Oh, Seattle, I love you sometimes. What a great weekend to enjoy all the charms and quirks of this city.
On Saturday, Pete and I walked down to the Fremont Solstice Festival and Parade. The parade kicks off with hundreds of naked bikers covered in body paint, followed by floats and groups ranging from funny to confusing to bizarre. If you are weird, then this is your day to show your true colors. And, guess what? We'll all celebrate you!
Then, we biked down to Safeco field to watch the Mariners win (!) against the Diamondbacks. We also conducted a very important taste test of sausage vendors outside the field. The conclusion: Mojo is our vendor of choice for their menu, their toppings (including banana peppers) and the song the vendor sings to people walking by. HOWEVER, we think the actual sausages at Al's may be a little better.
On Sunday, I became an ad hoc member of my neighborhood P-Patch. P-Patches are pieces of land in urban areas and neighborhoods where people can use small plots of land to grow gardens. They're run by the city and perfect for someone like me that lives in an apartment. I moved all my potted plants to an area of the P-Patch because they were recently kicked out of the common area of my building. (The nerve!). I'll have to post pics of the P-Patch soon - it's very charming and on a very steep hill.
Last, Pete and I celebrated the solstice and the first day of summer with a very summery meal of cherries, asparagus, salmon and bluebarb pie (that's blueberries and rhubarb).
Yea for Seattle! Yea for summer!
P.S. The pie was great but the crust was tough and not flaky at all. What did I do wrong? Too much water? Letting the unbaked pie get warm on my drive to Pete's?
Recently my officemate and I made brunch for our office. We used a couple classic recipes sent to me by good ol' Mom. (Thanks Mom!) Our menu: classic coffee cake, egg bake, fruit, coffee and juice. We received rave reviews and I promised I'd post the recipes online. So, without further ado . . .
I'm FINALLY in Seattle for the next few weekends and that means one thing: Farmers Markets! I'm going to try to hit the University District market early on Saturday. And, I'm going to have to pick up a lot of asparagus because I seem to keep running into delicious asparagus recipes. I've posted links to some of them below.
Asparagus Stir Fry. I've actually made this one and it was delicious. I really liked how it combined mint with basil. This is from one of my new favorite food blogs: 101 Cookbooks.
Asparagus Salad. Again, from 101 Cookbooks, it combines asparagus and broccolini. A match made in heaven.
Pickled Asparagus. This was printed in the New York Times, but comes from the book Well Preserved, which I'd like to check out.
Asparagus Risotto. This was written up in the New York Times by Mark Bittman. I've recently become a big fan of his.
Pasta with Asparagus, Arugula and Ricotta. For those days when I'm craving pasta.
Here's the directions for making the liquer: Soak 1 cup of food-safe flowers (such as honeysuckle, violets, roses and elderflowers) or 1/2 cup lavender petals in one 750-ml bottle of vodka or neutral-grain alcohol. Let it sit for 7 to 10 days, then strain. Add up to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste); stir until dissolved. The article mentions that you can get these flowers at Whole Foods.
2 ounces gin, preferably Bluecoat American Dry gin
2 ounces Riesling
2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 ounces flower liqueur, such as Creme de Violette or St-Germain elderflower liqueur (may substitute homemade lavender liqueur)
Edible flowers, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the gin, wine, juice and liqueur. Cover and shake well, then divide among cocktail (martini) glasses. Garnish with petals of edible flowers.
I was able to attend Meet in the Middle for Equality on Saturday, an event for marriage equality in Fresno. It was a gathering filled with positivity, hopefulness and love, but with an undercurrent of an intense energy to change things in California and the U.S. Under a beautiful blue sky and bright sun, thousands of people gathered to listen to speakers such as Christina Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez; Dustin Lance Black, Milk screenwriter; and many others representing the NAACP, faith communities, straight supporters and LGBT groups. Earlier in the day, a smaller group marched 14 miles from Selma, Calif. to Fresno. I met them at 6:30 a.m. as they loaded into vans and RVs, and couldn't believe the excitement and happiness everyone shared at that time of the morning.
You can check out a few photos on my Flickr page (link on the right side bar), and there are some great articles and photos sets from the San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times.
There were about 40 speakers at the rally; here are a few that stood out to me:
- Lt. Dan Choi, West Point Grad and Iraq veteran, kicked out of the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
- Robin McGehee, event organizer
- Dustin Lance Black, Milk screenwriter: Part one, Part two
We live in America, and we all have the right to our own opinion on this issue. But, I don't think we have the right to impose our moral or religious beliefs on others. I'm not saying everyone has to support marriage equality, but we live in a country where people of all beliefs and backgrounds should have equal access to the pursuit of happiness - which includes marriage. As Dick Cheney said recently, "Freedom means freedom for everyone." So, let's just live and let live people. Amen.
OK, I'll stop being political now and go back to cooking, travelling, gardening, etc.