Columbian Newspaper

Late-night snack hacks inspired by our favorite munchies
Author: Stacey Ballis, Chicago Tribune

There is a certain air of public dismissiveness around the types of foods that seem to always be associated with “the munchies.” Movies and television promote images of teenagers face-planted in bags of chips, bros stuffing whole tacos blindly into their mouths between fits of uncontrollable laughter, or a stoner spouting deeply incoherent philosophical ramblings punctuated with consuming sweets like a strange Socratic Cookie Monster.

The easy joke is not only that most control is lost, but also that the food sought in these times of enjoyment or impairment is automatically on the lowest end of the quality scale. Cheech and Chong never went in search of an organic, locavore acai smoothie bowl.

While I suppose there is a whiff of truth in this, and many a Cheeto and Oreo have disappeared in some lost hour of a late night or early morning, I would like to point out that some of the reasons that certain foods are painted with the “munchies” brush is because they are easily sourced and affordable, but mostly because they have the kinds of exciting flavor profiles that can cut through any fog. Which not only makes them ideal for those indulgent moments, but also, surprisingly inspiring for amping up the flavors of some other dishes that can be enjoyed with or without any medicinal assistance.

Carbs are always a natural with munchies food. Whether sweet or savory, it seems to be the first place we turn. So, one of my favorite things to do is to take some basic plain household favorite, like popovers, scones or pancakes, and use them as a blank canvas, getting inspired with new flavor combinations. Because a lot of our most beloved snack foods have complex flavor profiles, it is fun to experiment to see if you can make something new, and maybe a bit elevated, but still have it hit that sweet spot of delicious nostalgia.

Doritos are one of the superior snacks, needing no dip or extra anointing to be at their salty, cheesy best. By breaking down the flavors of Doritos seasoning into its composite parts — cheese, tomato and spice — and combining it with my favorite popover recipe, you get a light popover with all the punch of a bag of Original Doritos, the perfect thing to serve alongside a steak or roast chicken. And a Cool Ranch version is just a packet of Hidden Valley away.

Speaking of chicken, fried chicken is one of the most craveworthy foods of any snack attack, whether it is a crispy nugget or tender, a basket of wings, a sold-out sandwich, or a bucket of pieces with all the sides. Scones are one of the easiest and fastest things to bake, and this version takes all of the flavors of great fried chicken, not to mention some bonus crispy skin bits, and makes a bake that hits your finger-licking fried chicken button, with pinkies-up high-tea elegance.

Finally, if there were one food that is always likely to cause a snaccident at my house, it is a classic French onion dip. I am powerless against its salty, oniony pull, ideally delivered on a Jays wavy chip, but also on any raw vegetable or even just a spoon. As such, I almost always make a double or triple batch when entertaining, in fear of running out, and then have leftovers calling to me from the fridge.

But if you are facing down a morning-after, and have a half-tub of dip still hanging about? French onion dip pancakes are the perfect thing to turn your day around. It might sound odd, but caramelized onions are naturally sweet, and sour cream brings a similar tang as buttermilk, so these pancakes are actually a perfect blend of sweet and sour and shockingly great with maple syrup. If you have kids, they will love the weird factor. You can also make little silver-dollar sized ones and serve as an appetizer — with more dip!

So, the next time a craving hits, at 4:20 or any other time of day, think a little outside the bag or bucket, and give one of these a try.

Doritos-Style Popovers

Prep: 15 minutes. Rest: 1 hour. Bake: 65-70 minutes. Makes: 6 large or 12 small

You can make the popovers a day or two ahead. To reheat, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 6-8 minutes until hot and crisp. The recipe also doubles fine if you are feeding a crowd. If you are a bigger fan of Cool Ranch Doritos than Original, you can brush the tops of the hot popovers with a light coating of melted butter and sprinkle with ranch powder, or serve with a ranch butter made by mixing a packet of ranch dressing powder into a stick of softened unsalted butter. Look for tomato powder and cheddar cheese powder at some spice shops and online.

3 large eggs

2 cups milk, 2% or whole milk (just not skim)

3 tablespoons?unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder

1 tablespoon tomato powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening

Whisk eggs until light and foamy in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk and butter until incorporated.

