Washington State Magazine

Spring 2009

Spring 2009


In This Issue...


What Is Art For? :: Art, says independent scholar Ellen Dissanayake '57, is "making special." It is an act that gives us a sense of belonging and meaning. It is passed from mother to child. Its origins lie deep in our evolutionary past. It makes us human. by Tim Steury

The Love Letters :: In 1907, Othello had no high school, so Xerpha Mae McCulloch '30 traveled 50 miles to Ritzville to finish school. There she met, and fell in love with, Edward Gaines, a few years her senior. The recent gift to Washington State University of her steamer trunk reveals the life of a woman whose story is not only threaded through the University's, but also through the story of agriculture in Washington State. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEGallery: Photos and letters from Xerpha's trunk }

You Must Remember This :: Having reached a certain age, our correspondent sets out to learn the latest from Washington State University researchers about memory. She learns that memory comes in different forms, that the human brain is made for problem-solving, and that the key to much of brain health is the "dendritic arbor." And then she sets out to create an action plan. by Cherie Winner

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEStory: Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe's work to help people with memory loss }


Privacy and the Words of the Dead :: Do we violate the privacy of the dead when we read what they wrote for themselves? Maybe it depends on our purposes. by Will Hamlin

{ WEB EXCLUSIVEGallery: Annotated pages from early English editions of Montaigne's Essays. }




:: SPORTS: Coaching with heart

:: GREEN PAGES: Building green

:: A gift toward fuel research

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Yucatecan lentil soup recipe }


Cover photo: Bryan Hall clock tower reflected in the Abelson-Heald skybridge windows on the Pullman campus. By Zach Mazur.

Spring 2009
Web Exclusives

Yucatecan lentil soup recipe (Tim’s interpretation)

by Tim Steury | © Washington State University


medium yellow onion, chopped fine

large clove garlic, minced
(I actually use much more than this, but don’t want to scare people off)

2-3 slices of good thick bacon, chopped

a little Mexican oregano

1 chipotle pepper (canned in adobo sauce)

1 cup pardina lentils

large tomato, chopped, or 8 oz. canned chopped tomato

6 cups water


hardboiled egg

Melt a couple of tablespoons lard over medium heat in medium dutch oven. Cook onions and garlic until translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Add tsp. or so of Mexican oregano and stir. Add mashed up pepper and cook for a minute or so. Stir in lentils and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Turn to a steady simmer, and cook until tender, 30-40 minutes. Taste and season. Slice plantain lengthwise and fry in lard or oil. Add a couple of slices to each bowl as garnish. Also, add a few slices of hardboiled egg as garnish.

Eat by the seaside if possible.

Even though lard is the best tasting fat for this dish, some of you will probably shy away. Olive oil is fine. Make sure the lard you get is relatively fresh. The stuff you can get in grocery freezer section is probably rancid. The best thing is to buy some pork fat from your butcher and render some yourself.

Mexican oregano is more flavorful than regular oregano and worth looking for.

Careful with the chipotle peppers. The point here is not to sear anyone’s taste buds, but add just enough heat to draw out the flavor of the lentils.

Categories: Food | Tags: Lentils