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07/28/14 - Kale on the Loose

We've always been big fans of kale. After all, kale is a feral vegetable. So, take a look at this photo. That's the first feral kale we've spotted, growing right along the Olympic Discovery Trail between downtown Port Angeles and Morse Creek.

Wild kale by the side of the trail

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, kale


05/17/14 - Russian Easter

Yes, we know that real Russian Easter was back in April. Still, there are the Old Calendrists, who rejected the Gregorian calendar, the New Calendrists, who accepted the Gregorian calendar, and the Kaleberg Kalendrists who make up their own calendar.

What does this mean? It means we served buckwheat pancakes with too much butter and salmon roe. We served enemies of the czar, corned beef reubens made with real Russian dressing. We served Trotsky's Bane, tequila, tabikko and wasabi, in oversized cucumber cups. We served Russian dumplings, deadly pelmeni, capable of destroying two years of dieting in one brief sitting. We served home made sausage from an emigre recipe. Russian Easter food is most definitely NOT dietary food.

Then came the Defense of Moscow, our set piece dessert with an oversized Baked Alaska standing in for the premier city of czars and commissars, though not both at the same time. While the 1812 Overture played in the background, we retold the tale, the tale of the Monster Napoleon and his assault on the heart of Russia. Scorched earth, that is, brownies, coffee ice cream and meringe, was all he found after we symbolically burned Moscow to the ground, ironically lighting the flames with French brandy.


Baked Alaska for the Defense of Moscow

Our champagne forest

Home made sausage, pelmeni, blini and salmon - Note how the sheer mass of these dishes has warped the light used in taking this photo.

Enemies of the czar - destroyed!

Trotsky's Bane - Mexican exile and tequila did not agree with him. He probably didn't like vegetables very much either.

Keywords: russian easter, kale


03/22/14 - Farmers' Market Update

These are thin times at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market, so we've been buying what we can. Nash Huber, for example, had some spinach, so we assumed that the spinach season was starting. We were wrong. The young man at the stand filled us in. That was likely it for spinach for a while. Still, Nash Huber did have all sorts of raab, that is flowering young cabbages, arugulas and kales. They are sweet and delicious, and they are only available this time of year.

Spring Rain had their chickens, but they also have their greenhouse. That means salad greens, baby kale and all sorts of exotic things, mainly green vegetables. We have our hopes.

New at the market was Eric Pozgay, the Pasta Guy. He was selling freshly made pasta. Fresh pasta may be a hallmark of gentrification, but Port Angeles is a few miles down the road, so it was nice to see it on sale.

Dungeness Seaworks had some fine whole fish, good looking salmon, but we had to pass this week.




Keywords: dungeness, farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, salmon, spring, kale, spring rain


12/15/13 - The Kaleberg Christmas Party

To celebrate Christmas, the Kaleberg Compound was converted into a Christmas cave, shrouded in greenery and full of warmth and light. There was also cassoulet. Two years ago we had some problems with our cassoulet, but this year we bought most of our pork products from the Clark Family Farm, so our cassoulet was a sparkling success. In fact, this may have been our best cassoulet ever.

This party was also the coming out party for our renovated Empire State Building, now with glowing Neopixel lights, and it gave Godzilla an excuse to positively glow with atomic fire.


Welcome to the Kaleberg Compound.

Our big tree and the decorated mantle.

Our party spread with half and half cookies, dried fruit sweet meats and our illuminated fruitcake. Not shown: the egg nog and the brie en croute with cranberry chutney.

Another view of the table.

Atomic flames, holly lights, skyscrapers and a fruitcake

The big tree in full form

The cookie tree waiting for its gingerbread

The cassoulet

Our champagne forest

Keywords: christmas, clark family, kale


11/20/13 - Butternut Squash Pizza

We often order the butternut squash and bacon pizza at Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim. This time we tried to make our own version, so we roasted up some butternut squash, pan fried some bacon, sauteed some mustard greens, soaked some dried porcini and grated some parmesan. Thats a bit of work for a topping, but that's what Kaleberg Kitchens is all about. It also isn't quite the Alder Wood recipe. The mustard greens were our own idea, and we use the Chez Panisse pizza recipe in a regular oven, not a wood fired one. Still, it was a really good pizza, especially the sauteed mustard greens.

