Friday, March 02, 2007

Local good things

Yesterday the boys and I went to the dedication of the latest historical plaza on our downtown walking trail beside the railroad tracks. It was interesting and very worthwhile. But you'll see that a lot of this post is about very good coffee...

At the dedication, the boys were patient enough during the remarks by various dignitaries, even though I wouldn't let them go for the cookies (yet). They loved the flyover by the vintage Grauman biplane marked "U.S. Navy" on the underside of the wings. They really enjoyed the unveiling of the five-foot, painted bronze replica of the Grauman, complete with many wonderful details, made by a local artist in our local bronze sculpture facility. I became the master of whispered commentary.

This plaza is about our town during World War II and we had two U.S. Navy bases at that time, so there were many military folks in attendance. In addition to the color guard, which I guess is from the ROTC at local Big State University, there were many active Navy officers (my guess: from the not-to-distant air base), Navy ROTC cadets from Big State University in our town, and lots of older veterans wearing very interesting caps (with lots of pins) and jackets, as well as city officials and "regular folks" like us. Everyone gathered around the airplane and enjoyed it and the rest of the plaza for a bit.

The boys and I had fun, and cookies, and even little sandwiches!

Then we walked and shopped downtown, admittedly an extremely rare occurrence for us. Two blocks alongside the tracks to Main Street, and then we ambled past the restored old movie theater, a furniture store, a recording studio and records/CDs store, a shoe store, and I forget what else. We stopped at my first goal, a "fine chocolates and coffees" shop. Son1 decided on a handmade dark chocolate egg filled with chocolate mousse; Son2 decided on a handmade pink lemonade lollipop with a sugar bunny; I decided on a latte and a half-pound each of whole-bean store blend coffee and "Seattle blend" -- nice and dark, yum! They were out of decaf, sigh.

My plan was to buy this month's coffee from local sources, rather than Starbucks (old reliable, with a lovely habit of a seriously dark roast). Since this store blend I bought is named for the store, I think this might be locally roasted, yay. Smelled great.

But wait, there's more! On our way back, we stopped at my second goal, a new, very gourmet, boutique food shop. I oohed and ahhed at the various fancy foods, but what caught my eye was the creamline yogurt I can buy monthly through our state food co-op, but not the cream that I really like to buy from the same farm. The next item of interest was the many containers of unusual and familiar bulk pastas (completely irresistible to the boys, so they ended up on the seats at the front sidewalk, visible through the huge windows). Next, I was wowed by the large display case of specialty, high-end, handmade cheeses. I was offered a taste, but... I don't eat cheese! (I'll send my husband to this cheese lovers' heaven.)

To my surprise, I realized they sold coffee -- both espresso drinks and bulk coffee beans. Aha! An inquiry, and I had a half-pound of decaf in my hand. The source is in California, oh well. On my way to pay in front, I spied a little container of hulled barley. I'd heard they sold specialty grains and grain products; that'll do!

So. It was a wonderful afternoon. We fought a fierce wind the entire time under vivid blue, startlingly sunny skies, so I was amazingly tired when we got to the car, but it was great. And I have a local source for delicious, dark coffee (store No. 1). Those three paper bags with the fold-down tops settled in on the kitchen counter and proceeded to fill my kitchen and dining room with such an intoxicating scent in the late afternoon that I simply had to make a few cups of decaf to savor.


1 comment:

DebD said...

I finally came over from HSB to check out your "other" blog.

I see that you have "Sacred Journey" by Buechner in your library. I have loved almost all of Buechner's books - and especially that one.

Debbi (from the Library + HSB)