Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spanish Paella and Rioja

Spanish Paella and Rioja

Inner workings of the clock
Bob Cremin and Tim Premselaar 

Over the weekend, we enjoyed getting together with friends for a Spanish dinner party.  Our host has collected many fine wines, which includes a collection of aged Spanish wines.  I know so little about Spanish wines that I cannot recall the names of the wineries but know that we were drinking a delightful Spanish Rioja that came with a fine gold wire netting around the bottle.

Two of the men are clock collectors.  During the cocktails house, Tim Premselaar enjoyed showing fellow antique clock collector, Bob Cremin, his exquisite antique grandfather clock.  It was fascinating

Ken Hatch and Tom Raschella

to see that the clock had holes in the back of the casing because it had been nailed to the wall during its lifetime and that there were furrows in the door of the casing where the weights had rubbed the inside of the door as they moved up and down.  Ken and Tom Raschella appeared to enjoy the clock conversation also.

Our hostess, Sandi, did all the cooking herself which was so impressive.  Hors d’oeuvres included a wonderful selection of Spanish olives, a special Spanish-style bruschetta that had been rubbed with garlic and tomato and topped with Manchego

Paella simmering.

cheese, more cheese including a drunken Goat’s cheese (wondering if the goat was drunk when milked or whether the cheese was just soused in wine later???), and a delicious Langoustine hot appetizer dip.

Since the main course included Paella, which must be cooked at the last moment, I kept our hostess company in the kitchen and it was fun to see each step.  She began by sauteing chicken breast meat, prawns, small scallops and Chorizo sausage slices in her large paella pan.  She removed the meats from the pan and then added chopped onions and red bell peppers to saute first

Sandi Premselaar and Joyce McCallum

before adding garlic, parsley and fresh lemon juice.  Once the vegetables were tender, she added her Arborio rice and sauteed it to toast it a little before adding hot chicken stock mixed with saffron.  She let the paella simmer, stirring occasionally under the rice had absorbed most of the liquid and then added back in the meat mixture.  Meanwhile she had also cooked a delicious pork in cumin sauce and roasted assorted miniature potatoes which were served alongside the Paella.

The salad that was served before the Paella was delicious with slices of hearts of Palm which my friend, Joyce McCallum, and I both love and were arguing who should get the most.  Since she got to put the plates out at the individual places, I accused her of giving herself the most of course!

Dinner was followed with an amazing homemade key lime dessert that was the perfect conclusion.

What a lovely evening!

The Wearin’ o’ the Green

The Wearin’ o’ the Green

Dave Syferd, Carol Anderson, Van Strom

Last evening, Ken and I were looking forward to joining friends at a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  Ken asked me several times during the day what time we were going to the party and I looked at my calendar and responded that we needed to leave at around 5:30 pm in order to arrive at around 6:00 pm which was when the party was starting.  We puttered around during the day getting projects done that needed to be done looking forward to the get-together until it was time to don our appropriate green attire and go to the party.

Nancy Strom, Spike Anderson, Joyce McCallum
Ken was having trouble getting the buttons on his green shirt in the buttonholes (too much starch!) so we left a few minutes late, but there was little traffic and we arrived at 6:05 pm.  We didn’t ring the doorbell but just walked in and hearing voices headed into the kitchen where we found the rest of the guests all sitting at the table with empty plates that they had just finished eating!  I said, “Are we late?” which we obviously were, but was very surprised since I thought we were only five minutes late.

Leeks, white tulips, kale and Waterford Colleen crystal
It turned out that the rest of the guests had arrived at 4:00 pm which is when the hostess had asked us to come.  Somehow, I had missed updating my calendar with that information and wanted to believe that I hadn’t gotten the message.  However, when I looked at my email later at home, I saw that I was the one that made the mistake.  My bad!

The table was set with sparkling Waterford Colleen crystal which is one of my favorite patterns and the centerpiece was an artful arrangement of leeks, white tulips and kale.  Happily, our host and hostess replaced additional chairs at the table for us to join them and we microwaved some delicious corned beef, parsnips, turnips, carrots, potatoes, and red cabbage and we ate while the rest of the group regaled us with stories.  Delicious!

Ken & Cathi Hatch

Van Strom and Trudi Syferd
One of the very best stories was one that Spike Anderson shared that had us all laughing out loud and wiping tears from our eyes about when he and Carol were first dating and he decided to take her to the San Juan Islands with an open cockpit fifteen foot boat.  It involves destroying the propeller, running aground, losing his car keys, a locksmith who had a recent stroke, the boat falling off the trailer, and a hippie in a muu muu with no underwear who helped them.  I can’t do justice in repeating the story, but it is one that if you can get him to share it with you, it is hilarious!

