This has been the hottest, driest summer I have ever seen in western Washington. We are in a drought, another first for as long as I’ve lived here, and the ‘evergreen state’ is starting to look like its cousin to the south, much further south, like southern California without the sandy beaches. In a region where A/C is not the norm it has made for a very difficult season to get excited about making dinner as that is when it is generally hottest and the sun streams into our large front windows from about 2-7:00 in the evenings just in case we forgot that it was shining, yet again, in the city known for cloud-cover and rain. It is truly strange to see so much straw-colored grass where there has always been green. It’s playing tricks on my eyes and I have to remind myself that this is indeed, the greater Seattle area. This displaced feeling comes over me most often when at the off-leash area of Marymoor park and I find myself pulling out my phone camera to document the change in climate because, Toto, we’re right where we’ve always been, it’s the earth that is changing. This chamomile is thriving though:
There were actually clouds this day, but not many people. The boys thought the park looked ‘desolate’.
One word~ dry.
I’m curious if this trend will continue, and if so what it means for our parks and botanical gardens. Apparently the big botanical gardens are already contending with global climate change and having to rethink their gardens. I’m not surprised.
Aren’t these flowers just the prettiest? I got them at the Redmond Farmers Market last Saturday and they are still going strong in our front windows. These aren’t what I went to the Redmond Market intending to buy, but I couldn’t help myself, especially since they had such an inviting price ($5). The Redmond Market, located right next to the Redmond Town Center, is a Saturday tradition from May-October and the gluten-free options there are abundant. If you are hungry you can order a gluten-free crepe (made where the other crepes are so do be careful)at Anita’s crepes or enjoy a tamale just down the way at Hermosa Mexican Foods’ booth which is my son’s favorite thing about the market by far. Wildflour Gluten Free bakery has a booth there and when I get there early enough I buy two of their baguettes, but they sell out fast! Many of their items are dairy free but not all, and most have eggs in them, but all are gluten-free and there is a nice variety at her booth. It is delicious fun to buy a pint of fresh berries and sit down with a baguette and snack while watching some live music that rotates through there all summer. Another gluten-free bakery that has a booth there is Fancy Free bakery which touts a much longer list of ‘free-of’ ingredients~ no peanuts, eggs, dairy, etc, so pretty much anyone could find a treat there, and they will not be disappointed. I bought sourdough bread there and it is truly sour-ly awesome. I heard two other vendors discussing with near rapture the lemon bars they bought there but when I went to check them out myself I was too late…definitely getting to the market earlier next Saturday. There are of course plenty of produce farmers, jewelry makers, planted pots venders, much more there, but I personally adore the fact that there are so many gluten-free finds. I just wish it lasted all year-long, but I guess that just makes it all the more special. Now if only I could wake up and get going on Saturdays earlier to fully take advantage of it…Hm, maybe by August I’ll get that part down. At least I managed to get flowers last week. They are lovely.
Traveling with food intolerances to the Washington coast is not something to be done without your car full of groceries. You can always find grocery stores, but they aren’t going to be the kind with a ‘gluten free section’ and restaurants are pretty typical gluten/dairy laden places. We stayed at Seabrook and my sister saw that the menu at the restaurant there did include gluten-free options, but I did not inquire if they were also dairy and egg free. We had enough corn tortillas, rice, and beans to keep everyone fed enough until we hit our next destination on the north side of the peninsula where we knew there would be more to choose from. (The ocean was phenomenal by the way, despite some drizzly days and cooler temps then we ideally wanted. It is called Juneuary here though so I wasn’t too surprised. We enjoyed it anyway.) Between Port Angeles and Port Townsend is Sequim, and we found at least gluten-free options in all three places, plus in Port Townsend there is a great Co-op with which to stock the car back up with groceries, if that be needed. In Sequim we ate twice at the Sunshine Café where there was a great gluten-free, egg free, soy free, dairy free bread from a nearby bakery. I meant to get some bread before heading leaving Sequim but forgot. It was a great place though, for breakfast and lunch. In Port Townsend which is a beautiful Victorian town on the water we ate at the Owl’s Spirit Café which had a great menu and tasty food, but it wasn’t the best choice for children. The adults all had delicious meals though and you can get fresh juices there also while you wait for your food which is a nice bonus. In Port Angeles we ate at Next Door which boast gluten-free buns and notes foods that are gluten-free. Other than that we ate in our “fake homes” as my youngest called them and although it took a bit more planning, we made it a whole week without anyone being too upset over any food issues. Yay! Another thing I’ve noticed with this whole food intolerance thing is that my both my sons are surprisingly ok with the fact they are for instance the only ones who can’t eat the pizza at a get-together, or the cake at a party. I just tell them I’ll make whatever it is for them when we get home, and that seems to satisfy them, and more often than not they don’t even ask for whatever it was later. It makes me think about how often we just mindlessly eat whatever is in front of us. The other day at a party my son would have eaten pizza, cake, ice cream and rice crispy treats. Instead he ate the protein bar I had packed him and the rice crispy treats. He was a little sad, but I assured him I could make him pizza and ice cream (what he most wanted) at home, and then he happily forgot about it all. Just an observation. Another thing that’s been very obvious is both the boys’ skin issues are clearing up fast. My youngest has had red bumpies on his cheeks since he was about 4. I always suspected food issues but the pediatrician and dermatologist both insisted it was Keratosis Pilaris, something 1/3 of the population has on the back of their arm, and kids can have it on their cheeks. “It’s hereditary,” they said. “It’ll go away.” It hadn’t by age 7, but now it is indeed going away~ his skin is looking beautiful and his eyes are even brighter. My other son had bumpies on this arms and back, probably the same thing, and they are going away too. A friend of mine told me this happened to her husband after going off gluten also, plus his asthma completely cleared. Pretty amazing! It makes me wonder if 1/3 of the population has gluten sensitivity…