lummi island wine tasting jul 14 ’18 Bastille Day

(note: some photos will enlarge when clicked)

Bread Friday this week

French Country Bread – A levain bread made with mostly bread flour, fresh milled whole wheat and and a bit of toasted wheat germ. After building the levain with a sourdough culture and mixing the final dough it gets a long cool overnight ferment in the refrigerator to develop a great rustic country loaf. – $5/loaf

Brioche Loaves – Loaded with eggs and butter, a little milk and some sugar for a tender crumb and luscious flavor. Fermented in the refrigerator overnight, then formed into loaves and put into loaf pans for baking. Makes great toast and even better French Toast – $5/loaf

…and for pastry this week, continuing our French theme

Kouign Aman: As with croissants, has both a little levain for the sourdough flavor as well as some pre-fermented dough to help build strength. When rolling out however, instead of using flour to prevent sticking, sugar is used. The dough is cut into squares and baked in cupcake tins where all that sugar and butter caramelizes and makes for delicious, crunchy, delightful pastry.  – 2/$5


 This Weekend

Lots going on! We are in Oregon with our trailer on grandparently duty. Simple thing, right? But then there are always those little things that our Imaginations don’t always consider as Worth Worrying About.

Like, okay, just because you usually hit the road in your trailer in the colder months, when there is never a shortage of sites, doesn’t mean you should take for granted that it will be the same in the summer, when every family in America is On The Road.

Or, just because for 99.999% of our experience, Interstate Highways, particularly though high-volume areas like Seattle, are open as best they can to deal with more traffic than design specs doesn’t mean that at random several miles of your route can’t be taken Offline for Maintenance for several days.

Or, just because the many times you have stayed at the local Fairgrounds RV park have somehow unconsciously assured you that it will be available 24/365 doesn’t mean that it doesn’t Close Completely for a month in the summer because it is, after all, a Fairground with Camping, not a campground with the Occasional Fair.

Sometimes Common Sense is a bit Elusive.


Mar a Lago Update: Interdependence or Autocracy?

In a recent Salon interview, author and career intelligence operative Malcolm Vance provided an array of insights on the Tweetster’s Mad Experiment in Government and his Apparent Goal of making Vladimir Putin the Happiest Man in the World. Not only has be been actively undermining NATO since he stole office, he has successfully enlisted the active cooperation and support of Congressional Republicans, who have abandoned Principle after Sacred Principle to Stay in his Favor…like keeping Russia at Heel with a strong NATO alliance and supporting “Free Trade” around the world (well, the Megacorporate version, anyway).

In Today’s World, due in no small measure to concerted Russian cyberattacks, we have seen a proliferation of Autocratic candidates vie for leadership in both Eastern and Western Europe, with varying degrees of success. They share a Narrow View of the World which aggrandizes this or that Ethnic Superiority as the Good Old Days, or as the Tweetster is fond of saying, “Make America Grate  Again,” which many of us have been doing for the past couple of years.

Despite the Steady Forty Percent of bigots, shallow thinkers, religious fanatics, gazillionaire capitalists, uneducated white males, women married to uneducated white males, stoners, latent racists, people who have to blame Someone, and of course habitual and unquestioning Republicans (but we may repeat ourselves), our only hope is that within the ranks of sensible and thoughtful Republicans (if there are any) we will find Allies who recognize the Mortal (and Permanent) Danger the Tweetster represents to Our Country’s future.

From this point in time, the Future is likely to unfold in one of two directions, each of which, as we have noted before, is Dystopian to one side and Utopian to the other, which seems True but is Really Hard to Get Your Head Around: toward Ethnic Insularity or Global Interdependence. At the moment the Tweetster is bound hell for leather toward the autocratic, fundamentalist, racist, Lowest Denominator of Human Traits, and he’ll take democracy with him if we don’t find a way to Stop Him.


This week’s wine ta sting

Martorana Insolia ’17    Italy    $17
Straw-yellow with hints of green; aromas of flowers and tropical fruits, and flavors featuring citrus, nuts and herbs, a soft acidity, finesse and elegance.

JM Cinsault Rose ’17   Washington    $23
Bigger, more textured, and more aromatic than one expects from a rosé; in the dark could be mistaken for a full-bodied white blend…delicious!

Bodegas Ayuso Estola Reserva ’15    Spain   $10
Tempranillo/ cab sauv blend; Warm aromas of spices and ripe fruit; wide and round palate, easy drinking, great buy!

Clos St. George Chevaliere ’08    France    $14
Dark and rich, with notes of cherry, plum, and fig with a hint of spice; complex and round, and  full bodied on the palate with fully developed tannins; a great value red.

JM Cellars Bramble Bump Red  ’15    Washington    $25
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 13% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, made to enjoy now. Big and powerful with strong tight blue and black berry fruits.


Wine Tasting

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