‘Spicy’ Magnolia resident recognized by Bon Apetit

A little birdie alerted us that our own Gretchen Goehrend’s spice company India Tree, received high praise for its Tellicherry Peppercorns from Bon Apetit Magazine.  The story was originally posted by Rebekah Denn on Seattletimes.com:

 Two Seattle-based companies won spots on a new “seal of approval” list from Bon Appetit magazine of the top 50 culinary products staffers use in their own test kitchens and homes. India Tree’s Tellicherry peppercorns and three kinds of dried chiles from Marx Foods were on the “definitive” ingredient guide whose listings ranged from Heinz ketchup to Rancho Gordo heirloom beans.

(Companies can pay to license the annual seal for their products, though the fees are steep and the honor is unsolicited and free.)

The BA folks wrote that some of their product choices were clear — the same flour and sugar they’ve been using for years, for instance — but that others were put to the test to see which were decisively better than competitors, would stand the test of time, and offered bang for the buck.

India Tree founder Gretchen Goehrend said the fresh, “pungent and fruity” pepper is one of the stars of her spice, sugar, and seasoning company.

“It’s got layers of taste, instead of it just being hot and flat,” she said. Peppers sometimes get labeled as Tellicherry when they’re actually not, she noted, but she has a supplier she trusts to get “the highest quality” peppercorns, picked ripe and properly cleaned and stored.

Marx Foods (more soon on the company’s new retail shop in lower Queen Anne), given the nod for arbol, chipotle, and guajillo chiles, sources organic chiles “from a small company in Eugene, OR called Mycological. That’s also where we get all of our dried mushrooms. Our conventional chilies are sourced from a large company in Chicago called Woodland Foods,” CEO Justin Marx said in an email.

“Both companies have absolutely impeccable sourcing/quality and we always buy only the highest available grade.”

Here’s a recipe from India Tree for how to use its peppercorns, supposing you want to try something more exotic than grinding them along with salt crystals. The company distributes all ingredients except for the lime juice:


Tuk Meric Cambodian Black Pepper Sauce

2 tablespoons Black Tellicherry Peppercorns 1 teaspoon Brazilian Sea Salt 1/2 teaspoon Dark Muscovado Sugar pinch of Hot Chile Flakes 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1. Lightly toast peppercorns in a dry skillet.

2. Crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or grind in a mill on medium setting.

3. Combine crushed/ground pepper with the remaining ingredients in a measuring cup and stir until sugar and salt have dissolved.

4. Pour sauce into individual small dipping bowls. Serve with strips of grilled beef, chicken, shrimp and even grilled vegetables.


Recipe and photo courtesy of India Tree

Christmas Ships

MV reader Steven Thompson sent these festive photos of Argosy’s Christmas Ships on December 18th.




Thanks, Steven!




Stranger coming up to houses at night on magnolia blvd 2300 block

 It seems there is an amateur holiday lights photographer in the neighborhood.
My family and I wanted to let people know that a man has come by tonight around 7:45pm and had dropped off a picture he took of our house maybe last week at night of our lights. He came down here tonight and asked if we had seen the picture and liked it. He then walked away and we went to look for him five minutes later. We have called all our neighbors on the 2300 block of the Magnolia blvd. There is one other family that said they came up to their house. A young girl neighbor said he came up to her in a white volvo station wagon around 3:45pm and gave her the photo. We wanted to make sure everyone knows and is aware that someone might be casing some houses. Please be careful and aware that this guy might be strange. he seems as though he has been hanging out for hours on end in this neighborhood. Please let us know if anyone has seen this happen again.
The Daigers

Tall tree

MV reader Patrick Kruger sent us these pictures of their Christmas tree. Must have been an adventure getting it in the house!


“I guess we should have measured!”


2553 Crestmont Place West

Please send us your photos of your tree or holiday home decorations!




Principal Cox addresses parents, community regarding safety at Blaine

December 17, 2012

Dear Catharine Blaine Parents and Community,

Over the weekend we all experienced deep feelings of sadness after watching the news about Sandy Hook Elementary School. We extend our care and sympathy to the families of those who were killed and injured and feel such deep concern for all the members of the Sandy Hook community. The news causes us to review our own safety and security here at Blaine. It is important for you to know that your child’s safety is a priority for us! In light of what happened on Friday in Connecticut, we have asked school staff to be extra vigilant.

