Wednesday, October 31, 2007

For Halloween I predict the most popular candy we'll give out...

...will be the gummy eyeball.
I've got my eye on you
I will not be applying the "take your pick from the bowl" technique. Oh no no no. I've learned we run out of candy way too early. But we do have a nice selection. I predict 100+ kids on our doorstep tonight. At minimum.
The stash
Our favorite neighborhood kids will get REAL SIZE candy bars. I know, aren't we good to them? I don't think our decor will scare them, but it's kinda scaring me.
Decor, check
And a certain someone is not particularly happy about wearing her costume. She does glow in the dark, though.
Yes, you have to wear the costume
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hipsters are everywhere and they're everyone's problem!

Ooh, you know it's a good day when readers are sending me tidbits and goodies. Like this one and Hipster Hunter. Come on, Portland, send in your photos. You know you got 'em. I tend to think we invented the whole classification of Hipster on Wheels, I mean, didn't we?!

Props to HeNor for sending this little tidbit in. Hipsters represent!


Haunted house, haunted hotel, haunted basement, haunted mental hospital, yeah yeah yeah. But a haunted swing? (be patient and watch the YouTube all the way through: it gets frake-ey!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gearing up for National Blog Posting month and an open call for topics

Okay people, the time has come, once again. Yes, it's NaBloPoMo, meaning, once again, I will be posting every ding dong day in the month of November. The challenge, of course, is to post actual content of meaning, not just my usual drivel of stuff my brother sends me, like this, this and this. But warning, I will be resorting to that stuff just to keep it light and fluffy and to reassure you that you are, indeed, still visiting Lelo in Nopo.

So. If there's anything you'd like to know about me, to hear about or challenge me to write about (or photograph!), I invite you to do so now. It doesn't mean I will, but I'm open to requests. And finally, what are you waiting for? Won't you join me?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's the way of the season

Spent the last day surrounded by sniffle coughers, and now I have it.
Darn it.
I've been fending it off for a while, but my body has given in. The remedy?
Muy delicioso Sopa de Lima (this will be in heavy rotation this winter: highly recommend this soup) with extra cilantro to kick my nostrils into gear...
Sopa de Lima
...followed by some naptime on the couch in the sun. Looks like a certain someone wanted to join me, up close and personal.
sick and napping in the sun

Sunday, October 21, 2007

For the kindness of bloggers: a pink bike!

Never did I imagine that my nonchalant Twitter about oogling over a Townie would lead to borrowing one from a fellow blogger. But it did!
Riding a pink bike is way more fun than a normal bike
The awesome VJ at altportland saw my Twitter and offered me the opportunity to test one out by borrowing a Townie she had. And lo and behold, it was not just a bike. It was a work of art.
Tricked out Townie
And to say riding the bike was fun is an understatement. The great thing about a Townie is that you can sit upright on them. No leaning over, but comfortable upright riding. And since it was pink, and the helmet was pink, and it had a basket adorned with silk flowers, stickers, fenders and even a knitted cozy on its frame, I couldn't but help smile the biggest grin while toodling around North Portland on it. One ten-year old boy saw me and started laughing and elbowing his friend, and I just smiled and suggested he was jealous. I bet he was. Finally returned the beautiful pink bike today, and guess who has the same Halloween costume? That would be Echo, VJ's sweet shy puppers. Of course bloggers have cameras, and of course, we have a photo for you.
Echo and Wink
Can you believe she let me borrow her bicycle? And to meet in real life was a special treat. Thank you, VJ. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What to do with an abundant harvest? Why can, of course.

Cause I can can can. Cause I can can can. If I had a soundtrack to this post, that would be it (thanks to Moulin Rouge). Because this weekend I learned to can.

