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{Wednesday, October 04, 2006}

A Fall Visit to Hood River

A & I drove out to Hood River on Sunday afternoon after we tried to catch our friend Katie who was running the Portland Marathon. We waited until will after she was supposed to be at the 21 mile mark and never saw her. I hope she is okay and that we just didn't see her.

Out in Hood River we went to the Rasmussen Farm where it was the opening day of Pumpkin Fun Land!! We bought a whole bunch of pears and apples which I am going to turn into cider and other things. The prices were fantastic compared to our local store. I paid 49 cents a pound for the apples and 59 cents a pound for the pears. Compare that to between $1.99 and $2.99 per pound for the same varieties.

They had a big U-Pick pumpkin patch out back:

We wandered through its expanse that also included these incredibly huge sunflowers. A is posed next to them to give the proper sense of scale.

Well next week we are off to New York for vacation. We're doing New York City for a couple of days before we drive up to Ithaca for my alma mater's homecoming. I haven't been back in about a dozen years and A has never been to the Northeast. We should be hitting darn close to peak Autumn colors. A has threatened to ship back 40 pound bags of the red leaves. I'll take pictures and hopefully be able to update while I'm there. I'm not taking my computer because of the hassle, but i should be able to find plenty of computers with internet access if not in the City then in Ithaca.

posted by The Brooklynite 5:43 PM
Ooompah! Prost!

A & I went to the Oaks Park Oktoberfest. Good Paulaner beers on tap, decent trinkets for sale including some folks making intricately decorative glass beads of which A bought a few, and rip-roarin' polka tunes. We left around 10 pm and things were really just getting going in the beer tent. This is the lead singer and accordian player of one of the bands, getting the crowd very into it.

posted by The Brooklynite 4:39 PM
I say po-tay-toe, you say po-tah-toe

This is the first year that I have ever grown potatoes. We planted red, white and blue varieties for obvious reasons. The blues are wonderfully sweet and very potatoey tasting. Here's some of our reds:

We were invited to a wonderful Harvest party a couple of weekends ago. So I decided I would dig up some of the crop that afternoon, slice 'em up and fry up some potato chips. It took a lot longer than I expected because we fried them in very small batches. But, oh they tasted so yummy.

posted by The Brooklynite 9:59 AM

{Tuesday, October 03, 2006}

Lets Go To The Beach

In mid-September, A & I were joined by our friends Paul & Sheila for a weekend at the Sea Rose Bed & Breakfast in Oceanside. On the way there we stopped in Tillamook to acquire some snacks for the weekend and ran into a steady rain. But by the time we came over the hill and down into Oceanside, we were greeted with blue skies and sunshine.

On Saturday we went over to the Cape Meares Lighthouse. Here's a view from the bluff looking south. In the middle on the beach, you can see some tiny little dots, which are people participating in the semi-annual SOLV beach clean-up. We cleaned up on the Oceanside beach the day before.

While at Cape Meares we went for a short hike and found all sorts of cool mushrooms including this big one that made me think a gnome was come out from under it:

and these Lobster Mushrooms, which we picked and A & I had for dinner the following Monday:

On Sunday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast followed by some quality time out on the back porch. Here's Paul & Sheila and then there is a shot of me holding B&B's cat Puddin (too cute, I know).

posted by The Brooklynite 2:46 PM
More Stairs

In my continuing updates from September, I had to rebuild my front porch stairs lest the mailman step through the rotting steps sometime this coming winter. This time, I am proud to say that I custom-built them all by myself. I had to design a more gentle slope so that the stairs would actually land on the concrete and not just dirt. That also meant doing some custom fitting at the bottom of the stringers to account for the slope of the concrete.

Prior to working on the stairs, I had to repost a front corner of the porch because the post was rotting away. The post I used to replace the old, disintegrating one was 6 inches longer. And I still have a pretty wicked slope on the front porch, which makes the stairs look goofy even though they are level.

Now the front porch is accessible and since I removed the yucky siding from the porch railings, it's beginning to look more welcoming as a porch. Maybe we'll get more trick-or-treaters this year:

posted by The Brooklynite 2:37 PM

{Monday, October 02, 2006}

Early September Shot of Garden Plot

Here is the garden plot as of early September:

We have about a dozen pumpkins that are all medium sized, orange and almost perfectly jack-o-lantern-shaped.

The sunflowers went nuts with this one reaching far above the eaves of the neighbor's "barn."

I'll get some update shots this next week of the plot showing the decline of Fall but the resurgence of the underlying flowers.

posted by The Brooklynite 10:00 PM
More Garden Delight

This has been my best year for tomatoes ever at the Lafayette Street home. We have a half dozen varieties of romas, plums, beefsteaks and cherries. Here's one harvest's worth:

We have yellow romas and yellow/orange cherries. The cherry tomatoes are volunteers that have come up every year I have gardened since I bought the place in 1994. We decided to make a yellow marinara with this delicious fruit. Here are the blanched and peeled romas before dropping them in the food processor:

And here is the resulting sauce that looked rather weird but tasted just absolutely wonderfully tomatoey:

posted by The Brooklynite 9:53 PM
Keepin' it cool

We had one of our more consistently warmer/hot summers that extended well into September this year. With many days over 90 and some approaching or breaking 100, we added a new cooling device to our home: the kiddie pool. Just sitting next to it in the shade with our feet submerged really helped to keep our cool.

posted by The Brooklynite 9:48 PM

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