Monday, June 30, 2008

CSA - Week 3 - The Last of the Scapes

I probably eat more vegetables than the average girl! In fact, I love vegetables! I love how fresh they are each week as I take them out my CSA harvest basket. I love that crisp, juicy flavor vegetables have when they have been chilled. I love how naturally sweet vegetables taste. I love how healthy the organic vegetables are for me.
My CSA basket this week.
Beet greens.
Green onions.
A giant head of red leaf lettuce.
The first carrots of the season.
More sweet strawberries this week too.
My first sugar snap peas this year.
Even cauliflower!
My farmer shared with me that this was the last week for the garlic scapes this season. That means, though, that it really will not be much longer before cloves of fresh garlic will begin showing up in my weekly harvest baskets. I cook with lots of fresh garlic, so will certainly look forward to that! The garlic scape pesto that I made last week was so very good so I shall make one more batch of that pesto so I can savor the tender garlic flavor of those scapes once again!

I always find it a fun challenge to create a new recipe or two each week with my assortment of fresh vegetables. In addition to making my garlic pesto, this week for a real treat, I shall make my sugar snap pea and potato salad. It is a very pretty potato salad and easy to fix. With a combination of sugar snap peas and red potatoes, it has an almost melt-in-your mouth flavor and is a very refreshing treat to enjoy on a hot summer day. Here is my recipe:

Sugar Snap Pea and Potato Salad

  • 4 - 6 Medium red potatoes
  • 2 Cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 Cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 Cup fat free mayonnaise salad dressing
  • 1/4 Cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons mustard

Cook the potatoes about 12 minutes in boiling water until tender. Rinse with cold water, drain and allow to cool. Then cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Place them in a large bowl. Blanch sugar snap peas in boiling water. Drain and put them in a bowl of cold water. Drain again and add them to the potatoes. Chop the onion and add it to the bowl with the sugar snap peas and potatoes.

For the dressing, mince the garlic and place in a separate, smaller bowl. Add the mustard and mayonnaise to the garlic and stir to blend. Pour the dressing over the potatoes, sugar snap peas and onion mixture. Toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts - Amount Per Serving*

Calories: 254.3
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 2.1 mg
Sodium: 261.7 mg

Potassium: 1,198.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 54.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.8 g
Sugars: 6.1 g
Protein: 8.1 g
Vitamin A: 8.1 %
Vitamin B-6: 41.7 %
Vitamin C: 115.0 %
Vitamin E: 5.3 %
Calcium: 5.2 %
Copper: 18.5 %
Folate: 18.5 %
Iron: 15.7 %
Magnesium: 19.2 %
Manganese: 31.2 %
Niacin: 18.3 %
Acid: 8.2 %
Phosphorus: 21.0 %
Riboflavin: 8.7 %
Selenium: 6.4 %
Thiamin: 22.4 %
Zinc: 9.3 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie
diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Yum, an absolute perfect summer salad! And just look at all those vitamins and minerals!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Marion Weston Band and The Walrus

How could we sit at home on what felt like the absolute hottest day of the year when we could have been at Boulevard Park, on the grass with friends, watching the sun set over Bellingham Bay and enjoying the Marion Weston Band as they performed on the stage? Guess where we were?
The Marion Weston Band.
Keyboards and guitar.
The sunset over the bay and concert goers.
Taylor Dock, our walk to Boulevard Park.
More of the Taylor Dock walk.
It is a great walk!
After enjoying the concert at Boulevard Park, we set off to the Wild Buffalo House of Music in down town Bellingham to hear The Walrus, our all-time favorite local band.

We danced, we ate pizza (thanks Lee!), we chatted with some of the band members, we helped celebrate a birthday, we danced some more, we enjoyed their excellent acoustic interlude (what a special treat that was!) and we had an absolutely wonderful time.


