Wheatavore: A Wheat Compendium

A Wheat Compendium

The history of grains sums up the recent history of the world – for the past 10,000 years at least. Religions and wars (they seem to go together), diet and death, the minutiae of daily existence for most people have been and still are bound together by the getting and sharing of grains. Of these, wheat alone runs the gamut of uses, from wallpaper paste to the body of God.
 Wheat is woven into most of the world’s cultures in temperate zones at every turn. It was one of the five sacred grains in China, represented throughout the ancient tombs of the Egyptians, and found all along the Silk Road. It pervaded the lives and religions of the Greeks and Romans, the Arabs and Huns.Those who have the misfortune to be allergic to the gluten in wheat know how pervasive wheat is because they confront it daily hidden in food, drink cosmetics and household products.
Wheatavore is a blog about all things wheaten, from fashion to farms to futures, folklore to literature, and recipes to religions.  Molecular biology, microbiomes, geography, the adaptation of humans to wheat and wheat to humans will have a place alongside recipes for breads, pastas, pies and pastries.
Advertisements
Posted in Wheatavore | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hello readers of roadtripteri

This is the author of this blog, Teri White Carns. I also have Chicken Lady at Locust Lane (which years ago I set up as my basic WordPress blog),  roadtripteri, and Wheatavore blogs.  I’m going to be  adding a couple of hundred posts (from my Wheatavore blog on Google’s Blogger) to the WordPress blogs (roadtripteri and Chicken Lady) over the next few weeks. Despite reading a 600-page book on WordPress and combing websites for advice, I have not entirely figured out how to keep from spamming you with so many new posts about travels and wheat. If you are getting all of this new content, I’ll do my best to discontinue you if you like, at least for the time being. You should be able to unsubscribe on your own. But if you like travel notes, food history, and interesting stories about wheat and bread, stick around! Thanks — Teri

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anchorage, late March 2014

 

A single green fly

makes love to dandelion

sun, small universe.

 

Mt.Susitna (Sleeping Lady) at sunset, March 23, 2014 (about 9:00 p.m.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday Vignettes in Midtown Anchorage

 

       Gray May Saturday morning —  it’s perfect for walking to the Spenard Farmers Market. Along the way we bought a small loaf of blueberry quick bread ($1) from a fellow raising money for the Three Barons’ Renaissance Fair. They also had a car wash, in the Veterans Lodge parking lot, but not a lot of business.

At Pack Rat Antiques in the old McKay Hardware building, I restricted myself to buying a little guinea hen figure for Micki and candy cigarettes for Jim. The young woman who rang up the purchases said that a new Italian restaurant had opened at Metro mall; Originale. We said we’d check it out.

Antonio, the Greek baker, said that he would have a booth at the market, so we headed straight for the baklava.

Jim buying baklava from Antonio’s booth.

New this year was the Mobile Mending Co. booth that had two sewing machines set up, an ironing board and iron, and an array of threads. The owner said that she would mend anything on the spot — but had two hours of work already lined up.

Mobile Mending Co. booth at Spenard Farmers’ Market. She had more business than she could handle.

The farmers were selling plants, mainly, although some of the other Saturday markets feature greens from this year (often greenhouse grown) and potatoes and root vegetables stored from last year.

An array of plants at the Spenard Farmers’ Market.

Well-hatted woman at Spenard Farmers’ Market

Walking back, we encountered a Native guy who was sitting back by the trees at the corner of Denali and Benson with his cardboard sign. He asked us for a cigarette, and when we said sorry, we didn’t have any, he didn’t ask for money. We thought we looked more like people who would have money but not cigarettes; he took us for fellow travelers, perhaps, who would be a better touch for smokes than dollars.

At Originale, I scoped out the menu on the chalkboard and asked about vegetarian options. The young woman pointed to the column labeled “Vegetarian” and said, “That’s it. Tomato and cheese, and tuna.” “Oh,” I said, “Tuna’s not really vegetarian, is it?” “Hmph. Depends. For some people it is.” The store has neat shelves of chocolates, pasta, sauces, white anchovies, peppers, and more, all imported from Italy. The hours are 10-6, M-F; 10-5 on Saturday and closed on Sunday – pretty much corresponding to the Metro Bookstore hours through which one must go to get to the restaurant. Note – is this the new thing in Anchorage? Title Wave has replaced the bagel place with Yak and Yeti; Metro Books has replaced their organic food café with an upscale Italian place.

