Washington - The Evergreen State
Unofficial State Motto “Alki” (Chinook for “bye and bye”)
Suggested Motto - Literally anything more memorable than that
Two Truths and a Lie
The first non-indigenous settlement in Puget Sound was led by a black pioneer named George Washington Bush. He guided four families along the Oregon Trail only to face discrimination in the Willamette valley. So he headed north into disputed territory and encouraged many to join him. Without his efforts, Washington may have ended up being part of Canada.
Washingtonians have to cross a lot of water to get around their state. Ferries are abundant and so are bridges. Even the squirrels have their own bridge system in Longview, Washington. The bridge is called “Nutty Narrows” and allows critters to safely cross a busy street outside the town’s library.
Northeast Washington is home to the biggest dam in the United States, the Grand Coulee. This concrete behemoth was built along the Mackenzie River during the Great Depression. The dam provides irrigation and hydroelectric power which helped the state become an agricultural and industrial powerhouse.
The Recipe - Rainy Day Macarons
Washington State consists of a forested western edge and a semi-arid eastern interior. The Cascade Mountains create the divide. This eastern part is heavily irrigated and highly productive. The state produces more apples, blueberries, hops, pears, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries than any other in the nation. However, this cookie features none of those. I treasure the memories I made over four trips to the state so I based this recipe on my personal travels.
My favorite spot is Olympic National Park where mountains, beaches, and the only temperate rainforest in the country reside on the same peninsula. The Olympic Mountains create their own weather, and it is usually wet. I got lucky with sunny skies on one August visit, but every other trip has been overcast and drizzly, so I decided to make macarons piped in the shape of rain clouds.
On that August trip, my cousin and I were too young to rent a car so we rented bikes to explore the area. We made an epic journey all the way to Hurricane Ridge, then spent the rest of the trip on the low lands near the Juan de Fuca Strait. I was enthralled with fields of flowers. In the Midwest, one becomes so accustomed to the monoculture of soybeans and corn, I was flabbergasted at the sight of lavender and lilies in neat furrows. I still picture it when I think of Washington, so I bought some culinary lavender and mixed it into my macaron batter.
These days macarons are usually sandwiched with a filling like jam or buttercream, but historically this wasn’t the case. My cookies had such a delicate floral flavor and were plenty sweet on their own, so I thought the best pairing was a homemade latte. Seattle has a huge coffee culture and when I visit my bestie there, she always takes me out to fantastic coffee shops.
These cookies are so yummy; I accidentally added a heavy rather than light pinch of salt to the batter but I kind of liked it that way. They reminded me of the salty breezes coming off Puget Sound. These macarons are addictive and perfect with coffee. I will have to make more for the holidays.
Want to experience Washington for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
Most of this post has been a promotion for the Olympic Peninsula and I stand by that. I have also enjoyed the nightlife in Seattle and Tacoma. My parents took us to see the Grand Coulee Dam but I was 15 and sullen so I pouted through the tour. It would be cool to revisit. I also hope to visit Mount Rainier on my next trip. To learn a little Washington history, read “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown.
Time for the whole truth
The Grand Coulee dams the Columbia River. The Mackenzie River is in Canada. (By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)