Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spent, To Be and Now

A beautiful white camellia with a spent blossom beside it, as well as a bud.



Another camellia on the same tree


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mama's first bus outing with her new walker

We went to the Mall 205 Red Robin: America's Gourmet Burgers and Spirits on the 15 bus. It was Tip-A-Cop for Special Olympics, a fund raiser supported by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. The sun was out, a perfect day for Mama to try the bus with her new walker with four wheels, hand brakes and a seat; we left the basket at home. Lamont's been taking her to physical therapy for a couple of months--the therapists decided this sort of walker offered Mama more independence and confidence.

On the way up the slope towards NW 23rd, Mama stopped for a rest.

Here she is waiting for the bus on the corner of NW 23rd and NW Flanders. The gusty wind poofed the front of her hair.

Curious Georgette, at your service! See how the wind messed with her hair? I've got her walker over where I'm sitting--it would not fit in the seat with her.

She's keeping her eye on the road, isn't she?

I got a grin out of her here!

A couple of Red Robin employees wave at vehicles, hoping to draw in some customers and Special Olympics supporters.

Yep, I was too hungry to remember to take a photo first!

Here's a patrol car, decorated with balloons for the special occasion. You can tell there was a still stiff breeze.

While we were at the table, a nice-looking woman in a bright blue top, with really pretty white hair walked up to us and said, "Hello. I'm Karen from Stayton, Oregon. I just wanted to say hello. I recognized you from the Portland blog." Well, you probably could have flown an airplane in and out of both of our mouths! That's how surprised we were. Pleased as punch, too. She said she'd moved from Portland to Stayton and felt like she visited Portland every time she looked at the blog. How nice!

We'll go back sometime--the burgers and fries were good. Maybe next time I'll get a spirit, too! Afterall, I'll be riding the bus.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our edible bounty from the Portland Farmers Market

I couldn't resist four different pepper jellies from the Rose City Pepperheads.
Double Dare is listed as Wicked--whew, it's blastin' hot! Smokin' Margarita is listed as Wild, and it's pretty hot, too. I like both of them a whole lot, let me tell you.
Mango Madness and Apricot w/Attitude are listed as Mild--they're more sweet than hot and taste great. Mama might even like them.
Here's some info about the pepper jellies that I bought.
Habanero peppers have 300,000 Scoville Units! According to the label. Habaneros and the manzana peppers (100,000 Scoville units) are in Double Dare! Smokin' Margarita has habaneros in it, too. So does Apricot w/Attitude. And on the label for Mango Madness mango peppers are listed.

Juicy tomatoes.

Crisp carrots and onions. I steamed four of them to have with our supper leftovers--meat loaf, sauteed sweet onion, zucchini and yellow squash, mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Fresh asparagus and leafy greens.

Sweet pears and apples.

Delicious delicacies from Market Gourmet.
A peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. I got this for me, but I gave Mama a taste.
I can't remember the exact name, an apple creme something. I got it for Mama who throughly enjoyed it. I got a taste of it.
The little black dress brownie--wow! We're sharing this one and the next one, too.
A perfect slice of almond cake. You ought to smell it, much less taste it!
The best quiche I've ever eaten! Spinach and artichoke.

Sorry, I didn't want to untape the package for the photo. Use your vivid imagination once you've read the ingredients. Suffice it to say that I ate a very small portion of it Sunday for lunch, along with Smokin' Margarita and Apricot w/Attitude pepper jellies, part of an organic Golden Delicious apple from Fred Meyer--Mama and I had already eaten a Braeburn Saturday afternoon and a Bosc pear, too--and some yellow corn chips that I used with the pepper jellies, spreading it liberally across the chips. No photos. I couldn't be distracted too much from Talladega, too much going on!

My Saturday lunch. I believe I've been to heaven right here in our kitchen!
I steamed some of the asparagus. That's one of those small tomatoes in the bowl on top of some of the leafy greens. I really don't know which ones I ate, but I do know they were really good. Of course, for some purists I may have made a monumental mistake--ranch dressing. I like it! What can I say? Oh, I chopped up two of those little onions, too. Oh, I told Lamont that I'd eaten some kale and wondered why the stems were so tough, that I'd seen a woman demonstrating how to get it off the stems earlier Sunday morning so that made me realize what I'd done wrong. He asked, "You ate it raw?" I replied, "Yes. I didn't think I was supposed to cook anything that I had in the bag because I thought the sign at the booth said salad." It was baby kale, not great big leaves, not nearly as big as the one the lady stripped on TV.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

My first visit to the Portland Farmers' Market at PSU in the South Park Blocks ... what a Saturday morning treat! Thanks, Sarah!

I bought a bunch of these carrots.
When I set them down to pay for them, the guy calmly, deftly twisted the tops right off and tossed them into a box behind him on the sidewalk. Surprised, I said, "Oh, we want those for Sarah's chickens!" So he handed the box to her, I gave her a Fred Meyer bag I'd brought, and she filled it up. "The girls are gonna love this," she cried.

To tell the truth, the two of us girls loved the entire outing and the bounty we brought to our respective homes.

