Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Making a -splash- Asian style


Could it be true that our esteemed Island compadre, the one we used to adore manning the woks of the defunct Wok Inn Take Out will be heading up Splash in a turn-around of the Asian persuasion?

I am SO EXCITED!

Bring on the seafood stir fry and curry, baby! You know we want it, you know we'll eat it, and if only you made it comfy for us to hang out and park our butts there, we'd linger porchside for some conspicuous consumption.

Please cushify those chairs, heat the deck and cover up a little, OR OR OR make a place for us to dine inside. We'll eat there. We'll give you our money, and damn it, we'll sing your praises.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding Dress: Check!

Mom came up for the weekend and thanks to a diligent Maid of Honor named Kat, we systematically tried and eliminated all but the winning DRESS OF DISTINCTION. This lovely all ivory gown(not garish white!) heavy gage satin, with a lovely fitted v-front, a horizontal pleat-stitched waist, plunging v-back, satin butt bow and a long train. I have a crinoline that must be worn underneath for volume.

It feels like Cinderella to wear this lovely dress. My goal was no frilly beading, no poofy shoulders, no hoochieness ("sexy" bride ain't happening!), and as much fun as those lacey gowns were to try on, they were just TOO MUCH and the gowns wore ME. One lace number I tried at The Bridal Garden looked great, but at $4500 it should! At this shop, the attendant has you diving into the gowns. At I Do Bridal, where the service was the best, you get to kinda do a free for all peruse and then the attendant just puts the zip on you and fixes you before stepping out of the dressing room.

I also went to David's Bridal where most of the dresses seemed unsteamed and just out of a box. You are herded through their odd process, but I give the place credit for variety. I liked the mom-to-be who helped us, she looked exactly like Vanessa Williams. The Southcenter shop is just so, so outdated with sick fluorescent lighting and old leather lounge furniture!

I love my new gown. I found one I loved from each of the three shops, and the David's bridal and I Do gown from Watters WToo (called the Ava) were very similar. Elegant. Classic. Greek Goddessy. In the end, it was a matter of what looked like a classic, breathtaking bride.

With this dress of mine I coordinated a fingertip length, ivory, scalloped veil that's trimmed in Swarovsky crystals; and above-the-elbow gloves trimmed at the cuffs in bead work.

Now, on to shoes!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Paul Motoyoshi at Back Bay Inn


If you don't book now, just say Sayonara, cuz this is too cool.

Monday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. The Back Bay Inn introduces its first, rotating Taste the World Guest Chef Series. The inaugural evening features Japanese cuisine from chef Paul Motoyoshi. This five-course excursion into Japanese fare is paired thoughtfully with several varieties of sake' (of varying temperatures) and a plum wine. The evening ends with matcha green tea.

Better known as the popular fixture selling hot soup, ethnic foods and teas at the Vashon Island Grower's Association Saturday market, Motoyoshi cooked and taught cooking professionally at venues throughout Seattle including Uwajimaya, PCC Consumer Coops and served many private functions. He learned Japanese cooking including tea ceremony haute cuisine, Japanese restaurant and diner cooking, and exotic, special occasion New Year's cooking from his family, their chef friends and numerous teachers. Motoyoshi also apprenticed as a sushi chef with T. Fujimori (sensei) in his Los Angeles restaurant.

In creating the menu for the Back Bay Inn, Motoyoshi let the ideas come to him, much in the same serendipitous way the opportunity to work with Inn proprietors Victoria Davies and "Stormy" Storms occurred.

"I'll say that my spirit is prepared from decades of cooking. The muses know where to find me. I have no plan or agenda when I write a menu," Motoyoshi says. "I sit down, pray and prepare a menu. New dishes are always entering the stream, so that the diner experiences a sense of discovery. It's a movement of spirits, drawn to community, expressed in the idea of food."

Beyond a soothing tonic, sake' can be a spiritual experience for some. For Motoyoshi, he says he appreciates the craft of the sake' maker and pictures the craftsmen when he tastes the sake. At home on the rare occasion he takes in sake', he'll heat it and take in the different tastes through temperature gradations, where one can peel back the layers of flavor of a sake.

Both of Motoyoshi's parents came from Japan. He grew up assuming everyone spoke Japanese and knew how to cook. He finds in Americans there is a great misconception that "Japanese cuisine consists of eating difficult things from the sea, and that we eat them raw," he says.

