Making your own maraschino cherries

I told one of my friends recently that I made my own maraschino cherries. She gaped at me and said, “Why?” To understand my approach to food, it’s important to know why I am going to all the trouble of making the things I do. I’m not a foodie, or gourmet, in the sense that my central interest is having spectacular food experiences. I am interested in taking control of the sources and preparation of my food as much as I can. While I have been figuring out how to do that, I have rediscovered real taste and how much I enjoy cooking. And I have accidentally stumbled on spectacular food experiences. Ingredients used in making maraschino cherries include high fructose corn syrup, a reliable marker of industrial food. So when the weekly Poulsbo Farmer’s Market newsletter mentioned maraschino cherries for sale one week this summer, I made sure to … Continue reading


“Millions of peaches, peaches for me!” sing the Presidents of the United States. I didn’t have millions of peaches, but I did have a box I picked up from Paul of Gregory Farm at the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market. These beauties were ripe enough to bruise at every touch. Made putting them by a bit more challenging, but it was today’s task. I squeezed a lemon into a bowl (lemon juice helps keep the peaches from browning in the air). Most of the peaches I cut into chunks and dipped in the bowl to coat with the lemon juice. I divided those into two packages and froze them directly. I’ve frozen fruit straight and with simple syrup, and I’m coming to like the straight method the best. I know they’ll be brown when I defrost them next winter, but I’m going to use them in baking cobblers and quick breads where … Continue reading

Herb day

With the garden coming in, the farmer’s markets in full swing, and orchard produce streaming across the mountains, August is the busiest month for putting food by. Every day I try to do at least one task. Today I worked on herbs. Last Thursday at the Bremerton Farmer’s Market, Jean Schanen sold me a fistful of what she said was the best parsley she’d every grown. Saturday at the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market I picked up some basil. Time to break out the new Nesco food dehydrator and try out herbs. It took most of the day for them to actually dry out. I’d picked one of my dill plants in its prime, tied it with string, and hung it in the living room to dry. When it was finished I stored it in a plastic bag until I was ready to deal with it. Today was the day I finally … Continue reading