Oysters at The Willows Inn
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DESTINATION DINNERS H O L I D A Y S T Y L E | LY D I A P L A C E | Ö V N W O O D F I R E D P I Z Z A
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50 Destination Dinners This feature is about meals worth building a night, a weekend, even a vacation around.
62 Holiday Style Made Simple Glam it up or dress it down, the LBD is a versatile way to survive the holidays in style.
December Contents Lifestyle
331 1 Paperboat
77 Övn Wood Fired Pizza
35 Around the Sound Rachel’s Ginger Beer
79 Dining Guide 80 Sips of the Season 9 Restaurant
36 Savvy Shopper Fringe Boutique 82 Mixing Tin Winter Bourbon Punch
17 Lydia Place
83 Review Wanida Thai
18 By the Numbers 19 Lasting Image 21 Calendar December 22 In the Know Sea and Smoke
23 In the Know Keeping it Local 23 In the Know Apps We Love
39 Quick Tips for Holiday Glitz
24 Community Downtown Bellingham Partnership
41 Menu Holiday Cheese Cake
84 Sip Old World vs. New World 87 Seven Great Tastes
Habitat AGENDA 45 Timber Beauty 89 Featured Event Lighted Christmas Parade 90 Around Town LeAnn Rimes 93 Out of Town Canyon Lights 94 The Scene Best of the NW Party 24 In the Know Lummi Youth Canoe Family 25 Book Reviews
Notes 48 Remodel Elegant Escape
8 Editor’s Letter
25 Who Knew 26 Quick Trip White Rock, B.C.
13 Letters to the Editor 28 Spotlight Michellino Angela and Valerie Snelling
50 Destination Dinners
14 Meet a Staffer Kaity Teer
30 5 Faves Holiday Getaways
62 Holiday Style Made Simple
96 Final Word
notes On the Web
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Online Exclusive Recipe for Pumpkin Cheese Cake Written by Katie Hinton and David Reera of The Table
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Happy Holidays from our Family to Yours!
Come Experience Difference
BEST of the
notes Editor's Letter
always love the mantel over the fireplace at home in Virginia, the Christmas cards from relatives, the former students of my dad’s — one of whom sends beautiful cards from the art foundation he now chairs. In past years, the people my mom had helped through tough times and rough patches expressed their gratitude for her kindness, sending photos of their babies. But my favorite treasures are the Christmas letters. Packed with color photocopies of people I don’t really know, thick with information about hip replacements and vacations, promotions and triumphs, they are snapshots of the best of a family’s year, a collage of all the significant events in their lives. So in the spirit of the Christmas Letter, here I go:
Dear Family, K & L Media had a big year of changes and expansion — we said goodbye to some beloved colleagues as they pursued new careers, and we welcomed a lot of new faces in our offices. Devin Winsby, who handles marketing, events, and sales, has the best laugh in the office. Jenn Bachtel, our new office manager, takes care of everything from creamer in the kitchen, to invoices, to broken hearts, to battered souls. She also bakes amazingly delicious treats. Babette Vickers joined us this year. You may know her as Cheryl in Evil Dead the Musical. When she isn’t on-stage covered in fake blood, she sells ads and makes the best cartoons on birthday cards ever. She’s also quick to hand out candy. Tina Ruff not only sells ads for us, but she also brings us gorgeous produce from her garden. (Hint: Gardeners are the best co-workers). And then there’s Kaity Teer, who returned in triumph this year to run North End Metro with her characteristic good cheer. She also won Fourth Genre’s 2015 Michael Steinberg Essay Contest for her essay “Ossification” this year. Kelsey Wilmore, our elite athlete and designer, won first in her age division in the Bellingham Trail Marathon, which had a long course — it was technically an ultra. We can’t wait to see what mountains she scales next. She also stepped in as lead designer while Kelly Slater, our art director, went on maternity leave and returned with our newest colleague. He can’t walk or talk yet, but he’s showing a lot of promise as a designer. Mr. Isak Slater was
born on July 9. He’s been a welcome addition to our team, and a bright, joyful presence in our office. Our triumphs were many this year. We were nominated for the Whatcom Chamber of Commerce award for Best Small Business. We launched our first ever hotel book, the North Sound Life Guestbook. We think we’ll make that a new tradition, because it was such fun for the whole family. Last month we celebrated our annual Best of the Northwest winners with the biggest party we’ve thrown yet. And if there’s one thing our matriarch Lisa likes to do, it’s finding new ways to grow and improve. All of us worked really hard this year making this our biggest and best year yet, and her vision is what drives our family to meet its goals. It wouldn’t be a proper Christmas letter without mentioning the hardships that are, in fact, hidden blessings. Ken had some serious dentistry this year and was pretty quiet for a few days. Lisa and Ken both lost all sugar in their food, for which we light candles, praying for the sugar’s return. We also lost a lot of light bulbs when Ken and Lisa went out of town. We will find a solemn way to remember these companions even as we celebrate. So as you can see, it’s been a joyful year for us. We wish you the best this holiday season, from our family to yours. Cheers!
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Corbin Hudacek Corbin Hudacek is a graphic designer and frontend developer at Red Rokk and co-owner of 1123 Productions, a Bellingham based videography agency. In addition to receiving his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Western Washington University, Corbin has worked with the Museum of History and Industry, the Spy Museum in Washington D.C., and Urbancase — a Seattle-based design firm. Corbin is an avid outdoorsman and is often found daydreaming about climbing Mt. Adams, riding up Galbraith, or nabbing medals in an upcoming triathlon or cycling competition. p. 62
Shultzie Willows Shultzie Willows is the Development and outreach director at Lydia Place, and sits on the board of directors of The Downtown Bellingham Partnership and ReUse Works. She is the mother to an incredible 2-and-½-year-old little lady named Sloan, and along with husband entrepreneur and restauranteur Spencer Willows, they contribute much of their time to events, activities and partnerships that add flavor and flair to the Bellingham community. p. 17 Ashley Thomasson Ashley is the owner of Love Beauty, a makeup artistry company based in Whatcom County. Specializing in weddings, events, and makeup for photography, Ashley strives to create looks with her clients that reflect their personality and natural beauty. When she is not behind her brushes, Ashley can be seen serving on the Whatcom Coalition to End Homelessness, experimenting in her kitchen, and finding any excuse to share good food with friends. lovebeautybellingham.com p. 39 Kristine Kager Kristine Kager is owner of Fool’s Onion Catering and co-owner of Greene’s Corner Market. Over the past 30 years she’s fulfilled her love of cooking through the hands-on creation of imaginative menus that utilize locally grown products. She lives in Whatcom with her husband, Lance, and their daughter, Bailey. p. 41
Happy Holidays AND A JOYFUL NEW YEAR from the staff at
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WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL UKULELE ORCHESTRA Thursday, January 21, 2016
$39, $34 & $29 | Youth/Student $15 Wildly popular ukulele group known for their Kiwi humour and sublime musicality, critically acclaimed as “New Zealand’s hottest music-comedy ensemble.”
AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH
Thursday, January 28, 2016
$59, $54 & $49 | Youth/Student $15 A two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning American Country music singer with seven of his albums certified platinum or higher. He’s received four awards from the Country Music Association and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992.
RIDERS IN THE SKY: A TRIBUTE TO ROY ROGERS Wednesday, February 3, 2016
$39, $34 & $29 | Youth/Student $15 Join Riders in the Sky in a thrilling ride to yesteryear as they salute iconic western movie, music, and TV star Roy Rogers. This classic cowboy quartet has chalked up two GRAMMY® Awards, over 6,000 performances, and countless TV specials, documentaries, and variety shows.
AXIS DANCE COMPANY Saturday, February 6, 2016
$29, $24 & $19 | Youth/Student $15 One of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Their ECA Engagement will include a newly-commissioned piece by choreographer Joe Goode, called to go again, that addresses veterans’ issues and themes of resiliency.
THE SECOND CITY
Saturday, February 13, 2016
$34, $29 & $24 | Youth/Student $15 The first ever on-going improvisational theater troupe in the U.S. and Canada, The Second City has produced multiple television programs and has consistently been a starting point for comedians, actors, and directors. All performances begin at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. 10% discount for Seniors 62+ and Military on ECA Presented Events!
ec4arts.org | 425.275.9595 410FOURTHAVENUENORTH EDMONDSWA98020 Marketing & promotion of Edmonds Center for the Arts is made possible, in part, by assistance from the Snohomish County Hotel-Motel Tax Fund.
Publications Bellingham Alive North Sound Life North End Metro
President/Publisher Lisa Karlberg Editor in chief Frances Badgett Art Director Kelly Slater editor Kaity Teer
Account Executives Babette Vickers | Tina Ruff
Lead Designer Kelsey Wilmore
inside sales | marketing & Events coOrdinator Devin Winsby
Writers Kyla Rohde | Dan Radil
Contributors Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi Corbin Hudacek | Kristine Kager Ashley Thomasson | Shultzie Willows
Editorial Assistants Marilyn Napier | Alyssa Pitcher Madeline Takata
Office Management Jenn Bachtel
ProofReader Pat Karlberg
Corporate Office K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225
Inquiries & Subscriptions Info@northsoundlife.com northsoundlife.com 360.483.4576 x4
Cover Photo © Charity Burggraaf The Willows Inn
Jamie Williamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Grace Designs jewelry was featured on pages 52-55 of our Into the Woods fashion feature, and misidentified on page 55. We sourced the pieces at Cheeks. We regret the error. RejuvenationMD is at 325 East George Hopper Rd., not 25 East George Hopper Rd. Their web address is rejuvenationmdspa.com, not rejuvenationspa.com. Also, the facial mentioned is a hydrafacial, not a hydrofacial. For a full list of their services, please see their website.
Congratulations on your great Best of the Northwest party! Everyone had a wonderful time, and the issue looks great! Jean R., Bellingham
We Speak Your Best of the Northwest is a great guide. My husband and I just moved here from Arizona, and we followed some of the Bests. They were great! Thank you.
Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so excited about the new Village Books location! Thank you for letting the readers know about it!
Helen C., Bellingham The cover photo is by Charity Burggraaf, whose photography is also showcased in Sea and Smoke: Flavors from the Untamed Pacific Northwest.
Gale R., Lynden
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Notes Meet a Staffer Every issue we highlight an employee of North Sound Life. Compassionate · Professional · Local
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Kaity Teer Editor, North End Metro What is your role at the magazine & how long have you been with K&L Media? Shortly after moving to Bellingham three years ago I joined the North Sound Life team as an editor. It was a wonderful way to experience the best the region has to offer in shopping, dining, and outdoor adventures, and to meet the people who make living here so great. After taking a short break to earn my master of fine arts at Western Washington University, I rejoined the team as an editor in March 2015. It feels wonderful to be back in action. What is your background? I grew up in Chicagoland, and the list of things I miss about Illinois includes lightning bugs, thunderstorms, and Portillo’s. I don’t miss the mosquitoes or the deep-dish pizza. Despite that, the Midwest will always be my first love, the North Sound had me at hello, and I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted its exquisite landscape. I feel lucky to call this rainy place in between the mountains and the sea home.
Whatcom County Association of Realtors 2015 President
Realtor | Windermere-Whatcom 360.393.5826 firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? The North Sound Life editorial team does it all — casting the editorial vision for each issue, assigning work to freelancers and contributors, coordinating with photographers and stylists, copyediting and proofreading text, researching and writing feature articles, and even tasting delicious food and drinks
at Meet the Chef events. But I have to say, my favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine is the opportunity to interview small business owners, artists and craftspersons, educators, chefs, brewers and winemakers, nonprofit directors, community leaders, and the many other incredible people who live and work here. I love that I have a professional excuse to ask people about their lives and their work in the North Sound. I feel privileged to hear what inspires them and to share what I learn with our readers. My second favorite part of the job is to watch as our graphic design team transforms the raw materials of each issue into a polished work of art. It’s deeply gratifying to watch our publications come to life and to hold them in hand when they’re hot off the press. What are some of your hobbies and interests? More than anything, I’d almost always rather be reading. I’m an essayist and a poet, so I also spend a lot of time writing. When I’m not writing, I’m often thinking about writing. I’m rather crafty, so usually I have at least one knitting, embroidery, or book arts project in progress. My favorite weekend activity is hiking with my husband and our dog, Rosie.
