By Teri Williams
By Teri Williams
By Teri Williams
I am always looking for a new spin on a traditional holiday meal. While reading through my new Rodale’s Organic Life magazine, I came across this Pickled Cranberries recipe and seasonal Kale Salad. Pickling is super easy, with very few ingredients and results in a big flavor with many uses. I sealed several jars of the pickled cranberries and will give out as hostess gifts throughout the holiday season. And if you come to my house over the holiday season, you most likely will be served a fresh cranberry cocktail and a side of healthy kale salad!
Pickled Cranberries (makes 2.5 cups)
Note: Always use fresh organic cranberries.
In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1-1/2 cups of red wine vinegar. Tie 1/2 tsp. of coriander seeds and 1/2 tsp. peppercorns in a square of cheesecloth and add to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Add 10-12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries and bring back to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until skins begin to split, 2-3 minutes. Let cool in saucepan, remove and discard spice sachet, and transfer cranberries and liquid to a jar. Refrigerate in sealed jar until ready to use. Pickled cranberries will keep for a few weeks; or process to seal according to canning practices.
The liquid can be strained to use in cocktails, and the pickled cranberries can be tossed into salads and stuffings.
My favorite easy hors d’oeuvre is as follows:
Slice baguette into 1/4-inch slices (may toast or leave soft), top with your favorite ricotta cheese, place a dollop of pickled cranberries and finish with a drizzle of honey. A sweet, tart, smooth and tasty treat in minutes!
Kale and Wild Rice Salad
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. liquid from pickled cranberries (see above recipe)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch kale, stemmed and shredded into thin ribbons
1 cup pickled cranberries, drained
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (can use walnuts)
In small bowl stir together shallot, mustard, pinch of salt, pepper and pickling liquid. Whisk in oil. Pour half the liquid, adding more as needed, and use your hands to massage into kale for 5 minutes.
To serve, lightly toss with rice, cranberries, cheese and nuts. Serve as a side dish or add chicken or salmon to create a colorful and satisfying main dish.
Happy and Healthy Holiday Wishes sent from my family to yours ~
By Teri Williams
The summer of 2016 is flying by!! Squeezing in some family fun is a must and Grama T found some on her SV Blue Pearl. 30′ filled to the rails with kids and grandkids (9 total) for an overnight in Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. When you have this many on a boat meant to sleep two, you head to a dock with amenities and space. Roche is a great place where you will find activity for all ages. But the fun is being on the boat together. Had great wind, plenty of sunshine and enjoyed a crab dinner coming home. Life does not get better than this.
Hope to see you out on the water enjoying family and the Salish Sea that surrounds us here on Orcas Island.
By Teri Williams
SV Blue Pearl left Bay Head Marina on Orcas Island at 12:45 p.m., headed to Mail Bay, Waldron Island on the west side of Presidents Channel. Drizzling, no wind (Jay says of course, we are taking our sailboat out!). No current book but the tide has a small change so off we go.
Arrived Mail Bay at 2:45. Rain stopped, flat water. Warm. Overcast.
Uncle Bill met me with a big hug and said, “Let’s go!” Off we went on his four-wheeler with duck tape and a jerry rigged gear shift. He was hell bent on showing me all of his property I was listing. What a ride! I heard the history of Bill Carlson’s Waldron at full throttle flying down old dirt roads. I could just see my cousins Mike and Howie back in the day flying down these roads on horseback to get to school. Bill purchased acreage for logging back in the sixties when he was a young buck (he is 79 today). A proud man, he told me of the wells dug, timber harvested and Mail Bay log dump, pointing out the relics of machinery over grown with berry briars, building the family A-frame cabin and clearing fields for cattle. He no longer logs or runs cattle on Waldron, but the memories are fresh in his mind. We jumped pot holes, swerved at the one tractor we passed and down shifted on the downhill run due to the fact the only good brake on the four-wheeler was on his bad side (body strength lost). I was hangin’ on!!
Back at the cabin, Bill says Jay should take me on a tour in the old rusty dodge 4×4, which says “Harvey go now” on the side panel. True to course, you had to coast-start the truck. Good thing it was parked pointing down hill. One brake works, the clutch had a bungee cord holding it together. Jay turned the key, the dash lit up, he popped the clutch and off we went. When asked if I knew where we were going, I said confidently, “Oh ya!.” After all, I just went road trippin’ with Uncle Bill!
