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Posts Tagged ‘Soup Night by Maggie Stuckey’

Saturday, 2 November, 2013

The predicted storm arrived around 3 AM with much bluster.  That’s only about an hour after my usual falling asleep time so I barely noticed till around 8 A.M. when loud gusts rattled a tarp in the work storage area outside my window.  I worried briefly about whether or not the power would go out and fell back asleep.

Fortunately, despite a day full of wild wind, the power did stay on for the two Ilwaco events I had been eagerly anticipating.

I had just signed up for the National Blog Posting Month on blogher.com and then realized that November 2 might be my biggest writing challenge.  Since I am running two days behind, the blog post scheduled was Halloween, which is kind of a big deal here and had generated lots of photos.   Would I fail to post on the very first day of signing onto the challenge after having missed very few days in the last several months?  No indeed.   I began my Halloween post before the first event and got about one third of the way through the photo story before heading one block down to Time Enough Books for the 1 PM book signing.

There, in the foyer, stood my dear friend (and Music in the Gardens tour organizer) Nancy Allen, frying up a batch of crab cakes.

our dear Nancy

our dear Nancy

Her spouse, Phil, had harvested the crabs that very morning off the North Jetty.

Phil, forager and gather extraordinaire

Phil, forager and gatherer extraordinaire

I heard someone comment jokingly to Nancy “They don’t like you much!” because she was relegated to the foyer.   She explained that the smell of cooking crab could not be allowed to mingle with the books in the store.

The event, a signing of the book Soup Night, by Maggie Stuckey, had drawn a good crowd.

in the bookstore

in the bookstore

Maggie Stuckey gave a brief talk about how she had found a soup night group in her Portland, Oregon neighbourhood.

I do think this photo of her is cute!

I do think this photo of her is cute!

She described seeing neighbours walking up to a house, each carrying a soup bowl and a spoon; this saves on clean up for the evening’s host.  She became inspired to write about how Soup Night groups create a sense of community.

Maggie Stuckey describing Soup Night

Maggie Stuckey describing Soup Night

Maggie researched Soup Night groups, finding them throughout the USA, and collected stories and recipes for the book.  Here in our Long Beach Peninsula area was the largest number geographically of recipe contributors.

The rest of the event was all about mingling and eating, just like a real Soup Night would be.  The soup samples were offered in bowls full, not just tiny tastes as I had expected, and two salads and the crab cakes were also part of the scrumptious fare.  Charmingly, the recipe contributors signed the books, each on the page on which their recipe appeared.

Nancy signs for her crab cakes.

Nancy signs for her crab cakes.

crab

Our friend, client, and realtor Cheri Diehl waits to get Nancy to sign.

Our friend, client, and realtor Cheri Diehl waits to get Nancy to sign.

Virginia Tackett signed the page for “Not Your Grandmother’s Green Pea Salad”.  Her name tag had the page number on which her recipe appeared, as did the tags for each of the recipe contributors.

Virginia Tackett

Virginia Tackett

signing

signing

My favourite soup was a creamed garlic and onion creation by Dennis Battles.

Dennis signs for Roasted Onion and Garlic Cream Soup

Dennis signs for Roasted Onion and Garlic Cream Soup

Local author Sydney Stevens signed for her recipe Southwestern Lentil Soup.  Delicious.  We spoke briefly about blogging when I told her I intend to read her Oysterville Daybook, about life in the small Peninsula town of Oysterville,  from the beginning to the present day this winter.  She asked me to be on the watch for any subject she might repeat herself on.  I agreed it is very hard to not repeat oneself.  For me, I am sure there is much repetition over the years as our work goes round the year in repeating cycles.

Kennette Osborn from Ocean Park was the first to sign her soup recipe (page 104), before i got the idea of photographing the signers.  Her “Surprise Beef Stew” had a wonderful twist:  It is served with cool crispy coleslaw stirred in right before eating.

I don’t want to give away that I bought two books, as someone might guess it is her Christmas present…but I did.

me and bookstore owner Karla

me and bookstore owner Karla

a warm and happy event

a warm and happy event

I hope someone in Ilwaco is inspired to start a soup night.  Preferably someone who does not live in a big fancy intimidating house (not that our town has many of those).  Oh, maybe someone on the flatlands so we could walk there!  But it would not be me;  I am not much of one for hosting inside my house as am generally too busy outside (or blogging) to make it tidy enough inside.

As we left for our next of three events, we saw a sign of the season on the OldeBob’s readerboard:

It is crab time.

It is crab time.

Over along the meader line (the variable line that divides the city from the port parking lot), a murder of crows gathered on the rough grass….

crows

and then took to the trees.

trees

We drove straight on up to Long Beach to an art show opening…

poster

where we were pleased to find Kent and Betsy Toepfer, along with Jan Richardson of Windy Meadows Pottery.  The Toepfer garden was one of my favourites on a past Music in the Gardens tour.

