Apr
08
2014
1
Dec
10
2012
0

Night clamming deserves a quiet night

We were on Whidbey Island for the weekend, and my first move when I’m that close to clamming beaches is to check the tide tables. The good news was that low tide wasn’t 2 am, the bad news was that it would be dark, 6 pm. Hannah and Robbie were game for some night clamming, so we packed up our boots, digging implements, buckets and head lamps and hit the beach. We came out with a modest bucket full… about 20 clams or so. More of a fun experience than an efficient way to find shellfish, but I guess you make do with what you have.

Written by dan in: Foraging,Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments
Sep
21
2012
0

Lemons + herbs for the win

This summer we added two new recipes to our family repertoire. First, on a whim one day while playing tourist down at the Pike Place Market we bought a baby shark for Robbie. Which was actually a trout but he didn’t need to know that. We brought it home, filled the fish with sliced lemons, rosemary, mint, lavender, thyme, and oregano, tied it up, and put it on the grill for a couple minutes a side. Miracle of miracles, the kids devoured it, and then played pretend with the bones for the rest of the afternoon. In the times since, Hannah has been enthusiastic all they way until it came time to actually eat the fish, but Robbie still loves Grilled Baby Shark with Local Herbs and Imported Lemons.

  

Our other new tradition is lemonade made by mashing up lemon slices with sugar and herbs. One time we tried it with honey and it was pretty tasty that way too. And after the kids go to bed if there are any leftovers, a little (or a lot of) vodka makes for a mighty fine cocktail. Pretty much the same herbs as the last time – rosemary, mint, lavendar, and thyme. I usually skip the oregano for some reason.

 

We were in Bellingham for a music festival and there was a great hippie/hipster (getting harder and harder to tell the difference) lemonade stand, where you could have mix-ins added to your drink. I had a blueberry-ginger lemonade, and the kids got basil raspberry. The truly hipster part was that it came in a mason jar that you had to bring back to the stand to get your dollar deposit back. All this to say that if you treat your lemonade well, it will show you respect and be delicious. If you make it from a can, you’re on your own, and results may vary.

Apr
28
2012
0

Bug Catching Season is Here

Hannah has always loved bugs, and though I’ve noticed she isn’t quite as fearless as she used to be, she will still capture a bug, make it a bed out of paper, and fill it with grass and dirt to make sure it’s comfortable. And seal it in some tupperware to make sure it never escapes. Ever.

Yesterday she had a bug in her hands, and she said, “I’m going to keep it forever!” I said, “Good idea, make sure you are holding it in your hands on your wedding day. That way you can just trade bugs not rings.” She gave me a really irritated look, which I probably deserved. But she really liked zooming in on the camera to see this bug’s face, so I think she let it go. I’ll try to simulate it for you here.

Written by dan in: Foraging,Garden,Kids | Tags: , , , | No Comments
Sep
28
2011
1

Alexander the Grape

A couple of years ago Dan’s parent gave us some cuttings from their grape vines.  Let me start by saying these grapes are amazing.  They are small champagne grapes and are so sweet and delicious with a flavor like none I’ve found at the store.  They are perfect for kids to watch grow and eat – even our littlest one.  The first year the cuttings were literally just sticks in the ground.  The following year they had grown enough to call it a vine and had sprouted leaves.  Last year I think we may have gotten a couple of grapes even, but this year is the year they really began to bear fruit.

I would love to experiment with grape juice and jelly and I know Dan would love to try his hand at wine, but they get eaten up so quickly there is never enough to preserve.  Our littlest one (who is almost one) does not crawl yet, but scoots around on his bottom.  Whenever he sees someone come in with grapes in their hand goes crazy and scoots over faster than I would think is possible.  We dried one clump in the dehydrator just to see what these taste like as raisins and to be honest I think they lose too much flavor that way.  They are definitely preferable fresh.

The bummer about these vines is that our long term plan for the garden includes a replacement retaining wall and new (non-chain link) fence.  This winter we may try to remove the vines from the fence and create an  arbor that they can live on permanently.

Written by alicia in: Garden,Kids | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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