Food (and Wine and Sweet Peas) as Restorer

October 7, 2011

As mentioned in my October 1 post, I am taking a little time off from my Northwest Notes blog this month and reprinting a few of our favorite posts from the past.

This is the reprint of a post that first appeared in July 2007. Hope you enjoy it!

On July Fourth, my husband Spencer and I celebrated in our usual way—out to dinner and with a good bottle of wine. You’ll be reading about that amazing evening at Steelhead Diner in a future post.

After dinner, we found a special spot to watch the Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s firework display along the Waterfront. When we got back to our condo, we noticed water coming in around our washer/dryer and figured the washer hose had sprung a leak. After mopping up the mess, we went to bed.

The next morning, our elderly next-door neighbor called to say he had left the plug in his kitchen sink, turned the water on to do the dishes, forgotten about the water, and gone to see the fireworks display.

Two hours of gushing water later, the damage was done to our condo, his condo, and two other condos below us. The Servpro reclamation team (experts in water damage who did a lot of work during Hurricane Katrina) arrived early Saturday morning to assess the damage and put up their equipment–huge wind blowers and a dehumidifier that now dominate our bathroom and bedroom. Spencer left Saturday afternoon for a week in the Middle East, and so for the past several days I’ve been living with the blowers and dehumidifier to try to dry out and save our maple floors and drywall.

I have been alternatively angry and depressed by this total turning upside down of my life, especially since I not only live here, but work out of my home office.

Yesterday, I just had to escape from the (very nice and concerned) workers and from the fans for a few hours, so I went to work out at the gym and run a few downtown errands, then took a stroll through the Pike Place Market. Living the bachelorette life for the past four days, I had let my larder grow empty, about as empty as my drooping spirits.

And, for once in my life, I didn’t even really want to go to my beloved Market.

But once I got there and picked out my fresh produce (including Oh My God! peaches), and shared my saga with produce monger and food-and-wine photographer Mark at Sosio’s Produce, I began to feel better. Side note, and please don’t tell his boss, Susie Manzo: Mark, dear man that he is, gave me a box of local strawberries—my favorite fruit—for free, he felt so sorry for my plight.

After I bought a loaf of Grand Central Campagnolo Bread—still my favorite artisan loaf about town—at Three Girls Bakery from the happy guy who looks like Groucho Marx, treated myself to some Plugra European Butter at The Creamery, and chatted it up with Walt and the boys at Pure Food Fish, I realized yet again that this little slice of heaven, our very own farmers’ market in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a special place not only for the fine fish, produce, dairy products and cheese, specialty-food shops, and plethora of interesting restos, but for the very special people who work along the cobblestones.

For my solo dinner last night I steamed thick asparagus and slathered it with low-fat mayo, chopped a yellow heirloom tomato and sprinkled it with Australian Sea Salt, and sautéed a quartet of fist-sized, super-succulent sea scallops seasoned with nothing more than Al’aea Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt and Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) to soothe my senses. For dessert? Some of those baby strawberries with whipped cream and brown sugar, of course.

My simple summer supper made me smile, filled my belly, and sent my spirits soaring. A coupla glasses of winemaker extraordinaire Virginie Bourgue’s SBS–Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon from Cadaretta, a brand-new winery in Walla Walla, helped dull some of the pain.

The pretty bouquet of pristine white sweet peas I purchased from my favorite flower farmer in the Market, Carlita (Lita) Mendez, of John & Lita’s Produce & Flowers, sent me off to sweetly scented dreams on the living-room couch.

And I awoke early this morning, refreshed and restored, ready and eager to face a new day.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment