Saturday, February 24, 2007

Information From The Front: State Legislators Visit North Idaho

I attended Sandpoint's "Pizza and Politics" last night. It was an interesting meeting with good questions, great input from Marie Scott, the Bonner County Clerk, and wonderful guests from around the state. Unfortunately pizza did not make an appearance, and the deep fried mozzarella sticks didn't come close.... Bonner Democrats, what were you thinking?

Our visiting state legislators included Wendy Jaquet (Rep. LD 25 AND House Minority Leader, George Saylor (Rep. LD 4 AND Assist. House Minority Leader), John Rusche (Rep. LD 7 AND House Minority Caucus Chair), Les Bock (Rep. LD 16), and Nicole LeFavour (Rep. LD 19). Speaking on various issues including transportation, mail-in voting, the grocery tax (wait until tonight for my husband's blog on this one....), property taxes, local politics, possible candidates for the 2008 election, and other issues as well, we about covered everyone's questions and concerns, and hopefully some of us walked away with empathy for a minority party in a red state with a bright red legislature. THIS HAS GOT TO CHANGE!

On that note, we also appreciated the presence and time of the IDP Chair, Richard Stallings, and his lovely wife, Renae. Richard addressed various issues, including possible candidates for various potential openings in 2008, positions that Democrats might be able to take from the Republicans, and national politics in terms of its relation to Idaho. He voiced great appreciation for Howard Dean and his 50-state strategy for which I'm grateful. I believe this strategy pushed us toward a beautiful shade of purple, and I'm still holding out for BLUE!

If the northern Idaho counties were blue, this would truly be a paradise. Locally, the Boundary County Dems are busy at work with our contribution basket for the Frank Church Banquet auction. Our basket represents some of the greatest aspects of our little neck of the woods. Several local artists contributed handmade cards, framed photos of the area, homemade jams, jellies, salsas, chutneys, cookies, all from locally grown or handpicked foods, a hand made picture frame, decorative moose, signed books about this area of Idaho, and the basket by renowned basket weaver, Diana Tombleson. All of these items depict part of the bounty of north Idaho: our huckleberries and other wild foods, locally farmed food, a variety of artists and photographers, local wildlife, history and more. Like I said, if we were BLUE we would be in paradise....

Okay, I've gone on long enough, but I have to relate how I made up for the lack of pizza, or any other delicious food, from last night. Today for dinner (1pm!) I made venison steaks, rubbed with thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, annointed with olive oil, and then set in the refrigerator for the morning. Later, I cooked up a wild rice/brown rice mix with dried chestnuts, cooked in homemade chicken broth. I threw together a salad of baby greens, Maytag blue cheese, and sliced blood oranges, then tossed it with locally made chive vinegar, olive oil and herbs. Finally, when everything else was ready, I sauteed the steaks in one of my trusty old cast-iron pans, three minutes per side for a nice pinky-red inside, then deglazed the pan with the delicious cabernet that accompanied the meal.

I tell ya, I'm talking a little bit of paradise in north Idaho!

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