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lummi island wine tasting june 29 ’18

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Bread Friday this week

Kamut Levain – Kamut, aka khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that has more protein than conventional wheat. Some people who can’t tolerate wheat find kamut to be more digestible. This bread is made with a levain fermented overnight before being mixed with with bread flour and fresh milled whole kamut. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. – $5/loaf

Barley & Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds – Also made with an overnight fermented levain before the final dough is mixed with a nice mix of bread flour and fresh milled rye, barley and whole wheat flours. Some buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and toasted pumpkin seeds add to the flavor and texture. A really flavorful artisan loaf – $5/loaf

and pastry this week …

Traditional Croissants – Made with a levain and “old dough” where a portion of the flour, water, salt and yeast is fermented overnight. The final dough is then made with butter, milk and sugar, laminated with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional french croissants… some say these are the best ever!  2/$5

bard owl https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/species/graphics/owl_3.jpg

 

Rkaciteli

We have just received our semi-annual wine shipment of Italian wines from our friends at Seattle Importer Small Vineyards. So naturally we will be featuring a number of familiar Italian wines in the next few weeks. In recent years SV has also been branching out to bring in wines from “near” Italy, including Slovenia, Macedonia, and Croatia. New to us this time is an old Macedonian white grape varietal named Rkaciteli (“ree-kaht-see-TELL-ee.” ), which dates back nearly five thousand years to around 2800 B.C., Very Early in the Wine Game! No wonder Macedonia claims to have invented wine!

Its unique flavor profile is brisk, floral and invigorating, with a salt-tinged lemon zing,  hints of spicy apricot, orange zest, honeysuckle, red apple, a hint of a sherry, and tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and papaya. Wherever you are it can transport you to the Mediterranean, imagining the warm sun on your back and a cooling sea breeze in your face. At the same time its thick skin has helped it thrive in colder climates, where it delivers an opulent texture with bright acidity, a winning combination in any wine!

 

Salmonberries…Rubus spectabilis

Salmonberries, stalwart staples of the Pacific Northwest, look like raspberries but occur in yellow-orange (salmon), and darker red, depending on the season. Frequencies of the two morphs vary geographically, and if this year is any indication, by climate variation. In the last week the berries here on the Island have suddenly exploded into full ripeness. And unlike previous seasons, this year we see very distinctive differences in the color of the berries from plant to plant and even on the same plant, with some berries the usual bright yellow to orange, and others ranging from red-orange to dark purple, for no known reason. We can say that both we and birds generally prefer the red berries over the salmon colored.  (yes, we took this photo before we ate most of them…!).

Salmonberries are an important food source for local wildlife in early summer. Here on the Island in most years they are quite watery and bland, i.e. “taste one and call it a Season.” By comparison flavors  this year of both variations are the best we can recall, and every dog walk this week has involved a fair bit of salmonberry foraging.

Both the berries and the bark have also been an important food source for the indigenous people of the Northwest, who ate both the sprouts as well as the berries, either raw or mixed with oolichan grease or dried salmon spawn. The berries, which ripen from early May to late July in most of the Pacific Northwest, were seldom dried because of their high moisture content. And, blooming in early Spring, they often enjoy symbiotic pollination by Rufous Hummingbirds, which migrate north at the time of Salmonberry flowering.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: The Obsolescence of Political Parties

It’s been a tough week for The Resistance. Clouds of Grim Foreshadowing have begun Swirling Even More Ominously over the Tweetster’s Mt. Doom Towers Worldwide, causing us to Lament, and Gnash Our Teeth. Where are Gandalf, and Frodo, and the Elves and the Forces of Good who will Comfort us and Restore the World of Benign Equilibrium we imagined would Always Persist in our Divinely Blessed America?

Alors, avec regret, mes amis, there is no Good News about that at the moment. However, for what it’s worth, yesterday we encountered a compelling and curiously encouraging Perspective on the issue in an op-ed by Thomas Friedman that we found engaging and thoughtful.

Of course we encourage you to read it for yourselves. But the essential feature to which we invite your consideration is, perhaps the most dear and valuable vis-a-vis Our Present and Future Dystopian Landscape,  a New Perspective, a Different Arrangement of the Pieces into a New and Compelling Theory of– as we ask Ourselves Every Morning, and what could be More Important– “Who Are We And What Are We Doing?!!”

