Thursday, June 1, 2017

This is NOT my Portland

This is the email I sent to the mayor and other elected officials yesterday.  I didn't get a single response.  
I've been here 22 years.  I used to say I died and went to heaven when I moved here.  I don't say that anymore.  

My habits have had to change drastically in the last few years.

  • I no longer go downtown.  The homeless and traffic are too terrible to bear.  I love the downtown farmers market but have mostly given it up.  Nor do I shop downtown anymore.
  • I live in a very walkable part of Portland and have always enjoyed walking.  We can do most of our errands on foot..  I have curtailed some of my walking and now feel I have to carry pepper spray, even in my neighborhood.
  • I've had so many plants stolen from my yard that I no longer plant things I value.
  • There is so much theft, car prowling and break ins that I have baby monitors that I use to listen to whether anyone is approaching my house.  I take the monitors to bed with me so I can listen all night.
  • When I have a package coming, I have to watch for it because leaving anything on the porch makes it likely to be stolen.
  • I am afraid to use public transportation.
  • I am afraid to attend a city council meeting.
  • I don't want friends from out of town to visit because I am ashamed of my city.
It feels like I am under siege.  This is NOT my Portland.

Now we have criminals crawling the streets, taking what they want.  This guy has a big knife.  He is on the porch of this house, trying to get in.  The photo is from a security camera video.  The video shows him circling the house,  taking things and trying to get into the house.  Very creepy.

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

Today at our house

John made a new gate

I made Peter's bread

And we worked in the garden

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.

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