lummi island wine tasting spring equinox ’21

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Bread This Week

Kamut Levain – Kamut, aka khorasan wheat, is an ancient, protein-rich grain discovered in a cave in Iran in the 70’s that many people who can’t tolerate wheat find more digestible. This bread is made with a levain that is fermented overnight before being mixed with with bread flour and fresh milled whole kamut flour. It has a nutty, rich flavor and makes a golden color loaf. A great all around bread – $5/loaf

Barley & Rye w/ Pumpkin Seeds – Also made with a levain that is fermented overnight before adding fresh milled rye, barley and whole wheat flours. Some buttermilk makes for a tender crumb, honey for sweetness and toasted pumpkin seeds for flavor and texture. – $5/loaf

Traditional Croissants – Made from two preferments by adding more flour, butter, milk and sugar and laminating with more butter before being cut and shaped into traditional French croissants.  2/$5


Wine of the Week: La Vielle Ferme Rosé ’19

Well, here we are only a few days away from Spring Equinox ’21, and so far March has been true to reputation, a tangle of winter-winter-spring-winter-spring-spring. We are just now transitioning from being stuck in the “lows in the high thirties, highs in the low forties” toward the more soothing “highs in low fifties” forecasts. Yep, this is the time of year our wine palates start thinking, hmmm, almost time for rosé…!

La Vielle Ferme (“the Old Farm”) is a typical Provençal Rosé blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah. It is one of few still produced using the Saignée (“bleeding”) method where the first juice is bled off to become rosé while the remainder stays on the skins through fermentation and becomes red wine.  Since 1967 La Vieille Ferme has been acknowledged as one of the best value wines in the world. The grapes are from high slopes, and provide a pleasing freshness and elegance. Fresh and aromatic nose with good balance between sweetness and acidity.

La Vielle Ferme Rosé ’19    France  $10
Classic and tasty blend of grenache, syrah, and cinsault from northern Provence;  fruity, dry, crisp, delicious, and smooth, at a bargain price!


Modest Reopening Coming Soon!!

Last week the CDC announced that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 may safely gather with small groups from other households without wearing masks or physically distancing, even if some of those people have not yet had their shots! To which we can only say “Wow!” and “Really?”

Last week also coincided with the two-week anniversary of our having gotten the second Covid shot along lots of other Islanders. But before we can get too giddy about it we are surprised to encounter a part of ourselves that finds the whole concept of “social normalcy” puzzling, too vaguely remembered and abstract even to imagine. We tested it out last night at Mike and Diane’s, together with Anne and Jerry, (making average age in the group somewhere around 80!) for a great St. Patrick’s Day dinner, with great food and wine, and even hugs all around with a giddy sense of getting away with something naughty.


Things are changing fast and at the moment we are looking at limited reopening in April, indoors for those who have completed a Covid vaccine sequence, and (for starters, anyway) outdoors for those who have not. Looking forward to seeing you all again!


Economics Basics

However you look at it, social science in general and economics in particular are almost entirely constructed of metaphors. Last week we introduced a metaphor of the economy as a game in which players sitting at a table are all given an equal stake, and when the game begins they take in money from their right and pass it to the person on their left. At this first level we are interested in the motivations of the players, whose only decisions at this early stage as they take money coming from the right are to decide how much to keep, how much to pass on to the left, and how long to take about deciding.

Each player would try to maintain a balance based on perceived risk. What if the people upstream suddenly decide to stop passing money just after you, feeling light-hearted and generous, have just given everything away? The game could lock up at any time, so it is logical to want to maintain a little nest egg for insurance. Down the road, if enough players felt this way, it could create demand for someone to organize resources and know-how to make that happen. And you would think that would divert some of the finite flow of money passing from left to right, and the total flow rate would decrease, making everyone worse off.

Curiously, however, it is more as if the energy in the system is increased and the entire flow moves faster from hand to hand around the circle. Well-being is not measured by the quantity of stuff in the system but by the rate of flow in the system. This is the whole point of a Keynesian stimulus. By putting more money in everyone’s hands, the rate at which money goes from hand to hand, from buyer to seller, from seller to supplier, from supplier to manufacturer, from manufacturer to worker increases and multiplies in effect each time it changes hands.

It is therefore our Duty to spend any stimulus money that comes our way. Its social benefit is to increase demand for services and stuff, which then trickles UP to demand for all the labor and resources necessary to make that stuff happen. Clearly the patriotic thing to do if and when you get a stimulus payment is to create demand by spending it!





Wine Tasting

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