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April 04, 2006

NAIS Informational meeting

(grok'd from the Gray's River Grange site)

There's been a bit of information floating around lately about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a new program of the USDA.From the USDA website:   

“As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard U.S. animal health, USDA initiated the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in 2004. NAIS is a cooperative State-Federal-industry partnership to standardize and expand animal identification programs and practices to all livestock species and poultry. NAIS is being developed through the integration of three components—premises identification, animal identification, and animal tracking. The long-term goal of the NAIS is to provide animal health officials with the capability to identify all livestock and premises that have had direct contact with a disease of concern within 48 hours after discovery.”

It sounds good on paper, but it raises some significant red flags in my mind, seeming to place a huge logistical and financial burden on small farmers. Farmgirl has been talking to me about it in mail recently and she pointed me at NONAIS, a portal for all things NAIS (Yes, they have a position, but you could tell that from the name, right?)

Carrie Kennedy, our local WSU Extension Agent, will be hosting a meeting at the Grays River Grange on May 9th at 7:30 pm to talk about NAIS and answer questions that you may have about how it will impact you. The grange hall is at the west end of the hamlet of Grays River on SR 4. Hope to see you there.

March 03, 2006

Wahkiakum farmer's market meeting

This is for my local readers — all three of you. grin

There's a Farmer's Market meeting this Saturday March 11th at 10:30 am in the office of the Wahkiakum County Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Please come down and help get the market going again this year. If you are interested but unable to attend, contact Carrie Kennedy at 360-795-3278 to share your thoughts about the proposed market.

February 26, 2006

I have the *best* neighbors

subtitle: Support your local fishers!

subsubtitle: Wild salmon rocks (and farmed salmon sucks)!

I was just smearing today's version of a dry rub on a slab of ribs and thinking that dinner was going to be a bit late this evening — what with the slow-cooking that pork ribs require and my late start — when a car pulled into my driveway. This isn't a common occurence out here, it's not like there's a lot of "I was driving by and thought I'd stop"  when you live on a dead-end road.

SpringchinookWiping my hot-and-spicy hands on a towel, I opened the door to find my favorite fisherman standing there. He offered me the bag in his hand, saying, "Spring Chinook" with a warm smile. Oh my goddess! Spring Chinook delivered to my door! (In this case I truly didn't mind being left "holding the bag.") Barely off the boat, with a gorgeous color that farmed salmon would dye for, this is the best salmon. Ever. Period.

Fish this good needs little assistance to make an incredible meal. Tonight it will be a sprinkle of sea salt, a grinding of fresh pepper, and a side of basamati rice. Ribs can wait.

February 05, 2006

mud puffs v.1

Mudpuffs031evenTinierTown's roads look a lot like the contents of the Cuisinart. Although it is notably missing the rocks and trees.

Today is the seventh day of the slides. Road-blocking, life-rearranging slides. The state's web site says "road closed until further notice," which doesn't sound all that bad, it's only one road, after all, you can always choose another route. From here, that involves a ferry, followed by an hour's drive through another state (on another road that has issues) and a bridge back across the river. Or I could drive "around," that being an extra three hours over roads that have had water over them at times for the last week or three. Because the hour and a half out of the way "around" is closed due to the road buckling a few weeks back. Unless it's like the other day when the road was closed in all directions within a couple of miles from my house.

But I digress.

Continue reading "mud puffs v.1" »

December 16, 2005

Who knew danish was so easy?

evenTinierTown's only bakery has a for sale sign in front of the darkened building. Sad but true. What's sadder is that I never had one of their legendary maple bars during the brief time they were reopened — and by brief, I mean perhaps as long as six months. Since the building's for sale, I doubt there will be another bakery sprouting up there anytime soon. sigh

Looking for the silver lining, I decided it's time to master a few things I've somehow gotten away without learning so far. I'm pretty fearless when it comes to grabbing a recipe and going for it, but every time I've approached laminated doughs (those being the rich, butter-layered ones used for things like croissants and danish) I've had to make some urgent phone call or another. There's something about all that rolling and chilling and rolling again that's just intimidating. But what's a mage to do? The nearest bakery is an hour away...something had to give. First on the list is danish. With any luck it'll be followed by croissants and maybe even doughnuts someday...but first the danish.

