My Thai friend, Suprattra Pornprasit, teaches Thai vegetable carving at supattrafruitart.com. For the past two years she has invited me to visit East Wenatchee with her. I did not have time until mid-July this year to make that happen. Here are my stories of summery days with Supratra and her friends with Thai connections in East Wenatchee and its nearby towns.
Day 1. I left Seattle around noon and traveled to East Wenatchee on the beautiful drive via Hwy 2. There was very little traffic at that time and I enjoyed the drive and the Pacific Northwest scenery. The beautiful views kept me awake and driving leisurely, I arrived at East Wenatchee around 4 pm.
The picture above is of the area of East Wenatchee. At 6pm the sun is still up high and Supatra and I were heading to see another friend in Cashmere to pick cherries. It was at the end of the cherry season, but with good connections with the cherry farmer we were able to visit a farm to look for those few cherries that were left behind. There were the sweetest and juiciest Rainier cherries that I have ever eaten.
The Sweetest One!
By 8:30pm we headed back to Noi’s home, each with half a bag full. Later Noi prepared a famous dish, Som Tum Sua, from her hometown .
It was a perfect summer evening to enjoy the moment with my new Thai friends who have found Washington State their new home.
Day 2. After breakfast, I checked out three farmers markets in East Wenatchee. First, I went to the East Wenatchee Farmer Markets. I saw a few stalls and decided to skip the rest. Then I drove on to Mission Street’s Farmhouse Table Local Foods Market. I was delighted with the local produces and dried beans and grains that are grown here in Washington State. I brought Lentz Black Nile Barley Pancake Mix to bring home. Then I headed out to North Wenatchee Avenue to Mike’s Meat and Farmers Market. It is an impressive market with meats and farmers’ produce, like the Orca beans that have skin that is a prominent white and black pattern like the Orca whale. Also I purchased Mike’s award winning spice blend for BBQ ribs.
It was a beautiful drive from Wenatchee to Chelan. I drove past fruit orchards and Lake Chelan.
Lake Chelan is a vacation destination for residents from other parts of Washington State as well as other nearby states.
There are plenty of restaurants, hotels, gift shops and interesting places in downtown Chelan–areas for a few days’ visit or a long summer vacation.
I wandered around for a few minutes to decide where to eat lunch. The Bamboo Shoot restaurant caught my eye, and I decided to check it out. It is a Thai restaurant, but after learning that the chef was Indonesian, I asked for an Indonesian dish instead. The only one he could prepare for me that was close to Indonesian was fried rice – Nasi Goreng. I anticipated a good fried rice when I heard the chef’s dramatic noise with the wok. It was remarkably good. The summery weather and the delicious taste of the East on my palate made me feel at home.
Then I went to the Chelan Museum. I wish I had spent more time there, but 20 minutes gave me a good sense of the history of Lake Chelan and the town from the past to the present. The volunteer at the museum, a former school teacher from Seattle public schools, sent me to my next destination–the Culinary Apple–to get some good fudge.
Culinary Apple is down the road toward the lake from the museum. It has both high end and casual kitchen ware. I love the store and the caramel fudge was so decadent. I would recommend that it be part of your future visit. It will always be part of mine.
The last stop on my way back to Wenatchee was the Sunshine Farm Market. It is where you will find all the local culinary delights. You can pick up the local ripe fruit or vegetables, or pancake mix and honey on your way home, or pick up some artisan bread, gourmet cheese and estate crafted-wine on your way to your vacation home.
At 5pm I picked up Supratra in East Wenatchee and then Noi in Cashmere and we headed out to Leavenworth to visit Sandy, another Thai friend. Sandy and her husband own Veena Jewelry, an Asian boutique in downtown Leavenworth where you can get jewelry designed and hand made by Sandy. We then headed out for something good to eat.
For dinner, we skipped Thai flavors and went for what Leavenworth has to offer: German sausage and more at Munchen Haus
Our last stop for the day is at nearby Lions Club Park where a farmers market opens every Thursday from 4 to 8pm. We had a great time checking out local produce, enjoying food from the food stalls and hanging around the park listening to live music.
Day 3: This is the last day of my trip but I had to experience a few more culinary highlights on my way back to Seattle. First, Noil, Supratra and I met at 8am for breakfast at the must-stop bakery, Anjou Baker. It is an impressive bakery and lunch place. We each had a cup of coffee with a pear pastry. Then Supratra headed out to work, and Noi and I headed to Crazy Larry’s Berries.
Noi and I enjoyed picking blueberries at Crazy Larry’s Berries. We sat on the ground facing each other while filling each other with stories. We enjoyed the warm sun and delicious berries while our hands were busy picking.
I brought home a box full of berries and have baked two delicious desserts so far. I would like to share the recipes with you one day, together with a story of Larry and his farm. All I can tell you for now is that he is not crazy. So please hurry to visit his farm and enjoy the U-pick as the blueberry season will end in a week or so. I know you will have a great time in Wenatchee.
- Where to Eat in Leavenworth, a sausage guide to Leavenworth (www.seriouseats.com)
- Pranee’s Maui Culinary Getaway (ilovethaicooking.wordpress.com)
- Pranee’s Sister-in-Law Som Tum Sua (youtube.com/ilovethaicooking)