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Lifestyle In The Know · Calendar · Spotlight Artist · 5 Faves
The Road To Recovery, A Reason To Rise written by Shultzie Willows | Photographed by Dawn Matthes
he day that Jackie found out she was pregnant, her world came into focus. She was 21, homeless, and seeing a man who was being tormented by his own demons. Jackie had seen her own recreational drug use begin to spiral out of control, shifting from casual to frequent, finally leading to intravenous use — anything to escape reality. As she described, “I was using anything I could get my hands on.” As drugs and the party scene took a front seat in her life, everything else — including a once strong and unshakeable relationship with her mother and sister — moved further into the rearview. Before finding out she was pregnant she was, “Defeated. I had nothing to live for.” But her pregnancy was like a light switch in her brain. Jackie realized that she didn't want a life of drug use and uncertainty for her baby, and that she wanted a relationship with her family. Growing up in a home where her father was an addict who was in and out of incarceration, she knew that she had to cut all ties to her previous life, her network of friends, and get help. The former math-loving, funloving Jackie, who wanted to grow up and work with animals, had lost her way, but now had a newfound purpose. A spark of determination ignited, pushing her to find her way back. In the midst of these dark times, her mother reached out to her and told her about Lydia Place. Jackie was referred to the Opportunity Council where she was put on a waiting list for housing and supportive services. She waited eight months for an opening in a housing program, but she didn’t wait to … continued on page 20
LIFESTYLE By the Numbers
Michellino Angela created a sculpture fired with
karat gold. P. 28
In this issue, we profile a new store in
Kristine Kager's recipe
Paperboat. p. 33
designed to burn wood at over
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The wood-fired oven at Ă&#x2013;vn is
Our Retail Special -
navel oranges for
degrees. p. 77
For our fashion feature, we
looks for your little black dress this holiday season. p. 62
The Alice Bay Bed and Breakfast Cookbook was published in
“We had driven to that coast Through flowers and limestone And there we were, toasting friendship Laying down a perfect memory In the cool of thatch and crockery.” From “Oysters” by Seamus Heaney
December 2015 19
start her path to sobriety. Almost immediately she quit using drugs, cut ties with most of the people who were using with her, and began attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. Her main objective was to do anything she could for her baby, whose presence was a growing reminder each day of love and possibility. As she began the uphill climb to recovery, Jackie’s baby was born, and, at nearly the same time, she received a call offering her a space at Lydia Place. In May of 2012, Jackie and baby Skylar moved into the Lydia Place Transitional Housing Program. Lydia Place offered Jackie the space and safety to raise her child in a supportive atmosphere alongside other mothers, many of whom were struggling with the same issues as Jackie. The eight families often cooked together, building support and community. Jackie said, “It was good meeting new people, and having people that were not using around me who I could relate to. I was so glad to have group housing before I moved out on my own.” In the Life Skills classes offered weekly at Lydia Place, Jackie learned about things such as gardening, housing opportunities, and financial literacy. “I even learned about how to fix a bicycle!” She also attended weekly parenting classes and was committed to being as good a parent as possible to her child. A poster that hangs in the bedroom of her own home today is a reminder of how hard she has worked, and what she has learned and accomplished as a parent. It includes affirmations such as, “You are a very natural nurturing mother to your son,” and, “It is so great watching you with Skylar. You are a great mom.” They are affirmations her Lydia Place housemates wrote about her when she moved out, a long-standing Lydia Place tradition. It only took Jackie three months to be approved for a housing voucher with Bellingham Housing Authority. Her case manager, Maryann, recalled watching Jackie come into her own in the program, both in obtaining her housing and in her recovery; she met any barriers head-on. Every week she achieved the goals she set out for herself and she was always impressed at how hard Jackie worked in the program. “She was so organized and determined to get to the next step. She really inspired the other mothers and created a sense of community within the group.” Jackie remembers that time as well. “It was really exciting. I actually found out I got in the day before my birthday. It was a great opportunity. I had offers from two locations, and with one I could move in right away.” Jackie moved into her own apartment at Meadow Wood with Skylar in October of 2012. She arrived with a suitcase of clothes, Skylar’s toys and books, and a few personal items she had received from Lydia Place supporters and its thrift store, Wise Buys. She also arrived with a personal piece of artwork 20 NorthSoundLife.com
from her case manager, to inspire her and bring warmth and beauty in her new home. As she tells it, these past two years in the Lydia Place Supportive Services Program have been dedicated to focusing on Skylar. “I really just got to be there for him. It was so nice to have this time with him.” Because of how hard she has worked and how far she has come, Jackie’s mother now allows her to visit her younger sister, and she has reconnected with her father. She continued to meet monthly with her Lydia Place case manager, a time where she can talk about her life and explore her options for the future. She connected with educational opportunities that re-kindled her love of math and science and enrolled at Bellingham Technical College’s Geomatic Engineering Technology Program. In early 2015, Jackie graduated from the Supportive Services Program and moved into an apartment that she found herself, reviewing and signing the lease all on her own. She got a job at a local restaurant, is in the last year of her surveying courses, and is excited to begin her job search next spring. She is undaunted by the prospect of a male-dominated field and is inspired by the challenging nature of the work. When we talk about her hopes and dreams for herself and her son, Jackie was quick to say, “I want to buy a home. Skylar really wants a dog and in the apartment we can’t have one. I really want to give that to him. He loves animals.” She also said, “I hope he goes to college one day. I tell him that I go to school and he says, ‘I want to go to college with Mommy.’ I want him to say, ‘Mommy went to college, so I can go too.’” Her relationship with her mother is now built on trust. She is a role model for her younger sister. Jackie said, “I’m so happy I can be a part of my family’s lives again.” Jackie is a model client and community member. Even after graduating from both Lydia Place housing programs and moving out on her own, Jackie contacted her case manager to inquire about parenting support as Skylar moves into preschool age. She is passionate about providing Skylar with the tools and skills to begin kindergarten ready to learn. She now works with Lydia Place’s Family Intervention Specialist, Katie Goger, in the Parents as Teachers Program. Every week Katie meets Jackie in her home and brings new methods of play, new books to read, and proven strategies for compassionate discipline. Jackie said, “I’m so grateful for Katie; she really has shown me and Skylar how to communicate in a way we both can relate to and I like the one-on-one personal help. My goal is to try to be the best parent I can be for Skylar and all the tools are helping me with that.” The future looks bright for Jackie and Skylar, and for the hundreds of families currently and formerly enrolled in Lydia Place housing and housing case management programs. For more information, check out their website at lydiaplace.org.
december N o v e mb e r
20 D e c e mb e r
36th Annual Holiday Festival of the Arts Allied Arts, Bellingham Nov. 20–Dec. 24, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. alliedarts.org
The North Pole Express on Ice Bellingham SportsPlex, Bellingham Dec. 12, 3:30 p.m. bfsc.info/ill-be-home-for-the-holidays
D e c e mb e r
Blaine Holiday Harbor Lights H St, & Peace Portal Way, Blaine Dec. 4–5, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. blaineholidayharborlights.com
D e c e mb e r
Chanukah Concert with What the Chelm! Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Dec. 13, 2 p.m. whatcommuseum.org
D e c e mb e r
Celebrate the Season Port of Anacortes, Anacortes Dec. 5, 12 noon–5 p.m. anacortes.org
Brown Bag: Allegra Choirs Whatcom Museum, Bellingham Dec. 17, 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. whatcommuseum.org
13 D e c e mb e r
D e c e mb e r
Winter White Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham Dec. 10, 7 p.m. mountbakertheatre.com
D e c e mb e r
Christmas Date and Paint Vartanyan Estates Winery, Bellingham Dec. 27, 1 p.m.–4 p.m. vewinery.com/events.html
27 December 2015 21
LIFESTYLE In the Know
Simple But Exquisite Sea and Smoke released Written By Frances Badgett | Photograph by Charity Burggraaf
ames Beard Awards are not given out lightly, so for Blaine Wetzel to have won two at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island is a pretty big deal. The food at the Willows is painstakingly sourced, carefully stored, and artfully prepared — nowhere in Whatcom, or, say, the Pacific Northwest will you find food this carefully crafted, this fresh. To build on their success and share their secrets with the rest of us, Wetzel teamed up with writer Joe Ray and photographer Charity Burggraaf and created Sea and Smoke: Flavors from the Untamed Pacific Northwest. A sumptuous book full of fascinating essays, details, and, oh goodness yes, recipes, this is more than just a cookbook — it’s a guide to food preparation, a window into what makes Wetzel’s food special, and a fitting homage to the wild beauty of our local cuisine. In short, this was a book waiting to happen, and we are lucky that it has. Grant Achatz wrote in his foreward for Sea and Smoke, “I knew then exactly why he was here on this remote, tiny island using the surrounding environment to evoke a true sense of place with his cooking. Blaine was teaching his guests 22 NorthSoundLife.com
about Lummi Island, telling its story through his cooking.” The book opens with a series of essays that ground the recipes and beautiful photos with the story of how The Willows came to be. Wetzel had been in the industry for several years, making his mark at L’Auberge Carmel in California and Noma in Denmark before returning to his native Washington State. His fiancée, Raquel Ruiz Diaz, had been working in restaurant management, running the front of the house at L’Auberge while Wetzel was at Noma. They wanted a place where they could be together, and Wetzel found an ad on Craigslist. The rest is culinary history. One of the remarkable things about Sea and Smoke — and about fine dining at The Willows — is a lack of pretention. This is food crafted for the pure flavor and richness of food. There’s nothing stuffy or overbearing, there aren’t 25 servers filling every sip of your water glass. It’s the kind of place where you can wander into the kitchen after dinner and shake Wetzel’s hand. In his recipe for Shiitake mushrooms roasted over an open flame, he describes this dish as an embodiment of his own style: “Simple but exquisite.” The same can be said of this beautiful, but not overdone, cookbook. The essays eschew the kind of purple prose that is often applied to food and goes instead for the simplicity of the ingredients, the purity of the experience. The photographs are luscious and gorgeous, but not too styled, not overly fussy. They are the perfect complement to Wetzel’s cuisine. Sea and Smoke tells the story of Wetzel’s artistry, of Burggraaf’s photography, and of Lummi Island beautifully.
Keeping it Local written By Frances Badgett
o you’ve heard it before: Buy Local! But beyond the buzzphrase, buying locally crafted goods can be somewhat cumbersome. Online shopping is so easy — just a click and you’re done. But dollars spent locally will stay in our economy, and those dollars also go to support artisans and businesses that give us our funky, unique Bellinghamness. So here are a few fun ideas that are worth the effort. Beer: We’re starting to rival really beer-soaked places like Colorado and Belgium for the number of beers-to-citizens. Share the bounty! Create a mixed six (or a case, if you’re feeling generous) from Elizabeth Station. Grab an Aslan, a Kulshan, a Wander, a Menace, a Boundary, and pop a bow on. You’ve got a holiday right there! If you need ideas or tips on what to include, check out the info from the good folks at the Bellingham Tap Trail (taptrail.com). Throw in a BTT hoodie to make your gift really special. Want to mix it up? Grab a few bottles of Honeymoon Mead or some bottles of locally brewed Kombucha Town. We really like our beverages here in the ’Ham. Coffee The only product that rivals beer around here is coffee. Maniac Roasting, Bellingham Bay Roasters, Onyx Coffee are among the many sources for locally roasted beans. For extra coffee pizzazz, grab a cool travel mug or shirt from The Black Drop. Tea and spices Is someone on your list a great cook? Do you have tea-drinkers in your holiday home? Check out the carefully sourced and absolutely fragrant teas and spices at The Spice Hut. Not only will you find some amazing teas and
custom blends you can’t find anywhere else, you’ll be treated so beautifully. You might want to enhance your gift with one of their teapots.
[ Apps We LOve
Wine There are some very distinctive wineries in our area. You can be a one-person wine club and send your favorites a wine-a-month. Vartanyan, Dynasty Cellars, Tulip Valley Vineyards, Mount Baker Vineyards — there are plenty from which you can pick-and-choose. Check the regulations on shipping — there are areas to which shipping wine is not legal. A good source for local (and regional) wine information is Seifert and Jones. Ted Seifert is an approachable, friendly wine guy who would be happy to help you put together a cool gift. Leather goods The good women of Found Leather Goods opened up shop just in time to flush out your list. They create artful, handcrafted wallets, purses, laptop bags, and more from their lovely studio in Fairhaven.
Hopper Free This handy app predicts the times airfares will be at their lowest, taking the guesswork out of booking your tickets. A great way to figure out when to buy.
GTFO Free Get all the latest deals on unsold last-minute tickets from the nearest airport. GTFO is perfect for the person overloaded with holiday stress who needs to leave town asap. Or bank robbers. Or Santa?
Local authors abound in our area. Village Books stocks many locals in their stores, so check ’em out. For poetry, Suzanne Paola, Bruce Beasley, Christopher Patton, Oliver de la Paz, and Saul Weisberg are good places to start. For fiction, William Dietrich, Clyde Ford, and Julie Trimingham will keep you intrigued. Nonfiction readers in your life? Try out George Dyson or Brenda Miller.
While waiting for your same-day flight and booking, you might want to make sure you have a soft place to land. Hotel Tonight gives you the latest last-minute deals on unsold rooms, ensuring you sleep better.
Experiences Gift cards and gift certificates used to be considered tacky presents, but that is changing. Who wouldn’t love a romantic night at the Bellwether, or a slew of movie nights at the Pickford? How about a membership to the Whatcom Museum or lift tickets for Mount Baker? There are a million ways to give someone an experience that they might not think to get for themselves.
Jetsetter Free The same idea as Hotel Tonight, but with a little more lead-time, Jetsetter puts deals for luxury accommodations from around the world right in the palm of your hand.
December 2015 23
Lummi Nation Joins Paris Summit Written By Frances Badgett
A Bold New Vision The Downtown Bellingham Partnership
Several members of the Lummi Youth Canoe Family will travel to Paris for the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 21). Their canoe will be barged to
written by Marilyn Napier | Photographed by Aaron Brick
Paris, and they will be joined by Indigenous people from all over the
hen traveling between Seattle and Vancouver, Bellingham tends to be the place to stop on the way. We’re striving to be a place that travelers don’t just pass through, but decide to stay and visit for a weekend. The Downtown Bellingham Partnership is one of the leading forces making downtown a place for economic and cultural growth, as well as a magnet for visitors. DBP is a nonprofit that specifically works to generate energy around downtown events and businesses. Executive director Nick Hartrich has a clear vision of what he wants the area to be, and he is turning that vision into a reality. Along with existing events like the Downtown Sounds summer concert series, Bite of Bellingham, and monthly art walks, there are plenty of new events and projects Hartrich is planning and leading this year. This September, the DBP helped Sustainable Connections launch the Commercial Street Night Market, the only one of its kind in the state. Hartrich has capitalized well on the sense of renewed energy in our downtown, and has brought some great ideas of his own. For example, the BPD has started a project called Hatch, turning vacancies 24 NorthSoundLife.com
downtown into pop-up retail shops. Partnering with the entrepreneurship school at Western, the goal of Hatch is to find a long-term tenant for the vacancy. “Downtown has changed a lot even in the past 10 years,” Hartrich said. “We want more people living and working here, which means a safer, more involved and more active community.” The pop-up movement has allowed small business owners, particularly artists and craftspeople, to create their work and sell it without having to get attached long-term to leases. Kyle Fuller is the marketing director for the DBP. One of the most popular events DBP puts on is the First Friday Art Walks. “It’s a really cool way to see all of downtown and a lot of local art.” Hartrich admits that Bellingham is going through a bit of an identity crisis. “We are going through that ‘big town small city’ kind of thing and we need to figure out who we want to be,” he said. The parkade, Maritime Heritage Park, empty storefronts on Cornwall — the pattern is clear. If there’s a neglected corner of Bellingham, the DPB is here to spruce it up, make it a destination, and create a home for art and culture.
world. Their presence at the conference is part of the global action to halt drilling and exploitation on tribal lands, including the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. Justin Finkbonner, organizer, teacher, and mentor for the Lummi Youth Canoe Family described the intersection of these issues, particularly for sustenance fishers, “If the environment collapses, the family collapses. If the family collapses, you collapse.” Finkbonner is bringing a delegation of tribal representatives and young people to Paris to demonstrate. ”We’ll be in the Seine in our canoe surrounded by kayaktivists.” The conference runs from November 30-December 12, and the Lummi Youth plan to be there December 5-12.
In the Know
written by Frances Badgett
In this issue, we bring you winter chills and thrills, with two books that will keep you turning pages by the warm fire. December 4, 4 p.m. Story Time with The Grinch 1200 11th St., Bellingham villagebooks.com Golden State By Stephanie Kegan 304 pages Simon & Schuster (February 17, 2015)
Disclaimer By Renee Knight 352 pages Harper; 1 edition (May 19, 2015)
The book is about an incident only the protagonist witnessed, and yet, someone out there has written it seemingly just for her to read. Written in short sentences in the style of great noir, Disclaimer unfolds at a fast, exciting pace until the stunning conclusion. A novel twist on a typical thriller, the premise might overtake the actual character development and story, but you won’t even mind.
Oh, that Grinch! Bring your little ones and a camera and enjoy a reading from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Mean Green Machine will be there in person as a special guest. Photos encouraged. Village Books will also be launching their Merry Grinchmas program.
