Showing posts from September, 2012

New Zealand Birds

By Kate Crowley As soon as I saw the kookaburra, the song started playing in my head, “Kookaburra lives in the old gum tree, merry, merry old……”  I don’t know how often I sang that song in school or at Campfire Girl gatherings, but I never could have imagined as a child that one day I’d see the real live bird in the wild. This kookaburra however was not sitting in a gum tree.  It was perched on a wire alongside a road on the North Island of New Zealand.  The kookaburra is a native of Australia and was introduced like so many others here. New Zealand, having been separated from Australia for millions of years had its own unique flora and fauna. But as soon as people arrived, the composition began to change.  Native birds were killed off – the Moas (there were nine species) being the most famous. These birds were bigger than the ostrich (12ft) and had hair-like feathers and no vestigial wings.  Its big size and unfamilarity with a predator as efficient as man brought it to extinction by t…

Wilde Rover - Kirkland, WA

Dinner in Kirkland at Wilde Rover – an Irish Pub with Oscar Wilde as the namesake.  Met Nancy Crowley and caught up with one another’s lives.  She had recommended the place and we were glad of it.  Nice dark wood for the booths and walls – very pub like.  We each ordered something different and were happy with our choices.  I had the Shepherds pie.  Always a favorite of mine.  It came with a wedge salad.  The pie was cooked in a small cast iron skillet and was topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. Underneath was a rich mix of beef chunks, veggies and broth.  I could only eat half of it – brought the rest back to my sister’s house (breakfast the next morning – seriously).  A slice of Irish brown bread and butter, and a half pint of Guiness and I was happy. Nancy had a bowl of clam chowder served in a big white bowl.  A pretty orange color and lip smacking good.  She also had the slice of Irish bread and a glass of Guiness.  Mike ordered the applewood smoke chicked, with melted…

Pike's Place Market - Seattle

What to have for lunch?  A difficult question and the first step is to figure out what is available.
We start at Pike's Place Farmer's Market where the smells, sounds, and colors provide a feast before the taste.

Kate and I explored the Alley - where we could each sample a different set of flavors.  I chose the European sandwich cafe.

Kate's tastes went to the sea and chowder.

We both liked our lunch and then enjoyed a walk through the market where we took in the various sensations that play with your senses.

Jimmy's - Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

Jimmy is no longer here - Mike has replaced him, but don't let that stop you.  The same menu and the same staff serves bigger than one person can eat meals - we shared ours.  Chicken fried steak with eggs, fried potatoes, biscuit and gravy and we still took some with us - even though we shared.  I can see why Guy from the food channel loved this place.  We did too.

The new owner walks around and visits with you, the waitresses are friendly and take good care of you and the food is terrific.  It was a nice find on our trip west.

This is comfort food done very well.  It is a lunch and breakfast diner.

SW North Dakota

We were overwhelmed by the oil boom traffic and the thick dust around Dickinson and I was tired of the freeway so we went south on 85 and then west on 12 to Miles City for a really enjoyable ride.  Here are some highlights - Amidon.

Here is what Wikipedia says: "Amidon is a city in Slope County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Slope County.[4] The population was 20 at the 2010 census, making it the third least populous county seat in the United States, behind Mentone, Texas (population 19), the county seat of Loving County and Brewster, Nebraska (population 17), the county seat of Blaine County, Nebraska.[1]

Amidon was founded in 1910 at the anticipated terminus of a Milwaukee Roadbranch line that diverged from the railroad's Pacific Extension in McLaughlin, South Dakota. The line was ultimately never built farther west of New England, North Dakota, making Amidon one of the few surviving North Dakota cities to have never been served by a rail line.