Darrington Library Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Washington State News Flash

A fire raced through Aberdeen burning over 200 acres and leveling 140 buildings. Fire also destroyed the last electric trolley as it was set afire during a parade in Spokane. In other news, the City of Snohomish lost the Poier Motors Building as it collapsed and fell into the river. Factories closed, banks failed and wages dropped 60% in Everett. To top things off, egg prices fell from $1.00 to 10 cents leaving the future of Lynwood hens uncertain.

Read about these and other Washington State events under the cities and towns link in Historylink: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Access this and other Sno-Isle databases through Sno-Isle’s homepage. Historylink contains much, much more than the bad news noted above. This database is filled with a wealth of information on Washington State you never knew. Families can thoroughly enjoy Washington state information in Historylink by finding trivia questions or making games such as scavenger hunts that incorporate the information from this database into a game. Are you planning a trip through Arlington, Marysville Mukilteo, Lynnwood or any other town in Washington State? Look up the cities on your route before you go. What happened there in the past 100 years? Select a place to visit in the city of interest. Travel, enjoy, learn, and share your knowlege. Teachers and students should find this database priceless in teaching and studying Washington State in the classroom.

My trivia question for you: Everett is the third county seat for Snohomish County. Which city was the first county seat, and which was the second? Find the answer in our History Link: The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History database.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beat the Winter Blues

Summer is the time for gardening, family reunions, connecting with old friends, vacations and traveling to new places. Winter is rapidly approaching bringing shorter periods of daylight, more rain and the inclination to stay near the heater. A great way to welcome the dark evenings, ignore the rain, and pass the time inside is to check out the Sno-Isle genealogy databases.

Ancestry Library Edition can be accessed from the Sno-Isle webpage at any of our library branches. Heritage Quest can be accessed through our home page from your home computer. Take a look at Heritage Quest at home or book one of our 2 hour computers to peruse Ancestry Library Edition’s wealth of information. Among the information to be accessed through these databases is census information, immigration and travel records , birth, marriage and death records, and other information related to the history of your ancestors. Find where your ancestors lived, the names of their children, neighbors and friends, occupations, and other bits of information related to the lives of your family member. You might think of it as traveling to the past, connecting with family of long ago, and traveling to the areas where your ancestor lived via computer. You can research the history of the area where your ancestors lived, discovering the influences that help shape their lives.

Organizing your ancestors into groups can be daunting without some basic tools. Click the Charts and Forms link on Ancestry Library Edition. Print and fill in in forms that will keep the family groups organized. Clip or staple the information together and you have an instant family reunion on paper! Add a few local history and geographic information clippings from the area to bring the surroundings to life.

Several websites to be sure not to miss are www.rootsweb.ancestry.com, www.familysearch.org, and worldconnect at wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Check out the digital history sites at universities. Read and post queries at many of the online forums such as www.genforum.com.

As you immerse yourself in the task of finding information on your family from the past, time may pass very rapidly. You may wish winter with its short periods of daylight extended a little longer so the activities of next year’s spring and summer wouldn’t distract you from your search and demand your attention so soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How to make your Mom yell

Do you remember running through the kitchen with all your friends on a warm summer day and hearing your mom yell, “Don’t run in the house, my cake will fall! You kids go outside and play!” You don’t? Then you are just too young. Have a chat with your Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa and see if they remember. It was a common phrase way back in the day until Betty Crocker came along and made cake mixes that came in a box. Soon we no longer heard about falling cakes.

It makes me wonder, though. Do the Moms who bake cakes from scratch in modern times yell “Don’t run in the house, my cake will fall! You kids go outside and play!” like they did in the olden days? Or did Moms just become sweeter at one point in time, gently distracting their kids with quiet activities during cake baking sessions? If this question burns heavily on your mind and you must find the answer, here is a recipe from the Taste of Home Baking Book, ©2007 by Reiman Media Group, Inc. You can find this and other wonderful cookbooks in Sno-Isle's collection. The recipe contributed by Norma Van Devander, can be found on page 121 and is called Heavenly White Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients: 1 C butter, softened; 2 cups sugar; 4 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate, melted and cooled; 4 eggs; 1-1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract; 3cups all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1 cup buttermilk; ½ cup water; ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted.

Line three greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and water, beating well after each addition. Fold in pecans. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; discard waxed paper.

Try this recipe and see what happens. Does it make you want to shout at the kids or not? Regardless of the results, try the cake to determine if white chocolate cakes are as tasty as dark chocolate cakes, milk chocolate cakes, german chocolate cakes. Anything with chocolate is usually good. You can also find a frosting recipe on page 121.