February 11, 2009 in Food

Uniontown offers mix of history, recipes

By The Spokesman-Review
 

For a taste of the Palouse and a bit of history, consider picking up the “Artisans’ Cookbook: A Palette of Favorite Recipes from the Artisans at the Dahmen Barn.”

The artists, board members and friends of the unique Uniontown, Wash., barn have compiled their favorite recipes into the little spiral-bound book, which sells for $17.95, plus shipping and handling. The idea grew from the potluck meals at the converted barn where resident artisans and board members share favorite dishes and recipes.

There are more than 300 recipes in the book. The first chapter gives a nod to Uniontown’s German heritage as well as the pea, lentil, barley and wheat crops grown by local farmers. According to a news release, one of the resident artists is from Germany and she translated several recipes from German to English for the book.

The introduction also includes the story of the transformation of the Dahmen Barn from vacant building into an unusual artists’ center and performance space. Visitors can watch any of the 19 artists at work in the studios inside the barn. The Hay Loft Hall hosts monthly art exhibits and regularly scheduled music performances.

The cookbook is dedicated to Steve and Junette Dahmen, who donated the family-owned barn. Steve Dahmen built the surrounding iron-wheel fence. Junette Dahmen, a watercolor artist, painted the image of the barn and fence that is featured on the cookbook cover.

The Dahmen Barn is in Uniontown on Highway 195, about 16 miles south of Pullman. It is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the winter, and, starting March 1, until 6 p.m. There is no daily admission fee. For more information or to purchase a cookbook, go to www.artisanbarn.org or call (509) 229-3414.

Focus on Walla Walla

The wines and food of Walla Walla are featured in the February issue of Gourmet magazine.

Writer Caroline Bates reviewed some of the gems in the heart of Washington wheat country, including inn and winery Abeja and restaurants 26brix, Creektown Cafe, Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, Whitehouse-Crawford and the Whoopemup Hollow Cafe in nearby Waitsburg.

Unfortunately, just as the Gourmet magazine released, chef and owner Mike Davis announced that 26brix would close its doors. The restaurant was on the ground floor of The Dacres Hotel and was known for New Orleans style gumbo and beignets.

Davis and partners had hoped to restore the building and open a boutique hotel along with the restaurant. In a news release, he said his plans were to take some time off before deciding what to do next. “Whether that is here in the United States or abroad is yet to be determined,” he said. “I might need to start brushing up on my French.”

We’re always looking for fresh food and restaurant news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446, fax to (509) 459-5098 or send an e-mail to lorieh@spokesman.com

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