‘Tis the Season for Hanami

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and the cherry trees are putting on quite a show! One of the more popular attractions in Seattle for cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is our cherry trees located at the University of Washington Quad.

Although the origin of the trees is debated, according to The Daily:

“In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to the United States, which marked the growth in friendship between the United States and Japan. The trees were distributed around the country, with 34 of them planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Because of construction [of State Route 520], the trees had to be relocated, and 31 of them were relocated to the UW, where they are now planted in the Quad.” –The Daily of the University of Washington

Photograph of blossoming cherry trees on the University of Washington Quad.
The Daily – Takae Goto

They just reached peak viewing on March 29th. However, there is still time to celebrate! ParentMap has a list of other locations in Seattle and nearby to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Hanami”

Bus Reads for March

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.

Here’s what I read on the bus in March:

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. On the day that Oliver is released from prison, Detective Colborne, who worked the case and is now retired, has come to ask a question. Oliver agrees to answer, but in his own way. He takes him back 10 years to when he and his classmates at Dellecher Classical Conservatory were working their way through Shakespeare. In their fourth year, the tragedy that was so popular in Shakespeare finally takes its toll. I was a little worried that the Shakespeare would overwhelm me, but the author did an amazing job of making the story accessible for everyone – both those enthralled by the stage and those who prefer to sit in the shadows. I also loved all the characters; they felt so real and flawed. Continue reading “Bus Reads for March”

Books for Two or More

My book group’s selection for January through February was An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen:

“When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking and what she’s hiding.” (Bibliocommons)

My thoughts? This is going to be a great read alike for fans of Gone Girl and Fates & Furies – I did find it a bit formulaic, but it was a fast read. The main character didn’t seem very bright since she continually got caught in the web being weaved and that was a bit disappointing. The idea was interesting it just wasn’t executed how I would have liked. Ultimately, I would have wanted Jessica and Dr. Shields to be more empowered. Continue reading “Books for Two or More”

Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen

There’s that old patriarchal saying that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” but in an industry dominated by men, it’s actually a lot harder to “get in the kitchen.” Just last year the Department for Labor Statistics showed that only 19.7 percent of restaurant kitchens are run by women. Things are changing, but it’s a cultural shift – kitchens have been notoriously unfriendly places for women between sexual harassment, long work hours, and lack of parental leave.

Here are two memoirs of women who have pushed against the norm and are changing the way we think about food. Continue reading “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen”

Wild Sourdough

Meet my starter: Neko!

I love bread, but more and more it just tastes like filler. My husband and I started going to a neighborhood Farmer’s Market open year-round to incorporate more whole foods and seasonal finds into our meals at home. One of our favorite vendors is a sourdough bread baker. I started doing a bit of research into wild yeast and thought this is bread I would be more than happy to eat! After trying a few loaves, I started to wonder how I can do this myself Continue reading “Wild Sourdough”