All I really remember about kindergarten, besides the cute little duck on my "cubby" and coloring in the red, yellow and green circles on a picture of a stoplight, is my mom having my favorite lunch – chicken and rice soup – ready for me day after day when I got home. Thirteen years later, when I was away at college, the handwritten note from Mom arrived in the mail the day after classes started – a welcome reminder that I always had a home no matter where I was.
Starting school can be intimidating for many kids. But imagine starting without paper, pencils, notebooks or even a backpack to carry everything in. Several groups, large and small, throughout the community are holding drives to collect school supplies for kids whose families can't afford the necessary items.
Go ahead and blink but you're not imagining things. This car is a chalkboard. Spokane's Shannon Zaranski passed this photo along to me. Zaranski recently moved into my neighborhood and one day drew a small crowd when her friend came by with her "art car."
Despite video games, iPods, TiVo and the Internet, nothing beats a good old-fashioned water balloon toss (or fight) for summer fun. In fact, based on suggestions for summer fun from the families of The Spokesman-Review's Parents' Council, many tried-and-true ways of passing long summer days still rank high among kids' favorite things to do when they're not bound by school schedules.
The paper airplanes and helicopters have taken off, but the rockets are staying behind. Visitors to Mobius Kids will see a few changes taking place over the next few weeks as the children's museum shuffles a few exhibits and debuts a new one.
If kids who go through the newest exhibit soon to open at Mobius Kids start nagging their parents about wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets and sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians, David Jones will be happy. "As a parent, what's more shameful than being reminded of something by your kid? Uh, oh, busted," he said.
Chinese New Year in Spokane? OK, so it's not as big as, say, San Francisco's celebration, but to the local Chinese community and the growing number of families that have adopted children from China, it's an important and exciting tradition. "Before we had the New Year celebration, the Chinese people (in Spokane) all were hiding somewhere," said Bo Wen. "This celebration brought the Chinese people together."
An anonymous reader inquired about a recipe believed to have been published around the time of World War II, when sugar rationing was going on. The recipe used primarily corn syrup as the sweetening agent. We searched The Spokesman-Review's Dorothy Dean files and found this Sugar-Ration Cake from October 1942 and the following Maytime Cake from April 1942. Sugar-Ration Cake
A former Spokanite now living in Southern California was looking for a recipe for Lindaman's Nanaimo Bars. We didn't find the recipe in our archives, but we did find the following recipe, which is claimed to be the original. The recipe was published in a story written by Billie Moreland, who first learned about the sweet treat during a trip to Vancouver, B.C. In the years that followed, Moreland encountered several variations of the bars. On a quest to find the original nanaimo, Moreland unearthed this recipe from the tourism office in city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
Few acts speak to the season as much as does giving a homemade gift. All the better, if that homemade gift is something to be sipped, dunked, drizzled, tossed, baked or simply chomped. After all, food is one way to show friendship and love.
Is there anyone who doesn't scrape around the edges of the gratin pan trying to get that last bit of golden, crunchy topping that gives the dish its comforts of home feeling? "Indeed, it is the crust that makes a gratin," writes Tina Salter, the author of "Gratins: Savory and Sweet Recipes from Oven to Table."
Muffins make great on-the-go breakfasts, quick snacks and nice additions to a buffet spread. Here are a few recipes in response to requests for Zucchini Muffins, Apple-Cinnamon Muffins and Chocolate-Chip Muffins. Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins
Dear Laura: Many years ago there was a Desert Hotel Oasis in Spokane. In the luncheon area they served a marvelous entrée called Chicken Croquettes. It was ground chicken inside a light golden crust and topped with a white sauce. Would there be a chance of getting this recipe? – Carol, from Colfax Dear Carol: I didn't find any recipes specifically from the Desert Hotel Oasis, but Chicken Croquettes is a popular recipe that comes in many variations. The classic cookbook "Joy of Cooking" includes a recipe that seems to be the one most often copied or adapted. It includes chicken mixed with a white sauce, battered and fried. This recipe serves it with lemon wedges or cranberry sauce, but other recipes I saw served it with additional white sauce on top. Here's the recipe.
