Tag archive for "Woodinville"

Books, Velkommen

Lost at Sea

1 Comment 12 December 2011

Patrick Dillon writes a decent story and one that needs telling.  Most of the facts are there, a bit thin in a couple of areas and definietly biased in a few others.  What really ticks me off is that Lost at Sea is a whitwash on two levels.  First, you have to ‘read between the lines’ to get a glimpse of the real story; the really compelling one. And second,  Lost at Sea is written to aggrandize Patrick Dillon instead of really probing deeply into the lives and community directly involved in the tragedy.  He gives ‘lip service’ to real human tradgedy and pathos instead of doing his homework.  The story should flow with empathy and  detail.  Since I knew many of those involved, it grates on me that those valuable details will soon be lost, despite our lightening fast hard drives and terrabyte servers.

Nevertheless, it is a highly recommended read, but look beyond its scope at a bigger landscape and you will find the real story.  The one Patrick Dillon didn’t tell.   First of all the book needs pictures.  Pictures to focus the imagery in the minds of the readers.  These are recent events, with real people and the small town of Anacortes is a pretty good mirror for every other small community.
This is what Dutch Harbor might  have looked like in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day, 1983.

Images of the Altair and Americus are not easy to find. But if you scour the web you can find these old black and whites, taken before the trawling gear was added. Their Valentine’s Day voyage was truncated; the locations well known. No doubt they were overloaded and top heavy, but the seas were nearly calm, probably a modest swell, but no unusual conditions were noted by other vessels in the same general area.
Running out of Dutch Harbor, past Priest Rock standing in front of Lava Point in search of King Crab. Tons of it. There are a number of unanswered questions, some missed completely in Lost at Sea. The two boats left port 6-1/2 hours apart. Why were they found 3-1/2 miles from each other. Did the Altair slow down and wait for the Americus? Isn’t unusual that both should capsize so close together. Was it a simultaneous event, or hours apart? Questions without answers.
Morning Star is a sistership. Stability test show it actually weights in 60 tons heavier than it’s recorded weight. Why? No explanation.
But a few pics are informative and they show the trawl gear added to the stern.
The unanswered questions keep on coming. The stability expert, the naval architect, the shipyard, the Coast Guard, the owner. Everyone owns a piece of the tragedy, but no one claims their piece of  responsibility. Even politics plays a significant role. Unfortunately, with Dillon’s sophmoric bias for the Democratic party, the reader gets a myopic view, intead of the 360° panorama. It’s just one more example of the real story being embedded between the lines on the pages.
But enough of Dillon’s faults (yes, it sucks to be him); let’s look at some Anacortes features to sharpen the focus. The original location of the Seafarers monument was near the pay phone at the head of “B” dock. The gas light was placed here after the A-boat loss. But the gas light kept blowing out in the wind and the heavy monument developed a list from the unstable fill on which it was placed. When Cap Sante Boat Basin underwent a redevelopment in 2004, Seafarers Memorial Park was created and the light moved and electrified and the monument moved and placed on a substantial foundation. There is an interesting plaque on a stone at the head of “B” dock. In a few lines it captures the spitit of the Anacortes townsfolk. The spirit that Dillon missed.
Beyond the Seafarers Memorial is the eternal flame.  A lamp, shining with the eternal hope of a happy ending, and lighting the path to the Lady of the Sea, forever looking out over the bay. The park is nicely done and well worth visiting.

Dakota Creek shipyard is the birthplace of the A-boats; a long walk down Commercial Avenue is the Anchor Inn and the salty characters found therein. In particular, George Nations gets painted with a dark, moody and jealous brush. Perhaps Dillon felt his story needed a dark hero, an antagonist, of sorts. In any event, by trying to describe people he does not know, Patrick Dillon looks like a carpetbagger and a lightweight.  The more polite fisherman would call him a puke.

So, without delay, read Lost at Sea. Patrick Dillon lays out the story along with plenty of facts and figures; names and places. And for that I commend him. But Patrick Dillon is all about Patrick Dillon. He missed the real story; the great and universal story; the human and empathetic story. Yes, it’s a tragedy. So many of them are.


