To me, there’s no such thing as too many farmers markets. Each one has its own personality and unique opportunities. Practically, though, as I wrote in this month’s Seattle Magazine, more people are questioning whether our region has reached a saturation point. The full article is online here.

Speaking of farmers, I also took a look at rhubarb recently in The Seattle Times. For the article, I visited Ron Leslie in Sumner,the rhubarb pie capital, who grows a startlingly large percentage of the nation’s rhubarb crop. The official figures don’t count backyard patches and other smaller sources, but I was still so surprised at the country’s low rhubarb consumption — doesn’t everyone you know love it? — that I checked with the USDA to make sure I hadn’t mangled my math. Their folks assured me the numbers were right, and said that there are parts of the country where people don’t even know what you’re talking about when you mention rhubarb. What a loss! (And I wonder if there are other wonderful crops that grow well in Maine or Florida that we never hear about over here.)

In Sunset magazine, I got a chance to taste ohmigyu steak at The Metropolitan Grill, (talk about sourcing — I could see the official papers and breeding history of the exact cow I was eating), to recommend Amy Pennington’s “Pantry Royale” preserving classes, to weigh in on some of the best ice cream in the West (I have a bunch of favorites, but if you haven’t been to Parfait, you’re missing out), and to share some love for the city of (speaking of great farmers markets) Edmonds.

I combined my two favorite pasttimes — reading and eating — for a look at bookstore cafes in Seattle’s Child magazine, and for its cover story on local books. (I also occasionally review books for The Christian Science Monitor, and contribute regularly to the paper’s “Chapter and Verse” blog.)

And, at Amazon.com’s Al Dente blog, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Raichlen, “the guru of grilling,” in advance of his Cooks and Books event, to check out Delores Custer’s impressive new book on food styling, and to share some expert advice from Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, on how to season a wok. Here’s a video from the memorable afternoon we enjoyed in Young’s company.

Thank you for reading along! I’ve been working on some nifty other projects that I’m looking forward to posting here. Also, on the home front, we’re expecting another baby at the end of the month, and are looking forward to sharing — eventually — the joys of the farmers markets, rhubarb, ice cream, bookstore cafes, and all the other wonders of Seattle life. I hope your summer is filled with good things and good meals too.

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