a quick note


Things are a little frantic around here as we’re bringing home our new adopted dog this evening. Yes, the cats will be horrified. They’ll get over it (we hope). In the meantime, here’s a nice plate of summer: grilled grass-fed angus ribeye, grilled corn, and a warm potato salad with lots of parsley. What’s everyone eating in this hot weather I hear everyone’s getting except us?

trout on the grill

trout stuffed with lemons

The summer weather has been coming and going with dismaying regularity, but we had at least one really nice day last week. We had gone out to Well Fed Farms to pick up our final batch of chickens for the season, then took the opportunity to swing by Skagit’s Own Fish Market on the way back. I found myself enamored of a tray of fresh rainbow trout, neatly butterflied and glistening in the case. They were far cheaper than any of the salmon options and looked wonderful; we brought home two.

trout on the grill

It was too nice out not to grill, so I followed the fishmonger’s advice and stuffed the trout with lemon slices, then laid them carefully over moderate coals. When the skin on one side was crispy and golden, we carefully turned them to do the other side without flinging lemons into the fire.


The result was gorgeous. Apart from a bunch of tiny bones that had escaped the cleaning process in my trout, they were easy to eat, and the delicate meat was scented with lemon. I made coleslaw with a buttermilk-horseradish dressing from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, then opened a bottle of very dry and light French rose.


mosquito season

Even the scent of citronella candles couldn’t hurt this meal.

pork chops


The last package of pork chops from our freezer pig, brined in sugar and salt and grilled over charcoal. Broccoli rabe from Dunbar Gardens, sauteed in lots of olive oil with sliced garlic and red chile. Soft polenta with butter and parmesan. A quiet evening and a half bottle of Shooting Star Lemberger left over from the night before. The beginning of summer.

summer for a day


Our much-anticipated heat wave hit this weekend, much to the delight of all of us here in gray and mossy Skagit County. It’s been a long, dark, irritating wet season, and everyone was very ready to get out the summer clothes and try being too hot for a change. We celebrated by hauling out the patio furniture, opening a bottle of rosé and eating dinner out by the grill. The air was warm, the wisteria was blooming, and I had put the tabouli together earlier, so I got to sit back and watch my husband cook.


Dinner was grilled lamb chops, grilled eggplant, tabouli, grilled bread and a Graham Beck pinotage rosé. What can I say, but mmmmmm. It’s summer. Continue reading

Last gasp of summer

The weather this week is just gorgeous, so we’ve been eating down on our patio every night. When the air is warm, the sun is filtering down through the bay laurel and the wisteria, and the grill is heating up, it’s like a little fantasy of the south of France. This happens maybe five times a year, so we try to make the most of it. Continue reading