Sunday, November 26, 2006

Gourmet food, bluegrass, and casinos.

Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday (Halloween was my favorite when I was little because of FREE CANDY and its proximity to my birthday, but the completely food-centric Thanksgiving is now my favorite). Because school prevented me from going home to NJ this year, Nate and I went to some friends'. Everyone was responsible for a different part of the menu - I made my onion-cheese tart, a fennel/gorgonzola/Asian pear/toasted walnut salad, and a chocolate, pecan, and caramel tart. We also had an amazing (brined, of course) turkey, the best mashed potatoes I've ever had (apparently, Stephanie told Matt, "We're making these for other people! You have to use tons of butter. And cream, not milk!"), delicious pork sausage stuffing (Sarah was worried about the pork clashing with the turkey meat, to which I said: added pork is NEVER a bad thing), apple pie AND pumpkin pie (made from a whole pumpkin!) AND my pecan tart, and many many many glasses of sparkling, red, and white wine. The best part was taking a walk to preempt the turkey coma, and standing on the top of the Gasworks Park hill, glass of sparkling wine in hand, looking at the Seattle skyline across Lake Union. Nice.

Then on Friday Nate and I went to the Olympic Peninsula for a short get-away-
from-Seattle trip. Unfortunately, the road to Hurricane Ridge was closed because of snow, and the road to the Hoh Rainforest was closed due to flooding, but we still managed a hike, on which we got within 15 feet of a mama and baby deer. Dinner was at the only place in Sequim that appeared semi-appetizing (the food actually turned out to be quite good). When we walked in, there was 1 other table of 3 in the entire restaurant, and a lone man with a banjo was tuning up. Goody. But it was either that or Applebee's, so we ate. And then the other 3-top got up and sat down with the banjo man. And then they started playing! Bluegrass! (Free food in exchange for music?) It was actually excellent music, and we found out that they were Chairs - and all of the proceeds from their CDs go to animal shelters. (Of course, I told them about KEXP and that they'd be perfect for the Roadhouse or Swingin' Doors.)

So where do you go after a private bluegrass serenade? Why, the local Native
American casino, of course! I lost $5 playing the slots, but I saw a man wearing a t-shirt that said "Happiness is a belt-fed weapon" (along with that yellow smiley face draped with an ammo belt thingy), so it was a good night for me. It was a also good night for Nate, because he won $25 at the $2 blackjack table. High rollers! (Did I mention I was playing $0.05 slot machines?)

On Saturday, we went to Port Townsend, did some work in a coffeeshop, and then saw Casino Royale. And then, since pretty much everything else was closed at 10 PM, we went to the Public House, where I had the worst French onion soup of my life. ("It's hot! Be careful!" the waiter said, but honestly, it wasn't. Did he even feel the bowl? Bad food makes me UPSET.) And then I had an interesting (depressing) music moment. They played Coldplay's "Don't Panic" (I love that song) and then the Shins' "Caring is Creepy." So I thought: first songs on first albums! (Music dork! [But I imagined it was a CD changer just rotating through the songs.]) Next was Zero 7's "In the Waiting Line" (I didn't know this album well enough to say if it was the first song or not), but then when "New Slang" came on, I realized we were listening to the Garden State soundtrack. Ugh. Embarrassing that I knew that, depressing that the disappointing bar I gave props to for at least playing good music was going for the indie rock lowest common denominator. Oh well.

After a rather snowy drive home, I did some homework, and then made Cook's Illustrated's coq au vin recipe (mmm) with homemade mashed potatoes (which were nowhere near as good as the ones at Thanksgiving). And now, there's some of that caramel chocolate pecan tart left, so goodbye.


Blogger NH said...

I made that recipe one night... Meghna was over. It was good! (the coq au vin)

1:32 PM  

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