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Articles in "Island Epicure"

The joy of cooking this spring has been enhanced by my Chinese daughter-in-law’s eagerness to learn to cook American foods and her willingness to share her Yunnanese style recipes. A field trip to a Chinese market makes her day.

Fourteen people gathered for a meal at our extended table on the eve of the recent memorial service for my late husband. How could I cope with the throng, half of them vegetarians, with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of mouth-watering elegancy, bearing in mind that without his USAF-retired pay, household income will be slashed?

Meeting an entrepreneur friend recently, I asked her, “How’s business?”
“Slow,” she said, “but we’re still eating beans.”
Bless the bean, so thrifty yet adaptable to a thousand different, delicious recipes. I could write a whole book of bean recipes, and did decades ago. Unfortunately “Beans, Rices, and Pastas” is out of print now. Shucks, I could write a book just on bean soups. Leaving room for other news and columns in The Loop, I’ll content myself with including just a few in this issue.

Newsweek described Vashon Island author Shauna James Ahern’s first book, “Gluten Free Girl” published by John Wiley & Sons in the US and Canada, as “A delightful memoir of learning to eat superbly while remaining gluten-free.” Her book has inspired me to broaden my cooking repertoire to include more kinds of gluten free grains than I even knew about before, and to experience some delicious flavors new to me.

We’re especially blessed here in Puget Sound country with fresh wild salmon almost the year around. Right now coho and kings show up in the seafood markets. Kings are reddest, most flavorful of fish, and the coho and sockeye vie for second place. They sell for a bit less, too. I bought a 2-pound side of coho at an affordable $6 a pound. It gave us six servings with a bit leftover for a salmon salad for two the next day.