I had called my Homestead Hookup (she has also recently loaned me her sewing machine, thus the moniker) and the next thing I knew, I had two wonderful women at my door with everything we needed to do some canning. With my recently picked apples from Hood River, we got to business.
JiFa and her lovely daughter, we'll just call her Emo :)
On the agenda? Carrots in vinegar, honey and dill, followed by Apple Ginger Jam, and finally, Spiced Apples. I don't think this would have been near as much fun by myself. And a personal coach!? I'm so darn lucky.
Canning is also a facial: steam bath galore
I learned a whole new world. Canning is pretty technical. You have to do each step just right or BAM! Botulism and you die. Seriously. You do have to be pretty meticulous. Sanitizing the jars, filling them but keeping enough headroom at the top, wiping the jar edges, boiling the lids, placing the lids, screwing on the lids, then the hot water bath. And steam! I can't imagine doing this on a blazing hot summer day (like my mom always did). Pop pop pop go the lids afterwards. And in the end? Wow.
Apple Ginger Jam and Carrots with Dill,  Honey and Vinegar
It was so rewarding to stack these up in the basement. And that jam? Uh, super, super tasty. The spiced apples come from my memories of a grandmother who served these spicy red cold slices with dinner (you know the meal we now call lunch). She once showed me how she made them, and I believe it was a whole lot of cinnamon red hots melted down and apple slices simmered in them. My recipe here is different with a sauce of cloves, cinnamon sticks, and a few cinnamon red hots, and those apple slices. Look how beautiful the jars are...
Spiced apples
I loved doing this, and I'm so lucky to know how to now! While this summer's abundance has waned, fall's pears, apples and carrots are still going strong, so I foresee a little canning in my future. More photos of the canning experience are here.

All of this comes from a fantastic book I read this summer, Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally. So why eat local? Is it just another new buzzword? No, it's really about going back a generation or two. Fresh vegetables and fruit taste so much better, and eating local means it's not being shipped all over the world (think about it in miles and how few miles you can have in a meal). Eating locally means you support local farms and farmers. And you know how much we love picking and going to farms.

There's loads of online support, guidance and hookups. These are some resources I've been inspired by...
Edible Portland—part of the Edible network. Gorgeous, too.
Eat Local Challenge—great ways to think about and incorporate eating locally, and really excellent stories of others doing the same thing
One Local Summer—summer being pretty much the easiest time of year to go local, really great recipes and stories in the links
Dirt to Dish–is really local, and here in North Portland. Her stories of eating fresh, local and healthy are fun and include issues of transportation, families, and gardening.
Kitchen Parade—an amazing resource for healthy seasonal recipes. Her directions for super slow roasting tomatoes are handy, among others.

We're going back to Hood River this weekend for a big autumn festival. I think we all know we'll return with a car trunk full of freshness.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The world of the internets and food blogging: hashbrown casseroles

I love a good cookbook, that's for sure, but the web has really opened up info on recipes, food blogging, food styling and photography. I mean, anybody can share their recipes. That brings us to these. Make sure you have ink in the printer, I have a feeling you're going to be printing and saving each one of these.

It's hard to choose one to start with. I'm thinking the Hashbrown Casserole.
1 (32 oz.) pkg. frozen hash browns (2 lbs.)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. grated cheddar cheese (I wonder if I could substitute Velveeta?)
1/4 c. melted butter
3 c. cornflakes, crush cornflakes in Ziploc™ bag, pour
melted butter in & shake.
Spray casserole dish with oil. Layer 1/2 hash brown first. Then pour 1/2 of soup mixture = cream of chicken, milk, onion powder, salt, & pepper. Then half of the grated cheese. Repeat… Hash browns, soup mixture, grated cheese. Top with crushed, buttered corn flakes. Bake at 350 for 45 min. (Jana’s favorite meal!)
And in case you get sucked into that website, don't miss the photo album. One of my favorites...
Props to my fellow foodie for sharing this delicious resource with all of us. Praise be.

Gift of Yum

gift of yum
Organic Pear Butter courtesy of Tim. You can get some too, see?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jesus dresses up for Halloween too

So wrong, yet so.........wrong. Can't. Help. Myself. Go on, you know you want to...