Combine flour, cheese powder and seasonings in a large bowl. Whisk the milk mixture into the flour mixture until no lumps remain. Transfer batter to a large measuring cup, cover with plastic and let rest at room temperature, 1 hour. (Alternatively, batter can be refrigerated for 1 day. Bring fully to room temperature before proceeding with baking, at least 4 hours.)

Heat oven to 450 with the rack in the lower-middle. Generously smear shortening on the inside of a 6-cups large or 12-cups small popover pan; lightly dust the cups with flour, shaking and tapping to remove any excess. If you don’t have a popover pan, you can use a muffin tin; they just won’t “pop” quite as tall, but they will still be delicious.

Whisk the batter vigorously to make sure it is fully combined; pour into popover pan, filling each cup to about 1/2 inch from the top. (Don’t overfill; you might have a small amount of batter left over.) Bake without opening the oven door until fairly well popped and just beginning to brown, 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees without opening the oven door; bake until popovers are golden brown all over, 35 to 40 minutes more.

Open the oven door; using a small skewer or the tip of a paring knife, poke a small hole in the top of each popover. Turn the pan if they are not coloring evenly. Close the door; bake until deep golden brown, 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven; rest the popover pan on a wire rack. Poke each popover again with a skewer or knife; let cool, 2-3 minutes. Turn out popovers. Serve hot with the spread or filling of your choice.

Nutrition information per serving (for 6 popovers): 314 calories, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 117 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 13 g protein, 571 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Fried Chicken Scones

Prep: 40 minutes. Bake: 12-15 minutes. Makes: 8 scones

1 3/4 cups flour

3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder (or 9 bouillon cubes, finely ground)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup chopped crispy chicken skin (optional, see note)

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat, melted, cooled

Heat oven to 375 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, bouillon powder, baking powder, poultry seasoning, thyme, black pepper and cayenne together. Stir in the crispy chicken skin, if using. Make a well in the dry mixture; pour in the cream and melted chicken fat. Using your fingers held in a stiff rakelike shape, blend until barely combined. Knead just enough to have a cohesive, soft dough. Overmixing will yield tough scones.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface; pat into a 7-inch round, about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges (triangles). Place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.

Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer scones to a cooling rack. Serve hot with honey, butter and hot sauce. Or if you want to get meta, serve with fried chicken.

Note: To make crispy chicken skin, spread pieces of chicken skin out flat between two sheets of parchment paper; place between two baking sheets. Bake in a 400-degree oven until deeply golden and completely crispy, 15-25 minutes. Skin should shatter and break instead of bend. Cool completely; chop into pieces and store covered in the fridge for up to a week. If needed, re-crisp in a hot skillet. (Save the chicken fat to use in the scones batter.)

Nutrition information per serving (not including optional chicken skin): 243 calories, 15 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein, 1,170 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

French Onion Pancakes

Prep: 15 minutes. Rest: 30 minutes. Cook: 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Makes: 12 large or 24 small pancakes

2 packets (2 ounces each) French onion soup mix

1 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil

Butter, maple syrup, hot sauce

Mix the French onion soup mix into the sour cream until well combined.

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together until well mixed. Whisk the sour cream mixture, buttermilk and eggs together in a small bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients; stir until almost combined, but there are still some dry spots. Gently mix in the melted butter until just combined; you should still have some lumps, but not see any streaks of dry flour. Set aside the batter to rest at room temp for at least 30 minutes. Heat oven to 200.

Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot enough for a drop of water to skitter across the surface and evaporate, brush a thin layer of oil on the surface. Drop 1/2-cup scoops for large cakes or 1/4-cup scoops for small on the skillet, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. I usually coax them along with the back of the scoop, since the thick batter will only spread so far on its own. Cook until plenty of bubbles appear on the tops of the pancakes and the edges look dry, about 2 minutes. Flip pancakes over. Don’t press down! (These are extra fluffy cakes; if you press on them, they will get rubbery.) Cook on the second side until golden brown and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer pancakes to a rack over a baking sheet; hold in the warm oven while you make the rest. Serve hot with butter, maple syrup and/or hot sauce.