The other St. Pat’s Day celebrants included Joyce & Doug McCallum, Trudi & Dave Syferd, and Nancy & Van Strom.  Everyone had a wonderful with the “wearin’ o’ the green”.  And by the way, though Nancy insisted she was wearing green, she was really wearing turquoise!

My turn to host Book Club

My turn to host Book Club

l to r: Jan Rogers, Diane Kuenster, Penny Thackeray, Cathi Hatch,
Sandi Premselaar, Pam Kaiser

I have been in a Book Club for over thirty years and Book Club has met every month for these thirty years now.  I used to be much better at being able to attend each month but now it seems that my attendance is infrequent since there is always something that comes up that conflicts with each month.  However, I do try to stay current and read each scheduled book throughout the year.

Each year, each member is responsible for hosting one Book Club lunch event and choosing and reviewing one book.  This month it was my turn.  Only half of the members were in town and available to attend so I got off pretty easy.

The book I selected was an autobiography by Jeannette Walls entitled The Glass Castle.  It was a fascinating story about a girl that grew up with highly dysfunctional parents in an extreme poverty situation.  Her first memory at three years of age was of catching herself on fire as she was on a chair in front of a gas stove in a tutu cooking her own hot dog because she was hungry.  As the story begins, the author, who is now a successful adult living on Park Avenue in New York is dismayed to look out the window of her limo and see her mother rooting through a trash can. 

Sometimes I will try to match the luncheon menu to the theme of the book, but this time, that would not have been a good option.  Much of the book talks about the family being hungry and having no food in their home with the children eating scraps out of the garbage at school when no one was looking in order to survive.  I won’t give away more of the story, but would recommend it highly as a book worth reading.

So instead of garbage scraps, here is the menu I planned:

Herbed Carrot Soup with Pea Sprouts
Parmesan Rosemary Rounds

Warm Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad
with Grilled Chicken
Butter’s Cheesy Biscuits

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Toasted Coconut Crust
and Whipped Cream
Congratulations Lisa & Steve!

Congratulations Lisa & Steve!

Ken and I so enjoyed attending the party to celebrate the engagement of Steve Hilbert and Lisa Iland earlier this week.  They were both glowing with happiness and Lisa looked the beautiful bride in her elegant ivory party dress.

It was fun to run into friends, some of whom I had not seen for awhile including Steve’s mom, Stephanie Hilbert, Koryn Rolstad, Michael Greer, Sue Beller and Ashley Baerwaldt.

Ashley is now more than mid-way through her year as Junior League of Seattle President, which is a huge commitment, and said that she can now see the light at the end of the tunnel since she will be passing the gavel to her successor on May 21st.  Having served as Junior League of Seattle President in 1991-92, I can still remember that feeling.  It was also fascinating to hear about Koryn’s huge structural art projects that she is doing all over the country (though definitely not enough here yet) through her Koryn Rolstad Studios!  I was so impressed when I went to see her website after the party.  We definitely need some of her art in our community.

Since Steve is on the Board of Governors, also attending the party were many Columbia Tower Club members and associates including Membership Directors Lori Sailors and Deann Anderson.  Good friends, JJ McKay, Nancy Pellegrino and FreddaSteve Goldfarb were also there to join in the celebration which included cocktails, dinner and dancing.

Even though Michael Greer had committed to dance with me (he is a great dancer!), the Party Curmudgeon, aka Ken, was ready to leave before that part of the evening really got started.  C’est la vie!

Thank you Steve and Lisa for including us in your festive and fun celebration!  Congratulations on your engagement!

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Brook Lang of Montavo

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Brook Lang of Montavo

ZINO Society presents our featured ZINOpreneur Member of the Week:  Brook Lang of Montavo, Inc.

