Let us take a walk down memory lane to revisit “the freshman 15,” that first year in college when we are faced with a new routine, environment and stress. We are away from home full time without adult supervision, and we live on an unlimited meal plan, so we eat, eat and eat and gain weight.
Fast forward to adulthood post-college, be it 5, 15 or 50 years later, and now we have what I call “the fall 15.” I was reminded of the fall 15 when I stopped by the Wonder Saturday Market on Saturday morning in the Wonder Building at 835 N. Post St. as Bloomsday participants ran by me.
Wonder Saturday Market
This is the first season of the Wonder Saturday Market, and you have two more weekends to check it out. I am a sucker for farmers markets – indoor, outdoor and a combination of the two. Wonder Saturday Market is indoor, but the main entrance is large, bringing in fresh air, and the building is a vast space, so social distancing was easy as pie and other baked goods.
Here’s my Achilles’ heel when it comes to farmers markets: I cannot say no to fresh fruits and vegetables, with apples, pears, figs, squash, Brussels sprouts and beets among my many favorites. But what really gets me is all things baked goods: artisan breads, Danishes, rolls, pies and sweets, sweets and more sweets. Please help me.
At Wonder Saturday Market, my main purpose was to take photographs for this story and chat with vendors. I met photographer Ari Nordhagen for the first time and waved hello to my friend Chloe Siok, who works at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters. But it was over – I sweet surrender – when I stopped by chef Ricky Webster’s Rind and Wheat.
I bought a seasonal elote Danish, a huckleberry cinnamon roll and savory pumpkin bread. Webster was a solid 3 for 3 with his baked deliciousness, and I cannot wait until his Rind and Wheat artisan baker and cheese shop opens at 1516 W. Riverside Ave. in Browne’s Addition any day now.
Then I stopped by Stacie Kearney’s Lucky Lady Bread Co. Kearney was very friendly and outgoing and had an infectious smile. I bought a beautiful honey oat sourdough loaf, which I later gave to my family, and a brownie, and I overheard Kearney say that her pumpkin doughnuts had just sold out – the market had been open only 30 minutes to the public.
Side note: Since moving to Spokane in April 2019, I have tried all things huckleberry when the opportunity arises, and the results have been mostly disappointing. One standout is the huckleberry vinaigrette in the salad bar at Trailbreaker Cider in Liberty Lake. The salad bar is likely kaput right now. Add Webster’s huckleberry cinnamon roll to the elite list of must-eats.
Since this is the first season, Wonder Saturday Market is not large. I have attended larger farmers markets in town, but I also have attended smaller. Wonderful Saturday Market, which also boasted produce, jewelry, chocolate and more, was a nice hourlong stop, and it was clean, safe and socially distanced – a nice Saturday diversion, er, outing.
I did exercise restraint by passing on chef Chad White’s High Tide Lobster Bar – on National Lobster Day, no less – and Patty’s Pies, but it was not easy. Fortunately, High Tide is a permanent fixture at the Wonder Building, as is Evans Brothers Coffee. And there are only two more Wonder Saturday Markets of temptation this season.
Whiskey Barrel Weekend
Bombay Sapphire gin martinis, extra dirty, extra olives, were my cocktail of choice for many years before the Old Fashioned came along and dethroned the libation (but I still drink martinis), so it was with great excitement that I attended the first Whiskey Barrel Weekend last year at Coeur d’Alene Resort, which was celebrating its casket of Makers Mark created in Kentucky.
The weekend was a lot of whiskey and a lot of fun, from a dine-around on Friday night with whiskey tastings to whiskey and cocktail classes, with a lot of whiskey, on Saturday afternoon, culminating in a fabulous Grand Whiskey Dinner, an elegant dine-around and whiskey tasting dinner, at Hagadone Event Center on Saturday evening.
I thought I was done with whiskey for the year, but then I found myself visiting Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., outside Lexington and Louisville a few weeks later and fell in love with the cities’ Southern hospitality and culture. I hope to write more about it soon.
But back to the present, and the second-annual Whiskey Barrel Weekend is at Coeur d’Alene Resort this Friday and Saturday. I will be there on Saturday for the classes and dinner, and it will be my first Idaho public event since the quarantine.
Much of the event is sold out – the classes and Saturday morning golf – but tickets are still available for the Friday and Saturday evening events, both of which I highly recommend.
Highlights of Friday’s event include a custom logo glass and tasting passport, Maker’s Mark red wax glass dipping, chef-curated Southern-inspired cuisine and more than 50 whiskey labels to taste.
Saturday’s Grand Whiskey Dinner boasts hand-rolled cigars, dueling pianos, whiskey cocktails, a logo T-shirt, $10 off a cigar purchase, three hosted cocktails and delicious chef-prepared food. Also up for grabs at the event: a private whiskey tasting dinner for four.
Welcome to autumn, my favorite season of the year for food, fashion and the outdoors. Now I will just help myself to another slice of savory pumpkin bread, thank you very much.
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