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Slow Food Whidbey Island a Washington nonprofit corporation

Promoting tasty, healthy and local food.

Greg carrying on Noona’s family tradition of making ravioli, with his granddaughter Hazel. Photo courtesy Diane Stone.

FRESH SHEET Nonna’s Ravioli By Diane Stone


y husband Greg, who’s from an Italian community in Canaan, Connecticut, remembers New Year’s Day as a food journey to Italy. The Boscardin family celebration was an annual dinner held in Nonna and Nonno’s house, a modest home that somehow squeezed in 15 to 20 people for mid-afternoon dinner, including seven young cousins — in Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

their best clothes and on their best behavior. Days earlier Nonna and her daughters, Greg’s mother and her sister, made ravioli filled with ground beef, spinach, and cheese. They rolled out the dough with a 3-foot-long rolling pin on the kitchen table and didn’t stop until they’d made about 2 dozen small ravioli per person. That’s about 35 dozen or more hand-made ravioli! On New Year’s Day Nonna made a simple butter sauce — chopped onion slowly cooked in olive oil and butter; garlic, a bay leaf, and chopped parsley; finally a little tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, and concentrated beef stock. Greg says it was wonderful and bore little relation to the heavy tomato sauces most Americans associate with ravioli today. Perhaps in tribute to being new and proud Americans, Nonna and Nonno started the festivities with Manhattans. Traditional antipasto included salumi, grissini (bread sticks), cheeses, olives, sliced prosciutto, and marinated vegetables that Nonna had

Click the underlined title to jump to text!

Fresh Sheet: Nonna’s Ravioli Fresh & Local – Swiss Style Goodbye Aracely

1 4 8

President’s Podium: Traditional Foods


Brain Food (book reviews): An Economist Gets Lunch


Chef’s Station: Turkey Stuffing/Dressing 3 Challah Bread 6 Fresh Quince/Apple Cake 8 Emmer Farro Salad 17 Gratin de Pommes de Terre “Girardet”21 Healthy Morning Glory Muffins 22 Dairy Goat Cheeses 23 Actions of the Bored: Aug. Minutes Sept. Minutes Oct. Minutes Events: What’s Gone On

Table Scraps: Yeast

9 11 12 2 20

***Look for photos and menu items from the 2013 Taste of Whidbey throughout this issue.***

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put up in jars the previous fall. Dinner was served on a white tablecloth with sterling silver, china, and tall candles. The ravioli and sauce were served with salad, crusty bread, and red wine. Since Nonna and Nonno spoke little English, some of the dinner conversation had to be translated into Italian by the two sisters. After dinner, spumoni might be served but always fruit and nuts. The adults sipped coffee with grappa. As Nonna and Nonno got older, the New Year’s Day celebrations became less frequent. After college and on his way to Africa, Greg visited Nonna’s sister in Novaro, Italy. The extended family spoke little English and he spoke even less Italian, but he remembers an afternoon and evening making ravioli, just as tasty and tender as Nonna’s.

Nonna, Nonno, Greg (middle at back) and cousins.

Photo courtesy Diane Stone.

Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

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EVENTS What’s Gone On fall.


low Food Whidbey Island has been very busy this

October 13 featured the 2013 Slow Food Taste of Whidbey, our fourth such event.

Pictured above is the offering from Front Street Grill: a ginger cream cheese mousse nestled between layers of Hubbard squash spice cake, served with cranberry coulis and pumpkin seed brittle. Local sources for this treat included Sherman Farms and Rosehip Farm & Garden. Look for more photos and menu items from the Taste throughout this issue. The number of photographers at the Taste came as a surprise. In addition to the amateur who illustrates

this newsletter, the pros at were represented. For a terrific slide show of the event, link to and scroll down the page. And in a first, Whidbey TV, a nascent local cable feed, had a sound and video crew there as well. Below, two experienced eaters were interviewed regarding their take on the Taste.

November 4 was our Thanksgiving Side Dish Table, so well subscribed that we needed to move the event to a larger venue. Vincent Nattress provided a Narragansett Turkey, the first and oldest “standard breed” turkey as identified by the 1871 Standard of Perfection, the American Poultry Association's bible.

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Whidbey Island Grown and Sarah Richards of Lavender Wind Farm. Lavender Wind Farm not only supplied complementary cookies at the Taste of Whidbey, pictured below, but brought two lavender pumpkin pies to the member meeting. Gwen Brass was the lucky one who got to take home a pie. Yummm.

Narragansett Turkeys Photo courtesy Vincent Nattress

Pictured at right, Vincent prepared the bird two ways: the breasts were roasted, and the remainder was prepared confit. The rest of us brought traditional and non-traditional main and side dishes, and Dale and Liz Sherman told us about Whidbey Island’s own Sugar Hubbard squash. The Chef’s Station articles feature recipes from the event as well as other holiday treats.

And about the time this issue is distributed, Slow Food will have hosted Vicki Robin and her new book, “BLESSING THE HANDS THAT FEED US,” at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 20103 State Route 525 • Freeland, WA 98249, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. December 7, 2013. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

CHEF’S STATION Turkey Stuffing/Dressing Dale Sherman and the Sugar Hubbard

November 11 was our annual member meeting, again accompanied by a delicious pot-luck dinner, as well as a presentation by Sherrye Wyatt of Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

From Tyla Nattress his recipe is based on the NEW BASICS COOKBOOK by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. It can be stuffed into the bird (stuffing) or


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prepared outside the bird (dressing) as follows: 2 3 2 1 2 1

Tbls. vegetable oil cups celery with leaves cups chopped onions lb. country pork sausage tart apples, cut into ½ inch pieces cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped 1 cup pitted cherries (I used dried) 6 cups of whole grain bread cut into one inch pieces 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves (I use fresh and almost ½ cup chopped) 1 tsp. dried sage leaves (I use fresh and almost ½ cup chopped) Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 cup tawny port (I use more) 1 cup chicken or turkey broth (I use more) 6 small nuggets butter 1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté the celery and onions over low heat until softened, not browned, 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. 2. Add the sausage to the same skillet and cook until browned, 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl. Save the pan for step 4. Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

3. Stir the apples, hazelnuts, cherries into the bowl. Add the bread crumbs. Sprinkle with the salt, thyme, sage and pepper. 4. Add the port and chicken broth to the skillet and deglaze the pan by scraping the bits of browned pork off the bottom of the pan. Add to the large bowl and toss lightly together. 5. Place in a non-reactive baking pan and put about 6 small nuggets of butter over the stuffing. Cover and cook for 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Take the top off and brown the stuffing for about 15 more minutes.

