She always made hers with Wheat Chex cereal and Cheerios, and added lots of salty Worcestershire and of course real butter, and real garlic (no garlic powder in her musty smelling cupboard), but yes to dried oregano, and lots of skinny pretzels and peanuts, and those big brazil nuts that we kids did not like at all (well really does anyone like those bitter nuts?)–but without (most) of those ingredients it just doesn’t taste right to me.
My good friend Brock insists one has to have Cheetos in your Party Mix and my sister Gayle loves lots of Rice Chex in her’s (I always swapped the extra rice Chex in my handful for the extra Wheat Chex in her’s and always thought I got the better end of the deal…our Bartender Paul swears that his recipe is the best and recently he made a batch that had spaghetti sauce and sun-dried tomatoes that I actually thought pretty tasty!
A chef friend of mine, the late great Billy Pflug even used to put Duck cracklin’s in his gourmet version. Last year, here at PG we deep fried garbanzo beans and julienne salami & pistachio nuts and dubbed it “Chef’s Mix” to great acclaim.
How about yours? Does your family have a secret heirloom recipe?
What indispensable ingredient has to be in your Party Mix for the Holidays?
By the way, also during this month of celebration we are serving two great Champagnes by the glass: Dom Pérignon & Veuve Clicquot at a great price. So get your Merry on! and get down here for some Nuts & Bolts and a glass of Dom or Veuve and let’s celebrate the season—oh and don’t forget to share your secret ingredients with me for your best Party Mix cause I want your recipe to put on my holiday menu next year!
Had a great time at the Puyallup Fair on closing day—the weather was perfect, blue skies and sunny—but the food we ate was terrible.
The classic Fisher fair scone that I eagerly purchased had a congealed raspberry jam that didn’t –or wouldn’t—melt into the warm biscuit. The butter tasted inferior, and the biscuit itself was broken into pieces inside its nostalgic little waxy bag.
A couple people I was with wanted lunch, and I had heard Ed Murrieta of SouthSoundEats.com rave about the smoked Turkey Legs at the Young Life booth. So three of us tried them. Mine was very hot but awkward to eat—with no real tables nearby. The leg was gristly with all those annoying little bones to deal with, and most disappointingly—it did not even come close to tasting like turkey. It was very salty and not really smoky at all, in fact it tasted like it had been brined which would account for the interior color of the meat being as pink as ham with a similar consistency. After walking through one of the crafts buildings still struggling to eat it (and it really just tasting like salty ham on a stick) I threw it away…
After a few rides we decided to detour into the Beer & Wine Garden to rehydrate after eating the salt bomb posing as a turkey leg. A small beer was $6 and the medium size (20 oz) was $8. Kinda steep we thought…
I tried a $10 glass of the delicious Pepper Bridge Red blend from Hightower Cellars~the grapes come from Red Mountain. Next was a stunning 2007 Cabernet from Saviah Cellars, Walla Walla. This wine received 93 points from Wine Spectator–it had luscious brambleberry fruit with French oak vanilla, a nice undertone of espresso, and a loooong finish. Perfect.
After a few more rides (the Zipper never fails to terrify me) and the obligatory ride up Extreme Scream at sunset, I was ready to end my day with the justly famous onion fair burger. (Last year I got duped into trying the Earthquake Burger and regretted it—huge yes, but not satisfying, in that elemental best-burger-in-memory kind of way, like the Frisco Freeze of your childhood, or insert your own childhood burger memory here. So off we went in search of the perfect fair burger, which can be a little confusing as so many of the burger places tout themselves as having the best burger at the fair.
A couple of friends opted for a “healthy” dinner (from a booth the name of which escapes me) of rice and veggies and pork or chicken on top (at the Fair?? Are you kidding?).
And then in the distance, there it was–Hamburger Myers “The Burger That Made the Fair Famous (since 1922)”. I was so excited. The woman at the counter asked if I wanted cheese and onions. (Of course I want cheese and onions). The intoxicating smell of griddled onions wafting through the air as you walk the fairgrounds says “fair” to me as much as the smell of cotton candy and warm raspberry scones.
I watched the young teenager assemble my burger. The buns were disappointingly not being griddled, the cheese was put on the meat un-melted, and then a huge glob of cooked onions mounded and smooshed on top of the cheese (I guess they feel the heat of the onions will do the melt-job on the cheese, so why bother actually melting it on the meat?) The lady handed me my burger and explained that I could add mustard and ketchup, which I did.
I took my first bite and I cannot adequately convey my disappointment.
A couple others in the group went for the venerable Sales Family Krusty Pup (since 1923).
My group of 8 friends and I spent around $800.
He had never been to LARK or Licorous, the delicious small plates/bar next door also owned by Chef John Sundstrom.
I wanted him to have one of their delicious cocktail/food pairings. John is an extremely gifted chef, he even makes his own bitters for the bar! Now that is going “above & beyond” in my book!
Unfortunately Licorous is CLOSED SUNDAYS!
So we instead dropped in on one of my favorite spots in the Belltown section of Seattle, Black Bottle –the self-described “gastro tavern”.
We were both stuffed from our crabfest at Chandler’s but I insisted we had to “taste” the flatbread with béchamel and prosciutto. We grabbed 2 seats at the bar and ordered a glass of Lyeth Meritage $9.
The flatbread comes in a cool fluted rectangular tart pan. Ours could have been cooked just a little longer. The crust a little crisper—but it was buttery and delicious, almost between a savory tart crust and pizza dough–and the prosciutto also could have crisped a bit more.
We both agreed that the prosciutto tasted domestic.
It was very lean, no delicious ribbons of fat. There were also some green herb cut into chiffonade across the top of the béchamel but it had no taste—at first it appeared to be basil, but I am thinking it must have been spinach as it lacked flavor.
Even with these minor quibbles we inhaled the flatbread.
Black Bottle is definitely worth a trip. The menu is fun and inexpensive. The bar is cozy. Exposed old brick unadorned walls speak for themselves. A steel mobile slowly rotates in the breeze casting moody shadows on the wall. Interesting lamps and candles are everywhere (even in summer) and the crowd a nice mix of the urban chic that inhabit this stretch of some of Seattle’s best restaurants.
2600 1st AveSeattle, WA 98121