Sunday, December 27, 2009

The bluest skies

The Sun is just now coming up and it looks like blue skies. This totally blows my Seattle bashing about the cloudy rainy 360 days a year shtick. Oh well. Yesterday was amazing not a cloud in the sky the mountains were visible all around us, the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades, Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, it was breath taking. My brother in law and I took the new light rail to the “I district” (aka/ china town, international district). Our first stop was PHO HOA an awesome Vietnamese noodle house. For those not familiar, Pho, it is a soup made up of an extremely hot and rich broth that is poured over thin rice noodles, it’s often served with very thin slices of tendon, or flank, or tripe that cooks in the extremely hot broth. You’re served a plate on the side that contains a huge handful of mung bean sprouts, Thai basil, jalapeƱo slices and lime. It’s a huge bowl. It’s delicious, nutritious and will fill you up and it’s very cheap to boot. Pho places open early and by 10 am they are generally packed with Vietnamese, Samoans, Latinos and a few slices of white bread like us.
The thing I love most about Seattle is the diversity of cultures that live mostly harmoniously under one grey sky. The assortments of small independently owned ethnic restaurants range from Ethiopian, Thai, Mung, Pilipino, South African, North African, South American, Norwegian, Swedish, Sicilian, Italian, Brazilian, Japanese, Korean, Irish, Scottish, English, and Russian. When I lived here before, I ate out a good part of my week, when I wasn’t cooking at the restaurant I ate out. To choose what restaurant to go to I would just decide what country I wanted to eat in. It was amazing. It’s easy to be adventurous without trying very hard.
One of my very favorite restaurants in Seattle is Sea Garden its Chinese and specializes obviously in sea food, it’s been around for ages and just keeps getting better. One specialty of the house is the crab with black bean sauce or crab in garlic ginger sauce both phenomenal! When you enter Sea Garden the first thing you see are the large tanks with the fish of the day. There might be clams, mussels, oysters, goeduck, tilapia, and always crab. After you order your crab it is brought to the table for your inspection. The waiter takes it out of the plastic bin with a pair of tongs and gives you a good look at it, front and back. The main thing you are looking for is to make sure it’s alive and well. A dead crab will bring on the worst digestive issues you can imagine. And possibly a long hospital stay not to mention you will never eat crab again as long as you live.

From there the crab gets cleaned and thrown into a red hot wok to cook with the incredible sauce. It comes to your table cleaned but whole so you also get a large glass bowl of warm lemon water for your hands. It’s messy, make no mistake about it. If one feels self conscious all they have to do is look around at this packed restaurant and the crab on every table. It’s a visceral experience and one of the best ways to really get into your food. Very sadly this trip home no Sea Garden for me, it just didn’t work out and not having a foodie family it wasn’t on the top or bottom of their list to eat so the one time we did eat out it was at a chain Mexican restaurant that served basic food everyone could enjoy. Luckily I have a lasting memory of Sea Garden !
Today I’m held up in the house, everyone is gone so I guess I’ll pack and get ready for my flight in the morning. I cannot wait to get home. It was a rough week for the farm. The snow storm had some bad effects and we lost two bucks, they became hypothermic and through all efforts, blankets, hot water bottles etc. were not able to recuperate, very sad. Linda held the fort down and I’m sure will need a break when I get home. The snow made daily life very difficult for one person. On the bright side we have a new beautiful lamb born yesterday, healthy and strong and so goes the circle of life.
So long Seattle,
The farm is calling me home to her arms.
To her goats, sheep, lambs, chickens, and her love.
Fences to mend,
Eggs to gather,
Goats to milk,
Cheese to make,
Soil to turn.
Through death and through life
The farm is calling me,
to her land I must go.

2 comments:

Denise~ said...

::sniff sniff::

I love poetical endings.

tessadimin said...

the live fish you saw in the restaurant tanks were either blasted from the homes, or poisoned. these methods allow the stunned fish to float to the top, leaveing horrible habitat destruction and dead by catch behind. it was not a poetic meal you were enjoying