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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Auburn Way

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Auburn Ave

Department of Health

This building (picture above and below) was the old town library. It now houses the School of Dance and Music.

Main Street, Auburn

The old J.C. Penney's Building

Nielson's Jewelry

Auburn Ave Theater

"Annie Get Your Gun"

The commuter

The transit center where commuters catch the train to Seattle.

This is the old Tourist Hotel - built in 1905 at 124 West Main

It was a first class hotel back in it's heyday


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Grandma Candy

Grandma McKinley with Mom and Aunt Judy, approximately 60 years ago.
My niece and nephew call her Grandma Candy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Green River

The Green River winds through town and back behind our apartments. The footbridge Mr. H is standing on is a 10 minute walk from home. Along this stretch, the west side of the river is homes and the east side is a park. This stretch usually has 5 to 10 people fishing along the shores, look for the breaks in the briar patches. The day these pictures were taken, there were even people fishing from under the bridge.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


School starts tomorrow, so we're in the final phases of getting ready for that. We've been stressing quite a bit about the books, as we had about $200 total between us, and all of our books totalled over $450 at the school - and that included used where they were available. We spent a lot of time agonizing over which books to buy and which books to try to get through the semester without... But really, we need the books.

We went home without buying any of the books, and I hit the web, researching all the used books and used textbooks sites. I managed to find everything on for less than $200 - including shipping charges. They probably wont get here till late next week, but for that kind of savings, I think we can wait a week.

David Deployed

Mom called last night to say that David had just been deployed again. This is his third deployment, Afghanistan and Iraq before, I suspect Iraq again this time. :(

God bless, David.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


This morning I attended a seminar on labor issues and current cases before the National Labor Relations Board. Yada Yada Yada Yawn. It was interesting, but not worth reporting on in a journal like this.

Of note however, was the schwag. As with all seminars and conferences there was an abundance of schwag provided by the law firm - some of it quite nice.

I'll viciously protect my new pen, it's weighted and fits my hand perfectly.

The obligotory stress balls were there, this time you also had the option of getting a stress penguin which I though was a nice touch.

Then the breathmints - also a step up from some of the cheap schwag I've seen in the past.

But by far the most notable was the chapstick. Yes - chapstick. I guess those lawyers need lubrication for their lips. Mmmm, minty.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Persian Recipe: Saffron Brownie (halveh)


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground saffron dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted pistashios for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups ghee

make syrup: bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the saffron water, rose water and cardamom. Mix well and set aside.

Make flour pase: in a large dep saute pan, toast the flour for about 10 minutes over medium head, stirring constantly. Add the melted butter and fry, mixing constantly with wooden spoon for 7 - 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat.

Add syrup: gradually blend the syrup into the hot flour and butter mixture, stirring constatly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food procesor and process until smooth, about 5 minutes. The paste should set and become thick and smooth.

Chill: spoon onto a plate and pack firmly with a spoon. Garnish with pistachios. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cut into small pieces and serve as dessert.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Lamb Kababs

* 1 lb lean lamb, cut into 2" cubes
* 10 cherry tomatoes


  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron threads dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp salt


  • 1/4 tsp ground saffron threads dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup ghee or butter

Marinate: pound the lamb pieces lightly with a heavy knife to tenderize. Place the lamb in a ziplock bag. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, lime, and saffron water. Seal and marinate for at least 24 hours and up to 72 in the refridgerator. Turn at least twice.

Make baste: combine butter, lime juice, saffron water, salt and pepper in a small sauce pan. Keep warm over low heat.

Grill: start a bed of charcoal at least 30 minute before you want to grill the lamb. Meanwhile thread 5 - 6 pieces of meat onto each skewer, alternating with cherry tomatoes. Grill for 3 -4 minutes on each side, turning and basting frequently. The total cooking should be 6 - 10 minutes.

Serve: Spread a piece of lavash break on a serving platter. When the meat is done, remove from the skewer and place on the bed of lavash, surrounded by tomatoes. Baste once and cover with lavash to keep warm.

- in a hurry? there's an enzyme in the onion that helps to break down the meat. If your marinating for 24 hours or more, slice the onions. If you don't have that much time, liquify the onion with a grater and the enzymes with break down the meat twice as fast.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Dill & Fava Polow

  • 3 Cups basmati rice
  • 2 lbs fresh favas, shelled and skinned
  • 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 4 Tbsp hot water
  • 5 1/2 Cups coarsly chopped fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 12 Tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup leeks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Toss the herbs together with the cinnamon and garlic in a bowl and reserve.

