The button YOU will be wearing if S. Palin picks out your next Supreme Crt Justice

Bloged in Bush,Political by mark Tuesday September 30, 2008

palin

I enjoyed that after reading the latest AP Poll showing Mr. O’s commanding Electoral Lead.

Summer’s Back! So a final blast of Tomatillo Salsa

Bloged in Fall,food: recipes + dining out,garden,General Home Life,Pacific Northwest by mark Tuesday September 30, 2008

When we cleaned out the corn last weekend, I pulled out the plants, thinned out tomatillo plants, opened up vines on the tomatoes, cleaned out squash and cukes, all in acceptance summer was over. The forecast: RAIN coming!

In classic Northwest Weather fashion, however, THIS weekend was one of those fabulous Indian Summer events we ALL love so well don’t we? Hence! A large picking of Tomatillos, peppers and a last batch of Salsa was made and enough Tomatillos left over to give a big batch to LELO…….SHE will put good use to them I believe.

Ah yes! We finally DID eat sweet corn and froze a few batches for WINTER:
lastcorn08
You can see exactly what I was wondering about all summer….some of these are fairly puny ears of corn!

It’s strangely satisfying in winter when you’re making Adobe Corn Chowder
to be able to pull out corn you Grew in your own garden………… your memory gets stirred up while you’re cooking that day of the garden year you experienced. Oh well, corn’s done and gone.

I assemble all the parts of this Salsa beforehand.
tomatbatch22

Why? Because if there are enough Tomatillos for multiple batches, I prep EVERYTHING in big session, mix up the batch quantities, put in tupperware and place in the fridge to await their own turn in the cooking line:
tomat05

Probably the easiest and most fun is simply peeling the little green guys and finding out JUST how much harvest you had:
tomat11

Once I know just how many batches there will be, I can then count up and peel just how many garlic cloves we’ll need:
tomat02

Yeah, it kind of spreads out as the process goes, and takes over most counterspace than when you started:
tomat03

Things go in the pot, come to a simmer and bubble for 20 minutes:
tomat04

Finally they’re bottled, processed for another 10 in the canner, and set out to cool:
tomat06

SO. For this year, we’ve ended up with 67 little half pints and pints of this wonderful salsa we use throughout the year! Yea! Done.

NEXT? FINALLY! Our Gravenstein apples are READY. I will begin making that NEW Ginger Apple Marmalade tomorrow or Tuesday:
applegetready

When you’re cooking with APPLES, you KNOW it’s fall. Today, though, I am getting a treat. Rodger is going to make a Raspberry pie with the last of the fall raspberries. Yum. Somehow, it seems very correct there is some good Vanilla Ice Cream waiting in the freezer, eh?

Ah! Indian Summer.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes – Dense and Rich

Bloged in Fall,food: recipes + dining out,garden,Pacific Northwest by mark Saturday September 27, 2008

We tune into our own Sassy Gardener’s Page perhaps to see what this local artiste’ and entrepreneur’s up to. More often, we might check her home page Lelo in NoPo, or here in North Portland, for up to the minute home ideas. She has carved quite a name for herself….and made a successful home business by not just knowing “some” things but investigating it seems every kind of gardening and home hobby, interest and writing about it well.

We were flattered when she even asked us a question now and then about where the best berries would be or some other gardening question we both might be working on.
smater1
Her post of September 16 described an exotic sounding way to preserve your left-over garden tomatoes: ROAST them SLOW !! Her recipe (and some others said you’d need ROMA tomatoes to make this work well…. (Roma’s would give your more Flesh or more “product” for the time you’ve expended.

Well, sure! I “could” drive down to the island pick up a case, but we HAD a counter full of little Russian Stupice and Sungolds sitting on the counter. More than we can eat…. SO, kids, aren’t we at least going to run a test through this “roasting” business on these? Plus, a recipe I found didn’t even talk about getting the skins off them. (I CAN understand why you might want to on a Roma….thicker skin). Forget the drive ………… let’s go to worki.

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes – Generic.
** FRESH tomatoes
** 1 Tblsp Sugar
** 1/2 Tblsp Salt
** Olive Oil.

Preparation:
** Cut your tomatoes in half………………. here were the small Sungolds:
smaters02

Place on a foil lined cookie sheet face down……….

*BIG HINT: IF you have SILPAT sheets….USE THEM! You’ll glean 100% of your tomatoes, and Cleanup’s a breeze. **The foil sometimes sticks and requires a hot-water soak).

