Makin' Whoopee

I went to the Copper River Salmon wine dinner at my old job last night. It was really odd to be "out there" in the dining room; it wasn't right!
But as an honored guest, I got to eat with some friends, and we dined well.

The food was excellent- finally Dustin, you cooked something that had some flavor!

The wine was oddly good too (usually the wine was to choose from isn't very great), and of course, the company wasn't that bad either...

Afterwards, we went out on the town, with me dressed to the nines. It was a great evening of chatting, and I even met the night janitor of the Pike Place market. Gar was his name, and he told me about people "makin' whoopee" after hours.


Work vs Play.

I have been working all day it seems.

On my car, which had it's starter motor replaced, and then it still didn't work. Then it seemed to be fixed by a cable's connection...damn.

Then I've been working on my food writer's blog. The look of it, the content and how it will be displayed and sorted....so nothing terribly exciting on this gorgeous day.

Yesterday I was in Seattle for the Champion's League Final, and saw my club, Barcelona win it in style. Drinking beer and watching soccer, in the sun, is a fine way to spend a day. I highly recommend it!



I am embarking on a new project for the summer!

It will be an attempt at creating a noticeable food blog.  But the thing is that there's already a whole bunch of food blogs out there.  I have even found the list!  I personally enjoyed "Adventures of a Fatass."  Even my friend Dan has one (well, it's pretty much one; there is some non-food stuff going on....) that details his cooking exploits, as well as having laments that we never got to hook up for an epic cooking night (one day!)....

So here's where mine is different.  It's going to combine two oft-unrelated ideas: food writing and creative writing.


Imagine the food dorks that like creative fiction?  The dude who likes to write insane menus (me)!  A review of the first restaurant in space?  Creative Writing+Food=This.

As I have mentioned to a couple people, the penultimate destination this idea would travel to is something like The New Yorker Magazine's food issue.  Now that has a lot of non-fiction, if not mostly, and that will be allowed at some point (maybe early on even) because the point will be to have crazy stuff for the pro foodie, crazy stuff for the writers, and people that think they are in the know can think they are in the know.  But they really aren't.

Now all I need is a fine name.  Hmmm....



It's memorial day weekend.
The weather is very fine.

I canoed yesterday, and laid on the beach.  If the water hadn't of been so sea-weedy, I would've gone swimming in the sound.  As I've always said, I can probably count on one hand how many times I've gone swimming in Bud Bay (the inlet Olympia is on for Kiwis).

That was followed by dinner with my dad and brother, and going out on the town where it was dead.  We went to 2 places that were shutting down early.  Everyone was out of town it seemed.  Then we found the one bar that was having a Roller Derby afterparty.  That place was crackin' indeed.
Isak is a shuffleboard hero- the greatest come from behind shot ever!  You had to be there....


Wani vs. Wild.

The bears lost.

That's all I have to say.  They didn't even show up to play, and I was ready for them....I had a sharp stick!

Ok, really, no.

Thursday I left for the seemingly remote Quinault river valley, North Fork edition.
It was everything I had thought it'd be in that remote category.  I was the only one up there, until today, when I was hiking out.
But I advance to fast; I regale thee in my adventure:
I realize I forgot my hiking boots once I am ready to put them on.  Really.  I forgot my boots.  Luckily, I had my running shoes, which are not even remotely adequate in the ankle support for heavy loads department, but they worked fine, once I saw that I didn't need to go very far in to be alone.
An hour walk or so brought me to the "Wolf Bar" campground, and I set up camp, gathered firewood, ate dinner, built a fire, etc, etc.  Camp stuff.
Day 2 I spent on the river bank reading, drinking tea, and sunning on a fir tree that had fallen over the river.  I was hugging said tree as a river rushed below me.  I got some sun.
I then built a bigger fire the second night, read through my book, and drank some fine Fighting Cock bourbon, and when I saw a falling star, I made a wish and went to sleep in my little tent.

This morning I awoke with the pre conceived idea that I would jump in the river.  The glacial melt-off, very, very cold river.
I built a fire, made coffee, and my hot oatmeal.  Then I jumped in, and man, it was f'ing freezing.  I couldn't feel my feet!!!*

I warmed up quickly enough, lounged about, then struck camp and came home.  It was a fine outing, unmolested by people (and bears too) and left to my own devices.

*just like now after drinking a pint of my very potent home brew....zowza!


Camp Zen.

I off to the woods tomorrow.

I am going up the North Fork of the Quinault River in the Olympic National Park.  (I like maps and the map of all the campgrounds is here.)

It should be grand, as Malcom says, and I intend to:
-Enjoy the beginning of some nice weather in the wilderness.
-Write some things, which could include creative food writing, or the pilot for Kumara Junction, NZ's next comedy hit.  That show, which I have probably mentioned before is about a sincere and quiet German who goes to live in NZ, to study soil acidity.  I have learned that NZ has serpentine soil, which is pretty rare, and so that could be used...anyways, the show is to be a smash HIT!
-Adventures with B-E-A-R-S!  Spell it out loud Anne Davie!!!  Food will be hung up in the trees.
-Think on who I am and what I am doing.  Zen stuff to be sure.
-Take pictures of said events, but probably not the zen stuff.

I need to go pack.  I'll be back for the Black River canoe trip this weekend!



I love creating fake, or oddly themed menus. It's a creative writing excersise; how crazy can I get within the confies of the menu-writing genre. There is an art to it, and I definately have my style.
I have been working a few days at my old job, and still have access to my old computer files. There was one menu I did to freak a cook out shortly before I left:

Ryan’s Demise

Terrine of kippered Alaskan Herring and Brussels Onions topped with a tranche of seared farmer’s paneer

Yakima Peach & Brandy flummery

Soufflé Omlette filled with pulled
Puget Sound Mud Shark loin and Oregon truffles

Sour Cherry Consommé, garnished with
angel food cake croutons

“Eggs Benedict”
A poached quail egg on a buckwheat blini with cured rabbit loin and duck fat sauce Choron

Civet of Nutria, “ala Portage Bay”
With foraged morels and local tomatoes

Demitasse of Oregon Grape and Salal jelly,
marked with Sweet Hyssop foam
Now I dodn't think that sounds too bad at all, eh?



