The United States may lack the medieval castles and palaces of Europe, but many cities in our country can boast of incredible and remarkable historic homes. The city of Tacoma is definitely no exception!
Every year, for 23 years, the Tacoma Historical Society has sponsored a self-guided walking tour of some of the city’s most historic homes. Docents are in every home to share the history of the families who lived in the homes and the history of the homes themselves. This year, six homes are being featured and they are within walking distance of each other just north of Tacoma’s historic Proctor district in the city’s North End.
If you take the tour, you’ll hear extraordinary stories about the families who lived in each home. To give an example, one of the homes on this year’s tour belonged to the Balabanoff family. Dr. Ivan Balabanoff decided to take his medical practice as far away as possible from his native country, Bulgaria, when authorities there prohibited his American wife, a doctor, from practicing medicine because ‘she didn’t speak the language’. Ivan, himself, was also denied a medical license to practice in Bulgaria because he had been educated at an American medical school. The couple opted to return to the United States in the late 1880’s and chose to live in the city that was the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Tacoma. They built their two-story Victorian home in 1893 at a cost of $3,300. Even to this day, almost 125 years later, the home is in impeccable condition.
Another home on the tour is the Gray House which was built in 1908 and was patterned after the home of the poet Longfellow, built in 1759, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The stories can go on and on and if you’d really like to hear them all be sure to attend the 23rd annual “Historic Homes of Tacoma Tour”. One last thing: you can purchase tickets right here at the Pacific Northwest Shop.
On Saturday, April 22nd, in Tacoma’s Historic Proctor District, we celebrated the largest children’s parade in the State of Washington, the 56th Annual Junior Daffodil Parade. Twenty three Daffodil Princesses led off the Parade and then stood in bleachers at the end of the route to watch all of the entries.
Children of all ages came with their friends and families to celebrate this year’s theme “Daffodil Paradise”. There were non-motorized floats, costume characters, dressed up marchers, marching bands from Middle Schools in the region, clowns, dogs, cats, and even goats and ponies. It was a very happy day with only the occasional gust of wind to carry the kids away. Despite the weather, the children who participated and the surrounding crowds didn’t let the weather dampen their spirits! In fact, next year will mark the 27th year the Junior Daffodil Parade will be held in Tacoma’s Proctor District and the kids can hardly wait!
Redd Brand Wines
Our goal at the Pacific Northwest Shop is to highlight amazing local products, artists, and ideas. We know that some of the best wines in the world come from right here in Washington. By purchasing locally-sourced wines, you’re supporting and sustaining jobs, encouraging more local commerce, and getting a superior product.
With that in mind, our shop is going to be featuring a Wine of the Month from a winery or vineyard in our region. The Northwest is home to more than 32 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), which are recognized by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as superior growing regions.
Our Wine of the Month in April is Redd Brand, a second label of Tertulia Cellars. Tertulia is nestled in the Walla Walla Valley, surrounded by its principle vineyard, Whistling Hills. All three of the Redd Brand wines come from the Columbia Valley AVA, the largest AVA in Washington. Columbia Valley produces a very wide variety of grapes, from Merlot to Riesling, and the unique growing conditions create wines that are more fruit-forward, but still fairly balanced.
2009 Redd Brand Blend, Columbia Valley
Red Blend (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot)
14.4% Alcohol by volume
Cases Produced: 750
Tasting Notes: This medium bodied red has intense aromas of dark cherry, coconut and black olives. As the wine opens, subtle aromatics of sage and sweet tarts develop on the nose. In the mouth, supple acidity and sweet tannins lead to a pleasant finish.
Redd Brand Malbec, Columbia Vallet
14.1% Alcohol by volume
Cases Produced: 271
Tasting Notes: This non-vintage Redd Brand Malbec has complex notes of brambly berries, white pepper, and violets with mouth-coating tannins.
Redd Brand Tempranillo, Columbia Vallet
14.1% Alcohol by volume
Cases Produced: 220
Tasting Notes: This non-vintage Redd Brand Tempranillo is medium-bodied, packed full of dried fruit aromatics, dried cherries, figs and dates. Also on the nose are aromas of milk chocolate and orange zest. The mouth is chock-full of firm tannins that lead to a long finish.
Tacoma artist Jason Holland has always been interested in art. Until recently, however, it was a hobby; a side gig. After all, it’s tough to make it as an artist. Jason worked a regular job, and spent some of his spare time doing freelance work. That is, until he was injured on the job. Call it bad luck, or maybe a blessing in disguise, but being unable to work gave him the opportunity to seriously consider becoming an artist.
Jason has been drawing as long as he can remember. In the 2nd grade, he won an art contest by drawing a picture of a classmate. When he described the feeling he said, “That’s when I realized I could do this. I chose to draw a portrait of a friend, and when I was finished, the drawing actually ended up looking like him!”
