Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Theory of Everything

This movie is about Stephen Hawking and his his amazing wife Jane Wilde.  I really enjoyed it.

More Memaloose Flowers

We went back for a second visit on a sunny day.  It's been so cold this year that the flowers lasted a long time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Memaloose Wildflowers

Yesterday we visited Memaloose.

There were dozens of kinds of wildflowers; the balsam root and Indian Paintbrush were the showiest.  Sadly I saw no hummingbirds this year.  But there were lots of song birds.

More photos here.  See other years here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bacon Bread

Today I made Pain au Bacon from the Ken Forkish cookbook Flour Water Salt Yeast.  The kitchen smelled amazing while it was baking.  This is my first time making the Pain au Bacon and the bread is delicious.

See all those bacon bits?

This bread is a levain bread, made from the wild yeast that is everywhere.   I got interested in these recipes when our neighbor, Peter, shared some amazing bread he baked from the Ken Forkish book and method.   Peter bases his recipe on the book recipe Field Blend #2 adding fennel seeds and caraway seeds and some honey.  I call it Peter's Bread and it is John's favorite bread ever.  So for John's birthday, I learned how to make Peter's bread.  I've made it several times and it is really good.

Yesterday we bought a 50 pound bag of Shepherd's Grain flour, which is what Ken Forkish uses.  Shepherd's Grain is a Northwest Regional group of farmers who are good to the soil.  Their flour is used by many of the local artisan bakeries, including Ken's Artisan Bakery (Ken Forkish bakery).  We bought a 50 lb bag of Shepherd's Low Gluton flour at Cash and Carry for $17 .

Besides the book and Peter's tips on making the bread, I found a series of YouTube videos Ken Forkish made  to illustrate his methods.  They were very helpful.  Here is one on feeding the levain.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring flowers

We had one nice dry day.  It was great.

But mostly it just rains and rains this year.  It's been awful for the farmers.  Here is a picture of a field at Sptringhill Farms.  We get their tomatoes at the farmers' market.  I fear for this year's crops and for the farmers.

Image may contain: plant, outdoor, water and nature

Our Horrible Winter

We had huge amounts of rain, record rain.  We had snow and major ice storms and lots of freezing rain.  Most of the winter it was unpleasant to be outside.

This chart is from Mark Nelson, local weatherman.  His weather blog is excellent and has lots of great information on our horrible winter.

The Columbia Gorge took such a beating.  I've never seen damage like this in all my years here.  They even closed the Historic Columbia Gorge highway from mud slides.

Source Mudslide closes road
Some intrepid hikers did visit the Columbia Gorge and posted photos of the conditions.  The links are to trip reports on Oregon Hikers.

Source: Don Nelson
The snow and ice and mudslides and fallen trees make a mess of the trail.

Source-Eagle Creek Jan 30th

The freezing rain coats everything again and again, taking down trees and branches and making beautiful treacherous sculptures.

Vista House

And by mid February the trails look like this.