Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Oh, much of the city is back, welcoming tourists, trying to get on with life. The city has got such spirit. And incredible food made with tons of heart. That's what drew Dave Kearns and chef Brandon Karimi-Naser from 5 Spot, who traveled down NOLA way in September on a CHOW food-sponsored research trip.
After a tour of the Lower Ninth Ward, they were moved to do something. I've written about the fundraiser they cooked up for Wednesday's P-I, and I promised to share a couple of pics. This is one of those instances where photos cannot substitute for being there. The scope of devastation is unreal. Consider the entire Belltown neighborhood wiped out, and still in bad shape two years later.
Still, it's great comfort to know there are people like Kearns and his crew who are willing to remember, however painful. I hope to do my part sometime in 2008. I've got New Orleans on my airfare alert and when the numbers are right, I'm going. And taking my credit card to pump some money into that economy. Care to join me? I know a lot of really good places!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Back in the Spokane days, I talked B into helping me make gingerbread houses that were auctioned in a charity event. It was quite the ordeal. Royal icing is a royal pain.
We re-created the Spokesman-Review building, including the turret (used a Pringles can) and the publisher ended up buying it. He collared me in the hall the following spring to say that after storing it in the attic, mice got to it. The SR tower was critter fodder. HA!
I never/ever bake... except this time of year. Sure wish I had learned to make the delicate Icelandic butter cookies that were my late mother-in-law's specialty. I just tried making my Nana's date-pecan bars for the first time and they turned out great!
I love it when traditions evoke memories of dearly departed. Talk about some tasty nostalgia. Still, I also love trying something new, too. Made the outstanding chocolate cookies that were in Rebekah Denn's fun story in last Wednesday's PI, and am fixing to bake "Peggy's Cheese Biscuits" passed along by Susan Phinney.
What are your holiday baking plans?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
"Wooly Pigs will be in Seattle at the U-District Farmers Marketstarting Saturday. We plan to be there every Saturday.
Our plan is to sample and retail our USDA pork, and try to sell as many custom hogs (halves and wholes) as we can. We plan to deliver those to Seattle customers. We've started retailing to people in the Spokane area. Typical responses are that our pork is the best they've tasted.
That's not by accident: mature Berkshire hogs, fattened on barley & wheat, and given ample forage and hay taste fantastic. But it costs alot of money (especially with barley, wheat and fuel so high) to raise hogs this way, so most farmers cut corners. We simply haven't cut any corners on the hogs. I challenge anyone to find better pork on the West Coast. I honestly don't think anyone on the West Coast has bacon this good. Foodies should be interested in our bacons - shoulder bacon, jowl bacon and normal bacon (belly)."
To reach Heath and make specific requests, log on to his entertaining blog: http://woolypigs.blogspot.com/
It's not on the menu because it's a pain to make, but it's awfully darned tasty. You can find the Pasta Bar next door to Pike Place Chowder.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I had lunch at Taste today just so I could try her harissa-spiked pecan pie (brilliant!) served with Beecher's Flagship cheddar ice cream. (How freaking cool is that?!) My sister got in touch with her inner Campfire girl and got the s'more, which was terrific too.
If there's a more innovative pastry chef in Seattle, I want to hear all about it. Do tell!
Cooked them both in the same roasting pan and, man, did that make a killer gravy! Over Yukon gold mashed potatoes. Mercy!
Cousin Ali baked homemade Oreos for our little family potluck, treats so good the room got quiet while everyone focused on the flavors exploding in their mouths.
Who's doing a Christmas cookie exchange? Can I come? I miss my sweet-swapping gang, Miss Holly, MP and Sandra, who made date pinwheels that are impossible to resist.