Sarah, my friend from work, the one who gave those us gorgeous eggs a few weeks ago, picked me up in her Honda SUV at 8:30 a.m. At the traffic signal on SW Salmon at SW 14th, I spied this glorious pink dogwood out the driver's side window. As I snapped my first shot, Sarah lowered the automatic window. You can see the blurry edge of the window as it goes down in this photo.
I have to show you the second photo, too. Isn't that a beautiful sight on a cool spring morning?

As she searched for a parking spot close to the Farmers Market, my eyes locked onto these white items along the sidewalk. "What's that?" I asked. Sarah saw a spot just then, so we parked. "I don't know, but we're going to walk right by them," Sarah said. And we did on our way to the market.
See them down the sidewalk?
And across the street.
I like these, but I'm glad I didn't have to drill all of these holes!
One more close up.
Interesting for sure.
Here's what I found about the sculptures at TriMet's Web site: Fernanda D’Agostino has proposed 10 to 12 carved granite sculptures based on diatoms, microscopic organisms studied to determine the health of a water system. The over-sized “Diatoms” will be located in the infiltration strips adjacent to Portland State University in reference to TriMet’s and their shared emphasis on sustainability. I'd say that TriMet accepted his proposal--I have beheld the proof.

Around the corner and a couple of blocks west we entered the market area itself. I quickly realized heaven on earth awaited all five of my senses. Here are my photos, in no particular order.

I smelled food being cooked. I tasted a crepe, a slice of pear, a slice of apple, pepper jellies, pear cider, and a bite of arugula as well as a bite of pate. I touched everything I tasted except for the pear cider--it was in a tiny paper cup.
A man makes a crepe.
My crepe with eggs and Black Forest ham.
Did this ever smell good! Salumeria di Carlo, who make Italian sausage sandwiches, either spicy southern or sweet northern. You can add those grilled veggies, too.
My scrumptious crepe, filled with eggs and Black Forest ham. Dining on it kept me from buying a sausage sandwich--maybe next time!

I saw flowers, vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs, pastries, jellies, honey, cherries and chocolate, plants, vegetable and herb starts, and lots of engaged vendors.
Double daffodils.
I got a bunch of these yellow double daffodils on my way back to the car.
Asparagus--I bought some even smaller than these at another vendor.
Tulips were everywhere. Sarah got one of these bouquets.
I got a bunch of these teensy green onions.
I haven't seen this plant since I left Mississippi. It's called Wandering Jew, but we called it cane. Our sweet friend Kay had a huge pot of it. She put a few stems broken off on purpose into one of our big pots. Before long, we had our own pot of it which we kept for the next five years, out on our patio/deck. I put it into a tent each winter to protect it from the cold.
See what I mean about the tulips?
I've never seen these spiral petals! Have you?
Aren't these eggs beautiful?
I got some of these Red Anjou and Bosc pears. And in the background are the apples--I got two Braeburns. I tasted the Bosc and the Braeburn before buying. Good taste, great texture.
More gorgeous veggies.
I forgot to go back for some of this, doggone it.
Starts galore. Oh, if only I had some dirt!
Baby turnips, what a sight.
This is where I loaded up a bag of greens, all sorts of really fresh, great tasting greens. The only think lacking was more tongs to grab the greens.
A tier of quiche delights! I got a spinach, artichoke one--yummy beyond compare.
Next time spinach pie!
Rainbow chard and another photographer.
Veggie Valet--stupendous idea!
Well, she walked in just as I snapped the Veggie Valet, but I'm leaving her there because I like the bags and the petunias!
Baby bok choy.
One of the few vendor names I can remember, Salmon Creek Farms, Battle Ground, Washington--these are their tomatoes. Across from this pile there were small brown paper bags, grab bags for $2 I think, each with four of last week's tomatoes in them. I got one because I could tell they still looked very good.
And one of their beefsteaks. Beautiful, aren't they? Here's more about this vendor that I found on the Farmers Market Web site, Hydroponics and Bee farm (Apiary). I didn't buy any honey or bees wax, but I did see it.
Look at the perfection of form and color in these artichokes.

I heard people asking questions about produce, fruit, flowers, food at an information booth, as well as a musician standing on the corner in front of the Simon Benson House.
Information booth near the Simon Benson House.

Here's a guy who must have a strong ability to restrain himself. By that I mean if all he bought was what appears to be lettuce and onions, he's able to withstand the bounty way better than I was.

My big, water-repellent bag, holding my two bunches of flowers.

Sarah and her tulips!

So Portland, on the way home, to see once again that strange van I first noticed a few weeks ago on West Burnside--right beside the westbound MAX a block from where it had derailed last Monday. There's something different on the van already. Look at my post "Whoa! What's That?" as seen in an earlier April post.

Here's a bit about the Portland Farmers Market, from their Web site.
Consistently ranked as one of the best farmers markets in the country, our Saturday Market at PSU has grown to become one of Portland's premier events for locals and tourists alike. After spending some time experiencing its energy, diversity and abundance, it is easy to understand why.
Since there are other markets happening on other days and during other months, I hope to get to some of them, too. The Web site says: So don't miss out on this landmark Portland experience. And then take the time to visit the other four Portland Farmers Markets. Each has its own unique feel and appeal... from the integration of Wednesday's market into downtown life to the neighborhood feel of King and Eastbank, to the intimacy of the Pearl.

Tomorrow, I'll post photos of the bounty that I brought home!