Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Rancho Gordo Beans
I must have paused at the table starring at the Heirloom Beans book a little too long before moving on to the beans, but about a week ago when I had lunch with my editors at Timber Press, they mentioned a Rancho Gordo book in the works. I remembered the conversation as I flipped through the book, perusing the recipes. I was puzzled: Why Rancho Gordo would have two books?
My Cooking Assistant gets props not only for wearing goofy clothes but for really getting into the act and looking as intrigued as I am by Rancho Gordo beans.
Monday, October 18, 2010
I hadn't visited Ayers' Creek Farm since I interviewed Anthony and Carol for my book, in the summer of 2008. This time I'd get to see how Anthony and Carol prepare for the winter Hillsdale farmers' market. They're scheduled to sell there from December through February and corn or polenta is one of the products they bring. It's made from flint corn (above). Anthony takes it off the cob and grinds it. The polenta is mostly yellow with little flecks of red from the flint corn. (Freshly ground polenta. How cool is that? I'm dreaming about the sweet flavor already.)
'Can you stay for lunch?" Carol asked. She didn't have to ask twice. I love their over-sized kitchen and the colorful shredded carrots and beets looked perfect. Carol stirred, a creamy cauliflower soup and when she brought out a loaf of crusty artisan bread, I was in heaven. The lightly curried creamy soup was perfect on such a beautiful sunny autumn day.
We sat down to eat and in our conversation I discovered Anthony just wrote a book about corn--all phases of corn from baby corn to polenta. The book will be printed by Timber Press and it sounds like it will be available next spring. I'm putting Anthony's book on my wish list now, and I'll preorder a copy, that's how much I'd like to read a book by Anthony Boutard.
I couldn't stay long because it's a long drive from Gaston, Oregon to Edmonds and Anthony and Carol had to get back to autumn farm chores. I felt like I'd interrupted enough already. Carol had to wash pumpkins and Anthony had to get the wheat crop planted.
I was tired, so I confess that I listened to The Girl Who Played With Fire on the way home and I got sucked into the story and almost wanted to keep driving just find out what happened to Lizbeth Salander.
Monday, October 11, 2010
- Bob's Corn and Pumpkin Patch--features free hayrides on Friday's, an amazing corn maze and of course more pumpkins than you know what to do with.
- Carleton Farm--features a corn maze, pumpkin patch and new this year--a haunted swamp maze on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Craven Farm--boasts the county's first pumpkin patch, Craven Farm has been hosting pumpkin events for 27 years. Enjoy a tractor pulled hayride, tackle the 15 acre corn maze and don't forget to visit the gift shop before you leave.
- Stocker Farms--hosts the famous Field of Screams with a Rock Star Zombie Contest. This maze looks truly spooky and brings me back to my childhood when I watched Boris Karlof's TV show Thriller on a grainy black and white TV.
- The Farm at Swans Trail--features Washington's largest corn maze, and they don't offer any spooky mazes but you get a great farm experience with a hay maze, wagon rides and a farm animal petting area.
And if all that isn't enough to get you out to Snohomish, on October 23 Snohomish hosts The Great Pumpkin River Race and Celebration. From 11am to 5pm in Historic Downtown Snohomish activities include: children's crafts, face painting, pumpkin painting, a carved pumpkin contest and a costumed pet and owner sidewalk parade. Five dollars gets your pumpkin into the River Race. For more details check out The Festival of Pumpkins.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The day I baked it, I was writing an article about healthier baking for my Take 5 column for Marlene's Market and Deli. As I considered which recipe I could send with the article, I remembered Maple Pumpkin Bread, in my book. The recipe specifies whole wheat pastry or barley flour and I stared at it trying to imagine how it might taste made with buckwheat flour. Since I've met so many folks who have gone gluten-free, I wondered how a gluten-free version of this bread would turn out.
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook, bread is studded with dried fruits and nuts and is perfect for breakfast, brunch and afternoon snacks. It’s a healthy sweet treat without the holiday guilt! The original recipe specified 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry or barley flour. Use either option and make it your way.
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon each: cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries or
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin (or winter squash)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola or sesame oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
2. Combine dry ingredients and dried fruit and walnuts. Mix well and set aside. In a blender, combine sweet potatoes, maple syrup and olive oil until smooth. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mixture will be quite thick.
3. Spoon into loaf pans. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Bread should pull away from the sides of the pan. An inserted toothpick will come out clean when the bread is done.
4. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.