By Mandi Donohue
The holiday bazaar in Winthrop is absolutely one of my favorite days of the year in the Methow. Not only does it make my little entrepreneurial heart sing, but it is shopping local at its absolute best. I always do a quick lap and then dive in more closely.
This year didn’t disappoint! From paintings to photos, mittens to spice blends, with two local youths playing music to set the scene, it is dumbfounding and inspiring to see the talent in the valley. I selfishly eyed the gorgeous deep-dish pie plates, the funky gold metal bands, the various yummy smelling soaps … I wanted one of everything! I mean, I wanted to buy lots of gifts for other people. Yes. That is what I meant to say. And then, there’s Lisa’s Chocolates, our Mazama chocolatier.
For such a sweet and kind-hearted pastor’s wife, Lisa Picklesimer truly makes some sinful chocolates! My family has loved these treats so much, they’ve become a new tradition. When I ask my sister how she is doing around the holidays, she just responds with the word: CARAMELS.
I have a feeling it is not just my family that has fallen for these confections as Lisa can never keep up with the demand. Each chocolate and filling is mixed, hand-dipped, decorated and packaged with love, which takes an insane amount of time. Lisa doesn’t have a chocolate enrober like most confectioners, and works in a kitchen about the size of mop closet, so the process is painstaking.
So when you’re biting into that salty, crunchy chocolate exterior and letting the caramelized sugar melt in your mouth, send out a little mental thank you for the woman behind the madness. It truly is a thankless labor of love from a gal who is all heart!
Speaking of more sinful pleasures, the Freestone Inn hosted its “Ode to the Abolishment of the Volstead Act” party this past Saturday. All of those 1920s flappers and gangsters came out spiffy in their pinstripes, hair bobs and pearls. Not a bluenose in sight! They enjoyed an array of appetizers including pate and shrimp canapé, a variety of macaroons and got zozzled over magical, era-inspired cocktails, designed by the talented Amy Days.
Laura Love (a real blue serge), Terry Hunt and some of the other Family Dog were the ones sitting pretty as they stepped in last minute for Hot Damn Scandal, who couldn’t make it over the pass. Rhatz!
But our local band were a “hit on all sixes” nonetheless! You know the party is always copacetic when a “jane” like Pat Leigh is on the dance floor!
An entirely fun weekend lies ahead in Mazama! We have Santa for the kiddos at the Freestone this Saturday (Dec. 10), and Jessica Lynne later that afternoon. God help us all for Lost River’s infamous White Elephant Party-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. And last but not least, our very favorite Christmas at the Very End of the Road at the Mazama Store on Sunday (Dec. 18) from 3-6 p.m., full of vendors, samples and the spirit of community!