… Sprinkle just a smattering of your combined sugar/salt . Place in a 325 degree pre-heated oven for about 2 hours, or UNTIL they begin to trown on the edges and are wilting a bit. They’ll look like this after stirring them together:
smaters03

RESULT:
** WOW! A concentrated tomato taste worthy of any winter sauce. Sorry you weren’t here to moan with me. We only got four packaged containers done and in the freezer….but they were sure worth it. Last comment? We will now try LELO’s version. I guess we WILL be driving down to the Farmer’s Place and getting a box of Roma’s for Saturday!

Roasted Tomatoes! I can’t wait for my Winter Pasta Sauce!

**Note 1: On our thinner skinned tomatoes, I enjoyed cooking them cut-side up…because that light sprinkle of sugar/salt REALLY added to the flavor. Don’t know that this would work on Romas.
**Note 2: Cousin Nancy M in Lake O – – does NOT roast her harvest. The simply par-boils just until the skin slips off, cools them, seals them in a baggy, Freezes until winter. She says this works fine….with her fabulous cooking skills, I’m sure it works. I will try some IF we get the Romas.

Enchiladas de Santa Fe / or / Mom’s Enchiladas

Bloged in food: recipes + dining out by mark Thursday September 25, 2008

While Doug T was here, on Saturday afternoon, rather than drive MORE than we already had (going to Tillamook), we fixed an Enchilada dish my Mom prepared for the Huffaker kids at least once a month for years. Everyone in the family loved them, I hated them but since fried eggs were part of that dish, that’s what I ate while they feasted. At about 24, I so maturely realized I LOVED those Enchiladas, and had missed out getting them prepared for me for years. I had to learn to fix them myself.

I assumed it was a poor man’s dish my Mom had learned from some farm worker while they lived in Arizona before I was born. Shocked was I when we found this recipe in an upscale Mexican cookbook, “The El Paso Chile Company’s Texas Border Cookbook” by W. Park & Norma Kerr. What a POOR snob I would make. Turning up my nose all those years on a gourmet dish these authors refer to on pg 33 as “These are what we think of as the quintessential enchilada – the best and purest example of a rather large and frisky genre.”

SO. We enjoyed Enchiladas de Santa Fe, or as I call them, “Mom’s” Enchiladas that Saturday afternoon, and yesterday, I wanted them again. I decided to write this prep down since they’re a favorite meal for Rodger and I. They have been for years. You should either experiment and try this splendid and different Mexican Dish, or come on out, and stay with us. We’ll fix ‘em for you.

For the person who is only familiar with the rolled, stuffed, and baked enchilada these will seem odd. They are stacked and are finished by adding a fried egg on the top. Hm……….

MOM’s ENCHILADAS ~~!! (Four Servings)

Ingredients…..
ench01
1 bunch Green Onion
1 Yellow Onion
1 Lettuce Head
1 lb EXTRA Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Lg Can “Red Chili Sauce” (old el paso brand is best. It may be called Chili de Colorado and rated by heat level)
8 Fresh Eggs

1. Prepare:
Green Onion – One Bunch, Sliced – Set aside
Regular Onion- Chopped – Set Aside
Lettuce – Broken up – Set Aside.
Cheese – 1 lb – Grated – Set aside

2. Prepare:
1 Large Can – “Red Chili Sauce” (not Enchilada Sauce and not in a Safeway. Many independent stores have it, or any Mexican Outlet)
1/2 8 oz Can Tomato paste (or dissolve a bit of flour in the Chili Sauce so it’ll cook a bit, long enough to just thicken a bit. (WE throw in a bit of Tomatillo Salsa)
dash – cayenne powder
Combine all in Saucepan and bring to simmer.
Cook until sauce thickens into a gravy consistency.

1. Have ready:
8 eggs
12 Yellow Corn Tortillas

2. THE FINISH:
Heat Vegetable or Olive Oil in Heavy Frying Pan to just
Shy of “smokin”………… While heating, place your Heated
Red Chili Sauce in a round (larger diameter than the tortilla)
Pan to the side of the Skillet. Place your dinner plates at the side of the
chili-sauce pan.
**Ah, yes, have your dinner plate ready, and even “pre-warmed” a bit in the oven is better**
ench02

Fry the tortillas “one at a time” for just a few seconds each.

ench03
DO NOT OVERCOOK
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Place each into the Sauce….make sure they’re covered, then
ench05

Place onto a dinner plate one at a time and sprinkle on:
1. Green Onion
2. Yellow Onion
3. Cheese
Repeat this step until they are layered 3 Tortillas deep. Repeat this for
Each dinner plate until four place settings are ready.
ench06

Immediately FRY 2 eggs per plate per person’s preference
(over easy, etc)……..when done, place on top of the Enchilada
ench07

and serve immediately.