Golden State explores the complexity of having a monster for a sibling. In Natalie’s case, her brother is a loner who lives in a cabin and bombs public buildings. Gripping, heart-wrenching, and full of astute observations about both the criminal among us, and how we relate to our own dark interiors, this novel is well worth a few warm nights by the fire.
December 11, 7 p.m. Tess Gallagher 1200 11th St., Bellingham villagebooks.com Raymond Carver reinvented the short story with his tense prose. His widow, and an accomplished author in her own right, Tess Gallagher will present Raymond Carver’s Beginners — the original drafts of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Do not miss this incredible literary event.
Who knew? That’s Entertainment The Leopold was a downtown hotspot, the dine-and-dance place to go on a nice date. The Leopold Casino Bar and Grill was known for having great food, and the Casino Cruise night was the hottest night of the year — a cruise-themed banquet. Ghosts of this glittery era still hover in the crystal chandelier and beautiful ballroom at the Leopold.
Dinner Party for 80 Before first contact, the Lummi tribe would gather on the northern beaches of Whatcom County during the salmon runs. The beaches would become festival grounds, bustling with fishing, cooking, dances, and celebrations. They lived in seasonal fishing camps. The marbled murrelet is a symbol of potlatch, the traditional tribal gathering.
Party Like It’s 1859 Dirty Dan Harris’s whiskey fueled the holiday parties of the social classes in the 1860s. He smuggled whiskey from Victoria in a tiny dingy that he rowed himself. Only once was he reprimanded for his wily smuggling operation. Everyone’s gotta have a drink at the holidays, right?
Graves’ Spring Happening The painter Morris Graves and his friends had dinner one night. The topic of conversation was their frustration with the entry fees and gatekeeping of the art world. They left their postprandial banquet table from that dinner intact. A month later, they exhibited it as an installation. The entire spectacle created much buzz for Graves, but appalled many of those who attended the rotting feast.
December 2015 25
© Conroy Penner Photography
LIFESTYLE Quick Trip
White Rock, B.C. written By Frances Badgett
lone stretch of driftwood-strewn beach, a quiet morning stroll along the boardwalk, a cozy cup of coffee watching a storm roll in over the water — White Rock, B.C. is a great place to spend a little time away. Canada without the rush and bustle of Vancouver, but close enough to home to invest your time in being there rather than getting there, this little city by the sea has a lot to offer. White Rock has a milder climate than surrounding destinations, making it possible for you to enjoy a sunny stroll, even in the depths of winter. So take a break and head for this worthy coastal gem. What to Do Seaside towns all over the west coast of the U.S. and Canada have become havens for artists. Check out the distinctive galleries and artful gift shops in White Rock. Of note is the White Rock Gallery, a fine art gallery that specializes in paintings, sculptures, and original prints. Another fine art gallery worth your time is Jenkins Showler, which has been in operation since 1999. 4Cats is an art supplies shop with a studio space for you and your kids to create art together. A little farther out is Mind and Matter Gallery, founded in 1966 by the late Arnold Mikelson. Mind and Matter is in a three-acre, pastoral setting and specializes in wood carving, paintings, batiks, dye screens, and more. Mary Mikelson, Arnold’s widow, has written a nonfiction account of their life together and the founding of the gallery called Mind and Matter: Life With Arnold Mikelson. For First Nations art and crafts, Cheryl’s Trading Post has authentic handmade carvings, drums, rattles, jewelry, beadwork, paintings, prints, and more. The work she sells is of the highest quality and reflects the importance of Indigenous culture in coastal B.C. White Rock offers great shopping for those looking to find some distinctive souvenirs. Focus your hunt on The Five Corners, a section of White Rock where galleries, restaurants,
and shops are concentrated. The Hand Picked Home has nicely crafted home decor items and jewelry. For modern, chic clothing, jewelry, and other accessories, check out Vanilla Clothing. If wine is your thing, Swirl is a beautifully curated wine shop right in the heart of White Rock. Whatever you choose, the selection of stores and styles in White Rock is excellent. Where to dine Just as the retail offers variety, so, too, the restaurant scene. Laura’s Coffee Corner serves up excellent java and scones. For lunch, try the fish tacos at Fishboat or the fresh sushi at Kappa Sushi Restaurant. Cottage Lunch is a charming place to linger over some fish-n-chips. Little India serves excellent Indian food, and Cosmos is a great Greek place for those who love a good avgolemono. For an intimate dinner, Five Corners Bistro is a cozy spot. If fine dining is on your list, try Le Vol Au Vent or Pearl Bistro and Oyster Bar, rumored to be one of the finest restaurants in the Northwest. Any way you dice it, you’re going to eat well in this little corner of B.C. Where to stay White Rock is a bed-and-breakfast kind of a town, and it’s easy to see why — the nearby shopping, dining, and attractions lend themselves to the scale of a smaller boutique or b-n-b. One of the best is the White Star Bed and Breakfast. One block from the main street in town, this charming place not only offers the convenience of being close-in, the breakfasts are delicious, and the staff is incredibly informative and helpful. The Ocean Rose Bed-and-Breakfast is a bit off the beaten path, but very romantic. A classic b-n-b in a historic home, the Ocean Rose is a great option for those who like peace and quiet. For a boutique hotel feel, the Ocean Promenade Hotel on Marine Drive is a good choice. Also located close-in, the Ocean Promenade has clean, modern rooms and exceptional service. The hotel also offers weekend packages and specials, so watch for those. Whatever you choose, the sea breezes and gentle currents of the ocean will calm and relax you.
December 2015 27
Creative Partnership Artist Michellino Angela and Curator Valerie Snelling written and photographed By Marilyn Napier
pon meeting them, one can tell that Michellino Angela and Valerie Snelling have a very special connection. Snelling is the curator of Fairhaven Originals Gallery (FOG) and Angela is an artist. The women are like-minded, and perhaps that is what makes their collaboration unique and refreshing. The FOG transports you far from Bellingham to a Moroccan souk or an Indian tea house. The cozy space is decorated with handwoven Persian rugs, hand-carved and painted furniture from India, pillows from Afghanistan and, most notably, Michellino Angela’s sculptures. Angela’s sculptures engross the viewer with their intricate level of detail and deep metaphorical implications. Placed throughout the Gallery, the
sculptures add a one-of-a-kind feel to the space. Snelling opened FOG about a year ago and found that after a few months, there needed to be something more. “I was just dying to get Michellino’s art in here and see what we could create,” Snelling said. “It was just going to be a trial, but it turned out to be great, Michellino is a big part of Fairhaven Originals Gallery.” Snelling believes the sculptures really give the gallery some soul, and buyers tend to be just as interested. It is almost impossible to sum up Angela’s artwork into one category. Each piece is different and conveys a slightly different feeling. Angela says she likes to focus on history and has done pieces as a reflection of the
Tudor age of Henry the VIII, Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn. “There is a lot of theoretical activity for me and then I just throw my creative self into it,” Angela said. “I read about the person, reflect on it and something happens.” Angela’s sculptures do not belong in their place of origin or current time. “They belong in the imagination and that is what art is for me,” she said. Angela makes her own glazes and the colors and textures of her sculptures vary. One of the sculptures on display is made of 22kt gold fired with lace. She has an impressive resume in the arts with a post graduate degree in ceramics focusing on public art — her MFA thesis became one of the largest hand made tile installations along the
West Coast. “I am wired to create, if I don’t create I am not a happy camper,” Angela said. One of the reasons Angela loves to work with Snelling is the freedom to create what she wants. The art is truly a team endeavor; Snelling names the pieces and discusses concepts with Angela. “I was making a sculpture the other day and I didn’t have a name for it and didn’t know where I was going with it,” Angela said. “Valerie came over and discussed with me and by the time she leaves the thing is going in another direction and has a whole different meaning, and then I could understand it better.” There is a particular energy in the room with Snelling and Angela, they bounce off each other and give off a
sense of wonder and openness. Their passion for the arts is obvious. “The art moves everyone and that is what I like, it’s fascinating,” Snelling said. The most difficult part of the process for Angela is letting go of her pieces. She says it’s a double edge sword and some she just can’t let go of. “It’s quite emotional,” she said. One of Snelling’s goals is to eventually have Angela’s work in a museum in Vancouver, B.C. Snelling says the past year since opening has been amazing with people from all over the world coming to the gallery. There is nothing quite like Fairhaven Originals Gallery and with the sculptures and art you will find inside, the gallery will lead you to a world outside of Bellingham. December 2015 29
LIFESTYLE Five Faves
Harrison Hot Springs Harrison, B.C. 800.663.2266, harrisonresort.com
Most people think of Harrison Hot Springs as a summer destination, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overlook the warm waters and relaxation in the winter months. There are several vacation packages to choose from, and the pampering at this reasonably priced resort is year-round. There are many different kinds of accommodations, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a magical place in the snow.
Five Holiday Faves
Roche Harbor Resort Friday Harbor 360.378.2155, rocheharbor.com
Whether you’re looking for a quaint place like the historic Hotel Haro (with uneven wooden floors and shared bathrooms in the hallways) or you want something a little more modern like the Quarryman Inn (with luxurious rooms overlooking the water), you can find just the right accommodations at Roche Harbor. In winter, the resort is quiet, contemplative, and devoid of the usual tourism bustle.
Rosario Resort Orcas Island 360.376.2222, rosarioresort.com
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the beautiful and stately Rosario Resort is a wonderful getaway right in our own watery back yard. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and in winter, the quietpace of the island is downright pacific.
Skagit River Resort North Cascades (SR 20) 800.273.2606, northcascades.com
Open year-round, the Skagit River Resort is a nice winter escape in the winter. Right at the gateway of the North Cascades, it’s a great place to do some winter hiking, birding, or just plain relaxing. There are several cabins to choose from, and the resort restaurant has excellent home-style comfort food served fireside to ward off that winter chill.
Guemes Island Resort Guemes Island 360.293.6643, guemesislandresort.com
Winter is the quiet time at this lovely seaside resort on charming Guemes Island. Normally, there is a car ferry to transport guests, but when that’s out, the resort requires a foot ferry. However you get there, the destination is picture-perfect. The cabins are clean, comfortable, and reasonable.
December 2015 31
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Shop Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound
A Shop Sets Sail 1 Paperboat Written and Photographed by Madeline Takata
ucked beneath the South Bay Suites in historic Fairhaven is Bellingham’s newest home decor and gift shop. 1 Paperboat welcomes guests with open doors to Bellingham Bay, creating a new by-the-sea shopping experience. Within its walls, shoppers can find an array of home goods, jewelry, gifts, and clothing. Storeowners Royal and Diane Reinsch, and their dog Chief, are inspired by the closeness to the bay, and decided on a nautical theme for the store. When thinking of a shop name, the ocean breeze and salty air brought the couple back to days of paper boats. The nostalgic memories of constructing a paper boat and sending it off to sea reignites a warm happy childhood memory, and they wanted to bring that kind of nostalgia back to life with their store. … continued on the next page
remember setting our paper boats to sail and wondering where they would go and where they would take you” Diane says. “In the same way, we wonder where we’ll go with this store and where it will take us. It’s a new adventure.” The shop’s white walls, sandy floors, and beautifully contrasting black tables all have a maritime sensibility. Tastefully picked out clothing from brands like Ugg, Comfy USA, and Foxcroft are paired with a complementing selection of Brighton Jewelry and other accessories. Shelves of Mer Sea body lotions, soaps, incense, and fragrant candles enrich the store with the aromas of the sea. A featured wall lined with Glassybaby glass wear catches the eye with its beautifully sorted color array. Across the store another wall displays Sid Dickens tiles, adding an artistic touch to the shop. The Reinsches yearned to create a shop that is warm, inviting, and relaxed. They want customers to feel welcome and enjoy a pressure-free shopping experience. “We want a place where people really feel comfortable in,” Diane says. “We love the relaxed and happy atmosphere here.” Although 1 Paperboat’s doors opened at the end of summer, the Reinsches have been in the business for the past 30 years. They began with hosting Christmas shows out of their own home in Seattle until the crowd became too big for their own house. The two decided to move their
Parisian-themed store, Belle Provence, to Bothell’s Country Village, where it operated for 22 years. The Reinsches directly imported home goods from France and focused on keeping an authentic French style throughout their products. After a small move to Mill Creek, the couple decided to move to Royal’s hometown — Bellingham. When touring the town, the couple fell in love with Fairhaven and realized it’d be a perfect fit for their ideal shop. The Reinsches say they have felt welcomed with open arms by other Fairhaven businesses. The duo’s dynamic is a happy balance of design and technical skills between the two of them. Diane does all staging and buying for the shop while Royal’s strengths are in the technical and carpentry skills. The two hope to grow their costumer base and continue to introduce new products to Bellingham shoppers. Diane and Royal strive to buy products that are authentically USA and Canadian made to ensure quality in the products they sell. The Reinsches are excited to be a part of the Bellingham small business community and encourage shoppers to stop by and take a look in. 1134 10th St., Bellingham 360.656.6588 1paperboat.com
Around the Sound
Rachel’s Ginger Beer Returns to Its Roots Written By Kaity Teer
© Rachel’s Ginger Beer
ith the June 2015 opening of a second location, Rachel’s Ginger Beer (RGB) has returned to its roots in Capitol Hill. Rachel Marshall, the mastermind who made handcrafted ginger beer a thing in Seattle, first started selling brew at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. Over the years RGB has expanded to other area farmers markets, and in 2013, Marshall opened the flagship shop in Pike Place Market. Marshall is also a partner in Montana and Nacho Borracho, both of Capitol Hill. Located in the 12th Ave Arts building, the new Capitol Hill RGB serves up the spicy ginger beer it’s known for alongside impeccably crispy French fries and an extensive line-up of dipping sauces. Drinks run the gamut from ginger beer on tap in original and special flavors to carbonated craft cocktails, as well as slushies and ice cream floats, made with Edaleen Dairy ice cream, with boozy versions available of both. Like the flagship shop, the Capitol Hill location includes a mural painted by artist Stacey Rozich of Los Angeles. A veritable greenhouse of plants bring an organic vibe to the sleek modern industrial decor. Bright punches of color punctuate the display cases courtesy of RGB’s distinctive glass growlers, filled with a vibrant rainbow of sodas and displayed on ice. Strawberry Rhubarb, Asian Pear, Cranberry-Apricot, Blueberry, and Carrot Beet are among the seasonal offerings. Monica Dimas of Neon Taco fame is behind the French fries menu. Its more than 20 sauces include Thai chili mayo, kimchi mayo, and curry ketchup, as well as non-mayo and vegan options. Make it your mission to taste all of them. Designed for a number of dining experiences, RGB Capitol Hill is the perfect place to stop in with your laptop for an afternoon of ginger beer and French fry fueled productivity, or to meet up with friends for Happy Hour on the patio. Its location in an arts building also makes it ideal for pre- or post-theatre noshing. It stays open till midnight. We recommend trying any of the adult beverages, like the Dark & Stormy Float or the Montana Mule. And be sure to grab a growler of ginger beer to go!
