Monday, May 31, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the giveaway is Samantha, of The Samantha Files!  Please shoot me an e-mail with your mailing address at renai.marie(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get your book and jam to you ASAP!

Thanks to everyone who entered- and as always, I'll try to have another giveaway up soon.  Feel free to recommend any ideas for future giveaways.  I'm always happy to support small businesses and awesome vendors in the name of blogging.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seattle Green Week

Seattle Green Week started on Wednesday, but there are still a ton of great activities coming up!  A lot of these are perfect for the long weekend.  Here are a few that I am excited about:

- Tonight (5/28) is a free showing of the movie Good Food- airing 7-9 PM at The Phinney Center at 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

"Something remarkable is happening in the fields and orchards of the Pacific Northwest.  Small family farmers are making a comeback.  They're growing much healthier food, and lots  more food per acre, while using less energy and water than factory farms.  For decades Northwest agriculture was focused on a few big crops for export. But to respond to climate change and the end of cheap energy, each region needs to produce more of its own food and to grow food more sustainably.  Good Food visits producers, farmers’ markets, distributors, stores, restaurants and public officials who are developing a more sustainable food system for all."

- This Sunday, May 30th- 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Goods for the Planet is hosting a "no frills" home canning lesson for fruit and tomatoes.  You do need to pre-register via e-mail, and the class fee is $20.  Class info can be found on their website under the "events" tab.

- Monday, June 1st 3:30-5:30 PM at the Ballard Library Seattle Free School has a class on making garden baskets out of recycled paper bags.  

- Thursday, June 3rd 7-9 PM is another free movie night at Phinney Center.  A Sea Change:

"Imagine a world without fish. It’s a frightening premise, and it’s happening right now. “A Sea Change” follows the journey of retired history teacher SvenHuseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. A must-see! It’s the first documentary about ocean acidification, and it’s winning lots of awards. Directed by Barbara Ettinger and co-produced by Sven Huseby of Niijii Films."

- Saturday, June 5th Earth Corps is hosting a trio of park restoration parties from 10 AM - 2 PM.  The focus is on maintaining restoration sites, planting native trees, and removing non-native species.  

     "1. Seward Park: Work with EarthCorps and the Green Seattle Partnership and the Friends of Seward Park as we continue to maintain our restoration sites, plant native tree and remove English ivy from this stand of old growth forest right in the city! Home to diverse wildlife and impressive trees, Seward Park is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, and those who love the outdoors.

     2. Cheasty Greenspace: Join EarthCorps, the Green Seattle Partnership and Seattle Parks and Recreation in our ongoing efforts to restore Cheasty Greenspace. Volunteers will be performing maintenance on restoration sites, creating "survival rings" around trees and planting native trees, shrubs and ground cover in this 43 acre south Seattle greenspace. Other work may include non-native plant removal, past restoration site stewardship, or woodchip application.

     3. Kiwanis Ravine: Join EarthCorps, the Green Seattle partnership and the Heron Habitat Helpers as we continue to restore the wildlife corridor adjacent to Kiwanis Ravine. The Kiwanis Ravine in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood just east of Discovery Park. At just 14 acres this Seattle Park space is home to Seattle’s largest heron rookery with over 60 active nests. Come help out our herons by installing new native trees & shrubs."

Are any of you participating in any Green Week activities?   Note that attending any of these events will also score you a one-day pass for Seattle Green Festival!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giveaway! Canning & Preserving by Ashley English, and a Jar of Blueberry Honey Jam!

That's a mouthful!

I've mentioned about a million times before how much I love Ashley English's blog.  I am immeasurably envious of her lifestyle and am a huge fan of her writing style.  About a month and a half ago, she was celebrating the release of the first two books in her Homemade Living Series.  I got my jammy little hands on a copy of Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving, and just so happened to pick up a second copy to share.  With you!  Yes, lovely you.

More than just recipes- this book is full of information on canning methods, necessary equipment, and beautiful photographs. 

Also- because I promised something edible- I'm going to include a jar of my own homemade blueberry and honey jam.  The blueberries are sassy little sour things that I picked in Juneau with my mama last summer, and the honey is local raw Washington blueberry honey.  This jam is wonderfully tart and florally sweet at the same time.  I've been eating it off of my fingers, since we are currently out of bread.  The horror!  Don't tell.

All you need to do to enter to win is leave a comment on this post, telling me what your favorite thing is to eat from a jar!  I will randomly pick a winner, next Sunday, May 30th at 5PM (PST) and announce it here.  Un-registered users please be sure to include your real name and a means to contact you.  United States and Canada only, please.  Shipping is expensive!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seed Bombs!

This past Sunday I attended a seed bomb making party, with the results of our labor going into vending machines at The 2010 Seattle Green Festival.  I got a bit distracted stopping in at Bottleworks and catching up with Ryan, so I missed the first part of the evening, which had more to do with the actual mixing process.  I showed up in time to still get nice and muddy, and to learn a bit more about the logistics of actually making the bombs- but missed out on all of the smarty pants stuff like what actually goes in them.  I've been doing a little internet internetting and dug up a couple of good resources and links that I think are worth sharing.  This project is a lot of fun, and has a really wonderful outcome.

- How to Make Seed Bombs from LA Times has some beautiful photos and easy to follow instructions.

- How to Make a Seed Bomb from Instructables user Treesneedtobehugged is similar, if not a little more nitty-gritty.

- A Flickr search for "seed bombs" turns up a lot of really cool results.