In addition, the Seattle Police Department is providing extra support to our schools and coordinating additional patrols in our school zones. In the coming weeks, Seattle Public Schools security staff will meet with each principal to talk about our school’s safety plans and any emergency needs. I met with our neighborhood police today to find out about police visibility and support.

Today, the school’s Safety Committee met to review the policies and procedures in place here at Blaine. A representative from the Magnolia Community Center was also a part of this meeting.

What we will do:

 Review all emergency procedures with staff.

 Monitor hallways, the cafeteria and doors with extra vigilance.

 Maintain one single point of entry during school hours and will keep all other external doors locked.

 Make sure playground supervisors carry a cell phone to have instantaneous communication with the office and the police.

 Continue to ask that no elementary students are in the hallways in the morning. They are to go outside on the playground until the bell rings. This allows staff to easily identify people who should not be in the hallways.

 Ensure doors into Blaine from the Magnolia Community Center are locked.

What you can do:

 Please sign in at the front office and wear a visitor’s badge when you are in the building or dropping your child off in the morning.

 Please sign in and wear an orange vest when volunteering to work outside during recess.

 Please do not prop open external doors that are locked.

We know that the tragedy in Connecticut is spurring a national conversation about gun control and school safety. At this time, there are no recommendations or plans to hire additional security. However, as more information is available from Connecticut in the weeks to come, we will review the report and recommendations from the Department of Education and law enforcement. We will work together and follow best practices to improve the safety in our schools. As parents ourselves, we know the difficulty in discussing tragic events such as these. I would like to share some helpful discussion techniques from the Childhood Development Institute:

Be truthful – Children need to understand what is happening around them to feel secure. Provide them with facts about what happened and acknowledge it was a terrible and frightening event. Help them to see that we share their feelings. Encourage any questions – Ensure your child feels as though they can approach you to ask questions as much as they need. Sometimes a child will process a tragic event much later and come back to you again for more discussion. Remind them that questions are welcome.

Ensure they feel safe – explain to them that it is a real misfortune what has happened and that we all feel for those people who were there or are experiencing pain.

Stay close by and show affection as they desire – give them a hug and reassure them that their world is safe. Keep them among familiar things until they’re feeling more secure, for example family and friends.

Allow the children to talk about it and how it has made them feel. Honestly answer their questions and try to put their minds at ease.

Please know that our teachers will continue to create a sense of normalcy for our students while acknowledging the tragedy in developmentally appropriate ways.

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Julie A. Cox Doug Ouellette

Principal Assistant Principal

Community Safety Forum confirmed for Monday night

 MV reader Kate writes
This is your best chance to catch the ear of the PD and the Mayors office with your questions and concerns about safety issues here in Magnolia…All are welcome so spread the word…please forward to your school community, local news outlets, etc.
If you are concerned about safety and security in Magnolia, please plan to attend if only for a part of the time, to demonstrate your concern and justify the evening attendance of these city officials.
Meeting information:
Monday, December 17th
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Magnolia Community Center (2550 34th Ave W)
Madrona Room

Bank Robber Flushed Out of Potty

By reporter Steven Smalley
A trip to use the facilities in the backyard of a job site turned up an unexpected intruder Tuesday following a robbery at the Magnolia Bank of America.
“The Porta-Potty was shaking around. The guy exits out of it and runs down the street,” explains a contractor working on a new home on 34th Avenue West. “I thought he was a jogger using the john.”
Then, after the contractor discovered clothes in the toilet, and noticed lots of police around, he flags down an officer and to report his findings. Turns out the contractor had just seen a stickup man changing clothes after a heist. “It didn’t take me too long to put two and two together,” he says. Magnolia Voice spoke exclusively with this worker – the only eyewitness to have seen the true identity of the thief.
According to reports, the robber wore a Halloween mask that hid his face. It wasn’t even known whether he was a man or woman at first. Turns out the perp was a slender man. “He was a young Caucasian guy in his twenties with curly and greasy hair,” says the witness. “Police came by with eight mugshots. None were the guy.”
Seattle Police also drove the witness to see a resident they were holding who was walking two dogs. “It was not him,” the witness revealed.
Police detectives retrieved clothes from the toilet, including a jacket, pants and shoes, plus a shopping bag and mask. They did not find a gun.
“I had a sneaking suspicion they were missing something. I was right,” revealed the contractor. “No gun was there according to police, until I found a gun. It was sitting in the corner (of the toilet tank).”
Although not an actual handgun, the weapon used to threaten bank employees was an air-soft toy pistol that shoots plastic pellets. Police returned later to pick it up.
“Looked like your basic 9mm,” said the witness.
Not too shaken, the contractor took all the excitement in stride.
“I wish I would have stopped him. I really would have got some points then,” he said.
Seattle Police and the FBI are currently looking for any information regarding the identity of the robber. Call them if you can help.

