"Thanks for finally paying for the first one. However a new pole will cost $5,000."
And the city is rich in art. From the astounding Olympic Sculpture Park you will find art that soars, blends and ignites. Below is The Eagle by Alexander Calder. He is noted for blending into the landscape that is part pragmatism and part poetry. I was happily surprised that his sculpture is also in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. (Lesson: Know thy own city!)
And the aptly named Seattle Cloud Cover by Teresita Fernandez. Through saturated color photographs sandwiched in glass, you can view Seattle's ever changing sky.
Sunny and cloud blues switch to a red-purple rain.
Bunyon's Chess by Mark di Suvero describes his sculpture as "Unity and joy. That's why I like to suspend elements from the beams of my works, so they can interact with the winds and other forces." Unity and joy - it's actually a beautiful wish if you think about it.
When you are a city walker, you can argue with yourself that a few extra calories won't hurt. And so I found my way to Mario Batali's parents tiny Salumi. And feasted on the most delicately cured meats that I have had since leaving New York many decades ago.
"Its about Tuscan Finocchiona salami, studded with fennel seeds, and the best spicy sopressata I have ever tasted- complex, slightly smoky, and a vivid red. Hold up a piece of any one of Batali's salamis and you'll see a carnal kaleidoscope, with bits of rosy hues and solid or clear whites, a slice of careful handiwork."
Min Liao, The Stranger
And if that wasn't treat-enough, I later managed to to squeeze in some Salty-caramel ice cream from Molly Moons. (after spending way to much at the Elliott Bay Book Company.
And came home deciding to integrate Seattle's crab with MN corn and the gulf shrimp that drops by once a month. My niece introduced the family to Frogmore Stew this summer. I took it a step further with crab and andouille sausage and and cooked enough for 20 people even though I was serving four. Have you ever done that? It's also called Hobo Stew, Shrimp Boil, Fish Boil.... I'm sure you've seen it around. t's more southern and western American than Italian. But if I was going to tie it into Italian I would say - it's all in-season. All fresh. Local? Nope. No shellfish on the Minnesota tundra. But in-season, summer-perfect? Definitely.
There's no recipe. Bring 3-4 gallons of water with 2 bottles of dark beer to boil. Add a bunch of Old Bay Seasoning.
My stew ingredients:
small white potatoes
snow crab legs
large shrimp - peeled and deveined
I browned the sausages first for color and texture. You don't need to do that. And then added them in the boiling pots according to cook times. The onions and potatoes went first. Both were small and needed about 8-10 minutes of boiling. Then I added the sausages - which were pre-cooked so just need to spice up the stew a bit. Then the crab legs - which needed about four minutes to heat up. The shrimp needed about two minutes. And fresh MN sweet corn? I never let that go longer than a minute. Don't want to cook the sugar out of them!
This is a grand end-of-summer soiree. Forget the hamburgers on the grill for Labor Day and celebrate the harvest with a good dose of this stew. It's summer, it's fresh, it's easy and celebratory. Look at the colors, imagine the textures. The brine of the shellfish, the creamy potatoes, small bursts of heat from the sausages, the sweet of the corn. It continues summer - ripe with possibilities. The season may be waning but the summer-sweetness continues.
One thing I realized as I returned home from Seattle, is that I forget what is in my own backyard and that it is possible to seek beauty and refuge close to home.. A bike ride through Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis reminded me of the riches right here in Minnesota. Of course, I got lost following the Minnehaha Creek - but that's another post. Some noted playwright noted that, "All's well that ends well" and so ends my crabby few weeks that began in Seattle and ended in White Bear Lake, MN.
Goat Cheese Timbales wrapped in prosciutto can be found here.