It was about 20 minutes prior to my radio show when UPS arrived with "The Package". I could smell the aroma of a rotting apple...and yes, its was. The smell wasn't overwhelming due to a company sending us lavender. Let's begin with the bottle of wine that I wasn't even sure about. Aside from being a red wine, which I am allergic to, it was paper wrapped and then wrapped in bubble. When I removed the paper, I noticed that the foil top was almost removed and a part of the cork had risen from the top. I'm not sure what that means, and if it has to do with its arriving almost two weeks later. Next, there was a company called C Shop that gave us a gift box of various chocolates and other candies. The box was crushed and all candies were melted, some of which the wrapping was opened and stuff had oozed out and onto much of my press kit papers. There was a pint of honey roasted peanut butter, but the plastic container had cracked and some of the peanut butter had oozed out. Then there was this Camembert Cheese, having not been refrigerated for about two weeks. Pretzels in a small plastic bag had gone stale. Only salvageable food was the bag of some special hazelnuts. I think I'll have them with a bottle of Blue Moon beer.
Went to a restaurant in Westbury, LI called City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill. Executive Chef Chris Randell. Victoria Lindscott aka Torey, was out server. Great work! Here are some food photos. Two soups - Potato Artichoke Soup with crispy fried parsnips and truffle oil along side Roast Tomato and Basil Bisque with croutons and shaved parmesan cheese. Asian Seared Rare Tuna salad with spinach, crispy onions, mushrooms and creamy ginger dressing. Platter of desserts: Creme Brulee, fruit n' spice biscotti; Warm chocolate cake, Key Lime and Fruit Tartlet with berry sauce; NY Style Cheesecake; Warm Apple Strudel with cinnamon gelato and caramel sauce; strawberry gelato.
After going out for the day I return to find a message from Andrika (not sure of the spelling) who owns up to placing the wrong address on the label and says that I should be receiving the package tomorrow (Thursday). Wait! Did someone from PURPLE SMILE WINES call UPS yesterday as instructed so that I would get the package today. Although she apologized for the error, someone didn't own up to the truth when I asked if the call was made yesterday. How do I know? Tracking, again. It says that at approximately 1 p.m. EST, the package was rerouted to the correct address. That means that the call must have been made today. So, now the contents of the package, which was handed over on the 18th will not be seen until the 30th. Good grief! In the meantime, due to having not called early enough, the package was again delivered to the wrong address and no one was home to sign for it. Hey, it simply states that an adult has to sign for it. The person could simply to that I enjoy the bottle of wine and smelly cheese.
I'm really wondering who the UPS guy was that made the delivery to the wrong address, as we're talking about two blocks away. With so many UPS deliveries here, you'd think he'd know my last name by now. Tune in tomorrow for the results.
Leaving Bellingham,WA on Saturday the 18th I decide to request that the organizing group send me a package of various items that were picked up along the trip, such as press kits and food. I am waiting for the package and ask when it should arrive so that I can complete my articles and do have a concern about a large wedge of cheese. I'm not sure as to whether there was a bottle of wine as I did take home a bottle of red wine, wrapped it up well and placed it in my luggage to go under the plane. When I opened the luggage, it appeared that security needed to look at the bottle of wine but did not wrap it up in the jacket to cushion it. However, it did not break. Okay, back to the package. I am told that the package was sent out on Tuesday and will arrive by Friday. It is sent via a place called Purple Smiles Wine in Fairhaven as they are licensed to send alcohol. Friday is arriving (still concerned about whatever perishable food has gone in there)and I call Purple for a tracking number. Seems that it was shipped UPS Ground and to arrive on Tuesday, the 28th. I stay home and am even concerned about hitting the toilet so as not to miss UPS. It is supposed to arrive by 7 p.m. and it is now 6 p.m.
I check the tracking again to find out that at 5:06 or whatever, there was no one to sign for it and it states that an adult has to sign for it. I call UPS to find out that the package was sent to 9434 instead of 9134. UPS says that I either have to hike over to their building (not a place that you can take public transportation and even if I did, it would cost me $4.50 rt (the fares here went up) to pick up this 8 lb package of which I don't even know what the fark is in it anymore.
I call Purple and they say that they put it into the system as 9134 but not clear as to what actually went on the packing slip...or who put the address on the packing slip. Now, UPS says that they have to call UPS to tell them of the error in order for me to get the package delivered to my home. They say that they will take care of it and call me back with the information. Despite a few calls, I am not called back.
Okay, so let's say that they take care of this tomorrow (Wednesday), I probably won't get it until Thursday as I picture rotten fruit and a wedge of cheese which was originally a white cheese and has become a sort of bleu cheese. I also picture the UPS guy needing to wear a gas mask and swatting flies.
Now, it is possible that UPS made an error. They have done this before...big time as I addressed the labels of three packages for pickup and even wrote the addresses on the boxes and despite my effort, all three packages went to the same location...two were going to Pennsylvania and the other to Minnesota.
So I await to see the mystery package and who will own up to placing the wrong address. If someone was home at the 9434 address, they could have simply signed for it and kept it. It didn't request my signature...just one of an adult.
Tune in for "All My Packages"..."As The Package Turns"...."One Package to Live" or "General Bellingham".
Here are some of the food photos from Willow's Inn restaurant, Taproot Pub on Lummi Island. Top left Potato & turnip soup with greens, radish buerre fondue. Top right Bacon wrapped king troll caught salmon, polenta & peas, bordelaise sauce, parsley salad. Bottom Shaved Zucchini, squash blossom & pecorino salad, sherry shallot vinaigrette, poached egg, caper berry.