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FRESH SHEET Fresh & Local – Swiss Style By Kathy Floyd particularly remember the holiday season when I first became aware of “Buying Fresh” and “Buying Local”. It was many years ago when my husband Merv worked for a Swiss Company. One of the Swiss engineers was staying with us in Connecticut while he was here on business. Peter wanted to thank us for our hospitality by preparing a Swiss recipe that was one of his family’s favorites. However, he shrank at the idea of going to the local supermarket to get the ingredients. He insisted that we get the ingredients directly from a farm! Thus began an all-day sojourn, searching for chicken farms that had fresh eggs, dairy farms with cream directly from the cow, and Toblerone Chocolate and Hero Preserve Orange Marmalade Bitter manufactured in Switzerland. We discovered a farm that not only had free range chickens, but also an old fashioned manual egg sorter that directed the eggs into the correctly sized box and many antique farm utensils. The dairy we found for the


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cream also had some wonderful cheeses with which we filled our bags. I admit that neither the Hero Marmalade nor the Toblerone were local products for us, but they definitely were for him. We found both at a European Specialty Shop in a nearby mall. Once Peter had all the ingredients assembled, he put together a wonderful dessert that could not compare to anything you get in a restaurant. Using fresh local ingredients added a flavor and dimension that I had never experienced before. That experience changed my life and we have been buying local ever since. I’d like to share this recipe with all of you and wish you the best of holidays. Merv and Kathy Floyd

Photo courtesy Kathy Floyd

Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

Swiss Mousse Note: You can purchase the Hero Preserve Orange Marmalade Bitter and Toblerone online at and other websites. Dark Toblerone Mousse 300g Dark Chocolate Toblerone (3 bars) Boiling Water 2 Eggs 2T Confectioners’ Sugar 400 ml Heavy Whipping Cream

Toblerone is soft (Toothpick enters easily) carefully pour off water and drain. 4. Add egg mixture to chocolate and mix well. 5. Gently fold whisked cream in to chocolate mixture and refrigerate 2 3 hours before serving. NB Contains RAW Eggs. White Toblerone Mousse 300g of White Chocolate Toblerone (3 bars) (Not really chocolate). This is NOT the Toblerone in the yellow package that they sell at the grocery store. I have not been able to find the WHITE package on the island but you can find it online at

1. Whisk eggs and sugar until completely dissolved and eggs whiten slightly. 2. Whisk cream to stiff peak stage. 3. Break Toblerone in pieces and gently SLOW FOOD WHIDBEY ISLAND cover a Washington nonprofit corporation, and with A convivium of Slow Food USA boiling water. President Vincent Nattress Do not Vice-President stir! Treasurer John Burks Secretary John Burks When Membership Debra Richardson Communications Jim Hicken Newly Elected: Maryon Attwood, Anza Muenchow, and Trish Zapinski To join, contact or visit Please designate Slow Food Whidbey Island as your local chapter.

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2 eggs 400 ml Heavy Whipping Cream 1. Whisk eggs 2. Whisk cream to stiff peak stage 3. Break the white Toblerone into small pieces and allow to melt in a warm “Bain Marie”. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. 4. Incorporate the beaten eggs. 5. Gently fold in the whipped cream and refrigerate 2 – 3 hours before serving. NB Contains RAW eggs. Form “Quenelles” or ice cream scoops, of Dark and White Mousse and serve with Orange sauce, recipe below, or cream. Orange Sauce 200 ml Orange juice 2 T Grenadine syrup 5 T “Hero” Preserve Orange Marmalade Bitter Zest of one orange 1. Combine orange juice, Grenadine and Marmalade in a stainless or non stick saucepan (not aluminum) and bring to boil stirring constantly. 2. Reduce by 25% approx. 3. If so inclined, add 2 T of Grand Marnier and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

4. Remove from heat and add zest. May be served hot or at room temperature. Will keep 2-3 days in refrigerator. Serves 6 to 8. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare


the manna. Traditionally, challah bread is made with a six strand braid, and with the usual presentation of two loaves, the strands represent the 12 tribes of Israel.1 This recipe uses three strand braids and makes two

Challah Bread By Jim Hicken


hallah is a

traditional Jewish bread eaten on the

Sabbath and holidays. The bread and its presentation are replete with symbolism. The seeds represent manna from heaven. A cloth covering the bread as it is presented at the table represents the heavenly dew covering

approximately 1 pound loaves. For a particularly showy presentation, I’ll describe below how you could combine the dough into a single, grand loaf. The recipe is based on one in Peter Reinhart’s book cited in footnote 1.


Peter Reinhart, THE B READ B AKER’S APPRENTICE , p.133. For more of the history and symbolism of challah bread, see

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Challah Bread Units

2 Net wgt:

Ingredient Flour, White AP Sugar Salt Vitamin C crystals SAF instant yeast

Measure 3 5/7 C 2 1/5 T 1/2 T dash 2 t

Grams 566 g 30 g 8g 0.25 g 4g

Percent 53.56% 2.80% 0.76% 0.02% 0.42%

523 g each Baker's Water Percent Content 95.77% 5.00% 1.35% 0.04% 0.75%

Eggs, X large Eggs yokes, X large Water, warm Vegetable Oil

2 2 1 C 2 1/6 T

110 34 250 30

10.41% 3.22% 23.66% 2.80%

18.61% 5.75% 42.30% 5.00%

g g g g

1,046 g

80 g 19 g 250 g



8. Flour, White AP Lost flour 10% Egg wash: whites Poppy or sesame seeds Ingredient Baker’s % H20

1/6 C 2 Total

25 g



2 t 1,057 g 100.00% 178.82% 59.07%

The formula for the bread is shown in the table accompanying this article. The procedures are: 1. Mix the first five ingredients in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment. 2. In a separate bowl, mix the next four ingredients well. 3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and continue mixing

Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

349 g

with the paddle on low until just incorporated. 4. Either turn the dough out on a board and knead 10-15 minutes (adding flour as required – the last AP flour entry); or 5. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium low for 8-10 minutes. Ideally, the dough mass should pull away from the sides of the bowl at this point. (Of course, mine did not, but the result was


unaffected.) Then turn out and knead briefly to shape the dough into a boule (round ball), using additional flour to keep from sticking (the last AP flour entry). Oil the surface of the boule lightly, cover and let rise in a warm environment for about 1 hour, until doubled. Fold the dough to de-gas, again cover and let rise in a warm environment for another hour, until doubled. For 2 regular loaves: Divide dough in half, then divide each half into thirds. Take each third and roll out to about 12″ long. Braid each loaf with three strands, beginning at the middle, working towards one end, then from the middle towards the other end, and tucking each end under neatly. Or, for 1 celebration loaf: Take 1/3rd of the dough and set aside. Take the remaining 2/3rds portion, divide into thirds, roll out each third to about 15″ long and braid as above described. Take the 1/3rd set aside, divide it into thirds (that is, 1/9th of the original dough), roll out and braid. This mini-loaf is set longitudinally atop the larger loaf,

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first misting the top of the larger loaf with water so the small loaf adheres. 10. Take the two “extra” egg whites and whip them into a froth. Use this to coat the tops of the loaves before proofing. You should reserve at least half of the froth. 11. Transfer the loaves to parchment lined half sheet pans. (A 12” long drywall “mud” knife from your hardware store, a long spatula, or even a pizza peel will help with the transfer.) 12. Proof the loaves about 45-60 minutes, then generously brush the egg white froth on the tops and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. 13. Bake in a pre-heated 350° F. oven (325° for the celebration loaf) for 40 minutes, switching halfway through (about 60 minutes for the celebration loaf), until the crust is nicely browned and the internal temperature reaches 200° F. Present the loaves with a cloth over them, for a dramatic “reveal.” Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

FRESH SHEET Goodbye Aracely


e say goodbye to a long serving Slow Food Whidbey Island volunteer this quarter. Aracely Knox and her family are moving to California and she is resigning her position on the board. Aracely was on the steering committee which founded

the Slow Food chapter on Whidbey Island in 2009. She is one of the few founders who has remained continuously and actively involved with the organization from the beginning. Her contributions are too numerous to list, but among them are: acting as Vice President, hosting many board meetings and table gatherings at her lovely home, and contributing interesting articles and stunning photos to the newsletter. But most of all, Aracely represented the personal side of the Slow Food message – she tirelessly spoke of the significance of a family’s gathering together over homemade meals. We will miss her and look forward to her (hoped for) frequent return visits to Whidbey. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

CHEF’S STATION Fresh Quince/Apple Cake By Barbara Graham erves 15 generous pieces. First, oil 9" x 13" pan and preheat oven to 350° F.


Ingredients: 3 large eggs 3/4 C. canola oil 3 C. sugar Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

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1 Tb. vanilla 1 tsp. salt 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 3 C. all-purpose flour 1 Tb. baking soda 5 C. peeled, diced quince or apples 1 1/2 C toasted walnuts* Procedures: 1. In electric mixer, beat together eggs, oil & sugar for 2-3 min. Beat in salt, vanilla, cinnamon. 2. Add flour, baking soda; slowly beat until barely combined.

3. Add walnuts and fruit. Beat together until well combined – one minute. 4. Turn mixture into oiled pan. Bake in 350 F oven about 1 hour--until sides begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Insert tooth pick in center. It will come out clean when cake is baked. The top will be a light caramel brown color. 5. Cool, cut and serve with whipped cream. Cake keeps well in cool place. I use the garage. *To toast walnuts, put nuts on flat pan in 350F oven for 9 minutes.

ACTIONS OF THE BORED Board Minutes August 12, 2013 By Debra Richardson, Secretary to the Meeting pening: The board of Slow Food Whidbey Island was called to order by Vincent Nattress, President, at 6:15 p.m. on August 12, 2013 at bayleaf in Coupeville.


Present: Officers:

Chair: Vincent Nattress Vice Chair: Aracely Knox Membership Chair; Treasurer: Debra Richardson Communications: Jim Hicken

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Members: Guest:

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Maryon Attwood; Trish Zapinski Barbara Graham

A. Minutes Minutes from the July 8, 2013 which were submitted by John Burks, were approved. Open Issues The following agenda items were discussed and action items for those items follow. 1. Review of Minutes a. Taste 2013

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b. List of Restaurants, Wineries, Farmers, tickets and P.R. 2. Report of SF USA membership phone meeting by Debra Richardson September membership drive with increased membership dues. 3. Discussion regarding possible program with Vicki Robin Debra will explore December book/promotion 4. Discussion regarding sustainability of the club; A gorgeous plateful from the Thanksgiving side 5. Farm Tour dish Table of Nov. 11, 2013 6. New Business – Newsletter Deadline Sept 5th for Sept. 15th publication. Resulting Action Items: Taste of Whidbey 1) The Roster Vincent  Confirm with Oystercatcher and Neil’s and invite Mukilteo coffee roasters, (and or Useless Bay).  Confirm with Spoiled Dog  Contact Screaming Banchee and Beth at Bayleaf (as possible team)  Send Liquor permit by 8/17 Aracely  Invite Flyers and confirm with Vincent by 8/17  Work with John Burks to finalize the farmer list (this may include Nathanial Talbot) 2) Management and other remaining details of Taste of Whidbey Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

Vincent  Send ideas/tasks and work with Trish to organize outstanding tasks and plans for the Taste. Management plan will be used to organize remaining tasks via email in lieu of a separate Taste meeting Maryon  Contact Gwen to see if she will be the volunteer coordinator Deb

 Jim  

 Send Jim Contact information for Nathanial Talbot  Send Jim membership and Community List ( will be done sometime 8/21 – 8/25)  Send Trish minutes of last meeting and any background documentation for previous year’s Taste Email regarding membership cost and effects on ticket cost

Invite Nathanial Talbot to be guest performer Publicity – tickets, table tops, email, Whidbey Life.

