August 2004September 2004 October 2004

09/26 - Internet Access at Lake Crescent Cottage

Just a quick note. Lake Crescent Cottage now has broadband internet access thanks to a new satellite link. We'll be spending more time out there this autumn.

Keywords: lake crescent cottage, autumn, lake crescent

Fall Color at the Potholes

09/23 - Deer Lake

The high country is still open around the High Divide. Needless to say, we didn't quite make it up to the divide itself, but we did make it up past Sol Duc Falls and up past Deer Lake to The Potholes. This is a climb of about 2200 feet.

Since it is late in September, we were glad that the snow has held off this long. We ran into some campers who had run into snow a few days before, so we know that the high country will be closing to casual hikers soon.

In exchange for our efforts, we got to see the fall foliage. The leaves are turning red and brown and gold. We could smell to leaves just starting to decay and the other crisp smells of autumn.

Summer wasn't completely over though. We did manage to grab a few of the last blueberries.

If you do plan to head up to Deer Lake, The Potholes, or beyond, do hurry. The snows will be coming soon.

More Fall Color
Even More Fall Color

Keywords: deer lake, high country, autumn, sol duc

09/18 - Lacinato Kale

The lacinato kale is in at the Farmer's Market.

Since this is the Kaleberg web site, you have probably guessed that we are fond of kale. This is true, but our favorite type of kale is lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale. It gets this latter name from its wrinkly texture, probably because it is wrinkly like elephant skin and green like lizard skin, so it fits one model, most likely obselete, of what dinosaur skin would look like.

Lacinato kale has a much richer flavor, and is more tender, than the most common type of kale found in supermarkets. We usually rip the leaf from the thick stalk and just saute it with garlic, or we'll saute it with a little oil and break a few eggs into the pan and stir continuously to make a revuelto. You can blanche it, but you don't have to.

Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale
Another great way to serve it is deep fried in peanut oil. We used to do this in a pot, but the resulting mess when the wet kale hit the hot oil was rather hard to clean up and easy to slip on. So, we bought a little Fry Daddy frier and we can now deep fry kale with impunity. Deep fried lacinato kale is translucent, like stained glass. It is crisp and crunchy, and the kale flavor seems to get concentrated by the heat.

Deep fried kale is also very filling, so you can't eat very much of it. We actually consider it a diet food.

Keywords: food, kale

09/06 - Seattle Notes

We were in Seattle yesterday, but we weren't going to the Huskies game or Bumbershoot. We sort of avoid stuff like that. Instead, we checked out Uwajimaya on 6th and Weller. This is the anchor store for the International District and includes a good Pacific Rim (and Pacific Middle, since it includes Hawaiian food) food court, a great fish store, a book store and it even has apartments upstairs. We were checking out stuff for our upcoming luau, so we bought some fresh gold label nori for the ahi tuna sushi, poked at the taro leaves wrapped in bundles and waved a few bunches of ti leaves about.

The real find though was in the pig department. If you were ever a Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel the Whatever fan, you may remember that the good guys often needed a reliable supply of blood to feed to friendly or captive vampires. Whenever we pass the blood distribution center on 68th and Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, we always think of this problem of feeding vampires. Only in New York City would they have a vampire friendly blood bank that delivers. How convenient can it get? If that new prima donna or best selling author has unusual culinary needs, all you have to do is call for take out. (Do they stuff menus under your door?)

Since Buffy and Angel were set in California, they couldn't just pick up the phone and order blood. They tended to use pig blood. This just gets us to the problem of getting pig blood, and that gets us to Uwajimaya where they sell it frozen. More importantly, they sell pig skin and sweet little pig's feet. It is surprisingly hard to buy pig skin. Even if you have your own pig slaughtered, the skin and feet are usually wholesaled or trashed since they requires a lot of processing to make them kitchen friendly.

So, if you do want to make a proper cassoulet, you can get pig skin and pig's feet at Savenors in Boston, Faicco's in New York City or at Uwajimaya in Seattle. A French housewife would be right at home.

We also made our pilgrimage to The Spanish Table at the bottom of Pike's Market and bought some really good paella rice. Did you know that paella rice is drier that Arborio rice used in risotto? We didn't, but now we do. In a sort of conservation of pig's blood rule, The Spanish Table was out of morcilla, black pig's blood sausage.

Then we tried out Tom Douglas's new restaurant, Lola. Lola has great Greek food, with kebabs and spreads, lamb and octopus, and all through it a bit of Tom Douglas's trademark Northwestern style. Why not salmon kebabs? Why not a real lamb burger with pickled green peppers? Go for the roasted potatoes alone.

Keywords: seattle, food, restaurants, fish, luau, new york city, salmon

August 2004September 2004 October 2004