FRESH Raspberry Ice Cream

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday June 30, 2011

BEN and JERRY’s Fresh RASPBERRY Ice Cream

I remember posting this same recipe couple years ago, after Doug & Leon highly recommended we make the recipe…. They had the same Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Cookbook we’d had, except THEY had made the Raspberry. The ONLY flavor I’d ever made was the delicious vanilla….so we made it, it was irresistibly delicious, and I just made our first 2011 batch this pm (since the Willamette Berries were picked the first time today on the island)………just tasted the first batch. Wow.

IF you get some GOOD fresh berries, make this ice cream….. We’ve tried it wit strawberries, blackberries, and they don’t turn out like raspberry ice cream does.

*Compared to other fresh fruit, fresh raspberries are intensely flavorful and very tart, so to make ice cream you need less fruit and more sugar.

1 Pint fresh Raspberries. ( I use a bit more….but TOO much, and things will have a hard time “setting up” )
1 1 / 2 Cups Sugar
Juice of 1 / 2 lemon
2 Large Eggs
2 Cups heavy or whipping cream. 1 cup whole milk

1. Toss the raspberries, 3 / 4 cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 / 4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minutes more. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and whisk to blend.

3. Drain the juice from the raspberries into the cream mixture and blend. Mash the raspberries until pur’eed and stir them into the cream mixture.?4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes a generous quart.

June 2011 notes on Hamlet Life

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday June 23, 2011

A smattering, UNorganized bit of observations on simple things here, and for my reference June 2012 to compare:

1) ALL the squirrel types have reproduced about the same time. Yesterday morning ….I saw 10+ squirrel pups and parents out around the deck feeders. Just picture a collection all over the place of our 3 squirrel types out here….it’s a matter of time before folks start kicking out the pups, because THEY are keep THESE feeders to themselves…..AND I expect they’ll also make NEW efforts to get past those squirrel baffles…..

*Native Douglas Squirrel, our favorite by a mile:

*Eastern Fox Squirrel, the big bushy showoffy squirrels folks from New England brought here ’cause they thought our little Douglas Squirrels were homely, and they’ve been here ever since:

*Eastern Gray Squirrel, the most aggressive one:

2) COOL WEATHER HAS RETURNED! Yikes! Did I take off those insulating water jackets too soon?

LAST WEEK:

THIS WEEK…….. ONLY jackets left are around the HOT peppers….who do NOT like this cool weather and have looked wan and pale even inside the mini-houses:

???? NOTICE for Mark when he checks this next June: THE DEER FENCE WENT UP TUESDAY…..WHY Tuesday especially? Because I walked out by the flowers tuesday morning and saw it: EVERY strawberry plant evenly mowed, eaten, devoured by the deer, WHO, have recently given birth….kicked out yearlings, and things are drying up in the park a little….so they’ve ARRIVED in the yards. I KNEW that Deer Fence had to be up before dark.

At LEAST it’s NOT raining, but NO vine growth will happen now…for another week or two….HOPEFULLY, root systems are growing underground and will help these veggies explode when sun returns. It DOES seem odd in Portland that it’s STILL dark and gray……BUT…… staying DRY……hm………

3) COYOTE notes: I am thinking coyotes are doing well…….3 different P__p drops were ON the trail just getting down to the Park this morning……have THEY had pups too? PROBABLY have, since other mammals are having young around here.

4) The Dog hair Cage…..I have re-filled this with Mac’s brushed-out fir now: 3 times…………….WE have LOTS-o-little-birds NESTING! I am happy about that.

5) Some favorites ARE beginning to bloom…..the Lavender Poppy pic, however, was completely Fuzzed….

**Cosmo

**Favorite Lavender colored Rhody

6) French Fennel. I had forgotten how it smells rich & wonderful even early on……AND…… is a gorgeous plant:

7) Our wonderful little Hemlock tree planted years ago, and ALWAYS broken apart by rutting deer in November…..until…. I finally begin wrapping it in fencing during the winter….seems likes it’s gonna make it, and finally begin to grow upward, yeah:

8) And, after several little “duties” done today, I’m ready to relax and enjoy this fabulous Spelt Bread…….. made RICH and luscious how? assorted flours: rye, wheat, whole wheat white, flax seed, gluten flour, salt, milk, egg, HONEY, SUGAR, yeast, and a few hours to let all those ingredients make a yeasty rich dough.. Some ask WHY do you always have a little “baby” loaf sitting there….. Why would you NOT? HOW are you gonna TASTE that bread outta the oven so warm it melts butter if you don’t? ahah!

Songbird Visitors Reach their Goal. First round successful!

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday June 17, 2011

I have NO time to make this a worthwhile post for someone to read. BUT. Something happened a while ago, and I realized the Songbird Summer has reached its GOAL! I KNOW birds have been bringing chicks to the feeders for a week, but I KNOW things are peaking when a favorite brings in the kids the first time. So, I had to stop, and make my BIRD WATCHER entry for 2011. early summer. (LOTS of our interest in this nature enjoyment is due to the patient teaching and encouragement of Nancy G….. she gave us our start up here in many ways. Thanks, Nancy).

After such a DREARY start to this spring, and our annual songbird summer visitors arriving SO late, I thought it would be a slow year enjoying their songs, feeding visits, and breeding success. I have been WRONG! Nature seems to know more than I do. Hm.

NO….NO time to set up photo ops, these are web pics……but these are the birds I’m enjoying every day, and hearing them morning/evening.

It’s just a quick peek at some of our visiting birds with a tiny tribute to our hardy year-round loyalists…who suffer a wet muddy winter along with us.

ONE group of birds I enjoy seeing the most are the communal, beautiful, one-note bright chirping Evening Grosbeaks. This diary entry was prompted, in fact, by seeing them coach in the first fledged chick of theirs to the feeder this morning……. the little guy had a hard time figuring out just how to break open those seeds and get rid of the shells.

They’re a WONDERFUL family group….calling to other couples when food shows up, and staying “in touch”. When chicks hatch, one flies into feed while the mate remains on duty at the nest…..BOTH male/female take turns feeding the chicks. So it IS fun to see them succeed with their broods:

They ARE our not shy and ARE dress-for-dinner guests:

Before they separate for mating, breeding, and AFTER the chicks are raised, they travel in flocks. So, once again, and for 3-4 days prior to leaving as a group, they’ll visit the feeders, feeding heavily readying to fly onto another adventure:

Not really a cousin, and very different are the BlackHeaded Grosbeaks. Also a favorite for their little 4 month visit….because of the fabulous rich calling at the top of the tallest neighborhood tree by the male during mating season. Morning and evening.

A year round FAMILY guy, the Black Capped Chicadees… are another favorite partly because we ALWAYS hope we’re HERE when they first fledge the famiy….. they bring the ENTIRE family to the feeders, not one chick at a time, and they do it with MUCH calling, whistling, cautioning, feeding in the tree until the chicks finally “get it” . . . lovely little birds:

Sure, everyone sees the American Goldfinch all the time. This year, I’m happy to finally really see a number of “Lesser Goldfinch” kids at the feeders….they’re NO less beautiful than their American cousins:

A bird that’s IN the forest for the summer, but we rarely see (because they tend to eat fruit / sap / insects) ….is the Western Tanager:

Our Elderberries/currants are all out front….not where we can watch.

The innocent, peaceful mourning doves are always welcome, and our pair is back….as they’ve been every year:

The Redbreasted Sapsucker has already finished fledging one brood….and I’m thinking they’re back on the nest. Haven’t seem them in a bit:

12 years ago, we given some “stumps” Nancy G….. AND, she taught us to leave a 10′ tall stump from a tree if you cut one down. That’s finally paying off that old wood is invaded by insects. We now have a regular visitor that we haven’t seen before….IN the yard. The large Pileated Woodpecker of course…..you’ll often “hear” them before you spot wherever it is they’re digging out:

Yes, I’d love to see a NEST of these guys:

Robins? No need to see a robin picture….but if you see this ball of fluff, you are seeing a BABY robin that’s fledged, just trying to get his footing, learn how to fly, and grow up. At THIS stage, the parents are often in close trees cooing, calling, nudging them onward, OR…..telling ‘em to shut up. JUST THIS WEEK, I must heard these adults calling to chicks every 500-1000 ft as we walked the Wildwood Trail in the forest. The folks stayed close to us…pretty brave I thought.

