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  1. The happy hour is a good deal. They make small versions of any of the pies for $5. We stopped in and had a couple of pies a couple of weeks ago before heading over to Baconopolis! (and yes, we had bacon (pancetta) on one of the pies, had to warm up you know)
  2. mmmmm, can't be at one of the pizzerias, but sounds like a good reason for (yet) another Salumi primo!
  3. Eden, I'm glad your tomato is not an only child! Have hope for the favas, if they are not getting eaten alive by aphids, then there's hope. I plant my tomatoes in a different section of my p-patch every year, so that in general they are not in the same place as they were in the previous 2 years (does that make sense?). I don't know how much it matters, but crop rotation is always suggested for organic gardening, so I do it. Being in a p-patch, it's all sunny, so I'm lucky that it doesn't really matter where in the patch they are. My carrots are poking along slowly--I always grow regular (purple and orange) and usually they grow really well, but this year they have been slow to germinate and somewhat sporadic in their germination as well. No idea why. I have a seasonal p-patch, so don't do fall/winter crops.
  4. We've had about a dozen and a half sungold tomatoes, starting about a week and a half ago. They are sweet, but seem smaller so far than what I've had in the past. The favas are finally ready to pick--but quite a few plants had to be pulled because they were completely covered with black aphids. We have never had aphids so bad! Fennel is happy too--braised some last weekend and had it over pasta with some pancetta--yummy!
  5. We really enjoyed our trip over to Walla Walla over the 4th. Started on Thursday with a quick stop at Colville-it was mid-afternoon, so not many pastries left, but picked up a brioche with strawberries, a lemon poppyseed quick bread, and a chocolate chip cookie. Hubby said the quick bread was quite delicious, and I guess I'll believe him as I didn't get a single bite! Unfortunately I didn't eat the brioche until the next morning, and I thought it a little dry, probably because it was a day old. Otherwise the flavor was good. Next we went across the street to Luscious for a refreshing glass of hard cider and a flatbread. It was about 95 degrees, and the waiter was kind enough to bring out a fan with a mister. Cute place, but I had thought since they call themselves an urban market, that there would be more items to purchase, i.e. cheeses or breads or other such items that you could take for a picnic. That night we had dinner at Saffron and everyone really liked the food. We had a couple of flatbreads (obviously we were on some sort of flatbread theme...), the beef cheeks, papparadelle with braised pork and a few other items. The cheeks were really yummy. Saturday and Sunday returned near opening time to Colville--had the kouign aman, a cannele, an almond croissant, and a pain au chocolate. A friend also had the goat cheese and herb croissant. While I loved all of these, I thought there could be more chocolate in the chocolate croissant (but I always think there could be more chocolate...), and thought in general the croissants were a little buttery. Now I know that is a key ingredient, but there was quite a butter stain where they sat. The croissants I picked up on Sunday were, however, not quite as buttery, but still that wonderful flakiness. And I absolutely loved the caramelyness of the kouign aman and the creaminess of the cannele! Saturday afternoon we stopped at the brewpub in Waitsburg, which was refreshing since it was hot all weekend. From there we went over to jimgermanbar and had some great crostini and cocktails. They definitely know how to mix drinks there. Then across the street to Whoopemup. We all enjoyed the food here--we had corn fritters and fried oysters to start--who doesn't love fried food?? The oysters were very fresh tasting. Most of us had the gumbo to start, and it was extremely tasty, possibly the favorite item of the night, although we enjoyed everything. We stayed with the theme and had fried chicken, etouffee, jambalaya, and mac n cheese. After that, there was no room for anything else. We cooked in the other nights, so that was the extent of our food tasting. We did do wine tasting (of course!) Fri, Sat, and Sun, complemented midday everyday with some lovely salamies and cheeses from Salumerie Cesario, and some homemade crackers and caponata I'd brought. There was a lot of good wine, and we came home with 3 cases! There went the wine budget, guess we'll need to slow that down for a while We had a great time, and I really appreciate the input from all the eGulleters about the places to try. (Maybe next time the Salumerie won't be out of the Petit Jesu, which Ling had gotten me all excited about...)
  6. Hi, We're going over to Walla Walla for the 4th, and definitely will be hitting Saffron and Colville based on all the great reviews and Ling's great pictures! We are going with friends who really want to try Creektown Cafe. After the comments posted here, I'm skeptical and am leaning toward 26 Brix. Is Creektown really horrible--I'd really like to try to convince her not to go if it is. Thanks!
  7. I do mind for me!, but I guess for the tomatoes it just means they stay in their wall-o-waters. They seem to be quite happy in them, and are starting to push out of the top. The peppers are also under cover in the (usually futile) hopes that they will make something of themselves. I don't know what the mache looks like when it sprouts, but I don't see anything yet in that area--and I've put seeds in twice! The favas are only about 8" tall--we are always way behind since we can't plant until mid-April, but we still usually get a good crop, so for those of you in the flower stage--in my book you're way ahead!
