Fall updates: call for recipes, news on the Makah Ozette potato, and a wild salmon habitat volunteer opportunity

Do you have a recipe for fall?

apple basketAs the days get chillier, many of us naturally find ourselves warmed by the kitchen as a stew or sauce bubbles away on the stove top or a roast cooks in the oven. And if we are lucky, a friend, family member or neighbor will have shared their recipe for the perfect fall dish. We’re hoping to offer some inspirational dishes to our Slow Food Seattle community. For our upcoming newsletter, we would like to feature your recipe! We’re looking for savory and sweet harvest recipes to share with your fellow Slow Food Seattle members.

From the recipes submitted, we will choose two of them to feature on the next Slow Food Seattle newsletter. If you have a seasonal recipe or perhaps a Thanksgiving favorite you would like to share in our upcoming newsletter, please email it with your name, the neighborhood you live in, and how long you have been a member to us at info@slowfoodseattle.org.

Help the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group:
A volunteer opportunity to restore wild salmon habitat

Mid Sound Fisheries - Planting Project

Photo courtesy of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Most of us have enjoyed a piece of grilled wild salmon a time or two. Some of us have even had the excitement of hooking one while fishing in the waters of Puget Sound. Maybe you have stood on the side of a stream and marveled at the sight of wild salmon making their way upstream to spawn in the very place they began their lives years before.

Have you ever wondered what you could do to help these amazing animals in their efforts to complete their life cycle? Wonder no more, pull on some rubber boots and meet the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the river banks of one of the tributaries to Mill Creek in Auburn as we volunteer a few hour to restore its this vital salmon habitat.

It doesn’t look like much but this tributary supports juvenile salmon, providing important off-channel refuge during high stream flows. The Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will be planting nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs over the course of a few days and need help to do so. A few hours from Slow Food Seattle members will greatly speed this effort and assure that wild salmon are welcomed home to clean, cool water in a free flowing stream.

Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group’s mission is to increase salmon populations to healthy and sustainable levels while working cooperatively with private landowners and others in the community to improve salmon habitat. They rely on volunteers and members to make habitat restoration a reality. Let’s help them make the project a success while being good stewards to our wild salmon populations!

Here are the details:

  • When: Saturday November 6th from 10am to 2pm
  • Where: Please meet at the corner of West Valley Highway and 15th Street NW. Parking is limited so car pool if possible. You will receive detailed directions once you sign up.
  • What to wear: Dress appropriately to plant young trees and be prepared for the day’s weather be it rain gear or sunglasses. Work gloves and sturdy shoes a must.
  • What to Bring: Mid Sound team will have warm drinks, some shovels and lots of small trees. Please bring your own shovel or basic garden tools (all clearly labeled) if they are handy. Remember to bring your our own drinking water, lunch and anything else that you need to make your day comfortable while digging in the dirt!

Sign up: Please put “Volunteer on November 6th” in the subject line when you email the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group with your name and a phone number: info@midsoundfisheries.org. All volunteers must be 18 years or older.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also find the Mid Sound Fisheries page here. A great opportunity to feel good and do your part to preserve wild salmon and essential fish habitat. Thank you!

Update on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium

Our Presidium has been in operation for almost four years (for background, see here as well as on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium page). The objective of having  an abundant regional seed source was realized last year by our partner, Pure Potato.

We had finally reached the long awaited three years it takes to develop the available genetic material into a field of virus free seed potato. There was an abundance of seed available for the 2010 planting throughout the region and seed was even sold to a large potato grower in California.  Pure Potato sold all of its seed this spring and most of the 7 regional nurseries who stocked the seed sold out to home gardeners by mid spring.

A highlight of 2009 was Essential Baking Company‘s (EBC) adopting the potato, contracting with Full Circle Farm and making their seasonal potato bread using the Makah Ozette Potato (MOP). The management of EBC declared this to be the most flavorful potato bread they had ever produced. They are committed to continuing to use the MOP when it is available in the future.

2010 has been a disaster year for the MOP. Flooding destroyed the entire crop of seed at Pure Potato. This is a severe setback for the Presidium as it will take another three years to regenerate the seed stock to the 2009 levels. Pure Potato having experience the success with this potato is committed to carrying on with its development. Full Circle Farm has also experienced a significant loss of crop due to flooding and will not be able to supply EBC this fall for its potato bread. Unless MOP can be sourced from California this year, we may be eating plain potato bread this fall.

If you have grown MOP this year, you can try to save some seed from your harvest. Keep them in a mesh bag in your refrigerator till spring.

Reflections on the Changing Seasons, Terra Madre and the Quillisascut Farm

By Amy Grondin

Walking my dog each morning through the fields near my home gives me a chance observe the changes that turning seasons bring. Today there was a definite nip in the air signaling for me that autumn was seriously taking hold and the summer that many say wasn’t had passed. If you are a farmer, you see the changes in your own fields as crops come in and out of season. For shoppers, the offerings displayed in Farmers Market stalls act as indicators of the changing seasons. Summer sweet berries give way to crisp apples, thin skinned summer squash are replaced by their hearty, thick fleshed winter cousins and delicate greens and shoots fall back for chard, kale and collards that cascade in green-purple waves on market tables, awaiting their turn in a sauté pan.