Our version

Keywords: alder wood bistro, recipe, food, kale


09/09/13 - The Truth About Kale

Our friends all know that we're crazy about kale, but we recently ran into some terrifying news. Not only is our favorite vegetable, and partial namesake, full of chemicals, but it could destroy the planet. Check out the article Just Kale Me.

It's hilarious. (No, the kale cultivars we eat have extremely low levels of the chemicals noted, though there are heirloom varietals with higher ones. No, no one is expecting kale to feed the world. Most people will go on eating the usual staples, but maybe with a nice dish of kale on the side.)


The terrible truth about our favorite vegetable

Keywords: food, science, humor, kale


07/30/13 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

Summer is here, and the market is finally full of fruits and vegetables. This means potatoes, zucchini, kales, chards, scallions, garlic, broccoli, apricots, nectarines, and cabbages. The big newcomer is Spring Hill Farms with their greenhouse tomatoes, wonderful berries and roaster chickens, but the regulars are there as well. The Korean garlic lady is selling her great garlic, scallions and greens along with Korean dumplings. The Johnston Farms stand keeps growing, and Nash Huber's stand is no longer only half full.

Clark Farm is still selling their full flavored local beef, their sausages and often pork. There are no signs of the fish guys, but if you want to buy fish, check out Country Aire on First and Oak. They have fish from High Tide Seafood among others, and what we've tried has been pretty good.


Spring Rain berries

Spring Rain heirloom tomatoes

Spring Rain zucchini

Nash's apricots, nectarines & friends

More of Nash's vegetables

Keywords: farmers' market, kale, spring rain


06/09/13 - Pork Belly and Melon Salad

We don't have any pictures for this entry. As so often happens with Kaleberg food postings, getting a picture is a matter of photographic speed, that is, photographing the food before we eat it. In this case, the dish was long gone, but we promised Mrs. Clark that we'd post the recipe, so here goes:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 lbs of pork belly (obviously, this can vary)
  • 4-6 whole star anise stars
  • lots of coriander seeds - 1/4 cup maybe
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-4 tbsp sherry
  • 6-8 whole allspice
  • 1-3 cups of fresh cilantro, mint, basil or some combination
  • 2-3 shallots (or, in a pinch, 6 scallions)
  • 1/2 cantelope, honeydew melon or even (less than 1/2) watermelon
  • 1 -3 thai bird chilis or fresh jalapeno, to taste
  • optionally 1/4 cup peanuts, 0-3 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp nam pla
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh lime juice (at least one lime's worth)
We're a bit vague on the quantities here. This dish has a lot of flexibility.
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Put the pork belly in a pot and add water to cover it. Add 2 star anise stars and 2-3 tbsp coriander seeds. Cover and bring it to a boil and let cook gently on the stove top or in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes. Let it cool in the liquid and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, remove the pork belly from the cooking liquid and put it in a braising pan (e.g. a dutch oven) with a lid. Make a bath for it with sherry, 2 tbsp soy sauce, crushed allspice (not ground), 2 star anise stars and 2-3 tbsp coriander seeds. Bring to a boil on the stove top and put it in a 350F oven with the lid partially open for 3-6 hours. Cook until the liquid is cooked to a syrup and the fat has browned.
  3. Cut up the pork belly into crispy chunks and put it in a big salad bowl.
  4. Add the pork belly to the cilantro, mint, and/or basil.
  5. Clean and slice 1-2 shallots and add to the pork belly.
  6. Cut the melon into chunks and add to the pork belly.
  7. Clean and slice (finely) a jalapeno or a few Thai bird chiles and add them.
  8. If you wish add some peanuts, scallions, or sriracha sauce.
  9. Dress the salad with 2-3 tbsp nam pla, 2-3 tbsp sesame oil, and at least one lime worth of lime juice.

Keywords: recipe, kale


05/25/13 - The Domes of St. Basil's

Every year we retell the story of Russian Easter, that is, the Kaleberg version. In our version Mother Russia is attacked by the monster Napoleon and his terrifying Grand Armee. The only defense against is the Russian winter and a scorched earth policy, a policy that requires the burning of Moscow. Ironically enough, this is accomplished using French brandy.

We perform this as a set piece. We serve a Baked Alaska made of brownies and coffee ice cream and topped with a meringue, though this year we had good luck using vanilla ice cream. Every year the domes signify the domes of the St. Basils in the heart of Moscow, and every year the flames of brandy adorn the city as part of its last ditch defense while the 1812 Overture plays in the background.


