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Best scones (borrowed from allrecipes)

April 15th, 2021
Scones

(Art from allrecipe)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Step 2: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.
  • Step 3: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll dough out into a 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Step 4: Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

(I added mini-chocolate chips, big hit. Bon appetit, babies! WM)

Chicken Talk and How-To, or How-Not-To, also WTF, hens?

April 14th, 2021

Sundown with blackberry blossoms

(Photo by Steven Pings Rawley)

Back to borrowing pictures from Steve because all I ever shoot is my chickens. Ha! I jest. I don’t shoot them. And no, we don’t eat them. (I get asked this more than you would think. The Silkies we raise are (reportedly) good “meat birds.”) Ours lay eggs and get old and stop laying eggs and still get spoiled by us.

I love on them, and we carry them around quite a bit. They’re lovey-dovey-lovey-dovey birds. Yeah, except for the younguns who have already gone feral, but I’ll get to that in a minute…

So can you deal with some chicken talk? Because dear readers, we’ve been raising chickens for about three years (and by “we” I mean mainly my youngest kid, who tells me what to do with the birds) and I’ve learned, just oh so many things.

The other day I saw a hen peek out from behind a tree, up on the hill in the backyard. She disappeared like, oh snap no! when she saw me. A few seconds later, I thought I saw her disappear down the hill. I called to her, nothing. Then later, when she hadn’t reappeared, I asked my son to look for her. There she was, hiding in the bushes where she had disappeared, sitting on 8 big eggs. She’s a Wyandotte, black and gold, and has two sisters. They’re not even a year old, and we’ve raised them with two Olive Eggers and honest to God, they’re all five crazy. They’re half-feral, they run around the yard, chasing off the stray cats and eating the food I leave out for them. (There are only two strays, barn cats from across the street, and I’m not seeing much of them since the chickens have taken over.)

The cat food they’re devouring? (The chickens, not the cats. The cats don’t have much of a chance at it, unless the birds are cooped.) It’s chicken cat food. So yeah. I’m now the kind of person who feeds chicken to a chicken.

SMH and shaking my head and SMH forever.

I can’t remember what I used to do for fun. I think I used to go with friends to pubs, bars and clubs. Sometimes we danced. Drinking happened. I remember sitting at outdoor cafes, too. I seem to recall dating. Dinners out. Staying up until sunrise. I don’t know, it all gets a little vague. Traveling places? Something. Then once Steve and the kids came along, I just took them to the bar with me, so that was easy. We traveled a fair amount. Hmm. I remember being in a bar in Banff with my daughter in the middle of the night, because she was giddy and wouldn’t sleep so I thought, what the hell, we can have some appetizers and drinks.

She was 3 then; she’s 21 now and I’d like to say: Some things haven’t changed.

It’s still a worldwide pandemic, vaccines and all. No, I don’t feel like talking about it. But I will say, I’m looking forward to going out somewhere, eventually, at some point.

It could happen.

Back to the feral chickens: They want to roost outside and party all night. This is not going to end well for them. Nineteen hens, one rooster, a dozen eggs a day (or so) even when we’re not counting the random ones they’re hiding around the yard. Planning an Easter egg hunt, or something. Yes, we could have more chickens, see: rooster. Poor boy. He hasn’t been his usual self. He lets the girls alone, he’s sort of mopey. My son picked him up and was carrying him around, which he totally hates but we don’t care. His spurs are insane, so we always stop to admire them. But this time, yick and oh my heck. One had looped up and back, and was starting to grow into the skin of his leg. At this point my son said later and I turned to YouTube.

This happens, with spurs, and can cause lameness, misery (explains his grouchyass mood), and infection. They suggested using a Dremel (to grind it down), a big nail clipper (like you use for dogs) or a hacksaw. Blech. Dude, if I knew how things were going to turn out some evenings, I’d just go straight to bed, seriously.

Nail clipper. The vid said don’t take off more than half? (Go Google this yourself, I’m not exactly the animal husbandry expert here.) I trimmed off a bit, but it was like an icky fingernail, and the entire thing popped off. The rooster was so relieved to be babied that he had snuggled into my arms and was purring.

He purrs. Like a damn cat. He’s a white Silkie, about half the size of a typical rooster, and I love the boy. All that was left was a tiny new spur under the nasty one, and a fair amount of blood on me, him, the clippers.