Our route home took us past a welcome sight — the first forget-me-nots of the spring.

First forget-me-nots, Anchorage.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Carns family goes to London — September 25, 2014

 

The computer is misbehaving badly. So I’ll do my best to get this on its way, and mainly with photos.
We spent Thursday morning, September 25,  in Seattle with Jim’s dentist brother, and then getting Deke’s pies for lunch, a quick stop at Elliott Bay bookstore.

Jim & Tom Carns.

England.

Our flat, on left.

A flower on a fence.

This morning’s coffee at Streatham Common train station.

Statue in Trafalgar Square.

Dragon on pillar in middle of street to mark spot of former Temple Bar.

Serving paella at Covent Garden.

Street Entertainer at Covent Garden.

??

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seattle, Dante’s Inferno Ballet, Back to Anchorage 2014

 

View of Seattle skyline from Regina and Deke’s apartment; the orange things that look like a cluster of salmon eggs in the bottom left corner are buoys. The Space Needle, and the construction cranes for South Lake Union buildings are at the south end of Lake Union.
Jim and Teri headed for Seattle on February 13 to spend much of the next eleven days working on a friend’s ballet of “Dante’s Inferno.” She drafted Jim to be a demon (non-dancing); Anthea was already working as the webmaster and production assistant. I tried and tried to make one email with the whole trip in it, but it got stuffed way too full. So here’s an account of some of our non-ballet doings, and next up will be a review of rehearsals and the ballet.
Valentine’s Day in Seattle

The weather was quite acceptable, for Seattle in February, and we had much of the day to wander around the city seeing our favorite spots. Everywhere, people were carrying bouquets of flowers. On the University of Washington campus, this guy had the flower and was writing the note to go with it. Note the sandals with bare feet — an indication of the pleasant weather (but also a puddle beneath the bench — it wasn’t entirely dry).

