Brunswick Stew
Saturday January 09th 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Family,Life,Wildlife

No, Dad, I didn’t.  But with memories of that restaurant in Florida you took us to when I was 9 on one trip and again at 16, making sure I ordered that stew on the second go-round, even if it’s chicken in it nowadays, telling me a little of the history of that dish

Take my Dad to a restaurant he really likes once, and he will find it should he get any chance to return, no matter where it was or how long ago.  Let me tell you.  I was three and a half when he discovered a seafood restaurant by the water in an older part of Seattle.  We were in town for the World’s Fair.

My own vivid memory was not about the food, but at being petrified at the idea of stepping off a perfectly solid, stationary platform to get on a shaky, shuddering little flying car hanging from a wire way above the ground with nothing below.  Sitting in the middle of the air.  It was a crazy thing to do, and each time we took the monorail at the Fair, I let my parents know it.  Loudly.

On the very last day, I finally, *by myself,* (I was so proud!) holding Mom’s hand, chose to take that mindboggling step and I crossed that gap in the floor.   Our monorail car jerked right in that moment, scaring the bejabors out of me.  But I still did it. I did it!

I was in my early 40’s when we were in Seattle again, this time for my niece’s wedding; with an afternoon that Mom, Dad, my older brother and I had to ourselves, Dad was sure he could find that seafood restaurant again from way back when.

And he did.  And it was still fabulous.  I bet you he could name the place for you, too.  All I could tell you is, there was a drawbridge nearby on the water and antique Native canoes hanging from the walls and ceiling, with a floor that kind of meandered randomly up and down all over the place in curves to match the canoes. But oh, the chowder.

So.  Recipe: take one large empty round clear Costco container, formerly containing four pounds of in-shell pistachios (and a bajillion biscotti before that).  Eat many, many pistachios till everybody’s ready to give them a rest for a little while, set container in cabinet, let it get pushed progressively further back and forgotten about till the pistachios are good and, um, ripe.   Last year’s crop.

Toss the occasional nuts to the squirrels. It’s that or throw them out, and given a choice between squirrel antics or raccoons trashing the place at night?  Right.

Get bright-eyed idea.  Squirrels should earn their food, the little freeloaders.  Remove lid, set round container on its side with the last few pistachios in there–throw in a walnut to sweeten the deal–set it at the crack on the patio for a little initial stability and go back inside to watch.

It was hysterical. I had two, a gray and a black, show up so fast I didn’t even see them coming as I walked back inside.  Two who have been hormonal and territorial of late, who would never have allowed the other on the patio at the same time if they could help it, now circling the mouth of that canister together, the tail of the one wrapped almost ’round the face of the other and vice versa.  Step forward. Jump back.  The other hides behind him.  Reverse, repeat.   Fur-vently wanting in, fur-ventingly knowing no way no how.  Nuh uh.  The gap between solid ground and the who knows…  The wide world outside vs the interior of that piece of plastic claustrophobia…  YOU go first!  But, but, wait, not till I do, but, but…

Quick, Henry, the Flip! (Triple word score points to anyone who gets that reference.)

The videorecorder was nowhere in sight.  Darn.

Best restaurant in their little town.  They might even go in next time.  If only the cover charge weren’t so steep.

I brought it back inside so they wouldn’t stew over it for the night. Besides, they’re such hams, I want to capture them on camera.

11 Comments so far
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“Quick, Henry, the Flit!” was a Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) advertising slogan for Flit insect spray. But were you talking about the Flip Mino videocamera? And who is Henry in your house? The squirrel?

Oh, I guess I was showing my librarian’s brain stuffed full of weird facts again, wasn’t I?

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 01.10.10 @ 12:40 am

And Theodore Geisel started out his career in advertising working for papa Esso. Trivia abounds in your readers.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 01.10.10 @ 7:24 am

Off the topic, hope everything’s okay after the quake.

Comment by LynnM 01.10.10 @ 7:39 am

LOL I can imagine the sight :-}
Favorite restaurants become a little bit of home.
don;t know that I’ll ever return to most of them, but everywhere I’ve lived, I have one or two favorite restuarants.
Near my apartment in Nara, there was the little Boulangerie that sold the VERY best bagettes. Perfect for lining with cheese and butter and takign on an all-day hike. And the little mom and pop place that was set up to let you create your very own okonomiyaki at your diner-style booth.
Hmm. I think I’d better change thus to my blog before it gets longer.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 01.10.10 @ 8:19 am

I can just picture it — hope you get to! (I can see it now — clips of Alison’s YouTube video of this all over the news channels!!)

Comment by Bev 01.10.10 @ 9:28 am

I love it!! I’m glad your dad found the restaurant(s) again, and that the food was still wonderful. And I bet the critters don’t mind a challenge for such a special treat.

Comment by Channon 01.10.10 @ 10:20 am

Yeah, I remember that Flit slogan. Didn’t know it was Geisel’s, though.

When I was stationed in Seattle, there was a favorite seafood restaurant I used to go to when I was off duty. Have no idea of the name, though.

Fun –

The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

Comment by Don Meyer 01.10.10 @ 11:51 am

Ivar’s on the Wharf has been a Seattle institution for years. Great atmosphere but I preferred the fried clams from the little street vendors by the ferry terminal.

Comment by sherry in idaho 01.10.10 @ 8:59 pm

Those squirrels must have so much fun at your house. I’m surprised that you don’t have a gazillion more.

Comment by Joansie 01.11.10 @ 6:42 am

Sherry beat me to identifying Ivar’s, which is still an institution in Seattle. He’s long gone, of course, but his memory lingers on.

Hope you capture those critters on tape!

Comment by Joan 01.11.10 @ 10:44 am

You DO spend a lot of time watching squirrels! Not that there is anything wrong with that. 😉

Comment by twinsetellen 01.15.10 @ 6:48 am

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