This season, use what’s close — recipes for a meal made with our region’s very best ingredients.

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Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island is an ideal place for a holiday dinner, because it is a place born of a Northwest ideal — eating food that’s from here, knowing how it’s raised or made, and making sure it’s as good as it can be. The farm’s cookhouse has hosted many festive suppers, with its long, unvarnished wooden table witness to innumerable toasts dedicated to the togetherness of families and friends.

Farmer Kurt Timmermeister was a successful Seattle restaurateur until he realized he wanted to make food not from packages off a truck, but from the grass up. He moved across the water and, after ascending a steep learning curve, learned the ways of producing his own, highly local food.

His much-loved cheese is named after Dinah, the farm’s first milk cow. He sang to her every day. Today, Dinah’s successors, pretty brown-eyed Jersey ladies, graze in Kurtwood’s unbelievably green grass, and one or two of them are friendly and curious enough to come meet you at the fence, then try to lick your hair.

Intermittent downpours only make an afternoon in the cookhouse feel cozier, especially with the increasingly tantalizing smell of a turkey roasting in the oven. Sudden sunbreaks signal times to step outside, stroll around and admire the chickens and trees laden with quince.

The sound of the cows calmly lowing toward evening means they’re lining up to be milked out by the barn, and that it’s time to open lots of wine and set the table for a holiday feast of local foods, made with love and care.

What’s outside your windows might not be as pastorally picturesque, but you can still partake of the greatness. Making a simple, delicious meal of Pacific Northwest-sourced food is as easy as using the recipes we’ve devised here. The toasts are up to you. —B.J.C.

 

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