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April 23, 2010

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Questions

Grays River Covered Bridge

That is the historic Grays River Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge in Washington that is still used by the public. Not sure the public was using it the day the photo was snapped, but mostly. This photo of the bridge is what it looks on drier days. Go look, it's really quite the difference.

The Grays River winds down a nearby valley, at least when it's not escaping its banks to wreak havoc in the area, even on places that are many feet higher than the river itself. The road to Astoria, where we shop, shadows the Grays River valley for a few miles and each trip finds me coveting one piece of waterfront or another. Then I remember. It floods. A lot.

Which flood is pictured here is a darned good question. We are under water quite a lot around here; getting 120 inches - yes, ten feet - of rain annually will do that to you. My memory is that there have been several such floods in the half dozen years since we moved here. Some locals claim that the 100 year floods are happening every 10 years now, others think it might be more often than that.

Even with the floods, I have a soft spot for the Grays River valley. We have friends who happen to live within sight of the bridge, on a bit of a rise so they stay a bit dryer than some others. Perhaps more relevant to me, this is where I broke my arm so horribly a while back. Maybe that soft spot is in my head...

So why do I have (somewhat fewer than 1000) questions about the place?

Two words: Septage dump.

Continue reading "A Picture is Worth A Thousand Questions" »

January 11, 2010

Seattle Cooks Rock Master Chef Auditions!

Master Chef is coming to the US and Seattle is ready!

Yes, Fox is bringing Gordon Ramsay's UK show, Master Chef, to the states and that means one thing: casting call! Auditions were held yesterday at Sur La Table in Kirkland and lots of people showed up. I am happy to say several Seattle cooks I follow on twitter got callbacks. Here's the list I compiled with a bit of quick sleuthing. Names link to twitter pages:

Round two of auditions for these folks (and others, perhaps) is today and I wish them all the best of luck. (Well, I wish Marc a smidge extra because we once had cubicles close to each other and I have a soft spot in my head heart for him.)

With another dozen or so auditions coming up, you still have time to enter the fray.Here us the complete list of Master Chef audition dates and a casting director discussing what they are looking for. If you just want to keep up with all the Master Chef news, one way to do so is by following the #masterchef tag on twitter.

Good luck to everyone who has yet to try out.

How about it: Have you or someone you know tried out for Master Chef or another reality cooking show? Would you ever? (Not me!)

August 17, 2009

Slugfest 2009: The Herbfarm serves 100 Yard Slugs at 100 Mile Dinner

Photo courtesy Ron Zimmerman                

It all started so innocently.

Ron Zimmerman, the owner of The Herbfarm Restaurant commented on twitter one day that he had been asked to serve slugs by a diner with reservations for the 100 Mile Dinner. We have had days of fun watching as the idea moved from request to talk of preparation to wine pairing. Along the way some of the twittier twits suggested dishes like popcorn slugs, slug pate, and slug jerky (an idea Ron quickly squished due to health concerns). One person came up with an entire slug menu in a single tweet.

The story of the slugs took a dramatic turn the evening before they were to be served when Ron sent this missive:

Argh! Slug shortage! Slugs for guest's "Escargot Experience" tomorrow escaped overnight. Died in salt minefield. Out searching for more

Continue reading "Slugfest 2009: The Herbfarm serves 100 Yard Slugs at 100 Mile Dinner" »

April 21, 2009

2009 Puget Sound Farm Guide available


One of the surest signs of spring is the emergence of the farmers markets. In western Washington, this special season is marked by the annual Puget Sound Farm Guide, published by Cascade Harvest Coalition.

The 36-page guide has resources and tools to help consumers shop smart, fresh and local at more than 160 farms and farmers markets, plus farm stands, farms, u-picks, and CSAs. The guide covers the 12 counties that touch Puget Sound: Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Island, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston, and Whatcom.

Download a copy of the 2009 Puget Sound Farm Guide at Puget Sound Fresh or pick one up at Seattle area YMCAs, most libraries  (including King County, Seattle and other regional libraries), county conservation districts, farmers markets, farm stands, farms and community celebrations throughout the Puget Sound region.

September 10, 2008

Dish up literacy! Dine out for a good cause

Eat out on Thursday, September 18, at a Dish Up Literacy restaurant and they will donate a at least 20% of their proceeds to help provide new books and reading resources to children in need.  Dish Up Literacy, a benefit for Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, allows diners to put books in the hands of kids simply by going out to eat.

