Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cuz I Never Told

I was going to write a rant-y post about my missing Amazon Fresh delivery and the subsequent troubles with their customer service "process", but now that they've *finally* delivered my groceries (13 hours late) and given me a full refund, I'm done being mad at them. It did take them longer than it should have to make it right.

Instead I'll write about something much more pleasant. You'll remember that I wrote a few months ago about winning a private cooking demo/dinner for 8 at Crush Restaurant, with Chef Jason Wilson, through a charity event at work.

Last Monday was our scheduled dinner and we were joined by our friends Jenna, John, Travis, Sandra, Dave and Lisa. And it was incredible. The food was good, of course, but even cooler was the amount of time Jason spent explaining to us what he was making. And of course we got to drool over his professional kitchen with some nifty equipment, like the rubberized cutting board (we will soon own 2, thanks to TJ) and the salt block used for quick-curing thinly sliced raw meat and fish.

Again, it was fascinating to peek into a different professional world than my own. Jason told us how he got into cooking, about going to culinary school, and how he came to own his own restaurant. It seems like extremely long hours and hard work, but as we ate the food, I am so glad a place like that exists.

We had a halibut and lamb appetizer, an amazing carbonara gnocchi pasta with lobster (yum!), salad with fresh apples and blue cheese, a lighter pasta with leeks and kale (leekleekleekleek), handmade chocolates that he snuck from the pastry chef's stash, and for dessert, a light financier cake with quince and maple syrup. Everything was different, surprising and YUMMY.

I also found my new favorite thing in the world to drink. I am trying very hard to eliminate caffeine and artificial sweeteners, which rules out my all time favorite diet Coke. But I also hate plain sparkling water.

Jason introduced us to DRY soda, which was developed by a woman in Seattle and still made by her small company here. It's like a more grownup, less faky version of the 'New York Seltzer' stuff I had growing up. It's sweeetened with just a little bit of real sugar, and comes in 6 flavors: vanilla bean, rhubarb, kumquat, juniper berry, lavender and lemongrass.

It's just barely flavored, very subtle, but not salty or bitter like most flavored sparkling water. A few days ago I bought some for myself, and our grocery had only lemongrass (which I had at dinner and knew I liked) and lavender (which I figured I'd try).

And then to my surprise, I came home from work on Thursday to find a case of DRY soda on my doorstep. Burning with curiosity about who sent it, I opened it to find a variety pack of every flavor they offer, and a very sweet note from our friends Dave and Lisa thanking us for the dinner experience. So nice! I am now drinking the Kumquat and enjoying it very much.

So anyone who comes over can try it out, unless I drink all of it in the meantime!


  1. Heh - we used to have that at work until the cutbacks happened. I didn't really like it myself, but I can see the appeal. :) There's also GUS (Grown-Up Soda), which is sweeter, and Hint or something -- which is like DRY but uncarbonated. Also not my thing. I guess I have a sweet tooth, or I just like plain water (sparkling or not). I can't believe I just wrote this much about water....

  2. @LL - I wrote nearly half a blog post about water :D The soda we have at work is all coke and pepsi, nothing fancy. But I guess I should be glad to have a job at all.


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