Thursday, September 8, 2011

Procrastination Post

So I am sure some of you are anxiously awaiting the "After Shots" of our amazing new apartment, unfortunately I am also looking forward to the time when "After Shots" can be taken with great anticipation. Right now we are still living amongst chaos and mess and boxes, so we will all have to wait a little longer for those pictures. We have all the rooms painted (except the bathroom, but that is a project for another time) and it looks GREAT. I am especially in love with the kitchen color. The place, upon closer inspection, was pretty filthy when we moved in, so it did not help that we had to clean clean clean before we could do anything. Fortunately my mom was here, and on a cleaning mission, and anyone who knows my mom knows what can be accomplished when she has "a mission." It's powerful stuff. 

Ok, so in order to mollify my many adoring fans/family members (who may turn into zombie-like roving hordes if I do not post pictures) here are some pictures of our "last supper" in the old place. Yes it is tomato season, they are cheap and ripe, and bacon is always in season, and this means BLTs!!!! And what more perfect to go with your scrumptious and seasonal BLTs than some very reasonably priced brussel sprouts from Trader Joes that you can cook right up in the left over bacon grease. It's like a match made in heven. 
Alrighty, everyone knows how to make BLTs (I hope) but in case you don't, the ingredients are:
-bacon (not too crispy if you are like me)
-tomato (we had heirlooms at $2.99/lb. yes please!)
-mayonaise (if you like miracle whip just don't tell me because I will respect you less)
-bread (toasted of course)
Most of the ingredients are right there in the name, so it's pretty hard to forget. Brussel sprouts are also few ingredients (brussels, bacon fat, salt, pepper) but are finicky little things. So many people dislike brussel sprouts because they were made the way that makes them taste horrible, and for a long time that was me. Then I worked at Winslow's Home in St Louis and their brussels were green and fresh with crisped edges, not mushy and bitter. They said the secret was blanching the brussels, that keeps them green, but that seems like far too much work. I tried to replicate at thanksgiving 2009, but put them in the oven to keep warm while everything else finished and they were ruined. This time I know better. Med-high heat, don't stir too often (the burned parts kinda caramelize and they are the best), don't cook too long, and eat right away. I wasn't sure if these puppies would get weird in the fridge over night, so I ate them all (Nathan helped) and that was A LOT of brussel sprouts. But look how pretty!

Ok, then mom came and we hoped down to Oregon for a little vay-kay. Good to get out of Seattle for a bit, and out of our apartment where everything was in boxes!

First we stopped briefly to visit mom's friend Patty in Portland, and meet her daughter Katie. Sadly I did not take any pictures, but Patty's apartment has a beautiful view with lots of trees and she seemed to live in a very nice and trendy neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants that I saw as we drove by. Portland is definitely high up on the "to visit" list. Then we made our way to Cornelius where mom's cousins Carol and Grant live. I hadn't been to their place since I was about 9, but it so enchanted me at the time that I still had very distinct memories of it. And it was again enchanting! 
Here is about 1/4 of the view out their front door.
We awoke to a fawn and mother doe grazing in the field, a humming bird at the window, and a little black kitty named Hacky Cat. They grow walnuts here and have lots of other gardening projects. It was not clear when I took the picture, but when it is you can see all kinds of mountains in the distance.
We went to visit Aunt Peg who has recently moved into a very nice community home.

Peg's apartment overlooks a really lovely courtyard with tall flower pots so the old folks don't have to bend over. There is also a large sewing room, a library, and a big cage full of finches to watch.

Carol led mom and I on a hike through the forest behind their house.
Big banana slug. I'm sure glad I didn't step on one of these!

I'm pretty sure some Ewoks live around here...

Then we ended up at a little porch with a half cabin that Carol and Grant built to take it all in.
 Very restful.

Wild blackberries. They are all over the Northwest--we even have our share in Seattle.

And I think some fairies might live here...

 or here...

 We all went to dinner at this really neat place called the Grand Lodge or somesuch which used to be a Mason geriatric home and orphanage on beautiful grounds. After it closed it was taken over by the Mcmenamin brothers who restore old buildings and make them into really cool restaurants and hotels. The whole place was very detailed--they just let some artists loose in there-- here is the dining room:
 and some of the mosaic work and detailing in the basement.
 The place was huge and I didn't get any pictures of the outside, but the grounds were beautiful.
Mom said I couldn't put this up on the blog. ; D

ANYWAYS, what a great idea! I love the concept of repurposing old places and making them unique and useable. I guess they do lots of local music and other community events there, which is sweet.
A last look at the view, and we hit the road in the AM.

We drove on 26 to get to the ocean and dip our feet in. Mom found a whole sand dollar!

We ate at the Baked Alaska restaurant in Astoria. Check out the view!

I had crab mac n cheese. Trying to expand into seafood a bit since we were right on the ocean after all. It was good as long as I kept the cheesy noodle to crab ratio in check.

Back to working on the list is ever growing...


  1. Hi Kaitlin - your mum forwarded the link to this blog. V nice to see you visiting my mother, Peg. It's been a long time since I was in the Portland area. Enjoyed seeing the pics. Hope to meet yoy one day - Uncle Dave

  2. Dave! Yes, it would be wonderful to meet you if you ever make it to the states again. I know my mother was so pleased to reunite with you on your visit! I checked out your "great fathers" website and was very impressed. I love social solutions that work from the root and not just symptom managing. Good work!
    Your mother is a sweetheart and it was so nice to see her last year at the wedding and again this summer. Portland and Oregon are so lovely, I hope we can get down there with regularity. All the best!