Dining Al Fresco
We finally dined al fresco at home tonight, on our new recyclable resin (ie. cheap) table and chairs from Bi-Mart. Don’t let its small Wal-Mart appearance deceive you. This worker-owned store is a wonder of the Pacific Northwest. Bi-Mart is where I purchased my shellfish digging license, got waterproof boots, the lawn furniture and supplies with which to preserve food.
After my recent interview with Ivy Manning, I keep turning to her Farm to Table cookbook for inspiration. We made her refreshingly zesty Watercress, Snow Pea and Shitake Mushroom Stir-Fry. I substituted peppery mustard greens for the watercress (since they both have bite) and added tofu to make for a more substantial meal. We also had a springy salad and served the brothy dish over short-grain rice studded with millet, a trick I learned from Chef Naoko. Our friends brought a growler of oatmeal stout from local microbrewery Block 15 to chase down the meal. (Note to self: take advantage of Block 15’s special Sunday $7 growler refill rate). Then rhubarb bread, coconut ice cream and “blueberry teas” for dessert (a McMenamin’s-inspired concoction of Amaretto, Grand Marnier and hot Earl Grey tea…which is surprisingly evocative of the fruit). Ah, spring.