November 07, 2005


After a few too many cocktails, I had a slow go of it on Sunday morning. Fortunately, we were not due to the Town Hall Seattle until 2 p.m. for our first experience with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band (BSSB). My new favorite band, BSSB has been not marching while playing John Phillip Sousa favorites for 20 years. In fact, November 6 was their 20th anniversary in addition to being John Phillip Sousa's 151st birthday! A further distinction was bestowed upon BSSB when an official edict by the mayor was read to the audience proclaiming November 6, 2005 to be Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band Day. What a proud moment. And twice during the performance, BSSB members presented director and band leader (and clarinet player) Liz Driesbach with
Sousabilia in recognition for her years of hard work and for founding the BSSB. Liz is also the performance's MC and she's a riot in a flaky, unaffected way. She might be 2 seconds from counting off the band into a new number when she will stop and turn and begin another Sousa story. She is a Sousa freak and not ashamed to show her admiration.

The BSSB will not march "under any circumstances" (according to the web site). And they boast the world's only sedentary majorette. She sits in a chair and twirls while the whole first row of musicians dons hardhats in case of an operator malfunction. They also display a colorful array of thrift store and homemade uniforms. The setting wasn't ideal for taking pictures but I managed to get a few decent ones. But I've snagged a group shot off the BSSB web site to give you a full shot of the group. This was certainly the best $10 spent in a long time. We hope to catch another performance at the Phinney Neighborhood Association Winter Festival on December 4.

For dinner we met up with Andrea and Shannon at Erin's house. Erin supplied the halibut caught by Bruce earlier this year. Julie supplied the knowledge for the garlic halibut recipe that is most delicious. There was acorn squash and salad and homemade pumpkin pie from Andrea. Don't forget the new kittens, Eva and Edie. They were more welcoming than last time and I actually got to hold them and play with them.

Here's the garlic halibut recipe. Make this immediately.

4 halibut filets (6-8 ounces each)

For the marinade:

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro plus 1 tsp cilantro root (the stalk)
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 Asian fish sauce or soy sauce and more for brushing
3 tbsp sake, Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry
3 tbsp sesame oil plus more for brushing
coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

Prepare the marinade by pounding the garlic, ginger and cilantro root and sugar in a mortar with a pestle. Or puree in food processor. Work in fish sauce, sake, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Spoon it over the halibut and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Then broil or grill the fish 4-6 minutes per side.

Aren't they crazy?


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