The Oxbow Box Project

by Patricia Eddy on July 29, 2012

Most years, we do a series on CSAs round about mid March or April. We’re lucky here in Seattle to have an abundance of CSAs to choose from. Like fruit? There’s a CSA just for you. Love to be able to pick every item in your box? Well, there’s a CSA for you too. Want delicious, fresh, and organic vegetables? Well, there are A LOT of CSAs for you.

A few months ago, the lovely folks at Oxbow Farms contacted us and asked us if we wanted to take part in a project they were working on. They were giving CSA boxes to local bloggers so they could find out what the bloggers would do with them. We were excited to take part. After all, we live for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Our week for the Oxbow Box was actually two weeks ago, but Mrs. Cook Local was training hard for a triathlon on July 22nd, and as such, there was little time for blogging. But now that the triathlon is done, we’re hoping to get a little caught up on our backlog and maybe even get you a few new recipes!

Today I want to tell you just a little bit about Oxbow Farms and their CSA program. On Tuesday, we’ll have a delicious recipe for a shaved turnip salad, and on Thursday, we’ll tell you what we did with the rest of the items in the box.

About Oxbow Farms

Oxbow Farms is a 25 acre farm located in the Snoqualmie valley. They sell at a variety of farmers markets in the local Seattle area, including Ballard, Madrona, and Carnation, as well as the Redmond PCC, Central Coop, and Marigold and Mint. They grow a wide variety of vegetables as well as raspberries and strawberries. Oxbow was started by Sarah Cassidy and Luke Woodward in 1999. They are a small operation, but their produce is top notch.

The CSA

Oxbow’s CSA lasts 20 weeks, from May through October. They also have a winter CSA that can extend the season another 4 weeks. When you sign up for their CSA, you can choose from a variety of pickup locations, including Redmond, Bellevue, Ballard, Capitol Hill, Carnation, Columbia City, and Mercer Island. For a full listing of their pickup locations, see here.

They offer two sizes. The family size is $630 for the entire season and will feed up to 4 people. The small share is $420 for the season and feeds 1-2 people. Now, before you think that it’s silly that I’m advertising for them when the season has already started, hold on. Oxbow will PRORATE YOUR CSA SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. That’s right. If you still want to sign up, you can still do so for a discount. Right now, there are 14 deliveries left in the season and the family share is $441, with the small share coming in at $294.

The Produce

All of Oxbow’s produce is certified organic and salmon safe. In our box, we had a lovely variety of produce. We had several types of leafy greens, carrots, beets, turnips, and raspberries. Everything was perfectly fresh, including the beet greens. I’ll give you a quick preview of what we did with the raspberries. We ate them. No recipe needed there. We’ll cover the rest of the box over the next few posts.

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Previewing the Summer Menu at Six Seven

by Patricia Eddy on July 24, 2012

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: This post is about a very generous dinner (with wine) we received for free from Six Seven and The Edgewater Hotel.

If you’ve played tourist in Seattle very much, you’ve probably heard of The Edgewater Hotel. There’s a very famous photo of The Beatles fishing out of their hotel room at The Edgewater in 1964. The hotel is perfectly situated right over Elliott Bay for beautiful views of the mountains, the water, and the ferries going back and forth to Bainbridge and Vashon. One of the most impressive aspects of The Edgewater though, is their restaurant, Six Seven.

The restaurant has amazing full length windows that look out over the bay, and in the evenings, you can see the most beautiful sunsets. While I’m a sucker for sunsets, I have to admit that I paid little attention to the one that occured while we were at this preview dinner because the food was just that good. I hope you’ll check out the gallery in this post to check out how lovely these dishes really were. Let me tell you a little about them.

We started with a delicious appetizer of Chilled Tomato Cappuccino. I’m not a fan of tomato soup, but this was delicious. Chef John Roberts came out to talk to us about this dish and he explained that he was trying to reproduce a pesto flavor with the soup’s garnishes. The tomato soup alone was delicious – full of flavor, rich, velvety, but the garnishes really made the dish. The soup was topped with fried garlic chips, basil olive oil, and Parmesan foam. I’ve often thought that “foams” were dreadfully overdone and something that should be avoided, but this Parmesan foam was delicious.

