Photo Gallery

Gallery: Honey Tasting by Leslie Seaton

I don't remember what got me started collecting honeys, but it turned out, I am saying immodestly, to be a great idea. Good job, Seaton.

Locally made honey makes a good souvenir. (That is, if, like me, you're either usually road tripping and/or you always check bags when you fly; if you're a carry-on bagger, this is probably less true.) It's truly a taste of a specific place, PLUS it's got a shelf life of nearly if not forever.

And, since they'll keep for a long time, you can collect many on your travels and then eventually (finally) taste them together.

That's what we did at a Slow Food Seattle picnic this past August and I have compiled all the tasting notes from that day. Click here or on the picture below to go to the gallery with the details about the 13 different honeys we tasted.

Click for the gallery

Click for the gallery

Buckwheat was definitely the one that inspired most description, whether loved or hated. Some notes were not surprising (maple tree honey tastes mapley, orange blossom honey tastes citrusy), but some were (saguaro tasted of coffee, Sonoran Desert wildflower honey tasted "almost savory" to one taster, but so sweet it "called me babydoll" to another).   

Lessons learned from this tasting:

  • A small condiment cup of honey will be more than enough for 10 or so people.
  • You only need about a tablespoon of each honey for that many people.
  • Put one spoon in the cup of honey that people can then use to transfer the honey to their own tasting spoon. (This might seem self-evident but it wasn't until fellow Slow Food board member Varin - who is a chef and therefore practices good spoon economy on a daily basis - made a comment that we realized we had just wasted an entire pile of tiny tasting spoons.)
  • You can provide toasts or cheeses, but honestly, I think just tasting them straight was the way to go.
  • I recommend a bubbly water or acidic something to go along with to refresh after all that sweetness.
  • Allow for some time; it was nice to taste a few and go do something else so as to have a chance to rest your palate. 

If you are in Seattle, for more events like this, please check out Slow Food Seattle. I'm happy to be on the board and we're all looking forward to putting on more creative and interesting events in 2015. (If you're not in Seattle, consider looking for your own local chapter and see what they've got going on.)

Additional dates added for mycopigments workshop by Leslie Seaton

A couple months ago, I posted about a mushroom dyeing workshop in October with Alissa Allen of Mycopigments. I've taken her class in the past and really enjoyed it!

Alissa let me know she's added a few new dates - she'll be teaching her workshop on Oct 4 or 5 (sorry this had wrong dates when first posted - 4th and 5th are correct!) in Ballard. Check out her flyer here

Three years ago today: May Valley Trail by Leslie Seaton

 Slug. I am assuming banana.

Not every trip to the woods is a picturesque sylvan ramble. Sometimes one is instead grimly stepping around horseshit, mating slugs and corpse plants. Like this visit three years ago to the May Valley Trail. Preview below, full gallery here. NSFSW. (Not Safe for Slug Work due to graphic nature of some of the slug pictures. Probably safe for human work.) 

May Valley Trail, August 5, 2011

Mushroom dye workshop w/Alissa Allen of Mycopigments this October by Leslie Seaton

I might have shuttered Fresh-Picked but, as promised, I am still unable to resist telling people about interesting events. Here's one!

Alissa Allen teaches classes in making mushroom and lichen dyes (mycopigments). I took her class in 2013. I will admit I haven't actually taken the next step of making a mushroom dye, but there is often an extended incubation period for me between interest and action. Sometimes years. 

Images and some Vines from that event are above (complete gallery with captions here), and if you are interested, you can sign up for her event on October 8 in Eatonville. She'll have a special guest - Liann Finnerty - there to talk about silk design and everyone will get a silk scarf to practice on. The class I attended was great, very informative, and this is a pretty unique opportunity, so worth taking a look!

Check out the event and register here! And again, you can see the complete gallery of the class I attended here.

Three years ago today: Berry Picking Class with Langdon Cook by Leslie Seaton

Langdon Cook red huckleberry class on Bainbridge Island. Better Knowing a Berry circa 2011. I had met red huckleberries before this class, but this is when we really got acquainted.

This look back is giving me berry nostalgia. My berrymania burned bright and hot in the past three years but this year I have picked nary a berry. I am torn between wanting to make time for berry picking in coming weeks and NOT wanting to make time to process picked berries. I do enjoy foraging so much, but this year, feeling a bit torn about hobbies that create their own chores (a downside to wild food collection).

Recent developments at the Seaton household (a resurgence of berry-oriented smoothie-drinking) might be now creating some additional motivation for finding time for berries, but I think whatever plans I do make, I might have missed out on the stars of this slideshow: I generally have experienced that late July red hucks are especially wormy (at least from my favorite spot).

One can usually flush MOST of the worms from the fruit (keep them submerged in water until the worms all - shudder - crawl out looking for air, skim the top, discard, shudder more, repeat). But you can't flush the KNOWLEDGE of worms in your berries from your mind as easily so I'm sometimes...reluctant to risk late July red hucks.

But there's always blackberries. And mountain huckleberries. And although I keep ticking them nervously off on my fingers, there are still several (some! not enough!) summer weekends left. So there might be some berrymania, or at least berryenthusiasm to be had.

Click here for the full gallery and to learn more about red hucks and some other local (edible and not edible) berries.