Port Gamble is a beautiful area and last weekend was gorgeous! Mark and I were invited to be a part of the ‘Buy Local’ section of this first annual festival focused on local businesses and sustainability. We have never done a festival before so we decided to keep it super easy, especially since Mark would be responsible for all the set-up, teardown and most of the sales work. He baked peanut butter, chocolate chip, and butterscotch ranger cookies for the event and since they were smaller than our normal size we sold them for a buck each. We also sold water for a buck a bottle, and that way we did not have to deal with tons of change. Figuring cash back on larger bills was easy and we had a really great time.

When I committed to this event I was whole, and I committed myself only, not Mark. Since he was going to have to help me ALOT I backed out of Sunday sales and said we would only do Saturday. He would still have to take me up there on Sunday so that I could facilitate the Commons Cafe conversation about starting a local business alliance, but that would be over by noon and he could have the rest of the day off. Well on Saturday Mark was having so much fun he decided that he wanted to come back and do it again for Sunday, so we did.

We won’t be doing other festivals as a habit; we have enough to do. But I felt like this festival was important because of the focus on local and sustainable business. These topics are important to me and I wanted to support the spreading of these ideas. I want to start a business alliance with other business owners who value the same things that I do. After all, I can’t be alone out there! The most successful venture like that that I know of is Sustainable Connections in Bellingham. A woman named Michelle Long was key in getting that organized and she is my hero! I was honored to be able to introduce her to the group in the Commons Cafe Conversation and I really hope that we can get something like that going here. It would be SO beneficial for the community!

So many dreams, so little actual knowledge of how to get there! One thing I do know is food that I love. We recently ate at Moctezuma’s in Gig Harbor. It is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the area and they did not let me down with their ‘City’ tacos, made from pulled pork. I loved it so much (it is a fairly authentic dish!) that we pulled some pork out of the freezer and I am going to braise it today to make this dish. We are even going to (try to) make corn tortillas! I love braised pork anyway, so I don’t think we can go wrong with this.

I have a pork butt from Lopez Island Farm and I will season it up and brown it on all sides to get some great flavors going. Next I will pull it out and set it on a plate. I will heat some olive oil and caramelize some onions, add some garlic and spices like cumin and bay and we shall see what else I grab. I will return the meat back to the pot, including any juices that came out of the meat, cover it in some chicken stock, limes and oranges, and let it go low and slow for a couple of hours.

Once it is cooled I will shred it up and top the fresh tortillas with it! Along with some fresh pico de gallo and we have a meal. Mark will be glad he came home for dinner.

Do you have a favorite Mexican restaurant? Dish? Vacation? Tell me about it!