Hooks for Cooks™

Beet the Heat with Kuhn Rikon

August 28th, 2009

I’ve been buying certified organic beets at Seattle’s University District Farmers Market for many years now. I learned pretty quickly that my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker is the easiest most efficient tool for cooking the hard earthy orbs.
The new pressure cookers are very safe, so this has become a foolproof operation in my [...]

In 1995, shortly after I moved to Seattle, I wrote an article for The New York Times on Seattle’s P-Patch Community Gardens.
For more than thirty years, Seattle’s P-Patches have been helping Seattleites grow organic foods. Eating local and organic is the rage these days, but clearly this program was ahead of its time. There [...]

When my Eagle Scout husband and I decided to buy our 23-foot travel trailer six years ago, we thought it would be a great way to educate our children about traveling, camping, nature, life experiences, and resourcefulness. At the time, I never imagined we’d travel as far and wide as we have.
While hauling our [...]

Vintage Pastry Day on Saturday

August 25th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I stopped at an estate sale on Seattle’s Sandpoint Way. I hadn’t intended to stop there, but the sign was too compelling.
Handwritten on plywood, it read: “Estate Sale–60 Years of Stuff.” Indeed, while strolling the driveway there was lots of stuff–artificial flowers, Christmas ornaments, hair curlers, and kitchen [...]

Preserving-Go Greener Pesto

August 22nd, 2009

There’s a lot of buzz in the Seattle food community these days regarding canning and preserving. Yes, indeed, it’s a great way to store seasonal foods for the offseason. This is something I’ve been doing for the last 15 years or so.
Admittedly, there was a phase when folks thought I was a bit odd for [...]

About a year ago, I found a double French baguette pan at a thrift store. I wasn’t sure if I’d use the perforated non stick steel and aluminum pan, but I decided to buy it anyway. These pans are hard to find secondhand. So, at home  I stashed it in my basement and didn’t use it until [...]

We are all familiar with the Butterball hotline which goes live just before Thanksgiving and fields all sorts of turkey related questions .
Well, did you know that Ball has a Home Canners’ Help Line, which is available during the week yearround? Staffed by experienced home canners, the Help Line is the place to go when faced with [...]

When I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, three years ago, necessity indeed became the mother of my inventions.
As I strolled the grocery stores in Alaska’s largest city, I was often homesick for Seattle’s hot weather produce–the basil, the peaches, the corn, and  the tomatoes. The climate simply couldn’t grow these hot weather foods, and they needed to [...]

Yikes! If I was heading to Muncie, Indiana in the next couple weeks, I’d be rushing to the local heritage museum known as Minnetrista.
Until August 23, this museum, which is dedicated to nature, history, gardens, and art, will be hosting ”Can It! 125 Years of the Ball Jar.” 
Although Muncie isn’t the birthplace of the Ball jar, [...]

My 2 in 1 Salad To Go

August 8th, 2009

What do you do when you want to take a large salad on a weekend camping trip? How do you deal with the extras like the dressing, the blue cheese, the Walla Walla onions? Which lettuce variety will transport best and survive a couple days in the cooler?
These are the questions I asked myself a few [...]

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