Nutrition information per pancake (for 24 pancakes): 91 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 3 g protein, 287 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

Nutritionist says Mexican food can be keto-friendly
Author: Chris Ross, The San Diego Union-Tribune

If you are turning over a new leaf on your diet for 2020, San Diego holistic nutritionist Torie Borrelli has a new book that can help. Her “Mexican Keto Cookbook” shares health-conscious recipes for Mexican cuisine, from a Probiotic Guacamole to Mexcal Lamb Barbacoa.

Borrelli doesn’t believe in counting calories or quick fixes, but instead changing eating habits. Of Italian and Mexican heritage herself, Borrelli says she chose to focus on Mexican cuisine because it’s high in healthy fats, so it adapts well to a ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb) diet.

Goat Cheese Frittata With Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8

Reprinted from “The Mexican Keto Cookbook” by Torie Borrelli.

1 to 1½ cups sliced sweet potato, cut in thin rounds

8 pasture-raised eggs, whisked

2 cups chopped greens (arugula, kale or spinach)

1 avocado, sliced thinly into 8 pieces

4 ounces goat cheese or Cotija cheese

¼ cup tomato or tomatillo salsa, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch pie dish or circular dish with butter or oil (such as coconut) or avocado oil spray.

Lay the sliced sweet potatoes in a thin layer in the bottom of the dish so that none of the dish is showing and a little up the sides as you would a crust. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Pour in the eggs, add the greens and then top with the avocado slices. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, until the middle is no longer jiggly. Top with the cheese and salsa (if using).

Washington lawmakers consider making sex education mandatory in schools
Author: Neal Morton, The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — You might not know this, but in Washington, schools don’t have to teach sex education.

State law only requires school districts to teach students about HIV and AIDS prevention every year, starting no later than the fifth grade. But after a failed attempt last year, lawmakers are again trying to make comprehensive sexual health education a mandate for all Washington public schools.

Supporters argue that the lack of a consistent, statewide set of standards for sex education means students may fill in the gaps themselves — and expose themselves to risk.

A survey of nearly 9,000 eighth-graders in 2018 found about two-thirds of them had been taught about abstinence and other ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Still, “we’ve seen an incredibly disturbing trend with a climb in (adolescent) STD rates in our state,” according to Laurie Dils, who oversees sex education for the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

On Thursday, she presented the recommendations of a state work group that wants the Legislature to require all public schools to provide some form of sex education to every student — from kindergarten to 12th grade — by the 2022-23 academic year.

The proposal certainly has its opponents, including politicians and parents who wonder why elementary kids need to know about reproduction and gender identity. A legislative hearing last week highlighted some questions and concerns.

What do Washington schools currently teach about sexual health?

If local school boards choose to go beyond HIV and AIDS prevention, they must use materials that align with the state’s Healthy Youth Act — meaning the instruction needs be medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate and inclusive of all students.

The state does not set a specific curriculum or required content. But it does define “sexual health education” as an individual’s developing body, mind and social interactions. The definition also covers skills to build healthy and meaningful relationships, choosing healthy behaviors and understanding the influence that family, peers and the media have on sex.

In 2018, the state superintendent’s office surveyed all 295 school districts about sex education. Of the 285 that responded, 93 percent provided some instruction in at least one grade band: 65 percent in kindergarten through fifth grade, 86 percent in grades 6-8 and 75 percent in grades 9-12.

Students shared what they were taught in school on the Healthy Youth Survey: In 10th grade — as 26 percent of students reported ever having sex — nearly three-quarters had lessons on preventing pregnancy and STDs, either through abstinence or other methods. In their senior year, about 4 in 10 students were taught about abstinence or other prevention methods, and 47 percent said they ever had sex.

Why does the state superintendent’s office want all schools to teach sex education?

Because, the superintendent’s office says, evidence shows that teens face significant sexual health risks and sexual violence.

Data from the Washington State Department of Health show that, since 2014, the number of adolescents in Washington with STDs has been on the rise, with the largest increases among males. While gonorrhea rates climbed 71 percent in just four years, syphilis rates more than doubled among 15- to 19-year-olds.

And more students in the eighth and 12th grades have reported unwanted sexual contact and dating violence, according to the Healthy Youth Survey.

Andrea Alejandra, a student at Washington State University Vancouver, told lawmakers Thursday about her experience with sexual abuse and growing up in a religious household.

