In my travels — Seattle

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Having a farmer’s market just out your front door is a good thing. Two great grocery stores within half a block, convenient. A fabulous butcher and seafood market a block away, dangerous. Such is city dwelling in the very wonderful Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle, WA. Visiting in July when the strawberries and tomatoes are at their finest, delirium.

I made my vacation plans so I could shop the Queen Anne’s Farmers Market, that’s how much of a crazy foodie I am. The day did not disappoint, Skagit Strawberries, fresh picked and mouthwatering juicy, targeted for tonight’s dessert.  Mt. Townsend Creamery’s SeaStack Soft Cheese, oh my. Buttery smooth consistency, with just enough rind, not quite spreadable, but perfect on sourdough. Fresh wild salad greens with bright nasturtiums, and a choice heirloom tomato. What a pleasure to leisurely walk through the market and pick up a little of this, a little of that for today’s meal. So different than my typical, highly organized approach to lists and market visits that are the routine. To have time for this, to appreciate the local, seasonal and artisan is a gift, a connection with our food and the people who bring their very best.

Today is a little grey and in my head, I am trying to replicate my Dad’s simple chowder recipe. Not the Boston or Manhattan style, but a little more earthy and spare where the clams themselves star. Before the market walk, I assembled the basic ingredients and some nice wine for dinner, but what I needed most was some fresh northwest clams to make our chowder a success. “Never fear! the boy says, I know a place.”  After arriving home from work, my son and I make a quick walk down to A&J’s Market and visit the seafood counter. Before us, lovely petite little neck clams! Two pounds please! (and I asked if they carried octopus…you know, for later…, yes of course, nice small 2.5lb ones, but I digress…)

The second story apartment soon hums with music and the rattles and taps of dinner preparation. A nice first day of vacation with my son.

Farmer's Market Treasures
Fresh picked strawberries, Mt. Townsend Seastack Soft Cheese

heirloom tomato
Juicy, sweet heirloom tomato

littleneck clams
Freshly steamed little neck clams ready to pop into the chowder!

simple clam chowder
Cool summer night, warm clam chowder.

strawberries with balsamic fig vineger
Fresh strawberries tossed with Balsamic Vinegar infused with Fig over vanilla ice cream.
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4 Responses to In my travels — Seattle

  1. Bentobird says:

    Mmmm, what a lovely travelogue Robin, I was with you for every savory step. I’m sure I would LOVE this eloquent, sea-fluent soup starring beautiful clams. So good, so soothing!

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Jenn,
    Glad you came along for the ride. I am still working on recreating my Dad’s last version of chowder, but these clams were surely the stars of the day, succulent and tender.


  3. Sounds like a great trip, right up my street. Chowder is not something I’ve ever made – to be rectifed soon with your recipe.

  4. Robin says:

    So sweet to have you drop by for a visit Sally! Chowders can be made from many things, I do hope you find a combo that is pleasing to you and yours. Think of it as “pre-custard sans eggs…” 🙂

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