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Pumpkins Aplenty, Autumn in the Midwest

We have been in the Milwaukee area this week-end celebrating my mom’s 90th birthday.  A country drive yesterday put us in this scrumptious area where I snapped these shots.  An impeccable farm with pumpkins galore.

The Midwest sky changing by the minute and within no time there was a loud crack of thunder (which sends Bailey immediately into shaking mode, poor bug, breaks our heart) and the rains began.  A little while later is was clear again.  We were able to sit outside for more of a visit, and within the next hour the rains & thunder were back.  All a reminder of my childhood and the intensity of that heavy rain, which I always loved.  We head back to Seattle this eve.  What a wonderful fete to ring in her next decade.




I am just returning (writing this in the air while flying back) from Milwaukee (Brookfield), where I was with my siblings by our mom’s side as she recovers from surgery.  At 89 she has lived alone for close to 30 years, since my father died.  We have been told by the doctors and rehabilitation center that she can no longer live alone.  News I find heartbreaking. We are in the midst of figuring all the logistics, as we all live in different parts of the country.  This post really is about those we love, even if we don’t live near one another or see each other often–to hold them ever so close.  For the unit we grew up with, we must call upon during the good and the tough times.  Family.  
The above quote seeming quite perfect for this day. Be well, all of you, and enjoy every moment of this ride… 

Much, much love, Ted



Watson Family Shrimp Dip

20141205-071143.jpg Being a retailer and shopkeeper, Thanksgiving feels like ages ago, but in reality I know it was only a week ago. I have had this recipe in the line-up for a post since then, but kept forgetting about it until this morning. Today is the day. This is a family recipe so let me give you some background on it. I truly can’t remember a family gathering where shrimp dip was not included. Every holiday this was part of the tradition. It has been many, many years since I have made it, but last Thursday, Thanksgiving, was when I whipped up a batch. It is so simple, and so tasty–it brings me right back to my childhood.

Take two 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese and leave out until soft. These really need to be soft to make this easy to mix. Once soft, put into a mixing bowl. I use a KitchenAid mixer, my sister uses a hand held mixer. Either is totally fine. Add two 4 ounce cans of tiny shrimp after you have drained them thoroughly. Fresh cooked shrimp is fine here too. My mom always used the canned shrimp, so I try and make it just as she did so the flavor/memory is just the same. Then add 6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce. As well as a two teaspoons of garlic powder. Add a few pinches of fresh ground pepper. Start mixing these all together, adding whole milk as you go, until you get the desired consistency you like. Our Mother likes it creamier, my sister & I like it firmer. Once done, give it a taste and see if you want to add more Worcestershire sauce or garlic powder. That is it.

Serve with the best potato chips you can get your hands on. My brother’s name is Tim, so we always try and serve it with those. Crackers are fab too, as are slices of baguette. This really just takes me back to my youth and Midwest roots. It is amazing how food and tastes and flavors can do just that.



Time with Family at Hawthorne

20140328-075801.jpg We arrived last night to Hawthorne for a long week-end of spending time with family. The house just enveloping us like a big bear hug when we arrived. Of course I mean that metaphorically, but it is completely how it felt. This trip will be so good for the soul on many levels. It will be so lovely to reminisce about Ted’s father and share stories. Just to be cocooned in the warm embrace of family will be restorative.

We started hanging the artwork from the shipment we sent from Seattle in January that did not arrive in time on our last stay. I feel so strongly that art just gives a home much life. It is so interesting to see the pieces hung here in a different environment. Soothing really, kind of like old friends. It is cool to have a little bit of Seattle here in New York. I will try and take photos and do a post around the artwork in their new home in the coming week.

Sending much, much love from Ghent,