Next, we had smoked salmon and asparagus, topped with a soft boiled egg. I’ll admit it, I’m predisposed to be in love with just about anything that comes with a soft boiled egg. I’m not sure when exactly this happened, as I used to shy away from any egg not cooked so long that it was practically petrified, but now the sexiness of an oozing egg yolk spreading out over fresh vegetables, potatoes, or some form of protein just  makes me go weak in the knees. This was a perfect dish, and one that I wish I could recreate at home. Yes, I probably could, if it weren’t for my lack of experience cooking soft boiled eggs, something I plan on remedying soon. Oh, and the salmon is local, from Neah Bay.

The next course was an arugula and pear salad. I can’t really speak much about this dish. It was lovely, but it’s a salad. A delicious salad, but a salad. I’d rather just tell you that we both cleaned our plates and move on to the main courses.

Halibut is one of those foods that just evokes spring and summer for me. It’s also one that can go from perfection to horrible in the space of about 3 minutes of cooking time. The halibut at Six Seven was served with asparagus tips, cipollini onions, bacon lardons, artichokes, and cherry tomato heirloom salad. I found it delicious and fresh and I would order it again in a heartbeat. It’s also local, from Neah Bay.

My favorite dish of the night, however, was the one dish that I don’t have a photo for. It was the Braised Short Rib with parsnip puree, baby carrots, mustard greens, parsnip chips, and braisage. I consider short ribs to be one of those dishes that truly shows the talent of the chef. Why? Because they need to be cooked low and slow to render them tender and delicious. Cook them too fast, too hot, or not long enough and they are tough and chewy. Cook them too long (at any temperature) and they simply fall apart in a stringy meaty mess. It takes talent to cook a short rib to the point where it holds its shape, but can still be cut with a spoon. Chef Roberts does just that. I would have liked to have had just a tad bit more sauce (it was a red wine braise) on the short ribs, but otherwise, this dish was perfect. I am still craving it, three weeks later.

For dessert, we enjoyed Meyer Lemon pie. It was light, sweet, tart, and perfectly summer.

Please check out the photo gallery for some (admittedly not perfect) photos. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t ideal in the restaurant, so our photos just don’t do the meal justice. But, if they happen to be reading this and they want some shots for the website, Mr. Cooklocal works cheap and can come in most any weekday around 330, 400.

If you are looking for an impressive meal with an equally impressive view, we hope you’ll check out Six Seven and their new summer menu and a beautiful sunset. The menu will continue, with small changes as the season progresses, through September 21st. Look for a new fall menu to debut on September 22nd.

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Breaking The Silence… Sort Of

by Patricia Eddy on July 6, 2012

Wow. It’s been a while, huh? Mrs. Cook Local is training about ten to twelve hours every week in preparation for an Olympic Triathlon (her second Olympic) in a few weeks (as well as working on a novel in her tiny amount of spare time) and Mr. Cook Local is working a job that leaves him pretty wiped out, so we’re not doing a lot of blogable cooking these days. Our meals consist of some sort of protein (either from the farmers market or from Whole Foods) and some kale, asparagus, or peas. We’re really lucky if we can manage to try a new recipe even once a week and the idea of photographing and typing up said recipes is just not filling us with joy these days. We miss blogging though, and do hope to be back at it soon.

A few things we feel we should mention though, and an announcement of a few upcoming posts and events pulled us out of our own heads for a bit, so here we go.

The next post you’ll see here is going to be sponsored. Well, not exactly sponsored, but sort of. We were invited to Six Seven’s Summer Bloggers Preview Dinner a couple of weeks ago and we jumped at the opportunity. We try not to attend very many events that we don’t pay for, because we don’t feel that sponsored posts should be a mainstay of any site and especially not ours. But, we need to eat, and we love Six Seven, and enjoy what they are doing with their menu, so they are one of our few exceptions (Elliot’s Oyster House being the other notable exception). We will (of course) disclose the fact that we didn’t pay for the meal in the post itself as well. But I wanted to let y’all know ahead of time too.