I trimmed up the other one a bit. He’s fine, but they can bleed out from this so please use a Dremel and be ye not so stupid as me, as Dooce would say. You can use cornstarch to staunch the bleeding, apparently.

As far as the wild ones and their nest in the shrubs? We’re leaving it and hoping we don’t get a new flock. Twenty is enough.

Questions? Comments? Ask away.

All for now,

WM

Thursday Book Review: “My Inner Sky,” “Mrs. Frisby” and Nigella deluxe

April 1st, 2021

2021

(Meme by anon.)

 

Hello, babies. Sorry if you tried to get in and couldn’t. Technical difficulties.

Here’s a recipe (Judi i love you) to make it up to you.

Ginger Creams

From Angela (Grammy) Derby

Light with great flavor, without being overpowering, much like little gingerbread cakes. I’m going back to my big, red Betty Crocker cookbook, and not just for the recipe, but for the wonderful memories that accompany it.

Cook time: 10 Min  Prep time: 15 Min  Yields: 3 dozen

COOKIE INGREDIENTS:

1/3 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c molasses
1/2 c water
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
 
VANILLA ICING:
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp milk

Directions

1. Mix thoroughly shortening, sugar until blended; add egg, molasses and water with mixer. Stir in remaining ingredients, except frosting. Cover; chill 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 400’F. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched with finger. Immediately remove from baking sheet; cool.
3. Vanilla Butter Frosting: Blend butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and milk; beat until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.
4. Frost cooled cookies and get ready for a real treat! Store in an airtight container after frosting dries; put waxed paper between layers. These actually get more moist and taste even better the next day!
 
Last Step: Don’t forget to share!

Yum, am I right? We’re OK now, tech-wise. So here is a glimpse into what’s new on the nightstand and on my desk at work…

I loaded my students up with juiceboxes and snacks and started reading them “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH,” the 1971 classic by Robert C. O’Brien. Snacks: gone. Juiceboxes: emptied. “More.” So we read more. Then I told them a story about my best, favorite teacher, Miss Howard, grade 4, and how she read us this book and I’ve remembered it ever since.

“More.” So we read more. Then they had lunch and I had them refill their water bottles. #hydration #lifeskills #aguaagua “Why do you always think we need so much water?!?” 

“Because when I was a kid, we didn’t even have water bottles, that’s how long ago it was. We drank from canteens. Or the water fountains. And the teachers always said noyoucantgogetadrinkagainyourefine.”

“Which is why at the end of the day, I always craved what?”

“WATER!”

“No. Orange Crush, with crushed ice. Because I was dehydrated at that point *and* low on sugar.”

“I love Orange Crush.” “Yeah, me, too.” “OK, read.”

If you’ve never read Mrs. Frisby, read it. It’s everything. An allegory, a parable, a great story, a glimpse into the future, past and present. It will let you see what life is like, from a mouse’s point of view. It’s genius and I’ll never stop loving it. (Equally incredible: O’Brien’s “The Silver Crown.”)

“My Inner Sky: On Embracing Day, Night, and All the Times in Between,” by Mari Andrews (Penguin Books, 2021, 255 pages, $22), arrived a few weeks ago. This cool book of art/inspiration/writing and more by Mari Andrews, is lovely, and not just because the cover reminds me of one of the shimmer diamond paintings my daughter and I have become hooked on. I’ve been reading through/soaking in a bit of Andrews’ book every day. It’s like the sunshine we are so frequently blessed with and deprived of during springtime in the Pacific Northwest — it pops up when you need it, disappears for a minute, reappears again. I’ll go all arty here — I love her use of color (primarily watercolor), the rhythm, the ebbs and flows of the book. It’s a work of art, and a good read. It’s a happy book, and it’s just what we all needed right now.

“To live life to the fullest means to *feel* life to the fullest: Full pain, full boredom, full unfairness, full magnificence, full mourning, full lazy days, full joy, full disappointment, full creativity.”

Andrews’ woo-woo style (and I do mean that as a compliment — I’m a fan of woo-woo) is comforting and chop-chop at the same time. It is the kind of book that will give you something different every time you pick it up, and has layers of ideas and thoughts. Highly recommended, especially as a gift to a family member, friend or co-worker.