The shelves at Bartell’s Drug on University Avenue (UW campus) were stripped nearly bare by 4:30 in the afternoon.
There were plenty of flowers at Pike Street Market, along the streets, growing in planters. Going from Anchorage in the winter to Seattle has something of the quality of Dorothy finding herself in Technicolor Oz.
Regina and I spent some of the evening (Jim and Anthea were at rehearsal) singing sea shanties on a fine wooden boat at Lake Union with a group of Seattleites who assemble monthly. Sea shanties were work songs originally, designed to provide rhythms for hauling ropes, swabbing decks, and other repetitive tasks. “Wae, Hae, blow the man down,” a popular shanty, was sung by Popeye (in a 1937 cartoon), Chip and Dale (in a Donald Duck cartoon, 1957), Pirates of the Carribbean (Disney), and is the basis for the SpongeBob SquarePants theme. The Seattle shanty singers mix familiar staples that everyone belts out lustily, many more esoteric tunes, and two or three original compositions (sometimes from Regina).
Saturday, Tacoma in the rain
On Saturday, February 15, we went to Tacoma for a memorial service for one the Carns neighbors from Longview days. It was a chance to remember a very fine engineer (Bill Hoss), to see family and friends, and to experience Northwest liquid gold — rain. Six deer clustered near the front door at the home where the memorial service was held, feeding on the grass and bushes. They were sure of their exalted position, and entirely uninterested in all of the people coming and going.
Hellebores were blooming throughout the Northwest, despite unseasonable cold and several inches of snow during the days just before we arrived.
We were back in Bellevue for a several hour rehearsal on Saturday evening.
A ballerina’s foot at rest.
Masks, most created and made by Glenna Burmer of Burmer Music, LLC. The green one is my favorite. [Photo by permission.]
Sunday, February 16
We started the day as many good Seattleites do, with breakfast out. Here are Regina and Deke at the Portage Bay Cafe, which is very up to date — the Porcetta and eggs special featured locally-foraged nettles, fennel pollen and seed, and free-range eggs, pork, and potatoes (the free-range potatoes are hard to come by, but are especially tender).
Jim and Anthea, fortifying themselves for the ballet rehearsal ahead on Sunday.
Jim, demonized, at Sunday rehearsal.
Monday, February 17
We did laundry at the Lost Sock Laundromat (it would be hard to lose a sock there because very helpful people were keeping a close eye out for people like me who couldn’t figure out the coin slots quickly enough to suit them). On Capitol Hill we walked past a yard entirely covered in carefully cultivated moss. For afternoon entertainment, Jim and Anthea spent several hours at rehearsal in Bellevue, and I set out to take the measure of the Bellevue Square shopping mall.
Emerald green moss, an entire yard full.
The Microsoft store was a popular spot on the first floor of the Bellevue Square Mall; the Apple store was equally popular on the floor above.
These shoes caught my eye; there were many people taking a break from the bustle of the mall, but few with such splendid feet.
Bellevue skyline at early sunset.
Tuesday, February 18, Portland
The dancers and demons got a day off, and Jim and I seized the chance to go to Portland. The weather seized the chance to dump another couple of inches of rain on the Pacific Northwest. The main attractions in Portland were Powell’s Bookstore and friends; we didn’t take as many photos.
The view, during most of the 3 1/2 hour drive to Portland.
I-5 is a major truck road, running from Canada to Mexico, with logging trucks common in the Northwest stretches.  We often had trucks ahead, trucks behind, and trucks passing on the left. For those of you who regularly drive the freeways, this is unexceptional, but it is always a surprise for those of us from the far north whose main roads are all two lanes.
Wednesday, February 19
By Wednesday, the skies turned blue again for the drive back to Seattle. This shows the skyline from near Boeing Field, going north. On the far left, bottom corner are the red cranes at the docks, then the arcs of the sports stadium, then the skyline. The Space Needle is just to the right of the stadium girders, and the Smith Tower (once Seattle’s tallest building) is the pyramid-topped skinny white building to the lower right.
SuperBowl may have been a couple of weeks in the past, but SeaHawks pride was still evident everywhere.
The 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington from Seattle to Bellevue; we saw quite a lot of it. An eagle lived at the west end, and usually sitting on a light post or flying across the road when we saw it.
Thursday, February 20
Thursday marked a full day of rehearsals for Jim and Anthea (who was the webmaster,  production assistant and assistant stage manager for the ballet). I spent my time walking around downtown Bellevue. It’s a city of tall glass buildings and straight lines, softened by clouds, and sometimes trees.
Buildings reflected in buildings.
Warmups in the theater. Ron Tice (choreographer) to the left on stage, and marvelous Gordon the stage manager to the right. The dancers seemed to be rarely at rest — they were always warming up, dancing, or moving just a bit, even while waiting, like birch leaves.
Cyclamens (shooting stars), with daffodils and primroses in a planter at the Bravern Shopping Center/residences near the theater.
Part of a Chihuly chandelier in the Lincoln Place complex in downtown Bellevue.
Not all of the Bellevue dancers were rehearsing for the ballet. These girls were in the Bellevue Square Microsoft store, dancing along with the Disney princesses on the TV screen. The older girls were excellent, the little one, getting a good start.
Friday, February 21
Friday was opening night for the ballet. We had time in the morning to stop by Regina’s for espresso, get to Capitol Hill to spend a little while at Elliott Bay Bookstore, and eat an early lunch at our favorite Tutta Bella pizza place near the University.
Artsy selfie, me outside a weathered thrift shop window on Capitol Hill, mirror inside.
 
Saturday, February 22
Two shows on Saturday, leaving us the morning to get to Uwajimaya in the International District for Japanese cards and books. A few Seattle days were sunny. More, like Saturday, were rainy or foggy or both.
The photos of the Space Needle always show it unobstructed by wires, signs, stoplights, and the like. This is its more typical environment, a bit hazy in the fog.
Downtown Seattle, fog in the distance.

 
Sunday, February 23
 
Regina and Deke and a couple of their friends wanted to try out the amphibious Duck ride, one of the ultimate tourist experiences in Seattle. I agreed to go along; Anthea and Jim preferred to husband their resources for the ballet. Although the trip had its embarrassingly tourist-y moments, we got new views of the city from Lake Union, and a chance to banter with the driver. Plus, we learned lots of useful things. Such as, Elvis made a movie in Seattle in 1962 at the time of the World’s Fair. He brought his Cadillac and had it washed daily at the Pink Elephant Car Wash (a going concern still today); he put some of the staff in his movie. The Beatles stayed in the Edgewater Hotel (at Pier 67 on Elliott Bay) in 1964, smuggled in by an ambulance. They fished from the windows in Room 272 (the hotel is built at the water’s edge on the Seattle docks) as did Led Zeppelin who the driver said left a shark in the bathtub, causing the hotel to forbid further fishing from the windows. [The hotel website says that the Rolling Stones, KISS, and Frank Zappa also stayed there.]
 
