All posts in Home & Garden
A Vashon resident dropped of a 100 year old farm engine at the True Value. It wasn’t running and she didn’t want it anymore. It had just been sitting there …
As the bus left the ferry dock, lumbering up the steep hill of the island’s spine, a fellow commuter was quick to point out that yes, I had already pointed out the loaded fig tree on the west side of the road on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and now Friday. (I must have missed the bus on Tuesday.) He followed up with one more admonishment while peering up from his book: my remarks were repeated round trip in frequency. Apparently John is not a fig lover.
While some folks may project such observations as prattle, fig lovers will understand my obsession at seeing an ignored harvest-ready fig tree branches buckling under the weight of perfectly ripe golden figs (perhaps White Genoa, Peter’s Honey or sweet, sweet Lattarula). To add insult to injury, the tree seems to remain untouched by birds.
As the lone tree (and fellow bus riders) mocked me, I found solace in the fact that I had three homegrown figs chilling out in my fridge. I knew just what to do with them; make my favorite cheesy bacon fig bombs or figs in a blanket as I also like to call them.
In the world of preserves (and pie), spring’s star couple is strawberry and rhubarb, the Fred and Ginger of Jam, the Brangelina of star power in a jar. One’s sweet, one’s sour, both show up in the garden or market at the same time, and their textures are different enough to keep the marriage interesting.
Seasonally speaking, the time is right to get your preserving pans out and invite this delicious duo into your kitchen for a little creative conjuring on the stovetop. Your toast, muffins, biscuits, and scones (and disposition) will be better for it.
I like to make jam a little differently, that is not employing a packaged pectin in the recipe. More times than not, I find the use of commercial pectin turns my jam into a standalone Jell-o shooter that tends to tumble off of the toast. I prefer to harness the powers of evaporation to concentrate the flavor and to create a thick spoon jam that stays put on my baked vehicle of choice, and at the same time spares me from wearing it.
At first, like with most things with food, I was shocked to learn that a person could actually keep their own bees. I learned this from my friend Kurt who has kept bees for years, he does this because it is yet another way to be connected to the food he eats (a nice way of saying he has a healthy sugar addiction). He once told me that he hoped by the time he was 70, that he would be good at beekeeping. I would argue that he is pretty good at it now, but I think he points to the nature of bee keepers, they rarely get in and out.
I don’t remember the first time I ever ate honey. I do know that it was probably from one of those placid-faced honey bear bottles, the ones with the long yellow screw-tops, the ones that you could never get the last little bit of honey out of, but it didn’t matter because honey was just a commodity; you could just throw the little plastic bear away, and buy a new one from the store.
I developed a fear of quicksand in my youth as it was an oddly popular element of danger in 70’s TV shows. Eventually my friend assured me that “quicksand doesn’t exist.” Apparently it was just pretend on shows like Dukes of Hazard and The Bionic Woman to make them more exciting. So, we incorporated quicksand into our playtime, jumping from pillow to pillow that we’d toss on the brown and gold shag carpet. “Don’t fall into the quicksand!”Such sweet memories…until recently when I learned a new word: liquifaction. This is what happens when an earthquake hits an area and dissolves the sediment in the ground until it becomes, yep, like quicksand, swallowing cars, people, whatever, when the ground shakes from solid into rapidly moving fine particles.
A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out the old walk in cooler at Island Meadow Farm. The door had been closed for a long time, its contents forgotten. For …