I used up the last of the keeper onions this week. I had picked them up from Paul Gregory last October and stored them in the dark at the back of the closet pantry in the basement, which stays at about 58′, like most of the house. Just this week one of them took moldy, and I only had a few left, so I chopped them up and divided them into recipes. One of the onions I dried with the electric dehydrator to use as onion flakes in soup. I’m being chary with electric power these days, but I figure this is a reasonably efficient use of energy, as it takes considerably less than the oven would to dry the same food. And in the Northwest winter solar drying is really not an option. So I have to resort to the grocery stores for my onion supply. It’s a staple … Continue reading

This week in food

Root vegetable mash: I tried a mixed mash with celeriac and parsnips. The Colinwood Farm guy sold me golden turnips to go with those but at the last minute I chickened out and used potatoes instead. The celeriac gave the mash a nice tartness, the parsnips made it very sweet. I followed Alice Waters’ advice and boiled all three vegetables separately, but that was a lot of time and effort. I think in the future I’ll do them all together, the times for each to get soft were close enough. Fennel apple slaw: I like the sweet crunch of these together. With a little mayonnaise and red wine vinegar this salad is tart enough to stand up to a rich meal. French onion soup: my first attempt at the soup I loved so much at Mor Mor’s Beaujolais Nouveau dinner. I sauteed the onions for about an hour before adding … Continue reading

Unexpected onions

Today I finally got around to planting out the lettuce in the potager garden. What I want from the garden is not so much to produce great quantities as to learn how to grow a variety of things. Last year the garden turned out quite a few beets, carrots, leeks, and tomatoes. Other plants didn’t perform well – the cucumbers didn’t give much, and leafy greens picked up black spot from the commercial compost I started with (the master gardeners locally knew about this problem). Alex and I turned a binful of our own compost into the beds and it seems to have overcome the black spot issue. That’s good news in a bad year for gardening. Our governor, Chris Gregoire, asked the president to declare a farming disaster in several counties. I still don’t have a single ripe tomato, the carrots bolted before they got big enough to eat, … Continue reading