Posts Tagged ‘food’

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.

10 Things That I Judge about You

May 6, 2012

While this is not directed at anyone in particular, I can’t help but wonder who will be aghast at my boldness. Or perhaps this will secure a new habit or the removal of one in a person’s life and they’ll be that much better for it.

1. Bathroom cleanliness: When I walk into your bathroom and you don’t have, say, SOAP, I know for a fact you probably didn’t just run out this morning. You haven’t had suds in there for weeks. And where is the toilet paper? Ohhh! It’s right next to the toilet on the floor, waiting for misdirected pee. Wonderful, I’m thrilled to use your floor TP. Or the hand towel with green tooth paste smeared down the middle for me to dry my un-soaped hands upon after I’m done using ground toilet paper. Is there a ring around the toilet to the extent of foul that I literally have to hover and hold just to feel sanitary? And the shower? I personally have about five different face soaps to choose from and I like to mix it up with the shampoos too. I judge what you like to use to clean yourself. Do you like Neutragena? Jergans? Do you even have face soap? I love seeing what people carry in their showers! Often I get new ideas of what I should be using. My girl Melissa has SO many wonderful goodies for me to choose from, I may not leave her shower for an hour because I want to lather, rise, repeat with every shampoo she has to offer!

2. Cell phones during dinner: Going out to dinner is one of my favorite things to do with either my friends or a date. And I completely understand in certain situtations, business must continue while I’m stuffing my face with jumbo lump crab and sipping on Champagne. However, Facebook checking, Google, searching and naturally the ex-girlfriend texts are most decidedly off-limits. I realize I can be dull every now and then, but please, for Christ sake, just tell me I suck at conversation. I’ll take that over the passive aggressive I-phone app shopping. I can’t believe this has to be one of my 10 things I judge about you. No one has retained their dinner table training through the years of technology development apparently. Winning.

3. Ticks that involve body parts: In my high school public speaking class, my teacher brought to light the nervous ticks people exhibit during uncomfortable moments. I play with my hair, talk with my hands, and smile off to the side of my mouth. However, never, I repeat, NEVER would I tick in a manner that literally repulsed the person with whom I was speaking. I am shocked and dismayed by the crotch grabbing, nose picking, ear wax searching and pants adjusting that is allowed during face to face conversation. I’m going to start clucking or making some sort of animal noise any time someone stuffs a finger in their nose when I’m talking with them just to see what happens. “Why did you just … Laura, did you just quack?” “Yes, why is your finger in your ear drum right now?” I can’t be asked to accept this type of behavior. It’s horribly rude! Imagine you offer your hand to greet a person who just watch you fix your crotch! What must they think of you? I certainly don’t want you touching me, and I know you! How much more so for a complete stranger/client/lady/boss/etc.

4. Silverware Warrior: Silverware was made to gentrify society. It keeps the hands clean, the table free of flying food and hopefully, secures that your food makes a successful trip to your mouth. Cutlery is to be held in a firm, graceful manner with poise and purpose. It immediately reflects on your upbringing. Ask my nana. That’s what she told me and nobody argues with Nanny. As of late, I’ve noticed something grossly disturbing: Silverware is a weapon. A fork has become a cattle prod meant to jab and dash, smearing sauce around the plate followed by a finger to push a side onto the utensil. Who needs a knife when you have an index finger? A fork needs to be held by your fingers not in your fist like a dagger. A knife is held with your index finger pointed downward, thumb pointed forward, and the rest of the digits face behind the handle towards your body. I immediately feel anxiety when I see this dining behavior as I know that you can NEVER meet Nanny. She’s Italian and she’ll eat you up with a sharp, disciplinary tone. Then I’ll hear about “That boy/girl with the horrible table manners. Please don’t bring them to the club again, Law-rah.”

5. Facebook pictures of food: My brother’s girlfriend brought this to my attention recently and I couldn’t agree more. When you make food, it looks SO much better in real-time than online. In fact, food typically exhibits a greasy gloss from the digital camera’s flash to an extent that I’m actually throwing up in my mouth at the thought of you eating that shit. To be honest, I have fallen victim to posting pictures last year of a baller stew I made. Even when I posted the picture, I wasn’t happy with how my dinner looked. Why do we post these things? Who cares? It’s just food. Oh first world problems…

6. Uncontrolled Body Odor: While bathing is traditionally a typical daily function, I see no reason to demand it. Should the need arise when you smell like a boar, perhaps washing your armpits is required for the sanitary sake of mankind. However, at any point… at any point of the day when you notice that you don’t feel fresh, you must attend to this matter. I beseech you. I have broken up with men over the issue of body odor. As I once said in my public speaking class of long ago: It is better to smell way too good and have the scent wear off then to smell even a little bit bad and have that problem only get worse.

