Friday, November 23, 2012

You Know The Turkey Is Dry WHEN


·        When the turkey is floating in the roaster.
·        When you slice the breast and it crumbles
·        When the turkey has the feel & taste of dehydrated meat
·        When you start telling “You Know The Turkey is Dry When”... JOKES

I haven’t cooked a whole Turkey in more than 10 years, maybe more. Baked a turkey breast… but you can hardly screw that up.

Question: Have the turkeys changed over the years? I sprang for the free range, organic. Then a mix-up at the store and instead of a 14 pound, I walked out with a huge 20 pound turkey for 2 people. I’m thinking we could have gone out for dinner for the price of this bird but I really wanted to cook Thanksgiving Dinner this year.

OK, I can do this. For the last few days I’ve been watching the ‘how to’ YouTube videos… How to Cook a Turkey, How to Make Bread Stuffing (outside the bird) and How to Make Cranberry Sauce.  I bookmarked all the recipes and videos that I liked and thought were pretty fail safe.

The big day. Thanksgiving. Armed with my trusty iPad, I watched all the videos again and started on the Turkey. I sort of combined a couple of cooking methods and temperatures but didn’t modify them by much… or so I thought.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened. The turkey just cooked in the oven in a covered roaster. The only slight concern… not sure my thermometer still worked after maybe 15 years  but nothing rattled inside.

So at 5:30 we took the turkey out of the oven. The temperature just wouldn’t get to 180 degrees and based on the time/pounds chart I was 55 minutes over.

Took the cover off…  Hmmm

When both Ralph and I exclaimed... this doesn't look really good, I think it looks DRY!

At this point the only thing I could do is open the champagne.

Bubbly fixes everything and then you need a good laugh!

This VIDEO says it all… Tante Marie said she never had a good turkey. All turkeys taste like cardboard and the three things that make a turkey tasty is gravy, cranberry sauce and Pinot Noir. I know this isn't true but it made me feel better at the time.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend. Kathy


Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Hay Problema

Anything I ask for...
No Problema, Everything is Possible

Sounds like I’m in Mexico and you’re right!

My husband, Ralph, and I have been making our annual November pilgrimage to recharge to a small fishing village North of Puerto Vallarta for the last three years. The place we stay is rustic but boasts fast wireless and good food. I worry about the speed of the internet and have the staff check it prior to arriving. I may be a little OCD, but my other priority is good wine which is checked with my luggage. So I’m not totally a lost cause.

Billed as a working vacation we pack up two laptops, two iPads, two iphones (now on the Mexican phone plan), and 8 inches of working files, yellow pads and pens. Then if there’s room we add some clothes.

I’m the worst… it takes me about 6 days to slow down and stop checking email every hour. I’m anxious… waiting for my creative marketing streak to kick-in because by November each year I’m brain dead. Finally, though, the music of the surf has me relaxed enough to count lizards on the ceiling.

2012 was a year of major change in my life. Ralph and I own our respective businesses or as they say the businesses own us. But anyhow, both past the age of 62++, we always said we wanted to work together instead of just working together in the same office.

So January 2012 I took over the operations of Target Focus Training and Lisa starting learning the ropes of the winery, managing its operations. While not in the tasting room much anymore, I still had my feet in the grapes, so to speak, with wine production, marketing and events.

Instead of enjoying a glass of wine at day’s end with the Working Girls in the tasting room, I toasted my computer with wine each evening. Harley, the winery dog in training, my constant companion.

2013 is beckoning, only 6 weeks away, and again life changes for this Working Girl.

We will be announcing some exciting changes at the winery, events, our business, and our products. I can tell you right now, 2013 will be over the top. The Working Girls of Olympic Cellars can’t wait.

So let me sign off… we will fly home tomorrow. Life speeds up again.

BUT before I go, let me leave you with this. I started my career in 1977 at Texas Instruments. A top chart, Grammy award winner song was “Afternoon Delight”.  I loved it. Heard it on the radio for months on my way to work and back. It’s my ring tone on my phone.

Yea, I know the lyrics were a bit sexually explicit, but if you listen to it with your eyes closed, it takes you into that special place with no iAnything.  It becomes a “State of Mind”.

Stayed tuned for 2013 at Olympic Cellars.

Everything Is Possible…

Cheers, Kathy

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Our Winery Sasquatch


When our Olympic Peninsula Winery Association decided to bring back the Scarecrow Trail for this weekend’s Harvest Wine Tour my mind’s eye visualized a pretty traditional scarecrow with a winery theme… maybe a new version of our Vineyard Angel which is made from all parts of an oak barrel and champagne bottles.