Trish  Work with Vincent to put together Taste project plan Newsletter – Deadline Sept 5th for Sept 15th Publication Aracely  Sales pitch article for the Taste All Page 10 To join or quit Whidbey Nibbles’ list, email

The minutes of the August 12 board meeting were approved with changes recommended by Mr. Jim Hicken. 2. Farm Tour Click here to jump to Bill of Fare Preparations for participation in the 2013 Whidbey Island Farm Tour were discussed. Glo Sherman will be ACTIONS OF THE BORED offering a soup taste to Strawfield farm visitors. Jim Hicken, Paula Willstatter, Board Minutes Diane and Greg Stone, and September 9, 2013 Trish Zapinski will assist. By John Burks, Secretary Vincent Nattress will be offering pening: a taste to Whidbey Island The board of Winery farm tour visitors. Slow Food Whidbey John Burks, Jim Hicken, Paula Island was called to order Willstatter and Trish Zapinski by Aracely Knox, Vicewill assist. A signup sheet for President, at 6:05 p.m. copies of Nibbles will be on September 9, 2013 at available at these two locations. bayleaf in Coupeville. Tickets for the 2013 Taste of Present: Whidbey will be available for The Braeburn Restaurant – 2013 Taste of Whidbey Officers: President: purchase. Roasted Root Vegetable Hash Vincent Nattress 3. Taste of Whidbey Pickled beets and a Rockwell bean spread, wrapped in Vice Nathaniel Talbot rainbow chard leaf. President: Aracely has agreed to provide music for Knox the event. Secretary: John Burks  Ticket packages for distribution to the participating Communications: Jim Hicken restaurants will be prepared and distributed by Member: Gloria Sherman; Trish Zapinski Vincent Nattress. Guest: JoAnna Weeks  A meeting is scheduled for September 30 at 4 p.m. at Susan Wenzel the home of Vincent Nattress to finalize plans for the 1. Approval of Minutes event. 

Articles and pictures regarding harvest preservation and pantry or anything about food Next Meeting – September 9, 2013 6p.m. bayleaf in Coupeville


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Two guests in attendance represented local media outlets: JoAnna Weeks – and Susan Wenzel – Whidbey Life Magazine. Each of these guests discussed ways in which the media outlets that they represent might assist Slow Food Whidbey Island with publicity for the Taste, as well as other events.

ACTIONS OF THE BORED Board Minutes October 14, 2013 By Laura McCarty, Secretary to the Meeting pening: The board of Slow Food Whidbey Island was called to order by Vincent Nattress, President, at 6:00 p.m. on October 14, 2013 at bayleaf in Coupeville. Attending: Vincent Nattress, Glo Sherman, Jim Hicken, Laura McCarty, Debra Richardson


4. New Business Gloria Sherman introduced “The Six Bowls” project to the board. Possible ways in which Slow Food Whidbey Island might participate were discussed. A date of November 3 was set for the fall table event. The theme is to be Thanksgiving Sides. 5. Next Meeting The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October Tres Gringos Tamales – 2013 Taste of Whidbey 14 at 6 p.m. at bayleaf in Spiced Beef Taco Bite: Beef from 3 Sisters Family Farms, Coupeville. Deep Harvest Farm pickled beets, slaw from Willowood Farm, handmade queso fresco, handmade tortillas. The meeting was adjourned at 8 p.m. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

OLD BUSINESS 2013 Taste of Whidbey Post Mortem Work session – Tallied the take for 2013 Taste of Whidbey. The event grossed ***. Motion – Share individual written evaluations by email instead of discussing now. No second. Discussion topics: farmers displays, chefs, food, music, acoustics, turnout, volunteers, second tastes, parking, venue, pour sizes, match with mission, event date, event ticket sales, publicity, Seahawks, restaurant commitments, setup, teardown, and more. Action – Continue to share evaluations by email. Board Meetings

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Tree Top Baking – 2013 Taste of Whidbey Whidbey Island Blueberry CreamCheese Danish Including rye from Quail’s Run Farm, sheep milk cream cheese from Glendale Shepherd and blueberries from Hunters Moon Blueberry Farm.

Discussion centered on how to bring expectations about SFWI meeting attendance in line with reality. Motion – Move board meetings to new location. Passed. Action – Debra will inform bayleaf that group will not use meeting room for November.

Action – Jim and Debra will set up RSVP system. Action – Debra will send meeting notices to community and members lists.

Fall Table – Nov.3 at Strawfield House – 4pm to 6pm Brief discussion, as event is nearly upon us. Theme is Thanksgiving

Release Party for Vicki Robin – December 7 at Unitarian Church in Freeland – 3:30 to 6:00 pm Debra reported on arrangements and an agenda that includes 70 minutes allotted to Vicki. Suggested donation of $10. Event includes book pre-sales. Action – Light refreshments to be donated by individuals (coordinate with Debra). Motion – SFWI will split event proceeds (donations at door minus expenses) with Vicki. Passed.

