Sunday, September 13, 2015

Seattle Summer Sojourn, Part I

Those two weeks in Seattle with my daughters and grand kids came and went so quickly, and I wrote not one word about those days. No, in spare moments in Seattle, I worked on 'Finding Our Way'. To be truthful, I worked on admin details for the exhibition every single day, to the detriment of family time.
Today, I am taking time to write about those two weeks of family in the Pacific Northwest.
It is early Sunday afternoon and I've just returned from the Greater East End's Farmer's Market on Navigation Blvd. where I bought enough fresh produce, baked goods and fancy Indian lamb samosas to make dinner for Earl, John, Trish and Sally. Bought a bottle of Schulenberg wine too. We are eating local this evening. Perhaps the screen porch will be the perfect setting for this supper? Weather today is un-humid and blue-sky.
Back to those days in Seattle - I packed light clothes for dry warm summer days and the weather was often chilly and rainy. So consistently chilly and rainy that we moved our annual picnic in Discovery Park to Denny and Kate's house. I couldn't believe that this special family day was forecast for high winds and heavy rain. Bad weather did not totally dampen our spirits. It was so good to get this three generation group together. John, you were missed. Mid-way through the afternoon - after we'd succumbed to Kate's black berry cobbler and a banana cream pie - the sun returned, so we hustled the children over to that big hill in the park. For at least an hour or two, they were able to throw a football, fly kites in that still heavy wind and build another fort with Chinese parasols.
Chris and Heather brought that banana cream pie.
Brisket is served, every single year.
Denny with sweet Audrey, bedecked with bows.
Kate's blackberry cobbler. She picked the berries too.
Heather and Mary B

Laura and Audrey stir the new Christmas pudding and make a wish. More on the pudding later in this post.

The annual making of a parasol fort.
Charlie Bean
Kelan McGrady
Charlie roughhousing with his mom.
My three girls checking selfies. Which one will do?
Quiet moments, Charlie Bean and Steve. Steve's mom Carol off for a walk.
Yes, we take a lot of photos. Why not?

Result of selfie-taking. My three girls.
In the process, taking selfies.
MM and Carol, wearing mom's leis.
Day's end.
There was one more thing that needed to happen while I was in Seattle besides the family picnic. A big new batch of Mom's Christmas plum pudding needed to be made and Charlie Bean and I made a real project out of it.  Charlie and I assembled and chopped and mixed all the ingredients for the new Christmas pudding and added in the remains of the old pudding. I'd never made pudding without Mom overlooking the process and really had little idea of how arduous it would be to chop and then stir that heavy bowl of raisins and currents, walnuts and suet, citron and gluten free flour, eggs and rum. Charlie and I spent an hours and a half chopping and mixing in Caroline's kitchen. He likes cooking and was eager and interested and never faltered at his tasks.

Charlie chops walnuts.
Measuring citron and candied fruits.
Charlie chopped suet and measured carefully.
I filled two molds, a metal bean can and a glass jelly jar with the well stirred pudding ingrediants and steamed them on Jeanne's stove for six hours. Both Charlie and Kelan taste tested the results and found the pudding fine. Both of these boys like Christmas pudding, perhaps unusual? I love them both for loving Mom's - and her mother and grandmother before her - traditional steamed holiday pudding. Brings tears to my eyes that I made the new batch with my grandson Charlie Bean. Will he be the one to carry on the tradition?
I lugged it over to Kate and Denny's so everyone in the family could take a stir and make a wish. And remember, Charlie and I added in the remains of the old Christmas pudding that we made the year Mom brought her hip. That pudding had a lot of wishes, including the members of Mom's physical therapy group at Virginia Mason. Both the old wish and the new are all in this pudding. Is that part of what makes it so weighty?
Dan McGrady adds a wish.
Caroline holds it steady for Lauren's stir and wish.
There's more to tell about my Seattle sojourn. I'm saving it for a second post.
Little Ben needs a nap. I forgot that we often delayed the picnic until after 'nap time'. We will schedule better next year.

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