A Penchant for Purple

The diagnosis? OCD—Obsessive Color Disorder: When the basis of your every choice is contingent upon the fact that your selection be from a singular color family. In my case, PURPLE. Russ maintains it wouldn’t matter what he bought me as long as it had the proper pigmentation, meaning that he could buy me a cow chip and I’d be happy—as long as it was purple! Now, even I must say, that’s taking it a bit too far (honestly however, there may be a kernel of truth to that…)

I swear, when viewing that color, it’s practically an aphrodisiac. As far back as the age of 15 I’ve been addicted, when everything I wore from underwear, eyeshadow, and jewelry to the bow in my hair had to be a purpuraceous hue. In the early 70’s, I recall bustin-a-move to songs from the rock group Deep Purple, and chillaxin’ to Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix. In my early 20’s while on a women’s softball team in North Jersey, my nickname “The Grape” was stitched on my team t-shirt.

Over the ensuing decades and to this day, I am impulsively drawn to any shade in that beloved spectrum—be it amethyst, lilac, lavendar, plum, aubergine, orchid or fuschia. I own 7 purple coats; a collection of footwear including shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals; a hairdryer; gloves of every shade; my signature nail polish color; pocketbooks, wallets and other accessories; and a wardrobe all dominated by purple. Even my flippin’ kindle and luggage!

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I purchased a pair of purple Sloggers specifically to schlepp around the rainy Seattle terrain. However, they had an unusually sunny stretch of days while we were there and they weren’t needed for the most part.

And it’s not just at home. At work, my pens, Franklin Planner, coffee mug and coaster, sticky note pads, and folders are all in my obsessive color palette. One of the perks though, if I ever leave one of those objects in another office or the ladies room, my coworkers immediately know who to give it to! Albeit, one consumer product that I never had in my favorite tone was an automobile, much to Russ’s relief—although don’t think that I haven’t contemplated it.

Which brings me to one of the restaurants we patronized while in Seattle. While researching where to dine on our recent visit to the Emerald City, the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar popped up, thus prompting an audible groan from Russ. And if you know me at all, you just know I insisted we make a reservation. Because he loves me, Russ did just that…

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And joining us that evening was David Greenspan, Chair of Psychiatry at Einstein Medical Center and coworker of Russ who was also in Seattle attending the NatCon Conference. When he found out my penchant for purple, to Russ he quipped “Oh so that’s the reason you came to work at Einstein!” (Their brand colors are purple and gray.) And yes, I did wear my choice color to the restaurant, but refrained from taking any photos of such attire.

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Upon entering through the massive steel door highlighted with a backlit namesake, one is immediately struck by the immense wine tower. Once seated, our very knowledgeable French waitress explained the establishment was opened in 2007 in what was once the University of Washington bookstore—and it took some imagination to picture how that could have been.

What we did not know ahead of time, was that it was Restaurant Week in Seattle, BINGO! Which means you can choose three courses from a predetermined select menu for only $32 at any number of participating restaurants—and Purple happened to be one of them. The regular menu features an expansive list ranging from artisan cheeses, starters, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas to pasta; and puts serious emphasis on wine pairings—but instead we opted for a bottle of Veña Cerrada Reserva, a Spanish Red Rioja.

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In the end, I was the only one of us to take advantage of the special menu. For my first course, I chose the Grilled Cauliflower which came beautifully plated with toasted almonds, golden raisins, Greek yogurt, Calabrian chiles, browned butter topped with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. It was beyond good and I have to figure out a way to reproduce this delectable dish in the very near future.

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The guys both ordered from the regular menu with David opting for the Baked Brie appetizer that came oozing with cheese and infused with apricot preserves, caramelized onions, candied walnuts, and grapes accompanied by long housemade crackers plated on a slab of wood. Russ, God bless him, ordered the Purple Chopped Salad consisting of romaine lettuce, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomato, blue cheese, and red onion (the only purplish thing about it) dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

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For our main dishes we ordered a pretty eclectic assortment of entrees. With seafood reigning supreme in Washington State, I zeroed in on the Pan-Roasted Cod on a bed of piquillo peppers, chickpeas and wilted spinach bathed in a warm chorizo vinaigrette. The Anderson Ranch Lamb Burger was calling David’s number and it arrived with marinated cucumber, olive tapenade, pomodoraccio tomatoes and a feta yogurt spread with a side of house-cut fries.

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Not at all shockingly, Russ got the Cassoulet that came in a gorgeous, bright orange mini Le Crueset braising pot brimming with cannellini beans, pork shoulder, duck confit, pancetta lardon, pork sausage and duck fat breadcrumbs. He loved every morsel, but in the end it was even too much for Russ.

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Nobody had room for dessert, but the Restaurant Week Special came with mine, so I opted for the Sea-Salt Caramels. They packaged them up in a cute little box for future enjoyment—which so far has been unopened…

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Back home, one would think that our house might resemble an amethyst-hewn bordello, but far from it. Only one guest bedroom has bed linens, a few accessories and one wall sporting the notable shade. But I must confess, I did make one purple purchase at Sur La Table in Seattle, and that was a large microplane zester.

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A penchant for purple? A sickness perhaps, but ironically, one that makes me feel better…

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