Posts Tagged ‘Fernet’

Eat, Pray, Seattle

December 14, 2012
Surprise, I'm home!

Surprise, I’m home!

Andrea turned 21 last week. As the oldest of four children, I have deemed it my unescapable duty as the eldest to properly ring in every sibling on their most anticipated birthday. I’ve flown to Florida to weather a hurricane and stalled out cars in the middle of nowhere and enjoyed the rains of Washington to celebrate with my brothers and now, it was Andrea’s turn. The trip started off simply enough. But as Day One of Four progressed, the trip morphed into not only a celebration of life but a serious celebration of wonderful food.

This is real life.

This is real life.

It started with the grande soy creme brulee latte from the Starbucks at Chicago O’Hare, the worst fucking airport in the world. If you are a cheap bastard (and I can be), you will fly thru this airport. I arrived from Boston with what I imagined was ample time to get a holiday latte before my flight. I had been up since 4am with a slue of family awaiting me in Seattle; therefore, I could NOT be groggy. I waited in line to order and receive my drink before hustling down the long walk-away all the way from the N gate to the H gate. I arrived literally as they were calling “Lora Doofy”.sazrak

“Oh, that’s me. I’m Laura Duffy,” I corrected the stupid flight attendent. I cleared through with my THREE bags (limit one with a personal item) and settled into my seat for the 3.75 hour ride. Mom and Dad picked me up in Seattle and brought the sunshine with them. The day was so clear that flying in I could see the Four Peaks: Rainer, Hood, St. Helens and Baker. It was absolutely breath-taking. Don’t see that in Massachusetts… ever. Mom and I wrecked the day with a trip to Nordstrom and a lunch date at Sazerak. The trendy speak-easy had the most eclectic assortment of small plates and we just were too hard-pressed to choose; so we got one of everything! We munched on dates with cheese wrapped in bacon, lightly salted Jordan almonds, wild mushrooms, a trio of cheese, a light apple and walnut salad while sipping on some of the restaurant’s signature drinks. Amazing.

Cheers with Dad

Cheers with Dad

Dad and I had a father-daughter day the next morning in Kirkland. I love Kirkland. We went to Trelis, a lovely restaurant inside a hotel that my dad was a part of creating. They serve brunch every morning till 1030am, so after Pops and I went for a run around Lake Larson, we set out to sample some breakfast treats. The place was dect out in holiday garb and while we were the only guests in the restaurant, Trelis was a complete success! I ordered eggs Benedict. Shocking. It’s what I always get whenever I go out for brunch. Unless of course I’m at Trina’s. When I’m there, it’s a bagel egg sandwich with a bean patty and Fernet with Tony. Anyway, the food was scrumpcious! With a cup of joe and a mimosa at my beckoned call, Dad and I gabbed about motorcycle trips, my girls’ weekend I’d recently had with work ladies

Me love cookie.

Me love cookie.

and talked about my boyfriend. The nom’ing didn’t stop there. Dad and I trekked down to Wine World in Bellevue to pick up something for dinner and bought a gourmet designer cookie as well – though we were still stuffed from brunch! I selected a snowflake cookie. It was so beautiful and perfect, I almost couldn’t eat it. But guess what happened…

Andrea claimed me for the rest of the day. After Dady and I were through shopping and eating, Andrea and I took him back to work in Seattle and ventured down into Seattle for some quality time at Pike Place Market. This is by far my favorite place to shop and eat. Sure, the things aren’t high fashion or 5-star michellen rated, but the smells and color sights make up for anything

Get me some!

Get me some!

that Yelp might bitch about. We walked around and bought flowers and painting, saw fish flying around, and took a picture for the PPM piggy. There was even an old school toy store where I found the Breyer horse figurines that I’d always wanted as a kiddo. They were always so pricey… good to see that some things never change! After grabbing a coffee at the original Starbucks, we drove in a search for the Space Needle. Where was it??? It’s not on 2nd… it’s not on Mercer… But lo, we found it near 4th and Broad St!!! So exciting, you can almost touch it! Annie B and I grabbed nibble at Tilikum Place Cafe and enjoyed a spice bean soup and split pea soup with pulled ham. They were almost closing for their hour break in between lunch and dinner but the wonderful server let us in anyways to enjoy our girls’ day out. Andrea went through my phone looking for pictures of our brother and his new finance.