A reader asked via The Spokesman-Review Web site for the Joe Frogger Cookies recipe. These ginger-nutmeg flavored cookies appeared several times in leaflets produced by The Spokesman-Review's Dorothy Dean department. The recipe makes a crisp yet chewy cookie with a distinct holiday flavor. Joe Frogger Cookies
Chicken salad may be a summertime favorite, but it also provides for a simple yet popular contribution to cooler weather potlucks. Here are several recipes we dug up based on a couple of inquiries. One reader wanted a recipe for a chicken salad that tasted like a classic club sandwich, while another was looking for a recipe for a Rice-a-Roni chicken salad. Chicken Club Salad
Share a meal; strengthen your family. It's a message family advocates across the country want parents to hear. Among other benefits, studies show that kids whose families regularly eat meals together are less likely to use drugs. "Eating together is an excellent idea," said Chris Koehler, a parenting expert with the Washington State University Spokane County Extension office.
Dear Laura: Many years ago a recipe for Senate Navy Bean soup was printed in a magazine or newspaper. I have lost the copy. I found one that is supposed to be the original from www.senate.gov but it is not like the one I had and made for years. The recipe I had included celery, carrots, garlic and tomato sauce. A portion of the beans were mashed when finished cooking. Can you help? – S. Rose Dear S. Rose: There are so many variations of Senate Bean Soup floating around. Many versions call for mashed potatoes, which are commonly used to thicken sauces and soups. Another way to accomplish this, without adding potatoes, is to remove a portion of the beans, puree them and return them to the pot. Here are three recipes, two that come close to what you remember, and the version that is currently served in the U.S. Senate (according to the government's Web site).
The smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies wafts through the halls of Building 4 of Spokane Falls Community College two times a week, luring students and faculty with its irresistibility. "It's a great marketing tool," said Valorie Marschall, campus adviser to the Delta Epsilon Chi club, which holds bake sales Monday and Wednesday mornings on campus. For others, the yummy ethnic goodies they can get only a few places or a few times a year are what brings them back time and again. At the Greek Dinner Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church last weekend, people lined up early as they have every year for decades, to stock up on popular pastries and treats, such as diples and baklava.
Dear Laura: Can you find a good recipe for penuche (brown sugar fudge)? Every one I try seems to turn grainy when I make it. I would like a recipe that turns out creamy. – Barbara Dear Barbara: I searched The Spokesman-Review's Dorothy Dean files and found a few different recipes for penuche. In some versions, it's called "panocha." Here are a couple of the recipes. I made the first one, which calls for evaporated milk instead of regular milk. It turned out quite creamy, with an almost melt-in-your-mouth quality to it. The other recipe is different from many recipes I found on the Internet in that it calls for only brown sugar, not a white and brown sugar combination. Give these a try. I think you'll like them.
Cancel those appointments, ditch the gym, let the kids' skip soccer and ballet practice, tell the boss you're leaving on time and turn off the TV and cell phones. You're being encouraged to do something on Monday that once was a no-brainer: Sit down as a family and have dinner.
Dear Readers: I received a request for a banana bread recipe that used little or no liquid other than mashed bananas and eggs. Most banana bread recipes I've seen do use very little liquid. Here are two from The Spokesman-Review's Dorothy Dean files, one that uses only a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and another that is sure to be a hit with big and little kids who like the peanut butter banana combination. Banana Bread
Canning for the future is a great way to extend the taste of summer into dreary winter months. But still, enjoying fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden or farmers' market as long as possible is just as rewarding. Here are some tips we collected from area growers on how to keep foods fresh. Remember, when shopping at a farmers' market, don't hesitate to ask the grower for his or her advice; everyone has different tricks.