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We have so many changes happening. Changes that, had you asked me three months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to foresee… I wouldn’t have even known to think in that direction. The direction is that Kyle, after working for the same wonderful brewery for seven years, decided to leave. That was back in the March, and then suddenly here we are in the middle of May and he has wrapped up his time there. It makes sense, he’s spent a lot of time there, worked his way up, enjoyed it immensely, and meanwhile has finished his Masters degree in Fermentation Science and Distillation. Now he is ready for a new chapter in his career.

What that means for our family, and what I have spent a fair amount of time in denial of, is that we will be moving. We aren’t exactly sure where yet, but we’re starting to form a good idea, and it’s very exciting. Exciting, terrifying, surprising, overwhelming. There is a mix of grief at leaving the town that we love; the town that is home to some of the most wonderful friends we ever could have hoped to make; a special town that we’ve called home for ten years; and excitement of striking out on a new adventure.

We will know more within a week or so, and until then I’m keeping one foot firmly in denial. For me, the best place to embrace that lovely, conscious state of denial is in the garden and kitchen. After all, nothing says, “Hey, we’re going to be in this home forever”, than planting tomato plants that won’t bear fruit until the end of the Oregon summer. Of course, on the other side of things our house is already full of mostly empty boxes, ready to be filled with different things depending on which direction things take us. But until those boxes are full, taped shut, and we’re lining up a cleaning service to get our house renter-ready, you can find me in the kitchen, embracing denial and gorgeous spring salads.

SALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINEverything in our garden is at it’s most tender. The kale is soft and lacy; the pea tendrils are sweet and feminine; the radish greens just beginning to reach for the sun. A very happy place for me is wandering through our little garden with a sharp pair of kitchen shears, feeling the late afternoon sun on my skin, while I trim here and pluck there, dropping greens, micro-greens, and herbs into the same bin to be rinsed and spun and tossed together into a vibrant, tender salad.

SALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINOver the past couple of weeks I’ve made a few variations of this spring salad, so feel free to pick and choose and adapt the ingredients based on what might be growing in your garden or available at a local farmers’ market. The tender little greens are certainly the stars of this salad, but the fresh croutons, and breadcrumb salad dressing definitely contribute to the recipe. This salad begs for a glass of delicious Pinot Noir, or maybe a Tempranillo to accompany it… although a crisp Pinot Grigio would be pretty great too. Pour yourself a glass of wine, make this salad, and settle into whatever the moment brings, you can pack boxes (or answer emails, or fold laundry) later.

SALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSINGPINSALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSING

Ingredients.
6 eggs
baby lettuce
baby spinach
baby kale
small carrot tops
radish (or other) microgreens
pea shoots
capers
chive blossoms
French breakfast radishes, very thinly sliced
Roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced
crumbled feta
1/2 loaf ciabatta, torn into bite size pieces
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons minced chives
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
paprika
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
flake salt

Directions.
Place the eggs in a large saucepan, cover completely with water, place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Allow the eggs to cook in the resting water for 12 minutes (for fully cooked eggs, shorter if you prefer soft boiled). Carefully transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with ice water. Set aside and allow to cool completely before peeling and slicing in half.

Wash and thoroughly dry your greens, place on a large serving platter or in a large bowl.

Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil into a large nonstick skillet, add the crushed garlic, thyme and rosemary, turn the heat up to medium and allow the garlic and herbs to infuse the oil. Carefully remove and discard the garlic and herbs before increasing the heat and adding the torn pieces of bread. Toss continuously in the hot oil until croutons are golden and crisp (adding a bit more oil if/when needed). Transfer the croutons to a paper towel lined plate, season immediately with salt, pepper, paprika and gently toss.

In the still hot oil, carefully add a teaspoon or two of rinsed capers (they may sputter a bit in the oil), sauté them for a minute or two before transferring them to a small plate.

Crush one 1-2 of the croutons into fine breadcrumbs using a rolling pin. In a small bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, chives, and Dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil while whisking. Gently stir in the breadcrumbs, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the radishes, broken up chive blossoms, fried capers, tomatoes, crumbled feta, and eggs to the salad. Season the eggs with a little extra pepper and flake salt if desired. Dress the salad, and serve immediately.

PRINTABLE RECIPE.
SALAD WITH HARD BOILED EGGS, GARLIC CROUTONS, FRIED CAPERS, AND BREADCRUMB DRESSING

Here I am on Saturday night sipping a Hot Toddy, binge watching Gilmore Girls, and attempting to get caught up on my photography editing. I take photos as often as I can remember to grab my camera. When I look at photos of our family trips, simple day to day activities, or special moments, I remember them so clearly. Maybe it’s all that time looking at them as I edit (or procrastinate editing), but there’s something about photography that captures memories for me, so I really make an effort to photograph things.

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago we went crabbing up at our friends’ cabin in Birch Bay, but it was two months ago. I kept meaning to put these photos together to share but time just got away from me, and here we are in November! The last time we were up in Birch Bay was a couple years ago, when Gigi was almost two. The photos I took there a couple of years ago are some of my very favorite photos ever, which is probably because our trip there was so special.

This was our first trip during crabbing season. In fact this was my first time crabbing! We had such a wonderful time, and such amazing weather. The only good thing about time passing by so quickly is that we are that much closer to next year’s crabbing season. It’s funny to look at these sunny, bright photos of bare feet, ice cold Rainiers, and kids in t-shirts, but my motto is: better late than never. Or, at least that’s my motto in this moment of lateness.

We started off our trip with a stop at the Nisqually Wetlands, and some adventures on the Olympic Peninsula including a visit to my Aunt and Uncle’s farm, a morning in Port Townsend…

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After a walk around Port Townsend, followed by a few minutes at the beach in which the kids managed to get covered in hot chocolate, saltwater, and sand, we scurried to catch the ferry across the Sound to Whidbey Island. We don’t get to take our kids on the ferries often, but when we do I soak up every ounce of nostalgia it invokes for me. I loved taking the ferry as a kid and very little, if anything, has changed about it.

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After a quick lunch on Whidbey Island and a nice drive North via Chuckanut Drive, we arrived at our friend’s house in Birch Bay. The first night it was just a few of us, but by the following afternoon the place was packed with good friends. We spent the entire weekend crabbing, drinking cheap beer, taking long walks on the beach with the girls, kayaking, and catching up with our friends. It was wonderful.

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We’ve already got our calendars marked out for next year.