Rainer cherries, adding sweetness to the this summer

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Rainer cherries are back in season!

I love these little tasty tarty things..often ignoring the slightly higher cost at the supermarkets for a good bundle. Rainer cherries are perfect for snacks, best when shared with good friends, and makes the summertime in the PNW a little more special. I also highly recommend them for any Fourth of July get-togethers.

Rainer cherries weren’t always a PNW thing, or anything at all until development in 1952 at the Washington State University by Dr. Harold Fogle, a research scientist of horticulture studies. He crossed two red cherries, the Bing and Van, to create this slightly larger variety with a fiery color blend.

They have a special sweetness and tougher skin, but very sensitive to temperature, wind, and rain. Birds also love the Rainer cherries, almost a bit too much as they pick at large portions of local orchards. Through what’s left, picking good ones can be tedious and require extra care for their soft interior texture in transport. Good results lead to high costs from that extra effort. Yet, locals do appreciate and many are sold.

If you can, go get some!

– Orion T

A delicious, puffy weekend treat

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Ymmmm, puffle!

From that, occurred a fitting theme to the latest South Lake Union Saturday Market, a local weekend event happening through the late Spring, and much of summer. They had an ice cream social, where desserts of frozen sugary joy would be sold and served on a lineup of small trucks, carts, tents. Such was perfect for this warmer than expected day of brighter, hotter sunlight.

The most eye-catching for me was a tent for Puffle Up. Their specialty was a special form of bubble waffle, folded over to hold strategically placed additives of the tasty and sweet variety (popular and possibly originated in Hong Kong, but not sure). Choices were great, where I picked the one with strawberries, bananas, chocolate, whipped cream, and Pocky sticks. Adding ice cream would be a small priced extra, which I turned down.

What a beautiful thing this treat to behold, to stare at for a long moment (pictured above), before devouring it in a state of blissful joy. The tasteful combination is similar to a crepe, but with the waffle texture and its open-air spots, giving a focused experience of collapsing squish.

I recommend Puffle Up, especially if you are an outgoing person who loves local festivals and markets. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram, to learn more. There’s also a Yelp list of Seattle area places where bubble waffle desserts are served.

– Orion T

 

Lively Olives at the Granville Public Market

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Currently, I am not a fan of olives. I dislike the taste of them, especially on salads….too oily and weird tasting. But, I will accept them on pizzas in small amounts and thinly sliced, on the vegetarian combo style looking tempting enough sometimes.

I do find olives as oddly satisfying to just stare at. I am not sure exactly why, but I think the answer lies in the composition it’s shape, texture, and hollowness. I can further stare at an olive and appreciate it’s beauty and usefulness in flavor, oil, and other odd uses.

Did you know that the olive is a fruit, not a vegetable? They come in different color hues. The color of each olive depends on its stage of growth. Unripe fruit is green. Ripe fruit ranges from dark purple to black. Olives are hollow as each originally had a stone stem plucked out.

Olives are also big sources of minerals and vitamins A, B, E, K, B. These are low in sugar, but high in oil.

So, I did a morning visit to the big Public Market on Granville Island, in Vancouver, Canada. It’s a big place, crowded, with not much in time to appreciate the large variety of foods and drinks available there. Someday, I will come back and explore further. But for then, I  passed a stand for Duso’c Italian Foods, drawn to its presentation of olive varieties for sale. I would stare like long enough, pondering on buying some before realizing I didn’t like olives (also overspent on food the past few days of my Vancouver visit).

I wondered, what the different tastes and textures of each olive could be. I thought olives, for just being olives. Seeing these, gave me a realization of complexity and variety, then perhaps some that could change my tastebud reaction to whole olives. Then, I can learn to love olives and not just stare (and snap a photo) at them.

– Orion T

Looking at some Romanesco Broccoli

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I past by some interesting, and larger sized broccoli at Sosio’s Produce inside Pike Place Market in Seattle. Only $4.99 a pound for this, and what the signed said was “Organic Italian Broccoli Romanesco.”

According to a Wikipedia entry on Romanesco broccoli, it has grown in Italy since the 16th century. Also known:

“Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it is chartreuse in color, and its form is strikingly fractal in nature. The inflorescence (the bud) is self-similar in character, with the branched meristems making up a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the bud’s form approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.”

Fascinating!

– Orion T

The crazy truth of carrots

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Carrots are not always orange. This popular vegetable can appear in white, yellow, red, and purple.

The orange color is popular and well-known, said to be the result of 17th-century Dutch farmers who selectively bred the orange variants in a higher quantity, to symbolize the Netherlands through its nation’s chosen color and independence.

Before them, carrots have been known for its many colors and grown as a food source around the world. The color is dependent on the wavelength of light they absorb, creating the natural pigments. They still do, but the orange ones remain the most popular for being an excellent source of beta-carotene in its natural pigment.

Also, popularized in modern times by the famous cartoon rabbit, Bugs Bunny.  His original voice actor, Mel Blanc, did not like carrots and spit them out while eating them in voicing sessions.

I like them because they are filling, and a healthy way to rid hunger while avoiding fast food.

– Orion T 

The picture above was taken a stand at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where you can buy some of these unusual carrots.

 

 

A wonderful Pop-Up dinner on a rainy night.

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Sometimes, a night needs to be different and special for no particular reason. Find an opportunity, to enjoy a couple hours with good food among strangers and friends. If it centers around dinner, all the better.

Such was last Sunday evening at Peleton Cafe in Seattle’s Central District, while the rain poured down outside. I arrived by invitation to a special dinner event hosted by my good friend Megan Davies, certified holistic chef and health educator.  There, happened one of her Tigress Nutritional Support Pop-Up Dinners, hosted monthly. With each event, Megan provides and cooks to those present in four courses of tasty, nourishing, healthy food dishes (and gluten-free with vegan alternative options).

So, here is what I had (as shown in pictures below): Teaser: Sweet potato, coconut bacon and avocado canapes with burdock kimchee. Starter: oyster and maitake mushroom bisque. Main: French lentil, pork shoulder and fennel pesto (alternative not shown, chanterelle, pear and pumpkinseed Fettuccine with garden herbs and spinach). Dessert: pumpkin mousse with coconut whip and pecans. Libations were added, containing a helping of malus cranberry ginger beer (not shown).

Overall, a fantastic night. Besides the food, guests are encouraged to greet and meet others at the tables, especially strangers. That I also did and made new friends at that good time.

– Orion T

For more info on the Tigress Nutritional Support Pop-Up Dinners held in Seattle, visit http://www.tigressnutritionalsupport.com, and click on the Pop-Up tab (next one is December 10th). Seats are by ticket, and extremely limited. Send me a note if you attend. I may see you there!

Picture of Today 7/5/2017, A Seattle Dog in the Park

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I took a little time out to enjoy a local treat, being a Seattle-style hot dog. This is your usual hot dog but grilled meat (or veggie substitute) with cooked sweet onions and cream cheese on a toasted bun. For better, add some other veggie bits, and use a higher grade of cream cheese than the cheap brand name spreads and warm that up. For messy action, throw whatever condiments you love on top of it; sauerkraut, mustard, BBQ sauce, whatever. Somehow it all works out, for a fine tasty guilty pleasure.

Such was my fine evening moment, taking time out on the way home to enjoy this at Westlake Park (though, I refrained on the extras). The best Seattle Dog there you will find, is the “Dog in the Park,” stand in the back area. They have other Hot Dogs styles as well, but I find this one to be the best taste, for those hungry and passing through the area on a warm summer evening.

– Orion T