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April, 2006 | Scuff Productions

Adobe Corn Chowder

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Friday April 28, 2006

Interesting origin of this recipe. Cousin Warden introduced me to the California Pizza Kitchen in Lake Oswego’s Bridgeport Square. This was on their menu. Of course I couldn’t get the recipe from them, but the kind waitress wrote down all of the ingredients and gave the list to me. With just a little work at home, I found the exact recipe originated from Dean Fearing, cookbook auther, and grand chef at the Turtle Creek Resort in Texas. Fearing’s recipe did NOT include rice or chicken so that’s how C. P. Kitchen could do this and call it their own. It IS delicious.


Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
6 lg Ears sweet corn
1 t Corn oil
3 Tblsp Butter
2 Onions — cut in medium Dice
2 Cloves garlic — chopped
1 1/2 Poblano peppers – seeded and diced
2 Serrano peppers – seeded and chopped
(OVEN ROAST THE PEPPERS……a bit with the Garlic)
2 Large pcs Boneless Chicken Breasts – cooked & diced ***
3 c Chicken stock
2 c Heavy cream
2 Tblsp Cornstarch dissolved in cool water
Salt — to taste
2 tb Lime juice — approximately
1/4 Red bell pepper – seeded and diced
1/4 Yellow bell pepper – seeded and diced
1 bnch sliced green onion
1 tb Fresh cilantro – finely chopped
** OTHER SPICES ……..up to you.
***Chicken: You could of course use any cooked chicken meat….the preferred method is to used a Roasted Chicken…more succulent. NOTE: MARK reports that if you’re not inclined to roast it yourself, one of those BIG Costco Rotisserie chickens produces GREAT results.

Shuck corn, remove silk, and cut kernels from cob. Set aside 3/4 cup. Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in reamining corn kernels and onions. Saute for about 10 minutes or until onions are soft and juices have cooked down. *Do not brown.*

Add garlic, 1 chopped poblano, 1 chopped Serrano chili, and chicken stock. Stir in the Cornstarch. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to barley a simmer for 20 minutes, making sure it doesn’t get too thick . . . . .

Stir in cream. Return soup to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes for intil slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Pour soup into a blender and blend until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and lime juice. Lightly toss and stir in the pieces of cooked chicken meat. Set aside and keep warm.

Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water. Bring to a boil. Season lightly with salt. Cook for 2 minutes. Add reserved 3/4 cup corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers, and remaining diced poblano and serrano chilies; cook for 2 minutes. Drain vegetables and immediately fold into warm soup.

Pour equal portions into six warm soup bowls. Sprinkle an equal amount of chopped cilantro on each and serve immediately. The entire soup may be made up to one day in advance. Reheat, but *do not cook,* just before serving.

Global Warming, er, uh, Portland Warming

Bloged in birding,General Home Life,Nature by mark Friday April 28, 2006

For this April, somethings extraordinary in Portland, Is it global warming? Our current bright blue skys, the temperatures, the drying soil, are ALL unexpected and not normal, but WHO’s complaining! We are boldly working as if it IS normal, and beginning to clear out the old flower garden by moving things out so we can rototill, re-mulch, re-plant, and really enjoy it this year. Mark’s got a little corner of the garden up with lettuce, spinach, cilantro, parsley:

The always welcome fingerling potatoes are back again in another corner, we’ll be picking first-cutting rhubarb this week, we split Rosemary into two plants and gave another away, and started more seeds in the little cold frame:

The LAWN this time of year never looks better….it is at its peak and is requiring mowing every 6-7 days.

New birds are arriving and all feeders are now out getting used. The songbirds are now filling these bright sunny days almost all day long with territorial music, and it’s thrilling.

After good pruning in the winter, dormant spraying twice, and luck of good weather, our Apple trees are in truly full bloom, and hopefully we won’t get a big thunder or wind storm to blow ‘em down as things happened last year.

The orchard bees are at peak activity now and have one month left of their little short lives to finish pollinating our flowering trees, i.e., mainly the apples. Here are the blocks they are currently putting pollen, eggs, preparing for next spring’s new generation:

The huge Clark County (Vancouver, WA) plant sale is tomorrow and we’ll be there to meet with our trusty Millenium Farms wonderfarmer Michael Stucki about more produce starts (including tomatoes) and then scout around for BERM additions. Check our link to his website and you’ll see how fascinating, albeit, a hard working life, that organic sustainable gardening can be.

