I’ll be away soon, and when I return I suspect my precious basil won’t have made it through the Fall rains. I’ve had the good fella since June, and it’s kept me in Caprese salads at least 3 times a week ever since.
We discussed Napoleon’s Privates which seemed a promising series of vignettes when we picked it, but turned out to be surprisingly lacking in the compelling department. Someone described it as perfect for a bathroom book. Yes!
After giving book content discussion a good honest try, we spent a long time chatting about life. I was long overdue in catching up with these kindred spirits of mine, so mission accomplished for this month’s book club.
I worked from Fruit, making Peach Melba. Yes, it was remarkably easy (technique-wise) just peeling and slicing up those peaches, if time consuming. Others found prep time similarly lengthy, but I have to say in the end that this was one of the better group meals I’ve encountered. So: glad we all sacrificed to make this so worth it.
After this month’s meeting, we were immortalized in this entry with Maggi on Tea’s site: How to Start A Cookbook Club. Recommended reading!
Maggi had us assign a smug factor to our dish as we each spoke about how we acquired ingredients or completed our assignments, which I rather enjoyed. My smugness came from using “white peaches” from a CSA box, but someone else actually grew her own zucchini blossoms before deep frying them with cheese. I think she wins. Oh, wait, someone else churned her own butter! Let’s overlook that I did not make my own vanilla ice cream, but rather went for Haagen-Dazs’ Five – Vanilla Bean.
Mr. T’s parents belong to the Swedish Cultural Center and tonight, we went with them for the
Crawfish Crayfish dinner the Center holds every year. (Note: the word crayfish sticks in my craw, almost irrationally and I believe unjustifiably as who is a transplant to tell these folks what to call it? I’m trying to get beyond myself. This irritation lingers despite my knowing that these are a different kind of crustacean and so they are completely justified in calling them whatever they like. Or at least that’s how I can handle it. Also, these come from a nearby lake, not a bayou!)
The Swedish prep them with dill and lemon. The claws were several times the size of their southern cousins, making them more akin to baby lobsters. Aunt Mary Joyce was with us, still visiting from the South, and when asked by a Swede which she preferred, she quietly said, “I think I prefer a little cayenne with mine.” Amen, sister. I believe it has a lot to do with what you were raised with. Trying new things is what it’s all about though (at least in my life), so I’m pleased I finally made it to this dinner.
Let it be known that their hospitality was top-notch at the SCC. The hostesses running the show were very chatty and welcoming. I learned more than just the Swedish drinking songs! Also, I’d like to visit their country sometime but that should be a given at this point in my story.
My favorite moment of the evening: the lady peeling off her Crawfish costume to demonstrate how you eat them, pictured above. Now, I never saw that at any backyard crawfish boil in Louisiana.
LUPEC was without an official gathering this month, but a few rebels met at The Gastrognome’s new basement bar. Courtney tended bar (expertly) for most of us.
Tonight was a Sous Vide Dinner at Seattle Bon Vivants, with Sharone Hakman.
Once again, I caught the installation of something new in Occidental Park for the month’s Artwalk. These ladies were hanging these contraptions with dangling birdseed. I should google what that’s all about.
The Flavors I tried:
By Peaks Custard:
Beautiful Bay Leaf
Fainting Goat Gelato:
Old School Frozen Custard:
Vanilla Affogato with Zoka Coffee
Bluebird Ice Cream:
Buttermilk Peach Cobbler
My favorite was the vanilla custard from Old School.
We had to wrap up the evening at Palace Kitchen with SALADS.
My first stop on the island was Hitchcock. My advice regarding Hitchcock: it is a fairly easy walk from the terminal, if you’re not carrying much. I couldn’t imagine enjoying this in the rain — my walk along Winslow Rd took 15 minutes.
If you see a Mexican-inspired watermelon, basil, and cucumber salad on the Hitchcock menu, don’t hesitate to get that. On the salty side, but so delicious I wished it was the whole meal. Others loved their beets. I followed my choice with the Spaghetti (like a Carbonara, but with lambchetta). It needed a bit more oomph, and I learned likewise for the egg fettuccine and the Sablefish. I’d give it another go, though.
We skipped dessert to head to Mora for ice cream!