This meme ended up getting posted in different parts because my answers got too long! The words are from Amanda…feel free to comment if you'd like me to give you five words to write about.
~ Pacific Northwest & Food (really, the two do go hand-in-hand!)
The first thing that comes to mind is "home". Though that isn't really very accurate since Charlotte truly feels like home to me now…it is just that my family is all back in the PNW. I love the area – having both mountains and sea right there and if you go far enough east, there is also high desert. If you like the outdoors, I can't think of a better place to live – there is no place like it anywhere.
However, I do not miss the many, many grey and dreary days. Folks ask me if it "really rains that much in Seattle" and the answer is yes. But it isn't rain like most east-coasters think of…instead it is the misty, grey drizzle you might think of if you pictured London. I lived in the PNW most of my life. Moved to the Portland, OR area when I was four and then from there to the Seattle area when I was 16. I spent my college and adult years around the Seattle area until three years ago when I moved across the country.
I will always have a soft spot for Washington. In fact, my favorite place anywhere is the Bellingham/San Juan Island area. If I were to ever move back, that would be the place! I still need to go on a whale-watching tour up there to see the killer whale pods when they are migrating.
Of course the other things that come to mind…and segue into the next word (FOOD)… are salmon, seafood, Alaskan king crab. There is so much fresh seafood and fish available there. The sad thing is that I don't like most seafood. But I do looooooove fish; salmon in particular. I never knew what I would be missing until I moved out to the East Coast; it was the first time I ever encountered/ingested farmed salmon. Holy cow it is disgusting. In fact, a friend of mine who never liked salmon is coming to find out that she never liked FARMED salmon. I have introduced her to Alaskan wild caught salmon…my grocery store has even finally started carrying it. For the first couple years here I was ordering it online from a company in Washington and having it shipped. I probably still will order it because they have such great products and they come frozen in single serving sizes which is perfect for me with all the travel I do, but it is nice to know I can also grab some while I get other groceries if I need to. Even Neil, who doesn't particularly like fish in general, is growing on it. However, I did learn last night, that he does not like traditionally prepared fish dished (i.e. baked). He likes it grilled or smoked or pan fried. I think he likes the drier end result. Live and learn – next time I will grill it.
I am a firm believer in supporting my local farmers and buying fresh foods. When I can, I try to make it out to our local farmers market. I am also hoping to get some raised beds built this fall so that I can grow my own little garden. We'll see – the project is budget and time dependent.
I think more people need to pay better attention to what they are ingesting. I think many of today's health issues are due to over processing of foods and the chemicals we absorb from them. Don't get me wrong…I still like my Dairy Queen frozen deserts from time to time. 😉 But homemade ice cream is SO much tastier. LOL
Neil was listening to a conversation on talk radio the other day about how 40 years ago soda was a treat, not something to be offered with every meal which got us to thinking about our own habits. Even when I was a kid, we only got soda on special occasions. We are trying to go back to those ways – Neil has committed to having only "one sugary drink per day". My will-power is not that strong yet, but I have stopped buying soda to keep in the house. Instead, I get flavored bubbly water (La Croix – usually in either lime or grapefruit). And sometimes I still buy some Jones Cola (it is made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup) – but at least it isn't a half rack of it every week!
My other big push lately is to cook and eat more often at home. Personally, I am burned out on eating out all the time. The travel associated with my job has sort of squashed the pleasure in it for me (haha squashed…get it? *groan*). Again, though, that is something that ought to be a special occasion thing, not an everyday thing. Tonight we are grilling kabobs (I think). My goal: sure, I really need to lose some weight, but more importantly to me, is getting healthier. The biggest part of that is eating better. (Yeah, yeah…I know, there is that exercise thing that should go in there too, but that wasn't a word given to me to write about. Thank goodness!)
Soon to follow: