February 2010March 2010 April 2010

03/31 - Good To Go Pastries

We've been watching our weight in an attempt to pare down some of our winter fat, but we were sorely tempted by Good To Go's pastries. They bake every day, but Fridays and Saturdays are special. Eric goes all out, and the danish and croissants appear. We'll probably break down as soon as we get back into fighting trim. As the high country clears this spring, we are going to need fuel for climbing. The calories we'll burn climbing Klahane Ridge or up to Lake Angeles have to come from somewhere.

Bear claws


We aren't sure, but they sure look good

Keywords: good to go, high country, lake angeles

03/31 - Early Spring at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

It's still rather wintry out there, but we are seeing signs of spring, at least at the Farmers' Market. There are more vegetables coming in, including some good cauliflower at Nash Huber's stand, and, if you are Jewish, the all too seasonal Passover horseradish at Westwind Farms.

Since we live on garlic, we've been haunting the Garlic Lady, who has our favorite scallions in stock, but no garlic yet. We're waiting.

We should also note a newcomer, Kol Nidre Farms, offering lamb for sale. We haven't tried any yet, but we plan to, and we'll report here. It's great to see more local foods at the market. For years, people offered the fruits and vegetables, but now one can also find mushrooms, seafood and meat. We are never going to become true locavores. We'll never give up coffee, but we do like to support our local suppliers.

Westwind Farm celebrates the horseradish harvest.

Our favorite scallions, but no garlic yet

Kol Nidre Farm: newcomer offering lamb

Keywords: farmers' market, farms, nash huber, spring, westwind farm, garlic lady

03/27 - Long Beach, Astoria and Environs

We recently took a trip to Long Beach in southern Washington, not far from the Oregon border. We took some pictures, ate some good food and learned a lot about the Columbia River, the Coast Guard and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Follow some of the links to the right to see some of our photos.

A glimpse of the beach

The long beach at Long Beach

A wilder day

Leadbetter Point State Park - a forest walk

Astoria, Oregon, from a pier

The lightship Columbia at the Columbia River Maritime Museum

The river inlets near Fort Clatsop

Trilliums at Fort Clatsop

The barbequed oysters of South Bend

Keywords: oregon, oysters, restaurants, beaches, trillium

03/21 - Morse Creek Wildlife Area

There have been some changes at Morse Creek curve on Route 101, that roller coaster turn east of the Walmart. There's the new fish crib that seems to be complete, possibly save for the fish, and there's the little building to the east of the creek which seems to have been spruced up somewhat. That's the interpretive center for the Morse Creek Unit of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The fish crib is apparently a survival plan for the Elwha River salmon who will be having their river remodeled in 2012 when the dam comes down. Think of it as temporary housing. If all goes well, they'll be back in their new, improved digs by the middle of the decade, but we all know how remodeling works. Still, it's good to know that there is a plan in place.

The interpretive center is part of the 133 acre Morse Creek Wildlife Area. It was closed when we dropped by, but it looks lived in. We'll see how it shapes up.

The interpretive center

Keywords: elwha, morse creek, salmon, washington state

03/21 - Bicycle Art

Now that they've paved the Morse Creek to Port Angeles leg of the Olympic Discovery Trail, you might think that you'd see a lot fewer bicycles with bent wheels and damaged frames, but you'd be wrong. One of the local families, with one of the prettiest gardens, has put up an art installation that can be seen as either an ironic comment or perhaps a warning against tresspassers. We'll let you judge.

Keywords: morse creek, port angeles, art

Lazy J at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

03/20 - Lazy J at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market

The market farmers are just starting with a few spring crops, but everything has to be weather hardy. Here's Lazy J, with leeks, flowers and potatoes. Also attending were Johnston Farm, Westwind and the venerable Nash Huber. Tuna Dan and Wild West both had fresh halibut. We grilled our filet with lemon and oregano. We're spoiled out here.

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber

03/18 - Lingering Winter

There was a touch of snow on the Lake Angeles Trail the other day. Apparently winter is not quite over, at least not until the 20th, the first day of spring. On the positive side, someone has removed the Christmas ornaments from the tree not far from the bridge. That's a definite sign that winter is passing.

Lingering winter

Keywords: christmas, lake angeles, spring, winter

Yet another salamander

03/16 - Seen On The Spruce Railroad Trail

You are probably getting tired of all the pictures of salamanders we have been posting. Sorry, but here's another. We saw five salamanders on the trail, possibly a record.

