Saturday, December 27, 2008

After the Holidays Cooking

You wanna be polite - no, you reassure your image in the mirror, you don't look too much like a cookie monster gone pudgy. So every meal has been prefaced and chased by a cookie or four, so what if sugar is now your main food group, you still can (barely) squeeze into the winter jeans, even if those are your "comfort" sized ones.

Green Split Pea Soup - no time like the present to start edging your way back towards the colorful food groups - and I mean the ones without the sugar crystal decorations!
2 TBS olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 lbs ham hocks (2 should be enough)
diced ham (if you want more meat than what the ham hocks will impart)
4 bay leaves
12 cups of water
1 lb. Split Peas
1 tsp. thyme
In Large soup pot, heat olive oil over high heat - saute onions,carrots,celery until veggies begin to brown. (I also added a potato to this). Add ham hocks,bay leaves and water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours. Take out ham hocks, shred meat and discard bone and fat, add meat back to pot along with split peas that you have rinsed and thyme. Simmer uncovered for about 1 1/2 hours or until peas dissolve and thicken soup. (Soup may be refrigerated for several days or frozen). In my case, this will feed me,Mom and a few friends that would not be able to understand this recipe nor identify half of the ingredients if they saw them in their frig. For them, this will be the first real food they have had since relatives took pity and invited them home for real food at the holidays.
Recipe developed by cookbook author Marlene Sorosky Gray.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ItalicLet it snow,let it snow,let it snow.... for those of you not in the know, there is a lot of (for us Rentonites) snow out there, and they say that it is just going to keep on comin' tonight. Soooo, make sure you have yourself bundled up if you are venturing off to loved ones homes tomorrow, Christmas Day, and that you pack extra Christmas cookies in case you get lost or stuck. That way, you have something to eat and you can crush them up and leave a trail in case you decide to venture out into the white stuff in search of further sustenance or assistance.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Destination #3 There is a house where Santa stays - all of only a few more days, but it is right smack in Downtown Renton, so you shouldn't miss him!
Friday 19th 5-7, Sunday 1-4pm
Have your photo taken - you're never too old - and ask for that special gift that only Santa can bring - he he!
Dear Santa - I would like a Townie 21 from Ghys Bike Shop this year. I have tried to be good. Remember, I leave cookies!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Toy Story

What would Christmas be without toys? Even adults need to have some special toys every now and again. Alan Hirsch,storyteller,researcher and collector of toys, gave a hands on presentation about the history of toys today at the Renton Historical Museum, the last of the programs, alas, until the new year. If you thought this was for just the kids, you were dead wrong. Many of the items that Alan showed had a past of up to 2,ooo years and some began as tools or weapons and then somehow evolved into harmless playthings that most of us would recognize today. I mean, did you know that before a man named Duncan introduced the "Yo Yo" to the American market in the 20's, it was called a "bandaleros" in Greece, and used to stealthily bonk the head of a passing enemy while you sat overhead,hidden, in a tree?

Everyone who came was touched by the beautiful creativity and simplicity of a time when we had to make our own "cartoons" (the toys that animatedly move when you move a stick or twirl a ball), or could play an innocent trick (the exploding outhouse that uses a mouse trap) or just marvel at human ingenuity (Jacob's Ladder that little Meera is playing with in the picture above). My mother whispered to me several times that she recognized many of the toys as ones she had played with back in the late 30's, when she was young. The joy of toys spans generations.For just that hour, we were all satisfied with such handmade entertainment and wondered were such toys could be found yet again.
Crime Log - Tonight, at 6ish on S. Third, the lovely ladies that work at the Hair Salon walked around the block to their car when a tall, bald man whom they had seen throughout the day in front of their store, knocked one of them down and ran off with her purse and all of her earnings for the day. They immediately called the police, who were on the spot pronto and a kind couple with their two grandkids stayed with one of the ladies to keep her company while two more police vehicles cruised the area for the thief and questioned the victim about the crime.
Be careful during this holiday season and please - notify the police immediately if you notice anything suspicious.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

$5 Dollars is all you need for this Gift this Season...
Girlfriends on S.Third has the best deal in town - a cheerful mug filled with gorgeous, longlasting flowers and greens for a mere five dollars -how can you beat that, I ask ya!? These here are mine, but I left a lot of good looking stuff behind the other day, because I'm known to be generous to other poor shoppers, like yourselves at this time of year. So, hurry up - you can afford one for yourself at this price - or for your workmate,Mom, kitchen table, or a "just because" somethin' for a worthy soul.
920 South Third Street

Holiday Destination - idea #2 This Saturday,11 am, "Toy Story" by Allan Hirsch, free program, at Renton Historical Museum. Get into the mood of the season with stories about unique toys from all over world, and play with them, if your inner child allows.
You could also give a gift to the Museum. Volunteers are always welcome (the photos are of the party thrown by the museum for its helpers-we get great treatment!). Or, even a small donation of $5-10 could help Sarah Iles, Collection Manager (pictured in the top,right corner) with her many projects. Grants are the only way she gets money earmarked specifically for her work - so if you donate, choose from the list below and indicate to the museum that is were you want your holiday gift to go.
*Restoration of Broken Negatives (helps also create archival prints)
*Custer General Store Ledger(it's water damaged,poor thing)
*Jean's Wave Neon Sign(broken tubes)
*Recording Hygrothermograph(measures temp and humidity in storage areas)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Destinations - idea #1

In our fair little town there resides a unique adventure in shopping or creating, perfect for this festive time of the year. Uptown Glassworks on Main has the most amazing collection of hand blown orbs of light and wonder - tree ornaments of every color and swirl. For those who want to make memories as well as their own piece of art, you can call and sign up for your own "Blow-your-own" experience or on Friday,Dec.12th there will be a fully catered dinner with prime rib and all the fixin's (plus alcohol!) but reservations are a must,so you should call soon for this $70 per person date at the glass gallery. And besides all of the holiday bustle, this store, housed in a beautiful 100 yr old building downtown, is just so lovely to stroll through at any time that you should stop by whenever the season. Kerry Cole, the Gallery Director has created a mini-wonderland of color and light making this a necessary destination to ,help get the holiday juices flowing. 10% discount on your purchases for mentioning this blog!
Uptown Glassworks 230 Main Ave.So. Downtown Renton (425)228-1849

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tree lighting and Holiday Hulabaloo

Renton at the Piazza - it's beginning to get that special holiday "glow". Come tomorrow from 2-7pm, that is Sat.,Dec.6th, for some holiday good cheer - cider and caroling and roasted chestnuts - oh my! The official lighting of the trees begins at 5pm and with Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves arriving for the ceremony. If you've been watching your cookie intake, maybe Santa will let you sit on his lap. It all ends at 7pm, so don't miss out on your chance to start getting into the holiday swing of things! S.Third Street, between Williams Ave.S. and Main Ave.S.
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