There are some things that are pretty Methowesque. One night at a dinner with friends, we discussed what a Methow Starter Pack (MSP) would look like. First would be a Subaru. Yes, we know that Washington in particular is loaded with Subies, but seriously, the Methow has got to have the highest per-capita rates of Subaru ownership in the United States.
And why not? They are good in the snow, have a lot of bang for the buck and, according to Consumer Reports, are very highly rated. Maybe the blue ones give the owners some sort of super power; I’m not sure, but there has to be a reason why blue Subarus are the most desired choice around here. Maybe my colleague Ashley Lodato could tell us.
Next in the MSP would be one of three types of dog or mixes of these dogs: Australian Shepherd, Border Collie or Cattle Dog. All very nice dogs. But why so overwhelmingly popular? Maybe because their super-hairy bodies keep them warm in the snow? But if that is the case, why not more Chows, German Shepherds or Newfoundlands? My neighbor, Karina Johnson, has a Newfie named Archie and he seems well suited for the snow, but not so well suited for driving around in a car full of children and gear. Perhaps that’s why the medium size of the herding dogs has made them the uber-popular choice around here.
What Starter Pack is complete without food? And what foods are appropriate for our Methow Starter Pack (particularly the Mazama Edition)? Kale salad, Mazama Store baguette, and a bar of dark chocolate. If you attend a potluck of any type, these three items are almost sure to be found, sometimes in duplicate or even triplicate.
Kale salads have many variations, depending on the season, what the cook likes to add, and what ingredients are put into the vinaigrette. I’ve heard that Laura McCabe makes a delicious vinaigrette that includes a lot of garlic. The Mazama Store baguettes vary only by what is brought to put on them. Whether you are spreading them with butter, goat cheese or tapenade, they are a delicious Methow staple. Sally Gatlin refers to them as “crack bread” for good reason. And dark chocolate? That’s probably in every Starter Pack except maybe in the South.
Finally, the MSP would include a bumper sticker. The options here are nearly limitless: Methow Made, Classroom in Bloom, the Mazama Store logo, an outline of the state of Washington with a heart somewhere around the Methow, Coexist, Loup or Little Star. I heard a funny Methow story the other day where a son asked his mom what a midwife was. After she gave him the answer, the son shook his head and said, “hippies.” The mom asked why he wanted to know. He said that he had seen a car (likely a Subaru with a Border Collie in the back) with a “Support Midwives” sticker on the back and was curious who he should be supporting. I’m thinking a few Methow Starter Packs would need to include the midwives stickers.