At first glace, Motoyoshi's menu may appear exotic. In reality, he'll tell you the ingredients are commonly available at most Asian grocery stores.

"The key is taking an ingredient and going one more step, then one more step again, and then one more step after that - or until it tells you when to stop. It's to serve a dish whose ingredients have 'peaked' ."

Tix are $100 per person plus tax and gratuity; (206) 463-5355. Back Bay Inn is located at 24007 Vashon Hwy SW. (photo is of Paul behind my boys at the market)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Representin' V-town @ Youth Baseball Weekend





May 18 was Youth Baseball Weekend at Safeco AND it happened to be a hometown rivalry of the Padres v Mariners! M's won.

Alex and Zach appeared to be the only two children among thousands in uniform/jerseys sporting the Vashon banner! There were kids, entire teams in fact, from Pt. Townsend, Cle Elum to Marysville and Bellingham. It was truly awesome. Look how cute they are!

The bummer was, after standing in a long line--no, make that an impossibly maze-like WINDING line--to walk the field (and the kids to appear on the Jumbotron), there were some assholes that actually CUT the line with their kids, and the smugness of it really chapped me! Parents are supposed to be role models--cheating their way out of a wait? No wonder society is going to hell! The guy moderating the line was mildly retarded (seriously!) so he didn't grasp what people were trying to tell him about the line jumper. I took of picture of this jello bellied, slouch shouldered loser (in two tone cap sleeve, glasses, fronting Zach; click the photo and note OWENS CONSTRUCTION hat his son is wearing) for all the world to see.

Go M's. Go Vashon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Color Guard that Pales

Who is teaching our island kids to fold the American flag?! Apparently somebody who was never properly taught themselves. I don't want to excuse our Island from knowing the protocol just because we're not attached to a military base.

There we were, at the beginning of Vashon Youth Baseball Opening Day, a small town, totally Americana occasion. The announcer directed our eyes to the Color Guard for their flag presentation. What followed was the least loving fold-up job of the American Flag ever displayed in public. I felt bad, because I don't think this group of patriotic kids actually knew they were disrespecting Old Glory in the process.

No triangle folds. No crisp, even lines. The flag ended up in a kinda squared off wad. Like an old beach towel might look before getting shoved into the deep recesses of a mothball smelling linen closet.

Is it because David and I grew up in Coronado, one of the most military towns in the nation, that our jaws fell open when we witnessed this botching? Surely there must be a former admiral or colonel among us qualified to lead a school presentation about why this matters.

David suggests that America is homogenizing and compromising itself into a PC pile of pulp. I think he's right.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Food shortage

The way the world's/nation's food shortage has splashed headlines, it gets me thinking. On a very micro level, we can be a sustainable community. We are growing a few things at home, hitting the local markets, foraging for mushies (my oyster mushroom omelet w/baby basil from our own seeds was tasty on moms day!) and enjoying the tidal harvests that we have a habit of tapping into (yes, we're reseeding the oyster beds!). With a Washington State fishing license you can pretty much never go hungry when you get right down to it. Nice to know there's food all around us.

Go team.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Vashon PTSA Auction 2008

Wow. The generosity of the island combined never ceases to amaze me. Saturday evening hundreds of people came together to show the love for island schools by donating and thereby enhancing the educational experience. It was awesome. Considering this was a first run using the K2 building, volunteers did a bang up job creating a banquet space from a shell of a room. The auction items were great.

David and I came home with original art, a gorgeous dahlia watercolor. We were outbid on the stone buddha, mariner box seats, and island history book set we wanted, but part of that was due to the confusion of thinking the lots "gold" "blue" and "red" sections were in different rooms. There was little to delineate colored secions other than a tiny letter fronting the item number, e.g., g- b- r-. When the announcer said the items in the next room were closing, we thought he meant all of em and there were two other rooms we didn't know about. Nope. So, we could only hover on the one thing we wanted most. Oh well.

The live auction was a total rush. There was a mirror I wanted from Tara Brenno's group. My table mate Hillary wanted it, too. She topped my bid too far and when she won it I pointed at her and declared, I'm comin over! It is really neat, mosaic and glass ornamental on the frame. Bitch ;).

Great job everyone. There were people attending who sent their kids to private schools, and others who didn't even HAVE kids at all who showed up just to give their support. That is what this island is all about.