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Aside from a coffee pot, good eating in hunting camp demands only one thing: a Dutch oven. I got my first taste of this art form at a New Mexico deer camp 25 years ago, when we returned to our rigs and one of the men took his cherished Dutch oven out of its burlap sack.
The dwindling booths and that nip in the air mean the local outdoor farmers market season is coming to an end. So as I wandered through the market recently, I considered how much I could stock up so my family can continue to enjoy the lovely local pears and apples we’ve been eating for a few more months.
Here’s one way to beat the weeknight dinner dash: Have a meal delivered. Not by a driver schlepping a cardboard box, but by a friend. That’s what Spokane women Kim Niemi, Jenny Anastasi and Shannon Eaglin have been doing for more than two years.
Ree Drummond likes to call herself an accidental country girl and she considers herself something of an accidental cook. But there’s nothing accidental about the success she’s built combining those two. Drummond writes the Pioneer Woman blog and gets about 13 million page views a month, enough to spin off a cookbook: “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes From an Accidental Country Girl.” Although not due out until Oct. 27, it is currently at No. 1 on Amazon’s preorder list in the Cooking, Food & Wine category. Technorati ranks the Pioneer Woman on its list of the 100 most powerful and influential blogs in the world.
Tuesday might steep in infamy as the day the tradition of camp coffee died. Starbucks, after nearly 20 years of research, has debuted a decent-tasting instant cuppa joe.
Mark Bittman wants you to be free. In his new book “Kitchen Express” the New York Times columnist and best-selling cookbook author offers more than 400 “recipes” that are more creative cooking suggestions than staunch commands. This is good. This is empowering. This is no reason to be afraid. Bittman’s “precisely imprecise” approach debunks the “eatertainment” industry myth that cooking – real cooking – is a matter of precision.
In my kitchen, versatility trumps all. A recipe that isn’t fussy makes it easier for me to cater not only to my tastes, but also to my schedule, lifestyle and budget. Take this recipe for gnocchi with lobster and peas. The lobster adds a decadent splurge to an easy weekday meal. But if lobster isn’t in your budget, frozen cooked shrimp or canned lump crabmeat are fine, fast and more affordable alternatives.
With the mercury soaring, the heavy, rich stews and soups of winter are a distant memory. But don’t cross soups off your summertime meal planning altogether. Chilled soups can be a healthy, refreshing change of pace to back yard barbecues and are perfect for those days when it’s too hot to eat much of anything.
A friend and colleague has a rhubarb bread recipe her family loves, but she recently asked for tips to keep the loaf from sinking in the middle. We were initially tempted to tinker with the amount of leavening in the quick bread, but after comparing it to a couple of other similar recipes, we agreed that probably wasn’t the problem.
Free Child ID Kits and Fundraiser - Presented by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Spokane-area families and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. Today-Sunday, Red Robin restaurants will give away free child ID kits with the purchase of a kids’ menu item. In addition, 50 cents of every kids meal will be donated to NCMEC’s child safety initiatives. Red Robin locations include: North Spokane, 9904 N. Newport Highway; Downtown Spokane, 725 W. Main Ave.; Spokane Valley, 14736 E. Indiana Ave.; Coeur d’Alene, 1501 W. Riverstone Drive. (303) 846-6108. Cherry Pickers’ Trot and Pit Spit - Event includes four-mile walk and cherry pit spit contest. Visit www.greenbluffgrowers.com. Thursday. 5:30-9 p.m., Green Bluff, 10321 E. Day-Mt. Spokane Road, Mead. (509) 238-4709.
Think your hot apple pie is the best? Make something with chocolate that can't be beat? The Pend Oreille County Fair can add some blue-ribbon bragging rights to your resume or at least line your wallet with a few bucks.
Fresh or frozen blueberries work equally well in these simple and delicious dessert bars. Once cooled, they transport well and don’t need refrigeration, making them a perfect choice for a July Fourth picnic. Blueberry Lemon Squares
Culinary Project HOPE Garden Party - Potluck Thursday and July 16, 30, Aug. 13 and 27. 6 p.m., 2605 E. Boone Ave. Free. (509) 328-6527.
On her first visit to an American supermarket, Tina Moga from Moldova came home with an avocado. “I didn’t know what it was,” she recalled. “When I tasted it the first time, I couldn’t eat it. Second time, I put a little salt – it’s nice, it’s delicious,” Moga said. Avocados made a regular appearance in her grocery cart until Moga noticed she started gaining weight.
The deadline for submissions to the Spokane’s Best Recipe Cookbook has been extended. Cecile Charles, owner of Gallery of Thum’, is publishing 200 of the area’s top recipes in the cookbook, including some from local restaurants. Money raised by the contest will benefit Meals on Wheels.
Barbecue enthusiasts get very touchy when people confuse their craft of slowly melting meat to succulence with the act of mere grilling, that is, slapping protein onto well-oiled grates. But haute grillmeister Adam Perry Lang honors both techniques in “Serious Barbecue,” a comprehensive yet approachable new book from Hyperion that promises a full summer of tasty and relaxed outdoor cooking.
Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant - Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 4:15-5:45 p.m. and Fridays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. with take-out from 1-3 p.m. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 1620 N. Monroe St. (509) 324-1995. “Seeds of Change” Educational Film Series - A local food systems education series presented by Project Hope Spokane in association with Riverfront Farm and Green Jobs Not Jails. Films include: June 11, “Good Food and Seeds of Change: The RF Story.” 7 p.m., the Porch Church, 1804 W. Broadway St. Free with food or seed donation. (509) 280-1702.
There will be a new prize category in the recipe contest at the 2009 Lentil Festival in Pullman. It seems some people are afraid to taste the entries in the Legendary Lentil Cook-off because they contain, well, lentils. So, in their honor, organizers have created the “I Hate Lentils” prize.
Seeds of Change Film Series - A local food systems education series presented by Project Hope Spokane in association with Riverfront Farm and Green Jobs Not Jails. Films include: Thursday, “Cultivating Change and Food from the Hood”; June 11, “Good Food and Seeds of Change: The RF Story.” 7 p.m., The Porch Church, 1804 W. Broadway St. Free with food or seed donation. (509) 280-1702. Free food distribution - Free food will be handed out to anyone who needs it while supplies last. Students will give out 5,000 pounds of food. No identification or proof of income is needed. Thursday. 6 p.m., North Pines Middle School, 701 N. Pines Road. (509) 228-5020.
From the 2007 video archive: Dave Noll has mastered the technique of barbecuing a whole pig for large groups. Check out his tasty tips.