Sunday, October 31, 2010

Santiam Fall Day

Last weekend the "color" was so pretty up on the pass, we made plans to go get some pictures and do some hiking this weekend. We started out with a leisurely breakfast in Sweet Home, and then made our way up the Santiam.

The rains have taken their toll on the colorful leaves, but I love this damp, mossy,
Where the ferns grow from the mossy trees and rocks.

And the mossy branches shed their fall rain tears.

Where leaf strewn paths beckon you to wander and discover familiar and favorite sights from yet a different view.

And side roads incite dreams of future hikes and fishing expeditions next summer.

Coming home to the most vivid leaves of all, in our own front yard.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hunting Season

So many people are out tromping the brush, hundreds of miles from home to get that deer, or big ol' elk. These pictures were taken in my parents front yard....sorry limits. They are the neighborhood mascots; going house to house like the Avon lady. We saw our first snow of the season on the way home.
It actually seemed like winter.
But after the summit, we were back into autumn again.
There were heavy fall rains though, and some hearty souls in their rain gear,
had their baskets , and were venturing into the woods to hunt for mushrooms.

Well shucks, they could've found some in OUR front yard.
Don't worry, I'm not out gathering toadstools
and feeding them to my family!
I love mushrooms, and always have wished
I knew more about gathering them in the wild.
But since I don't want to kill anyone with them,
or end up trippin', for now, it's to the market.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

THE Pumpkin Patch

I had to smile as I wrote that, thinking of Melissa; and how she said everyone says "the pumpkin patch", as if theirs is the only one! We have a few "ones"...There's the "costs lots of money one", then the one we liked a lot, where the girls got to help drive the tractor to the patch, and then there's the "go to"one that is closer for us when schedules and time are an issue. It's not real big or fancy, but they do have goats to pet....


The girls love climbing the haystacks.

This particular patch doesn't have homemade doughnuts and cider like the
other patch we like, so we took our own.

" LOOK! It's the perfect pumpkin! "

Stumptown Cider

Kate got Sarah and I hooked on this fall treat. It's rich, so more of a dessert than a daily beverage. It's hot cider, topped with whipped cream, with a swirl of caramel ice-cream syrup on top. Kate puts just the teensiest sprinkle of salt too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Astoria and Ancestry

We went to Astoria and had lunch at the BOWPICKER. The line was full of locals, which is always a good sign. We placed our order at the "Kitchen" cabin windows and picked it up under the canopy. Unlike fish at a lot of places, this was not some minced fish product from the frozen food section. It was steak and generous portions. Nice ladies. Bowpickers made of cedar, oak and Douglas Fir and were used to fish for salmon and sturgeon on the Columbia River. They used long floating gillnets, that were hundreds of feet in length. They were retrieved from the bow of the boat, and the fish were picked out of the net.
We finished our lunch and headed across the street to the Mari-time Museum.
Astoria was the home to many Salmon canneries.
I absolutely love these boats!! The Butterfly Fleet. There were more than 2,500 of these gillnetters on the Columbia River in 1904.

The myriad of Salmon Cannery labels are a work of art. I love the colors.

This label portrays Ft. Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark settled when they made their expedition to the Pacific Ocean.
This sailboat picture is for Martha and Matt. : )
The Astoria Riverfront Trolley.

We went across the bridge last time we went to Astoria. This time we didn't spend the night, and it was a short and sweet trip. I've been emailing a long lost cousin, for a couple of months, and we made arrangements to meet. Her Grandma Katherine and my Grandma Anna were sisters. Melora and her mom were so hospitable and friendly. We sat and talked at a little cafe on the riverfront, and then went to the cemetery where her grandparents graves are, and went to Melora's mom's house to visit some more. One highlight to me was when she was showing me the pictures she had of her Grandma, and pulled out a portrait of her grandma as a baby. I reached into the pictures I had brought, and pulled out an identical copy!
They showed us the house where the grandparents had lived in town, and then showed us the place in the country, near Ft Stephens, where they had lived. This marker is about 1/4 of a block from where they lived. The shelling happened late at night and Melora's aunt, uncle, and Dad, were all just kids and scared to death. There's an article about the shelling, describing the three children trembling in their beds.

We love Astoria, and look forward to going again. There's never enough time to do everything we want to do when we go there!
I'm also looking forward to getting together with Melora again, here in the valley, to share some more of our family history.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Comfort Food

The little farmgirl wanted to help me in the kitchen today. (The silly shape bracelets are hot stuff with all the little girlies right now) Right Josie?? She helped cut out the parsley laden biscuits
Using the cookie cutters her great-grandma gave me.

Topping off the Chicken Stew with Biscuits recipe from my Barefoot Contessa's Family Style Cookbook.
If you don't have the book, you can find the recipe here. We really like it, chocked full of chicken, potatoes,onions, carrots, and peas, with a yummy stock based sauce.
For dessert, she helped me make a creamy rice pudding in my Grandma Anna's old covered dish.
We altered a recipe for rice pudding, from this book, which is exactly like the one my Mom inherited from my Grandma Ruth. I grew up just loving this cookbook. It has menu ideas and old fashioned recipes from the 40's. I got this copy at an antique store.

I've made rice pudding from on-line recipes before, but wasn't happy with them. The finished product was not that different than a bowl of rice with some cinnamon sugar, and milk. This one turned out perfect! Very creamy, not starchy/grainy. It's lovely smelling it baking, on an overcast, fall day. And it bakes ...3 hours.

Dandelion's Creamy Rice Pudding

1/2 cup rice (I use Jasmine)
1 quart milk (I used whole milk this time)
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup raisins : optional (I'm not a fan, so I don't put them)
Wash rice. Stir rice, 2 cups of the milk, sugar, salt, and butter together, and pour into buttered baking dish. cover. Bake in 275 degree oven for an hour, stirring frequently. Stir in remaining milk. Bake one more hour. Add a well beaten egg, stirring well, bake 30 minutes more. Add spices, stir and bake 30 more minutes.
Can serve plain, with milk, or whipped cream. (Serves 6)
As the little farmgirl and I were working in the kitchen, I felt so blessed. It was comforting to feel like a part of both of my grandmas and mom were there too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Hazelnut Orchard

The little farmgirl and I went to a nearby hazelnut orchard.It was laid out years ago
in perfect rows
using only a string.

We made a new friend, named Ernestine.
She's 87, and a sweetheart.
She and her husband raised their children on this farm.
Her son and grandson have taken away her ladders,
so she won't climb them, to wash windows.
She still does her own weedwhacking.
She's a Christian, and a hugger.

Harvest is over. Oops they dropped some!

Did you see that bird?!!!


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