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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


07/07/14 - Farmers' Market Update

Here's another photo update on the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Now that it is summer, the market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10AM to 2PM, and there are all sorts of wonderful vegetables, berries, fish, meat, bread, sausages and now cider on sale.

River Run Farm has great potatoes and oversized napa cabbage.

Eaglemount Wine and Cider with their wares from Port Townsend

Eaglemount Wine and Cider

Johnston Farm with all sorts of peas and greens, but no oats

Berries at Spring Rain Farm from Chimacum

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, port angeles, eagle, spring rain


07/06/14 - The New Bridge Over Ennis Creek

It's not really new. It opened back in February, but we finally made our way down along the waterfront to see the new bridge over Ennis Creek. It links the waterfront trail accessible from Railroad Avenue near the Red Lion in downtown Port Angeles and the rest of the Olympic Discovery Trail accessible from the parking lot near Morse Creek off route 101. It was actually possible to cross the creek before, but it required a detour inland. Now, one can head east out of town or west into town and stay along the waterfront.

The area around the bridge is the Rayonier site, once a paper pulping mill, and now a toxic waste site. It's a bit industrial, but industrial softened by time as old metal rusts, old wood crumbles, and brush and plant life take back their own. Unlike the rest of the trail, chain link fences block off the waterfront for about a half a mile, but the water remains in view. The bridge itself is good looking and offers a nice view of the strait. It's not pristine wilderness by any stretch, but it's a definite improvement.


View from the bridge

The town storm water holding tank, protecting the strait from run off

Industrial site

The cordon

A less pretty view of the bridge

Keywords: port angeles


07/05/14 - McPhee's Bodega

Lurid foods deserve lurid packaging. One of the fun things about traveling is seeing all the stuff that people overseas see as ordinary, but getting to appreciate them as wild, strange, or even outlandish.

Wasabi Iso Peanut - ISO is probably not the International Standards Organization.

Wonderful colors

Who can resist? What are they?

Keywords: port angeles, food


05/03/14 - Farmers' Market Update

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market has been ramping up for the season. Johnston Farm is back with potatoes, leeks, salad greens and other goodies. Spring Rain has its chickens, greens, and most recently, asparagus. The Family Farm and Nash Huber have been there with lots of green in their bins.

Elwha Apiary is back with their local honey. There's also a newcomer, Pacific Pantry, serving prepared food. The market is not quite fully ramped up, but things are happening.


Nash Huber - We were told that those are the last cauliflower we'll see for a while.

Johnston Farm - Potatoes, greens and more

More Johnston Farm greenery

The Family Farm has great baby turnips. We slice and salt the turnips, then saute the greens.

Spring Rain has vegetable starts, eggs, chickens and rhubarb.

Pacific Pantry is new. We haven't tried their goodies yet.

Spring Rain had asparagus. Spring is here.

Elwha Apiary is back.

A bit about honeybees

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, spring, spring rain


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


12/12/13 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town

We heard the siren relatively late last night. It got louder, then softer, then finally louder again. It was the annual Port Angeles Christmas firetruck. Santa was on board with his Christmas tree and his escort of elves collecting money for the food bank and passing out candy canes. Yes, Santa Claus is coming to town.

The Port Angeles Christmas firetruck

That's our neighbor's lights across the street.

Santa on his appointed rounds

Keywords: christmas, port angeles


11/24/13 - Along the Waterfront

We've been having some really clear air and good seeing lately. We took a short walk along the waterfront and had a great view of Mount Baker, ghostlike in the distance. It's a working waterfront with big ships, industrial ruins and a Coast Guard Station, but it can be quite pretty on some days.

You can see Mount Baker in the distance

Keywords: mount baker, port angeles


05/31/13 - View of Port Angeles

From this view, Port Angeles actually looks like a quaint sea side town. Who would have guessed?

Keywords: port angeles


05/21/13 - Spring Rain Farm

Things have been a bit thin at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market lately, so Spring Rain Farm & Orchards is a welcome new presence. They are from over in Chimacum and are sellnig asparagus, greens, lamb and eggs. Their card says they are run by John Bellow, Ph.D. We're looking forward to their season.

Spring Rain Farm & Orchard

Keywords: farmers' market, port angeles, spring, spring rain


03/26/13 - Three Shots

We haven't been up to much. Here are three photos of a sunset, some clouds and a fishing lure caught in a tree that we originally thought was some kind of early blooming flower.

A sunset (from our yard)

Some clouds (from along the Strait)

That fishing lure caught in a tree (looking down at Morse Creek)

Keywords: port angeles


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


02/22/13 - Morse Creek West

We often drive out to Morse Creek and park near the old railroad bridge. From there, we walk west towards Port Angeles. It's maybe a mile down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, and depending on time and energy, we'll walk for another mile or two towards town. Lately, we haven't been getting as far, but we have been seeing some amazing things.