Seattle Sippin'

Seattle Sippin’

I just kept sipping my French 75 and slurping on my pea soup. We called it a day shortly after and headed home to help Mom with dinner. As if we needed to eat more…

Good home cookin'

Good home cookin’

Mom wanted to go for a swim when she got back home from work. Mom is a very little lady, so we must keep her that way and allow for swim time. Therefore, I volunteered to cook up the salmon and corn she craved. The recipe was simple enough: salmon steaks with flour, parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste flash fried on either side and served with black berries in a raspberry vinegar. Dad and I had the football game on and I was sipping Col Solera’s grappa in a mug so no one would know. Very naughty. I forgot I bought the eau de vie in April. It was as potent as the day it was distilled. Dad and I bought two pinots to match with the salmon, one from Willamette and the other from Santa Barbera. They were okay, I naturally prefered the Willamette-dammit bottle of Pinot although I completely forgot the name like an idiot. It was bottle I first met while working at The Purple Tooth… (thanks Dad, it’s the Benton Lane 2010 Pinot Noir).

The last full day I was in Washington started off raining. I know, it was shocking to me as well. I spent the morning with Andrea and Carter Bear while we awaited Annie’s bus to work. Upon her departure, I prepared for my day of eating the best way I knew how: with a run. I jogged around Lake Larson without ear buds or any music at all. Washington air smells so wet and fresh that I am positively convinced if green had a smell other than pine or mint, it would be Washington air. The sounds and scent of damp forestry kept me going throughout my whole run and the light rain didn’t distract me one bit. I took Bear out for a quick poo when I came home and even though he’s ancient (10 years old for a Berner is nearly unheard of), he looped alone and smiled a doggy wet grin throughout the whole .3 mile jog. He’s a good pupper!  

After locking up the house, I ventured back

Slip and Fall into Kirkland

Slip and Fall into Kirkland

down to Kirkland for a coffee and a burger. I went to Tully’s where I used to work for a nostalgic coffee but after waiting for some barista to come to the register to take my order, I left disgruntled and surrender yet again to Starbucks. Doppio compana, if you please. The girl behind the register had no idea what I was asking for but the gal on the bar knew. Thank god. I sipped on my piping bevy and walked to The Slip. The Slip is a burger joint where I would work in the summers during college. Every staff member learns to do everything there from hostessing to waiting tables and even grilling. I make a mean burger, bitches. My old haunt still featured my favorite burger of all times: the Peanut Butter Bacon burger. Serious guilty pleasure to be sure! I ordered that immediately and sipped on another favorite, the Slip’n’Fall. It’s made with gin, rum, vodka and triple sec with a splash of grenadine. Good night. Oh, and I had two. The juice burger dribbled down my chin and the side salad did nothing to make me feel better about myself. Whatever. It was simply amazing. I chatted with the staff and stared at old photos from past Slip cast members. What a Kirkland gem!

Yogurt with Andrea

Yogurt with Andrea

I had made Andrea a solemn promise that I would visit her at Skinny D’s, a yogurt shop that my Aunt Regina owns. My aunt developed a similar concept in the 80’s and I can still remember going to her shop with my brother, David, and smelling the waffle cones fresh from the griddle. Aunt Regina would watch us sometimes and we’d always hafta finish our soup before she would give us a yogurt. Fortunately, I make my own decisions now and I’ll have yogurt whenever I want, thank you! Skinny D’s is a great place filled with homemade decor like purple and green hand-painted glass on the walls and a plethora of savory yogurt choices! I always fill my cup with Taro, a yogurt based on a forest root. Andrea was there waiting for me when I finally bumbled in around 2pm. We nabbed a Starbucks across the street before coming back over to her work to check the place

Yes I will have a latte and yogurt!

