I have a healthy serving of cookbooks in my personal library. They cover a variety of cuisines and cooking styles; and upon examination, you would find that they have a not-so-insignificant amount of pages bookmarked for "future consideration." The funny thing is, I don't spend much time actually cooking; that's my husband's area of interest, thank goodness. To be perfectly honest, my collection of cookbooks has a lot in common with this week's book. The idea that my persistent habit of bookmarking recipes will result in meals for my hard-working spouse is more fiction than reality (and I do feel a little guilty about that — just a little). Perhaps this is why I had so much fun reading "Fictitious Dishes." It's all about food, but there is not a recipe to be found — and that means no guilt. Priceless.
By James Bash for The Columbian
January 23, 2015 10 a.m.
German composer Richard Wagner is known for big operatic works that require large orchestras and singers with massive voices. But not all of his music demands a full-throttle larynx and an armada of musicians. Believe it or not, Wagner wrote some tender pieces that rest on the quieter end of the musical spectrum. One of these is the "Wesendonck Lieder" ("Wesendonck Songs"), which will be sung by soprano Christina Kowalski at the Vancouver Symphony's first concert of 2015.
By Karen Livingston for The Columbian
January 23, 2015 6 a.m.
Freshii is a Canadian-based franchise that focuses on providing healthful food that is affordable and convenient. The first store opened in 2005, and the company continues to grow in number, spanning 12 countries.
Librarian Jennifer Hull wants to share "Koobdooga" (Cube-doo-gah) with the community. It's the title of White Salmon Valley Community Library's first community reads program, and it twists the tongue as much as it catches the eye.
Shuttling laundry between the back door and detached garage housing a washer and dryer is no fun during the cold Northwest rainy season. At least not according to Margaret Meddaugh, whose 900-square-foot, 1940s vintage home design had overlooked inclusion of a laundry room, now a common convenience of modern living.
Louisa Escobar sits in a rocking chair in the dimly lit room of the neonatal intensive care unit. She lowers the straps of her tank top and places baby Maria-Magdolena, born with a full head of dark hair, on her bare chest.
I so enjoy watching the local wildlife during the winter months. It never fails to amaze me how resilient and adaptable birds and animals are when temperatures drop and cold winds howl through the night. I've mentioned in earlier columns how much fun I have observing and feeding hummingbirds. They're a joy to watch at any time of the year, but I'm especially captivated by their wintertime activities. How do these tiny birds adjust to our chilly winters? All I know is that whenever I venture outside on a frosty morning or a cold, rainy afternoon to refill the hummingbird feeder, I am almost always "buzzed" by the neighborhood hummers. Their noisy chirps and zippy fly-bys make me smile every time.
As part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, volunteers can help create quilts for kids in need with Project Linus. The event is open to all ages and abilities from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, with no quilting experience required. The quilts will be made at Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, 4505 E. 18th St., Vancouver, with monetary donations helping cover supplies. 360-833-0925 or www.uucvan.org