Valentine Pecan Pie

No Comments 06 February 2011

Set the hook in the most fearless fisherman by serving a slice of wonderful pecan pie.  This recipe is guaranteed to promote the most humble galley-slave to Master and Commander.  And it’s so easy; any galley with a microwave and an oven can do this miracle in just over an hour.  Besides pecans, the key ingredient is Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.  Don’t leave the dock without it.  Gram for gram is has fewer calories than sugar and it substitutes at about a 3/4 to 1 ratio.  Double win.   Baked goods stay fresh longer and they have a marvelous gentle sweetness very unlike the sharp glucose spike from refined sugar. 


3 eggs

1 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups roasted and lightly chopped pecans

1 tsp molasses

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

9″ pie crust.

First, roast the pecans…..

1.)  Toss 2 generous cups of pecans on a plate and microwave for 1 minute. 

2.)  Mix them all up and microwave for 1 more minute.

3.)  Cut the pecans in half.  OK, you can leave a few of them whole.


4.)  Blend the melted butter and Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet.

5.)  Whisk the eggs, molasses, vanilla and salt together and add it to the Fruit Sweet/butter mixture.

6.)  Stir in the pecans.

7.)  Pour the whole works into a 9″ pie shell and bake at 350° for 65 minutes.

Mmmmm, what a treat.  Bet you didn’t know how nutritious pecans are, or that April is National Pecan Month. When was the last time you baked a fresh pecan pie in your galley stove? This recipe is way too easy for the HUGE bonus points that come with it.


Anniversary Pumpkin Pie

No Comments 02 February 2011

Ok the secret is out.  Today, February 1, 2011, Luann and I have been married 30 years.  Now, that’s a lot of green water through the scuppers, matey.  I’m here to tell ya.  So I thought I’d bake Luann a loaf of banana bread, but I was fresh out of Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet, and I just don’t bake without it, anymore.  Their Woodinville location is close, so I cruised over to fetch a half gallon.  While there, they handed me a number of new recipies.  Now pumpkin pie is Luann’s all time favorite.  And there it was, right on top.  The banana bread idea went over the side and I set a course for QFC to garner a few components.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 — 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet
  • 1 -1/4 cup evaporated milk (10 oz)
  • 1 — 9″ pie shell
  • Mix it all together until well blended (I use a stick blender, because it’s so easy.)
  • Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

I could only find a 30 oz can of pumpkin pie mix, so I  doubled everything and made two pies.  Double the bonus points – just makes the case for that new boat toy a whole lot easier. 

So after a wonderful salmon dinner, Anniversary Pumpkin Pie was our dessert……with just a touch of vanilla ice cream.  You should be so lucky……..

This recipe is so easy.  What a delight it would be to have the aroma of fresh baked pumpkin pie fill the cabin after a full day of fishin’.  The only thing better would be the eatin’.  I guarantee it!


Sweet Heart Granola

No Comments 20 April 2010

I’ve already told the story of my introduction to Wax Orchards fudge. The Admiral’s mood softens at its very mention, making it much easier to bring up the subject of the new boat-toy  I just can’t live without. I’ve been curious about Wax Orchards other products and the recipies on their web site.  Fruit Sweet is a key ingredient in ‘most all of the recipies, so I thought that would be a good place to start.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger pic.

