Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seattle and the Not So Simple Fair

Well, August flew by. All of a sudden it was September 4 and time to leave Mendocino for a return trip to Seattle to be the wedding planner for my first and only official clients of my VERY short-lived event planning business (it didn't take long to figure out that wasn't what I wanted from life). The wedding was on Saturday and it went perfectly, beautiful weather complete with a very short sprinkle - the first rain in 44 days, apparently - which I assured the couple was Mother Nature's benediction. They were the sweetest bride and groom, their vows made me cry, their families and friends were awesome, and I was able to hire Amber to assist me that day so we had a fun time working together. All in all a delightful event!

Since then I've barely left my parents' couch, except for a foray into Capitol Hill last night which included 45 minutes of traffic and a $53 parking ticket. Ouch. Today I'm off to Amber's to garden and then to catch a ferry to Vashon to spend the night with Dustin and Alan, so I thought I'd better get this posted already.

Seemed Simple Enough to Me!

When last I left you I had just gotten back from the Not So Simple Living Fair (in late July - I'll write an August catch up soon). We spent days preparing - we were helping to host the hospitality corner so I made six loaves of chocolate zucchini bread and two trays of rice krispy treats. We were camping there too so we also had to feed ourselves; I helped make a giant potato salad and another huge pesto quinoa salad, Whitney made some of the best pasta sauce I've ever had, and there were lots of other treats as well (not to mention the excellent food vendor options). We were awake until 3 am the night before cooking and having a ball. The next morning we loaded up the cars and drove to Boonville, about 45 minutes on the way to the coast. This is the sweetest little town! Once there we chose a spot for our camp, set up the hospitality area, and started reviewing the very comprehensive list of classes offered.

This is the most fun and useful idea for a fair, EVER: want to know how to live a more sustainable life? Use things found in nature? DIY? This is the spot for you! I took classes on seed saving, greenhouse building, how to forage and use wild plants, harvesting and cooking seaweed, and - by far my favorite - how to tie a variety of knots. At one point I looked up and there was Adrian Grenier holding a length of rope, trying to mimic the knot. Apparently he was in town shooting a movie. It was a bit surreal seeing him there but he was gone before I could give much thought to whether or not it was fun or invasive. Here I am practicing a square knot - how is it possible I never before knew this simple but amazing knot??

In between classes you could do woodworking or blacksmithing, ride around on the musical cabaret-mobile, visit the farm animals on display, or just talk to any one of the many interesting people there. There was also the sustainability bit that I really appreciated. Everyone brought their own dishes, and food vendors didn't offer paper products. If you forgot your plates, you could go to the dish table and buy a thrifted plate or bowl for 50 cents. There was a dishwashing station that was kept very clean (no one wants to use dirty dish water), and there's something fun about eating out of your own dish. On Saturday night there was a huge potluck dinner - everyone brought a dish to share and local farmers donated meat, including a pig that was slaughtered and butchered in one of the classes. Here's the barbecue and the potluck line:

The meat was delicious and it was so fun seeing looong lines of bowls of food people had made to share. As I was leaving the potluck I walked by the barbecue and noticed a heart on the grill. "Who eats that?" I asked the guy. "You do!" He replied, and sliced a few sections of the pig's heart off for me to eat. It was quite tasty, surprisingly tender and not chewy at all. (If you look closely at the photo above you can see the heart on the grill.) Here are the two slices I ate:

Saturday night a very popular local band named Dgiin (pronounced "gin" with a soft g) played and we danced our butts off. All in all the weekend was another reminder of why Mendocino County is my perfect place in the world.

Jamming out at the camp:

Whitney enjoying life:

Our big fun group:


Betty Shelby said...

I love your blog and catching up on all the fun you're having in your new life. :) -Victoria

Anonymous said...

Your couple of weeks in Seattle have gone way too quickly. Soon the little Matrix will be taking you back to California. But the country life seems to agree with you. So if you're happy, I'm happy:)
Love all the fun activities that you have discovered. Just not too sure about those slices of, gulp, cow heart. Your taste buds are way more adventurous than mine.
Already looking forward to seeing you at Christmas. Enjoy your first Northern California autumn! Love you!