Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The blog is back to regular old me. Sorry. Omid says that was his one and only blog post. Hope you all enjoyed his blogging career while it lasted. :)

I am in the market for a new rolling pin. While rolling out my Barky Bits today, my current rolling pin bit the dust. So... I need to find a new one, pronto. I am leaning towards getting a tapered French one (fancy!). I hope they are worth their expensive price tag.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Guest Post by Omid!

After this piece, I may as well hang up my blogging hat. Omid takes the cake on this one! Enjoy!
Well… I thought I was done with Astoria fishing for the year, but knowing we had one last sunny weekend in the forecast and that the commercial nets would be going up on Monday, I decided to take the family out for a little fishing and crabbing excursion.It took an act of congress to have all the participants agree to go and by Saturday night, it was final. We were all going.

Sunday 6:00 am – everyone is up in the car, the coolers are filled with food, drinks and ice, fishing rods and tackle ready in the boat, car and boat gassed up, we head towards Astoria. Passing Clatskanie, we stop to take a photo for Erin’s blog. She got a kick out of it. It was a chilly 37 degrees out there.

We get to the ramp and it is pretty quiet. No lines, no hustle and bustle. The weather is nice and sunny, we launch and head over to drop off our crab pots. The bait choice on the menu were, turkey legs and Tilapia. There must have been 50 other pots out and my prime choice spot was taken. So we scooted further down and managed to drop off a strip of pots in a semi secluded area.

We headed up to the main river and started to troll for some Salmon action. The swells where big and the waves were pretty close together which made it an interesting ride for Erin and Remy. We only used hardware for our trolling and that included my $13 Swarovski spinner and a regular red and white spinner. Other than the swells and the waves, it was pretty uneventful for the first half of the morning and everyone was busy doing their thing. Erin checking her Facebook on her cell phone, Naseem being pissed off at the sun and the moon and the sky (not to mention at Erin and I), and Mateen playing with Remy. 1 hour into the troll and Erin says, “I think I’m getting sea sick”… Well… all that looking down on a choppy water had gotten to her. I told her to not look down any more and get some fresh air. That’s when I decided we should head for some calmer waters and motored on to above the bridge.
We were back at it again. We were on the Washington side and had miles of water to ourselves. We made our first pass to the shallows and turned south in search of some deeper waters. It was all quiet and the calm waters and nice sunny weather had everyone pretty much back onto what they were doing before. Remy catching flies, Mateen training him, Naseem being the music DJ, Erin trying to find a signal for her cell phone and me just enjoying being on the water. That’s when Naseem started pointing to one of the rods and kept yelling, “THE THINGEE, THE THINGEE …” so I jumped out of my seat, lost my shoe in the process and grabbed the THINGEE. WOOHOO… FISH ON. Mateen with the net at hand and I’m fighting the fish with Naseem rocking out and Erin …. Yes. Still trying to find a signal on her phone. Mateen nets the fish like a pro and we bring it in (my $13 spinner had done it again). It is a wild Coho and must be returned. By now Remy is very curious and wants a piece of the action as well (more like a bite out of the fish). We release the fish unharmed and start to gather our gear to troll again. OH LOOK… Where are all these boats from?? 3 or 4 boats had seen us and had scooted close to us during our Chinese fire dance.

Back at it again. Still heading south and away from those other boats. 15 minutes into the troll, BAMM. The same pole goes off and again I pick it up and stand on the engine cover to reel it in. As it is getting closer, I yell, WOW … I see another Coho trying to hit the “actually” same spinner while the fish is hooked!! That would have definitely made me a believer with the $13 spinners, but the hooked fish surfaced and the other one just gave up. Mateen nets the fish and it is a legal Coho, grabs the whacker and knocks the fish out while Remy is HOWLING like his legs are broken. The other rod is still in the water, so I get on the kicker to start trolling again and again BAMM. FISH ON. We bring the other on in as well and we have 2 fish on the floor with Erin and Naseem trying to keep Remy back and he is HOWLING non-stop…. Even if I was trying to be discrete with bringing in the fish as to not attract any other boats, REMY’s loudmouth was definitely announcing something to the world.

It is 11:00 AM and we decide to change our heading and started to troll towards the bridge. A few minutes go by and the pole with the $13 spinner is dancing again!! I reach over to grab it and nothing. !?!?! It was a good looking action but apparently was a drive or a fluke because as you remember, my $13 spinner has proven itself. We kept trolling until noon and said goodbye to the Astoria bridge for the year.

