Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


November Food Recap

It all started around my birthday. I got a great response to my call for birthday recipes and my head was swimming with the possibilities. Chris threw me a delightful brunch with a dozen friends, rich with food and cocktails. In fact, it was Serafina's first day with their new seasonal menu and everything but two Serafina standards was new to me.

A few days into my 41st year, I was assaulted by yet another food extravaganza! I choose the word assaulted on purpose because I've never had an experience quite like it. Ray and I went out to Elemental @Gasworks which I hadn't even heard of before let alone been to (I'm a bit out of the loop on the hot new high end places these days) but Ray had and thought I would enjoy. I'm glad Ray had been to the restaurant before and warned me a bit about it because it apparently has a bit of a negative reputation with some foodies and I could easily have been put off by the experience if I hadn't been warned in advance. Here's the deal: if you're going to go to Elemental, you'd best be prepared to have the experience wash over you and be willing to go with it. Host and owner Phred Westfall said approximately five sentences to us through the entire multi-course dinner. He offered us a table, asked us if we were ready for a cocktail, asked if we had any food allergies, and um, pretty much nothing else. There was no pretense, no gushing over how the greens were locally sourced or this vintage of wine came from the Yakima region. Nothing. No explanation whatsoever. When a small poultry dish of some sort was set in front of us I actually tried to ask Phred if it was quail or something else... but he dropped the plate and was off again without a word of acknowledgement. Another time I had fallen behind on the wine pairings, to the point that I hadn't even tasted the glass in front of me when he was ready to serve the next course... and there went the wine glass, bye-bye, I don't even get to taste it because it no longer goes with the food in front of me. the lighting was also very dark, so honestly it was hard to see what we were eating! I can really see how this would rub some food-lovers the wrong way!

That said, I had a fabulous dinner. The food was EXQUISITE. Yes, many times I was forced to stick my finger in a sauce and say "I think it's mustard... and hazelnut..." or "Yes, there's some sort of fish with this salad... I'm not sure what it is... it's GOOD though." I had the best lamb chops I've ever had in my life, that had me unashamedly gnawing the bones to get every scrap of meat right in a public restaurant. Each course was served with a generous pour of a paired wine and wow, by the time we finished dinner I was a little woozy. I wish I could even remember (or knew to begin with) what I'd eaten! It was lovely and they're clearly very talented, kind of the anti-Herbfarm (where they give you a little menu of what you've eaten as a keepsake).

The following week I took advantage of another birthday gift, this one from John and Jenny, who gave me a gift certificate to Theo Chocolate. Wednesday night I attended one of their Chocolate University classes, "Chocolate: Exotic and Erotic" where I learned how to make simple chocolate scrubs, lotions, and lip balms in the first half and then listened to a lecturer from Babeland (NSFW) who delved into the erotic and sensual (chocolate lotion, chocolate candles, chocolate body paint, and ahem, more) and was a great presenter, lots of humor. I passed on picking up a "better then chocolate vibrator" but did gluttonously spend the rest of my gift certificate plus some picking up assortments of chocolates (including their collection of scotch-infused chocolates, using great single malts like Oban and Talisker!) and several seasonal varieties plus a couple of body scrubs and lotions from our earlier presenter, whose products I was familiar with already.

Rounding out November was Thanksgiving. We spent this Thanksgiving with John and Jenny and their extended family, which was a great deal more fun than staying home just the three of us let me tell you! We participated in the potluck dinner by contributing Kate's favorite Pumpkin Pie (which she made herself) plus some Wild Rice Stuffing, a cranberry-pear-ginger cobbler (recipe I'll post later) and a cranberry-vanilla bean sorbet that didn't set up properly in the ice cream maker but was really yummy anyway. We ate SO MUCH, sampling everything we brought, plus turkey, gravy, bread stuffing, brussels sprouts, grean beans, and more. So good, a really nice night.

I've bene doing a little more cooking again after a bit of a hiatus where Dragon Age consumed me and pizza, beer, and xbox sounded like the best thing in the world. I'm better now. A couple of the recipes I've been particularly pleased with include Ancho Pork and Hominy Stew and this Corn, Clam and Mussel Chowder, without the mussels.

I've been tinkering again with my website, hoping to find a better way of displaying my recipes for people who want to browse or print them but I'm still unhappy with the way things are so I'll keep limping along with the current format for now, I suppose.

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