Lettuce Give Thanks

Sleeping Porch Bunnies

Kind of a quiet day today. The calm before tomorrow’s storm. I photographed these two rabbits from inside the sleeping porch. I think that they’ve taken up residence under the cabin, because I’ve seen one or another of them darting out from beneath the cabin, for the last several days. One of them has white socks, but they are both rather badly infested with ticks. I wonder what they make of the two neighborhood hellhounds, Vivian and Mocha, who daily patrol this place. I think that the rabbits might have the weight advantage on them.

I’ve been doing a fair amount of cooking up here. I made a version of my avocado toast for the 4th of July potluck and there was enough of it left over, so that I could fix Anne and I breakfast on Saturday. We made dinner last night, pasta. We used blue cheese to make the sauce, which we laced with vegetables, but the secret ingredient was in the noodles, which were made from chickpeas. Don’t tell Bubs though, because she really liked it and I’m not so sure she would take that news well. Anne tossed a salad. Today, I made Californian chicken salad, which is basically just chicken salad, with fruit and nuts added. This also went over well. Tonight, Anne and I helped Harry’s frozen Stouffer’s lasagna, with fresh garlic bread and a tossed salad. Tomorrow, I plan on doing a London broil, complemented with roasted zucchini slices.

Lettuce Give Thanks

Portland (2)

Portland’s Japanese Gardens

We walked to breakfast at La Luna, which is close to the motel. I had their Irish Benny, which was perfect and and Anne had their frittata, which featured a carrot pesto. Looking forward to a day of grazing, as we amble about town. After fighting Portland’s traffic last night, coming into town, I’m in no mood to move the Prius until it’s time to leave. We have a parking space at the motel and I haven’t seen another one yet around town. Google maps warned us that parking here would be difficult. Fortunately for us, one spot came with the room. It’s a very walkable city and today we’ll try its public transport too.

After breakfast our goal was to see Portland’s Japanese Garden. It took us hours to travel the few miles to get there though, but we weren’t in all that much of a hurry anyway. First, we hiked out of our way to cross the river. We crossed on the Hawthorne Bridge, instead of the Burnside, except the bridge operators chose this time to test the draw feature on this bridge. Once across, we went to the visitor’s center and bought trolley tickets to Washington Park. Although, it might have been train tickets that we purchased, there are four T’s here in Portland. We walked the trails portion on foot and I know that it wasn’t the tram, because that’s an aerial transport and we got off our railed vehicle in a tunnel.

From there we took an elevator up to the park. We surfaced near the zoo, which meant we still had some walking left to do. We walked through the city’s arboretum, which was fantastic. Got to the nature center there and then hopped the free shuttle around the park. The driver had great commentary. She dropped us off at the Japanese Garden. Portland has both climate and topography that is closer to Japan’s and this is reflected in their garden. I was impressed.

Afterwards, we began walking back downhill towards the river. We saw some more sights within the park, most notably Portland’s Holocaust Memorial. Earlier in the day, Anne had asked directions from this bicyclist. He was Jewish and had a Saint Louis connection with U-city. He gave us some great leads on places to go. People out here are amazed that we have driven so far, then they become positively stupefied when they learn that we have been tent camping. I know that we are way outside the normal demographic, but we like it.

We did a Kevin and snagged some frozen yogurt. That kept us going a little bit longer. We shopped Patagonia, but found the prices Pata-Gucci. I ended up buying a Timbuktu messenger bag, to replace my rather grody REI one. Anne hit Eddie Bauer here and even though we have one back in Saint Louis scored record discounts and bought a new t-shirt and backpack for half of what I spent.

In-between all of this shopping, I had to get off my feet. We did happy hour at the Zeus Café. The northwest’s version of Florida’s senior citizen early-bird suppers. We ordered the kale Caesar and a beet-strawberry salad and the cheese plate. We got props from our server, for ordering “a nice little meal. We both enthralled and got our ear talked of by the owner, with our STL-tent story.