  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . 
Retail advertisers need Montavo’s retail MaaP to understand the direct correlation between their TV and Digital advertising spend and their in-store sales revenue and profits.
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . .
We were fascinated by the prevalence of advertiser-supported business models for a new generation of Internet businesses. I started to dig into retail advertising and the opportunities that web & mobile advertising technologies would create. There were some really interesting plays but many were using coupons and that’s an extraordinarily limited market – right around 5% of the total advertising spend. The other thread we pulled on was the idea that digital advertising – for all the “big data” and analytics focus – was justified using clicks and unique visits and a host of other metrics. But not correlating ads to bricks and mortar sales revenue and profits because the technology didn’t exist. So that’s what we set out to solve. It’s an enormous opportunity when you can show an advertiser exactly where their $100 million in digital ad spending went and how that directly translated into consumers going to a physical bricks and mortar store and buying their products or services.  As the idea was that for the system to work, the solution needed to be that the consumer never registered with the entity the ad was viewed on or the advertiser themselves – i.e. the consumer does not do anything different then then ever did in the past.
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . .
Seasoned. [We don’t issue learner’s permits and every one on our team has been here before.]
  • How are you different from your competition? . . . 
We have the simplest and clearest differentiation in the world: we are the only company that can provide this data to advertisers and every advertiser wants this data.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . .
Really, I think it’s the sheer magnitude of our opportunity. Sometimes that works against you. We’ve found an almost unlimited supply of investors who will gladly write a check once the product is shipping and the first customer deploys our solution. But you have to get there. We’re closer to a biotech investment model: it’s an enormous opportunity but it takes a little more effort and money/capital to get to market then is the usual for a software company today. If you think of our kind of analytics as being worth a very small fraction of an advertiser’s budget and that global advertising spending is over half a trillion dollars per year, we don’t have to establish much of a beachhead to generate very significant numbers. So, our challenge has been in trying to demonstrate and show investors an enormous opportunity, moderated with suitably conservative projections, but a potential not dissimilar to Google before they shipped version 1 of Search.
  • How much money have you raised to date? . . . 
We have raised $1.5 million, lifetime to date. We’ve recently secured a significant portion of our current round and that guarantees the development of release 1.0 in the fall of this year.  Now we are just filling in the additional capital needed to hire and run Sales & Marketing and Business Development.
  • If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . 
We’ve eliminated 95% of technology risk (we’re down to execution) and are at a pure go-to-market stage, so we’d spend on the product launch, hiring and supporting a sales team, and recruiting a business development executive. Our singular focus is to establish a series of toe holds with national brand advertisers and then we’ll leverage those relationships into a broader market strategy.
  • Why will your company be successful? . . .
There are three fundamental reasons:
1.    Compelling nature of our opportunity – enormous market potential, no direct competitors, near ubiquitous demand for what we have
2.    Proprietary technology – our service is enabled by Montavo-proprietary technologies that serve as a strong barrier-to-entry
3.    Strength of the Team – we are building a team that: a) has passion for addressing a critical gap in the market, b) has been through the start-up to wealth-creation phases before and, c) has a combined depth and breadth of experience that is remarkable.
Happy Birthday Natalie (& Alexis)!

Happy Birthday Natalie (& Alexis)!

Stuart and Gavin help surprise Natalie. Last week, at the invitation of her beautiful daughter, Natalie, many friends of our dear friend, Alexis Phelps, whom we lost last year to cancer, ostensibly got together at Carmine’s Il Terrazzo on what would have been Alexis’ birthday, to celebrate and remember her life.  Although we did that… Continue Reading

Go Sounders!  Get Mental!

Go Sounders! Get Mental!

John & Molly Otter, Kathy Fertitta, Rachael Podolsky, Cathi Hatch On Saturday evening, fifty ZINO Society members and guests were treated to a Sounders FC Private Suite for the season opener game against Montreal.  The Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC is a brand-new annual sponsor for ZINO Society and what fun we all had together! Meg… Continue Reading

Two Birthdays, Two Cakes, Two Gifts

Two Birthdays, Two Cakes, Two Gifts

Alicia, Spencer, Jackson, Michael & Andrew Hatch Over the weekend, Ken and I decided to take a birthday dinner over to Alicia & Michael Hatch’s new home  to celebrate Jackson’s sixth birthday and Spencer’s fourth birthday.  Though birthday celebrations are being planned to happen in March, we decided we should recognize the boys’ actual birthdays… Continue Reading

“Ode to All Things Nonsensical”

“Ode to All Things Nonsensical”

“Ode to All Things Nonsensical” was the theme of the 2013 Poetry Pageant in which Ken’s grandson, Jackson Hatch and his Kindergarten Class performed recently.  This year, Jackson now attends Epiphany School and this was the first event that we have attended there since he began. The auditorium was full of parents and grandparents patiently waiting for the big… Continue Reading