My cousin sent me a crate of books! She did. With a beautiful note (the girl has lovely handwriting, just like her mom) that said something like, at least one of these books is yours, I know, and the rest look like they should be. This made me happy, especially cuz one of the books was a healthy woo-woo (yeah i said woo-woo again) book from the ’80s, all carob and food tips for the housewives in the crowd, one is a slowcooker special, one has “eff you” in the title (yeah it effin’ does) and the rest are Nigella Lawson cookbooks.

Eff yeah. You wish you had a cousin as great as mine but you don’t. Sorry.

Now. Pasta a la vodka, anyone?

PENNE ALLA VODKA, by Nigella Lawson

INGREDIENTS:

Salt

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons garlic-infused oil

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes (or 3 cups finely chopped fresh tomatoes)

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 pounds penne rigate

½ cup vodka

4 tablespoons butter

Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

PREPARATION YIELD 8 to 10 servings

TIME 45 minutes

“Penne alla vodka is the perfect recipe for easy entertaining: short pasta is easier to cook in quantity than long strands and the sauce is amusingly retro — think 1960s Rome, where the dish originated. But it is seriously good.

Step 1: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, and add onion, oil and a sprinkling of salt. Sauté onion until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Add tomatoes and their juices, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add heavy cream, and remove from heat.

Step 3: Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return to cooking pot. Add vodka, butter and salt to taste. Gently mix penne until butter is melted. Add tomato mixture, and mix until pasta is coated.

Step 4: To serve, transfer pasta and sauce to a large warmed bowl. Pass Parmesan cheese for guests to serve themselves.”

Bon appetit, babies!

WM

 

Thursday, let’s blog

March 18th, 2021

December 2019 + old shots

I heard the ice rink at Lloyd Center Mall in Portland, Oregon, is gone, daddy, gone. Then I heard (from my auntie, who would know) that it’s there, still, just smaller. Blech. It was already too small, man.

Loved skating there as a kid, holding hands with my boyfriend on Friday nights (“Couples’ sk8!”) when a bunch of us from grade school went weekly; with my husband, years later; watching from the sidelines, holding my breath and praying as my daughter took lessons, then private lessons, then competed… Awww…

It’s stressful, competing, and not just for the competitors, dude. I alternated between praying and trying not to puke, seriously. The other moms were the same. There was one sane mama, thankfully, who used to hiss, “C’mon you guys, for real? Just smile. Wave and smile.” Ha. Yeah, it’s funny now. I didn’t cry when we abandoned competing, started skating just for fun, and no longer had the hardcore Russian skating coach.

I liked her a lot, but still.

You know what’s boring AF? Other people’s dreams. They can be so interesting when you’re inside one, yeah? But hearing about them is usually a yawnfest. So this is for me, more than you. Memory bank: my blog.

I haven’t skated in a few years — there’s only one rink near the new place, and it’s about an hour away. We had Lloyd Center in Portland, and we used to hit the rinks in Vancouver, Wash., Valley Ice in Beaverton, and the rink in Sherwood, too, when we lived out that way. We skated in Banff one time, that was fantastic. Our son was tiny and had his rockin’ little hockey skates. He sk8ed before he could walk. #truth Our daughter flew around showing all her tricks. She was fun to watch.

But last night… i had a dream my friends and I were on some Magic Bus (“too much/Magic Bus… i want it i want it i want it/u can’t *have it*…”) and we were all heading to the rink. I had some cool white sk8ing dress, all fluff and short skirt, so I put on my tights and dress with a sweatshirt over.

Cuz it’s cold at the rink.

Laced up my skates, couldn’t find the blade guards, didn’t matter cuz it was a dream, good to go. I was thinking of my daughter’s friend at the rink, I think, who we once overheard telling another little chicky about the Olympics.

“Someday we might compete.”

“What are the Olympics?”

“It’s when you get the ice… all to yourself,” she answered, and they both shivered. Because that is the ultimate dream. Forget the medals. You get the whole Olympic-size rink all to your own sweet self.

In this dream I had the ice mostly to myself, it was pretty awesome. There were probably pretzels, cookies, peppermint Schnapps and hot cocoa, who knows. Then (after a long while, and yes, my sk8ing skills are markedly better in my dream state than they are in real life), a *ton* of people showed up, and this old guy and I said, WTF where did they all come from? PANDEMIC LET’S GET OUT OF HERE.

