Brrrrrrr. Don’t even try to tell me you haven’t noticed how cold it is- even if you grew up in Minnesota, this qualifies as cold! Remember the scene in ‘A Christmas Story’, where the little brother is all bundled up in his snow suit? Yeah, that’s me. Tip me over and I’ll just lay there kicking and waving my arms.
I carry a hot cup of tea with me at all times, as a hand warmer. In case you are wondering, why yes- we do have tea and all manner of hot drinks at The Market! Hot cocoa is a classic of course, but that won’t do for all you coffee drinkers out there. The language of coffee aficionados is complete babble to me- might as well be an obscure dialect of Aborigine. I catch a word here & there, but the context confuses me. Luckily for you, I’m not the person making all those fancy coffee drinks at the market. The folks who take your order know exactly what you want. The aromas are inviting, and I always love to see the contented expression after the first sip. If you’re an early bird, Nancy begins her day in the wee hours of the morning and she’s an expert Barista. If you see the light on, even though it may be 4am, she’ll concoct your favorite coffee drink! Unlike the infamous bikini Barista’s of Seattle, clothing is not ‘optional’ at The Market!
Deidra will do her utmost to warm you up also! Today’s soup is her beloved Taco soup, a hearty and down-to-your toes warming delight. Tomorrow’s (that would be Thursday’s) soup will be a Clam & Chanterelle Mushroom Chowder. I’ll tell her to make lots of both, but sometimes she runs out, so come early.
Ruth (Deidra’s mom) has her culinary skills at The Market also. Fruitcake, candies, candied pecans- even chocolate fruitcake! I’ve always thought that fruitcake has an undeserved negative reputation. Someone out there is making some bad stuff, and all fruitcake has suffered mightily because of it. Let Ruth change your mind. I come from a family of fruitcake lovers, myself. Come September my mother would begin accumulating the ingredients. She didn’t use those ‘glace’ fake fruits, and we cracked bags of pecans. Then the big day would arrive. She would sterilize the bathtub, toss all those goodies into it, and use her rubber glove clad hands to mix it all together. Copious amounts of Brandy were poured in, the cakes patted into tins, and then they were tucked away to ripen. Ripening involved lots more Brandy. If the fruitcake storeroom had ever caught on fire, the house would’ve gone up like a firebomb.
We’re headed up to Lake Quinault this weekend to celebrate our anniversary, and it’s looking like we may see some snow! One of the best weeks of my life was spent up at the Lodge about 35 years ago. The snow kept falling and an overnight stay turned into a full week. The power went out, so everyone stayed in the fireplace room. The chef was in a panic because the freezers were defrosting, so he kept cooking food and putting it out as a buffet. Here’s what made the experience totally magical; I was snowed in there with a Barbershop Quartet convention! Oh Bliss! I was practically their only audience, and I was serenaded from morning until late each night. I keep going back to the Lodge, hoping for a repeat of that memorable trip.
If your Holiday baking is turning into more of a chore than a joy, you can support a good cause and get extraordinary goodies at the same time- the Hoquiam Methodist church ladies are having a bake sale (and collectible treasures sale) on Saturday from 10 until 2, at the corner of 5th St. & L in Hoquiam. Let me tell you, we have some fantastic cooks, you’d better come early!
The Hoquiam Farmers Market is mourning the passing this week of Phyllis Schrauger. Phyllis served 2 terms as the first woman mayor of Hoquiam, and it is entirely due to her efforts that The Farmers Market was built. She was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Bowerman Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Two of my favorite places on earth, and I have this remarkable woman to thank for both. Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband Jack and her 2 children.
Remember what your mother told you- eat your oatmeal, bundle up, and look both ways before crossing.
Barbara Bennett Parsons Grays Harbor Public Market (aka Hoquiam Farmers Market), located at 1958 Riverside ph. 538-9747
open Wed. & Thu. 9-5, Fri. & Sat. 9-6, Sun. 10-4