Sides. Action – Vincent will slaughter the bird(s). Action – Debra will arrange for Dale Sherman to talk about Hubbard squash. Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

Annual Meeting – Nov.11 (location and time TBD) Discussion centered on purposes to be served by having an annual meeting this year. Some aspects precipitated from questions from Laura about how SFWI is structured. Action – Vincent will invite Sherrye Wyatt to speak (topic TBD). Action – Jim will inquire about availability of Grange hall. Action – Vincent will prepare agenda. Action – Vincent will prepare president’s report and requests suggestions from those present. Action – Debra will prepare treasurer’s and membership report. Action – Jim will craft notice of meeting and share it with Debra. Action – Debra will send meeting notices to community and members lists.

NEW BUSINESS Publicity Page 13 To join or quit Whidbey Nibbles’ list, email

Flyers Restaurant & Brewery – 2013 Taste of Whidbey Oktoberfest Mussels Penn Cove Shellfish mussels and 3 Sisters Farms all beef hotdogs with Belle’s Farm fingerling potatoes sautéed in Flyers Proptoberfest with fresh dill, stone ground mustard, garlic, butter, and shallots.

BRAIN FOOD (BOOK REVIEWS) Tyler Cowen’s An Economist Gets Lunch New Rules for Everyday Foodies Reviewed by Jim Hicken


his book is a mash-up of two topics – how to find good, cheap food wherever in the World you

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Discussion included mention of media produced from pictures taken at 2013 Taste of Whidbey. Action – Vincent will look up status of SFSW domain names. Action – Jim will get clarification about JoAnna Weeks’s proposed donation of

professional services. Cooperative arrangements Consensus was that SFWI visibility in the community has been increasing, with the increase in our mailing list size being just one indicator of this fact. Action – Jim will find out more about possible cooperation with Grange for educational events. Action – Laura will look into Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network's purpose and presence and forward summary to those present. Cultivating membership Action – Debra will contact several people who have shown up at SFWI events or meetings to figure out specifically how these individuals might become more involved with SFWI activities. Motion – To adjourn. Passed. Time is 8:50pm. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

find yourself, and an economist’s take on common foodie perceptions of the food world (or more accurately, misperceptions of the food world). The author is an economist on the faculty of George Mason University and runs both a food blog and a financial blog, as well as contributing to a number of national publications.

Cowen’s primary food goal is to make every meal count – do not waste your money, time or your caloric budget on merely ordinary food. “A bad or mediocre meal is more than just an unpleasant taste, it is an unnecessary negation of life’s pleasures,” according to Cowen.

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clientele (for example, members usually closer to the ingredient provider of the pertinent ethnicity), with (farmers’ markets anyone?). Instead, lots of competition (raising the Cowen suggests finding domestic culinary bar for all). options that feature “sufficiently good He surveys many U.S. ingredients” prepared in interesting cities (none in the northwest) ways. He spills quite a bit ink on and a variety of foreign barbeque, and examines where the best destinations, applying his United States prospects are for a economic choice of eating variety of ethnic cuisines, and what to Mukilteo Coffee Roasters – 2013 Taste of principles. The result is not look for in various domestic cities (or Whidbey which restaurants to patronize – the suburbs). If you travel, this will be this would be soon outdated – of interest. “Happy Hippie” Dark Chocolate Chevre but what types of restaurants to Turning now to the more Espresso Truffles Sources include: Mukilteo Coffee Slow Roasted look for in what “A bad or mediocre meal is more than just an Organic Coffee Beans, Whidbey Island Sea Salt localities, and why. For unpleasant taste, it is an unnecessary negation of example, he lauds and Little Brown Farm Chevre. life’s pleasures.” Sicilian food because of Tyler Cowen Cowen has traveled widely and the high quality local much of the book has hints for finding ingredients, low rents economically oriented part of this good-valued food in various ports of throughout, and its melting pot cuisine literary mash-up, first a warning: many call. He prefers ethnic cuisine, with influences from European, Arabic slow foodies will not be pleased with especially Mexican, and his general and medieval food. As another Cowen’s observations. Here is a principle for eating well is this: “Food is example, he cites London’s deep east sampling: a product of economic supply and end, with a multitude of Pakistani,  Casino food is a good deal because demand, so try to figure out where the Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants. the gamblers cross-subsidize the supplies are fresh, the suppliers are In the United States, he food. creative, and the demanders are recommends avoiding ingredient  Conversely, high end restaurant informed.” intensive dishes. The raw ingredients, food is not so good because the food Cowen’s recommendations tend he opines, are usually below world is subsidizing the center-city rent, to owner/operator spots (ethnically true standards, especially compared to overly populated wait staff, views cooks; low labor costs because family ingredients available in poorer and decor. operated), operating on the periphery of countries. The thinking appears to be town (low rents), with a sophisticated that restaurants in poor countries are Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

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Because of increased yields and the high cost of land, the footprint of agribusiness is decreasing, not increasing. This translates to increased forestation and reduced agribusiness pollution. Cropland per capita had decreased dramatically in the United States, and globally peaked in the 1930s! Europe’s insistence on non-GMO foods has impoverished Africa. Europe can afford the higher cost of non-GMO. Africa cannot. Yet African farmers must meet European demands for non-GMO foods because that is where their market is. The result: African food scarcity and lower standards of living in Africa. Food trade, often long-distance trade, efficiently uses scarce resources, such as water, and thereby minimizes the pollution cost of eating. Transportation is only a 10-15% share of the total energy footprint of food. GMOs are not all about Roundup. GMOs can make crops more nutritious, drought resistant,

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insect or fungal resistant, or higher yielding. This is particularly relevant to poorer nations which traditionally rely on nutrient poor but easily grown foods. GMOs have produced grasses with less lignin, which translates to less methane producing cow gasses, as well as GMO modified pigs with less phosphorous in their manure, which limits the environmental cost of their run-off.

Prima Bistro – 2013 Taste of Whidbey Spanish Chorizo Made with pork from a Duroc/Hampshire cross hog raised on Willowood Farm. Fermented and Pickled Vegetables Featuring vegetables from Willowood Farm and Ebb Tide Produce.