“I didn’t know what boundaries were. I didn’t know how to say, ‘No,’ ” she said.

“I wish I had something like this to tell me, ‘This is your body and you have the right to protect it,’ ” Alejandra added. “I wish someone had told me at an earlier age.”

What does “comprehensive” sex education even mean?

The state superintendent’s office lists 20 different topics that it uses to define “comprehensive” sexual health education, including:

• The benefits of abstaining from sex.

• How well condoms work — or don’t — and how to obtain and use them.

• The importance of limiting the number of sexual partners.

• Sexual orientation and gender roles, identity and expression.

• The relationship between alcohol and other drug use and risky sexual behavior.

House Bill 2184 would require every public school to provide comprehensive sexual health education to each student by the 2022-23 school year. But starting in 2020-21, school districts already providing comprehensive sexual health education must include information about affirmative consent and bystander training.

Senate Bill 5395, which died during last year’s legislative session but was reintroduced this week, would hasten the requirement for statewide sex education to September 2021.

Both bills also would require schools to teach students about affirmative consent — meaning, all parties need to consciously, intentionally and voluntarily agree to engage in sexual activity.

Does the proposed legislation impede local control or the right of parents to opt their children out of sex education?

Under either bill, school districts could still choose or create their own sexual health curriculum, provided it aligns with state standards. Parents and guardians also would retain their right to opt their children out of such classes.

State Sen. Brad Hawkins, the ranking Republican on the Senate’s education committee, voted against SB 5395 last year. A former school board member in Eastmont, he said the Legislature should defer to locally elected officials and not mandate comprehensive sex education across all 295 school districts.

“That would be a significant erosion of local control,” said Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee. “People closest to an issue are usually in the best position to make a decision for their communities, and our school districts are not arms of the state.”

Who’s for and against this proposal?

Most of the controversy centers on what would be taught in kindergarten through third grade.

In an online survey that drew more than 10,000 responses — a majority of which came from parents — the state superintendent’s office found 58 percent of respondents believe comprehensive sexual health education should not be required across grades K-12. The other 42 percent said it should be.

Last year, the Senate divided along party lines to advance SB 5395 to the House, where the legislation died.

But in the Senate’s education committee, many organizations — and some young people — testified in support of the bill: the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the state teachers union, Planned Parenthood and students from Olympia High School and Western Washington University.

On Thursday, the House education committee reserved little time for public comment on HB 2184. Many parents and students testified in support of the proposed legislation.

Others worried about exposing elementary students to sexual content.

Riel Lord drove from Camas to testify against HB 2184, arguing that one currently approved curriculum instructs students to search online for information about their body without warning them about the dangers of pornography.

“They want to teach second-graders that cats and dogs reproduce. Why do second-graders need to know that?” said Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver. “The more this becomes a conversation that we introduce this at younger grades … these decisions lead to more sex among teenagers.”

In Our View: House must back ban of single-use plastic bags
Author: The Columbian

The state House has an opportunity this session to correct a mistake it made last year when it failed to approve a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

The Senate made quick work of approving the ban Jan. 15 with the support of Sen. Annette Cleveland of Vancouver. Republicans Lynda Wilson of Vancouver and Ann Rivers of La Center opposed the bill. Interestingly, Rivers supported the plastic-bag ban in the previous session.

The ban stalled in the House during the last session after Senate approval. Even though the bill had broad support, including from the state’s grocers, it was tripped up by opposition from the American Forest & Paper Association, which makes paper bags. The organization dislikes the 8-cent fee stores would have to charge for each paper bag, fearing customers would reject their products.

We believe their fears are misplaced. Eight cents is a small price to pay for a bag that is reusable if handled sensibly. (Those who use SNAP or WIC food benefits would not be charged the bag fee.) We think most shoppers will appreciate the environmental responsibility it reflects. As The Stranger of Seattle noted Jan. 16: “Though the paper bag people don’t like the bill, the idea of banning plastic bags enjoys broad support. A new poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute found that 69 percent of Washington voters think we should ban the bags, which is … nice. It also just makes sense. Thirty-seven jurisdictions in Washington already ban plastic bags, so it’s not like this will be a big cultural shift.”

