Friday, September 25, 2009

Seattle Met Magazine

For a short, fun profile piece about a few of my favorite food-finds around Seattle, take a peak at Seattle Met Magazine's Taste of the Town. Not surprisingly, Olsen Farms, Taylor Shellfish, and Cook Local top the list.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Art of the Pie

Kate McDermott & her apple pie

"Be happy, make Pie"

Kate & Jon on their anniversary

pretty pies, made in class

If you haven't caught the infectious bug that is Kate McDermott and her pies, you're missing out. She's the talented woman behind Art of the Pie classes. Classes are intimate, no larger than 3 people, and taught in her welcoming Seattle home. Kate provides all of the ingredients, and is also kind enough to send you home with a container of leaf lard and recipes for your next pie.

The day I took the class, Kate's husband and renowned Seattle flavor guru, Jon Rowley, joined us. It was a special day, as it was Jon's first time taking the class, too. But it was more: it was also their anniversary. Kate and Jon are happy people, fun to be around, and always smiling.

That day, we made 4 pies: huckleberry, blueberry, blackberry, and apple. My pie, the huckleberry one, was a medley of flaky, sweet crust and tart huckleberries. I took it home with me, happy as a clam to share slices with friends.

Looking back on the class, some of my favorite parts were foraging for local blackberries and sitting outside on their deck eating apple pie, chased by a glass of icy-cold goat milk. It was an experience unlike any I've had before, and one that I'll always think of each time I make pie.

Lucky for me, they'll both be at the Queen Anne farmers market this Thursday (Sept. 24), judging a Blue Ribbon pie contest. Pies will be had, prizes will be given, and Kate and Jon--- like always---- are a couple we all love to see.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Queen Anne farmers market

Selma Colmant showing off her salt
*Photo taken by Scout Colmant*

Only two more days remain until Seattle's Queen Anne farmers market ends its stellar run for the year.

The market managers and its volunteers surpassed expectations. They secured brilliant chef demos; organized fun market (dog) days; brought in an eclectic array of farmers and vendors; and treated everyone like family. We don't know where we'll be next, but we do know we'll treasure the market's final days:

Thursday, Sept. 24th
Thursday, Oct. 1st
Market hours are from 3pm-7pm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scrambled eggs, truffle salt

When I'm too tired (or just too lazy) to add anything special to my eggs in the morning, I take a short-cut to boost flavor. Bloody Mary salt was my 'go-to' for scrambled eggs or omelets in the morning. But with a new edition to our pantry, I treated my tongue to a different twist with Truffle salt. Flecked with black summer truffles, it's just as flavorful, but reminds me of a fancy restaurant.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Scoop of Salt, a year later

Chef Joseph and I met in a Seattle restaurant that we believed in. A restaurant that after time, became our community. Since nearly all of our days were spent in the restaurant, it was our family. When the restaurant went out of business, Joseph and I lost our jobs. Heart-broken from having the wind knocked out of our sails, we were unemployed when the economy was at its worst. Our state, Washington, was home to the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Looking back at what made us tick---the food and experience that brought people together--- made us want to do it all over again.

Similar to the restaurant, we hoped to re-create a community bound together by the universal experience that good food can provide. We dug into our pockets, pooling money from waiting tables and working the line. Our savings weren't much, but it was enough to remind us what mattered most. We launched our salt partnership a month later, with 7 flavored sea salts to accentuate food and classic beverage. It gave us a sense of meaning, but more importantly, it brought us closer to a community again, only this time it was our neighborhood.

We sold our salts at our local farmers market. A market that became our home. Meeting the faces behind the recyclable totes became a second family of sorts, one that we looked forward to seeing everyday. Our customers are our friends. But they're more. They drive us to want to be better, to care, and to give back.

We're passionate about where our ingredients come from, and concerned with sourcing components that reflect sustainability and social awareness. We source as many local and organic ingredients as possible, the majority from Seattle-area farmers markets. Supporting local farmers and small-scale producers makes a difference. Anyone who says the food that we eat isn't related to the viabilities of our local communities is wrong. It is.

As long as we're in business, we'll (try our best to) give back to our community. Two months after launching, we donated salt to a program that provides unique opportunities to women of color who are faced with economic and social barriers to success. The program was such a success that it garnered enough money to support a young woman's internship at another local business. We also donated to Art with Heart, a Seattle non-profit charity that helps children and families in times of crisis. We feel lucky to be able to give back, to be a part of our community, and to have friends and customers who support us.

Today, a year later, we're still a small-scale partnership (of two people). Perhaps just a blimp on the radar. But with 13 salts to sit upon, our light still shines.