It’s a rainy Solstice day. It’s been a day for making applesauce, chicken soup, and zucchini cake from the huge zucchini some anonymous person left on the porch. You’ll find the recipe at the end of this newsletter. It’s this recipe that brought me back in touch with my old friend Elizabeth. I called her up, since my recipe card was no longer readable. We gathered for tea and sharing the cake….a sweet re-connection. And that is how our history, as women, is recorded: We share recipes and stories. We do crafts together, create photo albums, write letters and hold close our diaries. And we sing together.
I think it’s why I have such a passion for sharing women’s stories. And now I’m back on the road with my multi-media production, Here’s to the Women!. I use images, readings, and original songs to highlight the silencing and the raising up of women’s stories. In early October we’ll be in Portland and the Sacramento area for three performances. Scott and I just completed a tour of five libraries in North Central Washington, and plan to do lots more.
In the summer I shared this program at the State Convention of the League of Women Voters and the Business and Professional Women. On May 30th, 2020 I will travel to New York to give the program at Seneca Falls Women’s History Park, where the battle for Suffrage began in 1848.
Please visit my Suffrage Page for more information, with deepest gratitude to my beloved webmaster and spouse, Scott Slaba. You’ll not only find a description of the program and music samples from the CD, “Here’s to the Women!”, but also a growing list of resources: organizations, books, movies, other presenters, and so much more. Recently we also added the music for a project I did with daughter Kristin Allen-Zito called Failure is Impossible. This collection includes eight traditional Suffrage songs originally used in a documentary, Courage in Corsets: Winning the Vote in Washington State. You can listen to that fun collection for free by clicking right here .
I invite you share this page with your friends, as we celebrate the anniversary of this momentous civil rights struggle. And please get in touch if you’d like me to bring Here’s to the Women! to your town.
When you visit my Upcoming Events page, you’ll see that on October 24th, I’ll be sharing a concert in Bellingham with Kristin Allen-Zito. I am really excited to be sharing the stage with such a brilliant and charismatic songwriter and performer (who of course also happens to be my daughter!) In case you haven’s seen it before, there is a Jen and Kristin page on my web site where you can get more information about these amazing musician daughters of mine as we continue to update it.
I’ve recently made a new friend with the writer and media personality Dorothy Wilhelm, and we’re developing a presentation together which will include her wonderful stories woven with my songs. I’ve just read her book, True Tales of Puget Sound, which I highly recommend! Please stay tuned for more on this front!
A couple of other things you may not have noticed since my last newsletter: I’m happy to say that our web site keeps growing! Check out the Back Pages for the Grange radio program, “By the Light of the Moon: Grange Hall Dances in Washington State”. It’s a 30 minute radio program I was given a grant to do the 90s. The whole thing has been remastered, and sounds great if I do say so.
I also invite you to visit the Golden Bibee collection of over 600 lyrics he collected from the pages of the Spokane Chronicle in the thirties and forties. It’s all free, with thanks to Scott who keeps adding these resources as I find them stuffed in boxes in the storage shed.
There is so much more to add, as I consider the impact of the Global March for Environmental Justice led, so brilliantly, by the young. I can only say that I feel more deeply hopeful than I have felt in some time about the state of our planet. Additional inspiration came from the amazing documentary, “Racing Extinction”, which is exquisite, sad, challenging, transformational, and ultimately hopeful.
And now for the recipe. I published a version of this once before, but now it is gluten-free and dairy–free. Otherwise, I make no promises about any health benefits.
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
From Marie to Elizabeth Harris to me, with some changes along the way.
Shred or grate 2 cups of unpeeled pureed zucchini (3 or 4 medium). The zucchini can be raw or cooked, Set aside to weep. Be sure to squeeze out the water before you add to the cake.
2 - ½ c. flour (Linda uses GF flour – preferably Namaste) 1 t. baking powder 1 t. baking soda 1 t. cinnamon ½ t. nutmeg ½ t. salt 4 T dark cocoa powder
2 eggs 1 ¾ c. sugar and then slowly beat in ½ c. oil and ½ c Earth Balance butter substitute
Add alternatively to the egg mixture:
The flour mixture from above ¾ c. buttermilk or yogurt (Linda uses milk substitute, i.e. coconut, soy, almod, milk etc.) 2 to 3 c. shredded or pureed zucchini
Blend lightly, but thoroughly (do not over beat). Then stir in:
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans 1 ½ t. vanilla 1 t. grated orange peel (optional) 3/4 c chocolate chips. (not optional for Linda!)
Turn into a 13 x 9” greased pan. Bake at 350° fir 40-45 minutes. Frost when cool.
16 oz. powdered sugar ½ c Earth Balance (butter substitute or your favorite equivalent) 1 t. almond flavoring 1/2 c. dark cocoa powder Milk substitute as you deem appropriate, for spreading consistency)
Mix together. Spread on cake and top with chopped nuts if desired.
When you’re done and this is all baked, cooled, and ready to eat, take one big slice of this cake with a glass of very cold milk or other beverage of your choice. Sit down. Get very comfortable, and thank the goddess for chocolate zucchinis!
May this time of beginnings, of new visions and inspirations, carry us all!
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