I say "Seattle" and what do you think? Space Needle, Safeco Field? Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Nordstrom? Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Death Can for Cutie? Mountains, Water, Trees? Nope. You probably think "rain".
And you would be right. It does rain here although you may be surprised to know that, in terms of inches, we get less than New York, Boston, or even Miami. What we get is days and days (or weeks and weeks) of gray skies with little spits of rain. We don't get the cold that strikes much of the nation in winter and we usually don't get snow - this year has been an exception. But we don't get much sun and that can be hard to take. I went to college in Connecticut and my first winter I was blown away by how cold it was and by how much sun there was. "What is up with sun in winter?", I remember asking my college roommate.
So to live in Seattle, and keep your sanity, it is important to get out of town in the winter if at all possible. My parents are big skiers and so when I was growing up, we always went skiing. I am not a big skier, although I am a decent one, so I always begged them to go somewhere warm. They did not listen to me and so each February, we were off to Sun Valley, Deer Valley, or Vail. (Cue the violins.)
I married a big skier and resigned myself to future Februarys in snowy locales. But the most amazing thing happened. Last year we went to Kauai on a deal we could not refuse. Neither of us had ever been to that island and we both fell in love with it. Randy finally understood my desire for sun - and warmth - in the midst of our gray winters. He isn't ready to give up the idea of ski vacations as our boys get older and truthfully, neither am I. I love the idea of putting them in ski school and taking to the slopes with my husband just like the old days. But for now I can look forward to a little sun and warmth each winter.
We leave tomorrow so I will be absent from this blog for a week. I wish you all happy cooking! Before I sign off, I thought I would share my 2 year old's favorite place to play these days.
This is my spice cabinet. I have two of these wonderful drawers on either side of my oven. The one on the right side houses extra oils and vinegars and this one houses all my lesser used spices and random jars and bottles.
I have a lot of spices. These are the heavy rotation ones.
Anyway, I made the mistake of opening this cabinet one day when my two year old was in the kitchen with me and now he loves taking things out and putting them back and hiding them in all different parts of the house. I used to keep it organized but now, why bother?
The bottom shelf has airplane sized liquor bottles of things that I use in baking (really!) and those, of course, are his favorite things to play with. The other day, this is what was on his highchair tray.
Yes, that would be Pear Brandy, Grand Marnier, and his water cup. Please don't call CPS on me.