I am tired; I am working on a few hours sleep (and I was short on sleep the night before too...)

And it's sunny out, and I am stuck inside.
And reading about BISCUITS (did you hear Beth just squeal with joy?!?)

Baking Illustrated's Buttermilk Biscuit recipe:
1 cup ap flour
1 cup pastry flour
2 teaspoones baking powder
.5 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
.5 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
.75 cup buttermilk

mix your dry stuff. cut your butter in. Add the liquid. Mix, roll, cut, bake, eat, eat some more!

I swear I am going camping later this week!



And this is why NZ Immigration is a joke:

"I understand the result of my assessment is different to what you had been informed before your Expression of Interest was transferred to London. I apologize for the discrepancy."

This has been my complaint all along!  Every time I deal with the office, they give me a different answer or route I need to take.

I called them on it in an email this morning.  I am tired of the fact I feel like I am the punch line in this cruel immigration joke!  So if anyone wants to start a business in NZ, let's talk!  I'll do all the work, and it'll be easier for me to get back there that way it seems....



So I worked an honest shift yesterday.  But by no means am I OUT OF RETIREMENT.
(my theory there being that only the greatest come out of retirement.....Michael Jordan did it twice, I am on my 4th or 5th time!)

Yeah, so pretty much the noon to 8 shift wiped me out; so much standing in a hot environment. But it was nice and gratifying knowing that I didn't have to think about things, the answers/process just came to me.

And I didn't burn or cut myself.  (That's today....)


I graduated!

I got to go to Pulman over the weekend for my brother's graduation.  

I really don't know what to comment about that.  I will start with the facts I guess.
Pulman is home of Wash. State Uni.  and it is in the middle of the palouse region of WA, which is almost devoid of trees, and is a premier wheat growing region!

It takes about 7 hours to get there from Olympia, and I drove over with my dad.  Highlights of the weekend:
-My brother received an award for being "really, really, really good" at construction management (his degree).  And the bbq at the award dinner.
-Making fun of a restaurant called "Swilly's."  It's one of the town's finest.
-Enthusiastically (how else?) explaining the game of Nails to drinking college kids.
-The arboretum walk in Moscow, Idaho.
-After the graduation ceremony was over (how come graduation ceremonies are so boring?!?)
-Seeing my brother graduate.

I may sound like I am making fun of Pulman.  But that's not fully my intention.  It is amazing to me how people who attend that school love that place their whole lives.  My grandparents met there, and my Grandma still loves that place and the friends she made.  Because it is so small, you have little else but to hang with friends.  As opposed to UW, which is in Seattle, you have city life to distract you.  They are 2 different styles of school, but again, WSU grads are way more into WSU that UW people are into UW.
Anyways, some pics from the weekend:


Eat Me.

Have you ever been in an eating contest?
I just read this article in one of the alt-weeklies from Seattle, the Stranger, and it was about a springroll eating contest.  Coincidentally, the article was written by, and the contest won by the guy who came to my going away to NZ party (1st time).  That epic-ness here. (and it never gets old.)
So, anyways, there is an international federation of competitive eating, and it's crazy.  Some of the categories:
  • Deep fried asparagus
  • Sweet corn
  • Clams (I don't want to be anywhere NEAR the winner in the morning....I'm just sayin'....)
  • Pork rinds
  • Funnel cake
  • Krystal burgers
  • Grits
  • Cannolis
And then there's some more.  But I think I could do really good with bean and cheese burritos, or Gail's happy cookies, or sauerkraut/kimchee.
Man, I'm getting hungry!



Today was rainy mostly; stormy could even be used to describe the weather.  Gray in the sky, and green in the plants.  I felt cooped up inside, but of course I could have gotten wet and lived in it's clean; it's smell of living and not caring.

Being soaked is only temporary, and I am far much less so.
What do we care then?

The downpour on the roof changed it's beat, it marched in my ears.  Faster, then slower.  The combination of the sound and the lines when I relaxed my eyes hypnotized me, and I stood transfixed on the water.  So much water, everything is wet, but not me.
I stayed inside.

And then it stopped, and I had lost my chance.



What a weekend it was; oh so fun, yet oh so tiring.
Friday I went up to Seattle, and had a sushi dinner with CP, Saturday I celebrated Kenji's birthday by going to the Mariners game on "turn back the clock" night.  I had forgot how much fun going to a baseball game is, even on a Wellington-like night of crappy weather (you really can't tell with the roof on!).
I then stayed up late, using my web-cam, to have a "show" for the guys in NZ.....I know, it sounds dodge.
Sunday brunch at Wild Mountain cafe, with the best coffee-cake sharer Emily, and the best coffee-cake around.  We then went to Discovery Park, walked down to the beach, where there was a ship wreck that was being pulled on shore.  And then a big Sunday night dinner at some other friend's house, where elk cevapcici and pheasant with lovage chimmi-churri were highlights.
I had a odd Korean lunch today, got a copy of Vice Magazine at Rudy's, and came home, where I am now job-hunting/drinking tea while it rains outside.



Well, I suppose it's a good thing I never was able to come to a consensus on what I would do if I were offered the job in wine country.  Because I wasn't offered the job at all.  I do have to say I am a bit surprised; I have no idea why....
anyways, back to searching!
Alright, a weekend to mull some options....