One more summer visitor who isn’t so beautiful, and fairly common is under-appreciated in my book is the song sparrow. They DO have beautiful calling songs…usually in the mornings in the forest. Almost as long as the grosbeak, bright, and cheery:

However, those plain song sparrows are often outdone by their showoff cousins the white crowned sparrows. Nice lookin’…..for a sparrow:

I DO feel lucky this year to have seen, a “FEW” times….the Wilsons Warbler….tiny, beautiful, and always after suet:

.Just as cute, are the Wilson’s cousin, the Yellow-Rumped Warbler who IS also seldom seen, but cute when you do:

I LOVE this year round bird……their call isn’t so fancy, but they are NOT shy, and often will come in to feed with you just a couple feet from the feeder….cute LITTLE guys:
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About the crows…..I think they pillage a bit if they find songbird nests, but some will go after these guys relentlessly if that happens until they give up. I included them, because THIS morning on the pup walk, some crows were having the most interesting calls, more variation than I’ve ever heard. My guess was, they had a fledged chick with them and trying to teach it something……interesting that the crows have some 20 differents calls in their vocabulary:

And I cannot forget my little favorite, the fabulous: HUMMINGBIRDS, both Rufous and Anna’s. Only here 4 months, the rufous are busy from the moment they get here until the last chicks leave without parents on that mystery trip back to MX. Our volume of sugar/water food varies from 2-3 quarts a day for 3 months, to .01 quart in January for the few remaining Anna’s. They’re a joy to have buzzing around you when the feeders are refilled.

Our short term Rufous male….they’ll soon be gone…..now that the matings about done:

Our tougher year round Anna’s……..I don’t know WHERE they stay safe when it snows:

And we can LEAVE out the annoying Band Tailed Pigeon families that fly onto the poor feeders in groups of 3 – 7 ….tipping things, devouring EVERYTHING in minutes.

MUST Get busy………

THE time to shop garden/deck plants in: NW Oregon

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday June 7, 2011

In what seems to have become an annual event for us, we’ve joined Nancy G, Carol, Linda mid-June each year for a quick trip to Gervais, OR. There….one nursery is preparing to close out its nursery stock…..they do it every year in June in preparation to begin their next season. A nursery close to that one is just a fancy fun place…..and…. (it’s gay owned).

We joined up at Nancy’s place about 9:30, and headed to: FESSLER’S Nursery .

It’s not a long drive, off I5 at Woodburn, down 99E for a few miles and you’re there…..with a small crowd of serious gardeners……HERE is where AND when (judging by our own unique climate here) to buy lots of annuals at rock bottom prices…. and a few perrenials, a hanging basket or two, and your car is probably FULL of flats, pots, etc. That happened again, and we were all happy for the experience……

We then moved on to the fun place to shop: BAUMANN FARMS .

Here, one’s always inspired by the many hanging baskets, planters they already have staged in permanent sites…..an artful place and fun employees . We were moved to buy a few MORE things, had to juggle the cars around a bit, got some of their own fertilizers, and we’re ready for lunch. I felt the folks WE were talking to would “know” about a good place to to that, and I was right. HERE is the one great Hanging Basket from Baumans:

We headed for: The VITALITY BISTRO …….. which just happened to be ON the direction we wanted to go. We were afraid this place would be institutional food because the VITALITY CAFE was located inside a “Wellness Center” . . . . . . but one look at the menu, and we knew otherwise. This was a memorable fun lunch, with fabulous people.