This year's domes, 2013

The making of Moscow

We like the look and taste of the vanilla ice cream topping better than meringue.

A dome in progress

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

Keywords: russian easter, kale


05/10/13 - Hurricane Ridge Melt Watch

We've been watching the snow melt at Hurricane Ridge on the park webcams, and we've been following the snow depth at the weather website, but we had to drive up and see what is happening live.

The Kaleberg Report - The snow is melting rapidly. We were quite surprised. The phlox is in bloom a bit below the Switchback trailhead, so the high country is opening for the season. The biggest surprise was the state of the road to Hurricane Hill. It was blocked off by a barricade of orange highway cones, but instead of the usual high ramparts ending in a wall of snow, the road seems to have been plowed, at least as far as we could see. It may even be open now as you read this.


There's more and more grass showing.

We are reminded that summer is coming.

More signs of melting snow

The ramparts and the barricade

but, the Hurricane Hill Road has been plowed and may soon open.

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, weather, kale


03/31/13 - Late Season Duck Confit

Duck confit is usually a fall or winter dish Chez Kaleberg, but this winter we kept delaying things. Preserving four ducks in their own fat is a bit of a production. We skipped January after all the excitement and cooking of the Christmas season back in December. Then we skipped February due to miserable colds. Then came March and the start of spring. We almost never make a duck confit in the spring or summer, but this year we let the equinox slip by without getting our ducks in a row. Still, when it comes to duck confit, it's better late than never, so we ordered our ducks and cut them up and rendered the fat, and you can see the results, still warm from the oven to the right. Let's face it. It's never too late for duck confit.

Keywords: ducks, spring, food, kale


02/25/13 - Port Angeles Farmers' Market Update

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market gets a bit quiet in the winter, but it doesn't quite close down. There are always a few regulars and even a few newcomers to keep things interesting. Nash Huber's stand has been anchoring the market by its lonesome, and even they have run out of carrots, though they still have some nice kale, turnips and potatoes.

The Chimacum chicken (and other stuff) stand is gone for the time being, but Dungeness Seaworks is back selling salmon, halibut and ling cod. It's good to see them. We also tried out Jose's Salsa, but not the salsa. We tried a bunch of tamales and some of the chiles rellenos, and we can honestly report that they are quite good. Our favorite tamale was the vegetarian one with spinach, but the pork and chorizo tamales were pretty good too. The chiles rellenos were plumply stuffed with cheese, coated with batter and deep fried. They reheated nicely in the oven, so we've been living on Jose's for a few days now.

We aren't sure who is going to be at the market next Saturday, though we're hoping to see Johnston Farm again, and possible a few other regulars. It's a long way to spring, let alone the growing season, but the farmers' market is still worth a trip downtown.


Nash Huber's stand - a stalwart anchor

A terrible picture of Dungeness Seaworks - It's that low winter light.

An even worse picture of Jose's Salsa - We'll try for a better one.

Chiles rellenos

Assorted tamales

Keywords: farmers' market, nash huber, port angeles, salmon, winter, kale


01/12/13 - New Farm at the Farmers' Market

This is a sparse time at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. A few regulars have been stalwart: Johnston Farms, the Korean Garlic Lady, and Nash Huber, offering a nice selection of winter vegetables: brussels sprouts, potatoes, squash, collards, kale and the like. Clark Farm has been there offering beef, pork and lamb - a veritable conglomerate, despite their failure to capture the geese in time for Christmas. (Wait until next year.)

However, there was one newcomer, Spring Rain Farm and Orchard was in from Chimacum offering a variety of winter squashes, preserves, eggs, and chickens. The birds are a French breed, so we bought one. It's a large roaster, so stay tuned to this site. We'll be roasting and taste testing soon.

UPDATE - 1/25/13 - We have tasted the bird, simply roasted, and it was delicious.


The new farm at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, garlic lady, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, winter, kale, spring rain


12/13/12 - More Christmas Pictures

There is no such thing as too many Christmas pictures Chez Kaleberg.

Our mantle - Yes, this is technically not a Christmas picture, but there is no need to get technical.

The big tree - There wasn't room for the spire on top!

