June 17, 2009
Just got back from a quick four day visit to Seattle to see the house we will be living in next year. (Our kids had seen it but not us.) The whole way there and back the airline upgraded us to first class, and if I could always travel like this, I'd travel a lot more! There's a normal amount of space, so I didn't feel like I was pinned inside a high school locker, and they kept bringing things to eat and drink. It was great. But here's the catch to the "things to eat" part. We were flying on Northwest-Delta and were told we couldn't request special food on a domestic flight. So, we were offered a grilled chicken sandwich (an ENORMOUS grilled chicken sandwich) or a salad covered in ham and cheese. We got the fruit and the bread sticks that came with the salad — mealy apple wedges, good red grapes and a pineapple slice. We know enough to carry food, so on the way there we got Spa Salads from The French Meadow Bakery in the Minnesota airport, and on the way home we got sushi in Seattle's airport.
It was probably a good thing that we ate lightly on the way home anyway, because we ran into some turbulence that reminded me of the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios, but without the fun part. For about an hour I had to close my eyes and sleep (after checking to be sure I had a barf-bag available). When I reopened my eyes, there was a horrible crash, and a spear of intense light shot in front of me, as the plane got hit by lightening. Exciting.
Are you wondering about the food in Seattle? The first evening, after traveling all day, we went to a potluck barbecue with our kids. There was plenty of good stuff for the vegan minority including bean salad, kale-wild rice salad and vegan brats. My daughter-in-law made the kale salad and it was really good. The next day after visiting the farmers market in Capitol Hill we had a late lunch at Hillside Quickie's Café in Capitol Hill, with our other son and his gf. They were serving Sunday brunch, all day. The table was sticky and the prices seemed high but they really give you a lot to eat. I knew I couldn't eat a whole meal, so my husband and I shared a plate, and it was plenty for two.
We had a plate containing Cajun mac and cheese, biscuits with berries, grits and gravy, chicken-fried steak and seitan. At least that's what I think we had! I've never had mac and cheese that tasted this good. It was spicy and fabulous — and I don't even like mac and cheese. This is something I'll try to recreate and post a recipe when I get it right. The biscuits were fluffy, the grits creamy — everything tasted great.
Our son and his gf had some kind of chipotlé yam-stuffed tortillas and fried okra. I think we liked our food more than they liked theirs but it was all pretty good.
The person at the table next to ours had a stack of waffles and seitan that looked so amazing, she let me take a picture. The person at the table next to her had a startlingly high stack of fluffy-looking pancakes and I took a picture of that, too, though without his permission and after he knocked the stack over. (You can see it at the top of the post. The orange drink is a mimosa ordered by the person at the table next to us.)
That afternoon and evening we attended another potluck barbecue at our son and daughter-in-law's house. As you can imagine, I wasn't too hungry, but still managed to eat some grilled potato, grilled tofu, grilled veggies and more kale salad. The recipe for the salad will be coming as soon as I have a chance to make it myself.
Monday afternoon I found myself alone with a sleeping baby and craving some simple, green food for lunch. I went into the garden and picked some tender, young Red Russian kale, swiss chard and lettuce. I cut them into small pieces, tossed them with a little olive oil and vinegar and topped them off with some leftover grilled veggies. This made a perfect, simple salad lunch.
On our last morning in Seattle, our d-i-l made us a yummy banana bread for breakfast.
The little munchkin of the house (my granddaughter) is an enthusiastic eater, and although she'd already had breakfast, she saw us eating, took a box of cereal from a cupboard she can reach and had a little snack.