After a short discussion amongst the Working Girls about our Scare Crow design, our resident artist, Kristi said she wanted to create a Sasquatch which is so much part of the lore of the Olympic Peninsula.

Just picture our remote, rugged Olympic Mountains with lush green forests, huge trees, moss, ferns… shadowed from day’s light and home to the Sasquatch. My Google searches reveal that last sightings documented and filmed were in 2007 & 2008.

OK… Sasquatch… Scarecrow… Sasquatch? Why not!

Then the Sasquatch started to take shape under Kristi’s artistic eye. Of course, our Sasquatch is female and not shy! She’s also a Working Girl and likes her wine! Her name is Sasquina.

Let me digress just a minute.

When the Working Girls need to conference our favorite meeting place is the Gastro Pub in Port Angeles. There is a huge mural on the upper wall of a Sasquatch riding a bike! Every time we’re there we wonder what the story is behind the mural but have never asked.

Ever the romantic I wonder as I write if this story will lead down the path of a romantic involvement between our two Sasquatches. Probably not but the thought makes me smile.

Back to Sasquina and her scarecrow duties at Olympic Cellars.

She wondered into our lives about a month ago. Not sure why she came down out of the mountains in to the fields of the winery but a couple of years ago a herd of Elk just showed up near the barn. Maybe in the dark the barn looks safe and offers a sense of refuge.

Our first sighting was in the vineyard. There Sasquina was… towering over the vines waving her arms, crows flying. All 7 feet of her with a few more feet of arms.

This year we finally had a harvest with 100 days of perfect weather and the vines were loaded. I don’t know how crows know but they leave the grapes alone until just right before picking… then swarm in and decimate a vineyard in just hours.

We wanted to thank this Sasquatch but didn’t know what to do. So we left a LARGE glass of Working Girl White and a 2X t-shirt. Next day both were gone.

A couple of days later the empty glass appeared by our back door. We refilled it. This went on for a few days. Whoa… Sasquina really likes her wine!

Kristi thinks she has a taste for the ‘grape juice’ eating lots of our wild Oregon grapes which can be sour mixed in with some Olympic blackberries and thimbleberries to make it sweeter.

Then the fateful day... we were crushing Cab Sauv and Merlot and guess who showed up with a big smile. Who could resist the enchanting smell of Virginie's brew.

We handed Sasquina a shovel and she went to work… Believe It Or Not :)

Join us this weekend, Nov 10-11, for our annual Harvest Wine Tour and meet Sasquina. She loves to have her picture taken!

The Working Girls of Olympic Cellars

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sasquatch at Olympic Cellars?

What does a Sasquatch have to do with Wine Tasting ?
Harvest Wine Tour

The Olympic Peninsula Wineries Harvest Wine Tour will take place November 10 and 11, Veterans Day Weekend, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Olympic Cellars has a lot of fun in store, including of course wine tasting of a wide selection of our wines.

New wine releases include the popular holiday Cranberry Jubilee which sells out each year.

We are also releasing our Merlot 2008 and Cabernet Franc 2008. Across the board, our 2008 red vintage is delicious, full-bodied and smooth. The Merlot is well balanced, with just the right amount of tannins. The flavors of bright red cherry and notes of vanilla and almond abound. The Cabernet Franc is extremely complex, full of dark berry, toasted aromatic wood, nutmeg and clove.
  • Sample fall-hearty mushroom and local grain soup prepared by Chef Dave Long of Oven Spoonful.
  • Hang out on our decorated patio and enjoy fresh popped truffle popcorn.
  • Solve our winery word search and enter to win a fabulous wine purse.
  • Take advantage of featured event wine specials.

The Olympic Peninsula Wineries will each put their creative grape juices to the test at this year's annual Harvest Wine Tour, with each of us displaying our own artistic interpretation of the "Wine Scarecrow" for visitors to enjoy.
Limited only by our imaginations, each winery will strive to design the most unique vineyard watchman ever to scare (or commune with) a pesky bird! Visitors can vote for their favorite scarecrow while tasting the best of the vintage.

With artist in residence, Kristi Knowles on our side, of course Olympic Cellars will win the scarecrow competition. Our Scarecrow, Sasquina, is modeled after the sassy female Sasquatch seen around town. She’s said to be dating the bicycle-riding male Sasquatch who frequents the very popular Next Door Gastropub in Port Angeles. More on their love life to follow…

The $30.00 ticket for the self-guided tour can be purchased at participating wineries during the event. Tickets entitle participants to a commemorative wine glass and complimentary wine tastings at each winery during the event weekend.
A tasting fee of $5.00 per winery will apply to non-ticketed visitors. Get your ticket stamped at all eight wineries and be eligible to enter our gift basket drawing.

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org.