Two kissing lizards

Keywords: christmas, kale


12/10/12 - Our 1,000th Web Site Posting

We first registered kaleberg.com back in 1996. That's sixteen years ago. We created the original Kaleberg web site as a place for our restaurant reviews, humorous essays, travel pictures, software and the like. Around 2004, we shifted from a simple web page layout to a more blog like format with dated entries. Since then, we've posted a total of 1,000 such entries. That's a lot of entries.

In honor of the occasion, we're highlighting a link to an old version of our home page. It's the oldest one we still have around. We think it's from the late 90s based on its contents. To the right is an old version of the Kaleberg logo, from back when animated GIFs were a big thing on the web. They fell out of fashion, and we moved with the times. Apparently, they've been coming back in style, so enjoy an exciting Kaleberg action sequence and help celebrate our 1,000 web log posting.


The old Kaleberg logo - The Titanic hitting a Kaleberg

Keywords: historical, kale


10/29/12 - Halloween Spirit

We had a little gathering of ghouls to get into the Halloween spirit. Being Kalebergs, this meant some serious cooking in the Kaleberg Kitchen.

We started with a Spider Cake. That's an orange cake with chocolate fudge cockaigne filling and a thick layer of orange icing on top. We drew a spider in her web on top using chocolate frosting.

Then we made little buffalo burger devils. Those are little buffalo burgers on Parker House rolls with Kaleberg ketchup, pickles and onion. The devil horns were cut from a red pepper.

No Halloween is complete without disembodied eyeballs. It's a cliche, but an important one, so we hollowed out some of the last tomatoes of the season and filled them with a mixture of cut up iceberg lettuce, bacon crumble, chopped up tomato and mayonaisse. It's sort of an inside out BLT without the toast.

Finally, we made sausage mummies. You can see one of them being wrapped below. We used chorizo and andouille and strips of puff pastry. They're really easy to make, and as we know from excavations of ancient Egyptian burial sites, they're a dish with a long tradition.


A Spider Cake - orange cake, chocolate fudge filling, orange icing and a chocolate spider in its web

Devil burgers

No Halloween is complete without disembodied eyeballs.

Ancient Egyptian burial customs

Sausage mummies

Keywords: halloween, food, kale


09/03/12 - Store Brand Popcorn

We aren't sure who designs these boxes of store brand products, but someone must be having fun. We've already posted on the various cereal clones, but now the house brands are taking over the popcorn shelf with horrible puns. You'll notice the packages are shaped just like the major brands, but the labels are quite distinctive.

That container looks like Orville Redenbacher's, but the label says Corn to be Wild and Lieutenant Kernel.

We aren't sure of who does the artwork here, but it was probably done pretty late at night.

It's like something out of Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend.

Keywords: art, kale


07/24/12 - Home Made Tofu

We first had artisanal bean curd in Honolulu. It was absolutely delicious, far better than any tofu we had bought in a store. We've been trying to locate some in Port Angeles or the Seattle area with no success, so we decided to make our own. It's not particularly hard, but it is a bit messy. We used about a pound of dried soy beans and three quarts of water. That meant three messy rounds in the food processor making up the mixture, then straining it through cheese cloth. That got us a fair bit of raw soy milk.

We brought the soy milk to a boil, let it cool to 190 degrees, then added two teaspoons of nigari. Nigari is a mineral salt, related to epsom salts. Within a few minutes, the soy milk had started to curdle and, maybe ten minutes later, we had big, cloudy curds floating in soy milk whey. We strained out the curds in a cheese cloth and pressed out the excess liquid using a little tofu press. Thanks to the miracle of high speed photography, you can see the final block of tofu in the photo before we Kalebergs got to it.


It doesn't look like much, but it tasted great.

Keywords: food, kale


07/15/12 - Pea Report - Spring Comes To Port Angeles

The Johnston Farm had the first garden peas of the season at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market this past weekend, and the Korean Garlic Lady had her first new potatoes, so we Kalebergs had one of our favorite spring dishes, and well before August at that. It's based on an Edna Lewis recipe and it's a simple dish to make.

Just boil the potatoes until they are almost cooked through, but not quite. Microwave the peas for a minute or two. Then drain the potatoes, add the peas, a half cup or so of chopped dill and a cup of milk. Bring the milk to a boil and finish cooking the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and you're done.


Peas!

Garden peas, new potatoes, dill and fresh whole milk

A market meal with salmon burgers, swiss chard and our favorite pea dish

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, recipe, salmon, spring, garlic lady, kale


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