Man. I think I may have set a new personal record for highest jump into water. I did it after work today (it was a scorcher!), and you go off this never-used, but clearly built on ramp to the 520 through the arboretum. It's 35 feet. That's a pretty good drop, although, you don't have any target to hit, you can go anywhere. The jump wasn't scary, apparently I've lost a lot of fear for the jumping off tall things. Which brings me to yesterday.
Yesterday was the family reunion outside Allyn, on the sound. We swam in the water, had our annual bocce ball tourney (partnered with my brother, we were shamed in the 2nd round. We lost to our sister and her husband! Shock Horror!!!), ate the South Carolina BBQ I made (mustard sauce) and also I got wrecked being dragged around behind a boat going at a pretty good clip. A second cousin of mine and I had a 2 mile battle on those tubes, to this bridge where I jumped off with him.
Right into a bunch of jellyfish. That stung me.
But it was an awesome day; the weather was great, and the views of the Olympics were incredible. I was wiped though from all the boating. Somehow I pulled my groin....I don't know man, I don't know....
I did the farm cooking class today. It went really well- the pregame nerves were unwarranted.
I made some simple beans and rice with sweet corn and green onions, tortillas, salsas, cotija cheese on the side with pickled carrots. Poached farm eggs topped the beans and rice. I also made garlicky kale with vinegar, a salad, and then for dessert I made sweet cream biscuits with stewed peaches and raspberry whipped cream.
I am heading down to Oly to do the farm cooking class near my dad's house. Tomorrow I will be giving a class to some 30 kids, and I have really little idea what I'll be cooking at this point! I feel like maybe I'm in a little trouble, but that will be revealed when I've finished writing the directions tonight I suppose.
Man. What did I get myself into?!?!
I can do this. But I have other things I should be doing, like looking at houses! Arg!
My first day at the club was great. The people/team were very nice; it is obvious they get along well for the most part. It was funny seeing 2 people I used to work with at 2 different places. One of them, a guy I worked with at the golf course told me it's the best place he's ever worked at, and independently confirmed the fact that the people were in fact, great.
And the atmosphere is pretty casual- it's the first place I've worked at in a long time where they have beers while working, as long as it's only a couple. I'll have one from time to time, but a Bud Lite doesn't really do much for me, and most of the time I'll be going for a run afterwards so it seems counter productive.
Anyways, it was easy, intuitive and enjoyable. I found a good thing for a while, until emmer&rye opens up (hopefully on time!)
1st of all, I have a job. It's nothing spectacular; it's just cooking at the finest private golf club in Seattle. And it's seasonal, but that's ok, 'coz I've got a plan. When golf season is over, I (hopefully) will be working for a chef opening a new, awesome restaurant downtown. I am hopeful, because the lease still hasn't been signed, but the place will be a serious contender in this city.
And the last 2 days I did an event with the aforementioned chef, Seth Caswell. He was doing an advanced showing of his restaurant, emmer&rye, by cooking for the outstanding in the field dinner series.
I had a blast doing it; I was out of kitchen shape for the 14+ hour days in my cookin' shoes. And it was hot, and dusty. And the equipment was not optimal. But, it was a great experience, and I look forward to the next time I am lucky enough to do it!
The table. 130 places on one long table.
1st course: roasted baby beets with mixed herb salad (lovage, salad burnett, tarragon, chives and sweet cicely), blueberries and herb vinaigrette.
The salad course: chanterelles, cauliflowers (including Damon's favorite fractal vegetable: romanesco, baby greens, with a roasted shallot-hazelnut vin on emmer.
3rd: Berkshire pork belly on marinated zucchini, and cabbage with spicy mustard dressing.
The kitchen in the raspberry fields!
The guests at the table.
Dessert: Emmer biscuits with apricots, raspberries, blueberries, mint, and raspberry wine sweet cream! Yummy.
Look what I brought home from the farm, part of my reward for my services. Probably $50+ of fresh, organic, local produce.
Whew. I feel really busy right now, but that's better than being bored, right?!?
I have a certain Lower Huttian sending in an entry to the Dom Post's cryptic crossword weekly drawing for a really, really nice pen.
Boy does it write well; just as well as the one I won 2 years ago!
And on a Pohutukawa related note: Ben "the tallest ninja" Davie wrote, "congrats on your little nation making it to another birthday." I love that line. It makes me 1st laugh at this odd commentary, but then I pause to reflect that, yay, we are here, and continue to be. Or as our state motto goes, Alki, which means By and By....
I decided I wanted to ferment something, and not for the alcohol (which may strike some of y'all as very odd!). And since it was my farm stand day, I figured that some kimchi was in order. It's Korean sauerkraut basically. With a subtle seafood background, and a big chili-ginger foreground. It's supposed to be really good for you.
I also have decided that I want to blog more about food, ala Dan @ Freshly Ground. That's a good foodie blog, with nice pics....
So some step-by-step notes of the process to end at a yummy-as product cuz:
1st step. Make a cuppa. Duh. (Very traditional!)
Cut up some carrots. Cut thin on bias, stack 'em, and cut into julienne.
Chop up some cabbage. Traditionally it's Napa/Chinese cabbage, but you can use many different veggies. The farmstand gave me a huge cabbage for $1.75 yo!
There's also an onion in this pot. I then salted the veggies, and let them sit for 1.5 hours. The salt removes the liquid in the veggies, wilting it, and getting it ready for the "process."
While that's happening, I made the liquid. Chop up a ton of ginger, garlic and put it in the blender with chili sauce (or dried hot chili powder traditionally) and shrimpy-shrimp paste. The latter is as smelly as it is tasty. But it's in food for a background note that people don't ever know about. It's a silent hero.
The now-brined veggies; that liquid is seawater salty. Drain, and rinse really well. Multiple times even. Squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible.
Then mix the sauce in with the rinsed veg. Place it in a jar, with a bit of liquid over the top, and some space between the top and lid. It should be packed rather tightly- I pushed down after each layer.
The jar is full. I'll leave it out for 2 days, then it'll go in the fridge. I will eat it with rice and a barely cooked egg for breakfast. Or with braised pork belly. Or with bulgogi meat in corn tortillas (Korean tacos dude!). And mostly with one hand in the cookie jar.
Speaking of jars, this is an old one. Old Peanut Butter. Or now, Sunny Jim Quality Kimchi!
I am leaving for the nation's Capital in a few hours. (Ok, I omitted something- I fly into Baltimore 1st!)
For the 4th of July weekend, I expect MADNESS. And only that. Mayhem on the loose! (Insert "Gator" for "Stormtroopers") And that will be the soundtrack.
But before that, I am cooking dinner, again supplied by the local garden for youth, GRuB. I talked with some of the coordinators about doing some cooking classes there, or just cooking food for lunch. It's a pretty sweet summer experience for 16 year olds I think....
I gots me some bok-chok, mint, basil, broccoli, and green onions which I'll cook up in some Asian-esqu stir-fry with shrimpies. Over Jasmine rice.
And of course, some cherries (lapins methinks.) to go with my Mint Julep. (I love how the 1st print mention is that some Virginians were drinking it in the morning. Typical.)