Photo by Mandi Donohue
Suellen White, left, is a familiar food server at the annual Bite of the Methow.

By Mandi Donohue

This week was chock-full of delicious festivity, and jam-packed with yummy morsels and heart-warming cordials if you were willing to brave the unending, yet sunny, winter weather. It also might have had something to do with that quirky Irish holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. What was once used to commemorate the death of Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity to Ireland has now become a holiday used by folks like me to partake in whiskey tastings and Bite of the Methow.  

According to Wikipedia, “Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.” Can you blame us? We’re practically saints the rest of the time.

First, the hubby and I went to a whiskey tasting at The Wine Shed. I’ve never done a tasting there before as I always seem to forget until just after the fact, or I have to work.  Dave Swenson had three great choices for us to try: John L. Sullivan Irish Bourbon, Powers Signature Release and a Yellow Spot 12 year (a $145 bottle of whiskey, mind you). Three fantastic shots to sip, including a plate of nibbles, only cost $15. The whiskeys were fantastic! The fun conversation from the Swenson and Jason March peanut gallery? Priceless.  

Photo by Mandi Donohue

Next, as part of the Freestone Inn family, I got to take part in Bite of the Methow. One volunteer said about 300 folks came through to support the Kiwanis Key Club and all they do for the community. While I haven’t verified that information, I can tell you it was a heck of a lot of people, and the countless volunteers were dedicated and made the day run like clockwork. Be sure to check out their pictures on the Kiwanis Facebook page.

I would also have to say there were at least 100 items available for silent auction. Miles upon miles of wonderful items were donated by this community — amazing! Folks milled about as vendors set up, placing their bids. Judges came through. Finally, it was time for the hungry people with tickets to eat. Vendors from around the valley contributed, serving everything from enchiladas to bacon dipped in chocolate. Freestone Inn served its infamous Lobster Mac ’N’ Cheese, and we handed out lemon cupcakes to attendees until we ran out. 

I heard from many ticket purchasers that it was a dessert-heavy evening. As folks kept streaming in, the savory items began to sell out. Gratefully, everyone was in fairly good spirits and happy for a sugar overload for the cause A huge thanks to all of the participants, the ticketed community and volunteers! Oliver’s Kitchen won best entree prize with its Chicken Curry Canapé, Sunflower Catering won Best Dessert for its Salted Caramel Bar, and Judge’s Choice went to Rocking Horse Bakery for its adorable and delicious spread of mini-pies. Congrats to all the winners! Here’s to the next fabulous St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

PREVIOUSLY, IN MAZAMA