Summer is coming and with it, a full dance card. The weekends are filling up fast and the lingering question in our minds burning hotter than VD in a jacuzzi is “what on earth should I wear to all these parties?” Well, my pretties, you can stop fretting in your fiddleheads because I’ve got you covered for at least one salty soiree.
Do you have foodie friends like mine? Do they slap your hands if your fingers clasp an out-of-season watermelon from the buffet? Do they whip out their refractometers and tell you the brix (natural sugar content) of your Rainier cherry pie? Wear this hat to the next fashionable food fete and witness the judgement flee from their minds as it’s replaced by straight-up Ali G-style “respek.”
Inspired by the global fascination with fascinators spawned by The Royal Wedding, I have created the accessory of summer for the true locavore-about-town. I am no Philip Treacy, but I tried to do the iconic couture milliner proud. This fascinator boasts a cap made from beet greens, bok choy, fiddlehead ferns and morel mushrooms all foraged, farmed or found within 50 miles of Seattle. Beet stems provide a jaunty counterpoint to the verdant thicket of greens circling the head. The bok choy frames the face in thatches like a swimming cap from the 1930’s, only tastier.
The fascinator’s pinnacle is a crowning jewel so brilliant no man could ever have created it- an ostrich eggshell, provided by the charming and dapper Andy Windack. Andy recently embarked on a 10-day roadtrip from LA to the Olympic rainforest outside Seattle, and he picked up the egg from an ostrich sanctuary along the way. He was kind enough to donate the shell to my fascinator project and my first thought was “stuff it with a bird” so I did. A roasted quail (from a Washington producer) sits on a nest of new potatoes and enjoys one last swansong from her six foot perch.
One of the single greatest aspects of this fascinator is its edible quality. I don’t know how many times I’ve been milling near the wine bar at a party unwilling to get food for fear of giving up my drinking hands for the time it takes to fill up, eat from and discard a plate. Instead, I gaze longingly at platters of asparagus yet clutch my valise of wine, knowing full well I fall into the boozer rather than the eater contingent at parties.
This results in rapid onset of drunkenness (ROD), a condition I am unable to remedy despite repeatedly taking 12 steps, which I am told is the only cure. I have taken the 12 steps in spiked heels, galoshes, sneakers, and even ninja tabi shoes, but it never works. The ROD is something I have learned to live with, besides, it can be fun when it also results in spontaneous nudity (how else did you think I came up with the idea for the Nudie Foodies?).
In any case, the locavore fascinator is like a healing salve for my ROD. Every time I take another sip and feel a tipsy spell coming on, I can simply reach skyward and tear off a hunk of quail to nibble on, which staves off slurred speech for at least an extra ten minutes.
You are sure to be the life of the party if you make and wear a locavore fascinator. Your friends will clamor for a closer look, and you can keep the object of your amorous affection entertained with bites of bok choy so he will stand by your side rather than wander off in search of “fresh meat.” Summer is nothing if not the time for madcap fun, and the locavore fascinator is the literal manifestation of just that.