We start heading towards the crab pots and had to once again ride the swells and waves back to where we started from. Erin and Rey were holding each other pretty closely. We arrive and with a lot of anticipation, Mateen grabs the first string and I get to pull it up. WOOHOOO … We have crabs … We start to measure them and even Remy got in on the act.

There were tons of crab. Most all measuring right at 6 inches, but to be on the safe side, we threw those back. In on pot, we must have had about 25 crabs and 90% of them were females, which will need to be released as well. A couple of small ones and Mateen really wanted to take a picture with one. All in all, it was a pretty exciting time for all the family to feel like they are part of the “Deadliest Catch” story line.

This guy even had what looked to be like a popsicle stick in his mouth when we caught him.

On the way back, we were greeted by the gang of pelicans and seagulls, all were eager to see if we had any food for them.

We made it back home in time to wash the boat, clean the fish, cook the crabs, deliver some to our good friends and for the kids to take showers, all before 6 PM. We had a fantastic time with the whole family together, caught fish and crabs and the weather could not have been any better. What else could one ask for? It will definitely be a day we’ll remember for a long time especially with the rainy season just upon us.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pumpkin Puree Shortage!

Did you know there is a pumpkin puree shortage in the US right now? It's true! Go to any grocery store (in our area anyway!) and most will tell you they cannot get pumpkin puree. Maybe not even for weeks. Apparently early rains have ruined much of the commercial pumpkin crop.

This sent me into a panic, as I NEED pumpkin now. Not only do I need it for my hobby, but my family depends on me for pumpkin bars & muffins this time of year. Thank God for Costco. Our local store had several pallets. I bought a case. I should be set for a few weeks now.

Run to your Costco to stock up on pumpkin before they run out too!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coug Fan!

Remy received a super-cool gift today. What is it?! What is it?!

A new WSU dog bandana!

Cougar Pride!

Go Cougs!

Remy will be sporting his new scarf during the WSU-USC game this Saturday!

Thanks Sarah! Remy loves his new scarf and so do I!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Let's Make a Deal!

Ever since Nas was little, she & Omid have been making 'deals' with each other. It's how they both get what they want. That's how we got Remy. Nas refused to eat anything other than minestrone soup, chicken nuggets & carrots. She also wanted a dog (So did I!!!). Omid told Nas that she could get a dog if she ate "whatever" was put in front of her for 30 days. She did it and we got Remy!
This morning, Nas negotiated another deal with Omid. Nas really wants her belly button pierced. Omid wants straight A's from Naseem. The deal is that if Naseem gets straight A's from the HS and Running Start this year, she can get her belly button pierced in June. I said, "no way!", but was overruled by both of them.

Stay tuned!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Omid and I decided to stay in town tonight and support local business. We heard there was a wine tasting downtown at K'Syrah. So...let me just say that I wish we had gone to Roots instead. (whenever we can't decide where to go out to dinner/happy hour, we end up at Roots). But no. I insisted that we try something new - so K'Syrah it was.

The tasting was $13 for 5 pours of wine. The man at the counter said it was $26 even. So...when the owner ran our card, it was $28.13. Omid asked why it wasn't $26? The lady said, "You are paying a service tax on us serving you the wine." Hmmm....Omid and I thought about this. When this gal and her friend ran Salut Wine Company, it was either $5, $10 or $13 for wine tasting. You paid that amount and NO tax. Okay...we were there to support the local business, we'll pay the tax.

After that....our pours got smaller and smaller. We compared them to the man tasting nex to us. It was almost funny. The wines weren't that good anyway. Certainly not worth $13. I have had $6 Yellow Tail wine that tastes MUCH better than the wines we had tonight. We opted not to have the last pour and walked around downtown instead.

After that, we went to the CHS football game and tried to find our kids. No luck - they avoided us like the plague. While Omid and I were watching the game, a woman whom I have never seen before approached us. I had no idea who she was, but she kept questioning me and wanted to know if I was a Camas or Evergreen fan. Next she asked what exactly happens at halftime. I told her I thought the marching band performed as they were lined up to go on the field. After about ten minutes, she came over to tell me that she asked someone else the score and I had it wrong. One last time she came back and told me that even though she was dressed in Evergreen colors, she was indeed rooting for Camas. Hilarious.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Karate Chick

Nas passed her physical test and is now a red belt. Next up: testing for red/black in December. She is now 9 months away from a black belt! Yay Nas!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Thinking of all those who died on that terrible day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good old Eleanor

I stumbled upon this quote of Eleanor Roosevelt's this morning. I have lots of Eleanor quotes, but this is one I haven't seen before. Just perfect for my life right now.

