Friday, June 06, 2014

Of Ships, Whining and Recipes

The Lady Washington recently left Astoria, Oregon to go to Westport in Aberdeen, Washington. Just like the other ports, Ethan found Astoria beautiful. He and Davey had the first day in port off, so they went exploring. They visited a local forest and found The Column:
Here's what the site for The Column says:
"The Astoria Column has served for over 80 years as a beacon on the Pacific Northwest Coast. It sits in a wooded area 600 feet above sea level on Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon’s highest point. Majestic views of the countryside surrounding Astoria are the great Pacific Ocean to the west and the mighty Columbia River to the north. Snow-capped volcanoes of the Cascade Range rise to the east and Saddle Mountain reaches to the sky on the southern horizon."

In their further adventures they discovered that Astoria was the place where "The Goonies" movie was filmed.

While they were on sail they spied a boat on capsized. They called the coast guard with the coordinates of the ship to alert them. They also circled the boat and tried to ascertain whether there was someone in distress or overboard. Once they took a closer look they found that there was a great deal of seaweed and such on the boat. It is possible that it was a boat from the tsunami in Japan that had been pushed there by the tied. The coast guard will check it out. If they think it is a lost, they will bomb it so that it sinks. If they think it is from Japan, they will tow it ashore to study it. Apparently there have been docks, ships, etc. that are radioactive that have made their way to our west coast. The way the ships and the coast guard keep an eye out for all of those sailing is pretty impressive.

During another day off Ethan visited the Columbia Lightship and managed to talk the ship's engineer into letting he and Davy into all of the rooms on the ship.
The Columbia Lightship helped ships navigate the Columbia River Bar to safety. It was in service from 1951 until 1979 when it decommissioned and replaced by navigational bouys. It was exciting for Ethan to get to talk with another ship's engineer.

Larr left yesterday to meet up with his brother, Doug, who lives in Seattle. Together they will drive up to Aberdeen to visit Ethan. Doug will return to his home in a few days, while Larr will stay with Ethan on the ship for nearly two weeks. It is a much needed break for Larr. While it would have been nice for all of us to visit Ethan, Ellie and I support Larr going alone. The kind of visit that they will have will be very different than if it was a whole family visit. This will allow Larr and Ethan to go adventuring in the style they both love. It will give Larr and chance to learn to sail. My vacation comes in a few weeks when I go to art camp.

Here at home, I am going into week three of being sick and I am so done with it. I wish is was done with me. It is really pretty lonely. I am improving slowly each day. I a now able to breathe fully some of the time. The other day Larr called my phone and got my voicemail. He told me that this was exciting because when he heard it he thought, "Oh, I have not heard Tam's voice in so long..." and then he sadly realized this it was just a recording and that I still cannot speak.

Two nights ago I had a terrible coughing fit that caused me to make sounds that I would not thought were possible. If someone in the family had been a folley and had recording equiptment set up in the bathroom he/she could have recorded some really other-worldly scarry sounds as I cough myself out of sufficating from stuff stuck in both parts of my throat. It happened again yesterday, but I felt a bit better afterwards.

Last night I had a dream that I could use my windpipe and the part of my throat where the mucus comes up to build a bridge to go somewhere. Very strange. This morning my throat feels like it was scrubbed with the hard looping part of velcro. When I go too long between drinking or sucking on some a sore throat lonzenge, the inside of my throat feels dry and like the parts are stuck together. Thankfully, the raspy breathing sound has mostly gone away. Both Ellie and Larr say that I sound like I am dying. The doctor says that it is painful, but that I will certainly be okay. Ellie has been wonderful about helping me, making calls for me and hanging out with me.
Today is the Etsy Craft Party day nation wide. I am going to take part by making an encaustic picture at Two Hands Paperier this evening.

Here are some recipes we recently enjoyed:

Sweet Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli
via: Cooking Light Magazine, June 2014, modified

1 (8-ounce) package uncooked soba *(I used Udon Noodles from Trader Joe's or World market)
1 (8-ounce) package broccoli florets
*(8 oz. Brussel Sprouts, sliced thinly)
Olive Oil
2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves *(I cubed the chicken to make it cook faster)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter *(I used almond butter, I don't think it made any difference, it is just what I had on hand)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 green onions, chopped *(omitted)


Combine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, sugar, crushed red pepper, and garlic in a measuring cup or bowl, stirring with a whisk.

In another pan, place about 1/2" of water and heat until it is boiling. Add broccoli and brussel sprouts to pan; steam until they are done. I added a small bit of sesame seed oil as they steamed. Remove to a plate or bowl.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add soba; cook 2 minutes, or until al dente.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Saute chicken until done. Add in the veggies and reheat just a bit.

Stir in the sauce and heat until combined. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and green onions.

Serve noodles in a separate bowl.

Kate Parham, Cooking Light
JUNE 2014

via: Damn Delicious

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Panko*
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced to 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
In a large bowl, combine Panko and Parmesan; set aside.
Working in batches, dredge zucchini rounds in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
Add zucchini rounds to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Serve immediately.

* I think these are wonderful, but a bit time intensive.

Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel
via: Cooking Light Magazine

(I have not actually made this one, yet. I wanted to post it here so that I don't forget to try it.)

9 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon 9 ounces flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Remove 2 tablespoons flour mixture; sprinkle over blueberries, tossing to coat.
3. Combine brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted butter; toss to combine.
4. Place granulated sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (about 2 minutes). Add egg; beat well. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in rind and juice.
5. Spoon half of batter into a 9-inch square light-colored metal baking pan coated with cooking spray (do not use a dark or nonstick pan). Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup blueberry mixture. Spoon remaining batter over blueberries. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup blueberry mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Ruth Cousineau, Cooking Light
JUNE 2014

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