Saturday, December 01, 2007

Snow, Snow, Snow!!!!!

Today is our very first snow day! Bree, Darian and I were at Smith trying out their new Brunch menu for the very first time (I will get to that in a minute) when the snow started to fall. At first it was a surprising light sprinkle, but by the time we payed the bill, it was a full on blizzard! (OK, I might be exaggerating a tad, but it was coming down pretty fast, and sticking!)

We had plans today, but having dealt with Seattle drivers on snow days we cancelled them right away and decided to do "at home" stuff today.

As for brunch at Smith; the place was empty, it took forever to get our food, the menu choices were strange and there were no basic breakfast option (ie. Eggs, toast, pancakes) Just a lot of weird stuff wrapped in stuff. The closest was steak and eggs, making it not too kid friendly.
When I got my food, after waiting for almost 30 minutes, it was ice cold.
But, the waiter was super nice! He was everything you would want in a waiter, polite, funny, attentive.
So yes, if they improve the menu I will be back just on the good the customer service, but for now, we will probably stick to 22 Doors (Which have been hit and miss as well) or else Coastal Kitchen (Who always have a loooong wait on the weekends.)

Since it was snowing and I had some over ripe bananas on hand I decided to make this easy banana bread!
The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I added about a tsp of cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to lighten it up. It worked like a charm!
It has a very light smooth taste to it. I personally prefer my breads with a smooth texture but this recipe would lend well to add ins. I bet dried fruits like cherries or cranberries, nuts or even chocolate chips would be good in this one!
The other thing I liked is that I didn't have to go to the store. This is all pretty common stuff to have on hand and it takes very little effort to make. So, the next time you have three bananas that have gone past their prime on hand, I suggest you make this bread instead of throwing them away.
As an added bonus, it fills the house with the amazing scent of baked banana bread. It smells like Christmas!


3 bananas, well mashed
1 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c. flour (1 c. can be whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas in mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs and oil, mixing well each time. Sift dry ingredients together and add to banana mixture. Pour in greased 5x9 loaf pan and bake 55-60 minutes.

Friday, November 30, 2007

SEATTLE: Give something up and give something back!

Do something good.
The other night, when my daughter and I were at The QFC I noticed that they have the pre-packed holiday donation bags out on the shelves again.
I grabbed a $10 bag and threw it on my cart without a second thought.

Darian looked at me and asked, "What is that, Mom?"
"Oh, well, these bags have food in them and when we buy a bag it gets donated to a homeless shelter or a food bank." I explained
"What does it have in it?" she asked
"Well, probably canned goods and non-perishable items. You know, stuff that can last without being refrigerated, but is still nutritious."
"Wow, that is really cool, Mom. I hope everyone does this! It seems so easy!"
"I'm sure everyone does, they have $5 and $10 bags, people spend that on coffee in a day!"

Then we got to the checkout and we purchased our groceries and our bag and Darian grabbed the bag excited to turn in our donation.
The checker pointed at the large barrels at the front of the store and she skipped over to it to put the bag in. When she got to the barrel she stopped and looked at me with a look of confusion.
"Mom, it is empty." she said flatly
I walked over to her and looked in the barrel. She was right, there were two bags in there and one of them was the one we just donated. While, on the other hand, the store is bustling with people and we are at a store that is on the edge of one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Seattle.
I asked if they had just been emptied. The checker said, "No."

As we were walking home, Darian and I got to talking about why I donate. I explained to her that when she was just a brand new baby I didn't have a lot. And when I moved to Seattle to go to school, she and I were really on our own in the new city and sometimes we really had to rely on the kindness of friends and strangers. I'm lucky, because I have a family that will always be there for me if I need them, I just try not to lean on them unless absolutely necessary. So, when I was on my own in a new city with a small child and not a relative in sight, it meant that I had to turn to outside assistance a few times in those first years. And because of those organizations, I was able to find safe daycare and go to school and make the very good life that I have now.

Darian then asked me why people didn't just give up their Lattes or cigarettes for one day and buy a bag of food. If everyone did that, they would fly through those bags.
And you know what? She is right!

Why don't we give up some $5-10 daily comfort habit for one day and use that money to purchase one of these bags?

See, when I was originally purchasing the bag, I just threw it into my cart without saying anything and had my inquisitive daughter not asked me about it, I might have purchased it and never thought about it again. I'm glad she asked questions, because it opened a dialogue and made her feel like she was a part of the giving process.
If you give something up, that you are used to having, for that one day you will be reminded of why you are giving it up and it will give you an opportunity to reflect on your life and community and how blessed you are to have the option of having comfort items in your life. For some people, good food is a comfort item!

Also, I asked the store manager, and he told me that when you buy one of these bags, that donation stays in your neighborhood! It goes to the closest food bank or mission to that store! So, you will be giving directly to your neighbors! That has to make you feel good!

So, between now and Dec 31st, I challenge you:
Give something up and give something back!

Here is the blurb about the program that is on the website (The people in charge of this)
Nov. 1, 2007 -Dec. 31, 2007

Share Your Feast this Holiday Season
Share Your Feast at your local QFC store beginning November 1! Keep your eye out for the pre-packed $5 and $10 bags of groceries to purchase and donate to Food Lifeline. Food Lifeline volunteer groups have been working hard at our Shoreline Repack Center packing bags for this annual holiday drive held by QFC. If you prefer, you can shop for specially marked items throughout the store or simply make a donation at the register when you check out.

Full Sail Brewery and Kendall-Jackson Wines are again partnering with QFC, so be sure to look for Share Your Feast items when you're buying your holiday beverages. Food Lifeline will receive $1 from each case of beer sold and $2 from every case of wine sold.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's not about the cookies...

This beautiful article by Megan Seling is something that I was thankful for over this past holiday weekend. This is one of my favorite features in all of the years I've been reading The Stranger. It is honest and well written.
I actually cried a little when I read it.

Thank you, Megan.

And to everybody else:
If you have not read it yet, you really should!

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