Starting the Garden

The 2017 gardening season officially began this weekend.  I did a bit of weeding and planted the following:

  • lettuce – 1 start – back garden
  • garlic – 9 starts – back garden
  • kale – 1 start  back garden
  • zucchini – 1 start – kitchen garden
  • tomatoes – 4 starts – kitchen garden
  • strawberries – 6 starts – back garden
  • potatoes – 3 varities – greenhouse garden (red), galvenized tub (fingerling), kitchen garden (russett)
  • peas – seeds – kitchen garden
  • beets – seeds – kitchen garden
  • mesclun mix – seeds – kitchen garden
  • spinach – back garden
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Bakery Visit #9 – Redbud Cafe (Blanco, Texas)

The latest stop on the “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal – The Redbud Cafe (#9) in Blanco, Texas.
The Redbud was huge inside, serving bakery items along with lunch and breakfast, and a big selection of wine and beer.  They also had a nice selection of cookies and other baked goods – yeah for the peanut butter cookie.

Posted in Bakery Trips, March 2017 | Leave a comment

Remember the Alamo – Texas Vacation

We don’t vacation ofter, but this year we took a trip to visit family in Austin, Texas for Spring Vacation.  We went into Austin the first day, visited their new VooDoo Doughnut (from Portland), went down to Congress street, and saw the Capital Building.  That evening we took a boat trip on Ladybird Lake to see the thousands of bats come out from under the Congress Bridge at dusk.

The second day, we drove down the highway to San Antonio, saw the Alamo and the beautiful buildings downtown.  We took the highway through Hill Country home.  We drove through the beautiful little towns of Dripping Springs and Blanco.  The wildflowers were just starting to bloom  –Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)and Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.) were just starting to peek out.

The next day, we went back to Blanco to visit the cafe, pottery studio  and antique stores that were all closed when we drove through the day before.  On the way down we tried to stop at the Texas Hills Olive Oil Company but it was closed on Tuesdays.  Along the little country road we found a spill-over – rather than the water running through a culvert under the road, it runs right over the road n- gorgeous.  In Blanco, I found an antique butter press for a souvenir and a handmade casserole dish with an armadillo on the lid and had a bite to eat at the Redbud Cafe.  On the way home, we stopped at the Andalusia Whiskey Co. where Joe tried the White Pearl, the Revanent Oak and the Striker.  The place is beautiful and the proprietor was so friendly and knowledgable.

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Corned Beef Boiled Supper


  • about 2 lbs. beef  – I had a London Broil and a small piece of Top Sirloin Roast
For the Brine
  • 16 oz. deathtapmarkerIron Horse Irish Death dark ale
  • 1½ cups kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 T pickling spice
For the Corned Beef
  • 16 oz. dark Ale
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 5 medium golden potatoes, roughly chopped


For Corning the Brisket
  1. In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water and Guinness Extra Stout with kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, garlic and pickling spice
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled
  4. Transfer brine to 2 gallon freezer bag (double bag, trust you’ll want to double bag)
  5. Place brisket in brine
  6. Refrigerate for 6 days
  7. Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly
Making the Guinness Corned Beef
  1. Place the corned brisket and Guinness Stout into a large along with enough water to cover
  2. Cover and set on a low simmer for 2½ hours
  3. After 2½ hours add the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes
  4. Return to a simmer and cook covered for 1 hour
  5. Remove from the heat and serve immediately
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Hanging the Prosciutto

Today we finally took the prosciutto out of the salt.  We left it in for a few extra week because, in the refrigerator, it was too cold and whatever liquid was coming off of the ham was freezing.

The weight, which had started at 20. 6 pounds, had dropped down to 18.2 pounds – a loss of 2.4 pounds or 11.6%.

We covered the exposed meat with lard and pepper, wrapped it in a game bag and hung it in the garage.  Every month we’ll pull it down and check the weight.

*** That is a puppy nose in the lower left of the photo.

Posted in March 2017, Putting up | Leave a comment

Bakery Visit #8 – Miranda’s Bakery (Woodburn)

The stop today on the “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal – Miranda’s Bakery (#8) in Woodburn. 16832223_801184433373247_2176547059090897319_nThe place was packed. You grab a cafeteria tray and tongs and go over to the cases of sweet breads and start piling. We weren’t sure what anything was so we picked up a selection – sweet breads, a cinnamon roll, a turnover and a jalapeño/cream cheese roll.

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Posted in Bakery Trips, February 2017 | Leave a comment

Bakery Visit #7 – Grano Bakery and Market

Wednesday, I visited Grano Bakery and Market for stop number 6 on our “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal. Grano just opened a storefront in Oregon City after getting rave reviews at the Farmers Market. I picked up a loaf of Brioche and a Savory Bread Pudding.


We used the Brioche for sweet French Toast on Saturday morning with homemade clotted cream and maple syrup.


The Savory Bread Pudding was sliced this morning for a savory French Toast to accompany our farm fresh scrambled eggs. Yum.

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Bakery Visit #6 – Little T American Baker

The last stop on todays “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal – Little T American Baker (#6) on 26th & Division.

16425811_791906940967663_687090107558862504_nThe bread looks really good so we picked up a skinny baguette and a petite loaf. The crust looks just amazing – we’re going to have to get out the Texas Olive Oil.

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Bakery Visit #5 – Back to Eden

We continued down Division on our quest for bagels, stopping for our fourth stop today on our “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal, Back to Eden (#5) on 28th & Division. This is a bakery food cart with a small selection of cookies, cupcakes, and a breakfast pastries. We didn’t want any additional sweets, so we chose to bypass a purchase (maybe next time).16473580_791902100968147_4625497409397635842_n 16425753_791902127634811_1088474640577322899_n

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Bakery Visit #4 – St. Honore’ Boulangerie

16406709_791900104301680_137431856214187476_nBy the third stop on our “52 Bakeries in 52 Weeks” Goal this morning we were getting hungry, so we decided to have snack at St. Honore’ Boulangerie (#4) on 33rd & Division.

16473146_791900114301679_3178892706112003150_n 16508165_791900110968346_3590421164515900249_nWe chose a cream fill St. Honore’ and an Apple Toast with coffee and the most fantastic hot cocoa. Wonderful – but really enough sweet for the whole day.

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