Monday, July 28, 2008

New discovery in Fair Food!

I'm not sure how this picture was missed in the initial post, but here was the best food find of the fair.

Matt loves mangos. It is hard to get across in print how much Matt loves mangos. I've seen him so excited to eat a mango that he has consumed not only the flesh, but also the skin. He just bites right in. Me? I'll eat mangos when they are served to me--and they are peeled--but can do without them.

So Matt managed to find the perfect fair food for him. I was impressed with the presentation. Introducing: Mango on a Stick.
"Do they deep fry it?" was my first question. My attempts at humor notwithstanding, they do not. A mango is peeled, shoved on a stick and then sliced to make a flower shape. Matt enjoyed it very much. If all fair food was this healthy, the United States would be a different country.

Posts you may have missed....

...because they are published long, long after their date and out of order.

04/19/08 One less blind.
04/19/08 Jocelyn and Marla's wedding.
05/03/08 It's easy to get rid of ants.
05/10/08 Garden update--a cold May.
05/15/08. First Harvest.
05/25/08 Atlas. A very large dog.
06/07/08 More graduation things.
06/08/08 Even more lettuce!
06/14/08 Bat box ascendant.
06/14/08 Electrical Box Begone!
06/15/08 The clothesline is up! The clothesline is up!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What we've been loving.

The Office, Season II. Cracking us up.

But really, I'm writing to tell you about Pandora Radio. Our friend Amanda told Matt about it and really, if you like music--any kind of music--you must check it out.

First, create a user name and sign in. Then, start by entering the name of an artist or song that you like. I started with Bruce Springsteen. Pandora will create a radio station that plays songs by Bruce Springsteen and songs that are like Bruce Springsteen's songs. You can create many, many separate stations.

As you listen to the stations you can say if you like or don't like each song. You can also click on "Guide Us" and say that you really love songs, or really hate songs. You can bookmark songs or artists that you like and you can find out why they are playing the song they are playing.

But the QuickMix is the genius part of Pandora. You can set your QuickMix to play all, or some combination, of your stations. When you do this, the QuickMix rotates through your stations, playing a little something inspired by Bruce Springsteen, then a little something inspired by Ella Fitzgerald, then a little something inspired by Cake. It pretty much rocks.

I'm a big supporter of local radio. If you have a good local station, by all means, keep listening to it. But for times that station isn't playing anything good, or you wouldn't have been listening anyway? Pandora is the coolest thing I've seen this year.

Laundry on the Line

It occurred to me that I never took a picture of my laundry successfully hanging on the clothesline. Here, our pillowcases blow in the wind. Line dried bedding is one of the best smells in the world. I also love that I can wash an entire week of laundry on Sunday morning, put it all on the clothes line (our clothesline holds tons) and by Sunday afternoon it is dry. This will all change in the fall when, 1) church activities retake my Sundays and 2) It starts to rain. But don't worry, I have a plan.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Washington County Fair

Matt and I attended the Washington County Fair for a fun, car-free date. That's right. You can take public transportation to the Fair. We started on the Yellow Line, switched to the Blue line and got off at the Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport stop. Sadly, it was one of those missed connection days and it took us nearly two hours to get there. Still, we could take public transportation to county fair. That's pretty cool.
After riding on the train, we got on the shuttle to the fair. It turned out to not be very far and we totally could have walked, but we got to ride on a school bus. The aisles seem narrower at age 33 then they did at age 14. I wonder why that is?
We first looks at the exhibitions. There were many lovely handmade goods. Matt poses next to a Hogwarts art tote and a very large cross stitch portrait.
All sorts of vegetables. I liked the display at this fair. They were set out in those great dirt boxes which could be wet down, so the vegetables weren't all shriveled like they usually are.
The livestock auction was going on. I am familiar with this from working at the Washington County Extension Office, but I had never seen it before. Youth raise various kinds of animals and they are auctioned off at the fair. The goal is to make a profit, but also so the youth can learn about raising livestock. These cows are waiting to be auctioned off. In the background you can see the crowd around the actual auction. There wasn't a seat to be had. We stood at the edge of the crowd and watched the action for a bit. It was pretty exciting with the fast-talking auctioneer and the spotters and the animals and their young handlers.
Then we took a gander at the animals. Here's a fluffy chicken.
This sheep had an interesting horn. It was a double horn, with one sticking straight back and one curling forward like normal.
Fair food! I had to stand in line to get my chocolate shake from the Dairy Women, but it was worth it.
We watched a family magic show for awhile. The dad came out first, and then brought out his son. I'm not sure how old he was, but he may have still been in braces. His sister came out too, and they did a clever 3-card Monte trick.
More fair food. While waiting for our curly fries I became entranced watching this woman make corn dogs. Two observations: Corn dog hot dogs straight out of the box do not look very appetizing, and they fry for much, much longer than I would have thought.
Our curly fries. There were a lot of different curly fries to choose from. I'm glad we got this kind as they were not very mushy, which I find to be a drawback in a curly fry. Or any fry, for that matter.
There was free miniature golf! While we were waiting to begin, I chatted with the attendant and found out that the course was built by our friends at Glowing Greens, who we visited last July. Here, Matt prepares his first shot.
I prepare to give Matt a run for his money. I had a few good holes where I only needed 2 shots. As usual, consistency was a problem and there were also a few bad holes where I was more than 3 over par. Matt wins again.
What would the fair be if it didn't have the fast-talking salesmen ready to sell you something to make your life a bit better. Usually, the salesmen are middle-aged or older, but this man was quite young. He may have been wearing braces. Or I may be making that up. We could have bought for only $20.00 four super shammies (made in Germany) and gotten four more smaller super shammies. We did not buy, but I got a wink from the salesman.
We looked over the rides and decided to over look them, so we headed back to the Max and back to our home. Thankfully the public transportation gods were with us on the way back and it didn't take us as long as it did to get there. A good time was had by us.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Celebration part II

The funniest thing about Matt's celebration was the couple sitting next to us. They were mid-forties, looked pretty upper middle class and they were sitting at their table each reading their own book. They read until their food came, put down their books, ate--though didn't really talk--then picked the books back up when they were waiting for their check. I really wanted to sneak a picture of them, but couldn't figure out a way to do so. We were sitting very close to them.

