Ripe with Tradition

Something special happens every December here in the Yakima Valley—Leda makes tamales.  These are a bit different than the corn husks filled with masa and meats that are steamed to perfection and eaten with zeal around these here parts.  These are Costa Rican tamales, made a bit differently but in the same spirit.  Most notably, … Continued

Panaderias from Tieton to Toppenish

Baby, it’s cold out there.  As winter is finding its way to the Yakima Valley, it seemed a good move to go inside.  The steamy windows of the panaderias lured us like a siren song. There is something about the baking of bread that is comforting on a DNA level.  The kneading of dough, the … Continued

Where Thanksgiving Lives

There’s a social media trend that takes place this time every year where people make a daily effort to mention something they are thankful for.  You have to love Thanksgiving for bringing an appreciation of the now center stage. I confess, I love this.  Seeing people look around at their everyday lives and comb it … Continued

The Nature of Community Giving

It’s November again, and that means people are reminded to count their blessings.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, gratitude creeps to the forefront of our minds taking on a thoughtfulness that is both beautiful and refreshing.  It is apropos that this story should run in November, but really, the thoughtfulness of Northwest Harvest, a food … Continued

A Hop Over to Brooklyn

Crack a beer.  Any beer.  Chances are good there are some Yakima Valley hops going on in that pour.  One brewery in particular however, is taking some extra time to spotlight the origin story of the hop by creating special small batch brews using the hops from a single source where relationships have been forged … Continued

Highfalutin Afternoon

In a word, heavy.  There is a lot happening in the world right now that is downright weighty.  Stepping out for some air seems sensible.  Early this morning, as the sun was just starting its rise, I stood on my back porch to enjoy the new cold in the quiet of nearly dark.  It felt … Continued

There’s a Monster in My Garden

There’s a monster in my garden.  I can see its arched back as it writhes through the foliage.  A leviathan made of my own abandon.  It’s a zucchini.  A ridiculously massive zucchini.  A zucchini plant is like a pesky teenager this time of year.  They know when you’re not watching, and as soon as they’re … Continued

Fire and Love in the Back of a ’51 Chevy

Once upon a time in the Wenas, a breeze blew through a hop field.  The lingering smoke that had been hanging in the air for days was finally clearing, and the triple digit heat was noticeably down to normal summertime levels.  It was good.   A bus load of beer lovers was kicking up dust out … Continued

Chipping Spuds

It is early on a clear morning, so the heat hasn’t taken hold yet.  Kevin Bouchey and I exchange greetings just outside of Toppenish before I hop in his truck to head south.  A few miles later, turning right on Schuster off Indian Church Road, we arrive.  Although the morning is fresh for me, this … Continued

Mushrooms: The Return

Hope still lingers around Michael Bennett.  Hope the dog, I mean.  The last time rooted visited the local mushroom farmer, it was winter, and Michael and Hope welcomed us into their shop and the indoor growing chamber used to grow oyster mushrooms.  We were amazed.  Between the columns of pasteurized straw pinning out with Polar … Continued