Keywords: salamander, spruce railroad

03/14 - Sunrise at Lake Crescent

It was quite a sunrise Saturday morning looking east over Lake Crescent, at least according to these images from the park service webcam. That's the moon rising along with the sun. Obviously, the sun couldn't have been that bright a the time, or the moon wouldn't be visible. It's definitely worth checking in on the various webcams now and then.

The morning gloaming

Sunrise and moonrise

Good morning!

Keywords: lake crescent, atmosphere, science

03/08 - Sefrina

Sefrina isn't the next town after Hilda. Sefrina is a Moroccan cholent, a great, easy to make Moroccan stew with a ridiculously long cooking time. We found out about it in Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Aside from the six hour cooking time, it is an easy dish to make. That's right, it cooks for six hours total, but your oven does all the heavy lifting. Everything gets wonderfully tender, and the eggs develop an amazing creamy texture as they hardboil.

We made this version with a 3lb 10oz pot roast from the Clark Family Farm. It had a nice big marrow bone which you can see floating there in the photo. The potatoes were from the Johnston Farm and the eggs from Westwind Farm, so this qualifies as a Port Angeles Farmers' Market dish. We also used dried chick peas, but they weren't from the Farmers' Market. You can make this dish with canned chick peas, but this is obviously not a dish you can throw together in a hurry, so why bother with time saving conveniences?

Our Moroccan stew

The eggs get tan and creamy.
The recipe:
  1. The night before, soak a cup of dried chick peas in water overnight.
  2. Start boiling six cups of water in a tea kettle.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Take a big casserole with a lid and dump in the chick peas.
  5. Add 3 or 4 pounds of beef cut into big chunks. Pot roast is great, but it is better if there is a bone or two.
  6. Add six potatoes.
  7. Gently tuck six raw eggs into the ingredients so far.
  8. Chop up four cloves of garlic and sprinkle them on top.
  9. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of saffron or turmeric.
  10. When the water comes to a boil, pour it on.
  11. Cover and put it in the oven for an hour.
  12. Lower the heat to 250°F and let it cook for another five hours.

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, port angeles, food, westwind farm, clark family, recipe, kale

03/06 - Snowshoeing Again

Now that the road is open again, we went up to Hurricane Ridge for some snowshoeing. The temperature was in the mid-40s, and the sun was shining brightly. The snow was a bit crunchy, but that's more a problem for skiers than snowshoers.

Of course, the parking lot was pretty full when we arrived before noon, but there were still a lot of spots. The little kids were all over the little sledding area at the west end of the lot, and the ski slope was full of skiers. It was great seeing so many people out and trudging around on the trail. We should add our thanks to the team that managed to get the road reopened before the snow melted. (That includes all you taxpayers out there.)

We weren't the only ones.

The mountains were as amazing as ever.

You can see the snow melt.

Keywords: hurricane ridge, snowshoeing, weather

03/05 - Dungeness Spit - The Rocks Are Back

We took advantage of the good tides and sunny weather to hike along Dungeness Spit. The tide was low, but the beach was rocky, with a lot of erosion. We've walked the spit when it was worse, but it was rough going.

We also noticed a bird survey team. They puttered along in one of the beach jitneys. Then they'd stop, lug their spotting scope up to the refuge border and take notes for a while. The outside of the spit is for us walkers, but the inside is for the wild birds who breed there. This is just as well. As rough going as the beach was, the going looked even rougher on the other side.

The bird surveyors

The view out

The view back

Keywords: birds, dungeness spit, tides

03/02 - Return to the Lake Angeles Trail

We always like the Lake Angeles Trail. It is only ten minutes from town. It offers a good hard climb. You can keep going all the way up to the lake, or you can turn around at a lower elevation. The lower reaches tend to be clear most of the winter, and when they are not, they make for good snowshoeing.

This January, the road collapsed just before the park entrance, so not only was Hurricane Ridge out of reach, but the Lake Angeles Trail was cut off as well. When it reopened, we made our way up a thousand feet or so.

We found the trail is in great shape. There were a few more logs down, but nothing hard to get over or around. In fact, little had changed. Even the Christmas ornaments that someone had put up were still there. It was like coming home.

The creek

Freshly fallen

At least we took down our tree.

Keywords: christmas, lake angeles, winter

03/01 - This Was Just Awful

We saw this corn on the cob for sale at Pike's Place Market. Curious, we asked:

Q: "Why is it called 'pirate corn'?"

A: "Because it's a buck-an-ear."

We did warn you that this was awful.

Actually, it looks like pretty good corn.

Keywords: seattle, humor

February 2010March 2010 April 2010