Making Feta

IMG_5652_1 At long last, after a summer-long painting-induced hiatus, I’m back to making cheese again.  I missed it.  I especially missed goat cheese. 

Fortunately for me, I had close to 3 gallons of goats’ milk in the freezer from earlier trips to the Farmers’ Market this summer.  I needed to get the milk out of there so I could organize all the soup stocks and bags of clams and conch before chaos took over, so the timing was perfect.  I’d ordered direct set Chèvre and Mesophilic cultures from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company earlier in the week, and they had arrived within a couple of days, so this past Sunday was perfect for cheesemaking.

Impromptu Peach Crisp

WARNING:  I have no measurements for this "recipe."  Everything's "a handful" or "pour some" or "throw some."  I'll make an attempt to give you measurements, but I'm just guessing.

Okay, so the other night Bill made a fish soup for dinner using the one scup he and Alex brought home from a fishing trip, some leftover haddock, and some conch from our freezer.  It was really good – I made little toasts with roasted garlic butter smeared on them to go along with it.  Yum. 

And while Bill was cooking, I threw together this dessert. 

Zoo Tour with Alex Part 4

This post is part of an ongoing series about Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, written (well, dictated – I did the typing) and photographed by my 8-year-old son, Alex.

Here are the parts you might have missed:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

DSCN2256 We are still at the Raptor Center.  This is a Turkey Vulture.  This Turkey Vulture is flying.  It lives in North America and South America.  A Turkey Vulture will eat anything dead on the ground, or if there’s a small mouse, they might go after it.

Do Fun Stuff – And Do Some Good, Too

Way back at the beginning of the year, Ryan Marshall, of Pacing the Panic Room, asked for a little help.  He’s got a stepson, LB, who, in 2009, was diagnosed with SMS – Smith Magenis Syndrome.  It’s a little-known chromasomal disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 25,000 births.  Kids with SMS will often have a variety of neurobehavioral and physical characteristics that include, but are not limited to, disrupted sleep patterns, delayed language development, low muscle tone, and sudden mood changes, to name a few. 

Ryan, with his wife, Cole, wanted to do something to raise awareness of SMS, raise some money for research, and offer something fun to other families – with or without SMS – as well. 

So there’s this album…

48 Ears of Corn

When my sister and I were kids, my mom used to put us to work at various points throughout the summer helping her prep vegetables for freezing.  She used to do a lot of canning, originally.  Probably before we came along, or before we were big enough to help.  Or before she and my father bought that really big stand-up freezer and put it in the basement.  I think it maybe just became easier to pack things in the freezer in plastic containers than to can them.  I don’t know.

All I know is, my sister, me, and our friend, Dolores, if she was at the house, became extremely cheap labor. 

Zoo Tour with Alex Part 3

This post is part of an ongoing series about Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, written (well dictated – I did the typing) and photographed by my 8-year-old son, Alex.

You can see Part 1 here.

And Part 2 is here.


This is one of the animals that I really wanted to see.  The Tapir.  We are no longer in the Savannah area.  This Tapir – the Asian (or Malayan) Tapir – lives in the Asia area of the zoo.  This tapir is the largest one of all kinds of tapirs.  Some tapirs live in South America, but this kind lives in Asia but it’s still near the equator, so it’s still near the rainforest.

Baby Lucky

So it’s been two weeks, (less about 8 hours) since the kids discovered a baby lizard in the tank of our recently-revealed-as-female Cuban Knight Anole.

We’ve never had to care for (and keep alive) such a young reptile before, and much as I feel silly telling you this, I have knelt by the tank in Alex’s room staring, unblinking, at the baby, watching carefully to be sure he was still breathing.  I think I used to do the same thing when Alex and Julia were babies and they were so deeply asleep that their breathing was slower than when they were awake and hollering cooing.  I am quite certain I kept both children – and now, this baby lizard – alive through the power of my mind.  Okay, maybe not.  But still…this little green baby is causing a resurgence of maternal instincts…and it’s a little weird.

But anyway, he’s doing fine so far.  Wanna see a picture?  Here he is:

Zoo Tour with Alex Part 2

This post is part of an ongoing series about Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA, written (well dictated – I did the typing) and photographed by my 8-year-old son, Alex.

You can see Part 1 here. 


We are still in the Savannah area.  We are in a huge cage full of pretty birds called Southern Masked Weaver Birds.  They’re called weaver birds because they weave up grasses to make their nests. This picture is dark, so it might be a little bit hard to see this bird.  Look for a yellowish color and a reddish color on top of the yellow.  That is the bird.  The bird is under its nest.