Roasting in the Pacific Northwest

It’s hot here in Selah. No, not outside, where the temperatures remain unseasonably cool. Highs in the mid ’70’s, evenings really cool in the ’40’s. Not like the Midwest which seems to be roasting hot outside.

No, it’s hot in my oven, where I’ve been roasting cauliflower. Are you saying “ewww” right now? Well, don’t. It’s the simplest possible “non-recipe” for turning something kind of plain into something really yummy. Cut up a cauliflower into small flowerets. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in 400 or so degree oven (anywhere between 400 and 450 works for me) for about half an hour. Part way through remove and toss around with a spatula. Remove, sprinkle with coarse salt, and see if it actually makes it to your dinner plate, or instead gets nibbled away in the kitchen and magically disappears.

Tonight I served this with a dish of “starter chicken curry” (blogged a few months ago), except I used quinoa instead of rice. Whole grain goodness with mild, delicious taste.

Once it finally heats up outside, I’ll stop roasting things inside (the oven). Until then… happy eating for us!


Back in the saddle again

Whoa! It’s been quite a break I’ve taken from blogging. Three months since I last checked in. I must have fallen off my horse and it’s time for me to get back on, in true Western fashion. So, whether or not I have much of interest to share, I’m back. Blogging and rattling on about things of consequence or little consequence.

This past weekend we attended a fundraising event for a conservancy group trying to buy up some land along the Yakima River a little ways north of Selah, where we live. It’s prime territory for mountain sheep and without protection will be privately owned and off limits to recreational users like me. And maybe the sheep?

The event was, ironically to me, held at a private resort along the Yakima River that has been developed in the past few years. It’s a lovely spot, and has a very appealing lodge. One of those places that calls out my lack of truthfulness when making comments like “oh, I don’t really want the things that a lot of money buys….”. The weather cooperated fully for the event. Not the baking hot desert temperatures that we often already have at this time of year, but very pleasant in the mid ’70’s with a nice gentle breeze. Ahh.

The event started with a wine tasting by a Washington state winery named Frenchman Hills. The owner did an interesting on the spot blending of three different red wines to produce a very pleasant wine. An outdoor dinner on the lawns adjoining the river came next. The menu featured roast pig (from a nearby pit), roast chicken, a quinoa salad, green salad with lots of local ingredients, corn bread with honey butter, apple or rhubarb strawberry crisp with local ice cream….. on and on. Wonderful food, with encouragement to return for seconds and thirds. The roast pig, with accompanying flavorful sauce, was wonderful and I did return multiple times. Just never know when that will be on the menu again so I’d better enjoy it while I can!

After dinner, Dan Evans, who was governor of Washington state in the 60’s and 70’s when the Yakima River Canyon highway was officially designated a “Byway”, spoke. He was spry and fit looking, and seemed delighted to be able to make the drive with his wife from Seattle over to the Yakima River for the event.

Then the live Celtic music began, and we luxuriated in the view from the deck while enjoying the music.

We watched, but didn’t participate in, the fly fishing demonstrations. However, when we discovered the firepit near the river with glowing coals and all the fixings for s’mores on benches, including marshmallow sticks, we did find ourselves enjoying one last culinary delight before heading home.