To the untrained eye, all the dirt roads on Waldron look the same. They run like a maze through a dense lush forest with surprise openings of field and gardens. Eclectic homes tucked here and there, long driveways leading to privacy and a simple life. We were headed to find the post office and County dock. Not too far from the A-frame, no worries. Well, we soon found out that you could drive for hours and still not know which direction you were headed. We met two island girls walking down the dirt road, case of beer and a dog in hand. Looked like a “roll with it” way to spend a day on Waldron. I am grateful they did not take offense and “school” these two obvious trespassers too much. They pointed in the opposite direction the truck was pointing and said, “Head that way until you see the big road.” That is the County Road. Take a right and you will run right in to the Post Office. Duh! Of course, look for the big road.
Eventually, we found the dock and post office. It was getting dark and we still had to navigate back to the A-frame, so we spent just enough time there to know that we need to get back to this quiet island and get more history, starting first with the County dock and post office.
Sunday morning found us starting our SV Blue Pearl engine at 10:14 a.m., leaving uncle Bill’s dock. After tea, coffee and watermelon at the A-frame, we headed back to Orcas knowing we would need to return to explore more of Waldron Island.
By Teri Williams
Each day should be meaningful, not just the holidays. Life is busy and the days fly by with little time to stop and think about the family and friends we love.
For me, the holidays should be more than spending money on unwanted gifts just because tradition tells us we must, and its quick. Also, I like feeling flush in January! Our family tradition is making gifts for the holiday.
In November, we choose names and become Secret Santas. Then, we set off thinking about our talents and the interests of the person we chose. Giggles happen, because you are never too old to have a secret, and you discover you have NO talent! Well, this year we found we have much talent in this family. Check out the DIY projects below, just maybe you find your next years inspiration.
Darby is a photographer and put together a Shutterfly photo album of last year ‘s life on Orcas with her kids and husband. What a great year it was, and fun to see all the adventure we had both on land and sea.
Jay loves to weld and made an awesome steel set of Orcas Island shaped bookends.
I had my son Cory to think about this year. He joined Permit Resources office and has begun to collect quite a collection of certificates, maps, contact lists, etc. which began to pepper the office walls. Well, what do you do with your saved wine corks? Make a wine cork board! Eastsound maps used as a frame – useful and artistic!
Randy worked all week making soap from lavender in my garden and some bunny “pellets” from the yard. Randy set out to melt and mold soaps and fire starters – apparently if you roast and wax bunny pellets you have a fire starter.
Monee made Gramma T and granddaughter Eleanor matching aprons. Let’s get cooking!
Creativity, finding we each have talent, really thinking and focusing on your receiver and putting thought into your gift gives a depth to the experience that “home made” just can’t describe. It’s creates time spent together without being together. Gotta love that!
By Teri Williams
This was the topic for the 2015 Orcas Island Senior Faire. The annual event is geared to inform and share services available to seniors and their families on Orcas Island by bringing it all together under one roof. Add lunch prepared at the Senior Center and a three-piece band and you have an event to remember! I even saw a few people dancing, taking full advantage of live music and a break in the speakers.
I have to admit there was a lot of information to take in, people to connect with and thank-yous to acknowledge – Dennis King, Paul Losleben, Wendy Stephens and Jami Mitchell for putting this event together – and to the many Orcas volunteers, seniors, family members and caregivers who give unconditionally and support our wish to stay on the island we love.
Here is a list of the participants for this year and links to resources:
Medicare and You
Peggy Groundwater and Michael Moss, SHIBA; and Diane Linnell, DSHS
Lions Mobility Assistance Equipment Loaner Program
Barbara Trunkey, Orcas Island Lions
Libby Garcia, RN
Rita Harvey and crew, Orcas Island Fire and Rescue
Falls and Sprawls, How Not to Do It
Scott Heisinger, DTP, Orcas Island Physical Therapy
Aging in the Right Place
Dennis King, Lahari
Bringing Services into the Home
Didier Gincig, Hearts and Hands
Doug Schliebus, Orcas at Home
Caregiving on Orcas
Dennis King, Lahari
Caregiving Panel, Lahari
…the fog settles gently in Crow Valley.
…the local oysters are even tastier because the water temperature is colder and they get “happy”.
…the pantry is in need of a Costco run and it’s much easier to book a last minute trip with the Washington State Ferry Reservation System.
…locals share the bounty of the farm with family and friends, and you are invited to old-fashioned cider pressing potlucks.
…you purchase your winter crab catch license to extend the enjoyment of fresh seafood for a few more weeks.
…the Farmer’s Market moves into the Oddfellow’s Hall, where the artisans and gardeners continue to offer local bounty and color. The Holiday Fair will soon fill these walls with bells and song.
…you admire showstopping sunrises and sunsets– what more can I say? They take your breath away!