And as a final example, it takes four times as much energy to make a paper bag as a plastic bag, not to mention the CO2 released when the paper bag decomposes, so the environmentally sound choice is plastic. And by the way, a cotton grocery bag needs 171 uses before it breaks even with plastic’s low impact. I could go on – Cowen does, but I’m guessing slow foodie blood pressure is sufficiently raised. A problem with the book, both the where to eat part and the economic analysis part, is that Cowen does not support his conclusions specifically enough. The reader is expected to take his word, or review the generic, “for more reading” type endnotes. In sum, by combining two general topics in a single book, Cowen devotes sufficient space to neither. Even so, it is an interesting read, well salted. There are, however, two other topics that Cowen addresses that I cannot resist mentioning.

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First, Cowen blames the sorry state of eating in the United States not so much on agribusiness, but on prohibition, changing work force demographics, TV and children! If you want to know more, read the first 40 pages of the book. And second, there is a reference late in the book (page 200) to McDonald’s fries made with horse fat. Whoa Nellie! Can this be true? You’ll remember the beef tallow flare-up when some concluded that McDonald’s potato fries should actually be a vegetarian option, but horse fat?! This is a prime example of a point where Cowen needed specific citation. Yet a Google search does yield a fascinating piece on doing your fries the McDonald’s way, in horse fat. Do see crisperer. AN ECONOMIST GETS LUNCH is available from the Sno-Isle Libraries (4 copies; no hold requests as of November 11, 2013). Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

EVENTS 2013 Taste of Whidbey Some Taste of Whidbey offerings could not be done justice by a mere photo. Here are word pictures of more of the Taste Bill of Fare: Flyers Restaurant & Brewery

Flyers Proptoberfest An American Oktoberfest Beer. Prost!

Fraser's Gourmet Hideaway

Cardamom scented smoked Red Kurri Squash soup (squash from Willowood Farm), Lavender Purple Barley (Lavender Wind Farm, Grain Shadow Farm), Pumpkin crackers, Goat Cheese Cream (The Little Brown Farm).

Front Street Grill

Coconut Green Curry Mussels

Mukilteo Coffee Roasters

Café’ Miel Drip Coffee This is an outstanding Costa Rican Coffee from our friend and farmer, Luz Marina Trujillo and her plantation, Santa Elena. Miel means “honey” in Spanish. It is produced by picking perfectly ripe coffee cherries, removing the pulp and sending them immediately to the patio for sun-drying. The sun-drying with continuous turning allows the “honey,” a jelly-like mucilage, to turn to sugar and be absorbed which gives the bean a distinctive complexity. It has a unique flavor profile, prominent sweetness, clean fruity notes, syrupy body and vibrant acidity.

CHEF’S STATION Emmer Farro Salad From Jenanne Murphy 1 cup emmer farro ½ sweet potato, sliced and cut into 1/4 inch cubes 1/4 cup dried cranberries

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1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds 1 slice red onion, diced 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 1. Rinse emmer farro under running water. Add farro and ¼ tsp. salt to small saucepan and cover with

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water. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until farro is chewy. Cool under running water. 2. While farro is cooking, cube sweet potato and saute in a little olive oil until pieces are slightly browned and soft. 3. Make a simple dressing with the lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. 4. Mix all salad ingredients together and add dressing. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let flavors blend.

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PRESIDENT’S PODIUM Traditional Foods By Vincent Nattress rying to figure out which foods are going to save you or kill you seems pretty much impossible. In the past few years I have heard that toasted grains are toxic, organ meats can cure MS, cured meats cause intestinal cancer and that the overall nutritional value of vegetables has been declining since the 1950’s. New reports about the health effects of foods arrive each day. It feels like almost every ingredient in our diet is being glorified and vilified at the same time. Kale may be the one exception: no one seems to be down on kale. I tend to look at food issues from an evolutionary perspective. If we know our ancestors ate something for as long as we have been a species, then there is a pretty good chance that our bodies can handle it, if not thrive on it. Conversely, if there are things that we are eating – like a large percentage of the modern American diet – that bear absolutely no nutritional or moral resemblance to historical foods, then it is more likely that these “new foods” are not well suited to how our bodies evolved.


The Paleo Diet seemed like it had a pretty rational basis. The diet focuses on foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten, like lean, grass-fed meats, nuts, green leafy plants and fruits. It avoids things that came after we became agrarian, like dairy, cereal and processed foods. I recently learned that some of us – and I have no doubt I am in this group – have as much as 3% Neanderthal DNA in our genes. The Neanderthal diet was entirely meatbased, which is not surprising. But it might surprise you to know that scientists now believe that one of the biggest turning points in our human evolutionary process came when we started cooking and eating meat. This happened about 2.5 million years ago, and it directly related to extreme physical changes in our physiology that made us who we are today. Cooking and eating meat allowed our ancestors to slim down from the huge gut size of our ape ancestors, as we pre-digested our food through cooking. Meat provided crucial nutrient-dense food we needed to achieve the unprecedented growth in brain size that makes us human. So the Paleo dietician tells us that meat is good and modern food is

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bad. If we take the theory one step further, I might suggest that we also hunt and gather these Paleo foods using stone-age tools and wearing nothing but animal skins. After several months you would end up pretty buff and healthy. Of course you might end up dead of mauling or starvation, depending on your skill with an atlatl or your knowledge of poisonous plants. Recently I heard a very bright author on NPR, and he made an assertion about the Paleo Diet that really changed my thinking. He pointed out that it may have been a very well adapted diet for our hunter gatherer ancestors, but they only had to live about 35 years to have had a fully successful life and pass on their genes. They weren’t dying of cancer; they were dying from childhood diseases or encounters with mastodons. Today we wear our seat belts, drink treated water and get immunizations, thereby eradicating many of the things that killed our ancestors: infectious disease, malnutrition and violent ends. When we look at the things that kill modern peoples – heart disease and cancers – they often take decades to develop. We now want a diet that will allow us to live long past reproductive age and into our 80’s and 90’s. It is worth asking Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

EVENTS 2013 Taste of Whidbey Last but not least, here are the 2013 Taste wineries and their offerings: Ott & Murphy Wines

Mutiny Bay Red A Bordeaux style red wine. -andPossession A white Rhone blend.