There are a number of great restaurants participating: Julia's, Macrina Bakery, FX McRory's, Ten Mercer and others.  If you aren't in Seattle, there are options for you, too. One of my favorite local breakfast cafes, The Place Family Restaurant is even involved. Must be my excuse to eat Northwest Eggs Benedict (made with crab cakes instead of Canadian Bacon).  Check out who's participating at Dish Up Literacy.

March 31, 2008

A Taste for Reading benefit lunch (Seattle)

Food and books, two of my favorite things, come together next week in Seattle at A Taste for Reading(pdf), a benefit luncheon for Page Ahead. Even better, there is entertainment from an as yet unannounced school group, so you get your dose of cute kids too. Page Ahead is a children's literacy program that distributes books to kids and encourages parent and community active involvement in reading with children.

A Taste for Reading happens next Wednesday, April 9, at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Seattle’s Waterfront. Lunch will be served at 11:30, with the entertainment at noon. They are even promising that it will end "promptly at 1" so you can all scurry back to work. A donation will be requested (the meal is valued at ~30) and contributions over 250 will be matched.

To make (required) reservation, drop them email or call 206.461.0123.

October 26, 2007

Dine around Seattle: 25 becomes 30

first, let me say hi to all the new people - I guess writing about PETA is an attention getter, huh? color me surprised!

If it's November in Seattle, it must be time to go out for dinner, or lunch, or both. The dining out ritual that was 25 for 25 has become 30 for 30, same basic deal: 3 course dinners for $30, lunch for $15.

This year you can choose from places like:

The complete list, with links to the 30 for 30 menus is available at Dine Around Seattle.

Having read the list, I am realizing that this is also the time of year when I remember how many restaurants I have not yet been to. From this year's list, I have had the pleasure of eating at...well, almost nowhere. Man, I gotta get out more often!

Speaking of getting out, and almost totally off-topic, I need a nice place to go to lunch in Olympia on Sunday. Suggestions?

September 17, 2007

What I ate on my summer nonVacation ~ part 2

  baby artichoke in hands Everywhere you look these days, there are lamentations of summer's demise. I know fall is coming, and darned quickly too - but it is still harvest time out there in the fields and the local farm market is still bursting with goodness. Some seasons are just starting - last week's CSA bag was heavy with the first of the Stockhouse's sweet, tender corn. Not the last, mind you, the first.

Besides, summer is eternal in the photo archives.

Herewith, I offer part two of What I ate while I was notBlogging this summer: the farmer's market edition.

Continue reading "What I ate on my summer nonVacation ~ part 2" »

September 11, 2007

What I ate on my summer nonVacation - part 1

All of this lovely food came from over in the next valley where a couple of my friends have spent the last six months toiling away from dusk to dawn, building an organic farm for a new bed and breakfast. How cool of a job is that?

While it is also really hard work, as Dubya might say, Sarah (yes, our lady of the Cookie Lavender) and Connor always seem to glow with the accomplishment of creating a thriving organic farm. And who can blame them, just look at this stuff!

magical purple beans

I just know Alice would love these magical purple beans! What's not to love?

That iridescent purple that cloaks the mundane green bean is absolutely stunning. Yet by the time the bean is served, it has disappeared! It is a special treat just for the cooks, a tiny bit of backstage magic that makes it that much more fun to have a small person, like Alice, helping you in the kitchen and the garden.

Continue reading "What I ate on my summer nonVacation - part 1" »

August 20, 2007

do you support public radio?

If you are one of those folks who donate to public radio, please consider doing so tomorrow to  KMUN in Astoria, Oregon between 10-12 (west coast) tomorrow. someoneElse will be on All Kinds of Folk and it's pledge drive time so I am angling for quick donations and thus more music, less begging.

There are rumors of me having to speak too. One can only hope the rumors are not true because, while I like music, I know nothing about it. "I gave it a ten because it's got a good beat and you can knead bread to it!" is my fallback position. Again, I think more money=less talk - in which case, I may be writing checks myself!

The KMUN audio stream is available online, either via their preferred method, which involves installing software that lets your machine host bits of the stream (meaning your upstream bandwidth and some hard drive space) or my preferred method of snagging the stream here and plugging it into something like Windows Media Player.

If you decide to contribute, please tell the nice person on the phone that you are a friend of kitchenMage. I'd love to feel a presence from the food-people out there. Sort of like a big invisible hug while I am in radioland, which is so not my usual hangout.

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