Friedman’s Answer it that we are going through three Climate Changes at once, which together are reshaping our Core Concepts about work, learning, geopolitics, ethics and community (among others) in ways that demand more of our binary Left-Right Model than it is capable of delivering, including:

The This vs. That Binary Dichotomies that have defined politics in our Lifetimes are becoming Obsolete in a world in which each person is An Exception, a Unique Package with both Talents and Baggage in a Corporate Landscape that values Complete Interchangeability of Capital and Labor. Friedman argues that these forces portend a Future in which we can see emerging organically in many towns and communities across America a highly pragmatic and ad hoc approach to problem-solving which builds solidarity through the trust and bonds of friendship that are built from broad collaboration on big, hard challenges in local community settings.

All of which adds up to an Interesting, New, and in a way Post-Political Paradigm in which Locally Driven, Pragmatic Coalitions of Regional Interests with widely divergent political values can organize around Common Interests for a Common Good. Food for Thought.

 

This week’s wine tasting

Jordanov Rkaciteli ’15      Macedonia    $11
Brisk, floral and invigorating with a salt-tinged lemon snappiness; taut flavors of dried pineapple, mango, and papaya – finishing with pleasing notes of marzipan and taffy.

Perazzeta Sara Rosato ’16     Italy     $14
From the same grape as Brunello (sangiovese grosso), this beautiful rosato is rich, bold, and flinty while also crisp, summery, and light.

Monte Tondo Valpolicella ’16   Italy    
The grapes are dried for about a month in a well ventilated “fruttai” before pressing, and ultimately aged for five months in oak. Not a frivolous wine, it packs loads of sour black cherry aromas, spices, violets, and rosves.

Brunelli Apricale  ’16    Italy  $14
Sangiovese Grosso with a little Merlot and Cab Franc; Fruity and persistent nose of wild berries and spice. Soft and balanced with fine tannins this Sant’Antimo Rosso works well with any meal!

La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva ’13   Italy      $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting june 15 ’18

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Bread Friday this week

Seeded Multi Grain – A portion of the flour, water, salt & yeast is mixed and fermented overnight in the refrigerator before mixing the final dough to begin the enzymatic activity and gluten development overnight in a cool environment. The next day it is mixed with bread flour and fresh milled whole wheat and rye, then flax, sunflower and sesame seeds are added for a nice bit of crunch and some extra flavor. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Rosemary Olive Oil – Bread flour and freshly milled white whole wheat for a little more flavor and texture. Fresh rosemary from the garden and olive oil to make for a nice tender crumb and crisp crust.  – $5/loaf

For pastry this week…

Pain aux Raisin – made with the same laminated dough as croissants, but rolled out, spread with pastry cream and sprinkled with a mix of golden raisins and dried cranberries that have been soaked in sugar syrup. Rolled up and sliced before baking.  – 2/$5

 

Wild Onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most nice days our mid-day dog walk takes us down along the shore of Legoe Bay. The pups like little side trips onto the beach or into the meadows or woods along the road. Today Pat pointed out these little wild onions growing pretty much everywhere. Each flower is about the size of a fingernail. They smell like strong, sweet onions, with a lovely, surprisingly robust flavor. One has to imagine that some day soon, it it hasn’t happened already, a little army of sous-chefs from the Willows Inn will be out foraging them as an ingredient in Chef Blaine Wetzel’s dinner menu.

They are not only tasty, they also have an exotic beauty and aroma. Sprinkled some on our hot dogs tonight…added a savory tang!

 

Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet

We have learned over the years that Wine Labels are Big Business. Many of our visitors have admitted having bought wines on impulse because of the label. So it is understandable that when Judy the Wine Merchant stopped in with some samples on Bread Friday a couple of weeks ago, most people commented on the amazing label (shown at left) on this wine. Want more…? You can get an animated view of this Pretty Powerful Image as the winery page opens up here.

This wine is a project of old-time family winery Bogle in Clarksville, California, on the edge of the Sierra Foothills east of Sacramento. They make a LOT of wine, yet some 92% of their vineyards are farmed sustainably (whatever that means). The Juggernaut concept, besides its knockout label graphic, is to use blend fruit from several of Bogle’s best hillside vineyards, including Alexander Valley, Sierra Foothills, and Livermore. Then, true to the Great American Way that “Anything worth Doing is worth doing to Gross and Ugly Excess,” the wine (presumably all of it…?) then spends 20 months in new French oak barrels before bottling.