And we split. But I had sk8ed for a long time and it was all good, man. It was a beautiful dream. My hippie friends showed up and they probably sk8ed too, then off we went on our next adventure.

Another favorite memory of Lloyd Ice, speaking of old guys — we were doing a family sk8 one Saturday, this old guy had on his hockey sk8s and was zooming so fast (but carefully!) dodging around everyone. As he was flying by one of the gates, a little toddler came stumbling onto the ice. Without pausing, he scooped her up, flew to the next gate, deposited her on the mat and sk8ed off. It was kinda awesome.

All for now, ciao, please be safe, even if you’re not sk8ing; wear your masks, even if you’ve been vaccinated; stop and smell the flowers along the way; don’t forget to write when you find work and later, gator.

WM

Sunday Book Review

January 10th, 2021

Woof and meow 💜

(“Oh, Puppy” — photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

“Fern and Otto: A Story About Two Best Friends,” by Stephanie Graegin (Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2020, $17.99). Introducing a bear and a cat who are friends, and go for a walk in the woods. This is a book within a book within another book, as Fern writes a story, Otto helps, and away they go. They find a tortoise, racing a hare; a cool girl wearing a red cape; a little chicken “hit on her noggin!” and some other friends. Creative and fun, and the art is mesmerizing, with lots of tiny details and big splashes for the kids to study.

It has come to my attention that many of you are still remote distance learning with the big and little kids at home. Bless your hearts. It’s not going to last forever, I promise, but we’re in the weeds for now.

Time to get creative and think outside (or inside, in this case) the box. Random House Children’s Books just released “The Reading House,” a new box set reading program for ages 4-8 ($14.99 apiece). An instruction guide for parents is included. The series starts with letter recognition, moves into phonemics and stretches out into full reading comprehension. Keep them engaged however you can, give yourself some grace, and stay hydrated, people. Don’t forget to get out for some fresh air every day, too.

Here’s a sweet new picture book: “Wonderful You,” written by Lisa Graff, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki (Philomel Books, 2020, $17.99). This one made me miss being pregnant, miss my husband playing the guitar for the babies while they were growing inside, miss the love you can only get from a grimy, smiling, sweaty toddler. My goodness. This is why older folks smile at you so wistfully, new parents, and say, “Enjoy every minute, it goes so fast.” And you… you haven’t had a shower or eaten a decent, real meal in days, and you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re feeling frantic…

It all gets easier, and harder, and better, and scarier. These moments become the sweetest moments ever and will bring you to tears. You’ll have plenty of other beautiful moments, but those early ones? Ahhh… I know. The days go slow/but the years go fast.

Now where was I, with my misty-eyed self? From “Wonderful You”:

“When you were a mango, we worked while you grew — we fixed and we folded and waited for you.”

All of the different stages of a baby’s growth are compared to the sizes of fruits and veggies — peas, lemons, an eggplant — and a variety of different parents and families are represented. Just a sweet book — enjoy.

Stephen Johnson hits it out of the park with “Music Is…” a great big fancy picture book, all about the different genres of music. “Every music has its own soul… It doesn’t matter what style it is, just be true to it.” — Ray Charles

Classical, Latin, jazz, country and heavy metal, hip hop, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, electronica! and pop. You can read this one forwards, backwards, and opened up — the design is really user friendly.

Splash, bang and pop. (Simon & Schuster, 2020, $24.99). Be sure you share this one with the kids, and don’t just keep it for yourself.

Bon appetit, stay safe, wash your hands and wear a mask. Try not to cough or sneeze on people. That’s all I got. :)

Leave a note if you stop by, I’d love to hear from you.

WM

Sunday Book Review

December 6th, 2020

Woof and meow 💜

(photo by my son)

“Revenge of the Living Ted,” by Barry Hutchison, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove (Delacorte Press, 2019, 192 pages, $9.99). Have you ever been to a Build-a-Bear, perhaps for a little kid birthday party? All of those little shoes and boots and fancy bear slippers? The overalls and biker outfits and pink tutus? The accessories and the little red hearts that you jam inside before they blow stuffing into your creation? Kinda creepy but kinda fascinating, am I right? Am I the only one? Nope, I’m not. Because here come those little rascals, step-sibs Lisa Marie and Vernon, in the sequel to “Night of the Living Ted.” Yes, it’s hilarious. Will the kids find it scary? Maybe the little-littles, probably not ages 6 and up. (Book 3 in the series is “Invasion of the Living Ted.”)

“Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons,” by Cara Natterson, M.D. (Ballantine Books, 2020, 232 pages, $27). Is this even possible, to “decode” boys? Hmm. Alternately: Sure, why not?

“There’s No Manual: Honesty and Gory Wisdom About Having a Baby,” by Beth Newell and Jackie Ann Ruiz (Avery/Penguin Random House, 2020, 262 pages, $18). They lost me at gory. Back labor, 65 hours of it, left me a little twitchy. Looks like an interesting book, though. Pick it up for a preggo girlfriend or relative. Here’s the advice one of our ultrasound techs gave us when we were pregnant with our first kid, and I will now impart it to you:

  1. It’s not the terrible 2’s, it’s the terrible 3’s.
  2. “Would you like the blue sippy cup? Or the yellow one? The red shirt? Or the green shirt?”
  3. After you have your baby, your dog will just be a dog.

Yeah, that’s all I’ve got, still, after 21+ years of motherhood. Ha! And bon appetit.

WM

Sunday Book Review

November 29th, 2020

Pandemic 2020, Corvallis (plus old shots of Beaverton)  💜

“Light Through the Trees” (photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

I received a review copy of an exquisite picture book called “Digging for Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built” (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2020, $17.99). Angela Burke Kunkel is the author, and Paola Escobar illustrated the book. It’s a beautiful, true story (beautifully true!) about a  garbage collector in Bogota, Colombia, who finds a copy of Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” while he is doing his rounds, and starts collecting books for a public library. Meanwhile, young Jose waits for Saturday to roll around so he can visit big Jose’s library. Cool online resources, if you’re interested…

La Fuerza de las Palabras

“Lord of the Books”

“‘Trashy’ Books: Garbage Collector Rescues Reading Material for Colombian Children”

I found another prize with “Night Walk to the Sea: A Story About Rachel Carson, Earth’s Protector,” by Deborah Wiles and Daniel Miyares (Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House Kids, 2020, $17.99). In this imaginative tale, pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson and her great-nephew/adopted son, Roger, ride out an ocean storm together in their cabin, then journey down to the beach to explore.

“‘Listen to the voices of the living things,’ said Rachel. 

A screech owl softly called to its mate

from an old woodpecker hole:

tremelo-tremelo-thrum-thrum-thrum”

I’m enamored of this picture book: the fireflies, the storm, the cabin in Maine. Sweet illustrations and a cool story. More resources:

RachelCarson.org

Smithsonian/Ocean Life

NOAA Ocean Exploration Facts

Scientific American/Fireflies

Once upon a time, a singer/songwriter/novelist by the name of Andrew Peterson came up with his own fantasy version of a series something like “Lord of the Rings” or “The Chronicles of Narnia.” He called it “The Wingfeather Saga,” and released the first two books. Now we have in hand “The Monster in the Hollows” (Book 3) and “The Warden and the Wolf King” (Book 4) (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2020, $13.99 each). New illustrations and hand-drawn maps by Joe Sutphin (who also illustrated the graphic novel “Watership Down” and Sheila Grau’s “Dr. Critchlore’s School for Minions”). For more info, check Peterson’s website.

Friday Book Review: Happy, Happy Holidays!

November 27th, 2020

Pandemic 2020, Corvallis (plus old shots of Beaverton)  💜

Photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley

 

Here we are, holidays 2020, which are turning out to be different from any holiday season any of us have ever experienced before. It’s brutal, this year. 2020 is brutal and heartless. But I have faith and hope that someday the pandemic will be over. 

I knew we’d start out strong, confused and panicked, but then pulling together, pitching in, “We can all get through this together!” Yay, team. But that before too long (it took a few months, as it turned out), people would start back-biting and snarking, hoarding supplies and circling the wagons. “You can’t tell us what to do!” The bitter politics. Etc.

We’ll get past that, I know. We’ll push right into sorrow and additional devastation, we’ll emerge from it jaded but stronger. We’ll know our neighbors, at the end of it. We’ll be there for our families in a way we maybe haven’t been before. 

I have hope. I have faith. We are going to be OK. We had Halloween, and Thanksgiving was yesterday. Now onto Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s and then it will be a full year since this hell began.