"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give."

This I can do. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Persian Rice 101

I grew up eating Uncle Ben's & Minute Rice. Quick, easy and tasty. Then I went off to WSU and met Omid. Omid introduced me to Persian Rice. Wow. I have never gone back to Uncle Ben's or Minute Rice. Persians and other Middle Eastern cultures usually have rice with every meal. We eat it several times a week ourselves. The recipe below is for plain, white rice. *Note: While this is labor-intensive, it is worth it! The deliciously fragrant scent the rice will fill your home with is just one of the rewards. The taste of Persian rice is something that cannot be described. Try this will be glad you did!

We use Basmati rice and buy Daawat brand from Costco. A bag like this usually lasts us for about a month & a half. Start with 3 1/2 cups of dry rice from the bag.

Pour the 3 1/2 cups of rice into a large pot or Dutch oven. **It's best to use a Teflon or nonstick pot. This will ensure that you have a crunchy bottom (tahdeeg) on your rice *(see below for more about tahdeeg).

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the rice. Gently mix the rice and water with your hands. The goal is to wash off dirt, starch, etc.

Pour off the milky water. Fill your pot, wash the rice and pour off the water again.

Do this until the water is almost clear. It will probably take between 6-10 rinses to get the water this clear.

Next, fill a wooden spoon (not overflowing) with salt and pour into the rice & water. The rice will need 3 wooden spoonfuls of salt.

Stir the salt into the rice. Place the pot on the stove (high). Bring the rice to a boil. Stir the water occasionally to make sure no grains stick to the bottom. Boil for 5-6 minutes. Test a few grains to make sure they are done. You will know the rice is DONE when it is a little soft and a little hard - between these two points. If the rice is soft, it is overcooked. If the rice is still crunchy, it's not done yet.

Immediately drain the rice into a colander.

Fill the pot with 2-3 cups lukewarm water and rinse the rice one time. Let the rice drain for a few minutes. Gently tilt the colander to the sides to drain off any extra water.

Pour vegetable oil into the bottom of the same pot you boiled the rice in. It should just cover the bottom (1/2 to 3/4 cup).
Place a flour tortilla in the bottom. You may need to trim some off an extra tortilla to completely cover the bottom. This is called tahdeeg. Tahdeeg means "bottom of the pot."

**NOTE: You can also slice a potato and place it on the bottom as well. My family prefers the tortilla. If you do use tortillas, make sure you only use one single layer. Any more and the steam can't get through to cook the rice.

Pour the rice over the tortilla. It's best to try and shape the rice into a pyramid in the pot. The rice should not be level. It's easier to spoon the rice (rather than pour) into a pyramid shape.

If you have some saffron, grind up 1 teaspoon.
Mix the saffron into 1/2 cup boiling water. If you don't have saffron, you can just use 1/2 cup lukewarm water. The liquid is needed to steam the rice.

Pour the saffron water equally over the rice.

Make sure to use every last drop.

Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for about 45 more minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. Spoon out the rice onto a platter and serve. Carefully take out the tahdeeg with a spoon or invert onto a plate.

Finished rice.

What's left of the tahdeeg. Crispy-crunchy goodness.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy birthday Ward!

Ward's toes in special sock...(gift from Margaret)

& the reason Lin & Omid were laughing so hard.

Omid & Lyn - laughing hysterically

still laughing....

Still Laughing....


Tammy, Julie, Margaret & Fari

Jeff, Omid, Ward, Mansour & Ron

Lin, Tammy & I

Omid & I

Lin & I

Lin, Ward, Julie, Margaret & Fari

Omid & Fari

Friday, September 4, 2009

Netflix This!

Omid & I watched Sunshine Cleaning last night. Good movie. And guess what?! Amy Adams redeemed herself in this movie; after her somewhat disappointing performance in Julie & Julia.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Little Piggy


Matty dislocated his second toe on his left foot. Don't ask. It's a boy thing. Anyways....the toe was at a gross crooked angle when I got home. I immediately took him to the doctor. Xrays showed the toe wasn't broken, but badly dislocated (one bone completely underneath the other).
Ewww! This is actually a good photo. Be thankful I didn't take the shot from the right. It was really gruesome.

The doctor injected Matty with Lidocaine and waited for the toe to become numb. Then....a sports medicine doctor came in and yanked the toe back into place. Matty had to get another xray to make sure the Dr. didn't fracture the bone while manipulating it.

Xrays showed everything was back in order. Now Matty gets to wear this lovely shoe (look familiar Sarah?) for the next two weeks.