Born and raised in Tacoma, Jason takes the inspiration for his art right from the city. His current project, a 3-piece series called “Grit City”, features the unofficial city mascot: the giant octopus. Why the octopus? “The octopus is mysterious,” Jason said. “It’s a challenge to capture, but it also provides many perspectives and opportunities for subtlety.” Jason just released the second piece in the series (available in our shop), and the third entry is forthcoming.
‘Grit City’, Jason explained, is how he sees Tacoma. The city has always been known as a blue-collar town; and he believes that “roll-up your sleeves” mentality defines the attitude here. Many in the city are against the proposed methanol plant, and he admires the determination shown by opponents of the project.
If you like the Grit City Series, you’ll be excited to know that Jason is planning another series, for which he has “a lot of ideas rattling around”. We love supporting local artists, and we are very excited to have these pieces, and hopefully many others, in our shop.
Valentine’s Day has passed, but that doesn’t mean the love has to stop. All month long we have Tom Douglas’ Rub With Love on sale, so you can keep making delicious dishes for your sweetheart.
However, we know not everyone is a master chef (or even an Easy-Bake chef), and that’s OK. We’re here to help! We’ve picked an appetizer, side, and an entree, so your whole dinner can be filled with Love. First up:
Roasted Veggie Dip (feat. Veggie Rub With Love)
2 cups cut chopped veggies (1″-2″ pieces of carrots, broccoli, peppers, or whatever you have)
1/4 olive oil
2 tbsp. Rub With Love Veggie Rub
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread veggies on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Coat veggies evenly with 1 tbsp. Rub With Love Veggie Rub. Cook for 10 minutes, mix/flip veggies, and cook for 10 more minutes, or until veggies are soft. Allow to cool and dice into fine pieces; yields about 1 cup. Then, mix the sour cream, yogurt, and your diced veggies together with 1 tbsp. of Veggie Rub. You’re done! Serve with crackers, veggies, or anything else your heart desires.
Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes (feat. Steak Rub With Love)
2 1/2 pounds medium sized sweet potatoes
6 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Steak Rub With Love
Ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1/2″ thick wedges. Place in a large bowl with Steak Rub, then toss with oil. Divide between 2 baking sheets and spread evenly, making sure to get all the oil and spices from the bowl. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then turn wedges over and cook for another 15 minutes until potatoes are browned and tender. Remove from oven, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately while still hot.
These homemade sweet potato fries will be a hit with guests, and they’re a healthy alternative to traditional french fries!
Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Fried Rice (feat. Chinese 12-Spice Rub With Love)
Ingredients (Pork Tenderloin)
2 pork tenderloins – approx. 1 lb. each
3 tbsp. Rub With Love Chinese 12-Spice Rub
2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
Instructions (Pork Tenderloin)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat the spice rub on tenderloins, and let sit for 5 minutes. Heat oil in oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Place tenderloins in skillet and sear on all sides, approx. 4 minutes per side. Move skillet to the oven and roast until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees (approx. 20 minutes). Let sit and slice at an angle.
Ingredients (Fried Rice)
3 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
4 cups cooked short grain rice
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 tsp. soy sauce
Instructions (Fried Rice)
Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms, saute until soft and lightly brown. Add rice an saute, toss and stir as needed until the rice is hot and the grains are separated. Toss with green onions and soy sauce to taste.
Do you have a favorite Rub With Love recipe? If you do, share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, we’d like to announce that the blog is back! It’s been awhile, we know, but this time it’s real. Real like a Led Zeppelin reunion tour. Oh, wait…
Here at the Pacific Northwest Shop, we love shining the light on local artisans and craftspeople, because we think they make our little corner of the USA special. Our resurrected blog is designed to do just that; connect our wonderful community with exciting local entrepreneurs. We’ll also be sure to share interesting news about us and the region.
Now, to the subject at hand…Tara Dial! Tara started her craft business, Lost Little Things, in Austin, TX, and recently moved to Boise, ID, where her studio and her family currently reside. Tara’s focus is on great, handmade wood pieces that highlight the beauty and adventurous spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Tara’s designs are all original; sands, paints, and prints everything in her studio. Each design is laser-cut, allowing her to create intricate, one-of-a-kind designs.
Tara says she is inspired by everything around her, including her family, neighborhood and the places she’s traveled.
In celebration of Spring and Summer, we’ve come up with a new line of small themed gift baskets! Of course, these are in addition to our tried and true Sampler Boxes. These small baskets, all under $25, make for the perfect gift for friends and family, or simply a great surprise for that special someone.
Do you have an evening with friends coming up? How about considering what we’re calling the “summer-evening-on-the-patio” basket! Or would you like to offer a great assortment of candies and chocolates from the northwest? We’ve created the “PNW goodies” basket just for the occasion. And if you’re a raspberry lover, you won’t resist our “raspberry breakfast” basket. Whatever your desire, we’re here to work with you to put together a basket that you’ll love!
For years the Pacific Northwest Shop has specialized in corporate gifts and, in particular, corporate gift baskets. We’re proud that so many businesses and professionals, from near and far, call upon us to work on gifts for their clients and partners. Everything we do is made-to-order, so that our customers get just what they expect.
