I’m not meant to be rich

A few days ago I journeyed to a farm not too far from here to eat.  I paid $75 for this experience.  My willingness and ability to do so startled me. I’m not sure it was worth it. The menu is here.

I’m not the kind of person who enjoys drinking beer.  Since I moved to Seattle I’ve encountered some real connoisseurs.  In fact, I work with a guy who can sniff what you’re drinking from across the room, count the bubbles and tell you the brewery from whence it came, the brewer’s grandfather’s constitution, and how long it’s been sitting on the table. Seattlelites are serious about their beverages.  I enjoyed the Dunkelweizen, the Haystack Hefeweizen, and the Copperhead Pale Ale from Snoqualmie Brewery. The final two were okay I think was was “drunk” by the time they were poured. Not drunk as in intoxicated, just over the whole, “let’s drink stuff” part of my day.

We began with a tour.

He’s not drinking. Just staring.

Yeah, this part skeeved me out, too.

I’m a pescatarian and I can totally handle the sight of blood when it comes to gutting a fish. It’s much harder — close to impossible– for me to imagine eating something with feet that has to go through this process.

A common mistake in cooking for a vegetarian is the act of omission instead of replacement. Often, the protein (meat) is removed from the meal.  In this case the chef replaced chicken liver with mushrooms.  That’s a fun choice, but it’s not equal.  It’s like running out of lead in your mechanical pencil and replacing it with a pen that’s out of ink. It doesn’t work. Meat is a protein.  Your body jumps on it like it’s gold in 1849.  Mushrooms? Not so much.  Your body is like, “…hey, that was cool, thanks.”  As a result, I walked away from this experience not quite satisfied.  I could feel there was food in my stomach. It wasn’t heavy. That was nice. It wasn’t worth much either.  Also, portions. The chef prepared a large plate of the chicken liver pate and gave me 3. Yup, 3. Whereas the chicken liver diners had the opportunity for much more person.  I paid the same amount of money as my peers, and received less food across the board.  That was weird.

For the quinoa, egg, and chicken serving I received quinoa and an egg.  Egg”s” are fine.  I received an egg. That was not fine. Quinoa is an awesome source of protein. But it was still missing something that I think the chicken thighs may have offered.  It was a bit bland and dry I think a veggie friendly sauce of sorts would have remedied that.

Ooo, preetty.

For the chicken thighs and kale I just received kale.

This was probably my second favorite course.

What you can’t see is the chevre.  *sigh*  These are deep fried risotto balls. Deep fried+chevre+sugar snap peas= Yes, please.

For dessert we had rhubarb fritters with a maple syrup. I don’t have pictures — probably because they didn’t hold residence on anyone’s plate for long.  We all loved them. The chef said he’d provide the recipe. I will make sure to share it when he passes it a long.  My favorite part of the meal was the pineapple sage. It smells like pineapple yet has the rich flavor of sage.

Chef Travis Bettinson

The chef was friendly and talented.

Overall, my experience at Dog Mountain Farms was pleasant.  My friends and I had a blast and loved that the piglets came super close during dinner. We had to use porta potties and there was nowhere for us to wash our hands (we were offered hand sanitizer). That was a bit off-putting. Other than that, it was fine.  I wouldn’t do it again.  It was good as an experience, not a good habit.

making choices that go against who we are

Where I fail in life is in that little breath of air just before a fight.  I use the term “fight” loosely.  I’m not necessarily referring to an altercation –physical or otherwise.  I’m referring to the instant just after someone messes up and right before they’re called on it.

I grew up fighting for a lot, I fought over food, fought for attention, fought with others over their opinions of me, fought my mind and eyes over my opinion of myself.   If you randomly passed me on the street and asked what I was thinking I’d probably tell you I was strategizing my way out of a scenario where I’m being mugged and have to disarm an attacker. Sad, but true.

I don’t always do a good job of recognizing when I don’t have to fight.  I’m so used to battling on my own that I also don’t recognize when someone is on my side.  To take that further, I don’t often recognize when someone on my side disagrees with what I’ve done, not who I am.  I was raised by and around people who disagreed with who I was at my utmost.