The hour and a half was bitter cold. The Duck is designed for warm, dry weather; we had neither, although the rain wasn’t really trying hard. Matt, the driver, clearly knew what he was in for — note the hat. He is trying to encourage us to clap our hands and sing. We are not cooperating. He was knowledgeable and entertaining.

Cormorants and very expensive houseboats (there’s no other kind) on Lake Union.

Looking east on Lake Union, yachts and more houseboats on a gray day.

A flowering tree, at the end of the Duck ride. Not all in Seattle was glum and gray.

 
Monday, February 24
 
For our last Seattle day, done with dance, we stocked up on chocolate at Trader Joe’s, and spent a couple of hours at the new Museum of History and industry on Lake Union. Jeff Bezos of Amazon paid for much of the first floor which emphasized technology; a variety of donors contributed to the second floor. 
 
An early version of the logging truck that we saw on the road to Portland.

 
We shared the museum with a dozen groups of kids on field trips.

 
A lot of Alaska history was in the museum too, from salmon to gold. Sometimes Alaskans have the feeling that the rest of the country still feels this way about the state.

 
February 25 — Return to Anchorage
 
Here’s how we know that we’re home.

 
Mt. Redoubt, the active volcano, showing over the airport runways near sunset.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From Antioch to Anchorage — June 20 – 25, 2015

It’s been several days since there was time to sort through pictures and impressions from the hours and places that we’ve been. This is a summary of the riches.

Leaving Antioch, June 20, 2015

Even in the drought, dew still forms on the grass in LA — morning shadows and sunshine on the way up the hill to Antioch.

At the end-of-residency lunch, Steve Heller (chair of the MFA program) speaks to students and faculty. The relaxed atmosphere is typical of Antioch, and one of its many appeals. Other faculty include (left to right) Bernadette Murphy, (unidentified woman in gold shirt), Erin Aubrey Kaplan, Jennifer Factor, and Peter Selgin.

My “buddy,” Constanze Frei, a gifted person and fascinating writer who has been a treasure of information and support during these first weeks as a student.

A cardboard cutout of a he-man at the LAX airport bookstore, juxtaposed with rows of women’s magazines.

Unexpected at LAX — a tin bucket filled with sunflowers; and

a guitarist serenading passers-by.

The airplane’s windshield gets cleaned just like yours does.

Fathers’ Day in Seattle, June 21, 2015

Here’s one of the great things about Seattle — on the street where Anthea lives, a palm tree, and

fireweed, both in front of the same house.

We spent the day, at Jim’s request, mostly seeking out ice cream and hanging out at the Ballard Locks. We started however, with a stop at the Pike Street Market, for fruit at Sosio’s, and pastries at Le Panier..

The first gelato haven provided a variety of fruit and chocolate flavors (sorry — I didn’t write down the name, but can find it out if needed)..

After that, Jim headed off on his own, and Anthea and I helped Regina choose a hat. In Finland, all people who earn a PhD are given a tophat and a sword. We went to Bernie Utz’s on Union Street to try on tophats.

Regina contemplates the foldable, $450 tailors’ silk tophat. The very excellent salesman said that it was a high-maintenance item — can only hold it by the brim (otherwise it accumulates fingerprints), and it doesn’t do well in rain — not a good hat for Seattle, or for a glaciologist.

We ended up with this one – more of a fedora, made of fur felt, with interchangeable hat bands and feather decor, and wearable almost everywhere. The “sword” will be a glaciologist’s knife (haven’t seen it yet, so don’t know what distinguishes it from all other knives).

Did not get the name of the second gelato place either, but did get delicious gelato.

At the Ballard Locks, we got the end of a Fathers’ Day Pipe Band concert (they are marching out),

seals swimming in the locks (some were dark; this one was spotted),

a parrot to sit on Anthea’s arm (part of the Fathers’ Day festivities for some reason),

and plenty of ships and boats to watch as they waited for the water to sink or rise and get them through the locks. Regina and Deke have done this a few times on the UW sailboats that they rent. Regina explained that the boats tie up to each other so that they go through the locks together — safer for all. The water is nearly out, as you can see by the light area at the top, and the green algae on the lower part of the wall. We finished out the day with an early dinner at Tutta Bella pizza in Wallingford, but no-one was able to eat more than one scoop of gelato by that time so we had to skip the tiramisu. Next time.