Yes I will have a latte and yogurt!

out. Skinny D’s has the warmest feeling to it, you can’t help but eat everything! There are little tasting cups for when you can’t decide which yogurt is best… or if you just wanna keep eating. Andrea showed me the new computerized gadget that Reggie installed and we sat at a sequins encrusted table to lap up our yogurt. I put a little bit of fruit over the top of my treat just to make myself feel better but ruined my attempt at health when I saw the frosted animal cookies. Oops. Taro yogurt almost has this sweet purple-esque green tea flavor to it. For being some type of root, Taro really is delicious!

I took my leave shortly after we finished our yogurt so that Annie could get back to work and I could go bother my parents are their respective places of employment and snag a wax from my girl, Becca, who was guest starring as a high-demand estetisian at the Aveda salon, Habitude, in Ballard all the way from Boston. Crazy that we were in the same town at the same time!

My wonderful family

My wonderful family

After giving Carter Bear way too many human food treats when I finally returned home from my very full day of adventures, I surrendered to packing up to leave for Boston. I completely decimated the room I was given like a ticking clothing time bomb gone baserk. To make amends, I put thoughtful notes all over Mom’s room and in her things. She has the best make up ever. After playing dress up with Andrea, we were finally ready to head over to my Aunt Reggie’s house for a birthday party where some serious munching was a promised activity. It’s funny how the memory works even after a nearly a decade. I haven’t been to Aunt Regina’s house in years but I knew how to get there. Over the mountain and through the woods to Bothell we go! Reggie’s house was lit up like a Christmas tree and the interior was even more surprising. A Victorian tree, twinkling lights, candles, green garland and glittering ornaments accompanied homemade hor dourves and dessert goodies. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. My nanny and pop were there from the East with Aunt Kerry and

Caramel turtles, chocolate crinkles and peaunut butter drops!

Caramel turtles, chocolate crinkles and peaunut butter drops!

Aunt La La. All the West coast family was there too along with 20 other good friends of Regina’s. The spread was incredible! Cheese trays, quiche offerings, a goat cheese-stuffed meat roll, fresh roll and cold cut fixin’s. And that was just one room. The kitchen had egg rolls with a savory sweet and hot dip, white and red wine with soft drinks and on the kitchen table where delicable dessert treats! Pecan bars, rice crispy peanut butter drops, chocolate crinkles and caramel turtles. Then for the cake portion of the evening, the Skinny D’s girls made several yogurt cakes! You can’t make this up, people, everything was simply amazing.

I can’t believe how much family time I was able to clock in during this trip. Seeing my East coast family while on the West was just incredible. I didn’t mean to not see anyone else but my kin, I was just to selfish for time with my mom and my family. The dining treats were definitely an added bonus and made the trip all the more memorable, but being a part of my sister’s 21st birthday was irreplaceable. How do you put a price on a memory? The moment your sister tried

I love you all!!

I love you all!!

Prosecco for the first time. Drinking a beer with your dad on the couch. Snuggling your mama at 2am before your 4am flight home. The potentially last precious time you get to pet your aging dog. For everything else there is MasterCard.

This was priceless.

Fantasy THIS.

September 5, 2012

Yes I will ring in the end of summer with a mimosa, a run around the Charles and a fit of fantasy football. My day off started similar enough to the rest: Do I go to the gym? Do I go to Trina’s Starlight Lounge for industry brunch? Is there a new Real Housewives of New Jersey in my TiVo que? A drafting session with my brothers and cousins was tentatively scheduled for mid-evening, so I had no qualms with starting my day off with a little mid-day drinking… at 1pm. Hey, it’s Labor Day (and a Monday), why wouldn’t you enjoy a beverage? And for cryin’ outloud, it’s the first drafting day of fantasy football – everyone should be in the proper spirit.

So I went to a Labor Day party. I instructed Andrew to bring over his laptop so that I could have my Iphone, my friend’s computer and also Andrew’s computer for my fantasy maddness. My strategy was simple yet sound: Pick the guy with the coolest hair, the newest smelling jersey and when in doubt; default to the Ravens or Pats. Since I live in Boston, I found the nod to the Pats to be appropriate. As for the Ravens default… well, they fuckin’ kill people so…

I showed up to Mark and Kathleen’s casa all set with warm M&M cookies and Cliff Lede sauv blanc, ready to get down on fantasy foot ball in style! Daniel call me to confirm that yes indeed, the draft would be starting at 9:30pm eastern time. I had about three hours to consume adult beverages, sample the delectable food that Chef Mark of Stoddard’s had whipped up and of course, gear up my three inter-web devises for the draft. Surrounded by chow and electronics, I would be an unstoppable force capable of massive ass kicking.

