lummi island wine tasting april 26-27 ’19

Friday Breads This Week

Cinnamon Raisin – Made with a nice mix of bread flour and freshly milled whole wheat as well as rolled oats. Some honey for sweetness, a little milk for a tender crumb and loaded with raisins and a healthy dose of cinnamon mixed into the dough. It is a hearty rustic loaf. Great for breakfast toast, even better for french toast – $5/loaf

Toasted Pecan & Flax Seed – Made with a starter that is fed with rye flour instead of wheat flour for a different flavor profile. The final adds fresh milled whole wheat, toasted pecans, flax seeds and honey, for a very flavorful bread – $5/loaf.

and pastry this week…

Morning Buns – Made with the same laminated dough as croissants. The dough is rolled out, spread with a filling of brown sugar, orange zest, butter and cinnamon. Rolled up and sliced before baking. – 2/$5


This Year’s Robin’s Nest, cont’d

click on photo to enlarge

Today, standing at the far end of the porch, we managed to get a glimpse of one of the hatchlings in the eave of our entryway. They are getting bigger!

The nest appears empty more often now as both Mama and Papa are away a lot fetching food. Yesterday morning we saw Mama delivering food to three hungry beaks, and then less than a minute later, Papa arrived with the next meal. Papa is smaller than Mama, and does not roost with the chicks, but does do some of the feeding and nest-guarding. Between them they may make over a hundred feeding visits each day. They must enjoy it, because in each annual season, a robin pair might breed three times, raising up to a dozen offspring in a year. They also take turns watching the nest from a distance and raising a distractive ruckus if the nest is threatened by other animals, you know, like us!

Apparently each hatchling is brought something like 12 feet of earthworms in its two-week hatchling stage in the nest…and that is just the Worm Course!

It does make one wonder…how come robins can be Complete Robins right off the Assembly Line, while Becoming Fully Human seems more Challenging…


Mas Doix Winery

Right about now (late April- early May) in the hauntingly austere Priorat wine region of Spain is the annual Priorat Wine Festival. If you imagine the Priorat region shaped like a funnel, with the wide end North and the funnel end South, the funnel would open into Falset, where the annual Wine Festival is held. We were fortunate enough to attend several years ago…imagine the better part of a week tasting great wine and eating great food in a spectacular geographic setting unlike any other…yes, we would go again!

This week’s offering from Priorat is from Celler Mas Doix (possibly pronounced something like “mahss doitch” in Catalan).  It is blend of garnacha, carinena, and syrah from the northern portion of Priorat, from soils rich in the famous licorella soil consisting of slate (derived from clay or volcanic ash) and quartz.

While some scientists thinkthe plant cannot take up compounds from the soil that you would consider flavor,” others note that the licorella forces vines to grow very deep to find water, giving the wine unique character and concentration of flavors. We favor this latter view– there is something special going on with these wines, more so in some vineyards in some years, but strongly indicative of a unique, even iconic regional terroir.


Mar a Lago Update: Why so many Candidates for President?

We all were puzzled by the extraordinary number of Republican Presidential candidates in 2016. And we continue to be amazed at the breadth of the Democratic Field in 2019. The only thing that is different is that this time it’s a score of Democrats seeking to challenge the Incumbent Squatter to take over the Oval Office. It’s a good time to wonder…what changed in recent years to bring so many people with no chance whatsoever of winning to announce their candidacy?

The easiest answer is Advertising and Name Recognition. No one on the Planet had ever heard of you before you announced your “Run,” but quite a few will remember (if only vaguely) that you did…“oh yeah, what’s-his-name from where-do-you-call-it.”

That in itself serves to take someone from a backwater Local Stage into at least a minor slot on a Major Stage, and to be in a national Spotlight for a little while. This kind of exposure proves helpful for getting on lists for cabinet positions, building donor lists for future campaigns, building markets for future books, all manner of things.

One way to look at it…and it is Especially True with the current Fake President…running for President is The Best Ticket to getting yourself and your ideas seen and heard across the nation, and that kind of exposure Opens Doors and Creates Future Options. It can make an Oops candidate like Rick Perry, a spaced-out Brain Surgeon like Ben Carson, or a despicable human being like Newt Gingrich (Ging-Grinch?) into Cabinet Secretaries or well-paid Talk Show Pundits.

It’s about a year till the Primaries will decide who the candidate will be, and who the Also-Rans are, so for the next little while we can all sit back and watch it Unfold. Hopefully the process will be interesting, productive, educational, and effective at producing a winning candidate.

Washington Post Tweetster Lie Count to date: 9,451 as of 4/1/19\


This week’s wine tasting

Ronan by Clinet Bordeaux Blanc ’15     France       $15
80% sauv blanc, 20% semillon; fresh and appealing aromas of yuzu, grapefruit, white flowers, and passion fruit; flavors of citrus, white fruits and warm spices are fleshy yet crisp and clean.

Whidbey Island Winery Rosato  ’18    Washington   $15
A dry, vivacious, Provençal style rosé from Sangiovese and other Italian varietals; intriguing flavors of strawberries and cream, white cherries and kumquat…Summer in a bottle!

Lagone Aia Vecchio ’16  Italy    $15
“Super-Tuscan”blend of Merlot, Cab Sauv, and Cab Franc. Rich and expressive, with aromas of cherry, vanilla, raw beef, and herbs; structured palate of plum, wild berries, and hints of spice, with a long finish that begs for food.

Bieler La Jassine Cote du Rhone ’16  France $15
(63% grenache, 37% syrah) Solid, with plum and blackberry compote flavors forming the core, backed by a good snap of licorice and a dose of dark toast on the finish. Has good drive overall.

Mas Doix Les Crestes Priorat ’16     Spain      $23
Garnacha, carignena, syrah blend from iconic licorella soil; balanced aromas of dark ripe cherries and dried herbs, palate of ripe stone fruit with bright and lingering acidity.

Wine Tasting

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