Monday, June 22 — Thursday, June 25 — Anchorage

Monday we walked along Ship Creek — saw this week’s cruise ship, a barge, and a cargo plane going in to land at the Air Force base.

People have been catching king salmon for the past couple of weeks. This guy said it was his first ever.

Upstream near the dam and fish ladder, a rope across the creek marks the limit for fishing. It has acquired quite a few lures and lines this summer.

It’s cottonwood season, when the fluff that gives the trees their name

falls and gathers in clumps among the weeds at edges of sidewalks and streets.

For the first few days, the air was hazy from the wildfires burning all around Anchorage, in the Mat-Su Valley and on the Kenai Peninsula.

Whiffs of smoke alternated with wild roses.

Yesterday (June 24) we walked around Lake Spenard. Our favorite sight — mother duck with seventeen ducklings (or thereabouts). We think that they couldn’t all be hers — either she’s babysitting, or has adopted several other families.

Elodea, a water weed used in home aquariums has gotten into the lake. It’s dangerous for the planes, as well as fast-growing and likely to choke out much of the native life. We saw a research boat on the lake, as well as this craft, which appeared to be breaking up mats of other water weeds.

The smoke persisted yesterday — you can barely make out Mt. Susitna below the plane taking off from Anchorage International.

An odd wetlands area along the bike trail was occupied by a mother mallard and two half-grown ducks.

Many of the small cabins around the lake that hold equipment and supplies for the float/ski planes are neatly kept, with green lawns and flowers.

Today (June 25), we went back along Ship Creek. The military forces have been carrying out exercises for the past few days, with many more jets flying than usual.

and a Navy ship in the port, along with a more ordinary barge.

People are still catching fish — we watched this guy pull his in, and haul it up to show it off to his friends.

The air is much clearer today, at least to the east (notice, no snow on those peaks),

and the flowers are vivid.

Post script: One of my favorite quotes for the week came from Anthea — “If you have a chair in your bedroom, put something on it before you go to sleep. Otherwise, you may wake up and find something in it that you didn’t expect.” It’s a 31-word horror story, guaranteed to persuade you to put something on your chair.

FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2015

South Pasadena Market, June 18, 2015

Selling flowers at the South Pasadena Farmers Market.

After six straight days of intense attention to studies, it was time for a short break. Jim and I drove to Santa Monica for an interlude at the National Council of Jewish Women Thrift  Shop there, an all-time favorite. The staff people are a delight, they have great stuff, and lots of it. Then a quick lunch at home (aka hotel), a class on using Word to format papers for Antioch, and we were off to South Pasadena to meet a nephew and his wife for dinner at the Farmers Market.

Hazy San Bernadino Mountains on the way to South Pasadena. There are forest fires burning here, as there are in Alaska north and south of Anchorage, but today’s haze was probably due to the atmosphere and not smoke.

An important feature of travel in LA today, especially on the west side of the city (our side), was that President Obama was visiting. That meant that numerous roads and freeway sections were either closed, or limited in access. We took the coward’s way out, and headed to South Pasadena without taking any freeways. That worked fine, and we kept assuring ourselves that it was just as fast as the freeways would have been. Except that we got lost in South Pasadena and took as extra 45 minutes to go about five miles. That’s life in LA.  Yes, we had maps and smartphones, but there were two intersections of Meridian Street and Mission, both close to train tracks, and both near Fremont.

But — life is good. We parked directly in front of Buster’s Cafe on Mission Street, across from the Market, and had one of the best-ever chocolate milk shakes with espresso.

People on the lawn across from the South Pasadena Historical Museum on Meridian Avenue.

Wares at the Market — broccoli and cauliflower,

Uncle Irving’s breads (one of several bakeries),

fresh figs (you know I bought a box of those, and we shared them for dinner),

apricots, oranges, apples, berries, cherries, greens, veggies, mushrooms . . .

We stopped in at the Museum, and took a look at the photos and artifacts from the ostrich farming days early in South Pasadena’s history.

The Cawston Ostrich Farm (apparently the only one) had many thousands of ostriches, whose feathers were plucked by the millions in the 1890s for hats, boas, and other feather decorations. The eggs were used to make curios, but the birds themselves weren’t eaten.