Continue reading "Who knew danish was so easy?" »

November 28, 2005

Kiwis and manuka honey

A friend of mine has offered me an all-winter supply of home-grown organic kiwis, which is pretty darned sweet considering my usual source of kiwis is a grocery store where they are shipped in from ConAgra knows where and aren't necessarily cheap. Sure an individual kiwi is inexpensive but this is a fruit you can price per bite based on the per fruit price (2-4 bites per fruit, mostly depending on size...of your mouth, kiwis in the store are pretty much the same size) This limits my usual kiwi indulgences to those occasions when I'm at a store, have a purpose for it, and know I'll use them in the next 24 hours or so. (How is it that the kiwis I buy always go from ripe to bad in the blink of an eye?) Given that I only get to a largish grocery store every couple of weeks, this mostly means I get kiwis seldom...nowhere near often enough, that's for sure.

These kiwis, by contrast, were grown on an island in the Columbia River, right here in the pacific northwet, and when I looked at the vines yesterday there were huge clusters of gorgeous fuzzy globes (that must be the size of some sort of ball, but I can't think what — they are kiwi-sized!) hanging all over it. We guessed that there are probably about ten gallons of fruit — what? calculating fruit quantity based on how many five-gallon buckets it will fill isn't the usual method? I can even say they were island-grown, which sounds ever so exotic.

All this bounty brings a challenge: create a homemade version of Waha Wera hot sauce. I love a good challenge, and this one promises to be a fun one — especially since I've never tasted the stuff. Silly, silly me. Luckily for me I found a local source for the sauce and it's only got three ingredients (kiwis, habaneros, and manuka honey) so how tough could it be to create a reasonable take on it? And how much fun will we have trying?

My bet is that the manuka honey — which I've also never tasted — contributes a bit to the specifics of the sauce's flavor profile. Luckily, this is also available online. (Isn't everything?) I am really curious about the flavor of the honey; there's a lot of information available about the medicinal properties of manuka honey, but precious little about the flavor.

The only downside here is that I have to wait for multiple shipments of goodies to arrive before I can get started on the sauce. Given that it's the start of the Consumer Holiday season, this may take a while. sigh In the meantime, I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried either the sauce or manuka honey...make me drool with anticipation. Go on, I dare you!

September 24, 2005

If I had a salmon -- part.2

If your fishmonger doesn't look like this, your fish isn't fresh enough.

Sorry, that was just mean. But isn't that downright idyllic? This is just outside the back door of my fishmonger and I can't think of a prettier place to go shopping.

Continue reading "If I had a salmon -- part.2" »

September 21, 2005

If I had a salmon...

If I had a salmon,
I'd smoke it in the morning;
I'd steak it in the evening,
All over the sand.
(sing-along with me, you know the tune)

Isn't that a gorgeous piece of fish? A sprinkle of salt, sprigs of lemon thyme from the garden, dinner doesn't get much prettier than this, does it?

Continue reading "If I had a salmon..." »

September 20, 2005

What's in your freezer?

Living out here in evenTinierTown, with the nearest serious grocery store almost an hour away, gives one a whole new appreciation for having a well stocked larder. I rediscovered this when I went out to the freezer to grab some butter to make cookies and found I had none. No butter? Frell and frack! I was within spitting distance of my friendly local** Costco just a few days ago and blew off stopping because I couldn't think of anything critical that I needed.

**local meaning an hour away, over the mountains, through the woods, past grandmother's house, across the second largest river in the United States and then another bridge over the edge of the Pacific Ocean, in another state... yeah, local...

Continue reading "What's in your freezer?" »

September 13, 2005

Local food eating local

No, that's not a redundant title--"Adorable kittens" would be a redundant title. (I see that line on the signs on store windows...are there any other kind of kittens?) In this case, the title is unfortunately accurate.

Continue reading "Local food eating local" »

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