December 2015 35
Fringe Boutique Written by Kyla Rohde Photographed By Madeline Takata
1147 N. State Street, Bellingham 360.312.4067, wearfringe.com
The Shop A focal point in Bellingham’s skyline, the 1920s Herald Building boasts a long and rich history along State Street. And, since its opening in midOctober, Fringe Boutique has become an integral piece of the building’s street front. Twinkle lights and stylishly clad mannequins beckon passersby from the storefront window. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in the midst of eye-catching seasonal outfits, scent-tingling aromatherapy, and fresh, living floral and seasonal decorations. Inspired by nature, and a long time love of fashion and customer service, owner and Bellingham native, Rhiannon Troutman, has created a space where she would be excited to shop. With years of retail experience in both Portland and Bellingham, the owner hopes to support customers in finding their own unique and creative style. “I love working with pieces to tell a story with it,” she said. As a way to connect and engage with the closeknit Bellingham community, as well as incorporate her love for fashion and art, Rhiannon’s longtime dream bloomed into Fringe. “I’m just loving life right now,” the owner said of her fledgling boutique.
Atmosphere An eclectic mixture of colors, textures, and scents throughout the store, the theme remains earthy and fresh, with bohemian roots.
Key People Juggling many hats, Rhiannon acts as owner, manager, sales associate, and everything in-between. Other than the part-time aid of an accountant intern, and future plans to slowly build a team,
the shop’s “solopreneur” manages the boutique all on her own, from the well-thought out storefront window to the variety of ordered merchandise in the shop.
What You’ll Find Whether looking for an evening outfit or a special gift, Fringe has a variety of inspiring items, along with the shop owner’s expert know-how and enthusiasm to help find that perfect piece. A supporter of local work, Fringe features pieces from local and regional artists, such as soaps, lotions, and scrubs by Sea Witch Botanicals; upcycled bottles-turned-tumblers by local Tumbler Mountain Glass Project; and jewelry designed by Rhiannon herself. If shopping for a new wardrobe, Fringe offers the latest styles, too. With reasonable price points, expect to find funky printed leggings, layering camisoles, statement floppy hats, bright sweaters, muted scarves, printed T-shirts, cozy cardigans, and dresses for every occasion. And don’t leave without exploring the one-of-a-kind handmade gypsy tent dressing room that offers a cozy, well-lit changing area for customers to try on pieces.
Owner’s Favorite From turquoise earrings to lavender and sagebrush smudges, there’s a great deal to love about Fringe. But, if Rhiannon had to choose her favorites in the boutique, they would include the burgundy colored, fold-out fleece lined coat by Double Zero, and the Coalition vegan leather jackets offered in a variety of colors and optional hoods.
Playing your Christmas favorites all season long!
Stream | Mobile | praise1065.com
wellbeing Menu · Spa Review · Races & Runs · Beauty
Quick Tips for Holiday Glitz written By Ashley Thomasson Photographed by madeline Takata
hile the holidays are always a fun and exciting time to celebrate, we know all too well the added stress they can bring: extra chores, extra planning, extra shopping, extra baking. There are endless to-do lists and event-filled evenings. Between work and needing to get everything and everyone else ready, it can be nearly impossible to find time for yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I’ve pulled together my favorite quickie-tips to take you from day to night in no time flat — you’ll be party ready before you know it! All you will need is 5 minutes and these affordable drug-store products and you can add instant glitz, drama, shine, and color to your holiday look! … continued on next page
Tips for your daytime look In order to create a clean transition to your evening look, it’s important to not overdo your daytime look; stick to the basics. When it comes to your eye shadow, I recommend using a neutral, matte shade on your lid. Keep the blush subtle and use a sheer gloss on your lips. Using a sheer gloss will help make changing your lip color a breeze later!
Flip the Switch When picking items to transform the look for the evening, it was important for me to find items that would not only make the job quick and easy, but that were also compact and easily portable. Taking up minimal space in your clutch, you’ll be able to freshen up just before leaving the office or even sitting in the car outside! 1. The Glitz — Roll-On Eyeshadow This may sound like a joke, but it’s not! Roll-on eyeshadow had a brief stint about 10 years ago and is starting to make a comeback, and I’m so glad! No need to bring a brush — just a few swipes across your lid and you’ve completely transformed your look! My favorite roll-on eyeshadow is by NYX and a steal at only $4! Here, we used their roll-on eye shimmer in Chestnut, but they have many other bold, metallic colors, perfect for that touch of holiday glam! 2. The Drama — Jumbo Eyeliner The quickest and easiest way to add a smoky effect to your look is with a chubby eyeliner. These pencils are soft and usually need minimal blending. Plus, their size makes it easy to apply quickly without needing to worry too much about precision. You can use it just on the top alone or add line across the bottom for a truly smoky effect in seconds. I recommend the Jumbo Eye Pencil by NYX. It is only $5, has great pigment, is smudge-proof, and is sure to last you all night long. Pro tip: pop a q-tip into your purse if you want to smudge the eyeliner out for a softer effect. 3. The Shine — Highlighter Join the new strobing revolution and add some liquid highlighter to the top of your cheekbones. Focusing on where the light naturally hits your face, strobing gives your cheekbones a natural, little, facelift while also adding an alluring glow. A little goes a long way; just blend a few dabs in with your ring finger. I recommend L’Oréal’s Magic Lumi Highlighter Pen as the perfect on-the-go illuminator. 4. The Color — Party Lipstick What holiday look would be complete without a bold and fun lipstick? While bright reds and pinks are always classic, darker, satin-finish colors are making a big splash this holiday season. My current favorite lip product comes from Milani and it is their Power Lip Lasting Gloss Stain. For only $7, it adds a bold dose of color coverage while keeping a youthful, glossy finish. It also doubles as a lip stain, ensuring you don’t have to worry about touching up throughout the night. 40 NorthSoundLife.com
Fool’s Onion Goat Cheese Cake with Pistachio and OrangeCranberry Garnish written by Frances Badgett | Recipe by Kristine Kager
t wouldn’t be the holidays without stacks of vintage Good Housekeeping magazines scattered across the countertop, or a few old Joy of Cooking pages stuck to the back of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Flour dusting the pages, smudges of candied fingerprints in the corners, holiday baking has always been a messy and delightful part of the holidays. Here we share with you a recipe from Fool’s Onion’s Kristine Kager. It might just become your new holiday favorite.
Pistachio Crust: ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
1 heaping cup shelled, roasted, pistachios 1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest ¼ tsp kosher salt 1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 Tbsp sugar 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Goat Cheese Filling: ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature 12 oz goat cheese, room temperature 12 oz crème fraiche (can substitute sour cream) 4 eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cranberry-Orange Garnish ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
1/4 cup granulated sugar Julienned zest from 2 navel oranges 1 tsp Champagne vinegar 1/2 cup honey 4 oz fresh cranberries
To begin: Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Lightly coat nine-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray paper with non-stick spray. Place pan in center of large piece of plastic wrap and wrap the pan. Repeat step, with aluminum foil. Carefully fold aluminum foil/plastic wrap down from top of pan half an inch; the result being a foil/plastic barrier (or “pan within a pan”) that will prevent water seepage during cooking. For the pistachio crust: Pulse pistachios, orange zest, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a food processor. Stir in the melted butter; mixture should resemble wet sand. Press the pistachio mixture into bottom of pan and set aside.
For goat cheese filling: Beat cream cheese and goat cheese in bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add crème fraiche and beat until just combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added, until thoroughly combined. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract until just combined. Pour filling into prepared crust. To cook cheese cake: Place cheesecake in a large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of spring form pan. Bake until cheesecake is set, about 1–1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and water bath and allow cheese cake to cool for 15 minutes. Remove foil/plastic wrap barrier. To cool cheese cake: Run a sharp knife along the edge of the pan to ensure cheesecake doesn’t stick to sides. Allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover cheesecake with plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least six hours (preferably overnight). Once it has chilled, run a knife along the edge again and remove outer ring of spring form pan. In the next step, you’ll flip the cheesecake twice, so be carful. Place a clean cutting board on top of it and flip it over to remove the spring form pan and parchment. Then flip it again upright onto a serving platter. For the garnish: 2-3 hours prior to service In small saucepan of boiling water, simmer orange zest over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and stir over low heat until sugar is melted and the zest is glazed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and transfer the candied zest to a small bowl. Rinse and dry saucepan. Add the honey and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the cranberries. Let cool. To serve: When ready to serve, use a hot knife and carefully cut cheese cake into 12-16 wedges. Place on serving plates and garnish with candied orange zest and cranberries.
WellBeing Special Advertising
Take your best shot It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine written By PEACEHEALTH
ven though this year’s flu season is in full swing, you can still help protect yourself from the flu if you get the vaccine now. As always, your best defense against the flu is to get a flu shot. Who needs it? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months and older be vaccinated against the flu. “It’s especially important that people at high risk for getting complications from the flu — such as pneumonia — get the vaccine,” said William Wakefield, MD, PeaceHealth Same Day Care Clinic. That group includes kids younger than five years old; adults 65 and older; pregnant women; and people who have chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Anyone who lives with or is in close contact with someone on that list should also make getting the vaccine a priority.
It takes several weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect. And since flu season can continue until May, the sooner you get your shot the better. What else can you do? Even if you’ve had your flu shot, Brent Whitehead, MD, PeaceHealth Same Day Care Clinic, says you should take these steps to avoid the flu virus: ■■ Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcoholbased hand cleaner. ■■ Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. ■■ Stay away from sick people. It’s also important to minimize the spread of germs to others. “At the very least, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue away,” said Sara Wells, NP, PeaceHealth Same Day Care Clinic. If you get sick with a flu-like illness, stay home until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without taking a fever-reducing medicine.
Your family won’t wait. Neither should your health. So when you are feeling under the weather and just can’t wait for an appointment, walk in to PeaceHealth’s Same Day Care Clinic. We’ll help you get back on your feet, fast. Walk in, no appointment necessary.
PeaceHealth Medical Group Same Day Care 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday – Saturday 3015 Squalicum Parkway – Suite 140 peacehealth.org/SameDayCare
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Habitat Home Remodel Tips and Tricks Âˇ Featured Home
Timber Beauty written by Frances Badgett | Photographed by Chris Roberts Architect Jill Sousa
here is nothing like the warmth, strength, and style of timber. This pastoral home is one-part cottage, twoparts showcase with sturdy beams soaring overhead and warm wooden tones throughout. Jill Sousa, an architect and an owner at Cascade Joinery created this home, which is a beautiful example of the marriage of good design and gorgeous materials. â&#x20AC;Ś continued on the next page
HABITAT Featured Home
A reimagining of pergola, this curved and trussed arch is a welcoming structure, integrating all sides of the exterior with style.
The kitchen maintains the modern, clean lines of the house, which are echoed in the timber construction. Big windows bring in plenty of morning light.
Dark stone is a perfect complement to the warm wooden tones and bright windows in this charming, modern bathroom.
Elegant Escape Written and photographed By Tanna Edler
hould it stay or should it go? This question is the first of many discussions I have with my clients as we tackle the design plans for remodels. In this particular situation, as I prepared to begin work on “Elegant Escape,” we were faced with a dated master bathroom that offered little storage and a poor layout for two people. While some elements in the room were in great shape, others needed to be replaced. My client desired a timeless look that would be in keeping with the rest of the home. Through updated finishes and a new space plan, we achieved a stylish retreat with proper usability while not disturbing the cabinets, flooring, or soaking tub. The serene color palette and the seamless shower were stunning additions. We installed a new quartz countertop, slim square sinks and new faucets. One of my favorite features for this project was what I call the “spa tower.” During my initial consultation and site tour I observed what might be best compared to a professional hair and make-up studio. Most of the bathroom counter housed every beauty product you could imagine, leaving only a small space for my client’s husband. I turned to Joe Myers from Joe Myers Construction, who assisted me in designing and creating a new mirror wall and custom corner cabinet. Everything that had formerly been displayed on the counter is now neatly organized in the “spa tower” for her, and the couple now shares a divine haven with plenty of space for each. A simply elegant escape!
ENERGY EFFICENT HEATING AND COOLING FOR YOUR HOME
MT. VERNON 3302 Cedardale Rd. (360) 424 4962
5100 Pacific Hwy. (360) 676 1131
DESTINATION Dinners Meals that are worth the drive
ou know who you are — you push back the plate, fold the napkin, and sip the last drops of a golden dessert wine, satisfied with the experience of a great dinner. Not a dinner you shopped for, fished for, hunted for, but one that an artisan created in a gleaming, busy kitchen just for you. You plan your weekends, your date nights, your holidays, your trips to Europe around great restaurants, making note of Beard Award-winning chefs and Michelin stars in your journal. Food isn’t your life, but it’s important enough that you budget for it, plan around it, read about it. So we are bringing you this special feature on places worth the drive, flight, sail, and train ride for just the right dining experience in our region. Places around which you’ll want to plan an overnight trip, a weekend, maybe even make the crown jewel of a week.
Whatcom The Willows Inn on Lummi Island Dining 2579 W. Shore Dr. Lummi Island 360.758.2620, willows-inn.com
hef Blaine Wetzel doesn’t rack up Beard Awards because he’s in a glamorous metro area, nor because he is well-connected and schmoozy. Nope. Wetzel is all creativity and cultivation in his kitchen. He and his small team of assistants create some of the best dishes in the world. Wetzel forages, fishes, and grows much of his own food, and sources almost everything else locally. He brings craftsmanship down to the level of ingredients, making sure each kale leaf is perfect. The ferry ride from Gooseberry Point is a brief and charming sail on The Whatcom Chief. A short drive along the shore, and you’ll arrive at the unassuming Willows Inn. Hardly a great mansion, the Willows Inn is understated, low-slung, and quiet. The natural wood and Craftsman lines of the building are true to the style of the Northwest. Views of the water abound from the outdoor decks and from the large windows in the dining room. Upon arrival, relax and enjoy a glass of wine, a raw oyster, and the beautiful water view from the central sitting room. The bar is a romantic, elegant space for sharing a glass before your big repast. And then there’s the meal. Inventive, artful local seafood, wild game, foraged mushrooms, garden-fresh greens arranged and transformed by Wetzel and his team. If you have any choice, try to sit with a view of the kitchen, because watching the choreography of the chefs is fascinating. The dishes are a combination of unexpected and delightful flavors swirling in light sauces that complement without overwhelming. The plating is artful as well — each taster is served on a stone, a slice of driftwood, nestled inside a steamer box. This is an unforgettable experience, and one that commands all of your senses.