The volunteer who showed us around claimed that this boa was a hundred years old.

Near the museum was a stone structure with a memorial plaque.

Long lines for dinners — tamales, sushi, crepes, corn on the cob (Joe, a true Iowan, started with that for an appetizer), and more. We bought food from the various vendors,

and found a shady spot on the lawn in front of the South Pasadena Public Library for a picnic dinner.

A market basket with flowers, carrots, and more. After dinner we split up, Joe and Jen to shop, and us to begin the long journey back to Culver City.

We stopped briefly to listen to a band that had settled in — small boy on the drums, an accordion, a keyboard, and a bass fiddle. Behind the band is a twelve-foot (?) high metal sculpture of a striding man.

On the way west, the sky settled into sunset and then dusk, with a crescent moon.

Market flowers –  blooming leeks, and marigolds.

South Pasadena Market, Thursday, June 18, 2015

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Carns family goes to London — September 2014

        Here is the first installment of this year’s travelogue — Jim, Anthea, and Teri are off to London for a couple of weeks, with a quick stop in Seattle to start the trip. These were originally sent out as emails, and I am re-publishing them on my blog,  roadtripteri.
        We left a chilly, truly autumn Anchorage on the redeye flight out of Anchorage September 24, and landed in Seattle about 5:00 a.m. First stop – Travelodge by University Center where they very kindly let us in early to get some sleep.
        We met Regina and Anthea for a pizza lunch, then spent a little time at the Pike Street Market and the University Book Store before picking them up again, along with Deke, for dinner with West Seattle friends.
        It was the first day of school at University of Washington, which has something in the neighborhood of 40,000 students —  not the best day to visit the bookstore, but we found a few quiet corners.  Pike Street Market on the other hand, was relatively calm. There were the usual clusters of tourists with cameras at the original Starbucks and the fish-throwing stall, a few musicians, and more fresh flowers and food than it’s really possible to comprehend.
        On Thursday we have dentist appointments with Jim’s brother, then a lunch date for savory pies from Deke’s truck, 314Pie. And then the airport, to catch our (non-stop — all of these travels arrangements are very sane, for a change, not my usual style) flight to London.
        We arrive at Heathrow about noon on Friday, and take a cab to our flat on Streatham Common, south of the Thames. Most of Friday will be spent settling in; the real adventures start on Saturday.
      What we left in Anchorage — clouds in the east, reflected in the back window of a California car.
Inline image 1

Lots of gold in the trees, but still bare Chugach mountains.
Inline image 2
What greeted us in Seattle — rain, on the roof outside our hotel window in the morning.
Inline image 3
A room at the University Travelodge — exceedingly brown. Clean, but brown.
Inline image 4

By the time we arrived at Trader Joe’s around 11:00 a.m.to stock up on chocolate for the trip, the rain had stopped. It’s definitely autumn here at Trader Joe’s, even if  the rest of the city hasn’t caught up.
Inline image 5
Picking up Anthea.
Inline image 6
In the afternoon, Pike Street Market. Flower sellers.
Inline image 7

Everyone takes photos at Pike Street, not just me.
Inline image 8
Salesman offering a taste of today’s special apples at Sosio’s, our favorite produce stand. I left with fresh figs and a Romanesco cauliflower for Regina.
Inline image 9
Ristras — strings of fresh peppers and flowers.
Inline image 10

A pigeon joins the crowd in the market.
Inline image 11
A musician at the corner of the Market by the brass pig — this is the most prized performer’s spot, along with the sidewalk in front of the original Starbucks.
Inline image 12

Exotic seafood on ice.
Inline image 19

Inline image 13

The Seattle Eye, with a ferry and cranes to the left.
Inline image 18
A ferry behind one of the Pike Street Market signs.
Inline image 14

A serene Asian statue used to display a Southwest silver and turquoise necklace, with buses reflected in the window.
Inline image 15
Jim, Regina, and Deke.
Inline image 16
On the West Seattle Bridge in the evening, with cranes for loading ships.
Inline image 17

Flowers for sale at the Market.
Inline image 20

Next up, another Seattle day, and then London.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2014, England, travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Homer Alaska delights, July 13, 2014

 

 Wild roses, Homer. [Photo, TWCarns]

 Swift at its nest in the vent on a building [Photo, TWCarns]

