Last night I went to the Wynton Marsalis concert in Olympia … oooh yeah. It was great. That band is awesome – hot hot jazz in a very intense style. An amazing piano player and bassist. If you have a chance to see them, don’t miss it. The more time I spend in Olympia, the better I like it – who woulda thunk our state capital would be so interesting. Last time I was there (for a Bo Diddley concert – also very cool), my friend Martha and I wandered around and went shopping :)
We found the most amazing store of exotic spices – like an apothecary shop of old only filled with strange spices, truffle oils, hard-to-find ethnic spice concoctions from far-flung lands, mortars and pestles, tiny little tins of multi-colored salts and peppers with tiny little spoons, dried and powdered mushrooms of every variety, you name it, it was there. Stuff that I normally don’t cook with because it’s an incredible pain to make from scratch, like garum masala or mole. I couldn’t resist the white truffle oil or African curry powder with cashews. You end up walking out with little bags of spicy treasures – and to top it all off, if they don’t carry it or combine it just the way you want, you can send them the recipe and they’ll get it or make it for you. If you’d like to try mail-order, you can find it here: Buck’s Culinary Exotica.
Just down the street, we found an entire independent bookstore selling only mysteries. Not too many towns where such a store could thrive in this day and age. And last night I finally got to enjoy my (usually-sold-out) fave Italian restaurant there, Trinacria. Simple, perfect, olive oil and garlic pasta. Hot crusty little breadlings, perfect salad following the pasta. When asked for Parmesan, the waitress recommends Pecorino to go with that specific pasta instead. Not too much of anything, nothing extra needed. Just right :)