Courtesy of Pottery Avenue where we believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and your table serves more than food.  To purchase pieces seen here, visit www.PotteryAvenue.com or call 360-627-7489 for assistance. One of our helpful stylists will take the time to help you find and select your next dish.

Hot summer nights growing up in Bellevue Washington were just about as good as it could be for a girl of the ’70s.  Dinner was gulped down quickly, so you could run back outside for the evening.  We would play soccer or hockey, kick the can, and a ghost after it got dark.  Boundaries were set from Carter's house to the Burtons, for epic hide and seek games.  Our neighborhood was safe and everyone’s parents had eyes on you.  Life seemed so simple then.  Everyone just playing and laughing in the warm summer night air.  

On the occasion when my parents would go out, we would have a babysitter.  My favorite was my next-door neighbor, Jan Driver.  She knew how to make Dutch babies, they were her specialty.  All puffed up and sprinkled with tons of powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon!  Sometimes Jan’s little sister Jennifer would sit for us.  Jennifer was like a beauty queen Barbie to me, with long blond hair, all curly and shiny!  She would just talk to a boy on the phone most of the time.  He even came over a time or two.  They would just talk in the front doorway, him sitting on our dairy gold milk box on the porch.  I’m not sure now if anyone knew that but us kids.  Our third sitter was Carrie Best.  She lived behind us and always liked to do crafts with me.  You know those cool 70’s Popsicle stick art things, where you would wind different colored yarn around them to make a pattern.  We would paint rocks and she knew how to macro-may too!  I loved it when mom and dad went out, so I could “play” with the grown-up girls.  

I can remember, vaguely, one evening when none of the girls came to sit for us.  My folks had stupid Brent Hunsted come to watch us instead.  He lived across the street from us and was a big freckled face boy, who’s head reminded me of pumpkin.  He didn’t want to play anything well, he just sat and watched tv.  I wanted Jan, Jennifer, or Carrie, not this big boring boy.  So after a while, we had gone outside to play and I decided I was done with him being there.  I went back into the house and locked him out!  He yelled and said all sorts of things, but I was not letting him back in.  Serves my parents right not getting one of the girls to come and sit for us!  I’m going, to be honest, I don’t remember how this all ended, I’m pretty sure I probably saw Dad's belt, but I’ve blocked that part from memory.  I do know he never sat for us again!  Sorry mom, you know I’ve always been strong-willed!  I do know that when none of the girls were available, my dad drove over to Seattle to get cousin Sally to sit for us.  Sally makes great hot dogs, but that’s a whole other story! 

As summer moves into August now, with its super hot days, and warm long evenings, it reminds me of those childhood days.  I wonder where those three wonderful babysitters are now.  I wonder if the kids I babysat for have the same good memories of me.  I hope so!  

Today’s recipe is for one of my favorite summer salads!  We all have them tucked into our memory banks!  Our go-to, no recipe needed, whip it up in no time salad side.  It’s one of the best parts of summer!  

It is being served in the workhorse of bowls in my kitchen, a 13 inch handled bowl in Blue Citrine!  You just can’t have summer without this bowl.  It comes in all sorts of patterns, like the one in the picture of Blue Lagoon.  Both of these bowls are regularly $156.99 and are on sale this week for 20% off for $124.99.  If you visit the website at www.potteryavenue.com you can type in the shape number 1347 and it will bring up all of your choices in this bowl.  Prices vary from standard patterns like Celebrate at $97.99 up to EX patterns like Bellisima at $203.99.  Can’t find what you are looking for? Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you.  Use discount code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount.

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Macaroni Salad

1 box small seashell pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled

1/2 sweet Walla Walla onion chopped fine

5 stalks celery chopped fine

1 pound fresh small salad shrimp 

6 hard-boiled eggs chopped

Zest of 1/2 lemon or more to taste

1 tablespoon Fresh Dill chopped

30 green olives chopped

Salt and pepper to taste 

Mayonnaise 

Cook, drain, and cool pasta

Chop all your vegetables, zest lemon, and add to a large bowl.  Mix with a generous amount of mayonnaise.  The pasta will absorb some as it sits.  Add shrimp, and mix gently so as not to break up too much.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for several hours.  Add a little more mayonnaise if it’s become too dry.  I love this salad, it goes perfectly with just about anything!