For me the coming of fall also finds me planning ahead for winter yet remembering the experiences and tastes of the past summer. One of the finest experiences, loaded with sun ripe flavor and hands on experience, was my week spent in early August at the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts in Rice, Washington for the Second Annual Slow Food Youth Workshop.

The first Slow Food Youth Workshop was proposed in October 2008 by Quillisascut Farm owner Lora Lea Misterly while attending the third Terra Madre gathering in Torino, Italy. Terra Madre is an international celebration of sustainable small scale food producers. It is hosted biannually by Slow Food International. At Terra Madre, religion, language barriers and debates are all set aside, not because the organizers ask that these differences be checked at the door, but because what is shared in common by the multicultural participants is so very powerful. All that attend Terra Madre are striving to preserve, foster and share their own unique way of producing sustainable food that is good, clean and fair.

During Terra Madre’s proceedings a challenge was issued by Slow Food USA Leader Josh Viertel for all in the room to bring Terra Madre home. Folks were asked to bottle up the energy and inspiration that was generated by the 5,000 people who were brought together from far reaching corners of the world. Once back home, how would each attending continue their work to produce good, clean and fair food while inspiring other to become a part of the sustainable food network?

The Slow Food Youth Workshop would be Lora Lea Misterly’s way to bring Terra Madre home. People between the ages of 18 and 29 would come to Quillisascut Farm for a week of learning first hand where their food comes from and how to embrace the seasonality of local goods. How lucky were Kim Bast and I to be standing next to Lora Lea at Terra Madre when she hatched the idea to host a workshop on her farm! While our status as youth had been officially dropped a while back, our role would be to assist at Quillisascut while learning with others through shared agricultural and culinary tasks.

Back home in Washington, with two Slow Food Youth Workshops completed, I happily report that a total of 22 Slow Food Youth representatives have visited the Quillisascut Farm. They have willingly taken on the duties of caring for goats and poultry, learned about organic gardening and had first lessons in making cheese with farm fresh goat milk. They have cooked meals together using the fruit, vegetables and meat raised on the farm, and have been overheard expressing their pleasure that the sustainably grown food they had followed from the field to the plate actually tasted better! Energized and relaxed at the same time by the rhythm of life on the farm, all shared increased awareness that our differences are our strengths and that respect, sustainable, biodiversity, community and enough are more than words – they are concepts to live a life by.

Much more than sustainable food was cultivated during the time spent on the Quillisascut Farm. And we have much to share! This past August four of the people attending the second annual Slow Food Youth Workshop were from Seattle. Two attending the workshop were sponsored by Slow Food Seattle – Andrew Heimburger from Seattle Culinary Academy and Erica Carre from FareStart – and two were sponsored by their workplaces – Ryan Stoy from Rainier Club and Anna Bazzi from TASTE at SAM.

 

These four exceptional individuals have agreed to work together with me to plan an event that will allow Slow Food Seattle members to meet them, hear their stories from the Quillisascut Farm and raise funds to send others from the Seattle area out to the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts in Rice, WA for the third annual Slow Food Youth Workshop in 2011! Stand by for updates and event details in November…But until then, please enjoy this recipe created by Chef Karen Jurgensen while teaching at the Quillisascut Farm School for Domestic Arts:

Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Kale and Chèvre Soup
The goat cheese adds a delicious tang to this comforting soup. The heavy cream binds the beans together and makes the soup thicker, so resist the urge to substitute whole milk or half-and-half. Because of the high fat content, this soup freezes well. Note: Canned beans are not a suitable substitute as the beans make their own stock and sauce.

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) Jacob’s Cattle beans or other white beans, rinse and soak overnight (3 parts water to 1 part beans, soaking water reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup tomato purée
  • 1 cup chopped preserved roasted red peppers (store-bought is fine)
  • 1 bunch black kale (or other kale), about 8 to 10 leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups (about three-quarter pound) soft goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Put the beans and soaking water in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and skim foam from the beans. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the salt (the water should taste lightly of salt). Cook about 1 hour, until the beans are soft in texture and creamy in flavor.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the carrot, celery, yellow onion and garlic, until the mixture is soft but not brown. Stir in the tomato purée, red peppers and black kale. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes and add salt to taste.

When the beans have finished cooking, stir in the vegetable mixture, bay leaves, thyme and chili flakes. Cook for about 20 minutes, then add the heavy cream, goat cheese and black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes more, then season to taste with salt.

Variations: In summertime use fresh tomatoes, peppers, and thyme. For a lighter minestrone-style soup, leave out the heavy cream and goat cheese.

— Recipe excerpted from Chefs on the Farm: Recipes and Inspiration from the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts by Shannon Borg and Lora Lea Misterly with recipes from Karen Jurgensen and photography by Harley Soltes (Skipstone).



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