That is an important point. Clark County residents who shop across the Columbia River are already accustomed to the plastic bag ban that has been in effect in Portland since 2011, and went statewide in Oregon at the beginning of the year. Some local stores, such as Grocery Outlet and Chuck’s, have already taken it upon themselves to eschew single-use plastic bags in favor of paper.

This isn’t some nanny state overreach; as we’ve editorialized previously, single-use plastic bags are the biggest contributor to the growing environmental crisis of plastic pollution. According to Environment Washington’s website, plastic “poses a serious threat to whales, seals, turtles, salmon and all of Puget Sound’s wildlife. Too much of the trash comes from single-use plastic bags, which can choke, suffocate or kill thousands of whales, birds and other marine wildlife each year. We saw the effects of this last year when a beached gray whale was found in West Seattle with 20 plastic bags in its stomach. Nothing we use for a few minutes should end up in the belly of a whale.

“Yet 2 billion plastic bags are distributed annually throughout Washington state, and nationwide, less than 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled.”

Since our federal government, unlike leaders in other countries, has neglected to address plastic pollution on a national basis, it’s up to states to act. Considering how important this issue is to Washington’s environment and wildlife, it should be a no-brainer for the House to join the Senate in approving the ban on single-use plastics. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mona Das of Kent, was caught off-guard last year by the House’s failure to support her measure, but told The Stranger that she believes the past will not repeat itself this session.

We hope Das is right. The House should make right its failure last year to respect the broad support the bill enjoys and approve her measure. It’s past time to ban single-use plastic bags.

Camden: Inslee gives, gets apples
Author: Jim Camden

When it comes to Washington symbols, you probably can’t beat an apple for conveying state pride.

Before Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his annual State of the State address on Tuesday, his office secured hundreds of the new Cosmic Crisp variety of apples and had them distributed in the House chamber where the speech would be made. One was set aside for each senator and representative, and placed on the chair where each statewide elected official and Supreme Court justice would sit.

The new apples, developed by Washington State University, were partly a prop for a portion of his speech where he was “shining the light on how great Washington is.” Some of the people who helped develop the crisp red apple were in the gallery to wave when Inslee introduced them.

They also provided a laugh line later in the week at a news conference, when Inslee suggested the speech was at least successful enough that no one threw an apple at him. Considering the Republican criticism of the speech, it may be more accurate to say they were leery of wasting a perfectly good apple on such a long throw.

The fruit came to the governor’s office from PVM, the firm marketing the apple for WSU, state Agriculture Director Hector Castro said.

Staff made sure they were waiting in the House chamber when lawmakers and justices arrived. They had a few left over that were put in a bowl on the counter in the governor’s office for anyone who came in. Tara Lee, Inslee’s spokeswoman, said the governor’s legal office is checking to see whether it will have to report the value of all the apples, or if they can be considered just the pass-through to other legislators and other officials, who could skip reporting the value of a single apple.

But Cosmic Crisps were not the only apples of note as the Legislature opened.

Sen. Curtis King, a Republican from the apple-growing regions of Yakima, brought Inslee, new House Speaker Laurie Jinkins and some other leaders a box of Autumn Glory apples, another new variety being grown in the state. The apples are mainly grown for sale in Europe, King told reporters who happened to see him carrying a box into the speaker’s office on Opening Day.

They’re sweeter than Gala apples, another variety grown in his part of the state — or at least that was his impression when he did a taste test with a local grower, he said. But he said he hadn’t eaten a Cosmic Crisp yet, so he couldn’t compare them.

King’s box of apples came with a nice note about working together in the 2020 session, Lee said. She dodged a question of which apple tasted better, the Cosmic Crisp or the Autumn Glory.

“They’re Washington apples, so I’m sure they are all amazing,” Lee said.

Snow days

After some significant snow in Eastern Washington in recent weeks, Spokane residents might have raised eyebrows at reports that Western Washington schools were out for a few days after several inches fell.

While predictions of Snowmageddon 2020 didn’t materialize in the central Puget Sound, the snow was no joke in the mountains, and Stevens Pass (between Everett and Wenatchee) was closed for nearly two days because the weight of snow was bringing down trees onto roads and highways.

At one point, the state hired a private helicopter to fly low over some forested areas near roadways so the downward rotor wash would blow snow off the branches and lighten the load.