  8. I tried okra last year - got great looking plants with not even a shred of okra on them. I couldn't even figure out where the okra would have been if there had been okra (having never seen an okra plant before). So, if anyone gets okra going, I'd love to see it. ← I grew some in Seattle years back - the flowers (I think they only bloom for one day?) are similar to hollyhocks and the pod is left after the flower is gone. ← I grew some a few years ago. The flowers were open only one day and then the pod would grow. It seemed a lot like zucchini in that one day I would go look at them and they would seem almost ready to pick, then I'd go back a couple days later and they were too big (and therefore too tough). However, I only had maybe 6 plants, and could never get enough ready at once to pick a full serving. So they typically just got added to other dishes with veggies. I decided it wasn't worth it.
  9. Well, I have had the same problem...waste time and space and just a few small peppers. But, I still could not resist this year, and put 8 pepper plants in the ground yesterday. Covered them up to keep them warm, but I always do that and it doesn't help. But a woman in my p-patch grew handfuls and handfuls of peppers last year with seemingly little effort--she was kind enough to share them with me. But of course that memory made me buy more plants and give it a chance yet again! She told me she heard a story that burying a couple of matches under the plant makes them happy--I don't know if that's what made them work, but can't hurt huh? I forgot to do that yesterday, but maybe I'll go tuck some in.
  10. Well, finally a nice spring weekend. Got out to the p-patch and planted the mache, peas, fava beans, potatoes, fennel, shallots, and spinach. I'm jealous of those already harvesting, but usually everything amazes me with how quickly they grow. The seasonal p-patches actually were open on the 18th, but with the SNOW!, I wasn't in the mood to go work the soil. From the looks of it, not many others were, either. It is hard to believe those bare patches of ground will be bursting with plants in a couple months. I can't wait! The blueberries at home are in bloom, as are the columnar apples. I was peeking at the fig and maybe see the start of a few figs--hopefully this year there will actually be some figs. I'm scared to prune it, although I'm worried about the length of some of the branches, but I want to have some chance of getting some fruit. Let's hope this cold spring means we're in for a warm summer!
  11. I have bought fresh masa at a small mexican grocery near my house. Can't remember the name but it is in a strip mall on 100th just north of Juanita Beach next the sewing and vacuum store. It has been a couple of years, and you had to give them a couple days notice, but the tamales I made with it were quite good, and different than the ones I made with masa harina.
  12. Oh lucky you! I guess that means it does better than the purslane in cooler weather. Unfortunately, I am in a seasonal p-patch and the season doesn't begin until mid-April, so I have to wait. Hummingbirdkiss, good luck with the potatoes. I only plant a few potato plants each year and so typically buy them in bulk at Molbaks, since you can buy just one of each variety if thats what you want to do. But last year I couldn't get one of the varieties I wanted and a woman at a nursery said to buy organic potatoes from the grocery store--I did and it (mind you I bought just one and it wasn't presprouted) was the weirdest growing potato I had. It took forever to get started and then put up just one main stalk. It had few potatoes, however the few it had were massive. I don't know if although organic, they can still put some growth-inhibiting spray or something on them to delay sprouting?
  13. Per a couple gardening sites wild purslane is invasive but the "gerden" and "golden" purslanes (upright varieties) are not. Also they apparently have no tolerance for freezing so are unlikely to overwinter in our area... ← I grew golden purslane last year. I thought since it was eaten like a lettuce that it would like being planted in early spring like you would other lettuces. Anyway, that completely failed. So I replanted it--again most of the seeds failed to germinate. But I had one tiny plant that just sat there barely growing--so I threw the rest of the seeds in, and about that time it started getting warm--well those purslane plants just took over that corner of the garden. It wasn't a matter of being invasive, just a matter of you don't need more than a couple of plants because they ended up getting massive. The leaves don't hold that well after being picked, either, so in the end I just couldn't keep up with it. This year instead of purslane I am going to try corn salad.
  14. I have grown those purple carrots the last two years and plan on growing them again this year. I still also grow orange carrots, but really love the purple ones. They are so beautiful! Never thought of pickling them--did pickle some purple romano beans last year and they just turned a mottled shade of green. Do the carrots stay purple?
  15. Since I read it in Saveur quite a few years ago, I quit buying baking powder and bought a case of Bakewell Cream--which is a substitute for cream of tartar. You mix it with baking soda to make baking powder just like you would cream of tartar. It is aluminum-free, so no metallic taste. It also has a long shelf life--I just mix a small jar at a time of baking powder. I have been happy with how it works.
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