Today I went on an excursion with my friends Amira and Lito! You may remember them from previous blog posts – both talented home cooks looking to learn new tricks and to share their experiences online. We took a field trip up to the cookbook-only bookstore Book Larder, then walked to the Ballard Farmer’s Market for ramen and tacos.
Book Larder has so many events in their space, which makes it a culinary-community hub. When we walked in today, there was a class happening at the bookstore’s kitchen, which sits in the middle of the space with seats around a stove top for culinary demonstrations and workshops. About ten people with plates in front of them listened as the instructor tied together the final bits of the class, which ended with a toast and eating whatever they made that day.
I went straight to the food-writing section of the store and got myself a copy of Holly Hughes’s “The Best Food Writing of 2017”. I previously read her collection for 2015 and it was hands down one of the best books I had read that particular year, which makes me very excited for this collection. I have too many cookbooks at the moment, so until I work my way through the ones I currently have, I’m going to hold off on getting another one. When I do, I almost definitely will come back to Book Larder.
Next up we walked for about half an hour to the Ballard Farmer’s Market, where we hunted for Brother’s Ramen & Tacos. Brother’s & Co. is a catering company that also has a food stand at a couple different famer’s market locations. The joke is that ramen & tacos are their favorite foods, which is why they started the pop-up. Lito, ravenous, got BOTH the ramen and the tacos. Amira and I were skeptical of this choice, but it turns out he was definitely correct in doing both. He was kind enough to share some of his ramen with me, which was appropriately portioned for consuming while browsing the rest of the farmer’s market.
Lito told us that he’s looking to get into preserving and pickling (“OOO!” Amira and I responded). Currently, he has some plum wine fermenting in his cabinet, and at Book Larder he saw that there was an upcoming event on jam-making with Ayako & Family Jam that he might attend. He finally figured out how to make his “Tasty” videos by affixing a cardboard contraption to his cabinets that allows him to film his countertop from above.
After a coffee pick-me-up, we hunted for some dessert and found pastries that sent us to both a happy place and a certifiable food coma. The Lyft ride back was quiet, and when we finally did speak it was to confirm that we all were inbound to afternoon naps. Good food, good friends, and good conversation happened throughout, which made us laugh about how our lives felt like Food-Network-worthy content. It definitely inspired me to step up my own home-culinary projects, but I have been making it a point more and more to focus on just enjoying myself for enjoyment’s sake, which is easily accomplished with the right folks.