What a DAY! Was it over? Ya, right. Here’s what’s on the deck needing work:

and more……

There are flats around:

And there are sprouted sunflowers to plant:

There are two trees to plant, one a deciduous Sequoia from Asia, and a lovely new weeping fir:

The other hanging basket is that double fuschia the hummers seem to love EVERY year:

Here’s how the garden’s looking after two weeks of getting it tilled, rows dug, seeds planted, water walls up, etc etc etc:

As happens EVERY year, WILL corn grow. This year, it appears an error might have been made? TWO of the flats have corn sprouting……the middle one doesn’t have ONE seed sprouted……ARE there seeds in there ??

This row is a question….it’s nearest the tall fir, and shady until after noon……will it all grow? Oregano, Thyme, Celery, Carrot (seeds so far):

So. It’s obvious that the initial garden set-up in THIS little wet climate means there’s PLENTY more to do………… Late May / June in Portland’s a busy time for a hobby gardener. EVERY year, a “gardener” schedules setups around that time the rainfall drops off for 4 months. That 4 months….is when SUMMER IS beautiful in the northwest……usually NOT too hot, cool evenings. And SUN!!!!

Garden Diary begins: 2011. A RAINY spring here

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday June 6, 2011

Dear Diary:
**you might notice, this entry is 3 weeks later than when “things” happened………..been busy here.

MAY 12! We arrived home exhausted with a trailer to unload in light rain. But, we got in early, got everything done, returned the trailer, picked up a happy MAC, came home and enjoyed a quiet evening of NOTHING.

It dried out enough that Mark DID pull out garden equipment, gassed it up, got it all running, and did a major roto-till on the veg garden space after adding compost, peat, and manure to the already heavy layer of last fall’s leaves & grass……. The BIG Tiller did the major turning over in about an hour, but the soil was so wet, it began to compress things. I got the light-weight tiller and went over everything again, leaving a light fluffy layer of soil ready to go. Then, I got out the shovel, dug out some rows (that finished my energy level for the day), and after letting things “set” for a few days, went to our fabulous grower’s place, Michael & Missy Stucki’s Millenium Farms for this years Hopeful crop of Stupice, Sun Gold & Celebrity Tomatoes! 3 Serrano peppers, 3 Habaneros, some squash, canteloupe, thyme, etc, completed the purchase….. It’s always good to see them, he insisted after we’re all planted, he’s all finished with the greenhouses, we meet for lunch! Fabulous.

Back home, those plants were set out to “harden” up to our climate and elevation. By may 19-20, the tomatoes / peppers were planted laboriously in the garden (on this size of tomato, one strips off leaves/etc from the stems up about halfway….plants all the roots/stripped stem sideways into the garden with the growth sticking up straight….ALL this will grow roots)………. THEN out comes the Kozy-Coats for them all….some of that job was completed the next two days.. . . . .. Whew! I have NEVER been so happy to have a job done. Since, I’ve started corn seeds in the cold frame. Rodger has a lot of hopefully gorgeous-later Teddy Bear Sunflowers planted . . . . the flowers will be set out this weekend, and the corn in about 3 weeks.

Since THEN? rain has returned. Cooler than should be temps. A sad cold summer like last year? We will wait and watch………

I’ve conveniently forgotten about the work to get things set up, and about what else comes with SPRING in the NW…..the MOLE babies have been booted and are spreading INTO the lawn…… I’m hesitating to use pesticide since the robins are IN the lawn eating the same worms the moles eat. If I poison the worm, I will likely kill a robin….. can’t do that. I set a trap LAST night, it was sprung, but the mole missed it. Damn.

The band-tail pigeons are back…….crowding a feeder with their big clumsy selves…….I laught at ‘em a little, but they can be annoying and empty feeders in 15 minutes.

The BIG reward though has been the arrival of what seems to be more Hummingbirds than EVER! For 9 days now, they’ve been eating: 2 1/2 quarts of sugar/water daily. I know some of that is due to cold/wet weather, but it also has allowed me to know they’re HERE…..and I’m happy to know it. As I type this, there are four on the feeder 4 feet away……. cool.

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