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island Accommodations 2579 W. Shore Dr. Lummi Island 360.758.2620, willows-inn.com
© Charity Burggraaf
© Charity Burggraaf
© Charity Burggraaf
or a perfect night away, book a room in the Inn, and slip upstairs after Wetzel and his team have fed you so well. The rooms are cozy and unpretentious, but loaded with local art, antiques, and a kind of subdued quality that is a hallmark of Whatcom County. Rooms at the Willows are as charming as the rest of the inn — which is to say, not your typical sterile hotel room, but not an overdecorated b-n-b, either. There’s a quiet elegance at the Willows that extends to the accommodations. These are comfortable spaces for spending a nice long weekend, or recovering after the best meal possibly in the world served just downstairs. All the rooms have complimentary wi-fi and pets are welcome in some of the accommodations with a $30 pet deposit. The Sunrise is a cozy attic room with a king bed, an electric fireplace, and a heated bathroom floor. This room is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. The Sunset has a reading area (it’s no secret that The Willows is a favorite weekend away for local writers and poets). It also boasts an ocean view, and a queen bed. The Sucia is pet-friendly and cozy, and accessible through a private entrance. The Honeysuckle Room has a bright skylight and a wonderful seaside cottage feel. The Heather Room is a larger version of the Honeysuckle Room, with a king bed, a big steam shower, and a skylight. The most luxurious on-site accommodations are The Haven and The Cottage. The Haven has a soaking tub, steam shower, and a private deck. The Cottage is a separate bungalow with an ocean view, a large sitting area, a wet bar, private deck, and a large antique tub. The Cottage is pet-friendly. In addition to the lodge rooms, there are also some off-site rentals. The Beach House, Low Tide, and High Tide cabins are either right on, or just steps away from, the sandy beach. They all offer private beach access.
December 2015 53
The Oyster Bar Dining 2578 Chuckanut Dr. Bow 360.766.6185, theoysterbar.net
© Kristoffer Arestol
drive along the twists and turns of Chuckanut is magical. The combination of towering forests, steep cliffs, and expansive water views make this a memorable journey. To enhance your visit, make The Oyster Bar your destination. As the name implies, seafood is their specialty. The fresh Northwest King Salmon is delicious, tender, and cooked to your preference. The Oyster Bar gets a lot of attention for its outdoor deck in summer, but winter is a wonderful time to enjoy their offerings. The winter menu is packed with comfort foods — wild game, wild mushrooms, and winter squashes. The award-winning wine cellar is extensive, so feel free to pair one of your cozy meals with a great wine. Just be careful — those curves on Chuckanut do not pair well with a lot of wine. Your meal is sure to be an ode to the majesty and beauty that is Chuckanut Drive. As a happy diner wrote to them in a letter (posted on their blog) “We couldn’t have had a more perfect evening…we were dazzled throughout our entire visit.” So, too, will you be.
Alice Bay Bed and Breakfast
© Alice Bay Bead and Breakfast
Accommodations 11794 Scott Rd. Bow 360.766.6396, alicebay.com
weet Samish Island is the perfect retreat for those looking to dine at the Oyster Bar and enjoy a few days on the water. Alice Bay B-n-B has guest quarters that are spacious, with generous views of the ocean and lots of peace and quiet. In the summer, Alice Bay owners Terry and Julie Rousseau pitch a heavy canvas tent right on the beach. Alice Bay has been written up in several best-ofs, and it’s not hard to see why — it’s remote without being cut off, and elegant without losing that rustic retreat feel. Julie also authored the Alice Bay Cookbook, a favorite among foodies since 1985. Alice Bay is childfriendly, but they request you leave the pets at home
Pierside Kitchen Dining 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway Blaine 360.318.2090, semiahmoo.com
irst, there is the drive — a series of sweeping country roads that carry you past Birch Bay and out toward Drayton Harbor. Then there is the charming, narrow Semiahmoo Spit, with water surrounding you as you approach the resort. And then there’s the remote magic of Semiahmoo itself — a former salmon cannery that is now a perfect place to spend the night after a great dinner at Pierside. The dining room is open, airy, and delicately distressed without being kitschy. Giant windows overlook the water, and there is a lovely boardwalk, perfect for before-dinner strolling. The menu at Pierside is inspired both by local, fresh seafood — oysters practically swim to your plate from just over the dock railing. The wood fire oven allows for intense heat that the chef carefully harnesses for meat and seafood dishes, making the salmon tender and flaky and the beef rich and juicy. Pierside sources their produce and meat from local farmers and growers, ensuring that every bite is fresh and delicious. They’ve also established a kitchen garden for greens and herbs, and Drayton Harbor supplies succulent local oysters from the surrounding waters. The difference is palpable. Additionally, the craft cocktails served up at Packer’s (and available in the dining room) are of exceptional quality. There’s an extensive wine list as well, and the desserts are edible art. What more could you want? Another night, maybe.
Semiahmoo Resort Accommodation 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway Blaine 360.318.2000, semiahmoo.com
he rooms at Semiahmoo have been tastefully updated, offering the best in resort relaxation. Guests have a choice between water view rooms and suites and classic rooms and suites. The classic rooms have lawn views. All the rooms boast luxury bedding, wi-fi, environmentally sensitive bath amenities, and terry-lined bathrobes. In addition to relaxing in your room or grabbing a massage at the spa, there is a lot to do at Semiahmoo. Guests have a choice of golfing, boating, beachcombing — whatever you desire.
December 2015 55
© Louisa McCuskey © Louisa McCuskey
ell Thorn’s motto on their website is “Know your farmer, know your bistro, know your food.” This is a pretty good summation of the philosophy behind what makes Nell Thorn a drive-worthy place to dine. Located in beautiful La Conner, Nell Thorn is a charming, modern-but-cozy place with loads of art on the walls and stunning views of the Swinomish Channel, making your special meal here a very memorable experience. Driving to Nell Thorn through the fertile Skagit valley is a pleasure, as you pass eagles, hawks, and herons. In winter, keep an eye out for the snow geese who grace the fields every year with their snowy white presence. La Conner is a storybook main street town with a Victorian ambiance. There are a lot of places to go, things to do, shops to patronize while you’re there. With Nell Thorn as the centerpiece to your visit, you can’t go wrong. The farm-to-table menu offers lovely greens, fresh seafood, and excellent local beef. The food is well prepared without being overly pretentious, and the service is brisk but friendly. The menu items are based on comfort food — a portabella burger, calamari, salmon salad, duck confit — but with the flavors of more crafted dishes. The craft cocktails are balanced and delicious, and the thing about La Conner — you can walk back to your inn without having to endanger other drivers or pedestrians. The happy hour menu is also excellent, and loaded with good deals — a delight, because Nell Thorn’s prices are already quite reasonable.
© Louisa McCuskey
Dining 116 1st St. La Conner 360.466.4261, nellthorn.com
© Louisa McCuskey
Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar
The La Conner Channel Lodge Accommodations 205 N. 1st St. La Conner 360.466.1500, laconnerlodging.com
a Conner is full of charming little out-of-the-way inns and bed-and-breakfasts, but for dining at Nell Thorn and rolling into bed (or strolling off your meal), the La Conner Channel Lodge is a perfect spot. The hotel is right on the Swinomish Channel near Nell Thorn, and there are waterside rooms with great views. Denizens of the web recommend the top floor king rooms for the utmost in luxury and comfort. The nearby La Conner Country Inn (which housed the former location of Nell Thorn) is another great place to spend a night or two. For those who crave a historic home b-n-b experience, Katyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Inn up the hill is a great option. The Victorian home was built by Captain John Peck in 1882, and is the oldest residence in La Conner.
December 2015 57
5th Street Bistro
nacortes, located on the tip of Fidalgo Island, is the gateway to the San Juans, the jumping-off place for Friday Harbor, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw Island. It’s also a great place to wander through galleries, soak in the sea air, and is easily accessible by car. 5th Street Bistro in the Majestic Inn and Spa is a fine dining experience well worth seeking out. Fresh local seafood, locally sourced produce, and inventive dishes make 5th Street perfect for a special occasion. The dishes are beautifully prepared, and the offerings are seasonal, incorporating the freshest ingredients possible. There’s an extensive wine list, and a robust cocktail list as well. The helpful waitstaff can recommend cocktail pairings with your meal, giving it that extra zing. 5th Street also offers special meals and events, so be sure to watch for those. The rooftop deck is a relatively new addition to the Majestic, and well worth investigating.
The Majestic Inn Accommodations 419 Commercial Ave. Anacortes 360.299.1400, majesticinnandspa.com
ow convenient — your destination dinner is just downstairs from your room. The Majestic recently expanded with a new building (with the rooftop deck) and spacious, luxurious accommodations. The west-facing rooms offer water views and spectacular sunsets. But the thing that sets the Majestic apart is the incredibly helpful and friendly staff — they are true to their mission of ensuring you have a pleasurable stay. The hotel offers special weekend packages for those looking for a quick getaway.
© 5th Street Bistro
Dinning 419 Commercial Ave. Anacortes 360.299.1400, majesticinnandspa.com
Woodinville Dining 14590 NE 145th St. Woodinville 425.485.5300, theherbfarm.com
© 5The Herbfarm
arrie Van Dyck and Ron Zimmerman opened The Herbfarm in 1986 in a little garage on the farm that became what is now The Herbfarm. This welcoming team is committed to bringing absolutely fresh dishes with locally sourced (and farm-fresh) ingredients to you. Each meal is a nine-course extravaganza (complete with wine pairing) and definitely worth the mileage. The menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and available. They also offer several theme menus, like A Mycologist’s Dream (wild mushrooms) and The Holly and the Ivy (for holiday dining). The Herbfarm is more than just a farm-totable restaurant — it’s a philosophical commitment to feeding guests the absolute best meals possible right from the farm. And it’s a dream come true.
The Herbfarm Accommodations 14590 NE 145th St. Woodinville 425.485.5300, theherbfarm.com
ucky for destination diners, The Herbfarm owns and operates several guest quarters just steps away from the restaurant. The Orchard House Suite, decorated in bold, lush fabrics Van Dyck and Zimmerman brought back from Paris, is a comfortable and romantic accommodation for the night or weekend. Elegantly appointed and loaded with modern conveniences, it’s a perfect place to sleep off nine courses of brilliance. Van Dyck and Zimmerman also have The Herb Garden Suite available. It is closest to the restaurant and farm, and offers guests views of Mount Rainier on clear days as well as plenty of cozy spots for reading, resting, and relaxing. The Herb Garden Suite has a romantic, dramatic four-poster bed and a large bathtub for two. The Herbfarm’s famous kitchen gardens are just steps away.
December 2015 59
Seattle Dining 1531 Melrose Ave. Seattle 206.324.0662, sitkaandspruce.com
© Dylan + Jeni
Sitka & Spruce
hef Matt Dillon (no, not the actor) works magic in his kitchen. This Seattle go-to has been featured all over the world for its cuisine including garnering a James Beard Award, and for good reason. Seasonal and fresh, the dishes at Sitka & Spruce aren’t just delicious — they are beautifully prepared and presented, with flavor combinations that are deeply creative and highly unexpected. The menu is sourced almost entirely from Vashon Island. On Mondays, Sitka & Spruce opens their kitchen to chefs looking to showcase their own menus and abilities, a program that demonstrates the restaurant’s generosity within the culinary community. As for the dishes themselves, in the winter months squashes, wild game, and fresh fish are on regular rotation, all perfectly prepared. There are thirteen James Beard Award winners in Seattle, among whom Sitka & Spruce is a standout.
Hotel Sorrento Accommodations 900 Madison St. Seattle 206.622.6400, hotelsorrento.com
© Dylan + Jeni
elrose Avenue is right in the heart of downtown Seattle, very close to the Washington State Convention Center, and within easy walking distance of many luxury hotels. For a special night, try the Hotel Sorrento. No two rooms in this historic landmark are alike. Each room is appointed with antiques, yet it retains a clean, modern standard. An easy ten-minute walk to and from Sitka & Spruce, the lovely, stately Sorrento will be a great place to curl up after a great dinner. Some of the rooms are luxury suites, some rooms have views, and all of them have period touches to make them cozy.
Vancouver Vij’s Dining 1480 W. 11th Ave. Vancouver, B.C. 604.736.6664, vijsrestaurant.ca
orget everything you think you know about Indian cuisine. Vij’s dishes up the finest in Indian delicacies with modern twists that make this meal one of the best you’ll eat. The schedule is peculiar for the reservations-at-seven set — there are two seatings. One at 5:30 and one at 8:30. Pick a seating (line up early, the seats go quickly) and enjoy the amazing choreography of waitstaff as they feed approximately 75 people at once. The spices, tender meats, and crisp breads will dazzle you as much as the delightful, warm interior.
Windsor Guest House Accommodations 325 W. 11th Ave. Vancouver, B.C. 604.872.3060, dougwin.com
his charming Victorian Bed and Breakfast is centrally located in Vancouver, only 1.8 kilometers from Vij’s, and a wonderful little spot to enjoy a good night’s sleep. The Windsor has several room options, and each room is named for an English queen. The Douglas Guest House is also a lovely option for those looking for a little more privacy. If you manage to wake up hungry, the breakfast is fresh and heavenly.
December 2015 61
H o l i d ay
Simple The Little Black Dress Written by Frances Badgett Photographed by Corbin Hudacek In 2009, a woman named Valerie Elizabeth (societystyllst.com) wore the same little black dress (LBD) for an entire month. Okay, two dresses, because she had one to wear and one in the wash, but whatever. She wore. The same. Dress. Every. Day. This isn’t a commentary on her lack of imagination, but on the seemingly endless versatility of the LBD, which can go to the tree farm, bake holiday treats, and make it in time for the evening cocktail circuit. You could even sleep in it, though we don’t really recommend that— unless you have that second one in the dryer, ready to go. So don your LBD and get going, because the holidays are too busy to worry about complementing plaids and horizontal stripes.
Long-Sleeved Knit Dress by Alternative Sojourn, Bellingham: $69.99
Felling the Fir Hat and gloves, thermos and jacket, a good pair of wellies, and you’re ready to pick the perfect tree. Whether you go with a fir, a pine, a hemlock, or a cedar, you’ll be cozy warm and full of holiday cheer in your layered LBD.
Yeager’s, Bellingham: $94.99
Fringe Boutique, Bellingham: $18
Grey Jacket by Mia Melon Sojourn, Bellingham: $158
SmartWool Midweight Long Underwear Bottoms rei.com: $95.00
Leather Gloves hm.com: $29.99
Blanket Fringe Boutique, Bellingham: $25
Stanley Thermos Yeagerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Bellingham: $36.99
Faux Fur Vest by Jack Sojourn, Bellingham: $49.99
Jute Wine Bag with Chalkboard Label worldmarket.com: $4.99
Delirium by Ellie Goulding amazon.com: $39.99 (vinyl)
Leather and Suede Sandalettes hm.com: $49.99
Double Strand Gold Necklace Fringe Boutique, Bellingham: $28
Cocktail Charisma Slip on some heels and make an evening of it. One of the striking things about your LBD is that it changes its mood depending on how you accessorize. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take much to dress it up with eleganceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a simple necklace, clutch, and faux fur vest will do. Red lipstick will bring a wow factor to your look.
