Friday, January 27, 2012


Picture from National Geographic

One of us in our house (not me) doesn't like spiders. Looks like we won't be going to Pakistan anytime soon, where millions of spiders have climbed the trees to escape the flooding and have created cocoons of spider webs over the trees.

Yuck. The world is a crazy, crazy place.

Crazy animals.

Crazy people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish List

We were talking last night about the first thing we were going to buy when I get a job. A few things came up.

A vacuum cleaner.

Tickets home for a week in the summer.

A new coffee machine.

But really, I just want to go back to East Africa.

Sounds crazy, but its true.

Friday, January 20, 2012

One of my Favorite Things

Is running into people that are from Seattle and just get my northwester concerns.

Like today. I went to Whole Foods because they were selling Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon for 7 dollars a pound (almost a third of the normal price).

(The fish man told me they had already gone through 1,000 pounds that day and were looking at going through another 1,000 by the end of today's one day sale. Literally, that's a ton of salmon.)

So I bought three pounds, 1.5 fresh for tonight's feast and 1.5 frozen.

The man behind me in the check out line says to me "Sale on fish, eh?" Possibly sensing that I am currently living in the Talapia Income Bracket and looking suspicious with actually flavorful fish on the belt (and perhaps stuffed down my shirt).

I told him how cheap it was and he looked at me skeptically and said "yeah, but fish has just not been the same since leaving Seattle."

Word, random dude, word. We had a moment about the seafood in the Northwest and together stuck up our noses at the South's attempt to serve animals from the sea. What is this thing you call Soft Shell Crab? You mean I have to eat the shell? Where is the I-just-spent-ten-minutes-for-a-pinch-of-meat glory of the Dungeness crab? 

Tonight we are feasting on this recipe Baked Salmon Stuffed with Marscapone Spinach: Sounds delish, right?

Baked Salmon Stuffed with Mascarpone Spinach

And for the rest of it, I think I will just do the simple lemon, onion, and brown sugar concoction that is my fav.

And let the fish sing me songs of home....At least momentarily, as the brief reminiscing will be shortly followed by tunes of "GET IN MY BELLY".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Unemployment Waltz

Hooray for me for graduating from Duke this December!

My prize?

Getting to look for a job!

Being unemployed and/or underemployed is not something new to me, as I did this dance before when we first moved to North Carolina.

Being unemployed is a delicate dance, a balance between acting and trusting, being proactive and having faith in yourself, being sure that something will happen and putting yourself out there, holding out for the dream job and being realistic, looking for opportunities in unexpected places and knowing what you want.

So right now I am updating my LinkedIn profile, letting everyone I know that is remotely connected to global health know that I am looking for something in the area, and perfecting my cover letter.

And reminding myself that the grass is not always greener on the other side and living it up with things I can do without a job...

Pleasure reading!

Going to the gym at 2 in the afternoon!

Setting my own schedule (i.e. wearing my pj's while I 'work' on the couch)!

Making that soup that takes 3 hours!

Wandering Whole Foods with total food envy!

Now back the dance...step,2,3, step, 2,3....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lessons from my mama: Appleschmutz

I will probably spend the rest of my life stumbling on things that I learned from my mom. Where did I learn to put Tang in the dishwasher? Where did I learn to say "let's shed some light on the situation" after turning on every single light? Where did I learn the medicinal value of a cinnamon roll?

Beyond these important things I have also learned the importance of being kind to everyone, even those who seem a little weird, and especially to those who seem down and out. I have learned it isn't too late to pick up a new talent, and that being able to connect with pretty much anyone can score you some pretty great deals, and some pretty good friends.

But one of the most important things she did is that she taught my sister and I how to cook. We were required to help with cooking pretty much every time we were home during the cooking process. And although I moaned and groaned and threw epic adolescent fits was sometimes less than enthusiastic, I am now reaping the rewards of being able to cook pretty dang well.

I am especially love knowing how to cook applesauce. My mom has a food mill that was her mom's and used it to make homemade applesauce all the time growing up. I have a mild obsession with apples and my mom makes the best applesauce especially from our own apple trees.

Applesauce at our house is known as appleschmutz, in keeping with the local language. 

So I asked for a food mill for my birthday this year and whipped up my first batch of applesauce last night. I had made some in slow cookers before, but this is WAY better. 

I had three bowls between dinner and dessert. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reasons why my hometown is the best: Numbers 34, 191, and 253

So my hometown is the best. No, really. I am not just saying that. All my high school friends, who have moved to amazing places across the country, are slowly but surely making their way home, or at least to Seattle. Although growing up I had the typical there is nothing to do in this town thoughts of every teenager, I am now solidly a believer in the awesomeness of the City of Subdued Excitement. Bellingham, Washington.

Here are three reasons why (more to follow)...

1. Mallards Ice-Cream. Its the absolute best and they have different flavors every time and so it makes going an adventure because you never know what you are going to get! When we went with the fam this Christmas, we got a collection of the following flavors - apple pie, honey tea, cardamom, super chocolate, coconut almond chocolate chunk and black pepper vanilla.

2. Boulevard park. Some pretty important and fun memories happened at this park. From weekly ultimate games in high school, to watching fireworks on the fourth of July, to picnics from Win's Drive in with my fam. This is definitely one of my very favorite places on Planet Earth. 

3. Geoducks. The seafood in the PNW is the best. My first solid food was an oyster. Although geoducks don't taste that great, it is a great animal. Not only is it the only seafood that you hunt, but once you do, you wait til the body gets stretched out four feet til you eat it. And it is a true test of a northwester - you know you are a local if you can pronounce geoduck.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feel Good Friday

The current facebook trend has been to post the music video from number one song during the week you were born. Here is mine. Guaranteed to make your Friday.

Now who is with me for a orange mocha frappuccino?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tradition Enthusiast

I am a tradition enthusiast, to say the very very least. I LOVE traditions, knowing exactly what is going to happen, and when, with who, and most importantly, with what food. I think that this is one of the reasons I was meant to marry someone from my hometown because I don't think I could handle going anywhere else for Christmas. And this holiday season was full of traditions. It has been fun incorporating husband into my family's traditions, adding his, and slowly creating our own......

First stop in the Ham: Boomers. Always. This time, enjoyed on my fam's new boat!

Twin brother and Lewis Time

Trip to see the Big City

Christmas Cookie making with mama-in-law and fam

Walk at Boulevard

Sibling silliness
Christmas Eve soccer match

Christmas Eve trip to Taylor Seafood Farm to get oysters, clams, and crab

Dressed up for Christmas Service 
Christmas French toast and Hempler Bacon
Christmas dinner with both sides of the fam

New Years pork and sauerkraut with the Woody, Jenny, Mandy and Josh