Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A Taste of Seattle
When I was a little girl, I used to stick my nose out of the car window to smell the bread baking at the Wonder Bread factory on Seattle's Jackson Street. I'm sure passersby thought that I looked like a dog. I, on the hand, loved the smell so much that my grandmother would drive me by the factory on purpose just so I could take a sniff.
I haven't been back to the Emerald City for more than 15 years, avoiding family rifts that are better left unspoken, but -- needless to say -- must be dealt with now. When food blogger Esther Sung mentioned an upcoming trip to Seattle and gave a shot out to ask for coffee shop and restaurant recommendations, many memories spiked like little earthquakes in my mind -- some with pain, others (admittedly) happy. Thus, this post is born out of that moment -- that sweet shaft of pain through my chest that told me her story struck a nerve.
My food memories of the city are simple ... I grew up watching my 5-foot grandmother, an expert southern cook, give a pinch of this and a dash of that, and emerge from the kitchen with a banquet. Hey, no pressure, Pirouette, as you grow as a cook ...
She used to begin the rue for her gumbo at 6 in the morning on holidays. As I cracked crab legs and enjoyed the dish she was famous for, I didn't realize until last Christmas how much work it took to make. What took her three hours took me five -- and I had a sous, two cookbooks and her on speed dial.
These are the little threads that hold me to the city.
I am going back in just a few weeks, ready to see the skyline, smell fresh air, hit up a few raved-about restaurants and face my past. More pics and reviews to follow ... as well (I hope) a closed door on some longstanding issues.
P.S. I am on the hunt for some of the best restaurants and cafes, because I have three days to do a lot of eating. Any suggestions?