Mark’s been working at Dandelions for a week. We don’t want to put down herbicides now with the robins out there eating as if they had a nest somewhere close!

We saw three deer in the field next to us the other night………gorgeous, but unable to tell if one looked as if she’s about ready to give birth….that deer thing should be happening in May.

Geese by the hundreds are flying just over the house more and more often as the flocks are moving up into Canada for nesting.

Doglet Mac is getting more river runs for “fetch the duck, er, uh, stick”…………and is extremely happy.

The layered shades of green, famous in the northwest, are truly deepening every day as all the deciduous plants are now leafing and budding out. Yes, weeds are too, but who cares at the moment! The resurrection of life in the spring is one BIG thing to relish.

I can remember pruning the curly willows after the hard freeze brought down a few of those branches. I just laid them on the compost heap in January. In mid-February, I thought…, will any of those grow? I simply stuck a few in the ground. TWO have started to grow….they are SO easy. You can just spot the new leaves coming out of those branches in the picture forefront:

Hummingbirds are nesting, and we’re convinced we have fewer birds this year. We do not know if that’s because the meadow is now just a bare field so some moved elsewhere or… some didn’t make it through the dry year migration last year or what. This time last year, hummingbirds were drinking about 1.6 quarts of food daily. This week this year? They’re finally up fo .8 quarts, or about half what they were the last two years.

Cars look dirty. Hm………..time for the semi-annual Portland Car Wash?

Fabulous Karen Smith gave us a couple of rhododendrons when Mom passed away in 2000. We have been waiting six years….and……… they’re both blooming now:

So Texas and Oklahoma burn (Does it mean that God is angry at little George Bush by burning Bible Country?), tornadoes and floods are painfully hurting spots in the south and Midwest as well as Hawaii, and in Europe. But warming the Northwest by just a couple degrees gives us a paradise spring. Sorry about that.

What will be next post bring? Snow in May? Heat waves that will burn it all out? Don’t know, but in the meantime, we’re all whistling happy stuff.

Incidentally, Mark had an enjoyable time lunching with cousin Warden in Lake Oswego at the gourmet California chain, “California Pizza Kitchen” where we enjoyed a fabulous chowder: Adobe Corn Chowder. For some great reason, the outstanding waitress gave a list of the ingredients in that chowder and Mark found the source on the internet. It comes from Dean Fearing who has written books and apparantly makes this at the Turtle Creek Resort. I’ll try to post that recipe in our recipe section. Yummy.

Hope all your springs are fabulous this year! On to yard work…………………………..

a DRY day?

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday April 18, 2006

For the first time in weeks, the weather forecast calls for dry and mostly sunny days (after morning fog burnoff) through the week. I’ll quit therapy immediately. As if on cue, Purple and House Finches are here and as I walked to the mailbox, male finches were calling out territory, and those warbly, beautiful calls grabbed my attention. I immediately spotted two of them and heard two others further out.

One was immediately over our back yard feeder and one just over the mailbox. What a bird sound! And what a way to feel upbeat. It’s only 40 out there here at 10:00, so will wait an hour or so to get back out, but some yard work may BE in order.

TODAY marks two weeks of not smoking for Mark, and although still taking Wellbutrin, believes he is over the worst hump. Rodger feels the same way, but he’s on day 13. Hah!

On the diet side, we’re hovering in the 5 pound loss stage…. waiting to be on track. A fantastic Easter Brunch at Joy’s may have slowed us by a day. Thanks for the great meal, Joy! And then Monday night, Mark enjoyed a fantastic vegetarian meal prepared by Baird. Baird IS the creative engineer. He went to a restaurant, loved the dish he had and came home and created a very close variation of it using Tofu as a meat substitute, and even created the sauce from Lemon Juice, Honey, Broth, Ginger & Cornstarch. Yummy. But I DID gain a pound last night after that meal!

VERY VERY soon, real yard work will begin in earnest with digging, weeding, planting, tilling. MAYBE I can get a room painted in between all that, eh? I am SO SO very glad my winter doldrums are really over. I AM truly feeling healthier here two weeks after quitting the big “S”.

