Thanksgiving in the Pacific Northwest

Posted by: on Nov 28, 2012 | 9 Comments

I had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. We traveled with my in-laws to the Pacific Northwest (or the affectionately called PNW), one of my absolute favorite places in the world. The whole family stayed in a rental house on the Kitsap Peninsula side of the Hood Canal, which is across the Puget Sound from Seattle. And just like Thanksgiving should be, our week was all about really wonderful food (and cocktails).

The Thanksgiving meal traditionally centers on the turkey, which can be a challenge for some vegetarians. And while I’ve seen several blogs recently on vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving meals, you can’t really ask a whole family of meat eaters to not have a Turkey. That would be contrary to the spirit of the holiday. Fortunately, our family has a 5-star chef (not officially but she should get a plaque or something). So, while the turkey was the main event, there were so many other scrumptious dishes that I wore leggings to avoid popping a button after dinner. We had a pear salad with dill, walnuts, and celery; herb goat cheese mashed potatoes; vegetarian and meat stuffing; spicy mashed sweet potatoes; two kinds of fresh cranberry sauce (no cans in this kitchen!); pumpkin pie; and apple pie.  And last but certainly not least, my brother in-law brought salmon, which he and my husband grilled. I eat fish/seafood sometimes and I love Pacific Salmon.

We ate well the rest of the week too. We went into Seattle several times. While in the city, we tried a few new things and hunted down some of our favorite spots. The whole family went to lunch at Jade Garden, a dim sum place in the International District. Imagine a small restaurant with wall-to-wall people seating a table of 14. We also had lunch at a new Vietnamese Pho place, called Pho Fuchsia. And by new I mean it’s new since we lived there. Actually, it’s located on the first floor of the building we lived in. It hadn’t opened yet when we left but they were working on it. And they have absolutely delicious vegetarian pho made with vegetable broth! I would never cook if I still lived there. We stopped by Grand Central Bakery for some cookies. They make these amazing Triple Chocolate Cookies. I have the recipe and they are always good when I make them. But somehow they never come out quite like they do from the bakery. We also grabbed pumpkin spiced chai (the best idea I’ve ever heard) from Cherry Street Coffee. We went to Pike Place Market and tasted fresh Washington Honeycrip apples and dried strawberries. And of course, we grabbed a little Beecher’s mac and cheese and 4-year flagship cheese. For those of you that don’t know, Beecher’s is a small cheese shop in Pike Place Market. They make their cheese on-site and you can watch. My husband worked there. We even stopped at Pink Door, Il Bistro, Zig Zag, Musiquarium, and The Bookstore for happy hour. Happy hour in Seattle means great drinks and cheap food. We got olive tapenade at Pink Door, goat cheese ravioli at Il Bistro, pizza at Zig Zag, and spring rolls at Musiquarium. Writing about all this is making me hungry!

While living in Seattle, my husband experimented with making some cheese. That cheese has been sitting on his brother’s boat in the Puget Sound for 3 years. Therefore it has been dubbed boat cheese or bilge cheese (it’s so much tastier than that name). We cut into it to see if it was any good. It’s a hard cheddar that literally melts in your mouth. It crumbles when you cut it. And it leaves with just a little bite.

While Thanksgiving is about eating really good food with family (and we did our share this past week), it’s really about gratitude. So, I’m going to close this post with a few things I am thankful for (feel free to leave the things you are thankful for in the comments). I am thankful for:

My husband

My family (immediate, extended, blood, in-laws)

My friends

Mufasa

The ability to eat and eat well

The cute little house I currently live in

All of you who are reading this

9 Comments

  1. Helen Franck
    November 28, 2012

    Mmmmm now I really want to visit Seattle!

    Reply
    • Hali
      November 28, 2012

      It’s an amazing place (I think). Even in the heavier than usual rain (more like Virginia rain actually) we had last week.

      Reply
  2. Grandma
    November 29, 2012

    Hali, what a lovely note. Beautiful photos. Makes me think I need to go back to Seattle – we have lots of family there, too, which you need to know about if you move there. I think I need the recipe for those spicy smashed sweet potatoes! We had a fun Thanksgiving too – a huge potluck, about 30 people. I nearly burst. Belated happy birthday – wedding/birthday/Christmas present will be on the way soon; do I have your mailing address?
    Tons of love,
    Grandma

    Reply
    • Hali
      November 30, 2012

      Thank you, Grandma! I love you!

      Reply
  3. Beth
    November 29, 2012

    Oh man, good food! Roll me up and call me done! Have a great holiday season and know that you are thought of.

    Reply
    • Hali
      November 30, 2012

      Thank you, Beth. Thank you for reading and commenting. And thank you for thinking of me. I hope you and your family are well and enjoying the holiday season!

      Reply
  4. Mom
    November 30, 2012

    Hey Kiddo, thanks for the beautiful blog. It was like a nice meal, which if you notice, is email spelled inside out without the i. It was especially cool to hear about hubby’s cheese, because we used to make cheese at the farm. I never really thought it was that great tasting, and it had a sort of hard, rubbery texture, but it was something the family did together. Somebody milked the cow – yes we took turns. Somebody strained out the bits of hay and put it all in pitchers in the fridge. Somebody skimmed the cream and made butter, and finally somebody made cheese. Then, somebody else had to watch the cheese, which we kept in the cellar. “Boat cheeze!” Inspired!

    Reply
  5. Betsy Rogers
    December 6, 2012

    Hi Hali,
    I’m a bit late to Dinner… (ahem) just invited myself because it sounds so good!!! I remember making the cheese Mandy mentions…. more than I remember eating it! Max’s Boat cheese looks delicious! I am certain our cheese never aged more than a few months… and we had climate control issues… ie lack of control!!!
    I’m glad you had such a Wonderful Gathering!
    I am Thankful for You!!!

    Reply
  6. Eat the Leaves » Squash Coming Outta My Ears
    December 7, 2012

    […] (didn’t need it). BUT if I had some of the Beecher’s cheese I mentioned in my last post, I probably would have added a […]

    Reply

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