The result of all of this a a very American red wine, big in every direction, modestly priced for the Effort that has gone into it, and, like any New Ride at the Carnival, an exotic Entertainment on several levels, Addictive to some, Anathema to others, but its own Side Show with its Own Tent. Step Right Up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar a Lago Update: Dead Reckoning

The term “dead reckoning” is a navigational concept. It is all the things you do to keep track of your best guess about where you think you are at sea during any period when you are unable to confirm your location. For example, aboard ship in all the centuries before GPS was available to provide moment-to-moment precision on your location on the Earth’s surface, navigators kept an ongoing plot of their best guess about where they were on the Earth’s surface. Beginning with the ship’s last confirmed position, a track was laid out a a chart based on hour to hour course and speed changes and wind and surface conditions until a new position could be confirmed with actual geographic or celestial observations. There is always some level of Uncertainty about it, and therefore some vague sense of Anxiety…maybe there is an Unknown Current, or underwater Hazard, or, you know, Pirates or Sea Monsters. The thing about Dead Reckoning is that, like addiction in general, you Never Know Where you Really Are until you Get Your Next Fix.

This past week in Tweetsterviille has been like navigating in the Twilight Zone; the dials are all spinning wildly, the airplanes are winging over and spinning toward the Ground, and Strange Drums are beating in the Distance as Prehistoric Moans, Grunts, and Shrieks echo through the air. Well, okay, on second thought maybe that’s overdramatizing a bit, but you have to admit there Is a Lot Going On!

This week we had: 1) the Kim and Don Show in Singapore (sold out!) ; 2) the FBI-Comey show about what Hillary knew and when she knew it, when others thought they knew it or thought she knew it, and when and what Comey knew and why he Had to Say Something about it;  3) Bill Clinton asserting that indeed it was Comey’s precision-timed mention of Hillary emails one week before the election that gave the Tweetster the election; 4) Robert de Niro using the F-word toward the Tweetster in his opening lines as host of the Tony Awards; 5) New York filing suit against the Trump Foundation for illegal use of campaign funds; and 6)  the Tweetster storming out of the G7 in a Tweetstorm targeting Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, mortifying Americans and outraging our European allies (see iconic photo), and 7) new evidence suggest the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting twice as fast as we previously thought, you know, whether you believe in Global Warming or not.

What we have here is a Presidential Impostor who is pathologically addicted to Throwing Monkey Wrenches into any system that seems to be working, for no particular reason besides Taking yet Another Spotlight, another Photo Op, another Curtain Call, another Hyperbolic Wedgie against Everyone he has Sworn to Defend. Things are happening so fast it is becoming impossible to step back far enough and fast enough to get and maintain a Meaningful Perspective, and all the while behind the Scenes Entire Sets are being Dismantled, Privatized, Marketed, and De-regulated. This pervasive sense of Disorder is taking a Toll, a Growing Need for Order and Predictability. Hal 9000 nailed it when he (It) said, “Stop, Dave…my Mind is going…I can Feel It…I can Feel It……I’m Afraid…!

If you are not Afraid yet, you haven’t been Paying Attention.

 

This week’s wine tasting

Bergevin Lane Linen Sauvignon Blanc ’16    Washington   $11
Tropical aromas of pineapple, mango and a hint of lime, evolving in  the mouth into fresh pear, peach and apricot with an undercurrent of citrus.

Descendants Ligeois Dupont Rosé  ’16      Washington      $12
Brilliant coral color.Aromas of srawberries and cream, orange hibiscus, and jasmine, with hints of white pepper and roasted hazelnut with flavors of strawberry, orange zest and a touch of white pepper spice and bright acidity that nicely balance the fruity creaminess.

Fantini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ’16     Italy    $11
Aromas of red and black cherry plus other ripe red berries; soft, fruity and easy to like, with flavors of maraschino cherries, plums and a touch of spice; velvety smooth, luscious and richly plummy.

Chateau la Croisille ‘Silice’ Malbec ”15    France   $19
Plots located on the Luzech limestone plateau of Cahors, with its iron-rich siliceous red clays, aged one year in neutral oak, yielding a wine that is both rustic and polished.

Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet  ’15     California       $20
Huge, rich, and opulent, with complex flavors of chocolate, coffee, blackberries, cassis, mint, and velvety tannins. New French oak adds notes of vanilla and toast; concentrated, rich, and smooth on the palate.

 

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting december 8 ’17

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No Bread this week

With apologies to Our Faithful, your Baker is Away this week. She will be in touch with the mailing list on Sunday about next week’s bread offerings. If you haven’t saved any in the freezer, you might (gasp!) have to buy a commercial loaf to tide you over.

 

 

 

 

 

New Art Show

Last weekend we installed our Winter show, with some new watercolors by Meredith Moench. It is always fun to see how our artists develop from year to year, both in style, skill, and subject matter. Here are two examples of a new (to our eyes) bright look in Meredith’s work…looks like something here about putting the “Wild” into Wild Flowers…quite captivating. Be sure to take time to look at these new works…you will probably want to take one home with you!

