Friday, October 31, 2008

October Walking

With pedometer mounted to my belt, I logged a total of 180.96 miles while walking during the month of October.
My October day-by-day log.
The average number of miles I walked each day during the month of October, 5.84 miles.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October Color

The days just keep getting more colorful!
More beauty found in the hood.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunny Skies

Wow, I can hardly believe the sunny skies lately! Well into October and after a few days of rain and a few nights of frost, gloriously sunny days remain. Afternoons like this are meant to be spent as if on vacation - at the beach and with the dog.
Swimming out to fetch sticks.
Exploring the beach.
Watching driftwood bleach in the sunny, salty air.
Meanwhile, these sunny skies call to our farmers as they work long hard days together heaping their bunkers full with acre after acre of chopped corn.
This time of year, they, too, look forward to leisurely vacation days - somewhere else, under warm sunny skies. To be enjoyed after their work is finished, a destination far away. In a different time zone and a different climate, afternoons to be spent exploring new lands and evenings dancing on the deck under the moonlight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Smoked Salmon

I have been enjoying smoked salmon every day this week. Its flavor is delicious and truly some of the very best I have ever eaten! In my effort to come up with creative ways to use it, rather than just nibbling away on it like candy, today I made smoked salmon quiche in an olive oil crust.

Olive Oil Crust

1 Cup Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Very Cold Water

1 Beaten Egg


Stir the flour, salt and olive oil together in a bowl with a fork until the mixture appears crumbly. Beat the egg in a separate bowl and blend in the cold water. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg mixture all at once. Stir with a fork until combined and mixture starts to form a doughy ball. Shape the dough into a smooth ball with your hands, place on a slightly floured surface and roll into a circle that is slightly larger than the size of your pan.
Carefully place the rolled out crust into the pie pan, turning the edges over and fluting slightly.
Smoked Salmon Quiche
6 Ounces Smoked Salmon
8 Ounces Swiss Cheese
1 Cup Cream
4 Eggs
Lemon Pepper
Ground Nutmeg
Olive Oil Pie Crust
Crumble the smoked salmon and spread the crumbles evenly into the bottom of the pie crust.
Grate the cheese.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the crumbled salmon in the bottom of the pie crust. Crack the eggs into a bowl or large measuring cup and wisk together until well blended.Add a little fresh cracked lemon pepper and a dash of nutmeg to the eggs, then pour in the cream.
Wisk the cream and eggs together until they are very well blended.
Pour the cream and egg mixture into the pie crust, covering the cheese and smoked salmon layers. Place in a preheated 375 F oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. If using a glass pan, lower the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees.
The filling will puff slightly and turn brown as it bakes.
When a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche filling comes out clean and the top is golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.
Cut the quiche into six wedges and serve. Individual wedges freeze very well and can be reheated in the microwave or a traditional oven to be enjoyed later.


A delicious combination of flavors!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Passenger Seat

Many trips back and forth from the field to the bunker while taking in the sunny view from the passenger seat as autumn leaves speckled the hills and banks surrounding the north and south forks of the beautiful Stillaguamish River and the corn chopper made pass after pass around the field chopping up row after of row of corn. Filling one big truck after another, each time we took our turn at being loaded before making each drive to dump another load onto the base of an already huge mountain of silage as an even bigger tractor drove up and down, over and over, back and forth, on the top of it all in order to pack it down into the bunker. With sometimes a wave or nod as we passed one of the other trucks along the highway, it was a fast process with big machinery, big trucks and certainly no time for any dawdling.
With the last load being dumped into one of the other trucks and this field finished, the rush would still be on to finish the remainder of fields with their acres of corn standing while clear skies remain overhead.Lots of gears to shift through on this truck, and even more dials on its dash.
Lucky me, I had the passenger seat!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Catherine Anne Harmon

Catherine Ann Harmon, age 54, of Bellingham, Washington passed away on October 16, 2008 at Big Lake, Washington. The daughter of Jackie Y. Burns and Donald J. Harmon, Sr., she was born on April 2, 1954 in Seattle, Washington. She was raised in Everett, Washington and attended school in the Mukilteo School District, graduating in the first graduating class of Mariner High School. While at Mariner High School she excelled on the swim team, earning her Life Saving Certificate. During her junior year, she was an exchange student in Yokohama, Japan and has stayed in touch with her host family throughout the years. She earned her AA degree at Skagit Valley College, excelling on the tennis team. Tennis continued to be the love of her life. She transferred to Western Washington University where she earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Communications.