Chowin’ down prior to my draft with Andrew

Enter serious issues. I couldn’t get my Iphone to register my team name on ESPN because the usual pop-ups that go hand in hand with a sports website were boggling down my phone’s system. Plus a million other douche bags had the exact same idea I was currently trying to enact: Set up kinda early and drink for three hours. FML. I switched from my phone over to Mark’s computer but it had about 1.5 million programs running so you can imaging the cheetah-like speed that I was getting. Wrong. I started to absolutely lose my shit. I was yelling at Tony to fix it, he was yelling at me that I wasn’t drinking my Fernet shot, Mark was yelling that I needed my shock collar on again and I added wild hand waving to the equation just to be spicy. Fortunately, when Andrew showed up, he brought in his computer and I took off right away attempting to log into the guest network on a clutter free device.

Pink Drink with Tony

Except the guest network was overloaded with the party’s guest Iphones, Mark’s computer and now Andrew’s computer, so who couldn’t fit on the Internet? This guy. I was literally losing my mind. Tony wasn’t sure why I suddenly liked football and with all the guacamole around me, I wasn’t sure either. Just kidding. I had both my brothers, several cousins and it was rumored that Dad was playing too, all on the line counting on me to be that seventh useless player. C’mon, with all that at stake, you’d kill yourself for a computer too! So with my reputation and good name on the line, I left the party with Andrew on the good faith that I would indeed return after my draft to finish my shot of Fernet with Tony and continue to partake in the guacamole.

Andrew and I raced home to log on with three computers: My mini, his Apple and um… the somm’s computer that may or may not have just happened to fall into my bag before I left on Sunday 😀 Jen was home and we quickly set up a small operation’s table in the living room. I looked for sports paraphernalia to wear and I couldn’t find a damn thing, so I use the only thing I could get my hands on: a Husky’s hat. (thinking back on it now, I do have a Seahawks jersey upstairs. Stupid.) I figured out my log on, changed my name to Boston-kickin’urA$$ and got ready to draft.

Small problem: I didn’t know where the drafting options were, how I could select anyone and oh my f*ck, I just had my very first QB pick washed away to default!!!! I called Daniel and started screaming, “What the f*ck is going on!?!?! why couldn’t I pick my own quarter back!?!?” The explanation was simple and logical: You select a play and push – wait for it – select player. I know. Science unfolding.

I waited with baited breath for my turn while Jen and Andrew checked stats and conferred with their own posse of people. Jen’s brother was offering advice, Andrew liked Texas and Ohio, I knew and wanted the Ravens and on my f*ck, Dad just took Tom Brady.

I called him and started swearing. He put my sister on the phone instead. My baby sister! Who does that??? I hung up on her. I was literally throwing things around the room as player after player that I knew I wanted disappeared from my available roster. I snagged a couple of dudes that I wanted: Antonio Brown, Tony Romo. My first picks kept gettin’ ninja’ed though: Aaron Rodgers, Tom of course, Eli Manning. My family was so cut throat during this whole ordeal that I don’t think Christmases will ever be the same. I was screaming and calling everyone all the names I could think of as players continued to disappear from my screen. I called Daniel twice, David hung up on me, Dad never called me back and oh my god… DAD JUST TOOK THE RAVENS DEFENSIVE LINE!!!!

My own father took the team from the state of my college career. What is this? Penalty for going outta state? Out of state tuition pay back? Hey. We don’t all wanna be cougars.

Cheers… and shakey hand syndrome is a true ailment.

I learned a valuable lesson last night. Get your quarterback and immediately grab up your defensive line. Otherwise your father will and you’ll be fucked because lo, you’ll be playing him for the very first game of the season immediately after the draft like me. I hate my life. So, concluding the draft, I immediately put civilized clothes back on (I threw my shirt during the Ravens DL theft), and went back to the Labor Day party to continue to lubricate my woes. Best of luck this season everyone. God knows I’ll need it.