lot of the local farmers a lot better this year, many of whom we've been buying from for the past couple of years. The folks at Alvarez farms have been wonderful, often sneaking a free head of lettuce or giving us a big discount on their produce. Not only is their food amazing, but they are definitely genuinely nice people who love what they're doing. Skagit River Ranch again has been a major supplier of our meat and eggs. George and Eiko are always quick with a smile and a greeting whenever they see us. Thanks to them we were able to get a couple slabs of amazing pork belly so we could make bacon. Also, their spareribs are just amazing and great for smoking. We did a comparison of theirs with another farm and their ribs were head and shoulders above the other one.
Sea Breeze Farms has been supplying me with raw milk which has allowed me to drink milk again. I've been pretty lactose intolerant since my junior year of college and the only way I could drink milk was with Lactaid. Well, raw milk is amazing because I'm able to drink it with no ill effects. There are many arguments over whether or not raw milk really is more easily digestible thanks to the bacteria that are still alive in it. They can argue all they want but I know it works for me. Pete's Butter Toffee has continued to supply us with our sugar fix and we get to talk about the Red Sox when we visit them.
I mentioned Foraged and Found Edibles about a year ago when I posted about our harvest dinner. Well, since then we've gone to them regularly and feasted on lovely truffles, morels, sea beans, chanterelles, miner's lettuce, watercress, and much more. They even remembered my large order of chanterelles last year and called me a few weeks ago asking if I'd like any and offering me a special deal. Trust me, if we didn't have a wedding so close I would have happily invested in many pounds of them. And no discussion about our favorite farmers and purveyors would be complete without mentioning Wilson Fish. They have the most amazing halibut and salmon during the summer. Honestly, the first time I tasted their fish it was a revelation. You really can't compare the taste of fish that had been swimming, literally, the day before with anything else. Plus, they're amazing people who are always happy to joke around with you and sneak you some extra samples of smoked salmon.
Even though the weather has been weird, it has been a really wonderful summer. The picture earlier in the post is of the sky as I was crossing the 520 bridge on my way home from work. Don't worry, I was on the bus and not driving at the time. I really just love the sky here, it is filled with so much drama and many layers of textures. I know most people hope for sunny blue skies for their wedding, but I'm hoping for some clouds because they make life just a little more interesting and fun and that's exactly what I think my life with K will be like. Look for a post in the next week or so where I'll share all the foods we are going to get to eat along with some pictures from the big day.
Posted by PegLeg at 10:31 PM