Monday, August 24, 2009

Xavier Rudd at the Crystal Ballroom

We had a great trip to Portland last week. The weather was very nice, the hotel was great, the food was amazing, and I got to shake hands with Xavier Rudd. We both did. We got to the Ballroom and hour before it was to begin and found a spot right against the rail. The instruments were all draped but it seemed we would have a great view no matter what. However, after Jeremy Fisher and Isaac performed- which we enjoyed-they uncovered them and we found we had an incredible view. Just on the other side of the railing, 8 feet in front of us, were the long polished didgeridoos. We really had the best spot. We were surprised at how few tickets had been bought in advance and for Jeremy and Isaac the room was only 1/2 full. Which was nice and roomy for us. But it did fill up as the evening went on and made for a hot- no air conditioning- and cozy- cramped-night.
I was a little concerned when the audience started jumping in unison for an encore. We were on the third floor of and old building and with every thud the floor shook. I was remembering stories of dance floors caving in at weddings. But the floor held. And the big annoying guy who thought we were supposed to be slam dancing was asked to leave. And the other guy who thought he needed to scream "PORTLAND LOVES YOU" every few minutes eventually got a sore throat. So it all worked out. I liked that he plays bare foot. My mom would approve. I also like that Shane took all the pictures. With the floor and crowd moving I'm sure mine would have turned out blurry. But Shane got some very good ones. I think. We got to shake hands with the other guitarist as well. I think the drummer was too exhausted to move. I can't imagine how it would feel to play aboriginal drum beats for two hours in the heat. I was impressed.

Shane was so inspired by it all, he has decided he wants to get a didgeridoo. Although I'm sure once he gets proficient at playing he'll want another one. And the kids have plans to get drums and guitars "and tambourines'", adds Audrey. And we'll just start up a little family band. It could be fun, even if we don't go platinum.
We had the most amazing salad at Jake's Grill. I've been trying to recreate it but so far its not perfect. It was Hermestin (sp?) watermelon, feta, frisee, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. It was so light and juicy and incredible. I think the watermelon really makes a difference. The one I tried to use was not overly flavorful. And the produce man at the third store I tried, informed me that the California sun had fried all the frisee a couple months ago. Which explained why no one had any. I'm adding that to my garden next year for sure. But I can work on the other parts until then. I think they might have doused the watermelon slab and the frisee in some salted water. I"ll try that nest time as well.
We had better luck re-creating the the haystack onions, which came on top of my kobe beef and mashed potatoes. All the recipes I could find were like onion rings. But these were like thin ribbons and almost like a potato chip but not too crispy. So Trudy suggested we just slice them super thin, toss them in a little flour and fry them. It worked and they were delicious. They would be good on burgers or in salads or with mashed potatoes and steak. I used a Walla Walla onion. Which , since I am not a huge onion fan, worked very well.

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