Kei is first in line for Kitchen Kura

Kei and I walked down to a local japanese homestyle restaurant down the street last week. Its called Kitchen Kura and its just like sitting down to grandma’s kitchen (except my Grandma was from Nebraska, not Nagoya). The food was very delicious, authentic, and reasonably priced. The restaurant has about 5 tables, and lots of hand printed signs around telling you what’s fresh that day. Kei had a fish that was broiled in sake dreg sauce (kasuzuke), buttery and so delicate and yummy. I have a feeling we will be coming back to this little neighborhood gem before we move to Mission Bay.

Here’s a video the restaurant produced that shows all the goodies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USZT9mmpXWg

Tamarind Tree and Round the County




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Originally uploaded by ekraay.

On Friday I had a delicious dinner date at the Tamarind Tree, a Vietnamese restaurant. You can see Kei here clutching her champagne cocktail that she nurses while we wait an hour for our table. She just got paid and took me out to dinner for 7 courses of beef.

And after that I sailed around the San Juan Islands for Round the County. I tell you I was dreaming of seven courses of beef while pounding down Rosario Straight in 30+ knots of breeze. It was all I could do to pull out a wet trail mix bar for lunch that day. I did fill up a pint of coffee in my thermos, which I managed to sneek up to the rail while we were going upwind. After a cup of coffee myself, I handed a small cup to Dustin, my mast man. Just as he was taking a sip a giant wave crashed over the boat and the cup filled with seawater. Funny thing, he just kept on drinking the salty swill. I guess coffee flavored seawater tastes better than straight seawater.

Chitterlings

On Sunday night I made fried chicken using a recipe similar to this one from Cooks Illustrated, collards and hush puppies from this site. Instead of the ham hocks, I used a pound of prosciutto that mario brothers look alikes Cascioppo brothers sold to me for 5 dollars, because they were out of ham hocks. That turned out pretty good. I boiled the prosciutto for an hour and a half before adding the collards, so it was falling apart when we ate it. The hush puppies also turned out moist and melty, as I’m sure using a teaspoon of bacon fat didn’t hurt that.

The chicken was another story. I soaked it in a buttermilk brine for 40 minutes, rather than the 2 hours recommended by Cooks Illustrated. Then I made the mistake of putting too many pieces into the deep fryer at once. The temperature did not stay at the requisite 325, but fell to 225 rather quickly as I dropped the thigh in the fryer. Next time I’ll do the slow but effective one piece at a time maneuver, or get an outdoor deep fryer.

Red Mill Trip

My co-workers and I took a trip to ye’ ol Red Mille.

A barge of bacon!Friendly Red Mill staff.

Check out the barge-o-bacon! The girl making change was kind enough to let me snap her picture too.

Sofrito Ricos

I went to a new Puerto Rican restaurant last night called Sofrito Ricos with Kate and Jordan. I heard about it from Nate, a guy I sail with. It was pretty good. The restaurant is cozy and intimate, brightly lit, and right on Market in Ballard. It’s across from that hot dog place. I think it just opened.

Here is a review. We had a lot of fried goods, like plantains and eamapanadas. I had a salmon dish that had a black bean sauce with some adobo, whatever that is. There was lots of rice and beans to go with. I topped it off with a pina colada. Jordan had a pork chop, which I thought was a little tough. I forgot what Kate had.

It was a perfect Sunday evening meal.

Thirteen Floor Elevators, Lamb

I went over to Rob’s house this afternoon after a church. I visited for awhile with Rob and Charlotte in their kitchen. Rob had scotch and soda, Charlotte had wine, I had a lemon-lime Shasta.

After visiting for awhile, Rob and I went to his basement and he played me an old record from the 60’s called the Thirteen Floor Elevators. One guy in the band played the electric jug, whatever that is. It sounded like an owl in pain.

Then I showed him how to rip cd’s so the track names were included. He has a fancy Dell DJ that he’s quite happy with. I could have spent two days with him, fixing up his old computer and showing him how to use his software. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time. They were only just back from Utah and I had to go to dinner. It was nice to see them again, however briefly.

I then went back to Grassland Ct. where Mom and Jane served up a giant leg of lamb. Grandma almost choked on a very large slice. Luckily she was able to get it out. Mom cut the slices for her after that. The meal was very quiet until we broke into a discussion of politics. Luckily that ended with two cakes, one yellow and one brown, and a steaming cup of decaf coffee. We then started telling stories about trouble we had all got into as children.

I had just found out from Rob that I almost died when I was 4 by wandering onto the freeway. Mom and Rob were driving to Virginia from Boise. They stopped to look at Lava Hot Springs at a pulloff on the side of Highway 30. I had wandered back onto the road. The large semi was bearing down on me, honking its horn. Mom grabbed me by the shoulder before I was turned into road kill. She promptly spanked me, so I was told. I don’t remember any of this.

My favorite was when Jane and Mom were reminiscing about Jane and her jumping on the bed. They were told “no” by grandpa, several times. But they didn’t listen. Then Mom fell down and hit her head. She had to get stiches. Jane said she wasn’t jumping, but I guess she pushed Mom down. She felt so guilty because the next day was Halloween, and she might have caused Mom to miss the bags of candy. So she was prepared to take an extra pillowcase for mom, to make up for it. I don’t know if Mom every made it to Halloween that year.

I enjoyed the laughter that came from reminiscing. Tomorrow, however, it’s back to work for me. I leave early for my flight. I think I arrive about 5 minutes after I take off, due to the time change. I’m looking forward to seeing Bertie.