The Reluctant Blogger


Week 10: Green chile cheeseburgers
January 31, 2012, 7:30 am
Filed under: Dark Days, Grilling

A dry (and briefly sunny) day made grilling dinner on a week night more appealing than it has been in recent weeks, and since we’re still making a concerted effort to eat down the freezer this month and the single largest space hog in the freezer right now is ground elk, it only made sense to grill burgers. We’re making good progress on the freezer, so much so that there’s an entirely empty shelf now! The last time that happened was before this elk found its way into our freezer more than a year ago, and it’s been a good exercise to utilize what we have in there before buying new stuff (which I realize should be obvious, but I have a bad habit of buying more food when we already have more than enough at the house).

These were pretty straightforward burgers, topped with roasted green chiles and some Beechers’ cheese, with roasted potatoes on the side. Not enough to fool us into thinking summer is just around the corner, but nice to have a taste of summer in January. I’m particularly proud of the buns, made from the starter I’ve had going for a month or so now, and the perfect combination of crispy and soft.

Sources for this week’s dinner:
Peppers from Tonnemaker Hill Farm, Royal City, WA, by way of the freezer
Cheese from Beechers, Seattle, WA
Elk burger from the freezer
Potatoes from our garden, by way of our basement cold storage
Garlic from Filaree Garlic Farm, Okanogan, WA
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Exceptions: olive oil, salt, pepper, yeast



Adjusting to a new diet
May 22, 2011, 8:49 am
Filed under: Dairy-free, Grilling, Salad, Vegetarian, Wheat-free
Backpacking "burritos" sans dairy and wheat

Backpacking "burritos" sans dairy and wheat

So, it turns out that food limitations are really hard. I’m sure that will come as a surprise. Ha. I knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to be easy, but I don’t think I fully grasped just how much more complicated eating becomes when you have to avoid some of the basic building blocks of the food we commonly eat in this country. Coupled with my insanely busy schedule this time of year and a maybe not so great attitude about these limitations and I’ve not had a lot to share here. That’s not to say we haven’t been eating, but popcorn has turned into dinner on more nights than I care to admit and there have been tears on more than one occasion. Continue reading



Dark Days Week 12: Steak and (Sweet) Potatoes
March 2, 2011, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Dark Days, Grilling, Wheat-free

We haven’t been eating much meat lately, for a variety of reasons. We completely gave up meat for a little more than a month, but now that we’re eating some meat again, it’s a rare week when meat shows up for dinner more than once in a week. There are a lot of reasons to eat less meat, and our reasons are all the common ones – health, environmental impact, quality of meat – but we still have a freezer full of elk and we’re not going to let it go to waste. Continue reading



Dark Days Week 4: Elk Burgers and Crab
December 28, 2010, 6:57 pm
Filed under: Dark Days, Grilling

My sister has been living in Taiwan for the past 18 months and flew home a few days before Christmas, hopefully to stay.  My parents came over from Montana the night before my sister arrived, just in time for a Dark Days meal.  We had planned to make roasted potatoes (we’re nearing the end of the potatoes from our garden) to go with our elk burgers, but when my dad called and asked if he could pick up some Dungeness crab for dinner, I wasn’t going to refuse.  Crab, burgers, and potatoes seemed like too much food, and the potatoes were the easiest thing to drop from the menu on short notice, so we had the somewhat odd but incredibly delicious dinner combination of elk burgers and Dungeness crab.  Thanks to the roasted Padron peppers I’d stashed in the freezer, we even had something green in this protein-heavy dinner!  Maybe next week I’ll make something that really counts as cooking…

Sources for this week’s odd but delicious dinner:
Homemade hamburger buns (flour and honey from Montana, exceptions: yeast, salt, olive oil)
Roasted Padron peppers – Tonnemaker Hill Farm by way of my freezer
Cougar Gold cheese (thank you, Christmas gifts at work!)
Elk burger courtesy of my husband’s hunting trip
Washington Dungeness crab – source beyond that unknown (my parents think my local fixation is a little weird and didn’t pay attention to where or who it came from)



Korean-Style Grilled Flank Steak, Gourmet, July 2007
June 30, 2010, 7:41 pm
Filed under: Dairy-free, Gourmet, Unbound, Grilling, Wheat-free

For about ten years of my childhood, my next door neighbors were Korean.  Summertime brought frequent neighborhood cookouts, and for the years the Wons lived next door, cookouts often meant Korean barbeque.  I’m only now beginning to realize how lucky I was to be exposed to good Korean food so young, especially as I grew up in rural Montana.  Today, good Korean food never fails to make me happy.  Convincing my husband that Korean food should be happiness-inducing has been more of a challenge, but he’s coming around. Continue reading



My favorite time of year
March 29, 2010, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Grilling

Spring is far and away my favorite season. When the weather is good, there is no end to the work to be done outside – a good thing in my book. I spend too much of my life behind a computer and I am kind of a wuss about the cold, so as soon as the weather starts to turn, I head outside. This year I have a new garden space (in addition to the raised beds I’ve had for a few years) and it will keep me busy – although the soil is good, a lot of rocks washed down when the creek flooded a few years ago. I could probably spend all day every day picking rocks and still find more. Continue reading