I happened to be on an interview this morning, and the guy interviewing me asked me “why food?” One of the easiest questions for me to answer, but not one I am able to eloquently sum up in a nice, compact elevator speech. Because it means so much. From my girls trip last year to Mystic, CT, I have a giant photo hanging in our kitchen that proclaims FOOD IS LOVE. And that’s it, really, isn’t it? Some of my earliest fondest memories from my childhood involve food, but beyond that, it’s about coming to the table. To share with family. With friends. Creating memories. Around occasions. And nothingness. And that’s one thing I strive to give my kids. Memories of love. Food. Family. Laughter. After all, it’s all woven together in our tapestry. Our rainbow cakes. Our Feast of the Seven Fishes. Nick’s yesteryear favorite dinner of Penne with Vodka Sauce and his sister’s first taste of grapefruit. Our celebrations of Chinese New Year. Even though we’re not Chinese. I want them to remember coming together as a family, at the table, when they look back on their childhood. And when Nick requested a homecooked meal for his birthday dinner, it just reinforces the fact that I’m on the right path. It all starts here.
And so it is with trips too. Since early Spring, I have taken a trip a month, largely for work, and some of them (heck, most of them!) have been intrinsically tied to food. The memories that surround the trip are all about “Remember that meal we had at that dive?” “Those roadstand tomatoes?” “That waiter at such-and-such as awesome, wasn’t he?” We share. We connect. We laugh. We love. We feed our souls from the inside out, nourishing every fiber of our being.
When I say that Sarah and I ate our way across Seattle back in May, I’m not exaggerating. Because we totally did. Our last meeting with the Starbucks crew was a lunch meeting. But after that, we had a second lunch at Lola. And then we seriously worked our way from one end of Pike Place Market to the other. Eating. Experiencing. Thinking “oh, we’re not hungry,” and then an hour later we’re chatting it up with a cute waiter and two dozen oysters. (That review is coming soon)
The day we arrived in Seattle, Beth forwarded me an e-mail with a list of Top 10 eats in Pike Place Market. Whoever said “timing is everything” wasn’t kidding. I saw Piroshky Piroshky Bakery on the list and it was one of our first stops. A Russian bakery that has been family-owned since 1992, we found it easily by the small line snaking outside the front door. And in actuality, the line gave us a chance to get the tiny lay of the land, suss out the menu, peer into the clear glass case and decide exactly how many piroshkies would be too much.
As we got closer and closer to the front, our list of “wants” changed here and there as the shopkeeper started to sell out of selections on our list. We decided that both a sweet and a savory piroshky was the way to go, and the best way to properly review the place. A marzipan one to bring home to my Mom. Oh, and maybe one of those Cheddar Dill stick thingies.
A few dollars and a bulging paper sack and we were off scouting for a place to devour our feast.
The savory piroshkies were a definite highlight. Full-on potato flavor, a teensy hint of garlic, slightly warm, a tender, light flaky crust and a hint of Cheddar cheese. The perfect little fuel to get us to our next stop. The Cheddar Dill stick was decidedly not a favorite. You have to really, really, really like dill, and while we do, we found it just too overpowering.
If you happen to be hungry, or even if you’re not, and you’re wandering through the Pike Place Market one sunny afternoon, do pop into Piroshky Piroshky Bakery. It doesn’t make the Top 10 lists for nuthin’.
Piroshky Piroshky Bakery
1908 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101
August 10, 2011 – Bonus Photos
When I’m in the mood for something sweet, I usually reach for meringues. Non-fat and not too sugar-laden, it’s the perfect thing to take the edge off. There is one particular kind I like, and I’ve only found them at one grocery store, and not even the whole chain. Just one particular location. Imagine my disappointment (and horror!) when they have been out of stock for the past two weeks. I was afraid they were discontinuing them, so tonight the kids and I headed out, intent on finding another source, and thank goodness we did. You can all sleep better tonight, I know.
Tonight at dinner, this was our conversation. Well, amongst two other topics that are decidedly not kid-friendly, nor blog-approved.
“Can I call you Cate?” Madeline asked me.
Because my name to you is Mommy.
“I want to call you Cate.”
No, definitely not.
“So Mommy, that’s it?”
Nick helped her out by explaining she could expand her options to Mom too.
“How about mudder?” she asked.
It never fails to make us laugh to hear her say the word “mother,” although I do cringe a bit at the word itself. It just conjures up all sorts of sass and attitude from a sixteen-year-old. Oh wait, that was a flashback.
Yes, mother is ok.
“But I really want to call you Cate. And I’m going to. Cate, I need more milk. PLEASE.”
Madeline, you may not call me by my first name.
“Ok, Cate,” followed by squeals of laughter.