I spent last weekend in Seattle — I had two days of meetings last week for my Corporate Job, then hung out with my stepmother for the weekend. Susan’s only eight years older than I am, and she and my dad have been divorced for a long time, but we kept her after he moved to Europe. During all those years I was the bratty teenager living with Susan and my Dad it would never have occurred to us that all these years later that Patrick and Dad would be gone and it’d just be the two of us together, but it is, and we’re pretty grateful to have eachother.
It’s also a lucky thing that Susan likes to cook and thinks a weekend spent going to various specialty and ethinic food stores is a perfectly normal way to spend a visit to a different city.
First stop was Mutual Fish. The MH had sent me to Seattle with explicit instructions that I was to bring back oysters. I got 2 dozen oysters, a big bag of tiny manila clams, and a couple of steamed Dungeness crabs. They packed everything up for me in a handy box with a handle and big stickers that said No Dry Ice (apparently dry ice is a TSA hazard?). We left it in Susan’s cool garage overnight then I checked it as baggage. I only wish I’d had enough money to bring back some of the other gorgeous fishes — there were lovely flatfish, and fresh herring, and sea bass and big fat salmon and tiny fresh smelt just begging to be fried all crispy. And so when I got home Sunday night, we had to try a few of the oysters to make sure they’re okay. Okay they are … yum.
Then we made a quick stop at Uwajimaya — a wonderland of Asian vegetables, condiments and everything else. I also found some seeds for Asian veggies from a company called Kitazawa that look really interesting — since greens grow better than almost anything in my garden, and of course it’s impossible to buy Asian veggies here — who knows? Maybe I’ll get a booth at the Farmer’s market …
Next stop on the tour of food emporiums was World Spice where I bought about six different kinds of chile: Aleppo, Chinese, Poivron Rouge, New Mexico Chile powder, Harissa, as well as a big bag of Herbes de Provence, and some Zahtar (which I’ve always wanted to experiment with). They’re each fresh and lovely and because you’re buying in bulk, not terribly expensive. Then I went out on the internets to Specialty Bottle and ordered some small tins like the ones you get at the fancy grocery stores.
Across the street from World Spice, is The Spanish Table, and so of course we had to go in there too. It was all I could do to remind myself that I’m rehabbing my bathroom and don’t have unlimited funds right now because between the earthenware cazuelas, the gorgeous tableware, the jamon iberico, the chorizo, the cheeses, and the myriad of spices and other goodies, I could have really gone to town in there. As it was, I splurged on a paella pan, some good paella rice, and a bottle of piment d’esplette (which I got addicted to the last time I was in France).
We ate lots of oysters last night, and I made clam linguine with big hunks of pancetta in it, and the dogs kept trying to convince us with beseeching eyes that really, they’d like an oyster too … but we are mean and ate them all ourselves.