Spoiled Dog Winery

Spoiled Dog Pinot Gris Made from grapes grown on Whidbey Island. -andSpoiled Dog Deception A red Bordeaux blend from grapes grown at Conner Lee Vineyard, Eastern Washington.

Whidbey Island Winery

Siegerrebe 2012 – Puget Sound: Produced from our estate vineyards this is a richly aromatic white with flavors of grapefruit, spice, honey, pears and apricots. Grenache 2011 – Horse Heaven Hills: A mouthwatering blend of Grenache and a dash of Syrah boasts flavors of sweet cherry jam and red currants followed by a long mineral finish. -andBarbera Port – Washington: A beautifully balanced port-style wine with bold cranberry, cherry and chocolate flavors. The spirits used to fortify this wine were distilled by Whidbey Island Distillery from Whidbey Island Winery wines. Thanks to all for a wonderful event!

the question, do our genes want that too? It was never part of the evolutionary bargain before. I think it is worth looking at more recent “traditional foods” and

thinking about why they exist (why they were well adapted to successfully feeding ourselves) and whether those same characteristics are still well

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adapted to who we are today or if they too have become maladaptive. An example of this is cured meat. In the middle ages it would have been very adaptive to learn that you could rub down a pig’s leg with certain types of salt that yielded a cured (read “preserved”) ham. That meant what would otherwise be a very perishable, fresh product – raw pork – could be transformed into a new, different product that would last months without refrigeration: ham. Curing allowed increased stability of food supply, and that translated into a reduction in the number of times in a person’s lifetime when they would literally starve because of lack of available food. Today the word locavore is pretty sexy in the foodie world, but 500 years ago it had a corollary meaning: It meant that if the crops fail in your region, you could well starve. People in that era still only lived about 35 years on average, so the fact that cured foods have been causally linked to cancers of the digestive tract Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.

was of no concern. They did not live long enough for those problems to develop, and these foods helped them live long enough and be healthy enough (read “continue to get enough calories in lean times”) to have kids and feed them too. When we enjoy those same foods today, we do so in a totally different world. We are a population that hopes to live into our eighth decade, and we live in a society where the need to preserve foods as a hedge against starvation has evaporated. So the fact that cured meats are “traditional foods” may not be much of a justification for eating them when time has turned the risk/reward ratio on its head. Of course there is the fact that we love the taste of them. Anyone who has eaten pata negra Jamón ibérico will tell you, the product is to die for. I don’t mean to pick on cured meats specifically, because there are a lot of similar food traditions that may be equally maladaptive in 21st century America. I do believe that trying to find the “right” diet or identify the “wrong” foods is a fool’s errand. News stories

tempt us to think that adding up all of the health benefits of a hand full of nuts, a quarter cup of blueberries, three cups of green tea, a glass of red wine and a chocolate bar each day will let you live to be 125. The truth is probably more like the joke; that if you eat nothing but kale, three meals a day, seven days a week, then you might not live forever, but it will seem like it. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

TABLE SCRAPS Yeast By Jim Hicken east produces: carbon dioxide, heat and alcohol, and is instrumental in the creation of bread, wine and cheese, among other traditional foods. Yeast also produces: (i) artemisinin,2 (ii) biofuels, (iii) complex vanilla flavoring more like the real thing than its petroleum based alternative, (iv) copies of fragrances such as those found in grass, coconut oil, and saffron



A “key anti-malarial drug” found in the leaves of the sweet wormwood plant, according to a Washington Post article reprinted in the Seattle Times on 11/28/13 and which is the source of much of this article.

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powder, and (v) the gas used to make tires. The first set of yeast products represents yeast strains not found in nature.3 They were isolated and selected by humans over centuries for the genetic coding which tells this single celled organism what to produce. The second set of yeast products represents some of the more than 3 million new yeasty organisms created by humans employed by Amyris, Inc., at the rate of 1,500 per day. Amyris’s web site says that the company “is a renewable products company providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products.”4 This company appears to represent the next step in GMO production. The design crew simply sends the desired genome blueprint to the production shop via computer, which builds the new organism from scratch. These new organisms do not represent merely swapping out a few genes in a largely intact goat, for example, so that the goat’s milk can be spun like silk.


Leaving wild sour dough bread yeasts aside for the moment. 4

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An interesting point about this process is that the resulting product is not itself genetically modified; it is merely a chemical or product produced by a genetically modified organism. This allows, for example, the marketer for artemisinin to assert its drug is “natural.” After all, the chemical compound is the same as that found naturally in the sweet wormwood leaf. This argument is an eerie echo of the recently defeated GMO labeling initiative, I-522. There, the proposed statute required labeling of GMO corn, for example, but specifically exempted (from GMO labeling) animals grown by eating GMO corn or other GMO products. The specific item being sold was not itself genetically modified, so no GMO labeling. That makes it all natural, right? Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

CHEF’S STATION Gratin de Pommes de Terre “Girardet” From Merv Floyd

Serves 4 people 1 lb. of Yukon Gold potatoes (preferable Willowood’s) 8 oz. milk (approximately) 4 oz. double cream 1 garlic clove (again, Willowood’s is best!) 1 oz. butter Salt, pepper, cayenne, fresh ground nutmeg to taste

1. Preheat oven to 320° F. 2. Peel potatoes, slice 1/8” thick. DO NOT WASH!

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3. Finely chop garlic and mix with potatoes.

