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Flotsam: More on a Busy Summer

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Hmmm. It appears I forgot to post this last week, so here it is now.

Summer is speeding up, with activities of all kinds taking place around here. Hiking, biking, rafting, tubing, kayaking, climbing - outdoor enthusiasts don't lack for action. Summer theater and other musical pleasures are very popular, as well as performances in wineries, restaurants and the local Leavenworth brewery. Charlie Solbrig, for example, has become very popular with his mix of guitar, keyboard and vocals. I just became acquainted and could easily become a groupie. You don't have to be a teen-ager to be a groupie, you know.

This is also a good time for wineries as locals and tourists find our wineries to be good places to while away a pleasant afternoon, sometimes picnicking on winery grounds, taking tractor-drawn rides through orchards and vineyards or just sitting and enjoying some down time with a glass of our excellent local wines.

Cascadia's Apple Wine is worth trying. I know, some of you think apple wine? Yes. It is crisp, refreshing, well made, and goes well with many summer foods. Think ahead, also. It pairs perfectly with pork and chicken dishes, and apples and cabbage dishes for fall.

We had Crayelle's delicate but definitely tasty and flavorful Pinot Noir a few nights ago, with my panko salmon. We enjoyed it. I love going to the Mission District in Cashmere on weekends and visiting with the people in the tasting rooms and in Devil's Gulch. The wines are pretty good, too! :) The diversity of wines in the tasting rooms means there is something for every wine taster's pleasure.

I know I try to promote local producers of food and wine but I do often mention Grocery Outlet and its wine selections. Unfortunately, we don't all have unlimited wine budgets. Also unfortunately, the wine selection is often by trial and error. We have had some wines which are not to my taste - to put it gently - but some are very good values. Tonight's wine, the Manhattan Project Cabernet Sauvignon, is one. At $5.99 it is a very good buy, and went well with grilled lamb and curried rice. Yes, it held up well with the rice. The Ste. Chappelle dry Gewurztraminer, $3.99, is a welcome addition to many summer meals.

While I enjoy the activities, products and vendors at Wenatchee's Saturday market, we try to avoid our crowded local "city" on weekends, and are happy we have our own farmer's market.

The highlight of my week right now is going to the Leavenworth Farmer's Market, where I meet friends, find delicious Alpine Lakes' cheeses, an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and other baked treats, pasta and foods. Best of all is the music, last week by the Saddle Rockers. It's so fun to sit in the shade, dine al fresco on some of the delicious foods available and listen. Watching the children play in the grass or dance to the music tops the evening off nicely.

Only two more days till Thursday. Maybe we'll join friends and enjoy a potluck picnic there this week...after the sun goes behind the hill. We have done that in years past, as have others. Try it; it's a lot of fun.