WASHINGTON (STATE)

Number 42

The Evergreen State

 

Apparently Washingtonians get miffed when “state” is added as a clarification lest others think people are referring to Washington, D.C. (the District of Columbia which has never really made much sense plus any research yields conflicting accounts of the how and why).  As one who attended Washington University in St. Louis and was forever clarifying things starting with “W” maybe we can all agree with Washington in the name, it’s anyone’s guess.

 

For us, Washington is all about Seattle.  At that, it’s about Pike’s Place Market and Macrina Bakery.  Years ago Other David’s sister, Elena, gave us the Macrina cookbook.  Ironically she doesn’t really cook nor bake so it was an odd gift coming from her but lovely just the same.  It came about the time we moved to London so timing was perfect to bake away one recipe at a time.  Everything was fantastic.  About a year later OD’s job took him to the Pacific Northwest so we made a trip of it and a pilgrimage to Macrina was pretty much first on our list.  Suffice to say we were knocking on the door as it opened (jet lag’ll do that to you).  We pretty much got one of everything and went back to our hotel and gorged ourselves.  Energizing for a trip to Pike’s Place is more like it which, of course, was second on our list.  Third was a hamburger dive conveniently located near another branch of Macrina.  Pike’s Place is quite possibly one of the first permanent Farmer’s Market structures operating as was intended since 1912.  The Market itself started a few years earlier on the streets as you’d expect, but politicos saw the need for a more permanent home:

 

“The Market is yours. I dedicate it to you and may it prove of benefit to you and your children. It is for you to protect, defend, and uphold and it is for you to see that those who occupy it treat you fairly. … This is one of the greatest days in the history of Seattle.”

 

Council support for community and small business?  Sound familiar?  I thought....Sorry for the digression, but when something so simple is lost, it tends to get my goat.  Other than Pike’s Place being a truly fabulous foodie haven, it was there we discovered our cocoa.  In a vast vaulted arch cum spice shop, we bought a bag of the darkest mahogany powder.  It felt like we were buying Eye of Newt for a boiling kettle of whoknowswhat.  Back in London, we managed to survive a few palpitations at Heathrow Customs given no bag of powder should really be stowed regardless of color.  Richmond was home at the time and the bag sat on the table until its source was determined through a good bit of e-sleuthing.  And so it became our cocoa of choice for all chocolate recipes.

 

Typically the Washington climate is damp, rainy and fresh in that after-the-storm sort of way.  As such, the cuisine can have some unusual and richer combinations to help keep the chill at bay.  But because here we are having a good run of summer, we thought we’d focus on a more Farmer’s Market type menu loaded with fresh veg and lighter fare.  Rest assured, all recipes are still from The Evergreen State.  Let the record show it was OD who came up with this idea.  He who doesn’t eat veg other than potato.  Which he usually accompanies with a side of potato.  And, perhaps, mac’n cheese.  And a biscuit.  We’ll try and curb the carbs, but for this week, here is what we’re up to:

 

FOR WETTING WASHINGTONIAN WHISTLES

The Redskin (until they change the name of the team, this one’s still in play)

Creamsicle

Seattle Slush

Lemon Drop

Peach Fuzz

Pacific Eclipse

Gimlet Fizz

Evergreenerita

Cascade Punch

Champagne Shrub

Washington Apple

Pike’s Place Sipper

 

FOR WHETTING WASHINGTONIAN PIE HOLES

Cauliflower Steak w/ Kale Pesto

Francisco’s Sweet Potato Empanada

Honeyed Goat Cheese

Butternut Lasagna

Hot Sausage and Peppers and Onions and Tomatoes

Courgette Ragu

Green Chili Pork

All-day Beans

Green Potato Salad

Bacon Mac

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad