Set a firm foundation, build the walls with care. Fill with love and laughter, then a home is there.
…and we are discovering there are more!
Mid-afternoon “Mega-walks”, and what we are discovering along the way.
Although we have lived right here betwixt the neighborhood (s) Phinney-Greenwood-Crown Hill for over 20 years, we have been encountering so many new lovely people, homes and flora as we take the 2-3 pm Dog Walk wherever the wind carries us.
Gotta deal with a few potatoes…🥔🥔🥔
We thought a nice gratin would be nice, but Imogene is avoiding dairy. Jacques Pepin offers a recipe with onions and chicken stock, with fresh thyme. Watch it bubble…
We paired that up with some leftover marinated chicken breasts, a veg, and this loooooovely Negroni. Well, I made that for MB because she had to put up with me slicing fast and then changing the recipe development order twice!
Thee leftover spuds went into this wonderful browns for with next day’s Sunday’s omelettes. Red peppers, jalapeno, onions a little garlic. Mighty good use of a few russets!
Someone wanted a salad. Dad had some frozen salmon. Vinaigrette?!? Yeah we can do that… Just need a few “special ingredients” to get us through a difficult day. These days are so up and down, the seclusion and semi-isolation beginning to grind at us. Long days require staring at screens for hours…
We need nice stuff around us, like an ad in a magazine sometimes. So here goes…
Meier joined in whisking the vinaigrette with MB. Imogene zested lemons. The salmon baked then broiled, stroked with grapeseed oil, salt, pepper and garlic. We cut up orange and grapefruit, and thinly sliced shallot. Ahhhh… It started smelling amazing. Oh my, that vinaigrette!
Then Meier got a little crazy about eating bread with butter…
Ahhhhh, those Days o’ Corona…
In a stunning turn of world events…
We are in a semi-quarantined world now. The virus that almost killed my wife (Encephalitis) has many an evil cousin, and unbeknownst and unforeseen by mankind… It has risen.
A novel Corona virus, named Covid-19, has brought fear, illness and death to our planet. Quickly, suddenly, we are in shock.
We are going to hang on, semi-seclusionary, and survive this invader one day, one week, one month at a time. Our family has been surrounded by the love, care and generosity of gift and spirit for the last year and a half… And this round, Maribeth has risen from the depths of viral attack to fight this battle with all of us…
Let us begin, a closer-knit and stronger family now, in our kitchen, in our community and in our city. May we bless as we have been blessed. May we give back as we have been gifted these past 18 months. It may sound like exaggeration, hyperbole, fiction…. But this is real. Well.
Well, if we are going to be stuck together in small groups, let the bonding begin. And what better way than cooking together…
Imogene’s Orange Chicken!!!
MB and Imogene did most of the work. Dad directed, chopped and dropped in the oil. MB still a little tentative around boiling oil. Then, who isn’t?!
… And she made….Salmon!!! Time for dinner vitamin E and salmon one or twice per week. Dad had some arthritis showing up (he’s almost 55 you know) and it never hurts to start moving away from those red meats. Well, mostly.
Ohmigosh I am just spinning. But here comes our last trip together, crammed in the car one last time – with the dog. We are off to eat Vancouver; I mean visit three more colleges in 1.5 days to finish off our summer excursions!
We first see Emily Carr University of the Arts, then the enormous and gorgeous University of British Columbia, and then tiny Simon Fraser University, in the city centre mall in Surrey, BC!
Then home…. And back to Gainsbourg
Hawaii to Portland to NYC…
So….. we decided it would be The Summer of Recovery for our lovely Maribeth, but also for the whole family as we pass through a very difficult season of learning, sorrow, endurance and patience.
So as food and the sharing of it has been a binding factor helping us move through this time, we have also found that our summer calendar was building to a crescendo of movement across the country! A Big Vacation had been in the works for awhile, and with the generous offers from friends and family to take care of pets and other loose ends while we were in and out of 620 for several weeks, we set out. We never thought it would be such an amazing journey as it has turned out to be.
First, we ate our way across the Big Island of Hawaii, starting on the plane (Alaska air, always!) with whatever the kids wanted to eat – and they willingly obliged! Great salads, protein plates, bahn mi sandwiches even. We were all 5 together in adjacent rows, eating our way across the Pacific, headed toward Paradise. MB had been to Hawaii once before, 30 years prior, but this would be a fresh experience for the whole family for a week of Airbnb and then the Fairmont, swimming, snorkeling, beach time, and especially eating together 3 times a day for a week.
After Hawaii, it was 3 days in Portland looking at colleges for Imogene – oh, there IS good food in Portland, then back home for one day of rest and then another flight – this time East – for MB and Peter to eat their way through a 4 day City tour of New York City with two very lovely and longtime friends. Food, jazz, bagels, Statue, pizza, Bridges, french food, Parks, pastries, oh man…
One goal of it all was for Maribeth to relax, but also to work on her vocabulary… We think it worked, but it was also maybe a bit much in a tight window. We all got tired at times – of movement, communication, compromises, all of the things that make looking back so much better than the frustrations at the time.
New York City
…with Mark and Kate!
In between getaways, MB and I do a little s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g, as the Pet Shop Boys sang… In our new favorite grocery haunt. Did I mention she is working on that vocabulary list? What better place to do it than Central Market in Shoreline?!? Ahhh, just a little together-time 😘🍓
“Avacado”….”Sweet potato waffle fries….” …etc, you get it. Y-U-M. Central Market, yeah. Better than vocab flash cards
I think my wife’s most redeeming quality is her gift for inclusion. Ever since I met her, I have noticed how she is absolutely unafraid to ask people the most important questions, ones that most people don’t ask; the difficult ones. She is genuine, honest and, to a point, blunt. I could not get away with asking what she asks others to answer, because I do not have the saveur faire that she does. She is not intimidating, rude, or condescending. She just wants to know, with sincerity, what is going on with YOU. And, I have seen, most people want to tell her. Or anybody. Which makes her so classy, while she risks an embarrassing moment. Yet I have never seen one. Because it does not occur to her that there might be one. The question, “What happened to your first marriage, anyway?” would not come out of me with any grace, whereas if MB were to ask someone that same question, it comes from love, compassion and desire to understand.
She comes from a family who talk about things of importance. For those of us whose families lacked that certain courage of conversation, it seems a bit intimidating and foreign at times. Yet having been around it for some 24 years now, I know that her healing has come in large part knowing that her family (and many friends from work and church) will spend long periods of time with her, either in person or on the phone, “just talking”. Her response to my text question if she can meet me at a certain place, and time, about 3 sentences. My response to that query, probably something like, “K, c u then”. So, Honey, can you chat with your Mom for a few more minutes? Sure, “I’ll cook the salmon, You talk!”
Works for me!
Black beans instead of refried, lean meats instead of fatty, light cheese instead of mounds of greasy cheddar… and OH! those Gorditos salsas!
For over 20 years, we have taken the short walk or called in a quick takeout order, often involving big quesadillas, aqua fresca (cantaloupe!) and/or two-tortilla chicken taco platters. It is THE go-to if you’ve got that craving.
For Maribeth, the strong flavors come through more than other nominal, sadly flavored takeout in the area.