Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Bit of Taste

 I believe that I have mentioned before that I have a friend who owns an olive oil shop.  Last summer she moved her shop from Seattle to the town of Snohomish, just a few miles from where I live. It's in a nice location right along the river on the main street. 


I was able to help with some of the unpacking and arrangement of the shelves.  It turned out so cute!

It has been so much fun having the shop nearby. My mom gave me a new cookbook for Christmas that's filled with great recipe ideas.   I never knew there could be so many different flavors of oil and vinegar, and all equally delicious! 

  I was a little cautious at first, but now I am starting to experiment with new flavor combinations.  Last night, I tried out a recipe for baked salmon with Orange flavored EVOO and Tangerine Balsamic Vinegar.  It turned out pretty yummy.


A few roasted potatoes and a vegetable and dinner is served! In case you are wondering if I am eating ginormous servings, we generally eat dinner from luncheon size plates, lol!

Below is the recipe. I usually "tweek" my recipes after the first try.  The Inspector really liked this so it's a keeper, so...

Note to self: I had no fresh ginger so I just used garlic, salt and pepper. Next time I will marinade the fish for extra flavor and because every oven is different I will either lower the oven temperature a bit, or shorten the baking time by a couple of minutes. I also think I would like some extra glaze to brush on the top just before serving. This would be good on the grill in the summer.

If you have your own favorite flavor combination I would love to hear it.  Thanks for stopping by.



Saturday, March 25, 2023

Family Joys

 The beginning of this year started out a little rough with my mother's illness, as well as some concern over my daughter in law's health during the final few weeks of her pregnancy.  Added to that I was battling an infection after a minor surgery on my leg that wouldn't heal.   However, God  is faithful in the big and the small, and as always, he has seen us through.

Now that my mom is pretty much back to normal we took her on an outing after church one blustery wet day a few weeks ago.  No matter what the weather, it's always fun to head over to the Mukulteo Lighthouse Park.

 We treated Mom to lunch at Ivar's Fish Restaurant right on the waterfront overlooking The Sound.  While it wasn't as clear as it would be on a warm summer day, we were still able to watch the ferries coming and going as we dined on fish and chips and clam chowder. 

Once we had Mom safely settled back in the car, The Inspector and I went for a quick walk around the Lighthouse.

It's wonderful to see this historic building so well cared for, no matter the time of year or weather.

There was a young man feeding the seagulls.

This photo made me think of the old Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds"! That movie scared me to death when I was a kid! (shudder!)

It was just so nice to be able to see my mom feeling so much better and enjoying the day with us.  A few weeks later our daughter in law delivered a beautiful baby boy two weeks early, but strong and healthy.

He is already a tremendous blessing and joy to us all!


Now Spring is starting to show her head and little spots of color are popping out everywhere.

We are looking forward to the joys of Easter followed by a visit to Georgia to see our daughter.  I have such an intense feeling of gratitude for all the trials as well as blessings of this life, for without both I don't think we can truly understand and appreciate all that God does for us each and every day.  Eucharisteo! And may God bless you.


Friday, March 3, 2023


 We are already at the end of the first full week of Lent for those of us who practice the western church calendar.  It's interesting that the season of Lent can be such a stumbling block for some. Is it something we as Christians should be practicing?  That's a question many Christians ask, and it depends on what denomination you worship with. Those who do practice it can sometimes feel superior to those who don't, or feel that those who don't are "missing out".  I have also noticed that many evangelicals know very little about it, or if they have heard of it. they feel it is too "Catholic", unnecessary and legalistic, an outward show of works rather than inward grace.

I grew up celebrating Lent.  Truthfully, as a child I didn't really understand the reasons why.  It was just something we did.  My knowledge of it only went as far as knowing I was supposed to give up something during the season. Usually as a child that meant candy.  Since, we didn't eat all that much candy anyway, it wasn't much of a sacrifice.  I liked Ash Wednesday though.  We would go early in the morning before school and I would wear my ashes all day, checking every mirror throughout the day to see if I could still spot them on my forehead.  I remember eating fish sticks on Fridays and doing the Stations of the Cross with the youth group. I remember liking all these traditions,and the memory of practicing them still warms my heart.  However again, I have to admit that I didn't really understand why I was doing them. So perhaps it's true that at that time in my life, I was participating in an outward spiritual show of works.  All I know is that I loved the season and as a child I embraced it.

As adults my husband and I moved away from our Anglican Episcopal church and ended up attending a number of different denominational and non denominational churches over a period of years.  Most of them had no traditions at all.  While they were all wonderful faith filled places of worship, as the years went by I began  feeling that something was missing.  Finally, one Easter Sunday as I was worshiping I found myself questioning, "How did I get to this day?  Last week was just an ordinary Sunday and now it's Easter." There had been no Lent, no Palm Sunday, no Holy Week, no Good Friday and yet suddenly it was Resurrection Day!  That's when I realized that for me being Evangelical was not enough.   I wanted the church calendar and the walk through the Gospels and many of the liturgical rituals that breathed life into my worship time.

Our Free Lutheran Church is a good combination of evangelical and traditional and for me,embracing once again many of the traditional rituals of the church has enhanced my walk with Christ.

  For us Lent begins when I make a traditional pancake dinner on Shrove Tuesday. My husband doesn't really like breakfast for dinner but he is a good sport about it.  Traditionally, Christians would give up meat, eggs, dairy, butter and oil for the 40 days of Lent.  They didn't want these foods to spoil so they would use them up in a celebrations of yummy foods that use those ingredients the day before Ash Wednesday, hence the name "Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras". Pancakes were an easy simple way to do that. 

 I help prepare the alter for the Lenten Season. Purple is the liturgical color for Lent. There will be no flowers on the alter as this is a simple time of repentance and reflection.

I choose a book of daily essays from my Lenten collection to read each morning and a devotional to read at worship time in the evening.  

 Some years I choose to fast from something, and some years I don't, but I do set up my own special place for worship during my journey and as the rocks pile up, so do the prayers The Lord places on my heart each day for the needs of others.

 Taking the Lenten journey is a personal choice. For me it is important to remember that while these traditions and rituals are meaningful, they  are meant to enhance my worship, and they do not replace grace or a relationship with Christ.   Whether it is something you practice or not my prayer is that as Easter draws near you too will find yourselves drawing near to The Savior.  All blessings to you and may your lives be filled with grace as you come near to the cross.