Monday, October 27, 2008

Oyster Frenzy.


Last Saturday, Flying Fish hosted an event called Oyster Frenzy, where several local oyster farms set up shop and shuck as many oysters as you can eat.

They were offered both fresh - straight from the sea - and also in a soup, fried and as Oysters Rockefeller. After digging a little bit about the history of Oysters Rockefeller, I learned the original creator of the recipe, Antoine Alchiatore (1840), never actually shared his recipe with anyone. Because of the success of his dish, restaurants started serving knock-off versions based on their own formulation of the recipe. Therefore, any version of the recipe that exists today is only an assumption of the original. Well, that was just fine with me considering of the 20-25 oysters I ate on Saturday, about 12 of them were Oysters Rockefeller. Yum.


What I found most interesting was the pretty distinct variance in taste of the fresh oysters based on the farm and where they actually came from. Literally, one could be totally delicious and I would smile a lot and rub my belly. And then I would try another from a different farm and not be impressed at all. In fact, a little grossed out at times. Overall it was really fun and I ate until I couldn't fit anymore of those slimy oysters. Sometimes its good to be on the coast.


I went with Aylin and Steve and even though we were initially incredibly overwhelmed by the attendance, after a glass of wine and some time to fill our (first) plates, we were happy as clams. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

footsteps.

The qualities of living in the country are definitely tempting: peaceful, relaxed, space to grow things, ...and I guess, well, Space. Sometimes I can't help but wonder when and if I'll find myself with those things called acres. However, this week in particular my deep love and appreciation for an urban lifestyle proved itself time and time again. You see, I needed some shoes fixed and I needed to go to the bank and then I was hungry. The door closed behind me and in literally two blocks I stopped at the Cobbler, made a deposit and popped into the grocery store. The following day when I picked up my shoes I realized how damn cute the elder Cobbler was that I decided to drop off another pair. So fun patronizing your neighbors! On any given day I'm within a few blocks of my favorite coffee shop -and about sixteen others that are fine but not my favorite -the library, a movie theater, countless restaurants and pubs, a bookstore, boutiques, a farmer's market, a grocery store and a pharmacy. Last night I put one foot in front of the other over to a neighborhood pub to meet friends. Today I walked all the way downtown to attend an Oyster Frenzy event (see post to come) and even though it took nearly 25 minutes the sun was shining and the air was warm. I love being able to do so many things without having to get into my car. Without trying to find a parking spot. Without stopping to fill up on fuel. Yes it helps the environment, but more so, it helps my soul. I love my city. I love my neighborhood. And I love my Cobbler!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Carving.


After spending a gorgeous Saturday driving out to a farm and dragging the cart around to find the perfect pumpkin, Tyson and I were invited for stew and carving at Rob and Claudia's. And in true cheesy and chiché-esque nature, I baked an apple crisp from apples purchased at the farm and brought it over to top off a super awesome Fall evening.





I love hanging out with Rob and Claude. So fun and always up for anything. And most important, so easy to be around and relax as friends. We laugh and we also talk about interesting and important topics. We play tennis. And sometimes Tyson and I win. And then stop for a margarita afterward. We have once-a-month dinner + movie night. And we carved pumpkins. It was great.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall City fun.









Great news.

Powell endorses Obama. This is not only great news, but Colin Powell's words about our need to stop judging people based on religion and ethnicity are so important. Wow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

shiny goodness.

So I was shopping the other day with Tyson. We were picking up some food items from the grocery store next door and in a whimsy we decided on one item of delicious naughtiness (mac and cheese) and another of crisp, light picture-of-health (halibut). I know, very odd. At any rate, I approached the fresh meat and fish case and usually there is the same, sweet man working who is very, very helpful. This day there was someone new, and without sounding horrible, he didn't speak great English and had some trouble understanding me. No biggiee, we pointed out a small-ish piece of already-seasoned blackened halibut.

