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
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
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.
Orcas Island draws many gifted, resourceful, environmentally conscious people to our little community. So events like the yearly display of art made entirely of recycled items, naturally fit the creative island vibe. The 15th annual A.R.T. (Appropriate Recycling Technology) Show kicked off last Friday at Enzo’s Café in downtown Eastsound. Aficionados gathered in the gallery/eatery raved about both the quality of the artwork and fresh pizza spread.
The show’s serious side is that it’s also serving as a fundraiser to help re-build The Exchange, our sorely missed local reuse center, which we lost to an accidental fire in 2013. According to the Orcas Recycling Services team, construction plans and permits are progressing nicely, and the new Exchange is slated to reopen later this year.
Past A.R.T. shows have included lots of items found at the Exchange itself. But with the Exchange temporarily out of commission, folks were encouraged to make use of what they have lying around the house. A majority of this year’s best pieces were created by recycled-materials artist Elise Antonio, from Seattle. Over the past year she’s experimented with cardboard, paper grocery bags and recycled wood. Elise uses nature as her inspiration, and I loved her white wolf!
Other pieces were created using discarded toys and bits of what most people would consider trash. While I can’t draw, paint or carve, I have plenty of raw materials like this around the property just waiting to be recycled into something… Maybe attacking my junk drawer with a glue gun and some inspiration could create art!
Have you created anything artistic out of ordinary trash? Plan to enter it in next year’s Recycled Art Show!
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.
Spring is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons.
I’m back in my garden, seeds are sprouting, flowers are blooming, and birds are nesting and singing.
From hummingbirds zipping around my garden to eagles nesting across the valley, we have a huge variety of birds to appreciate.
And Orcas celebrates our feathered friends with a little help from the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the annual Birdfest, a celebration of birds! This year, the Orcas Island Birdfest runs for four days: Thursday, April 30 through Sunday, May 2.
The schedule is packed with bird walks and nature tours, workshops, a fine art exhibition and scientific symposium, all focusing on the wonder of birds and grassroots solutions for maintaining healthy populations.
Even if you are not a “birder,” this is an unforgettable experience showcasing the natural splendor of the San Juan Islands.
Grab your binoculars, pack your Birding in the San Juan Islands by Mark G. Lewis, put your hiking boots on and get ready for some local color and sound.
Visit www.otterspond.com for a list of birds you can see on Orcas Island.
For information about the 2015 Birdfest and a complete calendar of events, visit OrcasIslandBirdFest.com.
Sometimes I stray too far from the barn, but a day at Coffelt Farm Stand brings me right back to what really is important, family, farming and friendships.
My grandparents had a dairy farm complete with chickens, horses and bottle fed calves. Grandma’s garden filled canning jars and the cellar was filled with pears, apples and plums from the orchard. These are fond memories deep in my soul. I spent many summers picking berries with grandma, never wanting to eat any so my bucket would be as full as hers. Jams and pies were yummy results. I still remember when grandma left the pie making to me for a family gathering. Her shared crust secrets and faith in me still show in my pies today.
Wanting to get out of the city, I moved to Orcas Island 27 years ago with 3 sons and a desire to find my roots again. The boys are grown and raising their own families now. It is my garden and orchard they will remember in their hearts and souls, as well as the many trips to local Orcas Island farms.
In my garden, each year I look forward to planting new things, talking to other farmers about their favorite seeds and sharing tricks to invite worms to feed the soil. I have starts from Sid Coffelt, plum trees from my great grandma’s orchard, tomatoes from John Cadden, garlic from Mary Ann Sircely, raspberry bushes from my mom, Arlene Carlson and blueberry shrubs from Faith Deeds garden. There is much heart and soul in my garden and I dance with joy thinking about the harvest with my grand kids!!!
The Coffelt Farm, located in Crow Valley, Orcas Island, gives tours to school children in the spring time when new born run the barn yard. This spring the farm welcomed several new piglets, lambs and a couple of calves.
This farm girl says get busy, visit a farm, offer some volunteer time in a garden, share an afternoon canning the harvest, spend time with your grandma, bring a friend and create a memory to nourish the soul.
By Beth Holmes
Breathe deep in 2015.
There are so many mental and physical benefits to deep, intentional breathing yet we forget. At any given moment, stop and notice your breath. Likely, you’ll catch yourself taking short, shallow breaths or maybe holding your breath; happens to me all the time. Something as simple as one deep inhale makes such a profound difference for me and I just wanted to share.
Be excellent to everyone and don’t forget to breathe.