Friday, October 29, 2010

Preview of coming attractions

This morning our local library hosted a special Halloween story time, so Jimmy and Audrey had a dress rehearsal with their costumes. Other than a bit of screaming and yelling from Audrey about having her snarly hair pulled back into a ponytail, and the need for her to wear tights in the brisk autumn air, the operation was a resounding success. It was great to see that the costumes I've been working on all week fit well while being roomy enough to accommodate all the requisite Halloween capering.

By tomorrow evening, I'll have finished sewing my costume and Jim's, and our whole ensemble will be ready to debut at the annual trunk-or-treat...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


When I was twelve, I went to Detroit with my Nana. This trip was memorable for so many reasons, not the least of which was because it was my first time so far away from home without my parents. It was also my debut with pierced ears, pantyhose and high heels. We stayed at the RenCen with Auntie Joan (who was actually my mother's cousin) and Joan's daughter Virginia. And, most memorable of all, it was the first (and last) time I recall meeting my great-grandfather, Amos Earle Carle.

His health was poor, so our visit at his home wasn't long, but while we were there, he sang "K-K-K-Katy" to me. I had heard it before, over the phone, but hearing him sing it to me in person was so different. I can't remember why, but I happened to have a tape deck and recorded him. I still have the tape, tucked away in a box somewhere.

K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;
When the m-m-m-moon shines,
Over the cowshed,
I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.

It's an old World War I tune, written and composed by Geoffrey O'Hara. I'd never actually heard the entire song until tonight, when I googled it. Buddy Clark recorded this version in the 1930s:

Unfortunately, I also have a rather squicky memory of my middle school gym teacher Mr. Watson singing this song to me just a few years later. The same one who would look down the girls's shirts when we did our push-ups. Ewwww.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Jim and Jimmy flew down to Austin, TX, last Thursday to visit with Jim's brother Jared and take in Austin City Limits.

I decided Audrey and I needed to do something fun, too--especially since they were going to be gone during my birthday--so we dropped the boys off at Seatac Airport and drove up to Anacortes. From there we took the ferry to Orcas Island, where my sister Dorothy lives. I had a great birthday: walking in the rain (which, believe it or not, I miss after five years in sunny central Washington), watching Audrey play on the beach, roller skating at the local school gymnasium, and eating the most delicious lunch ever, dungeness quesadillas at Chimayo in Eastsound.

Audrey had two firsts during the trip: riding a ferry and roller skating. Don't ask me what I was thinking, going roller skating for the first time in 20+ years to celebrate my 41st birthday. All I can do is marvel at the miracle that I didn't wipe out once--oh, and that Audrey was ready to stick a fork in it after two trips around the rink.


Finally, finally I got to can something I grew myself!

The growing season here in Kittitas Valley was unusually short this year, but we still managed to get a few more tomatoes than we could eat from our plot in the community garden. I decided to put up some salsa so we could enjoy their sunny flavor during winter.

Tomatoes are one of those fruits (and yes, a tomato is a fruit) with a borderline acid content that makes it necessary to pressure can them for safe consumption unless you add acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to the fruit before putting it in the jars and processing. I found an excellent booklet about canning salsa on WSU's website that explains the necessary proportions of tomatoes to acid to prevent botulism.

I used their Tomato/Green Chile Salsa recipe on page 11--with a few substitutions for seasoning and herbs. Instead of six cups of green chilis, I used a single jalapeño pepper (seeds and membrane removed). I also used a combination of lime and lemon juice in place of the vinegar, and added 1/4 cup minced garlic and a half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped.