Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓

Gluten Free Friday’s @ Katie’s

Amazing and true. A gluten free cupcake is available at Katie’s Cupcakes on Friday’s. Better get there early because rumor has it A LOT of people in Bellingham have been craving this.

Now for those of us who dream of a vegan cupcake…we’ll have to wait a little longer. Katie’s working on it.

Leprechauns, Trolls & St. Patrick

Whiskey and corned beef and cabbage. Slainte! Now that I have your attention…

Did you know leprechauns in the USA are different from the leprechauns in Ireland? I certainly thought they were a cohesive group adhering to one standard of behavior, but I have been educated otherwise. The Irish leprechaun is a short, happy go-lucky guy who loves a party. He’s a cobbler by trade and always carries his little silver hammer. He has much wealth which he accumulated after the Norse raided Ireland (leprechauns snatched up and horded what was left behind). And he always tells the truth. You can get his wealth only if you see a leprechaun and hold his gaze fast and never let it waiver. As soon as you let him out of your site, he disappears along with your chances of getting his wealth.  According to legend, all you have to do is keep a steady gaze on the imp and ask him where his treasure is. He has to tell you.

However, the leprechaun loves riddles, and the trick comes in decoding them. Tom Allen says this is a true story in Ireland and I believe him. I listen to him every day. I think he is originally from NY because he speaks faster than I do) and is in Toronto now.

Tom didn’t elaborate on the USA leprechaun, but I think I can do that just fine having grown up in NYC, NY. And having gone to parochial school for 12 years and marched in the Macy’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for the last 4 of those years. I think I’m qualified.

I believe a USA leprechaun is happy, short and stout. He smokes a pipe and drinks alcohol (except in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom) and hides a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. He is truthful and loves to speak in riddles. He is very good at keeping out of human site. He has to be, because if you see him and catch him and not let go, he has to show you where his gold is. Yes, the USA leprechaun has GOLD not just wealth. His bling GLITTERS. But there is a way to know if he’s crossed your path: he leaves a trail of green glittering shamrocks. So unless you happened to be in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom this morning, or any other place with glittering green shamrock’s strewn about (like my livingroom carpet), you are out of a pot of gold.

Now you ask: How do trolls figure in? Trolls are Norse GIANTS (remember the Norse plunder of Ireland?). Trolls are carnivorous and ferocious. Trolls have accumulated wealth from stealing. They will even steal a baby and exchange it with one of their own (changeling). Don’t try to catch a troll like you would a leprechaun to get his wealth. Don’t feed the troll. The only way known to keep them away is to be Christian. Church bells and a cross will do you just fine because trolls are heathens. They live underground because they fear the light of day. Why? Because it will turn them to stone. And that, my friend, is the only way I know of to get troll’s gold. Shine the light of day on them.

Which brings me to St. Patrick, the point of the day’s celebration. He was a boy from Wales whose father was a deacon, his grandfather a priest. He was stolen and sold into slavery in Ireland when he was 16 years old. He worked in captivity as a herdsman for about 6 years until he escaped. During his time in captivity, he prayed and prayed to go back home to his family. He escaped and found his way back home. From there, he entered the Church and became a successful missionary. He took his faith back to Ireland and preached the trinity (using the three leaves of the shamrock) to a people considered pagan. He was so respected and revered by the Irish, that they made March 17th, the date of his death, his feast day.

So whether it be gold or God for you, Eirinn Go Brach.

Katie’s Cupcakes, Fairhaven

I was taking a walk through Fairhaven the other week. The sun was shining, the air was crisp and I was looking for something to eat. So what else is new. I noticed some places gone, some places coming. And then I realized one of the places coming was a cupcake store! Wishes do come true: a cupcake store was opening in Bellingham!

Katie’s Cupcakes will open around St. Patrick’s Day next door to the old Fool’s Onion space in Fairhaven. If they taste half as good as the cupcakes served by Liz Kovacs from Icing on the Cake, Katie’s will be a success. Here’s my unsolicited advice to Katie Swanson: please do birthday parties! And if I could ask one more favor, could you come up with a vegan cupcake, too? I really like CM at veganinbellingham.com.

1005 Harris Ave, Fairhaven

Endangered Species Chocolate

When I was growing up, decorating the house for Christmas was an event and the Christmas tree was its focal point.The perfect tree had to be found. The boxes of bulbs and decorations taken out of basement storage. All the strings of light bulbs (in series) had to be plugged in and tested. and tested. and tested. What does this have to do with chocolate, you ask? Just read the story.

What is unique about Christmas trees is not so much their shape, but the way each household decorates it. It is a combination of family history and flair. Our tree had multi-colored big and small balls. It had flashing multi-colored lights one year, white ones another. It was adorned with a myriad of ornaments. It had shiny garish red and gold garland and plastic silver icicles Dad would be vacuuming up until summer. And it was decorated with…FOOD. We popped popcorn and Mom strung it with needle and thread to garland the tree. We made cookies with holes to hang on the boughs. We hung traditional Hungarian bonbons called szaloncukor with its frilled paper edges and shiny pastel foil wrappings. And we hung little dark chocolate syrup filled bottles. There weren’t many of those because they were expensive. The whole tree would have only about two dozen – three in a good year.  I’d have to space out my pre-Christmas indulging so as not to bring attention to them having gone missing. The szaloncukor was easy to eat on the sly. All I had to do was take out the candy carefully and puff up the wrapping. Should of seen my Dad’s face reach for one and it flatten in his hand. Why would he always look at me? I don’t know. Parendar (parent radar).

Which brings me to the Endangered Species Chocolates. The little chocolate bottles were not filled with real alcohol. It was a simple syrup with fruit extract added. Some were filled with orange or cherry or mint. When I first tasted the Endangered Species chocolate, it was a bite size Halloween treat (mixing up the holidays here) I had bought to give to the little goblins at the door. Imagine my GLEE when they were the reincarnation of the Christmas chocolate bottles!

With that said, the chocolate bottles now have alcohol in them and taste horrible. Don’t mess with my memory! In any event, I can now relive past sweet Christmas indulgence with an Endangered Species dark chocolate bar with orange. It has a zebra on it. Or with cherry. It has a koala. Merry Christmas!

Dagoba Chocolate Pacuare (68%)

Wendy and I conduct very serious taste tests. Stop smirking. We do. We just can not pick a favorite chocolate. All the chocolates we taste are good in different ways. Dagoba Chocolate was cocoa sweet and lingered on the taste buds deliciously. A complex berry flavor in the after taste.  I enjoyed it very much. Wendy did not like it. She thought it was grainy, not sweet. More for me…

Dagoba is the sister company to Scharffen Berger chocolates. The two chocolates are very different. Conduct a taste test. Share with a friend or two. You’ll be happier for it.