4. Put potato mixture in large saucepan and just cover with milk. Add salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg to taste. 5. Heat on medium high and let cook 4-5 minutes or until the milk and the starch from the potatoes bond. 6. Add ½ of the cream and cook until it just comes to a boil. 7. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasoning. 8. Butter a gratin dish of a size such that the layer of potatoes does not exceed ¾″ high. 9. Add potato mix and remainder of cream. 10. Mix well with fingers. Cut butter into thin slices and spread on top. 11. Put dish on lowest shelf in oven and allow to cook for 1 ½ hours (low and slow is best!). Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

CHEF’S STATION Healthy Morning Glory Muffins From Joanne Hicken orning Glory Muffins were created by Chef Pam McKinstry “in 1978 for her eponymous


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restaurant on Nantucket Island. The recipe was first published in Gourmet Magazine in 1981, and in 1991 it was chosen as one of the magazine's 25 favorite recipes from the past 50 years.”5 This iteration is based on one published by Cook’s Country6, but substitutes canola oil for butter, eliminates added sugar and uses whole wheat flour, which not only is healthier but is a better foil for the strong flavors of this classic treat. And toasted sunflower seeds add an extra crunch. The result is guilt-free and delicious. INGREDIENTS ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (Bob's Red Mill is good) ½ cup walnuts ½ cup sunflower seeds 2 ¼ cup whole wheat flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt 8 ounces canned crushed unsweetened pineapple 1 large apple ½ cup canola oil 5 6

3 1 3 1

large eggs teaspoon vanilla extract large carrots cup golden raisins

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Lightly toast the coconut, the walnuts and the sunflower seeds in a heavy skillet on the stove top or in the oven, then chop the first two in a food processor or blender and finally place the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the whole toasted sunflower seeds, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and stir until combined. 3. Core the apple, then shred it and the carrots in a food processor, or finely chop. Put the apple, the carrots and the pineapple in a fine mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup. Press on the fruit and carrot mixture until the juice has been extracted through the mesh into the cup, then pour the liquid into a skillet. Simmer the liquid until it reduces to about ¼ of a cup (you want the sweetness but not all the original moisture). Allow liquid to cool. 4. In a separate bowl, mix the cooled liquid, the oil, the eggs and the

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vanilla until smooth, then add these ingredients to the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Add the fruit/carrot mixture and the raisins and stir in. 5. Divide the batter evenly among oiled muffin tins, using oiled muffin baking cups if you wish. Makes about 24 mini-muffins plus 6 larger muffins, or 18 larger muffins. (I like to make mini-muffins using a #40 scooper to portion the batter.) Bake in a 350F oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. 6. Eat fresh or freeze for later enjoyment.

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CHEF’S STATION Dairy Goat Cheeses By Anza Muenchow Maha Farms Whidbey Nibbles, DECEMBER 2013. Like? Forward to a friend or two.


ur holiday parties are enhanced by our goat milk cheeses. They are easy to use and simple to make. Chevre is the easiest, but feta and paneer are also quick and easy. Mozzarella and Manchego are more difficult, but definitely worth the effort. Our favorite appetizer at parties is a chevre dip, with garlic and fresh herbs. We use a food processor, adding mashed garlic, snippets of fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley (or whatever we have on hand) and a pint of chevre softened with a few tablespoons of milk or cream. It lasts several days in the refrigerator and is easy to serve with toasts or crackers. Chevre can be used in a cheesecake, but who can afford to buy that many pounds of chevre at a store? If you want make cheese and enjoy an ample supply of chevre (it freezes well) consider investing in your own dairy goat or joining a goat co-op. On our little farm, I have found that a big step toward food sustainability included owning a dairy goat. What a great supply of healthy, fresh milk and cheese! As a bonus, we get whey and lots of quality manure for the vegetable garden. A great source of cheese cultures and recipes is the New England Cheese

making Supply Company ( Chevre starter costs about $1.25 for a gallon of milk. Milk from our Nubian goat gives a quart of chevre from a gallon of milk. Make chevre by heating the milk to 86 degrees and stir in the chevre starter packet and wait 12 hours. Then strain the whey off and hang in cheesecloth for 12 hours. Sooooo easy and delicious. Feta takes a little more effort as you need to cook it for 15-30 minutes and salt it after the hanging time. The Manchego takes a thermophilic culture as well as the mesophilic culture that feta uses. And it needs to be pressed, brined and aged. But what a flavor. We don’t need to buy cheddar when we have Manchego for grilled cheese sandwiches. For all you locavores, I recommend dairy goat husbandry. We try to keep just a single goat in milk, supplying us with a half to a full gallon of milk each day. Goats need to be bred each year (usually in the fall) to maximize milk production. This means having lots of kids around each spring as goats usually have between one and three kids. And since well managed goats need to live in a herd, you must keep at least two in the pen at all times. We have found that keeping two goats

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in milk is too much milk and too much feeding. They take a diet rich in proteins (alfalfa and grain) as well as hay and fresh browse material like blackberry vines, alder or fir trees. If we can keep one prize new kid and one mature doe in milk each year, that works best for us. Click here to jump to Bill of Fare

John, Deb, Vincent, Aracely & Jim

Singer, Poet, Farmer

’da 2013 SFWI Bored

Nathaniel Talbot

FEEDBACK: All feedback, articles, opinion, letters and pictures welcome at Submissions may be published and are subject to editing for length and for other arbitrary and capricious reasons. Jim Hicken, editor.

THE FINE PRINT: All opinions expressed herein are those of the authors, who are solely responsible for the content of their respective contributions. Opinions herein do not necessarily represent those of Slow Food Whidbey Island, a Washington nonprofit corporation or Slow Food USA, Inc., its members or affiliates. So there!

A WORD ABOUT HYPERLINKS: This newsletter has “hyperlinks” to web material, the visual portion of which is sometimes abbreviated. If you are concerned about clicking the hyperlink, you can hold your browser over the hyperlink and the full web address will appear. You can then type the address in your web browser.

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