“Blaine it on my experiencing destinations that people don't ordinarily go to. Chunkanut up to my love of fresh local foods including those that are Mt. Baker-ed. My cat Salmon I are both interested in seafood, but I told her that she would not be able to go. She hopes I have a whale-watcher of a time. I am a true chocoholic and nothing is better than dipping it in raspberries. May the Peace Arch be with you”.
The above is what I wrote in order to indulge in a culinary press trip to the Bellingham/Mt. Baker area of Washington state aka Whatcom County, located between Seattle and Vancouver. Let’s begin with Day 1 of the FAM tour…Forever A Meal.
Landing at the Bellingham airport (which would have been a two-hour drive from Seattle), I am transported to historic (sometimes hysteric) Fairhaven, a suburb of Bellingham, and checking into the Fairhaven Village Inn. I view the Wednesday Farmer’s Market directly across the street as well as the surrounding Boulevard Park and boardwalk.
There is no time to rest in one of the 22-room quaint inn although do notice the amenities and check out the comfortableness of the bed. I am off to a lobby room to meet my fellow writers as well as the mucky mucks of tourism. Itinerary in hand, name badge on my shirt, we are moved to the terrace for a wine tasting and cheese plate.
Ken Peck, owner and winemaker of Dakota Creek in Blaine, shares a red and white wine as we meet Connie Shannon, the owner of Fairhaven Village Inn who gives us a brief history of the inn along with some tales of Fairhaven. There is much discussion about the use of local foods that we will be pigging out on and will meet with Dirty Dan later.
Now, that we’ve noshed, it is time for dinner at Fino Wine Bar. The restaurant is located at the Chrysalis Inn on Tenth Street and overlooking the waterfront. I view the hundreds of wine corks and think about Andra Douglas’ parrot, Dina...her favorite toy.
The affettalo misto arrives consisting of: prosciutto, coppa, soppressata, tuscan salami and a Mediterranean olive medley. European-style bread with tomato-caper butter, pesto butter and garlic-chive butter accompany it. We are sipping a 2007 oisly & thesee touraine (sauvignon blanc) white wine; loire, france and red wine from Castilla Spain, 2007 lopez panache tempranillo as the next course arrives. It is a charbroiled vegetable salad; marinated mozzarella, soft garlic, mache, balsamic vinaigrette. I ignore that I am allergic to balsamic vinegar and regret it later on.
I choose the pan-seared scallops with a tomato-basil sauce and summer vegetable couscous as my entrée. Dirty Dan Harris and his sidekick come by to tell us all about the history of his discovery We forgo dessert as we are bound for a “Dessert Crawl”, where we will hit five different restaurants to indulge in the sweets. Chef Craig McDonald is thanked.
We walked off about a calorie or two as Dirty shares some great stories of Fairhaven’s port and who he is. He continues to accompany us as we continue stopping at the Farmer’s Market area (which also shows outdoor movies on the wall) and meet Dirty’s bronze replica. I youtube him as we are off to the first restaurant, Flat’s Tapas Bar at 1307 11th St.
It was an easy one as only one dessert was offered, a flourless chocolate torte with caramel gelato and all made from scratch (Gee…I would love to invest in “scratch”). After scribbling a cartoon on the tablecloth, it was off to Big Fat Fish Company at 1304 12th St. where we were given a choice of desserts. Although they did have a Chocolate Indulgence cake I wanted to check out the Carrot Cake…mistake.
Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse at 1211 11th St. was the next stop. Another choice of many including a Chocolate Mudslide, Bread Pudding, and Chocolate Flan. I opted for the Bread Pudding. Too much bread and not enough “pudding”.
Colophon Cafe at 1208 11th St. just seemed to keep on feeding us thin slices of several desserts: Mudslide tiramisu (our favorite); white chocolate mousse; classic New York cheesecake; chocolate cheese cake, peanut butter pie; and chocolate chunk cake.
With a few having dropped out it was Skylark's Hidden Cafe at 1308-B 11th St. that took us by surprise with their Bread pudding with whisky sauce, Macademia Mousse, and Espresso Cheesecake. The problem was that we were all too full to enjoy more than a bite or two.
Stephen M. Ross, Owner and Managing General Partner of the Miami Dolphins, announced today that Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Marc Anthony is joining the organization as a limited partner of the National Football League franchise. Video of Marc Anthony.
NY Sharks had their end of the season party at McCormick & Schmick's in Manhattan. Great food. Salmon Penne Pasta, lasagna, meatball sliders and Caesar Salad. Best was the oysters that were sent by the Oyster Farm in East Dennis. We all agreed that they were the best oysters ever...including chef Stephen McCormick (no relation) who did the shucking and GM Rick Jurmark
I'm back from Bellingham, WA. Fabulous place to visit. Will be writing all about it, but here's a few photos. I'll be eating my way through Bellingham. Fairhaven building on the top left. The other is a photo of the owner of Fairhaven Village Inn, where I stayed the first night.
I just looked at my last blog and noticed how long it has been since I blogged. Fourth of July was spent on a cruise via Manhattan Yacht Classic Cruises. Loved the cruise. Not really impressed with the fireworks. Thought I'd get closer...not the fault of the boat, though. Fireworks were good but not great. Nothing to really do that AHHHHHH!
My radio show had a woman who plays the saw...yes...that's right. She plays the saw. She calls herself Sawlady. I uploaded a few tunes, too. Played some music from the new cast of Hair. Finally, Epicuren Skin Care.
Next trip to Bellingham, WA. Doing a radio show from there.
Went on a Smoothe Jazz cruise. CD 101.9 jazz. Spyro Gyra was the band playing. Fantastic experience. More of these coming up with artists like: Bobby Caldwell and The Rippingtons. Company called Marquee does these events. Shot of me with the drummer. Photos by Judy Clarke