Book Review: Lark Cooking Wild in the Northwest

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Well, it is the month of love and people always say that love can often be shown through the food we serve one another. That is why I have chosen to focus on a cookbook for this week’s book review — and not just any ol’ cookbook, but one that speaks to me in more ways than one.

Lark — first off, I love the word. It ranks right up there for me with the word serendipity. When I looked up the word, its exact meaning is, according to Merriam-Webster,”a source of or a quest for amusement and adventure.” Well, now I see why I’m drawn to the word. Amusement, Adventure — and then pair that with food and I am off to the races with my imagination.

So, the restaurant, Lark, in Seattle holds a perfect name for me. Many years ago, I was so intrigued, I dined at this restaurant and was completely enchanted by its small space and plates that seemed to take my tastebuds on an adventure that evening.

Eventually, Lark moved into a new space and it is it still a grand restaurant in Seattle that I highly recommend to you. However, if you cannot make it out to this restaurant, this cookbook, Lark Cooking Wild in the Northwest is a wonderful book that captures not only their recipes, but how to make the most of our provisions in the Pacific NW.

There are three seasons of eating in the Pacific NW, according to Lark, and they include: Mist, from November to March, Evergreen, from April to July, and Bounty, from August to October. As you can guess, the names go with the themes of the season each year. The restaurant cooks within the seasons and the recipes encourage cooks to do the same.

The book itself takes me on an adventure through many favorite recipes that I have tried at this restaurant over the years — like the sun choke chips! Simple, crispy — yum!

There are so many cookbooks out there on the bookshelves, perhaps on your kitchen shelves, and this addition will make itself worthy by the recipes that will inspire you to cook with the seasons of the Pacific Northwest. Even the cover has me dreaming of the mysteries of this area.

A gorgeous book for a wild, adventurous, amusing palette — and there is always the restaurant as a back up too!

Vandalism at the Cathedral

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St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral is my church home in Seattle, WA. With a strong mission surrounding social justice in our immediate community and beyond, St. Mark’s serves all, members of its congregation and everyone else. And I do meant everyone else. It is a welcoming place for every single person in our community – whether a believer or not.

How rare to find such a place today, particularly one that is associated with a religious denomination. But we have it right here in Seattle.

That is why my heart has been saddened by the senseless vandalism of its beautiful cathedral recently. Yes, this is what was written on the Cathedral outdoor walls. I can’t make sense of who would do such a thing – but there are many random, awful events happening in America and all the world over today. I guess it has always been happening, but with our cameras on hand and everyone sharing across social media, it’s not easy to hide these horrific acts of violence.

Luckily, it was just the church building – so much worse has happened in churches across America recently.

What do you make of it all? Does it stress you out to see such violence brought against a loving organization that serves the community? How do you make sense of these seemingly small acts of terror taking place each day?

For me, I find it necessary to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open. However, I often want to close it out and not look. How much easier would life be if I didn’t have to engage in seeing what is happening. It is easy for me to understand people checking out. It is hard to stay in.

Second, I look to the leaders for uplifting thoughts and meaning-making of these incidents so I can call myself to see what I may not be able to from the surface. Dean Thomason has done exactly this with his statement regarding the vandalism.

Finally, I take heart that I am not alone in my outrage and that there are many people who feel as I do. I am not in the minority, and together there is strength to overcome.

Still, there it is. The ugly writing on the Cathedral wall. We will wash it away having acknowledged it was there, but what next?

To that question, I have no answer.