Tag Archives: Eat Local

Kingston Nuts Seem to Be Everywhere

This year, it seemed like I was seeing Kingston-based CB’s Nuts in all sorts of places. I saw them selling  at Pyramid before a Mariner’s game in Seattle, at a few grocery stores, in a recent Seattle Times article and now, apparently, they’ll appear in a Seattle foodie delight: Theo Chocolates. Both Theo’s and CB’s retails stores will carry a new line of chocolates with CB’s peanut butter Butter Big Daddy, Peanut Butter Buddies and two flavors of Theo Confections: peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly.

I think this means I should tour their factory … and purchase some taste tests.

Bremerton Local Foods Grocer to Have an Open House

The promised FreshLocal grocery store in downtown Bremerton says they’ll really open soon and will host an open house  Nov. 6 timed with the First Friday artwalk.

They’re opening a little later than what was expected when I wrote about them in September. They apparently were waiting for  approvals from the City of Bremerton and the County Health Department, which they now have. They now have to finish installing equipment and purchase a business license.

Bremerton to Get Organic, Local Grocer

Here’s a story I wrote Friday for Monday’s paper. You’ll see it elsewhere on Kitsapsun.com, but I wanted to share it here too:

Even after the farmers-market tents have been folded up for the season, locally grown and made food will still be available in Bremerton.

Members of the newly formed FreshLocal nonprofit corporation envision a store that sells locally produced goods. It will have an open floor plan and engage in environmentally friendly practices, like favoring bulk goods over prepackaged goods and using energy-efficient appliances, heating and lighting.

“We’re doing everything we can to have a small carbon footprint and be part of the community,” said Jean Schanen of FreshLocal.

FreshLocal has all but signed a lease at 540 Fourth Street, a downtown building owned by Diamond Parking. Floor work and painting needs to be done, and a freezer, walk-in cooler and other equipment needs to be installed.

Schanen said she hopes to open the store within weeks.

She started ordering merchandise last month, storing it in her home until the shop is ready. Pounds of grain is on its way from Winthrop in Central Washington in anticipation of the store’s opening.

Schanen has long been involved in local food. She’s active with StartNow.org, a Bremerton group that encourages homeowners to rip out their ornamental grass and shrubs and grow an edible garden.

“Right now, local food is about 2 percent of our food supply in Bremerton. It’s just idiotically small, but people want it so badly,” she said.

FreshLocal is not connected with Kitsap Food Co-Op, which also is working to bring a store with local foods to Kitsap County, though “we certainly support them,” Schanen said.

“I think there’s plenty of room for more than one store selling local food in Kitsap,” she said.

FreshLocal will sell locally grown and raised produce, dairy, honey, meat and other products.

Schanen has busily been talking with local bakers and other food makers. They’ve also talked with Bremerton’s Coffee Oasis about selling the locally roasted beans.

Members also have talked with nearby Evergreen Kitchen about renting space to produce some foods there.

FreshLocal plans to bring in some organic bulk products and a few environmentally friendly cleaning products, such as locally made soap and biodegradable laundry detergent.

“We’re not going to try to compete with Safeway,” Schanen said. “We’re going into try to offer things you can’t get everywhere else.”

A few local farmers, such as Pheasant Field Farms in Silverdale and Harlow Gardens in Bremerton, have already sown winter crops in preparation for the store’s opening.

The idea for the store went too fast for some to put in winter crops.

“We expect to have lots more farmers involved before spring,” Schanen said.

Highlighting Restaurants that Serve Locally Grown Food

I was catching up on even more of my food reading, when I ran across a great I-shoulda-thought-of-that post from Bainbridge Island-based Sound Food blog.

They’re putting together information on local restaurants that serve locally grown foods, such as Mor Mor in Poulsbo  or Shima Sushi on Bainbridge Island. You’ll have to read their post for the rest.

Do you know of other Kitsap restaurants that serve locally grown foods? Please share.

Local Chefs Show Off Dishes With Home-Grown Goods

I’d like to direct your attention to a story in today’s paper about a local food, local chef cooking event next week. Chefs from our Great Peninsula will use local ingredients — from greens grown in Silverdale to pork grown in Port Orchard and more — to create dishes. From the story, “Highlights from the menu, which is still being finalized, include Jamaican goat curry, Korean vegetable soup, an Italian vegetable lasagna, French cassoulet, pork chili Verde and salads with homemade dressings.”

My major criticism of this event is that it’s being held when I’ll be out of town (though they did schedule it on my birthday), and I really want to go. So I’m going to have to count on my friends and blog readers to let me know how it is. If you’re interested, here are some of the basic details or you can go to www.localfoodchefshowoff.org and read Brynn’s story:

Peninsula Local Food Chef Show-Off

What: An event featuring local food prepared by local chefs

Where: The President’s Hall, Kitsap County Fairgrounds

When: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 4 to 10 p.m.

Cost: $25 prepaid; $30 at the door; $40 for couples


Monica Downen of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Cafe sent Brynn (and share here) this list of chefs and cooks and menu items for the event:

  • Kay Lee Jung, Port Orchard
  • Cheryl Chiddick, Island Jamz, Keyport
  • Thad Lyman, Brix 25, Gig Harbor
  • Shelly Lewis, Cosmo’s Deli, Port Orchard
  • Chris Plemmons, Olympic College and Two Snooty Chefs
  • Lowell & Heidi Yoxsimer, Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe, Bremerton
  • Jeff McLelland, Harbour Pub & Pegasus Coffee House, BI
  • Richard Kost & Cynthia Jeffries-Cyr, CJ’s Evergreen General Store, Bremerton
  • Monica Downen, Mark Downen & Leslie Chamberlain, Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Cafe, Silverdale
  • Marty Bracken & Stacy Grega, Agate Pass Cafe, Suquamish

The menu so far:

  • Jamaican Goat Curry
  • Korean vegetable soup
  • Pulled goat, Mediterrean style
  • Zucchini Gratin
  • Italian style layered tomato/vegetable dish
  • Farro salad with fresh vegetables and herbs
  • Salad greens and freshly made salad dressings
  • Cassoulet
  • Pork Chili Verde
  • freshly baked bread rolls

Bainbridge Island Ferry Farm Stand To Open

Starting tomorrow, Bainbridge Island ferry commuters will have a convenient spot Wednesdays to pick up fresh, local produce, courtesy of Sound Food. It’s set up as a speedy grab-and-go, $5 bag of fresh goodies that Sound Food volunteers put together and hand off (after payment, of course) to people getting off the 3:45 p.m., 4:40 and 5:30 ferries from Seattle.