Dad’s Robe

Bloged in Family,General Home Life,Mormons,Vale, OR by mark Friday April 14, 2006

I sent this as an e-mail to my bro’s, a couple of cousins and a niece or two today:

Dear Strange Relatives & Others:

(down to and including nieces, cousins descended from that dear saint, “Nancy Ray”: Oh, um, yes, I might have accidentally sent this to a couple of friends also that I thought may appreciate the Mormon Temple Garment related humor:

OK. Enough time has passed I MUST clear out stuff in our house that has sat in the same space more than 3 years. Since I will never use this item, I am going to dispose of it. It’s creation, however, was something special. Because of that, I wanted to ask if anyone would like to have it as a memory more of Grandma Ray and Ardth Huffaker before I gave it away.

What is he talking about you say?

The picture below is not very good, but it’s of a SILK Robe Mother had made for Dad on some momentous birthday. I am CONVINCED that she had this “elegant” thing made hoping Dad would begin wearing it out of their bedroom at night to go to the bathroom rather than what he usually did (yes, while we just might be sitting out there watching permitted TV). Dad, I can still laugh at this memory, would come out of their bedroom in his Temple Garments holding one hand in front of the “delicate area” and the other hand clasping the back side of those garments where they buttoned to cover one’s bottom. It’s a hilarious thing to remember as I write this. Of course at the time, we didn’t DARE smile or look more than one thousandth of a second…… Thinking back now, though wearing those garments was ALWAYS such a silly experience.

In MY day we didn’t HAVE the “honeymooners”, i.e, the two piece. Mine were the one-long-piece you had to, honest, I’m not kidding, “step” into the lower half and then stretch the upper half up over your shoulders

So anyways. Mom asked her Mom, Grandma Ray, to make Dad a beautiful Silk Robe for his birthday. It is nice, heavy, silk outer layer and silk lined inside. But it IS so dark and heavy……’s not something one would use today, or at least not in my mind.

SO, before this is taken to William Temple House as a Charity Donation, I’m asking if any of you would like to keep this as a memory of Grandma’s loving sewing efforts on all our behalf (Don’t we ALL have a quilt of hers?):

Don’t feel like you even have to respond yes/no………only if you have an interest.

note: My question was: will anyone want the old “treasure” ?

cheese curd, cheddar that is.

Bloged in General Home Life,Nature,Oregon by mark Tuesday April 4, 2006

We weather has become, by Portland standards for April 1, fabulous. Now hitting the low 60’s by mid-afternoon, folks are getting those short and t-shirts out of the back rooms. Even we couldn’t resist a quick drive to Tillamook on Rte 6 that cuts through the Tillamook Forest alongside the Wilson RiverHere’s how it appeared in the 30’s AFTER the legendary fires:

Once simply called “The Tillamook Burn”, that left ash a foot or more deep in surrounding valleys, there was nothing left. Today, one may be a tiny disappointed that all the firs are notably the same size….

but should be in wonder that it is so beautifully restored. As soon as you pass over the coast summit (only at 1586 feet), and meander down to the ocean side, every half mile or mile, little streamlets, falls, and springs join the growing river and soon, you’re traveling right alongside a big, deep, clear, and wild Wilson River, a gorgeous salmon habitat.

WHY this quick trip. Remember, we’re once again committed to smoking cessation as well as getting our weight back down a few pounds. So with the grand weather, we excused ourselves driving through this Forest to end up at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and pick up cheese curds, Cheddar Cheese Curds that is:

We loaded up a small cooler so we can bring our prizes back: 8 packages of curds…some will freeze, and a few other choice cheeses as well for diet enjoyment. Don’t forget, if you’re actually AT the factory, you MUST, of course, “sample” the curds a few times and enjoy one Tillamook Ice Cream Cone. Today’s choice? Udder Chocolate! With our stash in tow, we began our run back to the forest and river scenery.

Of course MAC was on board and on the way back we stopped along the River at a beautiful spot where Mac swam after fake ducks (sticks) over and over and over until he was ready for a rest. With him worn, we could stop at the little country restaurant recommended to us in Tillamook: “Alices Restaurant” somewhere along highway 6 about 8 miles out of Tillamook. This was “real” country cooking, all homemade down to the potato salad and we enjoyed chats with the folk there while we ate. If you’re ever that way, remember to stop at Alice’s for sure.

Back at home, we’re entering a week of sunny days! Hurray. We’ve found one plant treasure blooming for the first time since Nancy G gave it to us a few years ago:

Now about 4 foot high, it’s really bushing out…..always a spring bloomer when you want to see some flowers. Here’s another wonderful sign of spring. It usually means “somebody” is going to be making RHUBARB Pie or Crisp soon:

So. Here we are, off to prepare for the rigors of a change in habit. Mac shows he’s finally content:

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