Cook rice and favas: In a large nonstick pot, bring 10 cups water, salt and turmeric to a boil. Add the rice and favas and boil hard for 6 - 10 minutes, gently stirring twice to loosen any grains on the bottom. Once the rice rises to the top of the pot, it is done. Drain the rice and rinse with warm water.

Take the tahdiq: In a bow, whisk together 4 tbsp ghee, 1/2 cup water, 2 big scoops of the rice mixture, the yogurt, and 1 Tbsp of the saffron water. Spread this mixture down on the bottom of the nonstick pot. (nonstick is VERY important)

Assemble: place 2 spatulas full of rice and beans in the pot. Add a spatula full of herbs and garlic. Repeat, alternating layers of rice and beans with the herbs and garlic, mounding ingredients into the shape of a pyramid.

First Cook: cover the pot and cook rice mixture for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Second Cook: Mix 1 cup cold water with 4 tbsp ghee and pour over rice and beans. Sprinkle on the remaining saffron water. Place a dish towel over the pot to absorg condensation and cover firmly with the lid to prevent steam from escaping. Reduce the heat to low and cook 50 minutes longer (take care that the towel doesn't burn)

Cool: remove the pot from the heat and place it, still covered, on a damp surface for 5 minutes to cool slightly and to loosen the crust.

Serve: remove the lid, hold a serving platter tightly over the pot and invert the two together, unmolding the entire mound on the platter. It should come out as golden crusted cake. Garnish with flowers and herbs.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Basmati Rice

  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 8 cups cold water

pick over the rice carefully to remove any grit

wash rice: wash the rice by placing it into a large bowl and covering in warm water. Gently agitate with your hand, then pour off the water. Repeat five times to get the rice clean.

Cook rice: in a large non-stick pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the rice to the pot and boil hard for 6-10 minutes. Gently stir to remove any rice sticking to the bottom. Once the rice rises to the top it is done. Drain the rice and rinse with warm water.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Pistachio Soup

  • I cup unsalted, blanched pistachios
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher sald and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup whole pistachios, blanched for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Grind the pistachios in a food processor until fine.

Saute aromatics: In a heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and leeks, saute for 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Saute until very fragrant.

Simmer: Add the rice flour, stirring constantly to make a paste. Add the chicken stock and bring up to a boil. Add the pistachios, salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lime and orange juices. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve garnished with pistachios.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Advieh Powder

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 Tbsp dried rose petals
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp ground Cumin

Mix ingredients thoroughly and store airtight.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

  • 8 small red peppers
  • 1/4 cup long grained rice
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp groun black pepper
  • 1/3 cup frsh lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads, ground and dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 1/4 cup yellow split peas
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp Advieh powder (see recipe above)
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400

Prepare the peppers: Cut the tops off the peppers 1/2 " from the stems and set tops aside. Remove the seeds and ribs. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the peppers and tops for about 5 minutes. Drain and shock the peppers in ice water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Make stuffing: In a small pot, combine the rice, split pease, 2 Cups water and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 T of the ghee over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and beef and saute for 15 minutes until golden brown. Add the tomato paste and saute 1 more minute. Remove from head and add teh rice mixture, the herbs and 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp advieh powder and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Make sauce: In a small bowl combine the tomato juice, 2 T Ghee, lime, sugar, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, and the saffron water. Reserve.

Stuff and Bake: Fill the peppers with the stuffing and replace their tops. Place the stuffed peppers side by side in an oven proof dish, pour the reserved sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bak for 1 hour or until very tender. When done, taste sauce and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, or lime.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Eggplant Khoresh

  • 5 Tblsp. Ghee
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 lb. Chicken Breast sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads - ground and disolved in 4 Tblsp. hot water
  • 3 Cups fresh or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 Cup unripe grapes or 4 Tblsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Tumeric
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 lbs. Eggplant, peeled
  • 2 eggwhites, beaten

Preheat oven to 350

Brown the chicken: In a medium pot, heat 3 T. of the ghee over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken and saute 15 minutes longer until golden brown.

Simmer: Add the salt, pepper, saffron water, tomato puree, grapes or lime juice and tumeric. Bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Fry the eggplant: Cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarters. Brush eggplant with eggwhites to reduce teh amount of oil used. In a large saute pan, heat 2 T. of the ghee up over medium heat and fry the eggplant until golden on each side. Place on paper towels to drain.

Bake: transfer chicken and sauce to a deep oven-proof casserole dish and arrange eggplant on top. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and lime and serve.

