Tag Archives: idaho

time machine blogging

I’m quite a bit behind schedule with this post, but I want to include it because it was such an extraordinary experience. On our last day in Twin Falls, Faith and I drove down to Dierke’s Lake to catch a glimpse of Shoshone Falls, the big waterfall that the town is famous for (to be honest, I don’t know what the other falls that make it “twin” is – there are hundreds of little falls all over the Snake River in the Magic Valley, but there must be another sizeable one somewhere that we never heard about). We had a whole bunch of little errands we wanted to do, plus packing, and it was the 4th of July, so we just drove halfway down the canyon to the lookout and took stock pictures. The falls are really spectacular, but as per the rest of our experience in Idaho, the pictures don’t convey that at all. However, on the way back up the access road, we looked up and caught sight of a herd of elk grazing on the edge of the cliffs. We pulled off (as did everyone else who was on the road) to watch and try to get some pictures. The photos are abysmal – it was hazy and I was shooting up into the sun. My poor camera is not built for finesse in such a situation. You can still get a sense of the grandeur of the moment, I think, and you can certainly get a sense of the enormity of their antlers. They were breathtaking, and the experience was unlike anything else I’ve ever seen.

The guy standing next to me didn’t seem to experience this in quite the same way I did. He elbowed me and said, “They’re standing so close to the edge, I just wish one of ’em would fall. That’d be funny. Then I could eat it.” I consider myself a fairly sophisticated person and there isn’t much that shocks me, but that left me open-mouthed. I’ve been attempting to live a mostly vegetarian lifestyle for the past year, and the fact that this guy’s first thought while drinking in all that majesty was how to scavenge a humiliated and injured elk actually took my breath away. I edged in the opposite direction. Faith said, “She’s a city girl.” I wasn’t always a city girl, but I guess I really and truly am, now.

On our way back home, we stopped and took pictures of our favorite view in Twin Falls, on Cypress Way heading home towards Ironwood Ave. There’s a beautifully maintained vintage Chevy Apache parked on the street and it makes the whole street so appealing. You can see the mountains to the south at the end of the street (sadly interrupted by a very obvious telephone pole), and the greens and purples of the trees on the left are perfect complements to the aqua of the truck. We loved coming home to it every day. I also got some nice close-ups of the truck itself, one of which I post here for the special benefit of Dennice, Kerry, Lynda and Belle, all of whom seem to love pictures of vintage automobiles as much as I do.

Last, but not least amongst our errands, was the purchase of a souvenir for me to bring back to Leslie. Since potatoes were out of season in June, I settled on this substitute item of incredible horror. Mainly because of the revolting fudge “butter” parked on top of it. When I gave it to her, Leslie made a terrible, terrible face, which is how you know if your gift is a success!

And here endeth Kateri and Faith’s Excellent Idaho Adventure. Thanks for the trip, Gimlet Girl, it was an experience.

basil instinct and turmeric rubs

We took a short daytrip to Boise last weekend just to see what we could see. It turns out there’s nothing much to see, especially on a Sunday, but we had a peaceful day of wandering around town admiring the architecture and walking along the greenbelt.

The highlight of the afternoon was an early dinner with just the right combination of spice and complication. Idaho has a sizeable Basque community and history, and there’s a small but charming block in downtown Boise dedicated to Basque history, culture and food. Traditional songs are carved into slabs of concrete embedded in the sidewalk, as are lists of family names – there are pictures of both below.

We ate at Bardenay, a restored and functioning distillery named for a Spanish sailors’ word for the cocktail hour. Inside, it’s one of the loveliest buildings I’ve ever seen, and the bar was exceptional. I didn’t want to keep snapping photos while people were eating and drinking, but I got one that conveys it to some extent. Not only was their drink list extensive, inventive and appealing, but the physical space of the bar was great, too. I love wood bars, and this one was wood from top to bottom, incorporating shelves for whiskies and liquors, racks for wine, refrigerated glass cabinets with taps for white wines and taps for beer. Delicious.

We ate outside in Idaho’s usual blue and cloudless clime. Faith ordered a black bean and sweet potato chimichanga with a Caesar salad, and I had red curry and turmeric chicken satay with a frisee of carrots and lemongrass. Both were outstanding – well prepared, well seasoned, delicious and unusual. By far the pinnacle of this meal was a martini over ice that we shared, a specialty drink called Basil Instinct, made with Bardenay’s own gin, Patron Citronge, fresh lemon and lime juices and muddled with a sprig of basil. It smelled like a kitchen herb garden and was striking and refreshing – a less sweet, more complicated version of a mint julep. I bought a bottle of the restaurant’s gin and am hoping to recreate this frosty wonder when I get back home. Summer has a new drink…