 Evening rainbow caught in the mountains across Kachemak Bay from Land’s End [Photo, TWCarns]

 Cow parsnip head going to seed [Photo, TWCarns]

Sandhill crane and half-grown chick at Beluga Slough (there were two adults and two young ones, but couldn’t get them all in the same picture) [Photo, TWCarns]

 Bluebells at Beluga Slough [Photo, TWCarns]

 Raven on driftwood at Bishop’s Beach [Photo, TWCarns]

 Homer Spit from Bishop’s Beach [Photo, TWCarns]

Homer peony (these are becoming big business in the area because the growing conditions turn out to be ideal). [Photo, TWCarns]

Luke, Kathy, Lauren at Land’s End beach. [Photo, TWCarns]

  Orange lilies in a garden. [Photo, TWCarns]

 

Posted in 2014, Alaska Travels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greek lemon cookies — not just for special occasions

 

 

Greek Lemon Cookies — not just for special occasions

Greek lemon cookies, slow-roasted grapes [photo, TWCarns] 

Trying to replicate someone else’s recipe is always a chance for lots of discoveries. In this case, I was attempting to make something similar to delicate shortbreads with coconut oil, lemon and thyme from a local bakery. None of my cookies taste exactly like theirs, but I found treasures along the way. The recipe below is adapted from the internationalkitchen.com, “Shortbread cookies with olive oil and lemon.”

One big surprise for me with these cookies is how much kids like them. I thought that they would be too lemony, but not so. And the grown-ups are fond of them too, so make plenty. They are supposed to last well, but they’re always gone in a couple of days.

The basic recipe calls for:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (the online recipe doesn’t specify, but this temperature seems to work well).

  • 1 cup oil (olive in the recipe, I’ve used that, and also substituted refined organic coconut oil)
  • 1 cup sugar (try substituting 1/2 cup brown sugar, + 1/2 cup white sugar)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I use this amount even when making 1/2 the recipe; it just makes the cookies a bit more cake-like in texture)
  • 1/3 tsp salt (try kosher or a slightly rougher salt than table salt to give more taste)
  • zest of 1 lemon (medium-size lemon)
  • about 4 cups of all-purpose flour (I start with 3 cups, and add 1/4 cup at a time until I have a very soft, sticky dough — usually about 3 1/2 cups altogether)
  • white sugar to roll cookies in before baking (optional) OR
  • sea salt flakes (like Maldon) to sprinkle on top if not rolling the cookies in sugar

 

 

I have also added 1 to 2 tsp of minced fresh thyme.
Beat together the sugar, oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest (and thyme or other herbs if using).
Whisk together the 3 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Add gradually to the liquids, and whisk until smooth. Then add 1/4 cup of flour at a time, until it is a very soft dough. You can add more flour to make a slightly stiffer dough if you prefer.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Shape small balls of dough (about 1 Tablespoon). Press flat onto cookie sheet. You can roll in them in sugar before flattening them on the sheet. They should be about 1/2 inch thick. If you don’t roll them in sugar, you can flatten them and sprinkle a few flakes of salt on top. Or leave them plain. In the photo above, some are rolled long, some are round and pricked with a fork, and some are round and plain.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown. The online recipe cautions that they overbake easily, but I haven’t yet had that problem. Allow to cool before removing from the cookie sheet, so that they firm up a bit.
Although the recipe calls these “shortbread” cookies, purists might say that they are not true shortbreads because they have both leavening (baking powder) and liquid (lemon juice) in them.
Bonus recipe for slow-roasted grapes
One advantage of making several batches of shortbreads in a moderately heated oven is that it is the perfect opportunity to roast grapes. These pictured above were red seedless grapes (green seedless work just as well), broken into clusters of 3 to 6 grapes each and left on the stems. I tossed them in a mixing bowl with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and spead them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. They stayed in the 350-degree oven for about 2 1/2 hours. That’s it. They are somewhat wrinkled and the juices have seeped out a bit and caramelized.
Some recipes call for roasting the grapes tossed with a light coating of olive oil for about 15 minutes in a 450-degree oven. Those are not as wrinkled — they are still whole, bright and juicier — a different and equally delicious experience.
 Street in the Plaka, the old section of Athens, with the Parthenon at top of picture [TWCarns]

 

Posted in 2014, Food journeys, Greece | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments