Cooking Up Stories

By Hedgebrook Staff

We asked Betsy Andrews, food writer, poet, Executive Editor of Saveur Magazine, and Hedgebrook alumna, to answer five questions. Here’s what she had to say about herself, her work and her upcoming Master Class:


1) What is the most memorable meal you’ve experienced?

There’s not one! There are so many. And, of course, when we talk about food, we are not just talking about the aroma, the taste, the texture of the edible stuff you put in your mouth and chew and swallow. We are talking about a meal—a social and cultural and emotional event. Eating is very personal. It’s just about the most primal thing we do, and so it is, for a writer, a vehicle for the evocation of experience, of feeling and knowing oneself and the world. It is metaphor, and it is fact. Every story we tell about food is also a story about something, or many things, else.   Read more

The Field

By Becca Lawton

It’s 5:30 p.m. and something’s missing. I’m standing at my kitchen island, certain I’ve forgotten an appointment. But what? Nothing’s on the calendar, everything seems in place. Still I have the niggling feeling I’m overlooking something important. My gaze wanders to the windowsill and a postcard propped up on it. The caption reads, Cedar Cottage, Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers, Langley, Washington.

There’s the answer. My body remembered what my mind did not: if I were at Hedgebrook right now, I’d be arriving in the farmhouse kitchen just in time for dinner.   Read more

Christmas Baking: A Rite of Remembrance

By Sarah Samudre



Tonight I made a century-old family recipe passed down from my great-great grandfather, written above for my Mom in 1977 by Grandma as a Christmas/Welcome to the Salcedos gift. It was for Lemon Bread and Lemon Curd— my father’s favorite baked good at Christmas. Throughout the years, Grandma would give jars of the curd and loaves of lemon bread at Christmas and my Dad would rave to us about it, as if we’d never heard of dessert before.

The baking started as a nice thing to do for my Dad, to remind him of her and how she’ll live on in our Christmas traditions. It became something else.   Read more

What Kind of Pie Are You?

By Hedgebrook Staff

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is introducing the idea of Hedgebrook to women for the first time. There is a place in the woods on Whidbey Island with six cottages that are always filled with women writers from around the world…It sounds like a fairy tale, and I feel pure delight as see I how brightly their eyes light up. Sometimes all they can say is “Oh….wow.”   Read more

From the Kitchen: Curry Carrot Soup

By Cathy Bruemmer

I love growing carrots. They are such a common and simple root vegetable, but the smell when they’re freshly pulled from the earth is amazing. The carrot rust fly makes it a bit challenging. It lays it’s eggs at the base of the greenery and the larva burrow tunnels as it feeds on the tip of the root. An effective and simple solution is to cover the carrot bed with a floating row cover. It denies access to the adult fly. It has the added benefit of helping keep the bed moist. Carrots take about three weeks to germinate and cannot dry out during that time.

I use metal hoops to keep the row cover above the foliage. My method of securing the cloth is to hold the edges down with bricks. Clips are available for a less rustic look. Both sunlight and water penetrate the fabric so it’s not necessary to remove the cloth for watering. The only drawback for me is that I sometimes forget to check on carrots needing to be thinned. When the “to do” list is long it’s easy to overlook the hidden veggies.

Today I checked the Washington State University extension site and was surprised to find out that theses flies also attack parsley. I’d been wondering for a couple of years what was damaging my curly parsley. The Italian flat leaf seems unbothered but the curly would start to yellow and then pull from the ground with very little of it’s root system left. Another problem solved! Recipe…   Read more

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