We like to top this dish off with yogurt and chopped mint.

recipes from Culinary Communion

Persian Recipe: Cheese & Walnut Spread

  • 1/4 lb. Feta cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Scallions
  • 1/4 Tarragon leaves
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher Salt
  • 2 Cups Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Basil leaves
  • 1/4 Cup mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil

Puree: place all ingredients in a food procesor and process to a coarse textured spread. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with lavash or flat bread. Serves 4.

- Note: when we made this recipe, we found we had to add an additional lime (not an additional Tablespoon - an additional LIME) to pull the top notes. That may have something to do with the cheese we used which had a very deep full flavor (deeper than most feta).

recipes from Culinary Communion

Culinary Communion: Persian Cuisine

For our first anniversary, my gift to Aaron was to take him to a class on cooking Persian food last night. The class was offered by Culinary Communion, and took place in the home of Chef Gabriel Claycamp. There were 7 students and the chef so it was a very nice intimate group. The class was fun, and we both learned alot, not just about Persian food, but cooking in general.

What did we learn?
- Saffron is water soluble, not oil soluble. Thats why you really need to dissolve it in hot water before you add it to the dish. If you just toss it in with what ever you are sauteing, it will give it a beautiful color but it just wont give up the love. Also, if you think you don't like saffron because it tastes metalic, try Persion saffron rather than Spanish, its a whole lot cheaper and the flavor is much less tinny.
- Eggplant is like a sponge and soaks up a lot of oil. If you brush the eggplant with eggwhite before adding it to the pan the eggplant will soak up a significantly smaller amount of oil.

- Juicing citrus - roll or knead the lime to break it down inside and then zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds to increase viscosity before slicing and juicing the fruit - you'll get out a whole lot more juice with a whole lot less effort.

- When cooking basmati rice - the old saying about washing the rice 5 times is there for a reason. I was the one that washed the rice, and it was amazing by the time I got the the third or fouth washing the aroma was really starting to come out. The five washings really help to release the aroma and flavor of the rice.

On the menu we had:

  • pistachio soup
  • feta and walnut spread with lavash bread
  • stuffed peppers
  • Eggplant Koresh
  • Dill and Fava Polow
  • Lamb Kababs
  • Saffron Brownie (halveh)

The food was great, but maybe not to the level of Alborz or Caspian Sea. I loved the pistachio soup, the cheese/nut spread was good be we found we needed to add a whole extra lime and a lot of extra plack pepper and mint to hit the right note. Bell peppers are never my thing, so as a whole the dish meant nothing to me, but the filling was quite succulent before in went into the pepper (after of course it was completely infused with the pepper flavor which I just don't like). I may have to think of something else to stuff - because the filling was really quite tasty. The dill and fava palow was good, and we even made it with the tadiq which was especially cool as most restaurants don't even serve that. The lamb kebabs were amazing and I seriously recommend you try the recipe when I get it posted. The saffron brownies were a variation on halveh which is common throughout the middle east, I dodn't think much of this particular recipe but I'll post it anyways.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Romance on Rails

For our first wedding anniversary celebration, Mr. H took me out on the Spirit of Washington dinner train.

He thought of everything. Before we boarded the train, he helped me complete my look with a Holly Yashi necklace and earring set. Then there were roses waiting for me when we got to our table on the train.

The food was excellent. I had prime rib and he had the salmon. The wines were exquisite - I particularly enjoyed the whidbey port.

Mr. H, my dear husband, I don't have enough words to tell you how much I love you. You made me very, very happy tonight.

I love you more every day and I'm so thankful that I get to spend my life with you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Wedding Ceremony: September 5, 2004


I, Aaron,

accept you, Judy,

to be my wife.
I promise to live with you,
to trust and to cherish you,
to be your constant friend,
and faithful partner in life.
I promise to love, honor,
and respect you always,
as long as we both shall live.

I, Judy,
accept you, Aaron,
to be my husband.
I promise to live with you,
to trust and to cherish you,
to be your constant friend,
and faithful partner in life.
I promise to love, honor,
and respect you always,
as long as we both shall live.


I, Aaron,
accept you Judy
to be my wife
and in doing so
I commit my life to you.
I embrace the sorrows and the joys
the hardships and the triumphs
in the experiences of our lives together.
As we grow in our roles
as life long partners,
so will we always remain best friends.
With this ring,
I make this commitment
in love forever.

I, Judy,
accept you Aaron
to be my husband
and in doing so
I commit my life to you.
I embrace the sorrows and the joys
the hardships and the triumphs
in the experiences of our lives together.
As we grow in our roles
as life long partners,
so will we always remain best friends.
With this ring,
I make this commitment
in love forever.

© Judy Haley. All rights reserved.