…Fowler’s Pond turns into a golden reflection of wetland plants, surrounded by fall foliage on fire.
…Seahawk football fans come alive with blue and green. All throughout Eastsound, locals don their favorite 12th man T-shirts (and tutu!) and gather around the large screen at the Lower Tavern, where everyone knows your name.
…Viking team spirit comes alive on the side of the barn each year as incoming seniors display their artwork. Give us a call at 376-8374 if you want to attend a sports event. The Booster Club did an amazing job of fundraising and gave out annual passes to all the donors.
Fall is all about celebrating the end of a season and the beginning of a new one. And there is no better place than Orcas Island to spend time with friends and family and cozy up to the season. Happy Fall!
I look forward to pickle camp each year. Friends and family gather to share stories and the thrill of scrubbing cucumbers and peeling garlic.
There are also plenty of laughs and good food enjoyed by all as we sit back at the end of the day and get that warm feeling about what we accomplished, and begin to start counting down the calendar days until Thanksgiving, when the first jar is popped open and pickle camp comes back to life, one jar at a time.
Place the following in the bottom of a quart canning jar:
1 head of dill
2 cloves of garlic
½ tsp mustard seed
1 red chili pod
¼ tsp turmeric
4 whole pepper corns
As jars are being filled, another garlic clove, red chili or a pinch more of dill can sneak into the jar, making the recipe really just a guide line.
For 7 jars, in a sauce pan heat:
6 cups vinegar
7-1/2 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
3/8 cup sugar
Place cucumbers in jar standing on end, pack tightly. Fill jar with vinegar liquid mix, place canning lid on top and screw lid on tight. Place into a water bath canner (water should cover top of the jar) and bring to a rolling boil. Process for 15 minutes. Do not open until Thanksgiving.
I have no patience for waiting on the greens in the garden to mature, so with a little help from my local farmer John at Maple Rock Farm, I learned to create and use some of the bounty early.
I have never been good at following recipes and measuring. Everything is done by eyeballing, more liquid or greens can be added to get consistency desired.
Parsley- Walnut Pesto
Fill your blender with 2 cups of chopped parsley, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 3-5 cloves of garlic.
Pour in ½ cup of good olive oil (I used Olivar De La Luna organic extra virgin). Begin blending, add more olive oil as the paste begins to pureé. You do not want it so thick you cannot get it out of the blender, but it should not be too runny.
Once cubes are frozen solid, place the tray in a pan of hot water for a few minutes to loosen cubes of pesto, then place them on a cookie sheet to freeze hard again, then store in a container in the freezer.
When you want pesto, place a cube (or several) in a bowl and thaw to room temperature. Add hot or cold pasta and mix.
Grate parmesan cheese over pasta and mix. Do not add cheese before freezing, (it will turn into globs when heated).
Green Garlic Paste
Early summer-late spring, cut the garlic scape off of last year’s garlic you planted in the fall. These can be chopped and put into dressings, sauces and salads, but I like to make a garlic paste that is versatile and keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Fill blender half full of chopped garlic scapes, add ¼ cup of good olive oil and begin blending. You will add more olive oil as the combo begins to blend into a chunky paste.
Add more oil, or scapes, until you get a consistency of soft paste (if it is too thick you will not get out of the blender). Place green garlic paste in a mason jar with lid and keep in the refrigerator.
I use this as a rub on chicken; add to tomato paste-balsamic vinegar-olive oil as a marinade for beef; add to good olive oil-balsamic vinegar and salt/pepper as a salad dressing; stir into pasta; add to any dish you would add garlic to.
I have been dreaming all winter long of sailing off into the sunset down south in Bahamian waters. Good friends, clear-warm water and a life style to relax in and warm my soul. However, to my surprise, I found myself feeling empty. I could not put my finger on it until I was on the ferry returning to Orcas and rounded the corner at Shaw Island; the Orcas ferry landing came into sight. I missed my island life!
I’ve always had a “welcome home” feeling when getting back on island from a short trip to the mainland, but this trip took me away for three weeks. Returning, I found myself deep in amazement of life right here on this island. Life gets too busy. I had not taken the time to slow down, look around and be thankful. I had been taking my island life for granted, and in fact, had some angst about life not fulfilling my every desire. It was always right in front of me………. If I had just slowed down to look around and see how my life was filled with treasure. I did not have to sail so far away to find what was in my own back yard. Growing my own fresh food, the land around me filled with nature and family memories, work and friendships that challenge and fulfill my soul. I am so glad to be back home and will never again go looking outside my own backyard searching for my heart’s smile. Enjoy today, Teri