Indian plum blossoms

Mount Baker framed by dark cloud and water

One of the many eagles

Keywords: morse creek, mount baker, port angeles, eagle


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


10/04/12 - Johnston Farm at Good To Go

We're big fans of Johnston Farm and make a point of shopping at their stand every Saturday at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Now Christy has taken her show on the road, so every Wednesday, from 11AM to 2PM, you can buy her great produce at Good To Go. Good To Go, is on Lauridsen Boulevard at Eunice Street, so it's really convenient for us. If you missed the market or just need some fresh produce on a Wednesday, drop by and see what's fresh. You can also drop in to Good To Go and buy your milk, eggs, bread and other goodies.

Johnston Farms Road Show

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, good to go, johnston farm, port angeles, shopping


10/02/12 - Market Mushrooms

This is just a quick Port Angeles Farmers' Market update. The fall mushrooms are coming in at WIld West along with king salmon and black cod. Nash has cauliflower, carrots, arugula and broccoli. Johnston Farms has amazing lettuces, celery, potatoes and lots of little tomatoes. In other words, autumn is a coming in.

Wild West mushrooms

Nash Huber

The Family Farm

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles


06/13/12 - Port Angeles Farmers Market

This has been a cold spring, so the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is still a bit lean, but there have been signs of spring, and, with the solstice coming soon, we are hoping for signs of summer. We've been buying eggs, spinach, arugula, chards of various colors, salmon, halibut, salad greens, potatoes, garlic and asparagus. Yes, Westwind Farm still has asparagus in June. According to the farmers, things are looking up, but already we are buying more and more of our groceries at the market, and we're looking forward to more.

Nash Huber

Westwind Farm

The Korean garlic lady, with greens

Johnston Farm

Kol Simcha with lamb - The Clark family was also there selling their beef and pork.

The Family Farm is back.

Mystery Bay has steamed clams and oysters.

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters, port angeles, salmon, spring, summer, westwind farm, garlic lady


04/28/12 - Spring Comes to the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

It's starting to look like spring at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Westwind Farm has their first asparagus along with potatoes, winter squash and their wonderful eggs. Johnston Farms is back with fresh coriander, squashes, braising mix, sunchokes, potatoes and other goodies. The Korean garlic lady has her garlic and greens, and Nash Huber's stand is loaded with a broad variety of raabs - flowering kales, cabbages and so on. In other words, the long winter is over.

Johnston Farms

Westwind Farms asparagus - We bought most of these, but there will be more next week.

Nash Huber's stand

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


03/11/12 - Clark Family Beef Cheeks

One rarely hears about beef cheeks. Everyone knows sirloin steak and filet mignon, and even oxtails and beef tongue have their followers, but beef cheeks seem to be neglected. We recently bought a few beef cheeks from the Clark Family Farm at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market and braised them using a variant on a Gourmet Magazine recipe. Beef cheeks have a rich meaty flavor, and properly prepared they are as tender as silk. We threw in a pack of oxtails we had missed the last time we cooked up a batch of oxtails, but the beef cheeks were the star of this show.

Kind of scary looking
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 tbsp olive oil (or so)
  • 2 lbs (or so) beef cheeks with the fell removed, plus any oxtails you may have flopping around
  • 6 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp cocoa or chocolate nibs or other unsweetened chocolate
  • 2-3 cups dry red wine
  • 1 large can whole tomatoes (28-32oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste
There's obviously a lot of flexibility here. We like lots of vegetables, so we add lots. You can probably add some garlic as well if you wish. You do want to remove the fell from the beef cheeks if it has one, as well as any extra fat. Also, we are lazy choppers, so we mainly just slice, except for really fat carrots.

NOTE

This is a pretty generic beef recipe. You can cook beef cheeks, oxtails, short ribs and probably other cuts that benefit from long, slow braising this way.

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Use a pot, with a cover, that you can use on the stove top and in the oven. We use a big old Le Creuset. Heat it up on the stove top with a few tablespoons of oil and brown the meats on all sides. Do this is in a few batches, so you can caramelize the meat a bit. Raise the temperature gently, but you want that Maillard reaction. After browning each batch, put the meat aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. Brown the vegetables over slightly lower heat. Don't panic if a brown crust forms on the bottom of your pot. Just use a plastic spatula and it should dissolve with the water beig released by the vegetables.
  4. Put the meat and any juices back in the pot. Add the cocoa powder and the wine and bring to a boil. Let it cook down a bit, but you'll want enough liquid so that the meat is largely submerged. Gourmet says to cook the liquid down to half its volume. We just boiled it for five or ten minutes and declared it ready.
  5. Then add the tomatoes with their liquid, some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil again, then put the pot, covered, in the oven for at least THREE hours. It can't hurt to cook it longer. Braised beef cheeks are not about cooking a pointe.
  6. Let it cool and stash it in the refrigerator overnight, or better yet, for a day or two. Remove any fat, reheat and serve.

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, port angeles, recipe


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