Greetings from Seattle

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Short Trip to Whidbey Island

Thursday Tom and I traveled to Whidbey Island to spend some time with family, and especially John and Andrea Moser.

Divorce happens.  Couples part and go their separate ways.  That doesn't mean you divorce the whole family of that former spouse.  John and Andrea are Jill's former in-laws, but they are still people we have come to love and they are still grandparents of Isaac and Irene. They still live in Colorado, so that means they see much less of Jill and her kids than they used to.  We were so pleased that they chose to come and spend a week here in the Pacific Northwest.
 We just missed the boat when we arrived at the Mukilteo dock, so I did some strolling around, including getting a different perspective of the Mukilteo light house.
 But then it was time for my ship to come in so I scurried back to the car and the queue.
 We finally got to ride the new ferry, the Tokitae.
 The rain had let up finally so Jill and the gang went to Fort Casey for the morning, so when we arrived at the cabin, I put on my gardening clothes and groomed the cabin garden, just finishing as they returned.  There were hugs all around.

We had lunch and we visited and the kids played.  John and Andrea brought the kids' cousin Allie with them.  Cousins are still cousins too. They picked up other beach kids too to join in the fun.

We all pitched in to create a feast for dinner of grilled chicken and shrimp and zucchini (of course! Jill has a garden too) and corn on the cob.

Then we went for an after dinner walk and ended up on the beach. Isaac chose to sit this one out.
 Some of us just stood for a long time watching the Osprey, or Seahawks, fish.  They are the only raptors that dive and submerge as they go after their prey. From a fairly high elevation they dive head first, hit the water with a splash, and emerge moments later, take tremulous flight and visibly shake the water off before regaining their equilibrium and rising into the air and off to find a place to eat the catch held firmly in their talons. As we watched, they were successful on about 50% of their dives.
 The evening was very calm and quiet and lovely.

Back at the cabin it was time for dessert.  I brought apple pie and Jill had left over Marion berry cobbler, and ice cream to top both.  It was plate licking good!
 Yes, I have been known to lick my plate too in the privacy of my own home.  Where do you think she learned it?

We scrambled to make the 9:00 ferry, leaving the island and family behind.
We'll see them all again Sunday morning when we get together for brunch before the Colorado family flies away back home

Friday, July 25, 2014

Olympia Farmers Market

Wow.  Where has this week gone?  aAweek ago tomorrow, along with touring two gardens in the Olympia area, eight of us "Joyful Gardeners" club members took in the Olympia Farmers Market.

 We were hungry, so the first thing we did was find food. Our car load sort of stuck together and all ended up at the same food vendor.  Everyone else had sausages, but it felt like a Fair atmosphere to me so I had fair food - a corn dog and ice cream!

 There's a little bit of a lot of things here at this permanent market, that operates much of the year on Saturdays.
 Produce and pottery, photos and plants, pastry and paintings,  and hand crafts and artisan wares - lots of temptations.

 These blackberry pastries were very tempting.

 We had parked a few blocks away, since there were a lot of people in town.  It was the day of the Capitol Lake Fair parade, to be held later in the afternoon.  Fortunately most of the crowds were uptown and not at the market.  

We took the scenic route to walk back to the car, along the waterfront of Capitol Lake.

 Along the way we saw the bride's maids playing in the park.....
 ...while the bride and groom were posing.

 It looked like they were all having a good day.  We did too!

Pozole Recipe for Those Who Asked

I cut and pasted this from a February post.  Apparently the blue highlighting isn't going away. But here it is.

We were introduced to Pozole when we were in New Mexico two years ago and really liked it.  It is a pork and hominy stew.  I looked at a few recipes and then came up with my own version and tried it out last fall.  We have had it several times since.

 Here's my version: 
1 large, thick cut pork shoulder steak
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 quart chicken stock
1 29oz can Mexican Hominy
1 small can diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cabbage
Avacado slices
shredded Jack cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Brown the pork steak in a heavy bottom soup pot. Remove pork, add the onion to the pot and cook, using a bit of stock to deglaze the pan.  Return the pork to the pot, add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook 2 hours.

Remove the pork to cool.  Shred the pork, discarding fat and bone.

Add the hominy and chilies to the stock.  Add more chicken stock if needed.  Bring to a low boil.  Add the cabbage and cook about five minutes.  Add the pork and heat through.

Serve in large soup bowls.  Garnish with shredded cheese, avocado and cilantro. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the top.

I served mine with some orange slices and hot corn bread with butter and honey.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Among the list of things I said you should picture me doing this week as I was posting photos of gardens visited last weekend was cooking.  Yep, I've done some of that too.

Monday, along with doing the house work, in keeping with the goal of keeping up with the zucchini, I made two loaves of zucchini bread, which now reside in the freezer.

On Tuesday, along with weeding in Jill's yard and holding ladders, I made pozole again.  It is a rich broth from simmering pork shoulder steak in chicken stock, with added chopped green chilies, shredded cabbage, hominy and the shredded pork, garnished with pepper jack cheese, avocado and cilantro.  Yum. It was good Tuesday for dinner.....
 (Look, I'm even wearing my souvenir shirt from New Mexico, where I learned to love pozole.)

....and good again for dinner on Wednesday, when we had our first rain in months.

Wednesday was also a good day for cooking.  I made an apple pie with apples from our little espaliered transparent apple tree.
Transparent apples always come on early. but this year they were even earlier, and then we had some high winds over the weekend which blew most of them off the tree.  I salvaged most of the windfalls, made the pie with the best of them and made applesauce out of the rest of them.
 Many of the apples were small, so I just quartered them, removed the seeds and part of the core, cooked them down and then put them through the food mill.  Much easier that the peeling I did for the pie.

Three quarts will go into the freezer and the other will go with us to Whidbey Island Thursday, along with the pie and a loaf of zucchini bread.
Jill and the kids are at the Whidbey cabin this week with Jill's in-laws, the kids other grandparents, who are here visiting from Colorado.  We will go up for the day to see John and Andrea and take goodies with us.

Now picture us riding the ferry boat.