April 21st, 2012


2012 Democratic precinct caucuses

Washington Democrats logo

Last Sunday I participated in the Democratic caucuses. I also participated in 2008, but that was a very different experience. In 2008, I lived in Ferndale for 5 days of the week, and was here on weekends. It was in the midst of the primary between Obama and Clinton, so TOPPS school was packed to overflowing with people there to participate. I had to be back in Whatcom county the day of the caucus, so I couldn’t stay for the whole thing. I stayed long enough to register my preference for Clinton, but couldn’t stay longer.

This year, with only Obama on the ballot, participating was quite a bit lower. My precinct caucus was in the Montlake Community Center. Precinct 43-2001 had only three participants. Me and two women who had never participated in a caucus before. One had been working in France for a decade and had to vote absentee. The other was an Obama campaign volunteer whose parents were American and German, and she’d been living in Germany as a young girl during World War II.

They asked me to be precinct caucus chair, since this is my third caucus. So we all voted for Obama, and then had to select delegates to the county convention and the District 43 caucus. Due to votes in previous elections, 43-2001 had 7 delegates allocated to it. The other two participants could only attend the District 43 caucus. nevertheless, we voted all three of us as delegates.

We also got to propose resolutions that eventually could be made part of the Democratic platform. Those are not debated or voted on at the precinct caucus level. Every resolution proposed is forwarded to the county convention. I assume the organizers combine similar resolutions to avoid duplication at that level. The older woman had seen a resolution on auditing the Department of Defense, but had forgotten to bring it and couldn’t remember the lengthy wording (or any detail at all). So I proposed a short broadly worded resolution for her in the hopes that someone in another caucus was proposing the resolution the woman wanted, and the organizers would combine them. There was a global warming resolution being passed around, and we put it on our list too. I added a resolution that the Democratic party support marriage equality and the referendum on marriage equality that will likely be on the ballot this November.

The district caucuses and the King County Convention are next weekend at 10 a.m. (one event each day). At the point, I’m planning on attending both, if I can find out where they are. The locations were undetermined as of the caucuses last weekend.

crossposted from King Rat.


Shepherd’s Pie

This is the recipe for the Shepherd’s Pie I made for Pie Night. I love me a good shepherd’s pie, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever made it before. I liked this so much I made it again today. It is from Rachel Ray.


  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1½ lbs. ground lamb
  • Allspice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 onion
  • all purpose flour
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup dark beer
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cream
  • paprika


  1. Peel and cube potatoes
  2. Peel and chop onion
  3. Peel and chop parsnip
  4. Separate yolk from egg white (discard egg white)


  1. Add potatoes to a large pot, cover with water
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat
  3. Cook until tender
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Brown ground lamb
  6. Season with salt, pepper and allspice
  7. Add carrot, parsnip and onion
  8. Cook about 5 minutes
  9. Dust with flour
  10. Cook about a minute
  11. Add broth, beer, and Worcestershire sauce
  12. Cook until thickened
  13. Transfer to casserole dish
  14. Remove potatoes from heat and drain
  15. Return them to the pan and allow to cool bit
  16. Add a few dollops of sour cream, egg yolk, and cream
  17. Mash until smooth
  18. Spoon over meat
  19. Season with paprika
  20. Broil until the potatoes are evenly browned
Shepherds Pie

crossposted from King Rat.