Monday, November 17, 2008

Grandfathered In: Return to Wild Mountain Nation

I'm freshly returned from three fabulous days in the freshest air I've breathed in weeks and more fun than could possibly/practically be recounted here. As you've gathered here before, my grandfather is one of my very favorite people so my annual trip to Seattle, etc. has become a major highlight as I always go alone and we spend the weekend going for drives, working on photography and cooking above all. Irreverent and romantic in every way, Pop is his own man but I'm quite happy to be one of his girls.

This weekend was a little different because I was able to time the trip with Jaimeson's travels! After Friday evening and Saturday of hogging Pop and his companion Jennifer to myself, I brought J home with me after our Saturday night in Capitol Hill (hamming it up on the way to the show above). The pics do more justice than I could....
Pop gave up on giving anything up years ago. Which is to say, he keeps the butter out at room temperature for easy access while cooking. Above you'll see our breakfast spread from Saturday morning- instead of cream cheese, he bought a round of brie. Brie and Lox on toasted bagels with excellent coffee (Peet's Tanzania Kilamanjaro blend) and OJ. Did I mention that it was stunning out? Brie and Lox....bringing sunshine to the world and with its Judeo-French roots, it's even more PopPop.
After a lazy morning around the internet, the three of us took to the store to buy food for our lunch the following day. As tomorrow (11/18) is Jaimeson's birthday, he needed a treat. It's hard for me to make pie outside of my own kitchen so we took a cue for Orangette and made a Tarte Tatin instead- behold our beautiful, Washington-grown ingredients!

Onward to downtown Seattle where I did miss photographing one meal. The show Saturday night was at a kitschy little place called Chop Suey in Capitol Hill. As soundcheck was later in the day, all my restaurant-tip mongering was in vain. Why? Because the Iron Wok within Chop Suey serves a damn good Pad Thai or Pad See Ew for $7. As in WOW.

Great fuel for a sold out show and everyone did a fantastic job. I do have to call out my latest music crush as well because Emily Wells had me at hello. Actually she had me at soundcheck when she was playing the shit out of a violin while mixing some old school Dr. Dre. Sounds strange, tastes amazing. I bought the The Symphonies and listened the entire way home today. I never end up taking many pictures at the show but if you dare, here's a special dance party treat courtesy of Emily and Rachael. Elephants- get it? Apologies for camera work courtesy of one Mr. Daniels with my narration/cackling:

Emily and Rachael Chop Suey Dance Party from ToKissTheCook on Vimeo.

The next morning with rather bloodshot eyes I left J in bed to go clear my head and immerse myself in fresh things (best for driving out those whiskeytango demons). Our hotel was right downtown so I wandered toward Pike Place Market.
Alas, my inspiration for the trek is not open on Sundays:( Oh Creminelli, how I want to buy some of your sweet meats for myself! May need to resort to mail order for this one.

Almost edible- picked up this gorgeous bouquet (including kale blossoms) for $7 at Pike Place. God I love fresh flowers and know Pop does too. Jaimeson's always occurred to me as kindred with Pop but there's nothing wrong with a little sucking up in my book!

Pop was also looking to impress- our spread was Cobb Salad featuring: hard boiled eggs, smoked maple ham, gorgonzola, honey roasted peanuts, raisins and homemade dressing with flaky rolls and a good amount of pinot grigio. Yum.

After we'd finished eating, I started working on the night's dessert (hence the naked apples and trashcan) but I was not the only one put to work for the cause. Jaimeson acquiesced to the begging for a short afternoon review on the mandolin. A captive audience from Pop and Jen! He has been on the road for something like 12 weeks AND is nursing broken pinkie but broke it out and just ad-libbed for a solid hour. I can't type anything about that without making you a little nauseous so just assume I was a big fan of the gesture. {sighs, swoons}

We eased ourselves into dinner with TiVoed SNL and a Caprese salad. While I was working on the tarte, etc., I kept hearing laughter coming from Pop's studio. Of course when the boys emerged later they had matching mugs-o-mischief on and I can't say that I really wanted to know what the joke was. Trouble. Always trouble.
Dinner on Sunday consisted of lightly breaded and sauteed sea scallops, rice and white asparagus. I'm not typically a fan of the monochromatic plate but I'll tell you what- those scallops were delicious! And easy to make with a simple dredge in flour, lemon pepper and kosher salt and then sauteed in a small pad of butter. 4 min per side for the jumbo sea scallops or until they develop that beautiful brown crust.
Tarte Tatin a` la Orangette made the perfect halftime show for Chicago and I don't think that's a night I'll forget soon. Salted caramel apples on puff pastry in their brown butter glory, all the rich colors of the film and me surrounded by two of my favorite guys, both singing along with Roxie and Velma. A wholly vivid conclusion to a perfectly edible weekend out west.And also...yum. Just Chicago-watching, wine-drinking, fake glasses-wearing and tarte tatin-eating deliciousness. Sorry. It's true though- look at those damn dimples!


Jonk said...

Speaking of Wild Mountain Nation....
Blitzen Trapper owned it on Conan O'Brien's show tonight. :)

Shelley said...

Sounds like a fantabulous weekend. So much great food. Welcome back to the cold of Midwest. Bleh.

Joner said...

speaking of wild mountain nation -- do you know who was on conan last night?!?! none other than Blitzen Trapper! I tried to stay awake to see them perform, but no such luck!! Oh Scubas :)

Alexa said...

looks like an amazing time! seriously.

and that pic of you and gramps is fabulous.

nicoleantoinette said...

Note to self: do NOT read this blog when you're starving.