It will be one year, I am guessing, possibly two, and I mean worldwide, before we get through the woods, the darkness, and out to the other side. It will happen. Don’t give up. Hold onto each other, and if you can’t do that, pick up the phone and call. Someone needs to hear from you. Peace.

And now, books. I have stacks and stacks of them waiting for review. Short shrift for all, but they’re all good. Makes me happy to know that books are still being published, art is still being made, music is still being created. My chickens and my house, my garden and my creek, my kids. Our friends. All doing our best to keep going.

All you a quilter? My friends, paternal grandmother and aunties are (were) and I admire the art. Learning to quilt is on my bucket list. In the meantime I’ll keep knitting scarves, baby snugglies and little scraps for the kittens to play with. Lizzy Rockwell’s new book, “The All-Together Quilt” (Random House Kids/Alfred A. Knopf, 2020, $17.99) is just a blast of beauty during these bleak months.  The author has based it on her real-life quilting group that meets Monday and Friday afternoons at the Senior Court Housing Complex in Norwalk, Connecticut. Neighborhood kids, seniors from the complex, adult volunteers, families from the neighborhood, all kinds of people gather and quilt. 

The simplicity and elegance of their work shines through in Rockwell’s illustrations. So much love, beauty and care. Great book. I appreciated the guide to classic quilt blocks she included in the back, and descriptions of the fabrics that were used. A work of art about works of art. Peace.

“Curtain Call (Babymouse: Tales From the Locker),” by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (Random House Kids, 2020, 179 pages, $13.99) is the latest installment in the Pink Princess series. (It’s not really called that, but she’s always been a princess to me. I (heart) Babymouse.) The covers are permabound, a librarian’s dream, and the books are just the right combo of novel, fantasy, and graphic novel. Buy a set for the age 7-year-old – middle school chicky in your life.

“Christmas is Every Day,” by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Alicia Mas (An Every Day Together Book, Rodale Kids New York/Random House Books, 2020, $10.99). Don’t save the spirit of Christmas for just once a year, the authors say. Try these ideas: “Embrace happiness,” “pass on a treasured possession,” “share the things you have,” “remember to be kind.” The colors and characters are sweet, the sentiment is pure. This is a cool little book.

Sometimes when a book comes out, you know it was written with you in mind. For me, that book is “A Very Quacky Christmas,” by Frances Watts and Ann James (rhcbooks/Random House Kids, 2020, $17.99). Introducing… Samantha Duck, her tortoise pal Sebastian, the sheep, the hens, the cows, the donkey… many decorations, many presents, many, many big ideas. This is a lovely picture book that will be a welcome addition to any collection.

Bon appetit, babies. Much love and happy 2021.

 

 

Sunday Recipe Club: Seven-Layer Salad

April 5th, 2020

Woof and meow 💜



Recipe of the Day — Seven-Layer Salad with Creamy Salsa Vinaigrette

– For the Dressing
1/2 cup Greek yogurt or coconut milk
1/2 cup mild or med salsa
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

– For the Salad
1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 med red onion, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
3/4 cup corn kernels (thawed from frozen or fresh from the cob – no need to cook)
fresh mango.
1 avocado, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, dill, and/or basil, chopped

Bon appetit!ReplyForward

Getting through Pandemic 2020, one damn recipe at a time

March 28th, 2020

Do you know how long the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 (102 years ago) lasted? About three years. That’s right. From January 1918, approximately, til December 1920. That is insane. Three years.

Let’s not do that, okay? Please.

My great-grandmother, Miz Pearline, died in the epidemic, the story has been passed down to us. “I know,” my daughter told me yesterday, “She was my age. I know, I know, Gma told me. She was my age, Mom!!”) (Thanks, Ma. Now my baby is worried.) She left behind my then 3-year-old grandfather (Mom’s dad) and his 1 1/2 year old sister. They never got over the loss, understandably, and the rest of us really haven’t, either. That kind of grief cuts deep.

So let’s hope we get out in front of this soon. Do everything you can, in your power, ok? Start by calling, e-mailing or IM’ing some friends and family and telling them you love them fiercely.

I’m going to re-run a recipe a day, alright? Alright.

Let’s start with Chocolate Chip Cookies (I usually do them as a 9×12 pan of bar cookies) and some Lemon (or Orange) Snaps.

Xo and I love you.

WM

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