 

Gender Truth and Reconciliation

We seem to be in the midst of a Cultural Revolution here in America. Civilizations by and large don’t seem to have done much to protect women’s rights since Writing was invented about 5000 years ago. According to some accounts, that’s when God told Dominant Males they They had Been Chosen to Exercise God’s Will on Earth, including Dominion over anyone Less Powerful. Therefore human history is pretty much the story of Dominant Males coming up with all kinds of reasons why everyone else’s Stuff is really Theirs, and how God wants Them to kill or enslave the Godless Infidels who took their Stuff and take it back, and thus the History of our Species is an endless Unfolding Kaleidoscope of Rationalized Brutality and  Cruelty. Or, as we euphemistically refer to it nowadays, “Politics.”

While this Need to Control may very well have once had long-term Darwinian Genetic Advantages for our Emergent Species, in the last few Centuries (a blink of the Evolutionary Eye) it has become (arguably) an Evolutionary Constraint. Despite the creation of the Magna Carta, the UN,  the U. S. Constitution, and the World Court, all urging peace and equality, Inevitably, in the Name of God, or Country, or Whichever Ancient Book, or Whatever Cause Du Jour, the Dominant Males keep us on a Path to Destruction. Figuring out how to stop them has been the Deep Koan of an Entire Generation.

So with that Perspective we Acknowledge that the Toolbox of the Dominant Male includes Violence toward Everyone and Everything that threatens to limit their Power, and this has Regularly, Thoughtlessly, Selfishly, and Unacceptably fallen on the least powerful in every culture and society: women, children, the poor, the sick, the minority Others.

Today we find Our Nation entering what might be a Profound Cultural Revolution that will go a long way toward improving Gender Equality. Or, given 50 Centuries of Human History, it might involve the Symbolic Skewering of a few Minor Players, after which the DM’s will quietly Regroup, Consolidate, and Go On as if Nothing Had Happened. Bottom line: just because Gender Justice is a worthy cause doesn’t mean it isn’t being used as a Political Tool by the Party of Dominant Males. Disgracing and unseating Al may be fleetingly satisfying to some women; but it may Way More Satisfying to the DM’s who are always pulling the strings. We shall see. Or as Senator Franken noted today, it is Ironic (and Disturbing) that he has to Go while Trump and Roy Moore remain Invulnerable. I mean, Really, No Wonder the Other Species just Roll Their Eyes when they look at us…!

 

Mar a Lago Update: Tearing Down the New Deal

Well, folks, it’s late here at the Wine Gallery. So we will leave this topic till next week. Meanwhile, send in your thoughts on it, and don’t forget to come by the Wine Shop this weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s wine tasting

Quails’ Gate Chenin Blanc ’16   Canada   
Pale lemon in the glass, honeysuckle, grass, citrus, pear and melon mingle together on the nose. The palate is dry and complex with beautifully balanced acidity, lovely weight and mid-palate texture, along with its characteristic stony mineral note. Great with NW seafood!

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!

Chateau Les Croisille Cahors Malbec “Croizillon” ’15      France    $15
100% malbec organically farmed by hand; aromas and flavors of black cherry, saddle leather, blackberry, cocoa and spice.

La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva ’13   Italy      $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Pomum Shya Cabernet Sauvignon  ’12    Washington   $35
Slightly porty aromas of black cherry, tar, licorice, wild herbs, cocoa powder and spices. Densely packed and energetic, conveying flavors of dark berries and spicy oak. Serious and persistent boasting very good lift and structure.

Wine Tasting
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lummi island wine tasting june 16 ’17

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Sorry, No Bread this week

Sorry, Janice our Baker is away this week, attending a Breads of the World workshop in San Francisco. No doubt she will return with a stack of new techniques and recipes…the writeup says something about “discover the unique flavors and textures of breads baked around the world. Create exotic breads, including Germany’s Heigebrot Bread, Indian Parathas, and Mexican Bolillos.”

Which all sound kinda yummy…!

 

 

 

Two Montepulcianos

Montepulciano No. 1 is a hilltop town in southeast Tuscany. It is particularly famous for its Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, made primarily from the grape sangiovese, the dominant red grape of Tuscany, and known in Montepulciano as Prugnolo gentile. Among the many “Nobles” who have enjoyed this wine over many hundreds of years was Thomas Jefferson, who called it “a very favorite wine…most superlatively good.” Today’s Vino Nobiles show flavors of dark ripe berries, with notes of plum and hints of earthiness, and generally age very well.

