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eG Foodblog: Abra - Walla Walla Wash and Orcas Island too!


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Remember how Pogo sang, to the tune of Deck the Halls "Walla Walla Wash and Kalamazoo?" You don't? You're too young!

In any case, this blog will take you from Walla Walla, not to Kalamazoo, but to Orcas Island, by way of Bainbridge Island. That's all the way from the extreme southeast corner to the absolute northwest corner of Washington. You'll see things you never imagined about Washington, and we'll cook and eat all along the way.

As you might remember from my first foodblog, I'm a personal chef. This week I'm going to show you Extreme Personal Cheffing, as well as lower-case personal cheffing and just plain cooking. And I'm going to show you lots of beautiful parts of our state, especially if there's good food to be found there. Ready, set, go!

A couple of months ago a guy down in Walla Walla asked me to do the food for his 30th anniversary party, in a church kitchen, with a staff of teenagers. There'd be no opportunity to see the kitchen before the event, it was a sit-down plated dinner for 50 (17 of whom were small children), and the crew would be kids from 12-15 years old, none of whom I'd get to meet in advance of the event. Oh, and no weird food, please!

What would you have done in a case like that? If you were smarter than I am, you'd have gotten under the bed and sucked your thumb. Me, I said, sure, what the hell, why not?

Thus begins our tale. Taking my husband with me for moral support, I set out for Walla Walla, some 6 hours away, with a car full of cooking implements and foods that might be hard to find in Walla Walla. It's quite a journey from Puget Sound.

Now, I have a zillion pictures for you, but ImageGullet "is experiencing technical difficulties," so this first post is just to say hi and give you a little teaser about what's to come. As soon as I can get my pictures posted, we'll be on our merry way. I'm glad you're along for the ride!

Edited by Abra (log)
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How nice to see you're blogging again, Abra!

By coincidence, just last week I had re-read parts of your excellent first blog when I was searching for something else on egullet. The week ahead sounds exciting; thanks for taking us along for the ride!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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:cool: Hi Abra: waving and smiling from the other side of the Sound! Looking forward to reading your blog this week. So lucky to have tried your wares in the past, and looking forward to the next time. Edited by GourmetLight$ (log)


"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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I'm not sure if I told you this Abra, but I enjoyed your last blog so much I often re-visit it for inspiration. Those raspberry fudge bars still make me drool! Naturally I'm thrilled about another blog from you! Yay!

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Oh Abra, ....a sitdown affair six hours away, you had no chance to see the kitchen beforehand and your 'helpers' were under 15?????  With a storyline like that, I'm hooked for the week.... Blog on!

Wot he said.

I thoroughly enjoyed your first blog, and am looking forward to this one, as well. What a setup! Unfortunately my computer time is limited right now, but I look forward to popping in from time to time and seeing how the story unfolds.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Abra!! you're blogging!!

I'm so excited. I loved your first blog, I always enjoy your posts, and I think of you every time I take out the jar of chestnuthoney. You said somewhere on EGullet that this was good.. I bought it.. and I'm hooked.

Looking forward to this week!

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Oh, Abra, I can't wait to read this - your last blog was awesome, and you've been so helpful to me!!!

*rubbing hands together in anticipation* :biggrin:


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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There'd be no opportunity to see the kitchen before the event, it was a sit-down plated dinner for 50 (17 of whom were small children), and the crew would be kids from 12-15 years old, none of whom I'd get to meet in advance of the event. Oh, and no weird food, please!

Tell me you made several sheetpans of rice krispie treats... you know, to use as a base! :smile:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Well .. I missed the first one, but clearly now must review, given the inspiration it has provided others! Not to mention the lead-in to this one.


Richard W. Mockler


I will, in fact, eat anything once.

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Having just come out of a four day stint in a church kitchen all I can say is, "oh boy I bet you had fun!"

I look forward to the week ahead.


Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"


One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Abra! Thoroughly enjoyed your last blog and looking forward to this one as it plays through the week.

Oh, and the 30th anniversary dinner? My response would have been just the same as yours. Of course, I admit to being completely insane when it comes to cooking challenges, but I bet you have an incredible time :biggrin:


Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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It's so sad that ImageGullet refuses to cooperate! I have a lot of really nice pictures that I can't wait to show you. But for now, let me give a little rundown of the week.

I'll tell all about the Walla Walla gig. Just for starters, there were no Rice Krispie Treats involved! This was plated courses, served by pre-pubescent persons. Here's the menu:

Passed appetizers:

Mini Quiches with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Tiny Chinese Pork Tartlets

Salad with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Rosemary and Golden Raisin Mini Muffins

Chicken in a Cider and Mushroom Cream Sauce with Caramelized Apples

Mini Pumpkins stuffed with Wild Rice, Cherry, and Toasted Pecan Dressing

Edamame and Marjoram Succotash

Carrot Cake (their request, baked for me by Chefpeon and hauled down there in boxes)

Then tomorrow I'm having dinner guests. I'm trying to decide between a meal from The Cooking of Southwest France, because we've been cooking through it here, and there's a spotlight on Paula Wolfert going on right now, or an all-Dutch dinner based on Chufi's wonderful thread. Let's have a vote! What should I cook tomorrow for two food-loving friends?

Then Wednesday I'm cooking for a client, a single woman who likes mostly vegetarian food. And then we'll have the run-up to a dinner up on Orcas Island on Sunday. My blog will end on Saturday, but we're going up on Friday, so you'll get to see the islands and the ferries, and you'll get to see me sweat. I need to make this dinner really impressive, and match the host's wines, which will be hard since I've never tasted any of them. He loves big, oaky New World wines, the $100 a bottle kind, whereas I'm more of a $25 Old World wine person. I still haven't figured out the menu, so I'll be fretting over that for the next few days, and asking for your advice. Any big, oaky wine lovers out there?

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You can bend Imagegullet to your will.

Upload your pictures as normal.

In the view frame do NOT click on the desired thumbnail, but right click and select properties. Copy the URL, which will be someting like "http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1131943031/tn_gallery_7620_135_25762.jpg".

Paste inside IMG tags, but remove the "tn_" to give

"http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1131943031/gallery_7620_135_25762.jpg", and hey presto


Tonights dinner: Steak and Kidney (and smoked oyster) pudding in suet pastry

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Thanks, Jack. That doesn't work for me, although I've tried it several times today. I can post pictures from a non-eG server, and I guess I'll do that soon, if all else fails. It is better to host the images on eG, so they're preserved for posterity, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Edited by Abra (log)
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Thanks, Jack.  That doesn't work for me, although I've tried it several times today.  I can post pictures from a non-eG server, and I guess I'll do that soon, if all else fails.  It is better to host the images on eG, so they're preserved for posterity, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

The other reason it's good to post photos to ImageGullet is that some firewalls refuse access to some web sites. Case in point: my computer's firewall won't allow me to connect to anything at Geocities. But you're right: ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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