Sunday, June 29, 2008

Seattle addendum

On the off chance anybody's been eagerly awaiting my return to blogging, I'd like to apologize for the delay. After the end of my Seattle vacation I spent a few days at a second conference in Pittsburgh. If you're looking for a way to avoid gaining weight on the buffets and boxed lunches foisted on you at conferences I strongly recommend a few days of fine dining immediately preceding. I pushed a lot of plates away in disgust. I did have a pretty good dinner at the Original Fish Market by the Westin Convention Center, though. They do a P.E.I. mussels appetizer that matches them with celery, a pairing that would never have occurred to me as I'm generally not fond of celery, but worked surprisingly well. The grilled talapia was nice too, golden brown, crispy and delicious on one side and tender and moist on the other. That must be tricky to get just right. When I got home I had to restock the refrigerator and then I got in a snacky mood as I caught up on all the podcasts and Daily Shows & Colbert Reports I recorded while I was out. But I'm finally back in the kitchen

First, I should also mention a couple last things from back in Seattle.

I mentioned that I'd be trying Jidori chicken at the Skyline Lounge. Jidori chickens are free-range, clover-fed chickens delivered fresh to restaurants daily. Beyond the ethics of it all (I just finished reading the Omnivore's Dilemma so the ethics of meat are on my mind) it ought to taste better, or at least chickenier, than your average chicken. Hard to tell at the Skyline Lounge as they only used the breast, which generally has less flavor than most cuts, over-seasoned it, overcooked it and covered it in gravy. Ah well.

The other thing I wanted to mention was the Savor Seattle tour I took of the Pike Place market. I think it was a pretty good tour if you like that sort of thing, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't. Oh, I did learn some interesting details of the history of the place and got to try eight or so samples, but I also had to sit through a good bit of schtick and get stared at by the tourists as the group awkwardly stood either in their way or on display behind a counter. I think I would have been happier with a self-guided audio tour sort of thing. I was limited in what I could buy due to my travel plans, but I did pick up some lavender extract I want to use for ice cream and some xanthan gum I can use to experiment with foams and such.

This went on a bit longer than I expected so I think I'll put it up and talk about the meal I just cooked in a separate post.

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