Clutch by Riot Fringe Boutique, Bellingham: $38
Ruby Woo by MAC Cosmetics nordstrom.com: $17
Baking Beauty Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked cookies cooling on the counter. Protect your black dress with a perfect apron, put on your coziest slippers, and set to work making everyone happy this holiday. Baking is a great way to relax and enjoy a snowy afternoon.
Jewel Earrings Fringe Boutique, Bellingham: $18
Deepa Gurnani Gold Chariot Headband urbanoutfitters.com: $28
Keep Calm & Bake On Potholder worldmarket.com: $9.98
Mason Cash 29cm Mixing Bowl Greenhouse, Bellingham: $49.95
14â&#x20AC;? Bamboo Mixing Spoon Greenhouse, Bellingham: $8.95
Black Currant Beeswax Candle (6.5 OZ) gilt.com: $24
Apron Greenhouse, Bellingham: $29.95
Knit Slippers hm.com, $17.99
The only Range sophisticated enough to be a Miele Allow the Miele Range to guide you to extraordinary culinary adventures. Only through Miele’s intuitive functionality and impeccable design, can the sanctuary of your kitchen become a world of exploration night after night.
Appliances • Mattresses • Furniture 360.733.5900 • www.dewaardandbode.com Main Showroom: 3944 Meridian St. • Bellingham, WA Outlet Center: 4175 Hannegan Rd. • Bellingham, WA We Service What We Sell!
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Betty Be Good Boutique
Warm up your holidays with a cozy blanket scarf, cuddly cardigan or a stylish vest from Betty Be Good. Shoppers call this store the affordable, adorable boutique; everything is under $70. Scarf, $29.50.
“Mon Ami”, Sid Dickens’ 2015 Memory block. Find this plus holiday favorites; Brighton, Ugg, Glassybaby and many more enjoyable gifts and clothing perfect for holiday gift-giving!
Betty Be Good Boutique 8125 Birch Bay Square #201, Blaine | Exit 270 off I-5 360.441.7691 shopbettybegood.com
1 Paperboat 1134 – 10th St., Bellingham (next to Fairhaven Village Inn) 360.656.6588 1paperboat.com
© Diane Padys
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HOLIDAY CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE
Evolve Chocolate “Pop-Up” Lounge Hand Crafted Chocolate | Live Music | Curated Art Taste, Listen, See & Shop December 10–24, 2015 Mon-Sat 4–9pm | Sun Noon–5pm Thurs December 24, Noon–3pm
Heroine is Bellingham’s newest women’s clothing store... brought to you by the creator of Mi Shoes. Women of all ages can find fun, feminine pieces with a fashion forward edge. Heroine...dress like you mean it! Not only do Loma Clove insight candles smell amazing, but they’re made here in Washington!” Price $25
Evolve Truffles 1313 N. State St., Bellingham 360.220.1898 EvolveTruffles.com
Heroine Clothing 1328 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.483.9265 Instagram is @mi.heroine or find us on FB
penny lane Antique Mall
Chuckanut bay Gallery
Price: $5 or 5 for $20 Discover the perfect vintage inspired poster. Dozens of designs to choose from! Great for gift giving, home decor, and diy projects.
Enjoy a cozy, wrap-around Hand-Warmer Mug ($23) with Theo hand crafted Chocolates. Mugs made in the Pacific Northwest of lead free clay, dishwasher and microwave safe. Open Mon-Sat 10-6 & Sun 11-6
Penny Lane Antique Mall 427 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.671.3301 pennylaneantiquemall.com
Chuckanut Bay Gallery & Sculpture Garden 700 Chuckanut Drive N., Bellingham 360.734.4885 chuckanutbaygallery.com
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bellewood acres distillery
Holiday Blend - Roasted Fresh Daily in Lynden, WA. Give your friends and family something to drink in front of the fire during the Holidays. Whole Bean or Ground just for you. Online or In-Store.
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Woods Coffee thewoodscoffee.com
Give the gift of delicious distinctive award winning artisan spirits. Distilled from Washington apples by passionate farmers. Bellewood Acres Distilling 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden (1/2 way between Bellingham & Lynden) 360.318.7720 bellewoodfarms.com
cattlelac cowgirl & co
Let your layers hang out! Show some color with this forgiving, yet flattering lace blouse. Blouse also available in cream, $64.99. Paired with “whip it good II” Jeans, $94.99. Open Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–5:30pm
Get cozy with a glowing candle display from Grandiflora. Over 4,000 square feet of award winning retail shopping; you’re sure to find something to brighten your day! Wood Tray with 9 Assorted Color Glass Votive Holders, 22”L x 5-1/2”W $34
Cattlelac Cowgirl & CO. 519 Front St. Suite A, Lynden 360.815.6016 cattlelaccowgirl.com
Grandiflora Home & Garden 719 Grover St., Lynden 360.318.8854 grandiflorahomeandgarden.com
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Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breast feeding. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.
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Your Best Cannabis Experiences Begin Here Visit a 2020 Solutions store this holiday and discover the best in premium cannabis products. We have locally made glass, great bundles, and pre-rolls starting at $5! Please gift and consume responsibly. 2020 Solutions 2018 Iron Street, Bellingham 5655 Guide Meridian, Bellingham 360.734.2020, 2020-solutions.com
Hello PNW Beautifuls! Come check out the 4 Starrs Pop-up Shop inside Argyle Salon today. These hand selected uber famous Beanies have arrived in time for winter. We love these soft hats, and they keep coming up with new designs and colors, so we got them all. ($18) For more, follow us on Facebook at FourStarrs Bellingham.
Mi Shoes is a fashion forward boutique that has been supplying Bellingham with the most stylish shoes and accessories since 2005. These amazing socks and slippers are as soft as can be and make for the ultimate cozy gift. Socks: $28 Slippers: $32
4 Starrs Pop-up Shop Argyle Salon 1344 King St. #102, Bellingham 360.752.0788
Mi Shoes 1315 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.715.2046 mymishoes.com
Featuring Brighton, Glassybaby, Sid Dickens and more!
Follow us on Pinterest! 1134 - 10th Street, Bellingham Located next to The Fairhaven Village Inn
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A CHANCE TO WIN 4 TICKETS TO THE WOODLAND PARK ZOO’S WILDLIGHTS – A HOLIDAY LIGHTS FESTIVAL
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The Art of Pizza Övn Wood Fired Pizza written and photographed By Alyssa Pitcher
efore opening Övn Wood Fired Pizza in Fairhaven, owner Matthew Brawner was working as a corporate chef with Matt Walker, who is now the sous chef at Övn. “This place wouldn’t exist if he hadn’t come along and wanted to be a construction worker for four months, but he did,” Brawner said. He and Walker did all of the construction work at Övn that didn’t require a contractor. “There’s just something about how approachable and friendly [pizza] is, how it also provides a blank slate for expressing yourself a little bit more creatively in a culinary sense,” Brawner said. “It’s just pizza but when you break it down to its basic elements you can really play with the art form involved in constructing each of those basic elements.” The pizza itself and the atmosphere of the restaurant have been inspired by the places that Brawner and his wife Valerie Brawner have experienced together. The two Western Washington University alumni met and lived in Bellingham from 2002 to 2007. Since then they have lived in San … continued on the next page
December 2015 77
“It’s just pizza but when you break it down to its basic elements you can really play with the art form involved in constructing each of those basic elements.”
Francisco and Amsterdam. “We met here and your life kind of takes you away from places, we always felt like we’d come back to Bellingham.” Inspired by Amsterdam, Valerie Brawner designed the fresh and cohesive look for the restaurant. The space itself has clean lines which highlight the wood used for the oven. Tables are made of wood referencing how the pizza that is placed upon them is made. The kitchen itself is opened up so the cooks can be seen artfully creating pizzas and skillfully cooking them by the fire in the oven. For Övn, the basic elements in creating pizza are a bit different than those of an American style pizza. “We use a natural leaven, we cook hot and fast, and we stretch our own mozzarella,” Matthew Brawner said. “Everything from there up is fair game from a creative standpoint.” The restaurant is home to an Acunto Mario oven built in Naples, Italy. It’s built to burn wood at over 800 degrees and cook pizza in two to three minutes. “When you cook hot and quick you maintain freshness and brightness and get just these little notes that bring out interest. I think that’s why it’s a more interesting, satisfying thing to eat,” Matthew Brawner said. This method of cooking is all about balance. The heat source itself is a wood fire so the temperature in the oven is never exact. Too many ingredients and the pizza will be 78 NorthSoundLife.com
undercooked. Too long in the oven and it will be burned. Matthew Brawner said that he uses the oven and chooses ingredient pairings in a purposeful way to maintain that balance. “We think of the pizzas as being little structures. They need to be balanced, need to stand up on their own, and you have to pay attention to the building blocks you put together when you create these structures.” Matthew Brawner’s goal is to make whatever ingredients he can at the restaurant, but he can’t make everything that goes into his pizzas on his own. He puts careful consideration into where he’s getting ingredients from and chooses companies who share his business values. This means supporting businesses that treat their employees, land, and animals well. “As a business I’m a different kind of consumer, I do business to business purchasing and I think everyone, especially in this community, recognizes that you have power in your purchasing.” The end result is pizza that is fresh with the bright flavor of the acidic tomatoes. The rich taste and creamy texture of the mozzarella cheese is topped off by the sweet and savory taste of basil. A subtle, yeasty profile colors the wheat flavor of the light airy crust. Bitter undertones of slightly charred spots create contrast. This is a classic Margarita, a simple pizza with a complex taste.
Dining Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater
almond pesto. A main course of Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with whipped potatoes and a blue cheese crema followed was followed by a Chocolate Panna Cotta paired perfectly with a pear liquor. Every bite offered freshness and flavor. The food was largely local and every dish was garnished with flowers from owner and executive chef Gretchen Allison’s own garden.
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san Juan Doe bay café American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.2291, doebay.com Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. The café is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the café’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Abigael Birrell. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula. Duck Soup Inn American 50 Duck Soup Ln., Friday Harbor 360.378.4878, ducksoupinn.com Sitting on the border of the woods at Duck Soup Inn is one of the most delightful dining experiences you’ll likely experience. The outside eating area of this restaurant — located almost midway between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island — opened last year and offers tables for dinner as well as a couple of couches for pre-dinner drinks. The meals here match the atmosphere: fresh and natural outside; sophisticated country kitchen feel inside. Appetizers include tender calamari with a light salad; twice baked corn soufflé with green chili lime cream and goat cheese; and house-smoked oysters with a cilantro
CONWAY PUB & EATERY American 18611 Main St., Conway 360.445.4733 Don’t let tiny Conway fool you — this pub packs big flavor. Though the town is unincorporated, business is never slow in this watering hole. Farmers often come here after a hard day’s work as well as bikers making a pit stop on a scenic weekend ride. Their food matches their patrons’ big appetites, such as the blue cheese burger topped with crisply fried shoestring onions or the mouthwatering oyster burger. Packed with flavor and Americana spirit, Conway Pub & Eatery is a Skagit Valley icon. Il GranAio Italian 100 E. Montgomery St., Ste. 110, Mount Vernon 360.419.0674, granaio.com Chef Alberto Candivi arrives at Il Granaio in downtown every morning to make the day’s pastas by hand, sculpting basic ingredients into the building blocks for lavish, rich Italian dishes served throughout the day. When the ingredients call for a lighter hand, his restaurant also turns out reserved, delicate dishes. Il Granaio is a practice in the intricacies of cuisine, displaying the best flavors Italian food has to offer. With more than 30 items on the entrée menu, the list can be quite daunting. Il Granaio’s dessert menu is just as lush as the entrée menu. The wine menu is expansive, and the beer menu features several local craft brews. Their grappa selection does the Italian cordial the justice it deserves. Nell Thorn Seafood
The Oyster Bar Seafood 2578 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6185, theoysterbar.net The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is perched among towering conifers above the oyster beds. The cozy restaurant is housed in a structure dating from the 1920s that has survived many incarnations. According to owner Guy Colbert, the restaurant owes its reputation to its remote, quintessentially Pacific Northwest setting. But people don’t dine at The Oyster Bar for its location alone. The restaurant’s namesake is the draw, and its chef, Justin Gordon, has an abundance of knowledge about oysters — both local and imported — and reveals a passion for working with this native shellfish. While oysters are the signature offering, The Oyster Bar offers a variety of other fine-dining choices and is known in the Pacific Northwest for its extensive wine cellar.
Whatcom Brandywine kitchen Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, brandywinekitchen.com Named for the decadent heirloom tomatoes grown on their farm, the owners source much of their ingredients locally and hold the “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options (like ricePanko Fish and Chips), and includes beer from both Boundary Bay and Chuckanut breweries. Try the Quinoa-Salmon Cakes with red pepper aioli or a BLT with Hempler’s bacon and maple-tomato relish. Don’t miss the Hibiscus Iced Tea for a refreshing sip or treat yourself to a Raspberry Champagne Cocktail. Ciao Thyme on the Side Cafe Lunch 207 Unity St., Bellingham 360.733.1267, ciaothyme.com For those who have experienced Ciao Thyme’s gourmet dinners and cooking classes, the new Ciao Thyme on the Side Café is a welcome addition to the delicious work of Jessica and Mataio Gillis, owners of Ciao Thyme catering. As with everything Ciao Thyme does, ingredients are fresh, local and in season. Choose soups, salads and sandwiches a la carte, or create a plate with a selection of all three for a hearty and satisfying lunch.
116 First St., La Conner 360.466.4261, nellthorn.com This small-town gem located in the heart of La Conner brings in tourists and locals alike. They boast well-prepared and locally sourced fresh seafood as well as an extensive wine and beer list. The charming and cozy pub atmosphere, homemade soups, and generous portions make for a great special occasion or romantic evening. Try the polenta cakes with cured black olives and roasted garlic tomato sauce — you won’t be disappointed.
D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano Italian 1317 N. State St., Bellingham 360.714.0188, dannascafeitaliano.com If you’re looking for good Italian food without having to resort to a national chain, D’Anna’s may be the place for you. The emphasis here is on the food, not the frills. The restaurant stands out in many ways, but D’Anna’s delicious, homemade pasta is what really makes it special.
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Sponsors: 9 Restaurant, The Community Food Co-op, Thurston Wolfe Winery Host: Dan Radil | Chef: Nick Moss Written and Photographed by Frances Badgett
n November 7, K & L Media, Chef Nick Moss of 9 Restaurant, and Dan Radil (The Wine Guy) hosted a Sips of the Season event at the North Bellingham Golf Course. Dan presented a selection of Thurston Wolfe wines which he and Chef Moss had paired with four courses. Dr. Wade Wolfe and his wife Becky Yeaman founded Thurston Wolfe Winery in 1987. Dan described the wines as “solid, dependable, true to varietal, and affordable.” Thirty-eight people attended the event in 9 Restaurant’s elegant timber frame dining room. Not only did Dan explain the history of the wines and their profiles, he spoke about the art of pairing, demystifying the process for the attendees. He described how the differences in how a dish is prepared (the spice level, for example) can change the pairing.