And of course- here are the pictures from our seed bomb making adventure!

And yes, the night did quickly deteriorate into jokes about balls, and attempting to rub mud all over each other.  Typical.

Oh!  And I know I promised I'd do another giveaway to make up for the one I had to pull down- and really, I'm going to, and it will be soon.  I have something really fantastic on its way, and another something I want to pull together before then.  So keep your eyes out next week, when I'll have it up for sure!  And yes, it does have everything to do with delicious, edible food!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring? Is That You?

When I came home from work last night- we picked up banh mi from our favorite neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant (it will still never beat banh mi from the International District), and headed down to the locks to sit in goose poop and enjoy the sun.

I think it might really be May.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Link Love!

These are all food related... and for that I am not sorry.  Just hungry.

- Orange Ricotta Breakfast Dumplings make me want to eat breakfast forever.  I've been really interested in making dumplings lately, and I think this is the perfect place for me to start!

- Poached Eggs on Portobellos with Goat Cheese.  This is perfect.  I have nothing else to say.

- Serious Eats has a list of 50 Free Online Classes for Food Lovers that's definitely worth looking into.  I might take on a few of these once I'm done with school this quarter.

- Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad looks both beautiful and crazy delicious.  If I can eat a bowl full of kale and cheese for lunch every day- I think I'll be just fine.

- I'm not posting any pictures with this- because you just need go look and see.  Kris Atomic has a post up simply titled Still Life and it's all photographs of fantastic looking food.  I am so hungry right now.

- Chocolate Sorbet from Vanilla Garlic is going to happen this weekend.  (So glad I have an ice cream maker!)

- Sweet Paul just published their first online magazine and it's beautiful!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making a Giant Dirty Mess On My Patio AKA Potting Starts!

So, I guess I shouldn't call something an actual success until it's actually successful.  My oh so successful seed starts?  Yeah, not so much.

Luckily last Friday Seattle Tilth was having their "leftover" plant sale- which worked out perfectly for me.  $2 starts, with lots of really fun and interesting varieties.  I don't know why I did this- but I ended up buying a significant number of tomato and pepper starts- more or less spacing out the fact that our patio gets only morning sun.  We are actually trying to move to a different (larger) unit in our building right now, so I'm hoping if that comes through it will mean more sun.

I took half of the day off from work today.  For no real reason other than it sounded like a nice idea.  Sometimes you just need a little time to do nothing.  I came home, took a nap with Luna, and then in an effort to continue avoiding my math homework- made a crazy dirty mess all over my patio, which luckily resulted in a few plants in pots.  I ran out of potting soil, so the rest will have to happen this weekend.

My un-official plant list at the moment?  Potatoes (which have been growing for a while- they're in the black and white plastic grow bag and doing SO well), pineapple sage, peppermint, fennel, strawberries, two varieties of blueberries (another that I've had going for a while, also doing great!), cat mint, lavender from last year, and three varieties each of tomatoes and peppers.

What are you growing this year?  Any suggestions for full-sun plants that aren't getting full sun?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Real quick!  I'm so sorry to everyone that already (!) entered my chocolate giveaway.  Due to silly reasons I had to pull it down- I'll gladly explain why via personal e-mail (renai(dot)marie(at)gmail(dot)com) if people are curious, but I don't want to go posting all about it on the internets.  I will have another giveaway for something else delicious and edible up soon, so please check back!  Again, I am SO sorry!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Me, on Pie Crusts

I am geeking out so hard right now.  AKA I've been in the kitchen baking for hours and decided that instead of talking to the cats about it- I'd make a video and talk to you!

So, here I am making an ass out of myself, while talking about pie crusts. Try not to laugh too hard.  :)  Oh, and please note that it didn't take me hours to only make two pie crusts.  Really!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wild Food Adventures: Pacific Coast Clam Dig & Seashore Edibles of the Pacific Northwest

I am still processing just how wonderful this past weekend was.  You know things are good when you're soaking wet, covered in mud and sunburned and feeling like life couldn't be one single ounce better.

Friday night was a long drive, and we were feeling like we might not be entirely prepared for what we had planned.  Turns out that our (my) obsessive planning worked out just fine, and we had exactly what we needed with us.  I was struggling with what to bring, clothing-wise based on the warning that we could be trudging through water up to our chests, combined with the fact that we were going to be outside in the elements for a huge chunk of the day.  The weather more or less cooperated though, and layers were definitely key.

I did go completely over my boots the first day (water up to our thighs, but not for long), and due to my fear of getting really soaked- I unfortunately left my camera in the car for our clam dig.  So, most of my pictures are from our second day, which was spent picking seaweed and enjoying being right on the ocean.  I learned a lot and had an absolutely fantastic time.  John Kallas, who teaches all of the Wild Food Adventures workshops is an excellent teacher and quite the character.  I'm already trying to figure out when I'll have the chance to attend some more of his classes this summer or fall.  He's also doing this exact same weekend schedule again in July if anyone is interested in these classes specifically.

Pictures are more or less in order of how things went. The clam pictures are obviously just us cooking them- but I think they're pretty neat to look at.  We dug cockle clams, which I had never done before, and Shana and I are still plotting exactly what we're going to do with them.  I've mostly had suggestions of chopping them small to go into either chowder or fritters.  They are ugly little buggers.  In my dad's words "they look like little peckers!"  Hah! 


And the one and only picture of me!

There are lots more up on my Flickr!
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