Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lump-O-Coal Christmas.

So here we are, another Christmas upon us and all that.

Due to various horrible circumstances, Mr.Pants and I have extremely little income coming in these past few month. I still get my pittance, but Mr. Pants doesn't get his, at the moment.

So we are preparing for a Lump-O-Coal Christmas. We'll get a lump of coal and put it on the credenza. Maybe if we put Googly eyes on Lumpy it might lighten the mood, make it seem like a little pet or something. We are discussing.

One side of my family always celebrated on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning was more like recovery time, but Christmas eve was the big production. I remember sitting at the kids table with my cousins, a plastic yellow table with matching chairs where we could throw our asparagus spears and freely play with our olives.

A large, fragrant Christmas Tree looming its sparkly glow over everyone, crinkling of piles of wrapping paper as everyone unwrapped each present at once, one present at a time. We had to display each present and tell everyone what we had gotten. The youngest kid played Santa and did the distribution of gifts. It was all VERY exciting to me. The lights, the decorations, the imminent potential for loot. ESPECIALLY the imminent potential for loot.

This year, our closest friends will be in Florida, others in Vegas and still others in Mexico. We will no doubt make some fabulous meal and eat it in front of our pal Netflix.

No tree this year. No loot either, but that's okay. We'll just have to make up for it later with presents and /or trips to foreign lands and, you know, joy. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Favorites: Quinn's

It isn't the handy location, just blocks away. It isn't the waitress that Mr. Pants thinks is cute. It isn't even the friendly staff or that the bartenders make possibly the best Old Fashioned in Seattle.

It's more that the food is really quite good. Quinn's super fine selection of whiskeys and beers doesn't hurt, either.

I also have to love a place that doesn't cave to foie gras protestors picketing right in front of the diners. The wall of windows look right out on Pike Street and the occasional protestors. Dim lighting, dark bar, tables and chairs and other cool touches make it a hip but comfortable space.

Though I am sorry they took the bold descriptor "Braised Farm Animal of the Day" off the menu. I wonder if they had second thoughts on their own, or received complaints. Whatever it is they are calling it, it's hellishly tasty.

They use some uncommon cuts in some entrees, which denotes a sort of respect for the animal. It also may be off-putting for some, and sometimes a dish can be less than stellar to my eyes because of this. Yet I appreciate the whole beast principle.

Beasts like chicken, for example. There's often a great chicken dish on the menu; usually halved and roasted with various seasonal preps like chick pea puree and green olives. Soups are also seasonal; we loved the summery green asparagus and prawn several months ago, and recently, a winter-perfect borcht.

Mr. Pants is fond of their "Reinforced" Guinness. The reinforcement comes in the form of shot of Cynar and bourbon, which keeps him loopy and docile.

Highlights: chicken, soups, WIld Boar Sloppy Joe

Mr. Pants: full and happy, loopy, docile.