Tag Archives: sequim

Weekend food events: Lavender festival foods, Bite of Seattle, strawberry festival

For this week’s food news roundup, I thought I’d serve up a few ideas for food-inspired day trips this weekend.


Lavender on the Tongue

As part of this year’s Sequim Lavender festivals, a new one called Lavender Farm Faire has been added, an it includes a culinary program with food, crafts and cooking demonstrations at Carrie Blake Park (click for a Google map). The festival started Friday, but goes through Sunday.

Five cooking demonstrations will happen Sunday, though Sunshine Lavender and Herb Farm will host several a day today and Saturday. Among what’s cooking will be a four-course meal made by Cedarbook Lavender and Herb Farm with a spring green and asparagus salad with cranberry lavender vinaigrette, roasted red potatoes with Herbs de Provence (with lavender, of course), grilled flank steak with lavender pepper marinade and sautéed pears with lavender honey.

Farms also will offer lavender-laced (and non-lavender) foods throughout the fair. The wine and beer garden also will offer a taste of Olympic Cellars’ lavender infused wine Mélange Nouveau. Purple Haze restaurant will have a variety of food and lavender cocktails (margaritas and cosmopolitans).

For more information, visit sequimlavenderfarms.org.

Bite of Seattle

Across the water on the other side of Kitsap this weekend is the annual Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center.

For those who’ve in the past grown tired of going and getting filled up on only one giant plate of taste (or bursting at the seems when you try to top off two plates with a Shishkaberry),  this year’s festival requires participating restaurants to have actual bite-sized portions for $3.75, the Seattle Weekly reports.

Over at the Fisher Building, local celebrity chefs will offer near-hourly demonstrations for The Bite Cooks portion of the festival. And in the Alki courtyard, for $10, you can get into The Alley, hosted by Tom Douglas for tastes from both established and new Seattle restaurants. Most proceeds from the Alley benefit Food Lifeline, so you can feed your soul a little as well.

Strawberry Festival

Vashon Island is home to a festival more than a century old (though it apparently has had several names over the years). The Strawberry Festival has a variety of vendors, like those you’d see at a variety of small-town festivals, including booths with strawberry shortcakes, smoothies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.  The weekend festival also includes what I’ve decided should be a requisite at any festival, an early morning pancake breakfast (with strawberries!). A shuttle leaves every 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. It’s $1 each way.

Pike Place Chef Demos

On Sunday, Pike Place Market hosts another of its Sunday chef demonstrations with Burce Naftalay of Le Gourmand at noon and Seth Caswell of emmer & rye at 2 p.m. Next Sunday is the second annual “Master of the Market” cooking competition.


Note on next weekend

The brewer lineup for Bremerton’s Summer Brewfest on July 23 was announced this week. The event will include 24 breweries, including Kitsap’s half dozen commercial breweries.

The same day (or maybe before) also is supposed to mark the opening of Bremerton’s Toro Lounge on Pacific Avenue.

And lastly, as I just mentioned earlier this afternoon, Sunday will be the inaugural Sunday farmers market in Bremerton.

Just a note

I apparently missed this when it went online in late May, but Bremerton’s Blackberry fest apparently got a nod from New York Magazine, which compiled a list of 50 food destinations in 50 states. They recommended the blackberry slugs and had this to say in general, “devotees can head to a three-day orgy of blackberry consumption: the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, held along the boardwalk in downtown Bremerton — a smallish Navy town southwest of Bainbridge Island on Puget Sound.” I pity the poor New Yorkers who’ll take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge and drive 50 minutes to Bremerton. Hopefully someone at the terminal will point them the right way.


Taking a Sip (or more) of Local Raw Milk

Yesterday, I tried my first drink of raw milk. I’d been reading about it here and there in the past couple years as groups of advocates have been pushing to allow its distribution in East Coast states. Washington state does allow it.

Standing next to a bright white glass of standard milk, it has a slightly creamy yellow cast. The raw milk is thick and coats the sides of a glass. It smells mostly the same, but with a kind

To me, it wasn’t quite like ice cream, as some raw milk-lovers have expressed, but it was definitely sweeter. The sweet hits you about mid-drink and a slight tang hits you at the end with an almost grassy aftertaste. Not grassy like taking in a mouthful of lawn, more like a fresh almost herb-like aftertaste. Being whole milk, it was also incredibly thick and creamy and the taste sticks with you.

A small glass was pretty satisfying. The only thing missing was a bowl full of strawberries or chocolate chip cookies.

The vast majority, if not all, of the raw milk available in Kitsap is raw Jersey milk from the Dungeness Valley Creamery in Sequim.

The farm has about 60 milking cows, said Sarah McCarthey, who returned to Sequim after college to work on her family’s farm.

The Dungeness Valley Creamery’s Jersey cows — which are prized for the high butterfat content in their milk — spend seven months of the year out in the pasture and are fed alfalfa hay in the winter. They get grain in the parlor at milking time, according to their site.

The family began selling raw milk about three years ago to get out from under federal milk price-fixing rules. They were able to tap into a growing demand for raw milk both from raw milk drinkers and to supply Mt Townsend Creamery with milk with about 300 gallons once to twice a week for their Tomme cheese.

They sell to a variety of stores and have drop-off points ranging from Port Angeles to Vancouver.

They bottle the milk one day and truck it out the next Tuesdays through Fridays.

Locally, you can get it (though you may have to get on a list first) at:

  • Real Foods of Bainbridge Island, Harbor Square, 764 Winslow Way E. The milk is delivered on Fridays. (206) 842-3333.
  • CJ’s Evergreen General Store, 1417 Park Ave. Milk is delivered on Tuesdays. Call to get on the list (360) 479-2708.
  • Port Townsend: The Food Co-op, 141 Kearney St. (360) 385-2883.

The creamery also has drop-off spots in Allyn, another in Bainbridge Gig Harbor, Poulsbo, Hansville, Lofall, Indianola, and Silverdale. Visit their site (scroll to the bottom) for drop-point contacts.

Raw milk, though, isn’t without its risks.

The USDA states, “Raw milk is inherently dangerous.” They list more than a dozen potentially harmful bacteria present in milk.

Advocates say that stance is too tough, that raw milk has plenty of health benefits, and that in dairies where the cows are well taken care of and the facilities are clean, the risks are minimal.

For a more in-depth look at the benefits vs. the risks, read/listen to a report from NPR last year or a story written by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the same time.

For now, at least, I’m a convert, though not a heavy milk drinker. I’ll be trying to use it to make a few food items, and if I have any success I’ll share.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it or if you’ve had any experience with raw milk.