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Fresh Sheet: Country Caramels, Tom Douglas and apples

Wed., June 11, 2014

Spokane’s own Country Caramels has created a special flavor in time for Father’s Day.

Caramels infused with Jack Daniel’s whiskey are available at the To Market gift store on the second level of Spokane’s River Park Square.

The candies are made by Alyson Paredes and her daughter Demi Paredes. The small company also offers vanilla sea salt caramels by the bag and individually. Singles cost 99 cents; 6-ounce bags retail for $11.95.

The gift shop is the first permanent location for the company, which debuted its sweets in a holiday kiosk at the mall last winter. Each batch is hand-stirred for two hours, cooled for 24 hours, then hand-cut, wrapped and bagged.

Farm dinner with Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas, the famous Seattle chef, and his wife, Jackie Cross, are opening their Yakima Valley farm for three intimate, six-course dinners this year.

If you’re willing to make the drive – and pay the $165 per person – you’re invited. But seating is limited. Only 16 spots are available.

Dinners are scheduled for June 21, Aug. 30 and Oct. 25 at Prosser Farm, established in 2006 along the banks of the Yakima River and at the base of the Horse Heaven Hills. The 20-acre farm features 6 acres of vegetables, fruits and herbs, which supply Douglas’ Seattle restaurants, including Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge and Serious Pie.

Dinners start at 5 p.m. with sparkling wine and appetizers outdoors, followed by a farm tour. The other courses will be served inside the farm house at a communal table. June ingredients include asparagus, rhubarb, quail eggs and lamb.

For more information, including making reservations, visit

Cosmic Crisp

Washington State University’s newest apple has a brand name.

The name for the rose-colored variety, previously known as WA 38, was chosen after an extensive process led by Carolyn Ross, an associate professor in WSU’s School of Food Science.

She held focus groups in Pullman, Yakima and Seattle. Plus, the Yakima-based Proprietary Variety Management surveyed shoppers in retail locations.

PVM will work with WSU and the Washington apple industry to develop a logo and other marketing materials before the fruit goes to market.

Developed in 1997 by crossing Enterprise and Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp won’t be widely available until 2019. Meantime, WSU is working with nurseries and other producers to increase planting stock.


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