The town of Skykomish was cut off for about three days with roads closed by snow and downed trees. Inslee took some criticism for not calling out the National Guard to rescue Skykomish from the ravages of the storm.

“We respond to local requests,” he said. “I’m not going to tell the mayor of Skykomish how to run his town.”

People who live in mountain areas are used to helping out their neighbors, he added. “I don’t think the frontier spirit of Washington has absolutely dried up and blown away.”

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust trust hits milestones in giving
Author: Columbian staff writer

The Vancouver-headquartered M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust closed out the decade with a bang: It invested $66.3 million in organizations across the Northwest in 2019, the most it’s ever funded in a given year.

The long-standing trust serves nonprofits in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, B.C., in the areas of arts and culture, scientific research, health, education and human services — the last being the most-funded sector.

Also, last year the trust passed $1 billion in cumulative charitable giving since its inception in 1975. It was founded by the estate of Melvin Jack Murdock, a philanthropist, investor and co-founder of Tektronix. Fall marked the trust’s largest individual quarter of grant-making.

There isn’t really any particular reason for the distinction, except that nonprofits brought forward a lot of great projects and programs in 2019 that the trust is in the position to fund, said Colby Reade, spokesman for the trust. The number of applications each year tends to be fairly consistent, he added, and includes a mix of familiar faces and groups who have never solicited funding from the trust before.

The most recent round of $18.7 million in grants included about $8.6 million for Washington and $1,394,000 for groups associated with Clark County.

• Columbia Land Trust was awarded $450,000 to acquire forestland around Wildboy Creek, so it can protect the forest and restore the watershed.

• The Tacoma-based NW Furniture bank received $348,000 to add staff to its Vancouver location, which opened last year.

• All God’s Children International, a Vancouver-based orphan care agency, received $268,000 to hire new staff to expand international intervention training.

• Ridgefield’s Cedar Tree Classical Christian School got $250,000 to expand its K-12 campus.

• Shared Hope International, a Vancouver-based nonprofit aimed at ending sex trafficking, was awarded $78,000 for an internship program.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with these organization that serve the diverse needs of communities across the Pacific Northwest in innovative ways,” Steve Moore, the trust’s executive director said in a news release. “As we prepare to mark our 45th year of service to Pacific Northwest communities, we are excited to continue to identify programs and projects that help ensure every individual and family in our region has the opportunity to flourish and thrive.”

What’s in store for 2020 at Murdock? Funding more projects guided by groups intimately familiar with their communities’ issues and how best to address them.

Patty Hastings: 360-735-4513;;

Death Notices
Author: The Columbian

Christine M. Reudink, 55, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Dean E. Dossett, 77, Camas, died Jan. 18, 2020. Straub’s Funeral Home & Columbia River Cremation, 360-834-4563.

Dianne E. Torres, 72, Seattle, died Jan. 15, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Donna M. Garner, 80, Vancouver died Jan. 13, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Doris M. Tolley, 91, Longview, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Edith J. Levulett, 98, Vancouver, died Jan. 11, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Edmond L. Brown, 69, Vancouver, died Jan. 10, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Eileen A. Evans, 58, Kalama, died Jan. 09, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Frank J. Grobli, 80, Vancouver, died Jan. 18, 2020. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Gary A. Jones, 73, Vancouver, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Gloria J. Prescott, 74, Vancouver, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

James W. Baker, 82, Vancouver, died Jan. 4, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Jeffrey M. Messinger, 60, Vancouver, died Jan. 17, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Kenneth R. Konopski, 71, Longview, died Jan. 15, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Margaret E. Generaux, 92, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Mary Jo Olson, 86, Battle Ground, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Mary “Alexine” Schweizer, 94, Vancouver, died Jan. 17, 2020. Hamilton-Mylan Funeral Home, 360-694-2537.

Nick M. Thomas, 78, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Ninamosha Winscott, 58, Vancouver, died Jan. 7, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Norma L. Heffern, 77, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Peggy S. Felger, 72, Vancouver, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Robert J. Steffen, 65, Vancouver, died Jan. 14, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Rose Therese Showacy, 102, Vancouver, died Jan. 17, 2020. Hamilton-Mylan Funeral Home, 360-694-2537.