Fruit-Sweet_tn Fruit Sweet is usually an online purchase, but since I live near Woodinville, I stopped in and picked up a 32 oz. jug. My plan was to try the Sweet Heart Granola recipe. It looks easy. Something I can’t screw up. And if it turns out, granola is virtually an onboard essential. Breakfast, snacks…..anytime. Throw in some M&Ms, almonds, raisins, peanuts and chocolate chips and you’ve got trail mix. How cool if I could make my own.2 cups rolled oats, 1/8 cup canola oil, 1/3 cup Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet, 1/2 cup grape nuts cereal. I gathered all the ingredients and a bowl. Add oil to rolled oats. Mix/rub with hands to coat oats thoroughly…….Dang that seems like a lot of oil…..Oops, I used 1/2 cup of oil instead of 1/8 cup. How to save it? Better quad it. Everything gets multiplied by 4. Add Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet and stir; add grape nuts cereal and stir again. I spread the quad recipie onto 3 cookie sheets to bake for 40 minutes at 300°. Twice I grabbed the cookie sheets out of the oven and mixed things up. 40 minutes to perfection; crisp and golden brown. I slid the granola off the cookie sheets into a large bowl to cool. Of course, I had to try a piping-hot sample. Could I enhance the marvelous nutty flavor?….I tossed in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Perfect.Fruit Sweet surprised me. I was expecting a sticky-sweet syrupy concentrate as overpowering as the white frosting on a cheap cake. But it really doesn’t taste all that sweet, more like apple juice with some pear tossed in and a hint of Karo syrup; and it’s not a bit sticky. Regardless…..this granola is GREAT. I thought I’d be sprinkling it with rasins, cranberries, almonds, dried cherries, whatever. No way, this is just plain fabulous, all by itself.
Sweet Heart Granola is ideal for boating. Breakfast or snacks, plain or with milk……or as a base for Trail Mix; you’ll love it. My quad-quantity experiment produced two gallon-sized freezer bags each half full of granola (about 6.5 cups/bag). I’m quite sure it’s not going to last very long. I think it would be fun to try the Granola Scones recipe, too. For breakfast, may I recommend adding a few Almond Accents with milk. And for snacks, plain is perfect.

– original recipe from Sweet Inspirations by Patti Lynch –


Wax Orchards – Oh so good!!!

No Comments 21 March 2010

So I get a call a couple weeks ago from a contractor, Commercial Improvements, who needed a suspended ceiling for a project he was doing at the Woodinville Commerce Center.  A slight coincidence, I started my business back in 1983 doing most of the original tenant improvements at the Woodinville Commerce Center for owner/developer Peter Henning.  Later, I leased one of the warehouse units for a number of years, until I could build my own.  Well…….my buddy Bill and I are working away on a Saturday and along comes the the new tenant.  He was very complimentary of our work and gave us each a jar of Wax Orchards Fudge.  Now compliments are hard to come by in the construction world and gifts, even more so.  You can bet the tolerances on this job will be measured in microns.  Started in 1920 on Vashon Island, Wax Orchards now has a new office/warehouse in Woodinville.

Unlike my better-half, I’m not a chocoholic; I can take it or leave it.  But last night she had a tiny taste on the tip of a spoon and totally swooned.  “This is absolutely Heavenly!” she said.  She’s also a bit picky so I knew it had to be darned good.  Well, for a wee taste of desert this afternoon, we topped a tiny ball of Snoqualmie French Vanilla Custard with a tablespoon (45 cal.) of Wax Orchards Fudge Fantasy and added maybe a teaspoon of crushed walnuts.  What a KNOCKOUT!!  Fudge Fantasy is absolutely the thickest, richest, creamiest, most flavorful fudge on the planet.  It has to be warmed a bit to even be coaxed out of the jar.

“Bite me,” you say……”anything that good has got to be bad for you.”  Not so fast, matey.  Go to the Wax Orchards website; check out nutritional analysis and the endorsements and prepare to be amazed.  Diabetic friendly, fruit-sweetened, heart healthy, fat free, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free…….How can anything taste so good and still be healthy?  After you peruse their product offerings: fudge, syrups, fruit sweeteners,  be sure to surf through the links on their menu bar.  There are a number of recipes that sound fabulous along with health information aimed at diabetes and weight control.  Besides being worthy of your upper-deck, Wax Orchards website is a great resource.  Wax Orchard’s products are sure to be found in the finer and healthier Northwest galleys……Velkommen’s, for sure. 

But, please, don’t take my word for it……..try a bite.

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