We crossed the river and because our nice little meal was wearing off, hit Base Camp Brewery. It had food trucks. We had toured Portland’s downtown food truck mecca, which unfortunately, is scheduled for demolition next week, but that was too soon after Zeus. The extra miles made it perfect.

Saturday-Saturday Silliness

Playing with My Food

When Comerciante Jose’s French croissants go bad… I can’t have my other breakfast dishes scarfing up my bacon. No, no, no this will not do, especially on a Saturday-Saturday. (When everyday is Saturday, you still sometimes have to differentiate the days of the week.) Otherwise, who knows what will eat all of your bacon and then where will you be? Without any bacon. D’oh!

Anyway, Saturday-Saturday is the day of the week that I usually fix Anne a special breakfast. Lately, I’ve substituted out toast in favor of Comerciante Jose’s French croissants. They require some forethought, because one needs to stay up all night kneading the dough. I usually do all four of them that come in a pack, so that we can again enjoy them on Sunday-Saturday.

I’ve been on a bit of an avocado toast tear of late, but today decided to mix it up with eggs and bacon. Ahhh… bacon. The eggs are mixed-up omelet style, with cheese (gorgonzola) and veggies (green onions and bell peppers), but I find it too much trouble to keep them all together and usually go with a scramble.

It is a rainy Saturday-Saturday and cold too. So, not exactly a good day to go out to play. Still, there is something guilt free about lounging around the house on a rainy day. The sun will come out tomorrow and I’ll get out then. Fiddle-dee-dee.

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

Tis the season… to go partying! Last night, we attended Anne’s seasonal social gathering for teachers at the Southtown Pub. No kids allowed. It was too loud and was difficult to hold a conversation. We didn’t stay very long. Tonight, we attend Smokin’ Joe’s Christmas cookie party. As prep I made gingerbread men to share. One of them ended up with a hot foot. The excuse for this party is to make more cookies, but for me the social aspects are the main draw. It will be good to see some of my former co-workers again and catch-up on office gossip. Every year, more and more of the attendees are retired, like me. Making such gossip increasingly rare and harder to come by.

Our holiday travel plans continue to gel. Anne and I will be driving ourselves to Ann Arbor. The boys are both flying into Detroit, which will entail multiple trips to the airport. Pickups and weather could cause some scheduling jiggle.

I continue planning and booking (as openings appear) our summer road trip. I’ve got us heading west through Denver and Vegas to Monterey. Currently, I’m working my way north along the coast, with eventual plans for San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. Then I’ll be looking at working our way east again. The big question that is yet to be decided is whether or not we first return home or go directly to the cabin. We’ll want the bikes there this year and getting them up there without first swinging home again would require some travel gymnastics, but would not be impossible to workout. I hope.

Axe-ceptable Losses

Team Axe-ceptable Losses

They brought in a ringer from Boston. I hear he’s wicked smaht! And they then went on to win the whole tournament. Dan and Dave cleaned up at the Carcosa Club in tony Williamsburg yesterday, playing Warhammer 40K. The boyz were planning this rendezvous over Thanksgiving. I’m glad everything turned out so well for them. 40k is a fun game to play, but it’s even more acceptable to win!

Closer to home, what ya got cooking? For breakfast, my go to dish—avocado toast was augmented this week, by an early seasonal present from Monsieur C. Like an X-Man, he put the X-mas back into Christmas with some of his tasty, homemade, smoked and oven-roasted San Marzano tomatoes. They were served as a side, like bacon, only they’re better for you.

For dinner, I crock-potted some beef stew. Which we’ll be having it for dinner all week-long. This will clear the boards nicely for my annual foray into cookie making for Smokin’ Joe’s holiday cookie party. Last year, I mimicked Mr. C’s gift and made visions of sugar plums dance in their heads. C had included a recipe for them and they turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. I could reprise them or the filo fruit cups that were featured earlier this week, but I’m thinking that I’ll make gingerbread men, with emoji expressions instead.