In Seattle the landmarks are rolling hills, water, and volcanic mountains, north and south, and mountain ranges to the east and west. But which is which? When someone gives directions that say, "head toward the water," do they mean Lake Washington, Lake Union, or Puget Sound?
I felt like a foreigner in conversation. I didn't know any of the sports teams or local bands people were talking about.
I also felt like a foreigner when it came to food. There were so many things that I'd never had before. A friend took me out for Vietnamese food and I hadn't known it was possible for my mouth to feel so hot without actual flames coming out of it. I was never brave enough to try lutefisk. And coming from a desert climate I wasn't prepared for my first sight of a geoduck. Euwww!
But some things I adapted to easily. Like desserts. When I first tried a Nanaimo Bar I was in heaven. It's a regional speciality, named for the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. I wish I could do a drawing like Fiona of Wok and Spoon did with the Tim Tams and send these beauties as goodwill ambassadors around the world, but they don't travel well, so I'll just share the recipe and you can make your own.
(serves 25 and takes about 2-3/4 hours)
6 Tbsp melted butter, cooled
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
Beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the egg and beat. Stir in the crumbs, coconut, pecans, and cocoa and beat till well mixed.
Evenly press dough into a buttered floured 8-inch square pan. Bake in a 350 deg. F. oven until slightly darker, about 20 minutes. Cool.
While the crust cools, in a mixing bowl beat together the 1/2 cup butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla till smooth. Spread over the cooled cookie base.
In a 1-2 qt. pan over low heat stir together the 2 tbsp butter and unsweetened chocolate till melted. Spread this over the filling.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, until the filling is firm enough to cut neatly. Cut into 25 squares. Serve, or chill up to 3 days.