Crispy Garbanzo Beans

Have you tried this trendy snack? High in protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals, chickpeas are full of nutrients. They’re a much healthier alternative to fried potato and tortilla chips.

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I can’t make them fast enough–they get eaten as soon as I finish with one batch.

Some recipes suggest oven roasting, but I prefer the cooktop, so this is my version:

Ingredients:
2 cans garbanzo beans, also called chick peas (or cook your own)
Oil
Season with sea salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes, garlic powder

Directions:
Drain and rinse garbanzo beans in a strainer, rubbing the beans until the thin, slimy covering comes off, and discard.

Spread out on a baking sheet covered in paper towels or a clean towel. The secret to success is to get the beans as dry as possible.

When they’re dry, empty into a bowl and coat with one tablespoon of neutral vegetable oil. Don’t season at this time.

Over medium high heat add a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet. Add the garbanzo beans in one layer. Let them cook without disturbing. If you hear a few pops, that’s normal. After about ten minutes, check on them and turn the beans so all sides can become crispy and brown.

At this time, add salt, garlic powder, and any other seasonings you prefer.

Keep pan roasting until they become beautifully golden brown and crispy. The drier they were to start with will shorten the roasting time.

Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet to completely cool before storing in a tightly sealed container.

They’re supposed to last a few days but I’ve watched my son eat them all at one sitting, so I don’t have any personal info to share about that.

Enjoy!

What’s Hanukkah All About?

Chag Sameach!

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Mostly for me Hanukkah was all about getting presents for eight days, haha, but I know there’s another meaning, because I went to Sunday school and even Hebrew school for a while, which was kind of expected considering my grandfather was a rabbi.

Our Jewish Festival of Lights lasts for eight days and nights in honor of a 2,000-year-old miracle in which light won out over darkness.

This year Hanukkah started yesterday at sundown, and ends Monday, December 26. 

Hanukkah commemorates the dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem. In 164 BCE, the Jewish people revolted against the Greeks in the Maccabean War. After their victory they cleansed the temple and re-dedicated it.

There was an oil lamp there that only had one day of oil, but the lamp burned for eight days. This is called the miracle of the oil and is where the eight days of celebration comes from.

Like most of our holidays, food is key. Traditional Hanukkah foods include latkes and doughnuts fried in olive oil to represent the miracle of the burning oil lamp.

A bygone tradition was to give gold coins called gelt but today children are often given chocolate coins in a gold wrapping to make them look like gelt.

Besides receiving gifts, the star of the show is the menorah.

Menorah candles are to burn for at least half an hour after the sun sets.The menorah is a special candelabra with nine candles. Each day an additional candle is lit. The ninth candle is called a shamash. This candle is usually in the middle and set higher from the other eight candles to separate it from the rest. It’s the only candle that is supposed to be used for lighting the others.

Since this country seems to be in the middle of a disgusting new dark age of anti-Semitism and racism, it’s even more imperative that we stand up and speak out against prejudice and discrimination, once again bringing light into darkness.

There’s a lot of abhorrent history in this powerful image from Germany…

No photo description available.

During Hanukkah 1931, Rachel Posner, wife of Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner, took this photo of the family Hanukkah menorah from the window ledge of the family home looking out on to the building across the road decorated with Nazi flags.

Shine the light.

Left Behind

I don’t know if it was Freud or someone else who said that there was an underlying subliminal reason why someone leaves things behind at your home, but in the case of my Angels, I love it when they do.

I find and gather up the artifacts to either mail or bring with me on my next visit. They’re like little treasures that attach themselves to memories of a special time.

Thank goodness I didn’t step barefoot on a fierce Ninjago Lego minifigure. I had found another one and mailed it along with random socks and a forgotten light up ball that had rolled under the sofa, but this little guy was exhumed when I changed the sheets and I recalled the morning Angel Boy crawled into bed with me at about 6am.

“Grandma, are you awake? Daddy said I could come down. He’s going surfing.”
“Look at my Legos.This is one of the Ninjagos, LOOK!” “He’s one of my favorites.” “Grandma, can you make me a Ninjago cake?” “You can do it, I know you can.”

“I don’t know, T. I can do a kitty or an owl or a bunny, but a Ninjago cake seems pretty difficult for me.”