Rosetta J. Melton, 64, Vancouver, died Jan. 18, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Ryan A. Berg, 40, Myrtle Point, Ore., died Jan. 12, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Sally L. Vargas, 72, Vancouver, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Stephen J. Ouellette, 71, Vancouver, died Jan. 16, 2020. All County Cremation and Burial Services, 360-718-7948.

Talana K. Major, 57, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. Cascadia Cremation & Burial Services, 360-213-2060.

Theodore Dorn Jr., 93, Vancouver, died Jan. 18, 2020. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Van Thi Nguyen, 96, Vancouver, died Jan. 19, 2020. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Black-eyed peas, mushrooms made in minutes
Author: Joe Yonan, The Washington Post

Black-eyed peas are a Southern staple, especially on New Year’s Day, when cooks combine them with rice for Hoppin’ John. Eat them for good luck, if you’re into that sort of thing.

These little legumes are staples in plenty of other cultures’ diets, too, all year round. I love Nigerian-style stewed black-eyed peas (often served with fried plantains), the lobia masala of north India and the Caribbean black-eyed-pea fritters called accra.

Such dishes can take some time to make. But in her new book, “Indian in 7,” Monisha Bharadwaj shows the beauty of a much simpler approach, combining canned black-eyed peas with tomatoes, mushrooms and spices.

I particularly appreciate the way she treats those mushrooms. When you cut them into thicker pieces and briefly cook them later in the process, they stay nice and juicy.

Best of all, the dish has a depth of flavor that tastes as though it took hours, not minutes.

Black-Eyed Peas With Mushrooms

Active: 25 minutes | Total: 25 minutes. 4 servings

This Indian dish is wonderfully fragrant from all the vibrant spices and aromatic vegetables. Serve with rice or couscous. Make Ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

One (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes

1 tablespoon sunflower or other neutral vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons cold water

One (14-ounce) can no-salt-added black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

12 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, washed, patted dry and thickly sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the whole tomatoes to a medium bowl, leaving the extra juices and liquid behind (reserve it for another use). Snip the tomatoes into bite-size pieces with kitchen scissors or crush them with your hands.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until they start to darken, about 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, another 30 seconds. Stir in the chili powder, turmeric and garam masala, cook for a few seconds, then pour in the water and cook until it evaporates and the oil separates, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, mushrooms and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the flavors have melded and the mixture has thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and, if you’d like, use a wooden spoon to mash some of the peas to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.

Nutrition | Calories: 100; Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 310 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 4 g.

(Adapted from “Indian in 7,” by Monisha Bharadwaj. Kyle, 2019.)

Letter: ‘Yes’ vote solves problem
Author: Jeff Vigue, president of Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation, Ridgefield

Support the Ridgefield bond. Voting “no” will not change anything. It will not stop 1,760 additional students from coming. It will not change the schools from being overcrowded. Voting “no” will not solve anything, nor change anything for the better.

On the other hand, voting “yes” may not solve your immediate concerns, but it will solve the current problem of overcrowding in our schools. Voting “yes” is the only one that solves the immediate problem. Voting “yes” is the right thing to do. I invite you to join me in voting “yes” for the 2020 school bond.



Letter: Let Boeing execs take first ride
Author: Steve Friebel, Vancouver

There are about 387 Boeing 737 Max aircraft that have been grounded due to the two recent crashes that resulted in the inexcusable deaths of 346 innocent souls. It appears that the primary cause of these crashes was a lack of proper monitoring and inspection of matters of safety. Both Boeing and a number of federal agencies are responsible for ensuring passenger safety. Ultimately, profits were made at the expense of passenger and crew safety.

I believe that Hammurabi’s Code may have the best solution for ensuring our safety. There are 387 grounded aircraft with at least 71,200 seats available. As each 737 is returned to service, Boeing corporate officials and their families should be expected make a six-hour, nonstop, round-trip flight. The next passengers should be members and families of the FAA, all members of Congress and everyone connected to the White House.

In this matter, by employing the Code of Hammurabi, at least two benefits to the flying public (and many others) could be realized: All of those 387 planes would be pretty dang safe, and planes that crash will provide automatic “swamp draining,” which is always promised by many in leadership positions but never delivered upon.