Jan, Allan, and the Toepfers

Jan, Allan, and the Toepfers

We had a good visit and discussed, but did not solve, some of the world’s problems.

love Betsy colourful art and Jan's little house

love Betsy’s colourful art and Jan’s little house

love the two little pigs by our friend Jean Nitzel!

love the two little pigs by our friend Jean Nitzel!

Later we learned that our neighbour (four doors down!) Judy had bought one of Jean’s “little birdie” paintings.

Back home again, we checked out how well the cosmos in the boatyard garden had held up to the wind.

Cosmos holding up very well indeed.

Cosmos holding up very well indeed.

I had another hour or so to peck away at my blog entry about Halloween, and then we were off to the 6X6 art auction at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.

6

a full house

a full house

I started the event in more of a hungry than a photographic mood, so neglected to be able to show you the tasty buffet.  Then, with loaded plate, I stood around feeling shy as most of the seats were full.  We finally pulled up an extra chair and joined Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics and local potter Karen Brownlee and her spouse, squeezing five into a table for four (at 6X6).

I attended for the amusing repartee of the auctioneers and to support the museum and also with determination to acquire another piece by Wendy Murry.  It was in the silent rather than the live auction; that could mean I would get it cheaper without the frenzy of bidding.  And yet it is fun to bid with a raised, numbered paddle, and I was sorry to not have the opportunity.

the silent auction, one of four tables

the silent auction, one of four tables

I made a low bid, and soon saw a slightly higher one, then bid again.  Then someone who I knew could far outbid me bid again.  What to do?  I wanted it very badly.  Last year I had gotten this glorious three dimensional piece by Wendy:

Sideshow by the Seashore by Wendy Murry

(that’s Wendy MURRY!)  and three years ago I got this one:

wendy

So before I could be outbid this time I decided to go for the new-this-year ‘buy it now” option.

bought it now

bought it now

Wendy's art, 2013

Wendy’s art, 2013…it is my preccciiioussss!

It is all for a great cause and I have never tired of the pleasure of owning the other two creations by Wendy.   I will economize in some other way.  Now I could relax and enjoy the live auction without having to keep crossing the room to check on my bid.  (For most of my life, I had so little disposable income that it was not until attending this event for the first time in 2010 that I even knew the difference between a live and silent auction!)

the live auction items

the live auction items

Our friend Don Nisbett’s 6×6 piece was the first in the live auction.  Bruce Peterson is the witty auctioneer and a security person protects the valuable art.

don

Crabby Before Wine by Don Nisbett

Cartwheel Kids by Normandie Hand

Cartwheel Kids by Normandie Hand; museum director Betsy Millard at right

Karla from Time Enough Books took bids on the “international phone”.  The presence of the sock monkey will become clear later.  Or maybe not.

Karla on the international phone line

Karla on the international phone line

security

security

Pepper by Renee O Connor

Pepper by Renee O’ Connor

I have bid on and miraculously won two beautiful flower tiles by Renee in previous years; the dog, while attractive, I could resist.

the poppy tile from 2011!

the poppy tile that I won in 2011!

Gray's River Road by Wally Mann

Gray’s River Road by Wally Mann

After all these beautiful small pieces had been auctioned for between $150 and $300 or so dollars each, the annual Sock Monkey picture came up on the screen.

sock monkey on a train

Night Train by Leslie Hall Lipe

All I have been able to figure out over the years is that Karla adores sock monkeys, as does her sister.  Leslie Hall Lipe does a piece of sock monkey art each year.  (This one, with the train, is actually my favourite.)  The bidding war between Karla and her sister immediately became fierce.

Night Train

Night Train

the 2012 monkey

the 2012 monkey

and the 2011 monkey

and the 2011 monkey

Karla fights for the monkey.

Karla fights for the monkey.

another bid

another bid by Karla and her monkey friend

But her sister won as the monkey art went for $750 dollars.

the crowd applauds the winner

the crowd applauds the winner

It’s just another example of the mysterious ways of the town of Ilwaco.

The silent auction continued for another half an hour.  One of my favourite pieces was two ravens by Jean Nitzel (of The Picture Attic shop in Long Beach):

ravens

It was, or they were, won by Kelly of Blue Crab Graphics.  When I saw Kelly bid on Jean’s art, I backed off and focused my attention on winning Kelly’s own piece. ( I will show it in a later post; since I was the one who acquired it, Kelly took her piece home to do a small tweak on the design that had been bothering her!  That’s the kind of connection with the artist that comes with living a few blocks apart.)   What a satisfying feeling of having supported our museum and been part of the Peninsula community all day long.   And I got home in time to finish and upload my Halloween blog post.  Sunday, rain or shine, we really must get back to work!

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