“Did you wash my favorite (Ninjago) shirt for me?”

“It’s a bit early for me to handwash your favorite shirt, T. How about breakfast first?”

“Grandma, do you always do the same things every single time you wake up?”

“What’s that, T? What do I do?”

“You put on your glasses, take off your retainers, take a vitamin, and do your inhaler. And then you make coffee.”

“You know what, Angel? That’s exactly what I do, in exactly that order. You are incredibly observant to remember each and every detail. I do those same things every single day at your house and my house. Do you think about that?”

“Yes, I do. I’m hungry. Can I have some apple pie?”

The answer to that was yes. The children know me too well. I approve of apple pie for early breakfast. I wrapped a piece for dad to eat before his dawn patrol surf sesh, too.

Those Angels leave a trail of love behind, that’s the best part.

To See the Good

I parked my car (and made sure I knew where it was this time hahahaha). As I was gathering my shopping bags, I overheard a young-ish man with a baby sitting in a shopping cart as he was talking to his significant other.

He asked her if she needed any snacks, sweet or savory, and told her he loved her at least half a dozen times during the short walk to the grocery store, as we were headed in the same direction. The last thing he said was, “We’ll be home soon.”

I gathered from that brief exchange that she was probably pregnant and suffering from first trimester morning sickness. He was genuine, sweet, kind, obviously empathetic and caring.

I grabbed a cart as he stopped to disinfect his; the little girl caught my eye and said, “Hi!” I responded back to her, “Hello, sweetie!” She pointed to my mask (def wearing everywhere as I’m still recovering from pneumonia) and I nodded, “Yes, I’m wearing a mask.”

Her dad reiterated, “Yes, she is wearing a mask, my love.

That’s exactly how I refer to the Angels, so I told him he was a great dad; more dads should be like him. He thanked me and kissed his baby girl. She waved to me and we continued on our individual shopping journeys.

There are still good people in this world and that warms my heart.

Conversational Speed Bump

As I sit here with a sore throat, sneezing so hard I think I’ve rearranged some brain cells, I wonder how I even got sick since I still mask up in public. I’ve tested twice for Covid and it’s been negative both times, so that’s something to be grateful for. All I want to do is to curl up with a mug of spicy ginger tea and a cozy blanket.

My virus-type thing came on pretty rapidly after THIS experience. Maybe the Universe is helping me stay home and safely away from toxic people…

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There’s one specific car that flies down my street every morning, Monday through Friday, hurtling itself over the speed bumps/humps and barely – if at all – bothering to slow down for the stop sign before turning right and into the elementary school parking lot.

After randomly witnessing this occur over several days, I walked to the school and snapped a pic of the car in the parking lot.

I entered the Admin building and asked the school secretary to please take a look at the photo and explained that I’m sure this was an employee and it would be a good idea to caution this person that she was speeding and please slow down on our street as it’s not a freeway, even if she’s late for work.

I never imagined the vitriol I would soon receive.

First of all, the secretary curtly informed me that anything outside the parking lot wasn’t her business and I should go to the police. While she thought that statement would deter me, along with her frosty dismissive attitude, she clearly didn’t know with whom she was dealing.

I said slowly, enunciating carefully, “I came here as a courtesy, hoping that all staff would be reminded to drive carefully, legally, and responsibly around the neighborhood as it’s a known ongoing problem, and what you’re suggesting is that I should just go to the police?”

“Well, there are fifty cars out there, you can’t expect me to figure out who owns that car! How do I know if it’s even an employee! That’s not my job!”

I responded, “Oh, but yes, I surely DO expect you to do your due diligence, especially since you’re looking at a photo with the license plate. And I don’t understand why you’re not concerned or being helpful. This person is driving in a reckless manner.”

I will tell you that I spoke in a calm but firm voice, having been in that office dozens of times as a parent, which is why I know the lay of the land, so to speak.

I reiterated, “So what I hear you say is that you WANT me to go to the police and you are refusing to address this issue, simply and internally?”

She looked at me and said, “Where did you say this was? At the roundabout?”

Geez, I hate these kinds of encounters so much, but I persevered. I took a breath before continuing. “So far, I’ve explained to you three times that this car flies over the speed bumps on the street before the stop sign.” (And I actually pointed in that direction, which she could see through the doors.)

