If You Give a Pippimamma a Pancake…

If you saw a woman touring a homeless tent city wearing a newborn wrapped snuggly to her chest and being followed by her four other children as she jots down notes in a notebook, most people don’t automatically think ‘journalist.’

At least that’s been my experience.

I was interviewing the residents of “Nickelsville” (the name of the tent city that was being evicted by the City of Seattle) and the people I was interviewing were momentarily puzzled when they realized I was not a homeless woman with her children seeking refuge, but writing a column about the all too common problem of homelessness in America.

The homeless folks were perfectly fine either way…my kids weren’t.

“They think WE’RE homeless?” my eldest daughter asked, as if that were the most shocking thing.

“Yes.” I said.

Instead of being miffed that anyone would think I “looked” homeless, it proved a valuable lesson to the kids: homeless people look “normal” and many of them are kids.

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What a Simple Gift Taught Me About Motherhood — and Myself

I peel apples. Today it’s juicy, sweet, Pink Ladies. I also enjoy Braeburn, Honey crisp, Granny Smith. Of course, Gravenstein’s are the best, but have the shortest growing season. As I peel, my seven-month-old sits gurgling in his highchair.

People say having kids changes you. I have five, so I feel pretty confident in attesting that there is truth to this. But even I am amazed by how much I’ve been transformed.

I stand next to my son, enjoying his coos and the rhythmic sensation of my hands as they core, quarter and slice apples into a secon- hand Le Creuset pot.

I hum along to Erasure as I anticipate what a nice batch of apple sauce I’ll have to pass out to my family, friends… maybe I’ll have enough to bring to the local women’s shelter.

 

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The Twinkie Defense

The other day this popped onto my Facebook screen with the message:JUST got this package from FED EX.

“SURPRISE!” Screamed the wife.

Was I surprised that the demise of the iconic Twinkie had caused my friend, a chef and connoisseur of fine dining, to go on a Twinkie binge?

Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s eating Twinkies as a lunch-time snack was just as much a part of “normal” childhood as my kids BPA-free lunch box is today.

And, the truth is, when I was a kid, Twinkies kinda saved my life.

 

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There’s Something About Molly

I have this vivid memory of watching Andy Rooney as a kid on 60 Minutes making homemade vanilla ice cream with his grandson. He poured heavy cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract into an old-timey contraption and surrounded the mixture with hunks of ice and rock salt before grinding a crank.

Of course, Andy did his usual satire about how idiotic people can be about trivial, common sense things like how simple it is to make ice cream and how society messes it up by over complicating it.

Still, the tenderness for his grandson as he handed him the ice cream machine’s churning device covered in a dreamy, cloud-colored vanilla ice cream made an impression that day. I remember wishing I had a grandpa or someone special to make ice cream with.

These days I love cooking all kinds of things with my four kids. As a journalist and culinarily creative mom, it’s our thing to go cookin’ and trippin’ around the Pacific Northwest.

 

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Cooking With Chef Tom

 

Cooking with Chef Tom Douglas from Carolyn Ossorio on Vimeo.

 

The blade came into view like a version of Excalibur — forged by an Avalonian elf and blessed with dragon’s breath — as the Chef’s knife easily sliced through the flesh of the slippery rainbow trout skin.

The Palace Kitchen was our Camelot.

And Chef Tom Douglas was our culinary king.

Apologies up front for all the fantastical allusions… I’m waist deep in George R.R Martin’s Game of Thrones HBO series while simultaneously reading the first book in the series.

It was an early Tuesday morning and the popular Palace Kitchen restaurant in downtown Seattle was empty. Inside chairs were still upside down on their tables and the place was filled with the kind of quiet that greets you when visiting a school that’s out of session.

 

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