How cool it was to see Jennifer and Marianne tonight. We most definitely must get together again very soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sunset Cruise on Bellingham Bay

Walking down the Island Marine harbor cruise dock by the orca at Squalicum Harbor, we were handed colorful leis as we boarded the Island Caper for the sunset cruise, an annual friend raiser for the Womencare Shelter.
Leaving the dock at 6:00 p.m., the weather was absolutely perfect for an evening on Bellingham Bay.
A buffet dinner provided by Haggens was served shortly after the captain pulled away from the dock and began motoring the Island Caper through the marina at Squalicum Harbor. Later, ice cream from Mallards was to be enjoyed!
The view of Fairhaven as seen from aboard the Island Caper.Including a few of the sea shanty songs they perform with their other group, Pirates R Us, musicians David Stray Ney and Friends provided great entertainment to the crowd on the top deck of the boat with an assortment of acoustic, folk, rock and comedy songs.
Sandstone cliffs along Chuckanut as viewed from the boat.
In the cabin below, the Casey Family Sing Along entertained us with their tunes.
Of course, no sunset cruise on Bellingham Bay would be considered complete without a sunset! As such, upon entering Squalicum Harbor, a beautiful summer sunset was our backdrop as the Island Caper returned us to the cruise dock.
More photos from the cruise.

The Womencare Shelter is a non-profit organization providing emergency domestic violence services and support to battered women and their children. Domestic violence, as quoted from their website, is defined as, "Domestic violence is a deliberate pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors, including physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological attacks, that one intimate partner does to establish and maintain power and control over the other."
The Womencare Shelter provides Whatcom County with its only 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline. Offering assistance to victims of domestic violence, they provide trained advocates to help with support and safety planning, information and referral; crisis intervention; confidential emergency shelter with food, personal items and some clothing for women and children who are victims of domestic violence; counseling, legal, medical and financial advocacy; and access to other necessary women care services.
To learn more about the services provided by the Womencare Shelter or how you can help by volunteering or making a donation, contact them at their administrative offices located at 4140 Meridian Street, Suite 210, Bellingham, WA, 98226, or by telephone at 360-671-8539.
If your answer to any of the following questions as found on their website is "yes",
  • Are you frightened by your partner's temper?
  • Are you afraid to disagree with your partner?
  • Do you find yourself constantly apologizing for your partner's behavior?
  • Have you stopped seeing friends or family because your partner is jealous of/or doesn't like them?
  • Are you forced into having sex when you don't want to?
  • Have you been hit, kicked, or had things thrown at you?
and you are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to call their confidential 24-Hour Domestic Violence Helpline at 360-734-3438, or toll free at 877- 227-3360.
Big thanks go to the Womencare Shelter staff, board members, volunteers and all their other community supporters and friends that helped to make this year's Sunset Cruise such a wonderful experience for us!
And thank you, Bob, for sharing an absolutely lovely evening!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bluegrass on the Green Grass

Thursday evenings in Bellingham mean friends and families and picnics and music and fun at the park! The Eldridge Society's summer concert series at Elizabeth Park continued as the Prozac Mountain Boys, keeping the Pacific Northwest safe for bluegrass, entertained the crowd with their lively tunes.Kriss arrived at the park by pedicab, compliments of Bellingham's new Cascadia Cabs, to join Sally, Fred, Catherine, Aaron and me as we dined on our gourmet picnic dinners. (Thanks Sally!)
Elizabeth Park, designed and built on land donated to the City of Bellingham by Captain Henry Roeder in 1884, was first named Walnut Park, but later the name was changed to Elizabeth Park after Roeder's wife, Mary Elizabeth Austin. Park development efforts and funding by the Ladies Cooperative Society provided the landscaping and the planting of the trees in the early 1900s. Those trees, part of what makes Elizabeth Park so beautiful, are still greatly admired by all.The fountain, another beautiful feature of Elizabeth Park, was initially part of the Haller Family Estate from the early Seattle days and was installed in Elizabeth Park in 1910 in the center of a small lake that had been created in the park. In the 1930s, WPA funds were used to upgrade the park, a portion of the lake filled in and the fountain was ornamented by a trio of small girls lining its bowl and two larger female statues, one at the base and one in the bowl, as commissioned by local Swedish sculptor Knute Evertz. In the 1950s, the fountain was put into storage and the remainder of the lake was filled in. The fountain was restored in 1989 and put back in the park again, this time with only the trio of small girl statues to line its bowl as it had been discovered that, sadly, the two larger female statues had gone missing from the storage area sometime between the 1950s and 1989. Now benches line the fountain area of the park and visitors can sit and enjoy the sound of the flowing water as it spouts from the center of the fountain and the mouths of those lovely girl figurines.
The fountain area is sometimes a popular place for hula hooping.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CSA - Week 2 - Garlic Scapes

