Easy escape:

Our scenic six hour drive south to central Idaho?s wilderness back country and we arrive at our remote campsite in rugged Hells Canyon. The days begin easy and calm. Warm welcome sunshine, no bothersome bugs and gentle breezes where graceful eagles soar high above the canyon walls riding the gentle thermals.

A short stroll through lush prairie grass and wildflowers ends at the rocky banks of the formidable Snake river. The river flows swiftly, white water and swirling eddies. A couple of empty jet boats rumble by; no customers, no one is here.

only us.

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Amargosa Opera House

To skirt seriously cold weather on our way back home we headed to Death Valley California. I?m so glad we did, the high desert landscape is gorgeous, we soaked our bones in natural hot springs, and visited China Ranch, a thriving date farm in a remote backwater oasis. The highlight came at Death Valley Junction, a lost but not forgotten ghost town.

I recognized the white bleached buildings of the Amargosa Opera House from an

Emmy winning documentary Amargosa about Marta Beckett. Marta, a classically trained New York ballerina and her husband landed in this dusty desert outpost in 1967.  For 50 years she singlehandedly restored an abandoned social hall into her beloved theatre and stage. Painstakingly she hand painted all the astonishing murals on the walls and ceilings. Renaissance style paintings of the audience she imagined would come to see her plays. She  wrote and performed her own works on stage often to an empty house, she persevered.  Her husband left her, she persevered.  When no one came to see her performances, she persevered. After a bit of notoriety from the press and packed houses she persevered until her last performance at the age of 86 in 2012. Marta passed in 2017 a creative passionate spirit until the end.

 

 

We were lucky to catch a fabulous Native American concert by Steve Rushingwind and view the interior of this amazing  landmark. ( woodstove and all )  Thank you Marta Becket your legacy lives on.

https://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-marta-beck

 

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Abuela; *

She pushes her cart slowly

I hear the tinkling bells.

Sweet oranges, peanuts and spindly herbs is all she has to sell.

I reach into my pocket for peso’s hiding there

carefully select my purchase as if it’s made of gold.

Abuela thanks me kindly and continues down the road.

 

*Abuela / Grandmother

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Our European Adventures / Munich Germany

Lynne Oxman Wiedemann

April 29 2018

ONE MORE STORY. We found Franks childhood home, a large Munich apartment complex, freshly painted the original mustard yellow. The buildings are carefully maintained with lovely gardens, benches, and a pretty fountain where little children were splashing around. Frank wandered off with his memories while Sig and I chatted on a bench. The apartments are on Dachau Strasse, where he recalls running over a nearby hill with other children to play by the abandoned railroad tracks. Were these tracks the ones used to transport the Jews to their death? We speak the unspeakable and our hearts hurt. Thankfully the Holocaust will never be forgotten here. Schools ensure the children learn the truth about the Hitler era and the crimes of his regime against its innocent citizens. Todays Germany is prosperous, blending the old traditions while embracing modern new environmental technology. There is plenty of work for those that want it and therein lies the problem. Germany has welcomed many immigrants, some from countries that hate Israel and all Jews. Bubbling beneath the surface these tensions are creating an atmosphere for hate crimes. How Germany deals with this will show the world they are serious when they say ” Nie Wieder” “Never Again”.

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Day of the Dead Cooking Class with Lynne at the Greenbriar Inn

Monday, October 27th

In Mexico, they celebrate Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos, one of the country’s most ancient and deep-rooted customs. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray and remember those who have passed. Families prepare the very best foods loved ones enjoyed in life. Share this fun Mexican (Halloween) tradition as Chef Lynne directs students in preparing two traditional dishes: chicken in a rich pipian sauce made with nuts and seeds and a delicious version of red mole with dumplings. We will feast on these offerings and toast with Mexican hot chocolate and Dead Man’s bread, or pan de muerto. Some hands-on preparation.

Toasting the seeds for the pipian

 
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Night of the Dead in Patzcuaro, Mexico

lighted candles on a grave on an island near Patzcuaro, celebrating with Mexico's ancestors

Frank and I traveled to Mexico in late October of this year.  We love to experience the colorful culture, kind people, and delicious cuisine of Mexico any time of the year, but this trip had a specific purpose: to experience the famous “Dia de los Muertos”, or ‘Day of the Dead” celebration in Patzcuaro, Mexico.

 

 

Lovely scene above lago de Patzcauro.

The colonial city of Patzcuaro, Mexico sits high up in the mountains of the central western highlands.  Ancestral home to the Purecepa tribe, direct descendants of the ancient Tarasca’s who believed death was a continuation of life and the dead could return each year to visit their loved ones.

 

 

 

A marigold bedecked arbor in Tzin Tzun Tzan.

I think I love this town because I love saying the name, TsinTzunTzan (pronounced, zin zun zan) it’s named after the sound hummingbirds make  as they flit around.  The town was completely decorated with thousands of marigolds in celebration of day of the dead.

 

No generic costumes here!

Typical cobblestone streets in our barrio.

Dance of The Old Men performed during the celebration.

Thousands and thousands of bright orange marigolds decorate the pueblos around Patzcuaro.

families gather to pray and talk among the graves.

 

 

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Tamale Cooking Class at De Leons Mexican Foods

We are having a Tamalada at De Leons Mexican Foods! Join us for a fun evening in this hands-on class learning to make homemade savory pork and sweet pineapple tamales. We will learn to prepare a quick and easy cooked tomato salsa and corn soufflé tamales that are muy delicioso! The De Leons crew will show us how they whip up their own corn masa and their delicious fillings for the tamales.

Instructors: Lynne Wiedemann from CookWithUs.com & Myra and the De Leons Crew
Class fee: $45.00 includes dinner, agua frescas, chips and salsa. (beer available)
Where: DeLeons 102 E. Francis
Time & Dates: 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Tues. October 22nd

 

Sorry, CLASSES ARE FULL FOR THIS WEEK! Stay tuned for more cooking classes coming soon.

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Hatch Chiles Have Arrived at De Leon’s Foods!

Join Mike and me for our fun and informative Hatch Chile Cooking Class. We will learn to make three of New Mexico’s favorite dishes: chile verde, green chile enchiladas, and stuff green chiles with picadillo.

Serving Frank’s delicious homemade artisan green chile bread, chips and salsa, and agua fresca. Beer available.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Date: August 27th or August 28th. Class times are at 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Reserve your space now!

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By popular demand, another fun and informative Carne Asada class at de Leons Foods.

WHEN: Tomorrow June 19th at 5:30  WHERE: De Leons Mexican Foods, 102 E. Francis Ave. Spokane.

To register, go to “classes & events” at top of page. Click pay here, submit info to PayPal.  Mike Gonzalez and I look forward to seeing you there!

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June 5th – Join Lynne and Mike for Carne Asada Class at De Leon Foods

Visit…
http://learntocooklatin.webs.com/

and learn more about Lynne Wiedemann from cookwithus.com and Mike Gonzales, Former ABC News anchor and founder of the Hispanic Food Network, teaming up again to bring you Mexican Cooking classes at DeLeon’s Grocery in Spokane, Washington.

To sign up at cookwithus.com click on classes and events at the top of page. click on pay here, which takes you to PayPal for easy payment.

Visit, learn, and Sign up!!!

Frank and Lynne enjoyed the best Carne Asada in Manuelas Rustic Cafe in Arazola, Mexico

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