Spaghetti Dinner of Destiny!

Nirvana Wok has volunteered to cook for the Nickelsville spaghetti dinner fundraiser during National Night Out on Tuesday, August 3 in front of Nickelsville at 21st and Columbia in Seattle. This event is not affiliated with National Night Out but Nickelsville figured an evening when block parties are happening all over the city would be a good date for a fundraiser.

Food will be served from 5-8 PM. The menu will be spaghetti with marinara sauce, salad (probably a cucumber salad), garlic bread and optional meatballs. There will be drinks including Italian sodas and also a popcorn stand, live music and possible appearances from local politicians. All proceeds go to Nickelsville. More details coming next month.

Suggested donations are $10 for the spaghetti plate and $5 for added meatballs. Sodas and popcorn will be $2.

FUN FACT: Years ago I did another food/food blog project called Garlic Gulch. The end result was not a restaurant (Garlic Gulch does not exactly sound like an appealing place for a first date) but two self-published books: The Garlic Gulch Cookbook: Italian American Delights and Garlic Gulch: True Tales from South Seattle.

So yeah - I know how to cook spaghetti and meatballs.

The cookbook is more of a photo book than a recipe book and got a bad review from a lady who also reviews laundry detergent on Amazon. True Tales from South Seattle is a compilation of blog posts, including a story about how U.S. House member Pramila Jayapal had great branding - when she was running for Washington State Senate. Her campaign office was right next to where the Columbia City PCC is now, and her bright orange signs were perfect for the scary time of year when we have Halloween and elections.

In the next newsletter I’ll have links to how you can sign up in advance or just donate a meal that we’ll give to a hungry neighbor that night.

Breaded in the USA

Since this newsletter likes to call out deceptive food packaging here’s a box of frozen Gorton’s brand Butterfly Shrimp that advertises that they are “breaded with care in the USA.” These are “100% real shrimp” that are “sourced responsibly” and “made in the USA with domestic and imported ingredients.” If that is not insulting enough you can go to gortons.com/sustainability for more weasel words from their marketing department. Breaded in the USA but probably farmed in sewer-like conditions in Southeast Asia. I know food advertising has been mocked for decades but in an era where we have lost trust in our institutions – government, academia, the media – you’d think food corporations would step up and try to be more honest with their false claims.

Gorton’s has been located in Gloucester, Massachusetts since 1849 but is now owned by a Japanese seafood conglomerate. Gorton’s ceased being independent in 1968 when it merged with General Mills, which was later acquired by Unilever - current owners of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings Inc. (sorry idealists - the hippie ice cream entrepreneurs sold out long ago).

Washington Senator Thomas Slade Gorton III, who died last August, is a descendant of one of the founders of Gorton’s.

Hot Schlub Time Machine

Nirvana Wok is going on a much needed family vacation to a different time zone - far enough away from Seattle that good bagels and pizza will actually be available. This newsletter will boot back up again in late July, just in time to see Jeff Bezos blast himself into space.

–Alex