A plain chicken breast would be fine with a chardonnay, but add spice and you need to sweeten the wine. “Food that’s mildly acidic, like lemon chicken, is great with chardonnay. The lemon brightens the wine.” He also cautioned that salty foods, like ham, can make an oaked wine taste bitter. Dan also talked about proper aeration. He dispensed with the myth that one needs a special spout or a particular kind of decanter for aerating wine. “Just pour it in a glass and swirl.” Aerating the wine brings out the flavors. “You want a slight evaporation,” Dan said. Dan also recommended that when bringing a wine to dinner, to ask not only what the main dish is, but how it’s being prepared, so as to pair properly. Chef Nick Moss’s craftsmanship was evident — the delicate sauces and beautifully smoked and cured meats were
complemented by perfectly roasted and seasoned sides. The bacon corn chowder was a standout, as was the housesmoked chicken, the roasted and spiced nuts, and the bourbon and brown butter ice cream. Nick’s skill paired well with Dan’s knowledge. The only dish Nick didn’t make were the dessert macaroons. Those were made by Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi — a Cordon Bleu chef — and they were exquisite. Dan noted that they tried them dipped in chocolate, but the chocolate didn’t pair well. The warm coconut tones of the macaroons and ice cream were complemented beautifully by the port. The evening ended with a wine raffle. Despite the cold, rainy night, guests picked up their swag bags and left with smiles on their faces. Stay tuned for our next Sips of the Season in March. It will also be a wine pairing.
Sips of the Season
Wine 2014 PGV (Pinot Gris/Viognier)
Plate Bacon corn chowder Roasted vegetable crostini Triple cream brie
Wine 2012 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel
Plate Beef crostini Herb roasted fingerling potatoes Grilled squash
Wine 2013 “The Teacher” Cabernet Sauvignon
Plate Smoked chicken, apple and Gouda skewer Spiced caramelized nuts Apple white cheddar
Wine 2010 JTW’s Port
Plate Macaroons with bourbon and brown butter ice cream
December 2015 81
Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1087, dirtydanharris.com
Bayou on Bay’s
Winter Bourbon Punch
Ingredients: Bourbon, half and half, vanilla simple syrup, cinnamon.
The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides warm, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings and superb food. Perhaps the best reflection on the restaurant is owner Kathy Papadakis’ waitstaff. Most have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. The filet mignon is Dirty Dan’s signature entree. You won’t be disappointed. Leave room for dessert, however, because the selections are dangerously good. Homeskillet American 521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218, homeskilletsunnyland.com Owners Tina and Kirby named their restaurant after one of their favorite lines in the movie Juno, when the main character calls a store clerk “homeskillet.” The skillets on their menu came afterward, but are now one of the eatery’s most popular items. A small skillet is filled with perfectly-fried potatoes, eggs and toppings you choose. Try Tina and Kirby’s personal favorite: the poutine, home fries smothered in traditional gravy, topped with fried eggs and cheese. Homeskillet can’t be beat with its friendly service, colorful atmosphere and ultimate comfort food. Il Caffe rifugio Italian 5415 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.592.2888, ilcafferifugio.com
he menu at Bayou says that this drink “tastes like Christmas.” Boy howdy. In our family, we pick out the tree, bring it home, and open the bourbon. My dad pours drinks for everyone, and then we get down to the business of decorating. Whatever your family holiday tradition, bourbon is a great accompaniment. The Winter Bourbon Punch at Bayou on Bay brings back that sweet warm holiday cheer. Icy and crisp, yet creamy and smooth, it’s the perfect libation for the holidays. For extra warmth, pair with the brilliant jambalaya for which Bayou is famous. So while you’re out shopping in downtown Bellingham, be sure to give yourself a break and soak in a little cheer. Bayou on Bay 1300 Bay St., Bellingham 360.752.2968, bayouonbay.com
Richard Balogh has brought fine dining to the “wilderness.” Fifteen miles out on Mount Baker Highway, just past Deming, is a funky old café that has been transformed into an oasis for people who enjoy good food and coffee. Menu items befit their Italian name with pannini and frittatas for Saturdayand Sunday brunches; Cioppino is a summer dinner menu highlight. The dinner menu changes weekly, begging for a second trip. A small covered deck with colorful lanterns sits adjacent to the dining room for your al fresco pleasure. Just beyond, in a meadow, sits a red deck used as a stage, and is the centerpiece for special dinners under the stars. Taste of india Indian 3930 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.647.1589 At Taste of India all the dishes are rich, delicious and truly feel authentic. Dishes come with your choice of pulao rice or the classic Indian bread naan. Taste of India offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all with exquisite and well-developed flavors. There’s also a variety of flavors of naan, including garlic or spinach. For those unsure of what to order, or those who want to try multiple dishes at once, try the lunch buffet.
Fresh Face in Town Wanida Thai
Written and photographed By Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi
anida Thai Cuisine is a fantastic little restaurant in one of Bellingham’s quirky neighborhoods. The dining room is a colorful contemporary space with seating for 40 at both counter and table service. The restaurant, named after its general manager, has a small staff. Chefs Surachai Teachaakarakasem and Thanisara Tantraporn arrived in Bellingham from Thailand in July. This tidy team creates authentic Thai dishes that are arguably the best in Bellingham. The menu is divided into six sections: appetizers, soups, noodle soups, salads, entrées, and stir-fried dishes. Cuisine that welcomes all is a timely addition to Bellingham’s restaurant scene. Vegetarian is the norm here, though seemingly any dish can become an omnivore’s delight with the addition of a meat protein. In fact, the menu prices are based on the type of protein giving diners the options to control their restaurant budget. Appetizers range from $5.95 to $9.95. The Crispy Tofu, $6.95, is light, crispy and ridiculously delicious, served with a spicy dipping sauce and refreshing salad garnish. The portions are quite generous, and with the addition of a bowl of soup the combo makes a satisfying meal. For those looking for a workday lunch spot, Wanida Thai Cuisine chefs offer a $10.95 lunch special. Rice, Pad Thai, a cup of soup, and a different curry option Monday through Friday makes ordering lunch easy, affordable, and adventuresome. With six different curries: red, green, yellow, Panang, Massaman and pineapple and a zero to five heat scale, lunch seldom had so many interesting options. Lunch is served from 11:00 to 4:00, so avoid the 12:00 office crowd lunch rush, this restaurant fills up quickly.
There’s something about tropical fruit in the winter months that seems to make the cold and dark just a bit more bearable. Som Tum, a papaya salad for $9.50 is one of those sensuously satisfying dishes. It sates the appetite, and yet one yearns for more. It is a delightful mixture of shredded green papaya, vine ripened tomatoes, green beans, peanuts tossed with a lime vinaigrette, served on a bed of lettuce. The delicate balance of textures and flavors is almost enough to convert any omnivore! But, then there’s also the Larb Ghai for $10.50 is a spicy blend of ground chicken breast dressed with sliced chili peppers, lime dressing, cilantro, refreshing cucumber, and Thai basil on lettuce. This is a dish that will certainly tempt many a vegan to reconsider their options. Dining out without dessert isn’t really dining. Skipping dessert is like embarking on an expedition to challenge your world view, and then blowing off that one experience that will forever alter the way you interpret the world you live in. Expand your horizons: Try the black rice pudding! This $3.95 delicately sweet dessert is a like coconut scented risotto made with black rice. Black rice pudding has six ingredients: water, coconut milk, brown sugar, water, black rice, and salt; it’s a gluten-free “healthy dessert alternative.” Beverage options include a variety of non-alcoholic choices in addition to a limited wine and beer list. Wanida Thai Cuisine 1213 Dupont St., Bellingham Call 360.746.8642 to make reservations.
December 2015 83
Old World vs. New World Written by Dan Radil
veryone has their taste preferences when it comes to wines — red versus white, Chardonnay versus Merlot, sweet versus dry. But there’s another potential division among wine drinkers that falls along geographic lines: “Old World” versus “New World.” Old World wines refer to those with European roots; most notably originating from France, Italy, and Spain, and to a lesser extent, Portugal and Germany. The New World essentially refers to everywhere else outside this region, with big players coming from the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Argentina and Chile, and South Africa. Wines from Old World countries are generally characterized as having understated, leaner fruit flavors, higher acidity, and lower alcohol levels, while New World wines are more likely to display full-bodied, robust fruit flavors and a slightly higher alcohol content. Over the past few decades, the lines have blurred a bit between Old World and New World wines. For example, Super Tuscan wines from Italy have enhanced a lighter Sangiovese base with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; once over-oaked Chardonnays from California and Washington are now fermented in stainless steel for a brighter, leaner finished product. But overall, you’re still likely to find subtle, but noticeable differences between these wine regions. In a word, that means variety, with plenty of wines to suit everyone’s taste preference. 84 NorthSoundLife.com
VIVA ITALIA! Nothing kicks off a festive event better than a glass of sparkling wine from Italy. A couple of purchase-worthy selections: The Jeio Prosecco Spumante Brut (about $17), with lemon wafer and green pear flavors and a crisp, bone-dry finish with a trace of steely minerality; or the Bisol Crede Prosecco Superiore (about $25) with floral aromatics, a touch of citrus and green apple, and an elegant, slightly creamy finish. Both wines are perfect for a midmorning brunch or holiday tastings. If you’d rather go sans bubbles, Italy’s Soave growing region offers white wines that also make great eventstarters. The Rocca Sveva 2013 Cantina di Soave (about $15) is vibrant, lively and certain to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s packed with white peach, Fuji apple, and green melon flavors that are capped with bracing acidity on a clean finish. Try it with lighter seafood dishes or oysters on the half-shell. Winemaker David Volmut of Wind Rose Cellars is doing an excellent job with Italian varietals such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto at his winery in Sequim on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. His wines are made in a very Eurocentric style with reserved fruit flavors and good acidity that make them great food-pairing choices. To lead off, try the 2014 Pinot Grigio (about $16). This virtually colorless white wine is sourced from Yakima Valley grapes and features a hint of lemon citrus and green pear, meadow grasses, nice minerality, and a linen-crisp finish. Red wine notables include the 2013 Primitivo (about $25), with understated red berry and cherry fruits, spicy accents, and just a bit of tannic lift on an otherwise silky-smooth finish; and the 2012 Barbera (about $27) with lovely raspberry aromatics, dark plum fruit on the mid-palate, and a bright finish with a dusting of cocoa powder. Outstanding! A VOTRE SANTÉ France’s Bordeaux region exemplifies centuries of skillful winemaking within strict, regulated standards. Cru Bourgeois wines are traditional
Bordeaux blends grown on a single château from the area’s Left Bank and comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Château Meyre 2012 HautMédoc (about $30) combines these two varietals along with a splash of Petit Verdot to produce an intriguing red Bordeaux with classic features. Green herb, slate and berry aromas, black currant flavors, and a well-structured finish naturally suggest a pairing with a beef entrée. Owen Roe in Yakima also currently offers a stunning Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec in its 2012 Red Wine (about $28). Nutty, caramel aromatics fill the glass while initial flavors of black plum give way to leaner red fruits and nuances of mocha on the finish. It’s an exquisitely balanced and beautifully crafted wine. VIÑO DE ESPANA From the foothills of the Pyrenees in Northeast Spain, the Viñas del Vero La Miranda de Secastilla 2013 Garnacha Blanca and 2013 Tinto (about $15 each) offer Spanish wine-lovers two overachieving options that deliver quality at an extremely reasonable price.
The Garnacha Blanca is a refreshing white wine with gentle stone fruit and green melon flavors, while the finish is crisp and dry with a flourish of lemon zest. The Tinto is primarily comprised of Garnacha grapes and offers a mouthful of spicy, brambly berry flavors and a warm, round finish of cola and licorice. It’s a perfect pairing partner with grilled meats, lamb, or a hearty beef stew. Walla Walla’s Palencia Wine Company currently has a pair of Spanish-based varietals that are completely over-the-top in terms of complexity and taste. The 2014 Albariño (about $18) has lovely aromas of allspice and clove that carry over to the palate along with subtle flavors of peach, baked apple and Bartlett pear; and the ever-evolving 2013 Tempranillo (about $50) opens with velvety currant and black tea flavors that melt into ultra-dark cherry and bittersweet chocolate. An extended, textured finish is framed by toasted vanilla bean. Bold, yet refined, this exceptional red wine is worth every penny.
• Slow-cooked BBQ ribs with our homemade BBQ sauce • Build Your Own Burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns • Micro Brew Steamed Mussels
360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham nickisbellamarina.com Casual Friendly Atmosphere for Good Times and a Great Water View
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Jake’s Western Grill Southern 8114 Guide Meridian, Lynden 360.354.5588, jakeswesterngrill.com In addition to outstanding barbecue, Jake’s also features a full line of fresh-cut salads, burgers, Southern sandwiches and a full-service bar. If you’re a true lover of Southern barbecue, you owe it to yourself to head north and give Jake’s Western Grill in Lynden a try. Jalapeños mexican grill Mexican
1/2 price bottles of
wine on Wednesday’s.
1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041 jalapenos-wa.com Jalepeños Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos.” They’re messy — filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole — but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepeños doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop. Kuru Kuru Sushi Japanese/Sushi 11 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.392.8224, kurukurubellingham.com
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Kuru Kuru Sushi, which translates to “go around Sushi,” offers not only a good meal, but a good experience. Some of the offerings, like the Dynamite roll, are lightly tempura fried before being put on the conveyor belt to travel around the restaurant to hungry patrons. More traditional, classic sushi, like the raw salmon (which is buttery and delicious) also travels on the belt. A variety of non-fish related faire, like gyoza, egg rolls and desserts also are offered. If you don’t see something you like, the chefs behind the counter will gladly make something for you. Magdalenas Crêperie, European 1200 10th St., Ste. 103, Bellingham 360.483.8569, magdalenascreperie.com Paris, London, New York, Vancouver and Bellingham have them. Little shops where the aromas of sweet and savory crêpes, custom sandwiches and hot soup du jour fill the air. With a formidable selection of crêpes, it’ll take more than one trip to decide which is better, sweet or savory. But at this eatery, it is criminal to pass up the sweet little numbers filled with velvety smooth vanilla-flavored cream cheese, white chocolate and your choice of fresh fruit. A crêpe option for every crêpe crave.
Mi Mexico Mexican 241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073 Mi Mexico’s reputation as one of the local favorites among Mexican food lovers is well deserved. The experience starts with a warm, friendly, professional waitstaff in an enjoyable, upbeat atmosphere. And from there, Mi Mexico separates itself from the competition with a choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes that few Mexican restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer, all made with the freshest of ingredients available. From your first bite of Mi Mexico’s homemade salsa to the last bite of your main entree or dessert, you will already be planning your next visit.
