Our theme for this club was the.....
Of which I have a vested interest because I grew up there, in the southeast part of Washington and the northeastern part of Oregon.
There is so much food to talk about!
The PNW includes Washington, Oregon and part of Idaho--(the borders are fluid, but they like to be included most of the time, even tho, they are not 'pacific' but they are northwest)
I'm sure when you think of food in the PNW, salmon comes to mind first and foremost, but we downplayed the salmon this time, because there is NO WAY we could have gotten in ALL the diverse food the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Let me just begin at the beginning--oh wait--there's a dog!
It's Riley, the Goldendoodle!
Everybody has to stop and appreciate a dog, right? LOL
She is lovely.
Okay--back to the beginning....
April and Doug hosted Cooking Club this time and we live in landlocked Nevada, so what did they do? They went to a fresh seafood place in Reno and special ordered oysters.
Just a quick thought on that---
Early European settlers who arrived in Washington were fueled by Manifest Destiny and held the belief that all natural resources were a gift from God.
I believe! Oysters certainly are a gift from God!
And we thanked God that April and Doug went and found some great oysters to grill for us.
Doug wore his trusty oyster shucker gloves! And April made some heaven sent sauces to top the oysters with.
(do you see what I did there? Oysters are a gift from God and April made sauces that were heaven sent! I'm hysterical. Of course I have to point it out to you to make sure you get it. )
And ta da! the end result. So good!
They tasted like the sea.
There was a garlic butter sauce and a bleu cheese sauce and a hot sauce to dab on top.
We started off with oysters and salmon cakes--yes, we had salmon cakes, we couldn't leave salmon from the Pacific Northwest out of the equation completely.
And wine and beer from Washington State.
We enjoyed sitting in their lovely backyard (it doesn't even look like high desert, does it?) and visiting. And eating. We are all foodies.
We did not have a quiz on PNW cuisine, no one gave a report, but...but..
We did have some fun discussion on which state, if we had to kick one out of the union, would we kick out.
For the record, no one could agree--all states have their pros and cons--but we did all get a good laugh over one another's reasons for their choice.
Like Wisconsin says bubblers for a water fountain or drinking fountain.
NO ONE says bubbler.
But we couldn't kick out Wisconsin because Paul and Sally are from there and he does say bubbler.
And so the conversation went.... so funny.
Rogue River Beer! From the Rogue River in Oregon--
WHICH, April and Doug have rafted down.
See how we can bring our themes together? 😀
Debbie E brought salmon cakes with a couple of homemade sauces.
Nothing better than gathering!
And we miss it so.
As you know, we do have to defend our choices for the theme. We have to be at the ready.
I had the side dish, so of course I made 3, BECAUSE there is just so much diverse food in the PNW.
First, I made a wheat salad.
Yes, a wheat salad--with wheat berries.
I also made a lentil salad.
One--my granddad was a wheat farmer in northeast Oregon.
People always think of fish and berries being food of the PNW, but on the eastern side of Washington State and into Idaho they grow wheat and lentils
The Palouse (// pə-LOOSS) is a distinct geographic region of the northwestern United States, encompassing parts of north central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and, by some definitions, parts of northeast Oregon. It is a major agricultural area, primarily producing wheat and legumes.
Wheat grown on the Palouse yields up to 100 bushels an acre, twice the national average.
The Palouse region of eastern Washington and the Idaho panhandle, with its commercial center at Pullman, Washington, constitutes the most important lentil-producing region in the United States.
And that is why I had to represent the East Side!
The wheat salad is a fruit salad--wheat berries, whipped cream, marshmallows and fruit.
What can I say?
The Lentil salad has apple slices in it and Washington is produces a lot of apples.
Trying to include ALL that the PNW is famous for is hard.
and last but not least for a side dish was my mom's cucumbers and onions.
not just any onions BUT
Walla Walla Sweet Onions!
They are the Vidalia of the west.
(and yes, there really is a Walla Walla, Washington. It's not just on the Bugs Bunny cartoon. )
Walla Walla Sweet Onions have a distinctly different flavor — milder and sweeter — than any other onion. Generations of selective cultivation and the perfect combination of climate and volcanic soil low in sulphur compounds (that give ordinary onions their harsh bite) work in synergy to produce the world’s sweetest onion.
And then we were ready! Ready to eat!
We had shrimp linguini.
cucumbers and onions
and a beautiful table to set them all on.
These 2 rarely smile.
(but we love them anyway)
And then we ended the evening with chocolate cake made with coffee--the PNW is known for their coffee--and a rhubarb/berry cobbler (Marion Berries and Huckleberries only grow in the PNW)
We did end the evening with everyone receiving the quintessential PNW Treat of Aplets and Cotlets.
We all loved them, but they might be an acquired taste.
Have you ever had one?
And as I leave you with our Cooking Club memories please note that there was a halo over Doug's head. It's all making sense to me now--
Oysters are a gift from God (and Doug got them for us)
The sauces were heaven sent? April made them.
Halo? It's a sign.
Breaking bread or slurping oysters from a shell with friends is kind of sacred in its way.
This was the best cooking club ever!
And these cooking club meals were all good too... just click on the link to see.
Cooking Club #1 -Meals your mom used to make
Cooking Club #2- Cajun Cooking
Cooking Club #3 - Let's all go to Hawaii
Cooking Club #4 - American Regional Cooking --Great Lakes Region, featuring: SUPPER CLUBS!
Cooking Club #5 - Famous Chefs (long post with other stuff mixed in, but just trust me)
Cooking Club #6 -Meatball Madness -- or something round (long post combined with Famous Chef's. Scroll thru some stuff to get there)
Cooking Club #7 - Breakfast for dinner
Cooking Club #8 - Slow Cooking
Cooking Club #9 - Mexican Street Food
Cooking Club #10- Your Christmas Cookie Heritage
Cooking Club #11 - Cooking from labels/back of box, can, or carton
Cooking Club #12 - It's all Greek to Me!
Cooking Club #13 - A Root Beer Tasting Holiday
Cooking Club #14 - Thai Food
Cooking Club #15- Pizza
Coming Soon --
Cooking Club Scavenger Hunt
Milk Street Mania
Jewish Deli Night