The Reluctant Blogger

Week 9.2: Shrimp and toast
January 30, 2012, 11:01 am
Filed under: Bread, Dairy-free, Dark Days

While going through our dinner photos from last week, I remembered another Dark Days dinner we had: Hood Canal shrimp and toast. Another very quick and simple dinner, but worth mentioning here because the shrimp is so good. I may have mentioned we are trying (more than usual) to clean out the freezer, and these shrimp were a happy discovery, buried under partial loaves of bread, vegetable trimmings for stock, and more.

I try to buy a couple pounds of shrimp every spring during the very short season they’re available, and though they’re not cheap, they’re absolutely worth it. We don’t eat much shrimp anymore, so these are a treat. After peeling the shrimp, I made a broth with the shells, some white wine, and some garlic. I simmered that for about 25 minutes, then strained it and quickly poached the shrimp in it. It was a light dinner, but a delicious one!

Shrimp from Hood Canal, purchased at Patti’s Seafood, Skokomish, WA, then lost in the freezer for months
Idilico Albarino from Full Pull Wines
Garlic from Filaree Garlic Farm, Okanogan, WA
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Exceptions: olive oil, salt and yeast


Week 9: Freezer Minestrone
January 29, 2012, 9:05 am
Filed under: Bread, Dark Days, Freezer, Soup

Another week in which the freezer came to the rescue, this time with a batch of minestrone (and a truly awful photo – sorry about that – just keeping it real) I made a month or so ago, and exactly the quick dinner I needed on an under-the-weather week. Not much to say about this one, though I will mention that the bread I’ve been making (with a starter I’ve had going for about two months now) is getting better every week. The starter makes such a difference in the flavor, and it’s been good practice to have to make bread every week so I can feed the starter. I’ve been making bread most Saturdays, and often end up just slicing the loaf and putting it in the freezer, which is exactly where this bread came from. In fact, the only part of this dinner that didn’t come from the freezer was the cheese on the bread. Some weeks this is our reality…

Sources for this week’s dinner:
Celery root, kale, carrots, and celery from Full Circle Farm, Carnation, WA
Onions from Andersen Organics, Othello, WA, by way of Full Circle box
Potatoes from our garden
Tomatoes grown at Tonnemaker Hill Farm, Royal City, WA, and canned
Green beans from my in-laws’ garden up the street (by way of the freezer)
Garlic from Filaree Garlic Farm, Okanogan, WA
Slow roasted tomatoes from our garden, by way of the freezer
Sage from our garden
Vegetable stock made primarily from Full Circle vegetable trimmings
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Cheese from Beechers, Seattle, WA
Exceptions: Rancho Gordo borlotti beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan rind and prosciutto end; yeast and salt in bread

Dark Days Week 5: Oysters, bread, and cider
December 31, 2011, 11:37 am
Filed under: Bread, Dairy-free, Dark Days, Holidays

[I fully intended to post this earlier in the week, but a trip to Portland proved to be far more entertaining than blogging. Who would have guessed?]

Happy dogs at the beach on a sunny (!) Christmas Eve

We’re on a two-year run of spending Christmas Eve at home, just the two of us and the pup, and I think we’re starting a new tradition. Saturday morning we loaded up the car, picked up my in-laws and their two dogs, and headed out for a mini road-trip, stopping at some of my favorite places on the Peninsula: Beaver Valley and Chimacum – where I always say I want to move – lunch at the Geoduck in Brinnon (if you ever find yourself in the area, it’s totally worth stopping for some incredible people/bird watching – this trip’s sightings included an Elvis impersonator, regulars who travel with their own can cozies, and a flock (?) of eagles just outside – and the oyster sandwich), retrieving and exploring the shoreline with the dogs, and finally to Hama Hama Oyster Company for crab and oysters, except the people in front of me got the last of the crab. More oysters is not a bad consolation prize, especially when it’s Hama Hama oysters. Continue reading

Week 6: Spaghetti and Meatballs
January 13, 2011, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Bread, Dark Days, Pasta

I have not gone grocery shopping since before Christmas.  At first this started out unintentionally, but now I’m pushing it to see just how far I can take it (likely not past this weekend – we’re nearing the end of our milk supply and my husband’s coffee habit is such that we don’t go a day without milk in the house).  We’re still getting our weekly box of veggies from Full Circle, so it’s not like we’re not getting anything in (and I did pick up chocolate milk and kale on walk around Pike Place recently), but it’s still nice to have gone so long without intentional shopping.  I wasn’t planning to eat down the cupboards/freezer, but it certainly doesn’t hurt (see: I am the owner of TWO chest freezers).  And it has been nice to realize how well we can eat without adding to the larder.

Continue reading

Dark Days Week 5.2*: Two Stews Plus Bread and Butter
January 5, 2011, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Bread, Dark Days, Soup

*Somewhere I added an extra week (must have done two posts in one week) – not sure where that happened and rather than go back and renumber, I’ll just get it right from here out.

One of the great things about the holidays is extra time at home, which generally translates to extra time in the kitchen.  In preparation for returning to reality, I wanted to get some dinners in the fridge and freezer to ease back into working and commuting and having less time in the kitchen.  In addition to a few casserole-like things that freeze well, I made two local-ingredient stews: borscht and elk & root vegetable stew (what I’d normally call “beef stew”). Continue reading

Cracked Wheat Rolls, Gourmet, February 2009
January 31, 2010, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Bread, Gourmet, Unbound

Yeast rolls and I have a bit of challenging relationship.  Sometimes – usually when I throw together my basic yeast/water/ sugar/flour/oil from memory recipe in just a few minutes – my yeast rolls turn out pretty good, entirely serviceable as the hamburger buns or sandwich rolls they’re intended to be.  Unfortunately, when I try a new recipe or actually plan ahead (see: holiday dinners, dinners with guests, etc.) I’m often disappointed by the outcome.  I’m still not entirely sure what goes wrong. Continue reading