But why stop at corporate gifts? How about a get-well gift for your colleague, or a birthday present for your favorite sister-in-law? The possibilities are endless!
This past weekend, on April 12th, the annual Junior Daffodil Parade took place in the Proctor District. It marked the 52nd parade! Streets were closed and crowds came out for entertainment and to cheer on the younger ones in our community.
The Junior Daffodil Parade is actually part of a larger Daffodil Festival that takes place each spring across Pierce County. What began, in 1926, as a garden party among influential civic personalities quickly grew into an annual celebration. The first parade of automobiles, bicycles, and floats took place in 1934. Today, the Grand Floral Street Parade travels through the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting. This year the Daffodil Festival celebrated its 81st year of existence.
The Junior Daffodil Parade came to be some years later, in 1961. It was held annually in downtown Tacoma until 1991, when it moved to the Proctor District. The Junior Daffodil mission is to promote diversity in the community “by showcasing the excellence of children, youth groups and volunteers through the expression of music, art, sport and dance.” We definitely saw that in action last Saturday! The theme of this year’s festival was “Ready, Set, Grow!” Categories for the Junior Daffodil Parade participants included “Fascinating Floats”, “Best Fun On Wheels”, and “Fascinating Feet & Talented Toes”.
Washington State may very well be the rain capital of the country. Well, Glass Eye Studio in Seattle has gone ahead and decided to commemorate our rainy weather. Our newest product is a decorative glass umbrella.
These umbrellas aren’t hand blown like much of the other glass we carry. Instead, they’re slumped. Yes, “slumped”… Put simply, slumping is a means of glass making by which a piece of glass is set over a mold and heated in a kiln until the molten glass takes the shape of the mold. Compared to other form of glass working, slumping doesn’t require a lot of heat. The kiln doesn’t get above 1,400° F (760º C). That’s pretty hot, but other glass work actually requires temperatures several hundred degrees hotter. Glass slumping molds are used to make everything from kitchen plates to jewelery. The colorful spots on these glass umbrellas are fused to the larger piece of glass through the process.
These unique glass umbrellas have been named Bumbershoot by Glass Eye Studio. Yes, bumbershoot means umbrella. But it’s also an annual arts and music festival held in Seattle over Labor Day weekend. The first Bumbershoot festival took place in 1971. Since then, it has kept going strong. That’s just another reason that Bumbershoot is the perfect name for these little glass umbrellas, made in the heart of Seattle by Glass Eye Studio.
We’re also pleased to announce the introduction of new colors to our selection of Mount Saint Helens hand-blown glass ornaments. As always, Glass Eye Studio uses actual ash from Mount Saint Helens in Washington to give life to these newest ornaments. As the sunnier days of Spring and Summer approach, these vibrant new ornaments brighten any windowsill or nook around the house. Seafoam Rib and Powder Blue Diamond Facet are each shades of blue with differing textures in the glass. The ornament Peach Diamond Facet contrasts with the first two by its lively pinkish red color. Finally, Island Flurry is a more transparent globe with streaks of white and covered in droplets of blue, green, and purple.
Glass lovers should definitely take a look!
Hello blogosphere! The Pacific Northwest Shop has been around for quite a few years. In fact, the 10-year anniversary of our website is 2014! We figured it was about time that we give a blog a try. We’ve been supporting American cottage industry for around 40 years, so why not start blogging about it? Thanks to the help from our webmaster, Cédric, we’re ready to give it a shot. For example, we’ll share with you about the Native American artists and Mount Saint Helens volcanic ash glass blowers with whom we work. And from our flagship products like Market Spice Tea to our lesser-known, but absolutely delicious, cherry and huckleberry food products, our blog will make your mouth water for a taste of the Pacific Northwest!
The Proctor District in Tacoma, Washington, where we’re located, also hosts all kinds of events that we’ll blog about. This is main street American at its best and we at the Pacific Northwest Shop have been a part of this community through the years. The Arts Fest is a great example of how our district provides a forum to local artists and creators. And how could we not write to you about the Junior Daffodil Parade, which draws hundreds of families and kids dressed to the nines who march through our neighborhood? From Proctor Treats at Halloween to the weekly farmers’ market that’s just next door to our shop, we’ve got plenty to tell you, our customers, about.
So, keep coming back! Blogging will be an exciting new online adventure for us. We look forward to letting you know more about our products, our store, and our community. In the meantime, thanks for your interest in our small business and for supporting cottage industry U.S.A.!
- Historic Homes of Tacoma Tour 2017
- 56th Annual Junior Daffodil Parade in Proctor
- April’s Wine of the Month Is…
- Tacoma’s ‘Grit’ Inspires Local Artist Jason Holland
- How do you Rub With Love?
- Lost Little Things by Tara Dial now at the Pacific Northwest Shop
- Personal and Corporate Gift Baskets
- 2014 Junior Daffodil Parade Through Proctor
- Decorative Glass Umbrella by Glass Eye Studio Commemorates Washington’s Wet Weather
- Pacific Northwest Shop’s Brand New Blog
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