As a single parent, she served human resources departments in Santa Cruz, California and Spokane, Washington before taking the law school admissions test and attending Gonzaga Law School. She completed two years before failing health made it necessary to withdraw and let go of her dream. She then moved to Anacortes, Washington to be near her family. She served Celebration Lutheran Church as secretary and also did volunteer work for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Anacortes School District.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Amee and Dan Barber, and grandson, Lucas, of Big Lake, Washington; son Matthew Craig of Bellingham, Washington; mother, Jackie Y. Burns, of Burlington, Washington; father and step-mother, Don and Barbara Harmon, of Seattle, Washington; step-father Ed Burns of Bothell, Washington; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim and Cheryl Harmon of Port Hueneme, California and Zac Harmon and Carol Gregersen of Long Beach, California; sister and brother-in law, Shari and Jim Weaver, of Anacortes, Washington; step-brother, Randy Burns, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and step-sister, Lori Beetchenow, of Omak, Washington with whom she was especially close. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews who fondly remember receiving flat mail from "Auntie Catherine" - cards filled with anything and everything that would fit into an envelope.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, November 9, 2008 at Celebration Lutheran Church at 1216-7th Street, Anacortes, Washington at 2:30 p.m. with Pastor Terry Kyllo presiding.
Good bye my friend, good bye.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We are well into Fall now and Fall always brings back wonderful memories for me of awaking to the aroma of oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins simmering in the kitchen and coffee perking. Growing up, we kids had our bedrooms at the kitchen end of the house. Not only were the early morning breakfast cooking smells wonderful, so was that extra bit of heat from the wood burning cook stove that my parents used. Described by a few as a coffee snob, it actually took me quite a few years before I acquired a taste for coffee - but oatmeal, I've always loved that! After finishing my cup of freshly ground espresso beans brewed into frothed chocolate milk, I looked out the window at the maple tree with all its yellow and orange leaves this morning and felt nostalgic for the aroma of oatmeal. I decided that today I would bake cookies.I have used an oatmeal cookie recipe called Selma's Best Oatmeal Cookies since 1971 that I originally got from Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook cookbook. Those oatmeal cookies are so very good, but they call for shortening. All I had on hand was butter. Then, noticing the recipe printed on the inside of the Quaker Oats box called Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and that they called for butter, I knew I was in business!Preferring an oatmeal cookie that tastes more like cinnamon than vanilla, I made a couple of modifications to the Quaker Oats recipe and omitted the vanilla all together, then added three times the amount of cinnamon. Three times more! Yes, the more cinnamon the better! Here is my version of the recipe after making my adaptations:

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 C Granulated Sugar

2 Eggs

1-1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

3 Cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

1 Cups Raisin

Heat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix until very well blended. Add the flour and stir until completely blended. Fold in the oatmeal and raisins. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a glass and dip it in sugar, then gently press the top of each ball of cookie dough down until just slightly flattened, re-dipping the buttered glass in the sugar between flattening each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. These cookies remain slightly chewy after cooling and are absolutely delicious.

Putting most of the cookies into containers and freezing to share with friends on another day, my adapted cookie recipe turned out great and I sure enjoyed the wonderful oatmeal cinnamon aroma in my kitchen!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Colors

Colorful vine maple leaves scattered throughout the grass along the sides of the Bay to Baker Trail and the other connecting Bellingham Greenways trails that Torrie and I take to reach Little Squalicum Beach made our walk glorious today.
Here we are, heading down one of the trails.

Fallen apples found along the way.

Yellow leaves line one side of the trail.

One of our favorite signs!

My favorite tree on Little Squalicum Beach.

More fall colors seen on the trail today.

For more information about the Bay to Baker Trail and other connecting trails within the Bellingham Greenways program, refer to the Bellingham Trail Guide available through Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Bellingham.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In Loving Memory

Maria Dalagan-Cole November 12, 1948 - October 09, 2008
Survived By: Son, Gabriel; daughter-in-law Tanya and granddaughter Lyra Cole; Brother, Tony Dalagan and sister Josephine Parento-Dalagan.

Maria entered into rest on October 09, 2008 in Bellingham, Washington.


Mother - Elizabeth Dalagan
Father - Victoriano B. Dalagan
Son - Gabriel Cole
Siblings - Tony Dalagan and Josephine Parento-Dalagan (aka Honeybee)

Education - University - UC Berkeley


Photos taken during the Taylor Dock dance, August 30, 2008.


Good-bye my dear friend, Maria Dalagan Cole, good-bye.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Autumn Pumpkins

I felt hungry for something, anything, pumpkin immediately upon removing the lid to this week's CSA harvest basket and spotting that bright orange sphere.
First I considered making a pumpkin soup to serve on a chilly evening, then continued to think about all the different, delicious dishes I could create with a pumpkin. Finally, I decided on pumpkin bread. I felt pumpkin bread would make that little pumpkin go the furthest so that not only would I enjoy the pumpkin, but I would have plenty to share as well. I set to work, cutting the pumpkin in half to remove the seeds and stringy fiber from its center.
Next, I washed the seeds under the running water and carefully sorted through them so that only the most plump, mature seeds would be roasted.
Coating the bottom of a pan with a dab of butter, I tossed the seeds with a couple of shakes from the pumpkin pie spice tin and roasted them in the oven at 350 F until they were slightly browned and toasted. The pumpkin halves were turned face down in a pan and roasted in that same oven. When they were fork tender, after about a half hour, I removed them from the oven and set them aside until they were cool enough so that I could comfortably handle them.
Carefully peeling the skin from each of the pumpkin halves, I mashed the pumpkin with my potato masher until it was the texture I desired.
After a quick trip to the grocery store to procure brown sugar and chocolate chips, I gathered the ingredients.
Really Rose's Pumpkin Bread Recipe
1-3/4 Cups Mashed Pumpkin
1-1/2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
3 Eggs
3 Cups Unbleached Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Chocolate Chips
Cream the brown sugar and butter together, then whip in the eggs and blend in the pumpkin. Add all of the spices and other dry ingredients - except for the flour - to the pumpkin mixture and stir until well blended. Add the flour, one cup at a time, stirring in each additional cup completely before adding the next one. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into greased bread pans and bake at 350 F - approximately 20 minutes for small bread pans and 40 minutes for large, or after a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for a few minutes before removing from the pans. Yields one large and two small loaves.
Cool the loaves completely before slicing. Store in the refrigerator for use within a week or freeze for another time.

Taste tester Kriss has indicated that this batch of bread is delicious without butter - and should be heavenly with.