Doughnuts. The mere mention of doughnuts and my knees grow weak; glazed, frittered, cream-filled, jelly-filled, cinnamon dusted, powder sugar dusted, nut-topped, plain, fried or baked, I’ll admit to being an equal opportunity eater of all things doughnuts.
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Musical pairing – Draw the Line by David Gray
It seemed like a good idea at the time. My first foray into gardening was embraced with both enthusiasm and determination – everyone knows that one must first scope out the space, then plot and mark the area, shovel, rake, hoe and amend the soil with compost and know, without a doubt, that you’ll be pulling weeds for the season.
Just the name of this Dutch Baby takes me on a journey . . . it takes me back to the little house on Ankeny Street . . . and for some reason memories of my Grandma and Grandpa on my dad’s side come flooding back. Grandpa used to sing to me when I was a child. . . we would sit in his big, off-white leather recliner and he would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to me . . . he had a familiar smirk like that of my father . . . and he smoked a pipe with cherry tobacco . . . to this day, my nose gets a whiff of cherry tobacco and I am instantly transported back to Walla Walla, my grandparents’ home and that big leather chair . . .
Musical pairing – Home by Michael Bublé
I don’t really remember actually eating tomatoes while living in the little house on Ankeny Street, I’m sure I did because we grew them in our garden and I know that my grandmother grew them in her garden. In fact, I believe that everyone who had a garden, grew tomatoes. In my family, we ate tomatoes on a hamburger or chopped up and made into salsas, soups or some type of pasta sauce. Tomato ‘jam’ or ‘chutney’ didn’t exist in my corner of the world – those were kinda fancy for a little town like Walla Walla . . .
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln
Musical pairing – Let’s Go To The Hop by Danny & The Juniors.
In my childhood town of Walla Walla, there is a little burger joint on Birch street called, ‘The Ice-burg’ that has been a fixture in that community for almost 60 years. My mom and dad dined on those burgers and shakes as teenagers (it was ‘the’ hangout) and I’ve been known to indulge in a chocolate-banana shake . . . ok, maybe two. The place still looks like it did when they opened in 1953 – reminiscent of an old-fashioned Drive-In from movies like ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Grease’. Voted ‘Best in the West of the Mississippi’ by USA Today, the place is legendary – quite a feat considering Walla Walla is home to several award-winning wines, vineyards and fancy-schmancy restaurants on the West coast. Nostalgic sigh . . .
Musical pairing – Dreams Be Dreams by Jack Johnson
I grew up in Southeastern Washington State in the tiny little town of Walla Walla – population of about 25,000 when I lived there. Some of you will have to look it up on Google maps while others will recognize Walla Walla’s name as the up-and-coming home to some terrific wines and is receiving big-time press of late. It is also home to the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion, which, in my humble opinion, is the best sweet onion of all time! But back in the day, my hometown was just a dot on the map where generations of family farmers planted hundreds of acres in wheat, alfalfa and corn or raised cattle and horses – it was the Wild West, baby! (just kidding about that ‘wild west’ part . . . )