Margaret Walton

Soda crackers made clam chowder fabulous — thanks Mom | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Hello, Mom? Warning: For those readers who may be allergic to “maudlin,” read no further.

 

Begrudgingly enjoying the big game with a ‘souper’ bowl | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Well, here we are approaching the end of our first month of 2016, and as far as I’m concerned this “new” year hasn’t shown me much to feel optimistic about the rest of the year. Perhaps that will change as the weeks go on.

 

Why was Thanksgiving Day so readily skipped over? | WHIDBEY RECIPES

I am so ticked off, really angry right now. What happened this year to Thanksgiving, one of our most traditional, non-religious, rooted-in-history holidays, and one I have very much looked forward to every year since I was a child?

 

There’s more use for pumpkins than pies, lattes | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Have you purchased your supply of cucurbita pepo yet?

A possible solution | WHIDBEY RECIPES

As most Record readers know, we have a rabbit problem on the South End, thanks to the one-time popular Barnyard Scramble held yearly during the Island County Fair.

2015 remembered as ‘The summer of too much’ | WHIDBEY RECIPES

I think it’s safe to say that the summer of 2015 will live in our memories for a very long time. For awhile now, I’ve been thinking of it as “the summer of too much.”

Good enough for Wonderland: an ode to versatile soup | WHIDBEY RECIPES

“Who for such dainties would not stoop? “Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!”

Wedgies and dump cakes; former favorites have their day in the sun — again | WHIDBEY RECIPES

I attended two granddaughters’ high school graduation earlier this month, and among the many things I observed about the attire of young women today was what the majority of them were wearing on their feet. Wedgies, very tall wedgies in most cases. I was surprised, to say the least. Wedgies have to be one of the world’s most dangerous shoe styles, with high stacked heels and a narrow base. I know this because I was teetering around on them a few decades ago. Back then, we referred to them as our “ankle breakers.” As I watched the graduating girls totter up the stairs onto the stage and teeter back down after receiving their diplomas, I thought about how many things in the world of fashion are “hot,” then fade only to come back in some form decades later. It occurred to me that the same thing happens in the food world.

Margaret Walton, cooking up recipes for 26 years | WHIDBEY RECIPIES

We’ve all heard it so many times, that old adage “How time flies when you’re having fun,” but I’ve never felt it so strongly as I do at this moment. Today, as I’m writing this, it is May 15, 2015, and when I sat down at my computer, wondering which of several possibilities I’d use for a column, it suddenly hit me. It was in May, 1989 that my first column appeared in the South Whidbey Record. 1989! I’m in shock as I realize that was 26 years ago, and there is no way I ever thought that would happen.

WHIDBEY RECIPES | February has more than Valentine’s Day for dining

As I’m writing this column, it’s early February with everything but Groundhog Day still ahead of us, and that unimaginable Feb. 1 day now only a bad memory (Superbowl Sunday). But, it’s obvious that even though it’s the shortest month of the year, February is also the one most packed with “special” days and events.

Making New Year’s resolutions worth keeping | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Well, thus far we’ve made it past the first day of winter, through Christmas, and are now heading toward that final countdown on New Year’s Eve. As usual, I’m unable to understand where it all went so fast, but ‘twas ever thus.

Full of food, love and leftovers from Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving feast is always wonderful; fine food, good friends, beloved family and new memories to add to the ever-growing store of treasured times. But then, when all is quiet and I’m alone in the kitchen, I open the fridge and what I consider one of the best aspects of Thanksgiving is there, in abundance. It’s called “leftovers,” and I can’t wait to begin dealing with the remains of the feast.

WHIDBEY RECIPES | A tale of two sisters during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In the wee small hours of the morning of Jan. 12, 1940, Dad woke both me and my older brother from sound sleep and told us to come with him to see what he said was a late Christmas present that had just arrived. Imagine our disappointment when we followed him into their bedroom and saw a tiny, pink, wiggling, squeaking baby in our mother’s arms; not the bicycle Sonny wanted nor the Sonja Henie skating doll I’d wanted. A baby, and not a very cute one at that point, either.

WHIDBEY RECIPES | When you’re having fun, only today matters

You know the old saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and it’s never been more true than this summer. Just a few days ago, it seems, we were celebrating the Fourth of July, and here we are now, listening to endless “back to school sales” blather and having planned our Labor Day festivities. If it continues to fly by at this rate, we’ll be picking up the Thanksgiving turkey before we turn around twice.

Remembering Dear John letters, and my own dearly loved John | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Are you old enough to remember what a “Dear John” letter was? I’m not sure if such a thing still exists in this day of instant communication with our devices; perhaps now you simply text the person you want to “dump” and do it. But, during several of our assorted wars, large and small, when a soldier on deployment received a “Dear John” letter, it meant that the person supposedly waiting for him to return was, in fact, not going to wait after all, and was informing him of the situation in that letter. We all knew what “getting a Dear John letter” meant.

Sweet surprise to learn butter is better for health | WHIDBEY RECIPES

I love it when something I’m not supposed to be eating turns out to be good for me after all, and it has happened, over the years, several times.

What’s in a name? | WHIDBEY RECIPES

It’s hard for me to believe, now, that I ever uttered the words, loud enough for all around me to hear, “Salmon again? I’m really really tired of salmon every night!” How could I ever have been tired of salmon? Well, my grandfather, father, two uncles and a couple of cousins were all avid fishermen, going out every weekend unless the waves in the bay or on Hood Canal were three feet high or more. And after my grandfather retired, he was out in the boat, line in the water, every day from dawn to dusk. Among them all, they caught a lot of salmon, their preferred catch. An occasional cod or sole was acceptable, but it was salmon they were after, and salmon they got, which of course they shared with all the family members who lived in Shelton and nearby.

February is a short month with a long list | WHIDBEY RECIPES

February may be short compared to all the other months, but it’s certainly not short on days of importance.

Let the good times roll this holiday season | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Here we are, smack in the middle of holiday party time, awaiting Santa’s visit followed by the close of another year.

One tipsy turkey for Thanksgiving, please | WHIDBEY RECIPES

Have you ordered your Thanksgiving turkey yet? If not, you might want to consider giving up the old Butterball in favor of a big, fat bird that’s been tippling on beer for the better part of its short, but no doubt happy life.