Make up at the Gym: When you come pay homage to the iron gods after work, naturally you’re bound to still have on the day’s colors. This section is not directed towards you. I’m talking about the Jersey Shore ladies who stroll in to the gym at 8am on a Wednesday dolled up to the nines. Boobs are everywhere, bright pink lipstick on cologine injected lips, and hoop earings. My spin girls and I look like sweaty morning girls next to you, and you just look like a beauty queen contestant. The gym is where we go to make ourselves look better during the rest of the day; it’s certainly not the place to attempt to woo a mate while sitting on a back machine. This 40-something year old gal at my gym just started working out with one of my trainer friends and she looks absolutely ridiculous doing squats with a face full of bronzer. Recognize there is a time and a place for clownish makeup, my gym isn’t it!

Flossing Issue: I don’t carry dental floss around in my purse; I’m not that anal about this point. But make no mistake, if you do not ever floss, everyone knows it. Without having a lick of dentistry knowledge in my repertoire, I know that plaque builds up between your teeth during the day and into the evening and must be conquered at night prior to bedding. If you have never opened your mouth for minty string, I beg you to reconsider. The plaque build up makes for one of the most recognizable, putrid smells I’ve ever encountered. It’s as if an old dog took an old poo in an old barnyard right before he died. Once you smell this type bacteria, you’ll never forget. My roommate just described the process the bacteria goes through to generate such a smell, but I can’t even stomach the thought… Floss. Baz Luhrmann included this advice in the Sunscreen monologue, so obviously we must heed his words!

9. Extensive Dropping: Names, Status, Titles, etc: About a month ago, I was in a car accident and the Medford police officer was so inappropriate and condescending that I nearly lost my cool. At 8:45am in a gym parking lot, there is never a need to gross rudeness. Oddly enough, later that day I was interacting with a few men and one of them said, “Hey, I’m a cop.” Who the f*ck cares!? You’re still going to get the same treatment, service, conversation and ultimately rejection that you would have received if you were the owner of a pet store! Hey, I’m a cop?! Are you kidding me? Or the people who say, “Hey, get _______, I know him. He’ll take care of this.” (which usually means that they want something for free). You know what’s hilarious? I typically know the person who you think is gonna vouch for you and cater to your whim. I’ll bet they wouldn’t appreciate you abusing their name. Or when someone throws around, “Hey, I’m in the industry,” or “Hey, I’m a sommelier” or “Actually, I own restaurants” or even better “Actually, I used to have your job”… If you want something for free, maybe act civilized and someone will take pity on you or simply stay home and eat popcorn. That’s free. I don’t care if you’re a cop. I don’t care if you know Mr. Del (there isn’t one BTW), I don’t care what your status is in life whatsoever. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? Can you participate in daily social situations without your insecurities blatantly waving in the wind? Make it a practice, please.

10. Your money: For those of you who aren’t aware, I have a job. I work hard, I play hard, I pay hard.  I like it hard. In certain circles of friends, I noticed the “no, I got the bill” conversation never happens. Iphone calculators happen. This is a grevious mistake; a $50 check and lower must be covered by one person. Hell, make the non-paying party member leave the tip. But to whip out deux credit cards for anything less that $50 is just cheap. Aren’t you both going next door anyway? Can she pay for this drink and you buy the next one? It would minimize the junk receipts in your purses y’know. Or when you offer to buy me a drink and I say (all together now) A slightly dirty Double Cross martini extra cold with three olives. And you say, “really?” in reference to that fact that I didn’t order a $3 Bud Lite. Yes, really. Don’t offer to buy me a cocktail if you can’t handle the order, I’ll get the damn thing myself. I came alone, didn’t I? I don’t know how to manage my money – it’s one of my flaws – but I certainly know that if I’m going out, it’s not for some crappy Bud Lite. I worked hard all day, I need a martini to the face. Beer is for the afternoon.

So, this is just a little laundry list that I compiled over the month after noticing -isums about people around me. The Silverware Warrior is truly my worst annoyance. My nanny can’t be ignored…