NOTE: This is NOT the recipe shown at cooks.com (when you Google the recipe). The difference is that they base theirs on a Tomato Sauce and NO eggs…………

OPTIONAL: Some Guacamole placed on side of finished dish…..and lettuce on edges of the plate. Lettuce is a great accompaniment to this dish.
= = = =

Let’s see……I still DO have some leftover Chili Colorado sauce……..and chopped onion. Hm……………………….

Company! Really! Not the Musical. Dr. T visits.

Bloged in General Home Life,Pacific Northwest by mark Monday September 22, 2008

Earlier this year, we traveled to Manhattan for that Blogger get-together. We assured a fun trip, in case actually meeting people you only knew on-line didn’t turn out to be a fit for our West Coast selves. But. No need, we had a great time and can’t think of one of those people we met that we wouldn’t love to host here in Portland if that opportunity came up.

Well that changed this week.

We finally got our house in order and clean in good time for Doug T’s arrival. This was absolutely one of the perfect examples of how technology changes our lives. Doug is an accomplished and noted entomologist with a specialty saving endangered butterflies from around the world and is someone we have become friends with only through the “BLOG” world. He and his long time partner live in Chicago and have shared many things in common with us.

It was a thrill to find that he was coming to Portland on some research he was doing with our own Oregon Zoo, and you can read a bit more about that on his own web page Gossamer Tapestry . If you scroll down to the Sept 17 entry, you can read about Butterfly Yurts and work being done here in Portland.

As it turned out, he had a spare day to spend and we actually finally met this extraordinary individual. He rolled into town Friday night after a quick business trip on Amtrak to Seattle and back. So, at our own little historical Union Station, we began a fascinating visit

unionstation The evening went as perfectly as I could have imagined. We discussed several other bloggers we know in common, and made commitments in our mind to make sure we meet more of them………..

Saturday began with our standard dog walk down into Forest Park. I think Doug enjoyed this:
tdogwalk as did we. He may be the one to tell of any bug life observed there. He told us exactly what one of the common ground beetles we encounter on these walks actually was.

We returned, had a bowl of cereal and took off for Tillamook, OR once again so this Chicago cheese maker could see the goliath of the Oregon Cheese Industry. After the expected tour, curd tasting, curd purchasing, Ice Cream Cone Devouring, we began our planned slow trip back through the Tillamook Forest, lunch at Alice’s Restaurant, and exploring along the mighty Wilson River.

We have written about the Wilson and Mac’s love of those deep eddies and currents it has, but we have NEVER seen this river that drains the coast range SO very low. We could stand in some spots on rock that, in November, would be 10 feet deep while looking AT pools of water another 10-15 feet deep:
wilsondeep
Mac spent a barkingly good time paddling
wilsonmac
while Dr. T explored for possible rare finds (didn’t succeed— too dry):
twilson

This flood plain IS very large….a thrill sometimes to see in spring:
twilsonfloodplain

Oh well. We talked so much this weekend I was exhausted by Sunday when we finally had to take Doug back to his plane:
tandus

We’re fortunate to be able to call Doug a friend, we hope to meet Leon sometime somehow soon…..since they won’t be building their retirement home up on the Olympic Peninsula for a while yet.

The Swifts: new movie preview

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday September 19, 2008

“On The Wing” ………. a NEW documentary about the Vaux’s swifts stopping by Portland every fall for some nights in the chimney debuts soon.

Here’s the movie trailer and perhaps it can give you an idea of what we watched, birds by the thousands, entering this big old chimney for a night’s rest:

**ON THE WING …………….
**Premiering here in Portland, it’s first showing October 2 at Cinema 21, our finest Documentary theater.

Come on down………..you KNOW we have a spare room!

The Chimney Swift Migration peaks

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday September 18, 2008

We had an astounding experience last night. Rodger wrote about it…………………..

I SWEAR there were far more than 10,000 birds. The event took about 30 minutes for all birds to get into their nightly resting post. Whew! I was astounded to learn that during daylight hours, they NEVER land………… they’re insect eaters and have lost the ability to perch on branches.

Rodger’s got some links there also so you can read more. I, too, am sorry I haven’t gone to see this before.

Summer turns

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday September 18, 2008

The signs have been everywhere but we’re in that part of summer you hardly have time to notice, so things slip by and one day you wake up and it seems VERY fall like. One would never have thought all that 25 feet of snow would have EVER disappeared from Mt Hood this summer:
trillium lake

Today is that day. It is gray, cool, NO bird sounds, quiet, and I’m facing making the last of Tomatillo Salsa batches. NOT because there isn’t growth out there, but because we’re canned out and we still have the APPLE GINGER MARMALADE to try out before all the canning junk is hauled off to the woodshed.

Cleaning up the house for a weekend guest, canning….that’s pretty much gonna be my busy day today!