It is easy to confuse the distinguished Vino Nobile de Montepulciano with Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, a red wine grape grown in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy, stretching between the Apennine mountains of Italy’s spine and the Adriatic coast. The wines made from this grape are often highly aromatic with earthy black berry notes and an inky-purple color with a thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel. They will maintain their freshness for ten years or more, but do not evolve complexity in the bottle over time like Vino Nobile. Nevertheless, as this week’s La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva demonstrates, it’s pretty good stuff!

 

Utopian Desperation

The recent shooting episode targeting the Republican Congressional baseball team is deeply Disturbing on many levels. While Right-wing Nut Jobs regularly engage in mass shootings,  wimpy left-wingers typically choose less dramatic forms of protest. Which begs the Question: has Something Changed?

I think a lot of us Old Liberals can relate to the Desperation and Depression that may have driven Mr. Hodgkinson. Sanders supporters in particular fought hard to create a little Window of Possibility that our Nation would move toward a Thomas More-ian Utopia, where “Kindness and good nature unite men more effectually…than the bond and obligation of words.” But instead, we find ourselves in that world’s Dystopian Opposite, and that is an Ongoing source of Grief and Loss to many of us. If Utopias represent our Dreams of an Ideal Possible Future, available and beckoning if only We Take the Right Road, Dystopias are the Nightmare Societies waiting for us down All the Wrong Roads.

Over half our population are now living a Worst Possible Dystopian Nightmare as  Giddy Republicans Take Aim to Roll Back the Twentieth Century with regard to economic justice, environmental protections, public education— Everything we hold Dear.  Maybe this Near Miss can shift the Rhetoric toward bringing some much needed “kindness and good nature” back to our National Dialogue. Seems unlikely, but one way or another, we need an overall Realization that Partisanship has become the Enemy of the Common Good.

 

Mar a Lago Update

IMG_20160719_143417564_HDROne of my Zen teachers often used the phrase “Not Enough Water to Float a Boat,” generally a commentary on someone’s Level of Development. So now every time the Tweetster in Chief falls out of his Nest at Three in the Morning and starts Tweeting in Distress, the phrase comes back. Maybe that’s why I so like this little picture of the Duck Doll with Shades that I took a few years ago at a little pool next to the Friday Harbor Marina. I immediately recognized Who it Was. Which serves to demonstrate that a Plastic Duck can Float in a lot less water than a Creature with Actual Substance. Swim even, after a Fashion.

I also mentioned a month or two ago the Story of the Three Envelopes. Tonight as we go to press, with the Baseball Shooting, the Expansion of the Special Investigation to include The Tweetster Himself, the VP’s hiring of Legal Counsel, the Congressional Mandate against All Things Russian, and the latest series of Pwesidential Tweets about the Unfairness of it All, we are Comfortable Saying that it is Time for The Tweetster to Open the Second Envelope, which as you might recall, advises “Blame Congress!” Stay tuned!

Wild Roses

IMG_20170614_123946116Our daily dog walk generally goes by the wetland across Legoe Bay Road from the old Aquaculture School. Every day though the scene is the same, the Light is different, the Content is slightly different, the Weather and Wildlife are different, and the Feeling is Different. In general that means that the same scene always has a New Feature to Delight the Eye.

Today the Wild Roses were showing magnificently, despite the overcast sky and intermittent rain. And although this photo doesn’t do the scene Justice (clicking on it will help!), suffice it to say that these are probably my favorite flowers, and at the moment they are Shining Brightly with Color and Fragrance all over our little Island, and we are all Lucky Ducks to have them to Share the Day with!

 

This week’s  wine tasting

Aravo albarino ’13 Spain  $14
A one-of-a-kind, lush, medium-bodied Albariño that fills the mouth with apples, lime, peaches, flowers and grass, with bracing acidity and cleansing minerality.

Chapoutier Belleruche Rosé ’16   France    $13
The Grenache in this food-friendly Provencal-style  rosé  adds bright red stone fruit flavors; the Cinsault brings its delicate strawberry aroma; and the Syrah adds body, making for a great pairing even with the intense flavors of seafood.

Borsao Garnacha ’15 Spain $11
From 100-yr-old vines; heady, perfumed bouquet of ripe red and dark berries, incense and candied flowers; intense raspberry liqueur and cherry-cola flavors blending power, depth and finesse beyond its modest price point.

La Quercia Montepulciano Riserva ’12   Italy      $18
100% organic montepulciano from low-yield vines; rich, port-like nose of candied cherries that carry through on the expressive, rich, earthy palate; nice balance of fruit and acidity.

Syncline Subduction Red ’15   Washington    $18
Syrah dominant Rhone blend; perfumed aromas of fresh blue and purple fruit, spice, and herbs lead to rich fruit flavors and a plush texture that persists effortlessly through the finish. Delightful!

Wine Tasting