September: We Can Pickle That!

My boyfriend received a book for his birthday called “Wild Fermentation: the Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.” Since then, our house has transformed into pickle-making central! His first batch turned out better than expected, so we’re stepping it up a notch by buying pickling cucumbers and experimenting with types of brine, spiciness levels and chilled vs. pantry pickling.

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September: Zucchini Burgers

I have been given several monstrous zucchinis this summer from people who have overflowing gardens! These plants grow in most temperate climates, and are low-maintenance enough to easily grow huge zucchinis in your own backyard. I have been looking up tons of zucchini recipes to find a way to cook these enormous vegetables, because loaves of zucchini bread get tiresome after a while!

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August: Savory Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes, or cong you bing in Chinese, are savory unleavened flatbreads that can be both an informal street food and a restaurant dish. It’s made with dough, which is drier than a traditional pancake batter, which makes it crispier than a breakfast pancake. Variations of scallion pancakes can be found in Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia and Korea.

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August: Vegan Samosas with Mint Chutney

Samosas originated in the Middle East as early as the 9th century, then spread across Africa and Asia under a variety of names. The pastry dumplings are usually filled with a combination of potatoes, peas, lentils and spices, and are either baked or fried. This recipe comes from chef Melanie daPonte, a vegan personal chef located in Florida who posted these samosas on her blog earlier this summer.

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July: Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in the late spring and early summer, followed by rhubarb. Washington State has a $49 billion agriculture industry, and there are plenty of places to pick your own fresh fruit if you’re willing to drive outside of the city. The sweetness of the strawberries complements the tartness of the rhubarb, so when my friend gave me a big bag of rhubarb from her parents’ farm, I had to find some strawberries to go with it.

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June: Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Many classic Hungarian flavors appear in this creamy mushroom soup, such as paprika, onion, dill, sour cream and lemon. This recipe is a version of the traditional gombaleves, which predictably translates into “mushroom soup.” It’s similar to a cream of mushroom soup because it uses a flour roux stirred into the soup as a thickener, but it’s a far cry from the cans of Campbell’s mushroom soup that you would find on the grocery store shelves.

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