I finally got a look at what they were reading. She: The Coming Economic Collapse. He: A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson's hilarious trek on the Appalachian trail.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Hey, I got a job! (The schedule's a little weird, but it's cool). So, we went out to celebrate.
Mm-mm. Patricia's food looks good.
Mm-mm! So does mine!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Local Dinner

Sara and Shawn, over at Pike Schemes, have been cooking a local meal once per week. Their weekly reports have inspired me to stop at the farmer's market on the way home from work. Today, I was able to make a meal from ingredients I bought there. Granted, it is missing a bread serving and something from the dairy group, but it was tasty nonetheless. I do love greens and fresh salmon "caught yesterday" almost makes up for not having tomatoes ripen until mid-September.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pea Pie

I returned from my trip to an abundance of peas. I love peas, especially eaten right out of the shell. But I also love pea pie, a recipe I came across in the Oregonian in 2003. Doesn't it look delicious?
An upper view of my fancy crust. Though it looks pretty, I used a recipe that causes the pie crust to collapse if you think about brushing against it. It didn't stay like this for long.
Intrigued? Want to make pea pie yourself? Now you can!

From The Oregonian Foodday section, 22 April 2003.

Pea Pie.
Makes 6 servings.

3 cups freshly shelled green peas (3 lbs in the pod)
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
3 tablespoons grated yellow onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
1/4 c. grade Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blanch the peas in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well and place in the pie shell. Add the onion, mint and cheese. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and cream together, and pour over the vegetables. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

My notes:
  • Assuming you don't mind making a pie shell, this is a very easy recipe. While your water is heating up to blanch the peas, you can be cutting the fat and the flour together.
  • I think that I have not had success "grating" the onion and have resorted to finely chopping.
  • Be sure and use cream, and not some other, lesser version of milk product.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Last post for Matt's party

Hey this is the final post for Matt's party.
I didn't ask for any presents, so Burt and Laurie got me Zombie Fluxx on extended loan. They're awesome!
Here's Ramon, Nicole, and I playing Zombie Fluxx.
Hippies are the best defense against Zombies. Seriously.
Notice the nametag.
OK, so, this picture looks weird because it's up against a stained window. But this is me with Mel and Greg's kid. I wanted to name him Peter Parker, but that idea got nixed. And here's Patricia cleaning up.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mark & Amanda's Wedding.

We were lucky enough to attend Mark and Amanda's Wedding. It was on a warm day in lovely Mt. Tabor Park. It was a magical wedding which we both enjoyed a lot.

The Groom enters with his parents. The bride enters with hers.
The "minister" who was not really a minister, but a long time friend of Amanda. The ceremony really reflected Mark and Amanda's values. Example: they promised to live sustainably and their rings were made by a local artisan and brought by the ring bearer in a bowl holding dirt from their backyard.
They were married in the caldera of Mt. Tabor. You wouldn't think that an extinct volcano would make a nice place to get married, but it was a beautiful setting. After we pronounced them married (that was fun) they exited to one of their friends playing "Just Like Heaven" by the Cure. It was a great exit song and will forever be associated in my mind with this wedding.

First walk as a married couple. Not really, they got legally married a few weeks before and I'm sure they have walked since then, but they considered this their real ceremony.
The reception was held just on the other side of the caldera. It was a vegetarian potluck, which I was nervous about, but everyone brought their "A" game and the food was delicious.
Joel poses.
Joel and Amanda look stunning.
Michael and Hafidha. (Hafidha is using the wheelchair during her pregnancy).
One of the really fun things at the wedding was that people could use one of three typewriters to write a message to the couple. Many people had great fun clacking away.
A closer look at Amanda's dress.
And Mark's tux.
The cake.
Matt poses.
Getting ready to cut the cake.
And cutting.
There were sparklers.
Mark and Amanda live near Mt. Tabor Park and walked home after the ceremony. They attached their "just married" signs to their backs and pulled along the tin cans behind them.
A very super fun thing at the wedding was the photo booth.
It was so fun we used it twice.
It was truly a magical wedding and we wish Mark and Amanda the best.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Matt's Party - the Awards Ceremony

Guess what else I found at SCRAP? Trophies! Medals! ... that had already had the names of other people inscribed on them...
Aren't they cute?
OK, one of the trophies wasn't exactly attached to the base and it needed a nut to keep it together. Furthermore, it was a baseball trophy with a bat missing. So, I told Ramon it was a Jedi trophy with the lightsaber not yet activated. (Ramon and I like Star Wars.)
As I went around, I made up superlatives, and I forgot them. This is CJ.
Jan. Someone had kept the figure part of the trophy and put it on a spool of thread and written "Who Who Who". It must have been an inside joke.
Here I ran out of trophies and started handing out medals. Some were from Hood to Coast. I bought them for a dime each. Julia and Elizabeth.
Bahar. If you look closely, you can see Burt scowling as he realizes that the contest for Best Knitting was rigged.
Sabrina. Some of the medals say 5th place and some say 1st. Patricia said she'd be mad if she did Hood to Coast and just got a stinking medal.

Patricia got the award for Most Focus on the Other Person in a photo of herself.
I gave myself the award for Most Genres and Most Work of Other People Utilized.