Cooks’ Home Tour combines spectacular homes with great cooking

Eat and dream.

This home tour not only lets you see some wowie-zowie houses, you get to sample good food.

Better yet, it’s all for a great cause.

There are six houses on the Cooks’ Home Tour by Assistance League of Everett, with a chef in every kitchen.

Money raised goes for projects such as Operation School Bell to give kids a new wardrobe of school clothes. Other league programs provide financial aid for graduating high school seniors, Everett Community College scholarships, clothing and hygiene kits for assault victims and teddy bears for children.

Homes on the self-guided tour, which is held on a Monday, are in Mukilteo and nearby areas of Everett.

Restaurants represented are Buck’s American Cafe in Everett, LJ’s Bistro and Bar in Lake Stevens, Kosta’s Mediterranean Cuisine in Mukilteo, Briar Laine Personal Chef Service in Mill Creek, Everett’s Prohibition Gastropub and Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Mukilteo.

Buck’s chef James Abbott will be dishing out artichoke dip on crostini bread.

“It’s been a staple at Buck’s since they opened in 1986,” Abbott said. “Same with peanut butter pie.”

At last year’s Cooks’ tour, Abbott served a mini version of Buck’s World Famous Peanut Butter Pie.

Abbott and his wife, Anne, are taking over ownership of Buck’s on Oct. 1, after 17 years of being chef and manager. His mom, Marie Mathis, has been a server at the Hewitt Avenue diner for 18 years. She’ll keep serving.

On the home tour, you’ll find Abbott in the kitchen of Bill Rucker’s waterfront home.

That’s right: Rucker. As in the street, hill, mansion and tomb. As in the last name of the two brothers who helped found Everett.

It’s no coincidence that some of the furniture from the mansion is in this home. Bill Rucker’s grandfather was one of those prominent pioneers.

He’s passing on a bit of legacy to his own grandchildren. He and his wife, Susie, had planned to downsize from their former home after becoming empty nesters. Instead, they bought this rambler and remodeled it in 2008 as a fun house for their big flock of grandkids, with a ball court, six-hole putting green, arcade games, piano, pool table and plenty of romping room for a swarm of energetic bodies.

A crafty sign in front says “Grandma &Grandpa’s Place, Open Daily. Kids Spoiled Here. Cookies n’ Hugs.”

“Sadly, Susie passed away after we got here,” Rucker said. “Now it’s Grandpa Bill’s place.”

The home has sweeping views of Puget Sound and lots of comfortable furniture to kick back and watch the clouds go by or sip in the dazzling sunsets.

“The room I like the best is the kitchen,” Rucker said.

The refrigerator is festooned with family snapshots. There’s a galley kitchen behind the main kitchen with an extra dishwasher, oven and farmhouse sink.

It’s a fond reminder of his late wife.

“She was a marvelous cook and she designed that area,” he said. “She was appreciative of everything and didn’t take anything for granted. She could open up the refrigerator and you’d end up having a delicious meal.”

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

A tour for the senses

The Cooks’ Home Tour by Assistance League of Everett is 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 15. The self-guided tour has six homes with a chef at each kitchen offering samples.

Cost is $25 advance or $30 day of tour. For more: www.assistanceleagueofeverett.org.

About the league

Assistance League of Everett operates a thrift shop at 5107 Evergreen Way. The store has clothes, toys, linens, books and household decor at bargain prices. Many items are $1 to $5. Some books are 10 cents.

The store is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Donation center hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The league has an estate sales team of volunteers to manage the estate sale for a share in the proceeds. The service includes cleaning, set up, advertising and conducting the sale.

For more information, call 425-252-3011.

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