My new rig and sweet revenge

Okay okay okay. I've moved on from my last car picture. Here's my new rig. I'm hoping to go unnoticed in the neighborhood. What do you think?
No one will see me in this truck
I don't think they send this truck on stake outs.
I was mesmerized by the rims. They spin and spin and spin and spin....
bling bling spin spin
But the best part is this:
Seized from a drug dealer!
Sweet revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I love it when friends see things that make them think of me

...and then they send it to me. But this one? I have ***no idea*** why anyone would think I might have this.

And just to keep it clear, I don't. But thanks, friend-who-shall-rename-nameless, for sending this link to me. It might just show up on my Christmas wishlist. Unless I can get a locally made one at the St. Johns Holiday Bazaar Marketplace and Baked Goods Jamboree.

The L Word: Season 5 is coming

And I can't stop watching the preview...

I feel pretty and witty and...

...famous. Thanks for the great interview! That was fun. Check out Aaron's new blog. I'm digging the reporting on the blog scene. It could become the Perez Hilton of Portland area blogs!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another farm, another harvest: apples and memories of my childhood

Pears on a farm
"You've said that already."
"But it's true!"
I had been repeating "I can't believe we've never been up here" for much of the trip. We were on an adventure to Hood River and the famous Fruit Loop. We go strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, black and marionberry picking in the spring and summer, but we had never gone to the orchards in the fall. What a beautiful trip.
apples glow on the tree
It was so easy: apples right at arms length, all ripe and glowing and ready to be picked.
bucket, mid fill
She got a little bit giddy with how easy it was, so I followed her with the camera as she picked to fill the bucket. One price per bucket. As much as it could hold. And someone was determined to fill that bucket as high as it would go.
I think visiting farms and fields and orchards is special to both of us, with memories of our childhoods wrapped into it.
For me, growing up in the fertile valley in Ventura County, California, we were a town surrounded by produce. Fields upon fields of all kinds of produce connecting Oxnard to Camarillo to Somis to Saticoy and Santa Paula. Orange and lemon and avocado trees were abundant, with windbreaks of big eucalyptus, their scent filling the air and mingling in spring with citrus blooms. Heading just east climbed a little in elevation and to the ranches of Ojai.

About this time of year, we'd pile into the Country Squire and head to Ojai, past the crooked palm (it grew up, then to a right angle, then straight up again) along the highway and to the big red barn and the apple orchards. That big red barn was a magical place where you'd pay for the apples you picked, but they also pressed apple cider and juice. On weekends the place was buzzing with excitement. The lines to ride the tractor trailer out to the trees could be long, and my impatient parents had us set out on foot, or, most likely, we got there early when the air was still heavy with fog, and we were the first ones in the orchards. Ladders stood waiting, and we'd scramble up and down them, harvesting the red gems.

My brother's memory of the place brings back a mouthful of hornets when he drank his unattended cider without looking. He was in Ojai last year and says the barn is gone. But I read about Ojai in travel and gardening publications, now famous for its spas and restaurants. But it's also famous for the committed farmers and growers there, churning out beautiful produce and publications of their stories. Some of them are still there.

I have a box brimming with apples, and some freshly pressed cider in the fridge. It must be fall.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cue the cute factor

Ginger is officially ready for Day of the Dead
Look who was in the house for a quick 24-hour visit? Yes, that's Ginger. Damn, that girl is snappy sassy and I just can't help but laugh when she's around. Had a lovely visit with RSG with a lunch at Little Red Bike (um, that mac'n'cheese is really good) and talked her into leaving Ginger for a sleep over. Yeah!

When sisters are together, they must dress alike and of course, have a portrait taken. Thus, sugar skull bandanas matchy match just in time for Day of the Dead...
Sisters: a quick one day visit called for a quick matching bandana
Now that Ginger is gone, Wink is sad. Sigh. Next time, next time.
Wink is always on the alert and ready

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The pressure of titling a blog post

i went to the country and this is what i saw
Oh the pressure. So many options for this one.
I went to the country and all I got was this lousy car.
Aah, the Oregon countryside.

Honey, can you help me in this thing?

I'll stop there. But damn, you know I made AdRi turn the car around so I could get a picture of this.