Pre-Season in Indianola

There isn’t a place in Washington State that makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii… except for Indianola. Now I want to make it clear that I don’t go around Washington trying to rate how each place measures up to Hawaii because really, I love this state that I live in and Hawaii’s got too many flaws to put up on a pedastal. What I’m saying is that when I’m in Indianola, it just feels like I’m in Hawaii. It has a lot to do with staying at Shannon’s Grandpa’s house. The 84 year old Bob Maxwell is my Idol and his house there in Indianola reminds me of the homes my dad’s family grew up in. A Simple habitation symbolic of a time before gentrification, when a dry roof, and the surroundings of your dwelling were what really mattered. Calendars from 2006, kitchen utensils, garden tools adorn the walls and ancient maritime artifacts are strewn over every square foot of the property, ceaseless reminders of Bob Maxwell’s endemism to this tiny community.

Indianola, much to Bob’s ire, was featured in a Seattle Times’ article as Puget Sound’s best kept secret for dungeoness crab fishing. If you ask Bob, that was the end of the good days. Crabbing season that year was particularly competitive. Still Bob and his friend Jack are local crabbing legends, so much so, that the show “Deadliest Catch” was interested in filming a pilot, you can click on the image below to see it.

Shannon and I spent our last weekend before barbecue season in Indianola along with Grandpa Bob, Aunt Jean, and Uncle Don… and Murry, the dog. We relaxed in the living room, watched a some movies, walked on the beach and we even barbecued. We brought along some flank steak and potatoes and on Saturday we hit up the local farmer’s market in Poulsbo and bought some bok choy and Walla Walla sweet onions, then I grilled everything up. After the meal Uncle Don presented me with an OD green shirt that read “Grill Seargent” across the front. I love this shirt. Aunt Jean and Uncle Don barbecued chicken and Copper River Salmon on Sunday night. That meal was very good. I have to say I really love going Indianola and I really love Bob, Jean and Don.

Grilled Flank Steak, Bok Choy and Sweet Onions

  • 2lbs Flank Steak
  • 1 Bunch Large Bok Choy
  • 1 Bunch Sweet Onions
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic

Rub steak with salt, pepper and garlic. Place in a ziploc bag and drizzle in 1 Tbsp of oil. Slice the bottom part of the sweet onions in about a 1/2 inch thick and place in another bag with the rinsed and separated bok choy. Sprinkle in minched garlic, salt and pepper, and the rest of the oil. Usually I let the bags marinate for an hour or so. Then I grill the steak on medium high about 8-10 minutes on each side. For grilling the onions I like to make a small pan out of foil. For the bok choy I made sure to hang the leafy parts off the grill while the stems cooked then for the last minute turn them into the grill to finish.

Twice Baked Potato Bites

  • 2 lbs Baby Red Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Sweet Green Onions
  • Fresh Cracked Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each potato half so they rest flat. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss with oil; season with salt and pepper, and arrange bottom side down. Bake until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on sheet. When cool enough, scoop out about a teaspoon from the center of each potato into a medium bowl. Add sour cream and onions, and mash; season with salt and pepper. Stuff potatoes with filling. (To store, refrigerate stuffed potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, up to 1 day.) Bake potatoes at 450 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Garnish with more onions.

A special thanks to Pat Maxwell for “Indianola’s Deadliest Catch”