Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sour Cherries

Is that anything like sour grapes?  NO!  Pretty much the opposite, in fact.

Sour cherries are the fruit that delicious cherry pies are made from.  Also the fruit that sour cherry jam is made from.  And all sorts of wonderful baked treats.  If you like cherry pie I can guarantee that you will like any pastry made with sour cherries.

And here's the big news: I found a source for sour cherries!  I have been searching, every spring, for several years for a local grower of sour cherries.  I couldn't find one!  I even tried the grower's cooperative in Hood River, for crying out loud.  Any growers that I found only sold to wholesalers.  But, hallelujah and pass the pastry, I've found one in Yamhill county!

Fruithill, Inc sells 4 gallon pails of sour pie cherries - with or without sugar - to the public.  I contacted them yesterday and had my name added to the database of customers so that I will get an alert when the cherries are ready.  Then it's just a pleasant drive to the country with money in hand and I'll be returning home with some future baked deliciousness.

Of course, you know what this means.  I'll have to buy a freezer.  And, even more important, I'll have to start baking.  You might want to show up around my house when that happens.

So. Damned. Excited!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Just in case you're following along, it's summer in the Pacific Northwest.  What does that mean?

The high today is expected to be in the mid-60's.

I'm still wearing corduroy --  comfortably.  And a sweater.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Waterfront Park

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park sure takes a beating during the summer.  At least, the lawn does.  And, if Pioneer Courthouse Square is Portland's living room, Waterfront Park is Portland's backyard.  We spend a lot of time there!

It starts with Cinco de Mayo in the spring and then gets a month reprieve.  Then we have the Rose Festival, followed immediately by Gay Pride.  These two events pulverize the grass.  I rode along the waterfront this morning on my way to work and the city crews have already been out aerating the lawns, just a day after the event.

There is some smaller event setting up right now, down at the Saturday Market area of the park.  It is some kind of bicycle event, but I can't remember what it is ~ I know, bicycles in pdx, go figure!

In a couple of weeks we will have the Waterfront Blues Festival at the opposite end of the park.  Boats are already being anchored just south of the Hawthorne Bridge for the Blues Fest.  It's quite the party!

Not too long after that is the Oregon Brewer's Fest.  Mmmm.... beeeeer!  The best craft beers that you can't even imagine are available for sample.

Not into the beer thing?  How about The Bite?  That goes down in August.  It usually draws a huge and hungry crowd.

The Oregon Symphony has an outdoor concert towards the end of summer.  It's free (because you can't charge people on the sidewalk for listening!) which is nice.  It typically ends with the 1812 Overture complete with fireworks and canons.  We can hear that across the river and in the neighborhood!

There's more, oh so much more.  Oddly enough, the Portland Parks and Recreation department doesn't have a comprehensive event calendar on line.  These are just the things I could remember off the top of my head.  At any rate, large and small events are happening at the waterfront all spring, summer and fall.  The people who maintain the grass have good job security.  We love it to death!

Monday, June 13, 2011


I drove past a car that was covered in bumper-stickers yesterday afternoon.  It was at Freddy's.  One of them caught my eye.  It said:

God Is Not Christian

Quite possibly one of the best bumper-stickers I've ever seen.  I parked and walked back to read the rest of the car.  Second favorite?  "Lesbian Mafia, Portland Oregon".  Now, that just makes me lol!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things are Happening!

Too bad you don’t have a more assiduous blogger to report on them… sorry!

·         ROSE FESTIVAL!  How could I go so long without mentioning it?!?!?  The rides are whirling around on the Waterfront, the Starlight Parade was last weekend (good stuff: the weather was awesome and there was a huge turnout; Darcelle was the Grand Marshall!), the Junior Parade is today.  The Grand Floral Parade is this coming Saturday.  Also on Saturday, the Dragon Boat races begin.  Our niece is paddling in the Grant High School junior varsity boat – Go Generals!  The milk carton boat races might be today… if not, then they are sometime this week.  The fleet will be in next week, but it’s possible that not all the usual ships will be able to make it because of the high water level on the river.  Let’s see, what else… well, there’s lots and lots of stuff.  Go here if you want more info:

·         Safeway on Hawthorne – GONE!  The block between 27th and 28th is now filled with rubble and it looks like they are digging a giant hole.  Not sure if a grocery store is going back in there, or if we will see another version of the ubiquitous ‘ground level retail, condos above’ meme.  One thing I will say for this piece of property, it’s got to have tremendous views!  It’s at the crest of a hill and has a spectacular view of downtown, the river, AND Mt Tabor to the east.  Will the upper floors also have a view of Mt Hood? 

·         High water.  See above, Rose Festival.  We have had plenty of rain this fall, winter and spring, and more importantly plenty of snowfall in the mountains.  Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up, all of that snow (well, much of it) is melting and heading downhill.  The people who control water in these parts have been drawing down the reservoirs to make room for the expected influx.  The Columbia is over flood stage right now, but not really threatening any human construction.  The Willamette is near flood stage, which is considerably lower than the height of the sea wall.  It is most noticeable if you are at Waterfront Park, or riding your bike over the Steel Bridge.  Oh, also, the Eastbank Esplanade is closed until the river settles down.

·         GAY PRIDE!  Is coming our way!  It’s the weekend after Rose Festival, as you all surely know.  This year, instead of standing around watching the parade with beverages in hand, my lovely partner and I will be walking in the parade and handing out swag.  At least, I hope there is some swag!  I got roped into working on my employer’s pride committee this year and walking in the parade is de rigueur for the committee.  My big contribution to the event was the idea of printed grocery bags as a giveaway.  Our logo is too busy, but the bags will be useful.  I’m definitely scoring one for my household!  Leave me a comment and I’ll get you one too!  Two colors – royal blue and lime green!