{Giveaway} Lee Reich on Landscaping with Fruit and Uncommon Edibles

Lee Reich's Garden

Podcast: Play in new window | Download There are moments when audacity pays off. For years – years! – I’ve been full-on Fan Girl for garden writer Lee Reich. Lee’s been writing incredibly useful, readable books and magazine articles for decades and I’ve been learning from his expertise for about as long as I’ve been gardening. [Continue Reading...]

Fruit Trees: Summer Pruning vs. Winter Pruning

Fruit Tree Pruning

To grow the most varieties of fruit on my small suburban lot, I am experimentally trying a technique called Backyard Orchard Culture developed by the fruit tree-growers at Dave Wilson Nursery. Proponents will tell you Backyard Orchard Culture or BYOC (“Bring Your Own Cherry? Citrus? Cherimoya?”) is a great way for space constrained gardeners to [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Quince Paste

Quince Paste (Membrillo)

Quince is an interesting fruit. It’s hard and dry and astringent when raw, but floral and delicate if cooked. If you put your nose into a bag full of ripe quince, the perfume of the fruit shows its promise. Quince paste (often called by it’s Spanish name, dulce de membrillo) is a popular spread in [Continue Reading...]

Stop Chickens From Scratching Up Your Trees and Shrubs

Protect Trees from Chickens

Happy chickens scratch. They scratch a lot. Trees and shrubs are not so fond of having their roots unearthed by chickens, but that does not dissuade the chickens, who will happily scratch and dig until they practically uproot a small tree if they think there might be a worm in it for them. In my yard, [Continue Reading...]

Figs in the Pacific Northwest: Will My Unripe Figs Ripen?

Note: This post has been updated to reflect additional and more accurate information. I don’t think I’ve ever hosed up gardening advice quite so completely as in the first version of this post, but thankfully my readers are amazing and set me straight. Thank goodness for community! I’m getting lots of questions about figs right [Continue Reading...]

Two Ingredient/Two Minute Cherry Ice Cream

Cherry Ice Cream (2)

Some tastes are summer in your mouth. This is one of them. When the weather gets gloomy, and the great overcast sky of Seattle forms a continuous ombrey of silver-darkening-to-slate with the damp pavement, this is the flavor that recalls sun on your neck and trips to the lake. This is also the recipe that [Continue Reading...]

Figs with Lemon Ricotta and Mint

Figs with Lemon Ricotta and Mint (2)

This is one of those dishes that, as a caterer, I could charge $3 per piece for and people would happily pay it. Perfectly fresh figs topped with homemade fresh lemon ricotta and sprigs of organic spearmint. Can’t you just hear the cash draining from wallets everywhere? Actually, figs are a beast to work with [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Pectin-Free Jam: Ditch The Box and Increase The Creativity In Your Preserves

How To Make Jam Without Pectin (3)

Do you need pectin to make jam? I used to think so. I followed the recipe on the inside of the pectin box slavishly for 7 years before I broke free of the pectin bonds. Every year, my strawberry jam tasted exactly like the strawberry jam of everyone else who wore the Sure-Jell shackles. The [Continue Reading...]

Create Your Own Signature Jam By Mixing and Matching Flavors

Apricot Jam with Lime, Ginger and Tequila

It’s unofficial Preserve Week here at Northwest Edible Life. I know because my floor is sticky with canning syrup and my refrigerator smells like pickle brine. It’s hard for me to think of anything else but putting food by right now, so I’m going to be talking jams and pickles all week long. I hope [Continue Reading...]

The Only Good Fruit Fly Is A Dead Fruit Fly

Piles of ripening, and occasionally over-ripened, fruit, such as have been gracing my kitchen for about the last six weeks, bring with them fruit flies.  Man I hate those little bastards. Fruit flies just…appear. And once you have some of them calling your kitchen or your peaches or your compost home, they will swell to disgusting proportions [Continue Reading...]

Good From The Garden: Plum Perfect Galette

You know how people say “easy as pie,” when something couldn’t be simpler? Well, sorry pie, there is something simpler, and tastier: the galette. Oh, sure, you might argue that a galette is just a French pie, and in a way you’d be right. But this flat, simple, rustic (galettes are always described as rustic, which I find [Continue Reading...]

Professor Plum, In The Kitchen, With The Food Dehydrator

My mom, in her domestic wisdom, offers me this piece of advice about keeping a home: ”Get your machines working for you!”  She means, get in the habit of throwing in a load of laundry and starting up the dishwasher first thing in the morning and throughout the day, let your machines work for you, and before [Continue Reading...]