All posts by Angela Dice

Washington cottage food bill passes Legislature

Prepared jams and jellies

Legislators Friday passed a cottage food bill originally co-sponsored by Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island. The law is similar to those in 17 other states that ease restrictions on small-scale food makers.

It applies to people who make less than $15,000 (more in later years, based on inflation) selling “cottage foods” such as baked goods, jams, jellies and other preserves, and certain types of fruit butters.  The food can’t contain meat and cannot require refrigeration.

Those who stand to benefit are farmers and other aspiring food makers who want to test goodies for sale at farmers markets, for example, without having to spend the resources to rent time in a commercial kitchen (or find a certified community kitchen). The sales must be directly to a consumer, and other rules require a label that lists ingredients, lists the address where the food is made and carries the disclaimer, “Made in a home kitchen that has not been subject to standard inspection criteria.”

Producers must pay a $75 inspection fee (their kitchen gets an initial then at least annual inspection), get food handlers’ and other permits.

When the bill was first introduced, Bill Marler of Bainbridge Island, an attorney who specializes in foodborne illnesses listed short pros and cons in a blog post, the con, of course, being that people could get sick from food made in a home kitchen.

The final bill passed with only one vote of dissent in the Senate and has been sent to the Governor’s Office.

Weekend food and drink events around Kitsap

This weekend, foodies can choose from wine tastings and tours to the expanding openings of farmers markets.

Beer: Tonight (OK, technically not the weekend), Poulsbo will welcome it’s newest brewery, Sound Brewery. There will be a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. and the taps will pour until 9 p.m. I, unfortunately, will miss the grand opening, so I expect reports, people! After the grand opening, it will be open from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (when I hope to check it out, making it a weekend event for me). They’ll have six beers on tap at $4 a glass.

Farmers Markets: On Friday (again, not the weekend, but close enough) Olalla Valley Farmers Market makes its debut at 1 p.m. It joins Poulsbo and Bainbridge markets, both on Saturday, on the “open” list.

Wine and Cheese: From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Olympic Peninsula wineries will host their third annual Northwest wine and cheese tour. Area wines and ciders are paired with cheeses from Northwest creameries, which include Port Townsend’s Mt. Townsend Creamery. The tour is self-guided among the associations eight wineries. Tickets are $25 if purchased in advance online or you can pay a $5 tasting fee at each winery.

Bainbridge wine weekend: Bainbridge Island’s seven wineries will open their doors again from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for their monthly tasting event. Tasting fees run from free to several dollars. Information on the wineries is available at You can expect to see representatives from both The Food Life and Cheers to You blogs there.

Bremerton Bar and Grill opening delayed a day

Downtown Bremerton’s new restaurant, Bremerton Bar and Grill, apparently is pushing back its opening date. Instead of opening Monday, it will open Tuesday, April 19.

Owner Neighborhood Grills has, though, started filling up the restaurant’s website (I’ll mostly ignore for now that any restaurant website anymore thinks its a good idea to make readers download pdf menus) and set up a Facebook page.

The important part, though, is that it will it open at 5 p.m., the tail end of happy hour (as advertised by Neighborhood Grills , it goes from 3 to 6 and 9 to close every day). The beers and drinks may be $4 and $5, but the happy hour food plates range from $3 to $7.

Bainbridge offers encore stinging nettle class

Did you read about the stinging nettle foraging trip last month and wish you were there? Well, Bainbridge Island’s park and recreation district has decided to offer an encore presentation with author and foraging guru Langdon Cook.

This time around, the nettles participants gather during a short morning hike will be turned into a pesto pasta.

The class is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 (yes, that’s next week). Cost is $35 for island residents, $5 more for those off-island. Register by calling 206-843-2306 or go to Here’s the flyer (pdf) for the class if you want to print it off.