Discovering the bundle of garlic scapes in my harvest bin this week was a special treat! The curly green scapes are the flower shoots that are sent up by the garlic plant in its early stage of growth. Snipped off by the farmers so that the garlic will form a plump bulb, the scapes are only available for a short time during the month of June.
Garlic scapes are delicious cut up and added to a mixed vegetable stir fry or tossed with olive oil and roasted with other vegetables, but my all time favorite way to enjoy them is to make a pesto sauce to serve over cooked fettuccine.
  • 1 Cup garlic scapes

  • 3/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 Cup finely ground walnuts or pine nuts

  • 3/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 T Fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • Dash of pepper

Chop the garlic scapes into 1" pieces.Process in a food processor until they are fine. Add the cheese, nuts and pepper. Blend. Add the lemon juice. Blend again. Slowly pour in the olive oil while processing until the desired consistency is reached. Serve over cooked fettuccine or your favorite pasta. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze for later use.


My weekly harvest basket.

Scheduled for twenty weeks of harvest bins from Whatcom County's Community Supported Agriculture program, this was my second week. I was able to meet the farmer that grows my organic produce and prepares my bin each week as I stopped by the stand on Railroad Avenue to make my pickup today. They are doing a great job of managing the program and the distribution is so very organized. I feel excited as I open the lid to my wooden basket each week and discover an abundance of farm fresh organic vegetables stowed inside.

Garlic scapes.

Green onions.

Red Swiss chard.
A large bundle of fresh kale.
A giant head of red leaf lettuce.
A tender head of romaine lettuce.
Early broccoli spears.
Brown organic eggs.
A quart of juicy, sweet strawberries.
Appreciating the local farm to consumer distribution method, it feels good to be able to put a face to the farmer of the organic produce I shall be eating this week. The face of my farmer - a petite girl, short blond hair, healthy looking, young, perhaps late twenties, with lots of happy smiles for me as we met.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Birch Bay State Park Picnic

Sunny skies and a gentle summer breeze made it an absolutely perfect afternoon for picnicing, beach combing and relaxing at Birch Bay State Park.
There was plenty of great food at our picnic.

Tiny crabs were found while exploring the beach.

Steve tried to spot the ice cream truck!

The crew working the Sugar Shack ice cream truck took our ice cream orders.
I succumbed to one of their chocolate eclaire bars.
Next, a game of frisbee with the kids.
We headed off for more beach combing along the beautiful saltwater shoreline and then a walk through the forested camping and picnic area of the park.
Apparently no visit to Birch Bay should be considered complete without picking out some sweets from the C Shop candy store - our final stop before we headed back to Bellingham.

Thanks for sharing a great afternoon!

The Birch Bay State Park is a 194-acre camping park with 8,255 feet of saltwater shoreline on Birch Bay and 14,923 feet of freshwater shoreline on Terrell Creek. The park is rich in archeological significance and offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Gulf Islands.
Park Hours

Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: 8 a.m. to dusk.
The park is open year round for camping and day use. Some campsites are closed in winter.
Located 20 miles north of Bellingham, Washington, and ten miles south of Blaine, Washington, near the Canadian border.
  • From the south, take exit #266 off of Interstate 5. Go left on Grandview for seven miles, then right on Jackson for one mile, then turn left onto Helweg.

  • From the north, take exit #266 off of Interstate 5, and turn right onto Grandview.