After picking up a few other items, we walked past the fish case again on our way to the register. The man who had helped us with the fish waved us down and asked if our fish was for two people. Yes. Yes it is. He reached out his hand asking us for the package of fish back saying he was going to "fix it" as he didn't realize it was for two people. He then opened the package, took out the original piece we asked for and put it back in the case swapping it for a piece twice its size. "Nooo, no, no..the other piece was fine!" I said, knowing it was $19.99/lb. I was perfectly fine with our tiny piece...and of course the box of mac and cheese I was dying to consume from the moment we picked it up off the shelf. The man put the larger piece in the butcher paper, closed it up and put the original price sticker back on it with a wink. "There, that's better for two." And off we went with our new and fancy LARGE piece of fish, for the same price as the teeny one.

I was floored. I felt such delight in his gesture. And I had a tiny revelation in the power of doing little things for people and what an impact something small and easy for me, might truly make the difference for someone else. I mean, it can completely change the trajectory of someone's day!

Then, as if I deserved any more moments of glory, I went to the video store next door and the person working helped me finagle a deal so that I could rent Sex and the City the movie on Tuesday and still keep it to watch on Friday night - even though it was due on Thursday. Glory.

And Finally, a few weeks ago when I was having minor internal meltdowns about my upcoming birthday, where I'm going in life, what do I want to do for a living ...the list goes on and as you can see I was a smidge emotional, I sat in a coffee shop and tried to just relax. I left my seat to ask for a refill when I noticed a small business card-sized piece of paper sitting there. I asked the person closest if it was his. No. The card contained no name or title or contact information, simply the words: "Everything is going to be okay." with an adorable pink, letter-pressed star. Lovely.

I tucked the card into my wallet.

I'll never know who left it there or what the purpose was for the card, but that discovery of six little words of encouragement totally made the difference in my afternoon. A little shiny goodness.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mt Rainier : Camp Muir

We headed out of town on Friday intending to do a little Fall camping and then to climb to 10,000 feet on Mt Rainier to the base camp - Camp Muir - where climbers typically camp and wake to begin their summit.

It was cold. Definitely cold. But it was great to get out of the city and to crawl into my sleeping bag one more time in the forest before winter.

Saturday we headed to Paradise Ranger Station, loaded our packs and set out to reach Camp Muir. The sun was shining and it could not have been a more beautiful day. Umm,...first we saw a bear! Just eatin' away in some meadow foraging for berries. Crazy. And here is my 1950s photo near the start of the trail:


From the hike, the horizon was clear enough to view Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens in the distance.




We made it to Camp Muir but not without some wining and complaining on my part. And by the time we reached the top, the winds were so strong that we reconsidered actually setting up our tent; we discovered that there actually was a small stone structure that slept 25 people on wooden platforms. And Lucky for me (sarcasm), I was the only woman on the mountain amid 33 men. Wearing every layer I packed, I was still freezing. Even in the hut. But after crawling into my sleeping bag I finally warmed up.
I can't imagine being these guys in their bivvy sacks just laying there on the snow. Notice all of the crevasses the people who were planning to summit had to avoid as well. We were not planning to summit = me happy about that.



In the morning we woke around 6am. People were rustling about trying to cook food and pack, and ultimately, trying to decide whether or not the conditions outside were going to allow them to summit. Apparently some bad weather had come in a day early and it was snowing outside and white-out. Tyson and I joined a couple of men from France and packed up our things, put on our crampons and headed down. Even with the snow and white-out the descent was really fun. I was warm and the new layer of powder was fluffy and made it really easy to hike.



And eventually blue skies revealed themselves again. Overall a challenging but fun experience. It gave me a taste of what it would be like to climb Mt. Rainier and I'm not really sure its something I have the ability to do. Maybe things would be different if it was August and not OCTOBER. I guess we'll see.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My birthday karaoke

The pictures and videos say it all. Hilarious. Totally entertaining. A fight for the mic.








Claudia shaking it:
video

Aylin in a sweet rendition of Hey Jude:
video