Early morning burglar at gas station caught on video

The owner of the Shell gas station on 34Th & W Government Way sent us this email today:
Someone tried to break in my station on 12/14/12 at 2:34am but the alarm went off after he/she broke the front door glass and the burglar ran away.
I have interesting video and pictures, and from what I see in the video this thief is local and live in the neighborhood cause he/she came walking to check out the station then left then came back walking after 6 minutes with a big rock and big plastic box, the burglar tried to use the big rock to break the glass door but the front door glass cracked then the alarm went off.
Thought to let everyone know to watch out for their properties. the burglar was white with dark hair, heavy set, and 5′ 4″ tall, and was wearing a striped blue shirt with a black leather jacket on top, black shoes, and white pants.
Be on the lookout!

Letter to our community from Superintendent Banda

Dear families,

We were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that occurred this morning at an elementary school in Connecticut. In the aftermath of such tragic events, we want to share with you how we are working to make sure that our students’ needs are fully addressed.

We are closely monitoring the situation and have asked our principals to be extra vigilant in their schools today. We have not heard of any threats in Seattle, and our Security department reports normal operations in schools throughout the District.

According to state law, schools must conduct at least one safety-related drill each month that school is in session. Every school has a safety plan that outlines procedures for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of a crisis. Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top concern.

It is a struggle for adults and children alike to try to comprehend why and how such a senseless and shocking incident could occur.  Excessive and repeated media viewing can create increased anxiety and therefore limiting ongoing exposure is recommended.   We are coordinating with schools and school guidance counselors to provide emotional support for students next week. Additionally, talking about the incident can be a healthy way for families to process their feelings and reactions to an event of this nature.

How to help children cope:

*Listen to and accept children’s feelings.

*Give honest, simple, brief answers to their questions.

*Make sure they understand your answers and the meaning you intend.

*Use words or phrases that won’t confuse a child or make the world more frightening.

*Create opportunities for children to talk with each other about what happened and how they are feeling.

*Give your child an honest explanation. If you are feeling so upset you don’t want to talk about what happened. You may want to take “time out” and ask a trusted family friend to help.

*If children keep asking the same question over and over again it is because they are trying to understand; trying to make sense out of the disruption and confusion in their world. Younger children will not understand that death is permanent, so their repeated inquiries are because they expect everything to return to normal.

*If the child feels guilty, ask him or her to explain what happened. Listen carefully to whether he or she attaches a sense of responsibility to some part of the description. Explain the facts of the situation and emphasize that no one, least of all the child, could have prevented it.

*Let the school help. The child’s teacher can be sensitive to changes in the child’s behavior and will be able to respond in a helpful way.

*Even if you feel the world is an unsafe place, you can reassure your child by saying, “The event is over. Now we’ll do everything possible to stay safe, and together we can help get things back to normal.”

*Notice when children have questions and want to talk.

*Be especially loving and supportive; children need you at this time.

Today is a tragic day. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the students, staff and families at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


José Banda Superintendent

More odd goings on in the neighborhood

The rogue doorbell ringer is back, this time on West Jameson Street and Williams Ave. MV just got this email from a reader
I immediately thought of (this) article… when I received an email from my neighbor today telling me that a man draped in a plaid blanket with his face barely showing rang her doorbell at 7:00 am this morning asking if Luke Skywalker was home. He then proceeded to wander aimlessly around the neighborhood. The police were called.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this?