Her next words made me chuckle. So predictable for people like that.

“STOP YELLING AT ME! You’re being rude! I don’t have to be treated this way!”

I calmly informed her that I hadn’t raised my voice but that we neighbors do not appreciate staff using our street like a freeway and if she’d prefer that I give the vehicle info to the police, I’d be happy to do so as I had made the effort to come into the office as a consideration to avoid involving the police, which seemed entirely unnecessary.

In the old days, I would have been so angry that I would have met her vitriolic negative energy with a shit ton of my own. Trust me, I could raise the threat level to DEFCON 2 (next step to nuclear war) in a heartbeat.

In the OLD DAYS, smoke would have poured out of my ears and nose like a dragon, but this kinder and gentler version of me didn’t respond further. I walked home, shaking my head. Life lessons learned.

I was honestly surprised by her attitude. In my naïveté, I thought she’d thank me for bringing the matter to her attention and she’d inform the principal to review safety protocol for driving in our community, to respect the neighborhood, and to assure me that my concerns were important and would be properly addressed.

I was wrong.

So my next call will be to the police which was definitely avoidable. Once again I’m reminded of one of the reasons I HATED teaching elementary school.

(Another time I’ll recount the tale of the high school assistant principal who DARED to target my 4.8 GPA child for a crime he didn’t commit. Let’s just say that after I was done with him, he had another job. Mama bears don’t have an off switch when it comes to protecting their young, right?)

Hopscotch | Life Lessons

How awesome is this new twist on an old game to encourage confident selftalk along with subliminal positive affirmations?

Ghost Ship?

Not this time.

My son takes the greatest photos.

A couple weeks ago, Lady Debbie, a commercial fishing boat, ran aground south of Westport, Washington. Luckily, there were no injuries and all six crewmembers walked away.

I wonder why she’s still there, unsalvaged, because it looks like it’s already starting to deteriorate and is now a canvas for taggers.

I wasn’t with the fam on this surfing beach trip so I didn’t get to actually see the vessel, but the last time I was there, I discovered a treasure trove of sand dollars which made me VERY happy.

August Musings

This poem by Mary Oliver makes me think of the Pacific Northwest where blackberries grow freely on every fence and in every alley and all along the path we take to walk to the Salish Sea.

The Angel kids, as they carefully pick blackberries to avoid thorns, their faces and hands stained purple, turn now and again to share, “Here’s a nice big one for you, Grandma!”

August

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

Musical Notes: A Composition of Crows

I’ve never played a single musical instrument — well, I took a few guitar lessons many years ago but I can’t remember a thing plus I had no talent.

We have a piano because of Angel Boy. His grandma really wanted him to learn so he could play Ode to Joy and Fur Elise for her, which he did, and it made her very happy, especially during her final illness.

I looked up on this very sunny and hot blue sky day and the first thing that popped into my head was that I was looking a musical score of some sort.

I think I’m not the only one who has observed birds on wires and took similar photos, but this is my contribution. Whatever tune they’re playing is a special sort of magic. Counting Crows?

Just Before Sunset

Three dolphins jumped out of the water directly in front of me.

I was rummaging in the bag for snacks for a very hungry Angel Boy, when he shouted, “Grandma, a shark, look near the jetty!”

Immediately, my eyes laser focused toward the spot where he was pointing, and I could see that it wasn’t a shark but a trio of shiny dolphins!

Dolphins make me happy. Seeing a dolphin with my favorite boy makes me even happier.

I tried to snap a pic but wasn’t quick enough. They were headed north, sharply silhouetted by the rays of the summer sun setting low toward the horizon,

Instead, I was able to capture the multiple joys of my two favorite Angel Boys.

History repeats itself as the sun goes down and I’m calling both of them to COME OUT OF THE WATER, IT’S TIME TO GO HOME!

“Five more minutes, Grandma. Daddy says to tell you five more minutes.”

I experienced a major deja vu moment of standing in that same spot many times over the years as I shouted at the top of my lungs for the original AB to come out of the water because it was completely DARK.

Half an hour later, tired and sandy, we head home to a shower, more food, and an exhausted but happy boy falls immediately asleep.

Simple joys are the BEST.