Saturday, November 28, 2015

You Know You Are In Washington When...

You know you are in California when the airport has palm trees.
You know you are flying over the Sierra Nevadas when you begin to see snow.
You know you are over Lake Tahoe when you can see both snow AND the lake.

You know you have reached Oregon, when Crater Lake National Park is outside the window.
You know you are crossing into Washington when you see the Columbia River shrouded in fog.
You know you are flying over Washington when the ground below is covered in evergreens.
You know you are in Washington when you can see the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
You know you are near Seattle when you can see the tip of the Columbia Tower.

You know you are almost ready to land when you can see islands in Puget Sound.
You know you have landed at SeaTac Airport when Mount Rainier rises like a ghost in the distance.

It's good to be home.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Annual Pasta Making Day

Today was the annual Pasta Making Day for my family.
We drove out to Marietta, CA, to my Aunt's house, and with her help, made "cappellette."  Ok, I have no idea how to spell it.  My Italian grandmother, Noni, said that the translation was "little hat."
These look a bit like tortellini, but are folded a bit differently and are supposed to look like a type of peasant hat.
We mixed the dough, then kneaded it and rolled it in the pasta maker.
After it was thin enough, we cut it into squares with a rotary cutter, then dotted each square with filling.
Aunt Janet had pre-made the filling so I don't know the exact recipe. 
She said it is a mixture of ricotta cheese, sausage, sweet potato, and parmesan.

Even my mom joined in the folding and sealing of the "little hats."
The women of the family did the work, passing the skills to the next generation.

The "men" mostly played with the kids, and hung out in the kitchen waiting for the finished product.

When we were finished, we cooked the pasta and served it with chicken broth and more freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

shaping the planet with home made pasta.

Health Update

Just a quick update on my brother's health.  He continues to deteriorate, but is relatively strong and healthy.  He needs to use his ventilator more and more, but can still talk, though it is quite laborious. He had a great discussion with Moogie about music, giving her about 5 more bands that he has "discovered" recently.  They share a love of music, and have been emailing each other for the last 2 or so years with new bands that they want each other to listen to.

He told me that he loves the Minion hat I crocheted for his daughter last Christmas, and was wearing it when we walked in.  He was also wearing a pair of the socks that I knit for him.  He is truly knit-worthy.  His circulation is pretty bad now, because of his lack of movement, and general swelling, and he is always cold.  I need to make him another hat.  I'm thinking that I will make him a cat hat.

His spirits are still high, and he talked to me about how he was looking forward to Christmas when all of his kids will be home again.  His oldest is a junior in a college in Indiana, and Mark misses him dreadfully.

Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Thanksgiving Bounty or A Ton of Food

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!
I am down in Southern California visiting my extended family for Thanksgiving.  My day started at about 8 am with some baking.  Moogie and I baked corn bread muffins, cheese straws and oyster dressing.  We wanted to get it all made and get out of the kitchen before the hordes of family started arriving.

My brother in law got a turkey and ham going on the smoker in the back yard.

My sister's kids started arriving a bit before noon with their contributions to the meal.
We started with this delicious drink made with 3 bottles of Prosecco, 1/4 bottle St.Germaine, 3 pears sliced thinly, 1/2 pint strawberries, and one can of sprite. Delicious.

There were so many appetizers, it was crazy.  This isn't even all of the choices. 
Stuffed mushrooms above and baked brie below.
Brussels sprouts on cheese and french bread:

Deviled eggs.

Cheese, crackers and fruit.

"Texas Caviar" and guacamole from the sister who lives in Houston.
Then we got around to the actual dinner dishes.
Green bean and Durkee onions and vegetable and cheese ratatouille.
Mashed potatoes.
Two turkeys (one was brought by a guest) and the ham.

Cranberries.  The traditional Can Shaped dish, and a savory cranberry relish that my sister made that I didn't get a photo of, but was delicious.
Peas and creamed corn.

Green salad.

Three different stuffings/dressings:  Vegetarian, sausage, and oyster.

I can't believe it, but I forgot to take photos of the desserts. There were 2 pumpkin pies, 2 pecan pies, an apple pie, a cherry pie, and a tray of cupcakes for the kids.

The guests included my parents, my 3 sisters and their families, my nieces and nephews who are married and their families, my aunt cousin and his family, my nephew by marriage's parents and 2 sisters. and my sister's 4 grandchildren.

shaping the planet with a very full stomach.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Santiago Oaks Park

I'm down in Southern California for the Thanksgiving weekend.  I took an unpaid day off from school so I could spend 3 full days with my family.  Such a luxury!  Today, 2 of my sisters (the last one will arrive tomorrow) and I took the younger "cousins" and grandkids to Santiago Oaks Park in Orange.
We hiked the short (0.3 mi long) nature trail loop.
It climbed a bit up a canyon.
The views of the canyon were spectacular.
The trail looped back, and then we took the fork that follows the creek/marsh to an old dam.
The dam has been breached, and there is not much left but a pool at the bottom.  It is great for skipping stones.  The most skips I got today, was 4.
The kids climbed trees.
and just had fun throwing rocks into the pond.
We went back to my sister Sue's house for dinner.  Pookie arrived at about 5 pm.
And Himes drove in from Tucson, arriving at about 10 pm.
It was great to see my boys.  Moogie flew down with me.  Doc and Allifer had to stay in Bellevue because of work.  Tomorrow, I will spend some time with my brother and his wife before the giant family Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's house.  My brother won't be able to come to the dinner, so his wife is hosting a much smaller dinner just for their family.  I'm glad I will get to see him for a bit during the day.

Shaping the world with wool.