But I’m still caught by the sudden change in the FEEL of things. Just a few, but there are Tree leaves drying and dropping around, weeds are trying to die but desperately seeding themselves first. The lawn is brown. Apples are changing from a greenish rough exterior to reddish lines, and drying stems. Mosquitoes are gone, at least today they are. The feel hangs heavy ……..

IN OTHER NEWS:
**In provincial UTAH, outsiders have another chance to see just how separation of church and state does NOT work when ONE faith dominates the culture. In this SLC Tribune Article you learn the MORMON Church has decided to quit publicly fighting attempts to overturn the ridiculous liquor laws in Utah and offer people “choices”. This fight has gone on for years between the hospitality industry and the Church since currently a tourist MUST by “MEMBERSHIP” into a “PRIVATE” club if he would like a real cocktail somewhere. The Church is releasing a public statement to that effect, and you can BET that very SOON the Rethuglican controlled state legislature will pass laws easing the consumption of a liquored drink by a tourist…….

**Ex-Mormon and Gay Utahn Bruce Bastian has just privately donated $1 MIL to help fight the Anti-Gay Marriage bill in California
brucebatian
…….instantly becoming the largest private donator on the books. YEA! (Bastian was the developer who brought about Word Perfect………….. Flowers to Bastian!
margld

Oh well. It’s equal rights for all tax-paying citizens, right?

Thanks to Baird for sending me the “latest” Palin BUTTON………..where can I buy one?
palinbutton

And, lastly, THANKS, Nancy G…….these little guys are greeting here coming home these days. A Douglas Squirrel successfully used the squirrel box they put up there, and ain’t this something too cute to see, baby squirrels finding out about their future world?
babysqurl

Keillor on Republican Campaign

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday September 17, 2008

This is TOO funny ……… the Rethuglicans strategy is described in a GREAT way this week as ONLY Mr. Keillor could say it:

Throw the bums out!‘ ” say the bums

By Garrison Keillor September 11, 2008

So the Republicans have decided to run against themselves. The bums have tiptoed out the back door and circled around to the front and started yelling, “Throw the bums out!” They’ve been running Washington like a well-oiled machine, to the point of inviting lobbyists into the back rooms to write the legislation, and now they are anti-establishment reformers dedicated to delivering us from themselves. And Giuliani is an advocate for small-town America. Bravo.

They are coming out for Small Efficient Government the very week that the feds are taking over Fannie and Freddie, those old cash cows, and in the course of a weekend 20 or 50 or (pick a number) billion go floating out the Treasury door.

It is a bold move on the Republicans’ part – forget about the past, it’s only history, so write a new narrative and be who you want to be.

John McCain has decided to run as a former POW and a maverick, a maverick’s maverick, rather than Mr. Bush’s best friend, and that’s understandable – but how can he not address the $3 trillion that got burned up in Iraq so far? It’s real money; it could’ve paid for a lot of windmills, a high-speed rail line in Ohio, some serious research and development. The Chinese, who have avoided foreign wars for 50 years, are taking enormous leaps forward, investing in their economy, and we are falling behind. We’re wasting our chances.

And a former mayor of a town of 7,000 who hired a lobbyist to get $26 million in federal earmarks is now running against the old-boy network in Washington who gave her that money to build the teen rec center and other good things so she could keep taxes low in Wasilla. Stunning. And if you question her qualifications to be the leader of the free world, you are an elitist. This is a beautiful maneuver. I wish I had thought of it back in school when I was forced to subject myself to a final exam in higher algebra. I could have told Miss Mortenson, “I am a Christian, and when you gave me a D you only showed your contempt for the Lord and for the godly, hard-working people from whom I have sprung, you elitist battleax, you.”

(…….and on that thought……….. here was a fantastic cartoon that says it ALL about Ms. Palin for me:
palinbaggage )

In school, you couldn’t get away with that garbage because the taxpayers know that if we don’t uphold scholastic standards, we will wind up driving on badly designed bridges and go in for a tonsillectomy and come out missing our left lung, so we flunk the losers, lest they gain power and hurt us. But in politics, we bring forth phonies and love them to death.

When you check the actuarial tables on a 72-year-old guy who’s had three bouts with cancer, you guess you may be looking at the first female president, a hustling evangelical with a chip on her shoulder who, not counting Canada, has set foot outside the country once – a trip to Germany, Iraq and Kuwait in 2007 to visit Alaskans in the armed service. And who listed a refueling stop in Ireland as a fourth country visited. She’s like the Current Occupant but with big hair. If you want inexperience, there were better choices.

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I cannot imagine no matter how hard I try how ANYONE whose mind is able to make calculations, measure events in the last 8 years, and not blindly follow orders from a religious leader could possibly be voting for this team.

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