Hello Blog Friends. Please meet my friend, Scott.
Scott is a college friend who lives in Indiana, but today he bought me coffee. At the coffee house where I buy the beans that I brew each morning. He was passing through on the way to a conference up north and pre-arranged a coffee date.
Doesn't he look great?! First of all, check out that long-sleeved shirt. He bought it just this morning because he was cold! And I couldn't blame him … I was wearing three layers myself and having a bad hair day. Layers are the name of the game up here and when it's drizzling, this is how my hair turns out: flat. Secondly, Scott has recently lost 50+ pounds and continues losing … It takes dedication and commitment for someone to do that, and given the fact that Scott is a food writer, emcees food competitions, and loves to experiment with fresh, local product, this is an immensely formidable feat.
We chatted about our kids and families, about life stuff, about our time in college, about other college friends (were your ears burning, friends?!) … then I invited him to walk through my local grocery store with me since he is a 'food writer, emcees food competitions, and loves fresh, local product'. I knew he would love my grocery store.
We went to the other end of the Town Center and began a foray into the food heaven that I call my grocery store. The local and imported cheeses, the antipasto bar, the local dairy offerings, the bulk section …
Scott had two "Aha!" moments in the market.
As we entered the produce section, we were talking about 'something-I-don't-even-remember-what', then I pointed out that the entire back half of the produce section was all organic. Scott turned around and practically did a double-take. He chuckled, then said, "I didn't know half of the store was produce!!" Yep, pretty much.
That was "Aha Moment No. 1".
We walked through by the meat case … local and Australian lamb, NW grown pork, chicken, and beef, five different choices of ground beef, Italian sausages, bulk sausages, turkey, beefalo …
"And over here is the seafood …" Scott turned around and literally laughed. He said, "I've never seen so many oysters in one place at one time!" (Or something close to that!) There are eight different tanks of different types of oysters alone, not to mention the clams, mussels, fish, and crab. My land-locked friend was overwhelmed. He took only one photo in the entire store and it was of the Eight Oyster Aquariums.
That was "Aha Moment No. 2".
In the spirit of Scott's amazement of the Northwest Bounty, I ask you, "What happens when you combine red pepper strips, cucumber slices, sliced lemon grass, julienned mint, chopped red onion, lime juice, fish sauce, and chili paste …
… with lump crab, shrimp, and scallops?"
You have a most delectably fresh, sweet, spicy, citrusy seafood salad reminiscent of all the flavors of summer in the Northwest.
It might have been chilly this morning, but this salad was a welcome treat for dinner tonight and one I'll be making a few more times this summer.
I urge you to do the same.