Recently, (within the last 30 minutes) a friend revealed to me a situation where I’d said something that hurt someone’s feelings. I’d completely forgotten about it until s/he said something.  I’m suspended in those clouds that fill the air before a fight.  I don’t like it. I want the bell to ring. I want to throw punches and bob and weave to avoid theirs.   I want to win. But I can tell you right now, this discussion is not one to win or lose, but my body is physically responding like it is.  I’m nervous.  My stomach is churning, my mouth is dry, my mind is racing, and I can barely concentrate.  I want to talk it over, admit I was wrong, and get it done.  This situation can’t work like that.  I need to wait and be patient until this person comes to me.  That’s hard.

I’m someone who is very aware of race.  This hovering dialogue is in reference to something I said that was racially offensive/hurtful. I’m not going to get specific without that person’s permission, but I do want to share that I’m aware of what I did wrong. Not wrong, this isn’t a game, it wasn’t a maneuver. I’m aware that what I said was f*cked up.  I want to move past the point of discussion and on to the place where we can smile.  For now, I’ll sit with my head on this cloud and wait for the opportunity where I can choose not to fight.

Rich people eat like what?

A few weeks ago a friend of mine discovered Farm dinners.

Yes, that’s a horse in the background.
Courtesy of http://www.experiencepnw.com

The concept epitomizes the localvore movement. “Think global, eat local”  Seattle is allllll about supporting local businesses. Yay! I’m a big fan as well. I fully acknowledge, however, that it’s easy for a place whose streets have been trod by Bill Gates, Joel McHale, August Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Gail Devers, and Brand Carlile.  “There’s gold is these here hills!”  It’s not so easy for people with less money to access this awesome ideology.  It’s hard for me to write this  because it separates me from a culture that defines me — poverty. My brain is poor, but my wallet is not.  I feel a crazy amount of guilt participating in events like this.

A few of my friends and I are traveling to a Carnation, WA.  We each paid $75 for a Farm dinner experience — Yes. Seventy-five dollars.  I can’t believe I paid $75 to eat 3.5 feet away from my food’s origin.  I’ve lost my mind.  That was the cheapest option.  We chose beer.  Wine was  between $100 and $175. Bananas.

The menu for this evening:

Reception

Chicken liver pate, carmelized onions, pickled mustard greeens
Dunkleweizen

First

Garlic and brown butter lake with stewed chicken legs

Haystack Hefeweizen

Second

Sweet pea arancini with chevre, herb salad, and mushrooms

Copperhead Pale Ale

Third

Grilled chicken breast with quinoa, orange, chile, pineapple sage, and fried egg

Wildcat IPA

Forth

Rhubarb fritters with cinnamon maple syrup

Steam Train Porter

*Side note: they spelled “fourth” wrong, didn’t they?  Also, I’m not a poultry eater so I hope they’re substituting.  UGH, even that last sentence was SO PRETENTIOUS.  “I’m not a meat eater, so I hope they’re substituting?!” BLARGH. (I need to reconcile my current existence with my past history). I’m a work in progress.

That being said, I’m sure it will be fun and tasty. It’s just hard spending so much money on one thing, food.

IKEA Redesigned

I’ve had a strange day so please forgive my negativity if it bites through.  I’m posting about something I did that made me proud.  I need to find something I did right today.

Soooo, tables….

About a year ago I purchased this table from IKEA:

I purchased it with the intent to paint it.  That was a year ago.  On Sunday I found myself waiting for a bus across the street from a paint supply store.  The bus was running late so I decided to do a little shopping.  I left with three colors, a few paint brushes, sandpaper, primer, and no clue what I was going to do.  I think I envisioned an all green table. I wanted something to “pop.”  I have this habit of buying red things. It’s my favorite color and I gravitate toward it.  This time, I wanted to do something out of the ordinary.

I sanded, primed, and painted the table. I ended up with this:

It felt like I was living in a kindergarten classroom. So then I did this:

It made me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream — which isn’t good for my waist line– so I did this:

It wasn’t finished, but I began to like it a bit more. Here are a few pictures of the final product:

Some of the pictures are blurry because they’re from my cell phone.  I’m thinking about painting the bottom rack/grate thing orange.  I’m not sure yet though.  If anyone has any suggestions I’m totally open to them.  I’m not an artist so I don’t know how to do the complimentary color thing.