By Ashley Lodato
I will admit to a certain level of distraction as I sat writing this column on Sunday night, due to the two fires in the western Wenatchee area that had burned more than two dozen homes and businesses by the time I submitted my column on Monday morning. Friends evacuated, houses in ashes; the same old story, every bit as terrifying and heartbreaking as last summer.
If we look for one small silver lining in this heat wave, we note that it has made June swim meets and practice a lot more fun for the young Methow Valley Killer Whales swimmers. Usually in June, the kids have to bring fleece jackets and thermoses of hot tea just to make it through swim meets. They stand shivering at the end of lanes, dreading the plunge into the water, and emerge at the end of the pool after their events goose-bumped and blue-lipped. But this year the kids are eager to jump into the water, and remain happily in their lanes as long as they’re allowed to.
All this swim team happiness is made possible by the heat, but also by the efforts of Friends of the Pool, who do the fundraising necessary to make sure the pool opens each year. Thanks, friends! We’re all invited to join Friends of the Pool on July 10 for an ice cream and games pool party from 6:30-8pm. Admission to the party is free.
As someone with a tiny little history of bug eating, I was delighted to see that the author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook will be speaking at the Winthrop Barn on Wednesday (July 1) at 7 p.m. My first official bug consumption came courtesy of Mark Lanfear (former owner and chef of Wenatchee’s Horan House restaurant, so he was not clueless in the culinary department), who paid me $10 to eat a peanut butter and ant sandwich at Colchuck Lake when I was a teen in the 1980s. As I was only making $1.50/hour as a babysitter in those days — and desperately needed to beef up my collection of Van Halen records and Flashdance sweatshirts — eating a PB&A sandwich for cash was a no-brainer.
Snails have never been my fancy, but surprisingly tasty were the chapulines — the fried grasshoppers that I learned to eat without flinching while traveling in Central and South America. After all, what doesn’t taste pretty good with lime and chili on it? (A snail, that’s what.)
Most of the rest of my bug eating was inadvertent — the result of working outdoors in black-fly-and-mosquito-ridden Maine, where I ingested and inhaled vast clouds of the little pests. Flavorless, I tell you.
Anyway, I’ll hope to see some of you at the bug eating talk. Although the fruit fly problem seems to have abated somewhat, it might not be a bad idea to have some recipes on hand in case they return.