CSA season has started and we’re thrilled to be a subscriber to Tonnemaker’s CSA for the second year. We’re actually a drop site, and we love getting bags of cherries and apricots and apples delivered each week. We’ll try to have more recipes featuring CSA ingredients over the next few months. What’s in YOUR CSA this year?

A dear friend, Lisa K. Nakamura of Allium on Orcas, has published her first short story. Bucky is a dollar bill that travels around the local economy having all sorts of adventures. You can buy a copy of Bucky’s story at http://www.spreadthebucky.com. We’ve already purchased our copy and we hope you’ll do the same.

Enjoy the summer weather we’re having here in Seattle and we’ll be back with you soon!

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Local Events This Week!

by Patricia Eddy on April 30, 2012

There are two awesome events going on this week that we hope you’ll check out.

Spring Edible Plant Sale at Seattle Tilth

On Saturday and Sunday, May 5th and 6th, check out the Spring Edible Plant Sale put on by Seattle Tilth. This is the big one, ladies and gentlemen! The sale at Meridian Park can net you tomatoes, peppers, herbs, cucumbers, strawberries, and more. Check out their full list of available plants and schedule of events on their website. If you’re pressed for time, you can also spend a very worthwhile $25 and attend the early bird sale on Friday night. All proceeds go directly to Seattle Tilth.

3rd Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser for North Helpline Food Bank and Emergency Service Center

On Sunday, May 6th, from noon-3pm, you can visit the Empty Bowls fundraiser at the Lake City Elks Lodge at 145400 Lake City – Bothel Way NE. Advanced tickets are available for $25 here. Day of event tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the door. You can choose a handmade bowl and enjoy salad, soup, bread, a beverage, and dessert along with live music. There’s also a silent auction. This is a great way to get a one-of-a-kind bowl that you’ll always associate with helping others. Seriously, folks. We’ve been to several Empty Bowls fundraisers and they are always fantastic. Go.

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Saffron Brined Halibut with Salsa Verde

April 18, 2012

Wow. Just when we’re getting used to a new schedule with the Mr. cooking a lot more, things change and now I’m back to cooking – at least once or twice a week. By virtue of being insanely busy these days, we’re focusing on meals that are simple to prepare, take a minimun of time, [...]

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Beef Satay and Peanut Noodles and Snow Peas

April 16, 2012

Going back to Allergy-Friendly Food for Families… The Mrs. actually picked this recipe out. I wasn’t sure what to make and since I’m trying to be sure that her training schedule is addressed by what we eat, I figured it was a good idea to get her input on the matter. Also, I know she [...]

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Mozzarella en Carrozza

April 13, 2012

This post is a day too late. I feel kind of guilty about that. See, yesterday, April the 12th, was National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. And I have this sweet little sandwich all ready on deck. Sure, it was waiting on photo processing, but, we could have gone a little faster on that. It’s just [...]

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Sometimes you don’t need a recipe

April 9, 2012

It’s 4pm on a Seattle Sunday as I’m writing this, and John is outside cleaning off the grill. This morning, he picked up some of Seattle’s very first local salmon from Wilson Fish at the Ballard Farmers Market, and tonight, in just a bit, we’ll be slapping a little dry rub on that beautiful filet [...]

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Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup

April 4, 2012

Let’s take a break from that other cookbook for a day, shall we? The weather here in Seattle has been fluctuating so wildly, I’m pretty sure it is hooked up to someone’s unlabeled light switch and their house just went on the market, so prospective buyers are walking through daily flipping the switch a few [...]

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Beef Buddha Bowl

April 3, 2012

Continuing our romp through the Allergy-Friendly Food for Families, I wanted to go for something simple, a veggie bowl with, admittedly, a little beef added. I always liked the idea of a simple bowl of rice piled high with vegetables and just a little bit of sauce and maybe some protein mixed in. It is [...]

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