Reporter Tristan Baurick checked out the stand and interviewed customers during its debut last year, if you’re curious about what they had to say. Over the 12 weeks the ferry stand was open, they sold about $11,000 worth of fresh produce, all of which went to the local farmers, Sound Food said.

Taming the Greens with a Garlicky Recipe


When I decided to join a CSA, I was prepared for what food bloggers and other folks said would be an onslaught of leafy greens in the spring, (and summer, and fall). I saw it as a challenge, an exercise for my budding creative culinary skills.

This winter, I bought loads of kale and a bunch of chard at the grocery store, looked up recipes on blogs and even came out with my own tomato, kale, garbanzo and sausage soup.

I saw this onslaught as an opportunity to get all the wonderful vitamins and good-for-you things greens provide, and envisaged a sudden turn to a healthy-eating lifestyle.

And then I got my first bunches of beet and mustard greens.

Actually, I didn’t even know what they were, and failed to ask before happily and proudly skipping away with my bagful of fresh goodies.

It seems that while I was contorting to pat myself on the back, I failed to look up what “greens” actually meant and in what variety they come.

But this is not a story of a food failure.

In fact, it’s more of a food rescue.

So with the first batch, I made salad. It was … interesting. Not that bad the first time around, but not regular, tender-lettuce salad. It got better the second and third days after I beefed it up with boiled eggs, bacon and other things that I’m sure negate all the good-for-you qualities fresh greens provide.

I used to laugh at my friends from the South (land o’ collard and many other kinds of greens) who regaled me with stories of things like fried lettuce. I’d just about be on the floor, “You FRY lettuce? You have got to be kidding,” I’d said. Yeah, it was mean.

But all this was in my head as I chopped up a heaping helping from my second batch.  I fried it in bacon grease then scrambled in some eggs and topped it all with crumbled bacon.

I will NEVER laugh at my Southern friends again.

It. Was. Good.

And then, on my third trip to pick up goods, a friendly farmer at Pheasant Fields FarmRed Barn Farm gave me some tips and the weekly newsletter included a great recipe of garlicky greens with Andouille and onions to my weekly newsletter. The recipe came courtesy of Shannon Harkness of , who says she acquired it from a Cook’s Country magazine.

I made the recipe from the newsletter with mustard greens and instead of cider vinegar, I used red wine vinegar (it’s what I had in the house) and keilbasa (because the grocery store was out of Andouille). I overcooked the greens a little bit, so they weren’t quite bright green, and they were a touch bitter, but not overwhelmingly so, just enough to make it interesting.

So, it seems, I’m coming to love the greens in a multitude of varieties. If any of you have additional greens recipes, please, please pass them on.

Garlicky Greens with Andouille and Onions
(From Cook’s Country magazine)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 ounces Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moon shapes (substitues include kielbasa or chorizo)
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds greens, chopped
2 Tbsp cider vinegar

Brown sausage: Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Cook sausage until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add greens and vinegar, cover and cook until greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat to high to evaporate the liquid, about two more minutes.

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.

Jumping on the Bandwagon and Starting My Own Garden

Beefeater tomatoes
Beefeater tomatoes

I have officially joined the home gardening/community garden craze. I am apparently one of 75 million this year, according to garden columnist Ann Lovejoy.

This weekend was all about the outdoors, notably, getting my vegetable and herb garden set. As I explore cooking good food, the more I crave fresh herbs and produce.

In addition to joining a CSA this year, I took to filling beds and pots with a variety of fruit, herbs and veggies.

This isn’t the first time I’ve plopped some vegetables into the dirt. A few years back, I had a bed full of mass twisting tomato vines that killed everything else in their paths that produced masses of basketball-sized tomatoes. Seriously, basketball. OK, like kiddie basketball. It was a year of plenty of rain and the poor things never did ripen, despite my attempt to hang them in the house after nearly half of them exploded.

Thai Basil
Thai Basil

I also have rosemary, thyme and a few other edibles scattered around the flower garden.

This year, we built a raised bed to help drainage, and we dragged out all the pots that had been stacking up in the shed. I got all my starts in this weekend, even though the work was nearly undone by one 40-pound mutt (named Suki) who apparently thought digging out holes in the bed and scattering the pots all over the patio was world-class fun. If she wasn’t so darn cute, I might offer her up here. So, we salvaged what we could and surrounded the place with kennel wire. We’ll see today if the garden holds.

Sequoia Strawberry
Sequoia Strawberry

I still haven’t gone all the way, tearing out a majority of my yard for food, like some Kitsap gardeners. But it’s a start. So far I’ve got two varieties of heirloom tomatoes, thai basil, sweet basil, oregano, greens, strawberries (LOTS of strawberries), sweet peas, an artichoke, some asparagus, garlic, and some white radishes with purple centers. It’s pretty ambitious, but if only half survive, I’ll be happy.

Have any of you started a new food garden or joined together with others in a community garden? Share what you’re growing and how it’s going in the comments.