March 2016April 2016 May 2016

04/26 - Shrimp with Chervil Butter

One of our favorite dishes is Jasper White’s lobster with chervil butter. We enjoyed it at his restaurant back when we lived in the Boston area, and we, now and then, order a lobster and follow the recipe in his cookbook. Of course, it is easier to order lobster online than chervil.

We recently had some success with our chervil crop. OK, it was one plant, but it was fairly big. We didn’t want to bother ordering a lobster, so we decided to make a version of the dish using shrimp instead. It turned out wonderfully, so we’ll offer a recipe here for anyone who might want to try it.


  • 2 lbs large shrimp
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 ounces of chervil
  • about the same amount of chives
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt & pepper
  1. Peel and clean the shrimp.
  2. Heat a cast iron or other heavy pan on the stove. Use the highest stove setting. The goal is to cook the shrimp using as hot a pan as possible.
  3. Put 2 tbsp butter into the pan. If you are worried about burning the butter, use peanut oil or olive oil, but we just went for it.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook them for 5-10 minutes. The goal is to sear them if possible. We finished the job with a blowtorch equipped with a diffuser. Alternately, you might simply broil the shrimp in a metal pan.
  5. Turn off the stove. Pour in the bourbon. Stand back and light it. Swirl the pan a bit as the bourbon burns.
  6. When the flames go out, add the white wine. Turn the burner back high on and cook it down for a few minutes.
  7. Turn down the heat to low. Add 4 tbsp of butter and toss together with the shrimp until it melts.
  8. Add the chervil and chives. Toss a bit to mix. Turn of the burner and serve.

Keywords: recipes

04/24 - River Otters

We first spotted these river otters while they were swimming in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. We were a bit east of town, past the Rayonnier site, along the waterfront. One of them had a fish of some sort. They made their way to shore where they posed for a bit. Then they disappeared into the rocks below us.

Click on the pictures to see just how cute they are.

Otters at sea

Coming ashore

Getting closer

Posing on a rock

Definitely otters

Keywords: otters

04/18 - Trilliums

We spotted our first trilliums along Piedmont Road. Then we took a short walk along the Spruce Railroad Trail, and there were trilliums galore. It is still early in the trillium season, so we’ll be getting out and keeping our eyes open.


Another trillium

More trilliums

Even more trilliums

Yet another beauty


False Solomon’s seal, just coming into bloom

Yet, another trillium

It’s a great year for the trilliums.

A snail

Guess what?

Keywords: spruce railroad, trillium

04/08 - More Walla Walla

We visited a number of wineries in Walla Walla including some of our favorites like Reynvaan and Rulo. We rather liked the wines at Palencia, a newcomer based out at the airport winery incubator. If nothing else, driving around the wine country is beautiful, though we did learn a lesson about the limitations of GPS navigation and the advantages of paper maps. Google Maps, at least had the decency to say “You can’t get there from here”, but Apple Maps took us off the paved roads despite a much easier parallel paved route.

We also tried out Dora’s Deli and tried some of their tacos. We were amazed. They were out of tongue, but the other meats were rich in flavor, not fatty at all, and perfectly seasoned. We grabbed take out so we could have a proper breakfast and were extremely pleased. This was our second round of Mexican food this trip. We had grabbed some tamales from Los Hernandez in Union Gap on the way out. They not only had wonderful fillings, but the masa was the most flavorful we’ve ever had.

The view from Rulo Winery

We have to include at least one picture of grapevines.

Palencia at the airport winery incubator

Dora’s Deli

Los Hernandez in Union Gap

Keywords: restaurants, walla walla, wineries

04/07 - Walla Walla - Lake Bennington and Mill Creek

One of our favorite places in Walla Walla is the Army Corps of Engineers water control works and Lake Bennington. It is dry country, very different from our usual stomping grounds. We had a bit of time in the morning, so we walked from the parking lot at the lake up to the control gates and a nearby view point.

Dry country

Spring time though

Water works

A glimpse west towards the Rockies

The dry trail

Keywords: walla walla

04/06 - Our Favorite I-82 Giants

We were out east in Walla Walla, and on our way home passed two of our favorite electrical transmission towers. There are lots of them out that way what with all the hydro and wind power generated in the area. We like these two for their facial expressions. There’s the tall angry guy and his calmer, shorter friend. These two look like they are starring in a buddy movie.

Two giants

Keywords: walla walla

March 2016April 2016 May 2016