The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top seven this issue. Step out and give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.
Mykonos Greek 1650 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.715.3071 mykonosrestaurantbellingham.com Pita bread is pita bread, right? Not at Mykonos. If you order a starter of hummus, prepare your tastebuds for slices of pita bread heaven. If you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of Greek cuisine, try the traditional Greek salad as a litmus test. You won’t be disappointed. It is delightfully fresh and light and a meal by itself, with perhaps the best feta dressing west of Athens. Should you still be hungry, your main course options include the traditional Greek spin on veggie, lamb, chicken, steak and seafood prepared with rice or pasta. Mykonos offers excellent value for the price. Phidippides would be proud.
The salmon burger at Nicki’s BellaMarina is so tender and juicy. It has to be good — that’s where the fishermen eat!
New York Pizza & Bar Italian/Gourmet Pizza 902 State St., Bellingham 360.733.3171 8874 Bender Rd. #101, Lynden 360.318.0580, newyorkpizzaandbar.com If you love pizza, then you’re going to love New York Pizza and Bar. Not just because of the crispy, handmade dough (made fresh daily) or because of the fresh, high-quality ingredients or the amount of them that top each slice. But because New York Pizza is the master of pizza diversity. Anything you want on a pizza you’re likely to find here. Regardless of what you order, expect to be more than satisfied. There’s also a full bar and great happy hour selections. Rocket Donuts Bakery 306 W. Holly St., 360.671.6111, Bellingham 1021 Harris Ave, 360.366.8135, Bellingham rocketdonuts.com
Aslan Brewing has excellent food and lots of options for vegetarians, vegans, and the GF crowd. We’re sure all that’s good, but the Hawaiian Pork Sliders won our hearts. And taste buds. aslanbrewing.com
The Cajun Burger at Bayou on Bay is unreal in its deliciousness. Made with beef brisket, it’s a New Orleans twist on an old favorite. bayouonbay.com
With two locations, Rocket Donuts is an icon in Bellingham for its delectable donuts and sci-fi themed storefronts. The donuts are made fresh daily, giving them their fluffy, soft texture. Try the classic glazed or spice up your morning with maple-bacon bar. Rocket donuts is unique by offering vegan and gluten free options. Lift off your morning Rocket style.
5 6 7
It’s winter. It’s rainy. It’s cold. Grab some roast duck hash from Copper Hog and dig in — it’ll warm your tummy and your spirits. thecopperhog.com
The sausage plate at Chuckanut Brewery is a delicious Brotzeit delight. Pair with a Rausch from the tap, and you have one great meal there. chuckanutbreweryandkitchen.com
The green curry at Rachawadee Thai Café is so creamy, fragrant, and delicious, you might wake up in the middle of the night craving it. Always served at a heat level of 2, so gentle diners be warned. But it is good. rachawadeethaicafe.com
The vegetarian tamales at La Gloria Restaurant are the flakiest, lightest, most delicious you will ever eat outside Mexico. lagloriamarket.com
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Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word
Lighted Christmas Parade Dec. 5, 6PM–7PM
ome see the 25th annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Dazzling light displays illuminate parade floats, trucks, cars, wagons, and farm equipment. Carolers fill the crisp December night with classic Christmas tunes. The parade starts at the Fairway Center and continues down Front Street into downtown Lynden.
Front St., Lynden 360.354.5995 lynden.org
Museums Deck the Old City Hall Nov. 27–Jan. 3 on Thursdays–Sundays, 12PM - 5PM
Visit the Whatcom Museum’s historic Old City Hall building and celebrate the holiday season. The building will be decked in lights on the outside and decorated trees inside. Come and view spectacularly decorated trees, visit Santa, and enter a raffle. Admission is by donation. Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.778.8930 whatcommuseum.org
Concerts LeAnn Rimes: Today is Christmas Tour Dec. 5, 7:30PM
Grammy Award Winner and country pop artist LeAnn Rimes visits Mount Baker Theatre just in time for the Christmas season. This heartwarming holiday concert features music off the artists’ new Christmas Album including songs
like Carol of the Bells, and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 mountbakertheatre.com Heralding Christmas Dec. 11, 7:00PM Dec. 13, 2PM
Experience the holidays in a 1940sera radio show setting recreating the Christmas magic generations of Americans grew up with. Skagit Valley Chorale will take you back in time with arrangements originally performed by bandleader Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. They will be joined by Vince Fejerman and a big band accompaniment capturing the full and sizzling style of the era. Radio announcer David Schroeder will keep the show moving with his warmth and wit. McIntyre Hall Performing Arts and Conference Centers, 2501 E College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 ext.2 mcintyrehall.org
Theater A Tuna Christmas Nov. 27–Dec. 13
In the sequel to Greater Tuna It’s Christmas in Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas. This hilarious comedy follows news station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie as they report on yuletide happenings throughout the town. There’s a hot competition in the annual lawn display contest and a theater production jeopardized by unpaid electricity bills. Come and experience the holiday fun in Tuna, Texas. Bellingham Theatre Guild Playhouse, 1600 H St., Bellingham 360.733.1811 bellinghamtheatreguild.com Craig Ferguson: The New Deal Tour Dec. 17, 7:30PM
Comedian Craig Ferguson takes the stage at Mount Baker Theatre on Thursday, December 17. Best known as the host of CBS’s The Late Late Show from 2005– 2014, Ferguson’s career encompasses
television, film, and stage. He has delighted audiences with gut-wrenching laughter at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall. 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 mountbakertheatre.com
Classical An Evening with Jean Sibelius: 150th Anniversary Concert Dec. 8, 7:30PM
Mount Baker Youth Symphony and Finlandia Foundation Suomi present a celebration of beloved Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’s works on his 150th Birthday. Music will be performed by Suomi Finish Foundation, Starry Night Chamber Ensembles, Mount Baker Youth Symphony, and the Wade King Choir. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 mountbakertheatre.com
Sleigh Bells Ring! Santa Visits, Horse Drawn Trolley Rides, Sing A Longs... Local Country Gifts & Spirits, Live Trees & Beautiful Wreaths Cookies Decorating, Farm Cafe & Bakery, Holiday Pies
BelleWood is family … BelleWood is Christmas 6140 Guide Meridian, 1/2 way between Bellingham & Lynden 360-318-7720 | BelleWoodFarms.com for event calendar
Check us out online for more info!
December 2015 91
Dance The Nutcracker Dec. 11 & 12, 7:30PM Dec. 13, 2:00PM
Holiday Concert presented by Skagit Symphony Dec. 12, 7:30 PM
Come and experience classic holiday music with Skagit Symphony. Seasonal favorites include Messiah Part I by Georg Friedrich Händel and The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr IIyrich Tchaikovsky. A pre-concert lecture by Roupen Skakarian will begin at 6:45PM. McIntyre Hall Performing Arts and Conference Centers, 2501 E College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 ext.2 mcintyrehall.org
Family Friendly Annual Ring of Fire and Hope Dec. 31, 7PM
Ring in the New Year in a celebration of hope at Birch Bay. The Birch Bay shoreline becomes a spectacular sight as road flares are lit along it signifying hope for the coming year. Free flares will be available at the Birch Bay Visitor’s Center but supplies are limited. Shoreline along Birch Bay Drive between Birch Bay State Park and Birch Bay Village birchbaychamber.com
Holiday Port Festival Dec. 4, 12PM–8PM Dec. 5-6, 11AM–5PM
The Port’s signature holiday festival is fun for the whole family. Throughout the weekend there will be performances by local choirs, bands, and dancers. Tasty looking gingerbread houses will be on display as you enjoy free cookies and hot apple cider. Horse-drawn wagon rides will be available plus Santa will be there for visits and photos. There will be a food drive benefiting Bellingham Food Bank so bring non-perishable food items to donate. Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.676.2500 portofbellingham.com
Visual Arts 5th Annual Holiday Make.Sale Dec. 5, 12PM–6PM
The Make.Sale is an opportunity to local arts and crafts. Featuring unique, fun, fantastic, and DIY pieces, the sale will have a preview on December forth during the monthly art walk in downtown Bellingham. The full sale will be on Saturday, December 5. Make.Shift Art Space, 306 Flora St., Bellingham 360.389.3569 makeshiftproject.com
The Nutcracker ballet is holiday tradition for the whole family to enjoy. Northwest Ballet Theatre has been performing the Christmas classic since 1999. The tale follows young Clara who receives a special gift, a nutcracker. Clara falls asleep with the nutcracker in her arms and enters a wondrous dreamland. Her adventure with the nutcracker begins with a battle scene against ferocious mice, continues through the enchanted Land of Snow, and ends in the fantastical Land of Sweets. 104 N Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 mountbakertheatre.com
Special Events Understanding Conflict Workshop Dec. 9 and 16, 5:30Pm–8:30PM
The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center is offering an interactive workshop on understanding conflict. It is designed to develop participants’ awareness of their own approach to conflict, and to increase skills to better manage conflict in their community, home, and workplace. Participants will learn communication skills including active listening as well as how to assert needs and communicate effectively under high stress. The workshop is two sessions and costs $75 per participant. Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, 13 Prospect St. #201, Bellingham 360.676.0122 whatcomdrc.org
pieces working directly with artists. Get hot drinks and food from Taste or one of Seattle’s favorite food trucks. Visit the kids’ play station for fun with blocks, sketching, and art and science books.
Out of Town
Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., Seattle seattleartmuseum.org
Seattle Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
Dec. 13, 7AM–11:35AM
Celebrate the season of Christmas by giving. The Jingle Bell Run/ Walk for Arthritis is a fun run to raise money for arthritis research. Get decked out in holiday apparel and jingle bells for the nation’s largest holiday themed 5K. Santa’s arrival kicks off the event at the Elf Village, where the costume contest takes place. A children’s 1K fun run will be held before the 5K begins. A Holiday Cheer Garden will be waiting at the finish line with complementary beer for those over 21. Westlake Center, 400 Pine St., Seattle 206.547.2707 arthritis.org SAM Lights Dec. 17, 6PM–8PM
Lit up with hundreds of lights and luminaria candles, the SAM sculpture park will ignite your imagination and dazzle your senses. The evening will feature a temporary installation piece by artist Andre Behrle plus music by Seattle-based renegade brass band Chaotic Noise Marching Corps. Create your own light inspired
Capilano Suspension Bridge Presents Canyon Lights Nov. 27–Jan. 3, 11AM–9PM Festivity begins at 4PM Closed Christmas Day
Returning for its tenth season, Canyon Lights will illuminate the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with hundreds of thousands of lights. The glittering lights will transform attractions into captivating scenery including the suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, rainforest, canyon, and new this year the river and cliff face. At a towering 153 feet, the park features one of the tallest living Christmas trees in the world. Holiday activities include a Snowy Owl Prowl, gingerbread cookie decorating, Christmas card making, and caroling with a holiday band. Partial proceeds are donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund for fire/burn education in schools. Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Rd., Vancouver, B.C. 604.985.7474, capbridge.com
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December 2015 91
Agenda The Scene
On October 16, Bellingham Alive celebrated our annual Best of the Northwest winners at the Four Points Sheraton on Lakeway. The evening of the included signature craft cocktails from Poppeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 360, spirits from Bellewood Acres, wine from Coach House Cellars and beer from Kulshan Brewery. Oh Snap! had a photo booth and there was a live d.j. spinning for the wild crowd on the dance floor. Passed appetizers included nibbles from Melissaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Memorable Events Catering and Chinuk Restaurant. Thank you to sponsors Wilson Motors, Overhead Door of Bellingham and everyone who made it a great night!
Photography by Madeline Takata and Alyssa Pitcher
December 2015 91
The Many Faces of Giving Ken examines his soul for the holidays written by ken karlberg
hysician, heal thyself! Well, I am no physician, but I do know the shortest path to becoming a better person starts with being honest with myself about myself. I was fortunate— I learned this valuable lesson early in life through childhood hardships that weigh upon me even today. Perhaps this is why the lesson resonated as it did. Pain, not pleasure, is the greatest teacher of life that I know. I don’t always succeed, of course, because the self-critical process is often unsettling. The exercise of looking inward challenges me, and threatens me, like no other. Who likes to admit to their weaknesses, especially those frailties that only they know about themselves? No one. Instead, many of us tend to carefully create perceptions of ourselves in public, and then pretend we are that person while hiding from our faults. Unhealthy, yes, but very human. The primal instinct to protect ourselves, to survive, even extends to protecting ourselves from ourselves. And it should—after all, the balance between loving yourself and low self-esteem can be a delicate one. So, we do what we do; we do what we must. But the point isn’t that I always succeed. The point is that I always try, and because I try, I am slowly becoming a better person. (At least that’s my working theory and I am sticking to it, right?) Here’s a timely case-in-point. In my family, the holidays are traditionally a time for charity and l look for opportunities to show my gratefulness for my many blessings in life by helping others less fortunate. Holiday traditions aside, however, I asked myself recently, “why do I give, and does my motivation matter?” My answers may surprise some. If I am brutally honest with myself, there have been many faces to my giving over time, and not all of the faces were for the purest of reasons. I submit that giving is primarily a learned behavior. It was for me. Like many of us living in largely rural areas, I first learned to give by helping clean chicken coops, raise barns, build fences, or put up hay for neighbors with small farms. For my neighbors who were elderly and physically limited, I often mowed their lawns or weeded their flowerbeds or helped however I could. Not a dollar was exchanged. In this sense, giving was part of the community spirit—we were all there 96 NorthSoundLife.com
for each other. I didn’t do what I did out of gratefulness. I initially did what I did because I was expected to contribute. We all were. Giving was a civic duty and part of the farmers’ code. But giving can have its potential moral compromises. I soon learned that its intangible rewards in the form of praise and appreciation fed my youthful emotional needs. I may have given for the right reasons. However, what I received in return—respect and neighborly love—was more precious to me than my gifts of my time and resources. Was that wrong? Maybe. Maybe not. I am my toughest critic. All of us appreciate an acknowledgement from others when we give, but we should never give with the expectation of something in return. If I am honest with myself, however, a small part of me gave at times for reasons other than the purity of the spirit of giving itself. I am not proud of those moments, few as they may be. I fell short, too, during my years as a parent, when my limited time and financial resources were stretched so very thin between my professional life and my responsibilities as a father and husband. I continued to give, but I could feel the primal urge to protect my family, my career, and my needs first, and to give second. As mercenary as it will sound, I only gave at times because it was the right thing to do—again, a learned behavior—not always because I wanted to. Externally, no one knew. Internally, I did. And then life changed. My “aha moment” of giving, that is the moment when my motivation for giving went from duty to gratefulness, came courtesy of my daughters when I began to coach their various sports teams. I could feel the selfishness well up inside, as I gave up my hobbies, spent less time at work, and began to dedicate myself to their lives in a way that I never had before. Who knew that the immensity of my love for them would make me a better man and father—and grateful for life beyond words. So, this holiday season, give—for any reason. If I can learn, you can, too..
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