A celebration of local foods

For my birthday this year, I decided to start a tradition of hosting a party that celebrated the local foods of the area. The experience turned out to be amazing, both the party itself, and all the knowledge and experience gained in the prepartion.

The main reasons behind the party were:
*the environment (minimize resources that are used in transporation of food
*economics (by supporting local agriculture and food production, we help support our communities)
*health (eating foods grown in the area mesh better with your innards)
*history (to learn how things were before you could get Italian olive oil at the local supermarket)
*fun (working within strict guidelines presents a challenge that was fun to overcome.
*taste (fresh just tastes better)

For me, the highlights were twofold. Firstly, all the preparation was great fun. We made our own butter from cream that we skimmed from local raw milk. Churning butter isn't nearly as hard as I thought. Figuring out a way to get salt was another fun challenge. I ended up getting some seawater from Fidalgo Bay and evaporating it in the sun. I was really suprised at how much salt is in salt water. Flour is something that I have always taken for granted. Yes, I see wheat fields around, but there is a large gap between that, and the flour that I use in my pizza doughs. Well, thanks to Keith, I now know the process start to finish. He gathered some rye from his neighbor's yard and threshed it for me. I ground the rye seeds(?) to flour using my coffee grinder. Then Jule and I baked bread with the flour. Gretchen also used some of it for a kick ass crust on her crisp. The second highlight for me was seeing people's reaction. Explaining to people where every ingredient in what they are eating came from led to a lot of wide eyes combined with a new appreciation for the food. The general support, excitement, and delight from all the participants just furthered my joy at the idea.

So for those of you that couldn't make it, I've put together a menu of most of the things we had. Last minute additions unforuntately didn't make it to the list.

So a big thanks to everyone that came and participated. Special thanks to Andrew and Per for taking some pictures.


The kitchen was abuzz with great smells and great helpers

Todd and Marieke look questioningly at the mushroom pate

Joey and Per share a romantic glass of honey wine

What party is complete without a fire juggling show?

Saturday August 19 2006File under: events, pics

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