Geoduck Grand Champion.

You may now only refer to me as "The Grand Champion", or "His Holiness The Grand Champion." (With or without a French affect)

My dad and I won this year's Andrews family reunion bocce ball tournament, crushing and destroying opponents with suregeon-accurate precision and ruthless antics. I last won in 1998, so it's been a long time coming for the 2nd hoisting of the glorious trophy which represents the pinnacle of athletics. Actually, I wasn't super into the bocce ball stuff when it started, the weather was so glorious I wanted to be dragged behind a boat on an inner tube instead...

Friday night I left work and headed down to the house outside Allyn, and slept out on the deck, with a nearly full moon lighting the bay. It was warm and summer out. Saturday was a day of hijinks, the aforementioned bocce ball, geoduck hunting (which is muddy and fun and wild), volleyball, cooking, hot tubbing....life is tough.

I did all the cooking this year, which was a first, and I went pretty big:
-Sockeye Salmon with Quilicum beach scallop ceviche
-A small farm pork rib roast (Pork Prime Rib) with roasted apricot-dijon-coriander (seed) bbq sauce
-Perfect potato salad
-White beans with braised fennel and arugula
-Ripe summer tomatoes, pickling cukes and celery salad with a sweet sherry vinaigrette
-Geoduck a la Plancha de Washington, a Spanish affair with chorizo, tomatoes and green onions
(cleaning the geoduck was odd.....)
-Brown sugar poached apricot buckle (I forgot the mint whipped cream I had planned)

And then I spent the night out there again, and it was another fine evening. The place really is fine..... I plan on heading out there again sometime this summer, as it's only an hour away, and it really is underused according to the relatives that own it. So y'alls invited!



It's been a weekend of lots. Lots of friends, lots of bloody marys, lots of highlife, lots of outside sitting, lots of ducks, lots of life.

The party went rather well- lower turn out than I'd hoped for, but whatever. More booze for the serious folks. That rolled downhill into hanging out all day and night with friends.

Which rolled right into a brick wall of pain Monday morning. I went into work to do a few things, rather slowly, and then headed to Capitol Hill to hang with Gregor, visiting from Edinburgh. We travelled from Cafe Presse, to the P-I, to Art of the Table's happy monday, to King's in Ballard. Sun followed us the whole day, and naturally fine conversation flowed. I was rather beat afterwards, and woke up early today to play paintball with people from work. It was going really well (minimal pain incurred via high velocity paint), when 5 minutes before the end, I wrecked my back. I am pretty hurt, and need to get into better shape once I heal enough to...
But there's a new kitchen at work- new equipment! New refrigeration and heat and storage and tables! I am loving it tomorrow (if my back is ok!) I've never cooked with brand new stuff except culinary school. Will take some pics tomorrow....



I am scheming/plotting/getting ready for the bloody mary party/soire/shin dig on Sunday.

Who knows what special treats/delights/culinary train wrecks will happen/be presented/change the world?

We will find out/expectorate.


Weekend Roundup.

I had a weekend of enjoyment, after a long and tiring week (6 days, 60 hours).

I enjoyed a summer eve on Saturday, outside mostly, in the fine weather. I love sitting around outside in the summer air at night. The coolness is lovely.

Sunday was, of course, the World Cup Final. I attended a party, and watched a rather dull game, full of fouls that will tarnish the legacy of this Dutch side. But Spain won in the end, and I liked to see that, since it means essentially FC Barcelona are the world champs....

And then I headed up to Vancouver, to see not only Beth, but her parents, and her boyfriend Chris, who is around for a few months too. It was enjoyable and an honor to see the parents, and we went to Lynn canyon, a place I'd like to explore more, and laze in the river. We then returned to their posh hotel and had high tea. Tea sandwiches are so odd. They range from insipid to spongey, to archaic, to too rich. English genteel ladies were/are/will be odd. But the tea was lovely, as were the biscuits that they called scones.....

Returned to Seattle last night, and after a large Chinese bbq dinner, I got pulled over, for expired tabs in my brother's car. I knew this. The 1st officer was nice, and just wanted to make sure my record was clear. He took my license, and another cop returned and asked me if I was "DOC active." I became confused, she become angry, and then asked me if I had a parole officer. I guffawed, which incensed her more. I've never been arrested, contrary to what you may think! They got their issue corrected, and let me go after too long. (wrong birthday- a entry level mistake I think....)
Finished off the night with a nice 7 hour nap....



For some reason, I got this idea in my head of an epic, trans-America road-trip. An almost circumnavigational one. When I tried to get directions from google maps, it blew the entire system of computerized map-makers up, and left a smoldering pile of rubble behind. That is the level of epic-osity.

In a conversion van no less. I've looked into it.....the vehicle of perfectness doesn't exist though: a 2 captained chaired, bed, cooking area, entertainment system in a diesel, made in the 90's. And it's painted green as an alligator. And it flies.

A flying Wani-Van! (A WV, not a VW.)

Anyways, this is what I think of when I have a spare moment and walk to the store for coffee in the morning. Besides, the new menu debuted to much acclaim- I am far happier with this one than the past ones. It needs an appropriate wine list, which I have to sort out now....


Heads Up Cuz.

When I was camping, I concluded that my NZ Immigration debacle had one last gasp: a letter to the Immigration minister. (Read it if you care....)

I tried to impart on him that the best chefs in the world never went to school, that cooking is a craft, and cannot be measured by a degree. A subtle petition for myself was perhaps laid out, but I expect nothing to come from this, other than a "Thanks for the heads up cuz." (It is NZ, and they speak like that there, even MPs from Northcote!)

So, yeah. I have given up on doing things the right way, the correct way. Are there other options? Yes. But I haven't really given too much thought to those ways, as other things around these parts require attention. Bottom line is this: money. I need it, and am saving up for the eventual return to Wani-san Glory. (That's my band's name, number one hit: Wani-san no groly. Inside joke: for Trever).

Happy 4th of July everyone. Freedom isn't free, and neither is the movement to another nation! (I just had the idea that if the US conquered NZ, I could live there then!)



This is my new July dinner menu:

I also have a blown-up kitchen with Russians in it at the moment, and a breakfast menu with bacon-pancakes on the menu. And I am staying in this Friday evening, 'cause Thursday was big, oh so big. Sleep!