Thursday, June 30, 2011

#79: make freezer jam

Last Friday we happily took care of #79 on the summer to do list and made freezer jam.

If you haven't tried freezer jam yet then come blows conventional jam away!

My friend Denise explained that when you cook the berries for regular jam it cooks out all the flavor. With freezer jam you just smush up the berries, add a little pectin and a little sugar (& a touch of lemon juice) and voila...the tastiest, most berry tasting jam ever.
(the smushed up strawberries)

 (pre-bee sting)
We went out to Kruger Farm first. 
See all that clover we parked on?
Within two minutes of arrival a super mean bee stung Maya in the leg.

So, so sad.
Thankfully Maya is tough and we were meeting friends so the distraction of seeing said friends and me giving her a bag of cheese crunchies to eat solved the bee-sting-pain problem. 
(I'm realizing now that it would be a good idea to carry kids Tylenol around with me in case we're in the middle of nowhere and some pain inducing event happens again)
 (Owen and Nigel)

 (Maya and her snack; and Denise back there too:)

 (After the drama @ Kruger we went to Sauvie Island Farm)

After the kids ate close to a half flat of berries themselves, we went back to Denise and Nigel's place to turn the rest of it into freezer jam...strawberries are the most tedious because they're dirty and you have to cut all the tops off. It will be a lot faster with blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, etc.

Check out my stash:
At every meal I'm trying to figure out a way to add strawberry jam to it. 
It's so, so good!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

day hike in WA

I was going to title this post (more of Oregon's beauty) and then realized I wasn't actually in Oregon today. We crossed the Columbia River via the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, OR so we were in fact in Washington. 
Although, the views that had me ooing and aahing the most (other than the trail itself) were of Oregon. 
Both states are gorgeous.

I've been wanting to hike this trail for years so I was super happy that my friend Julie and I both had room on our calendar's today.
It was a perfect day weather-wise and the perfect season, as the wildflowers were in full bloom.
 (this was the view right out of the tree line)

 (looking back down on the tree line)

 (that's Mt. Hood over there...much more impressive in person)

Thanks Julie!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Japanese Garden (#29 on 100 things to do this summer list)

After almost 10 years in Oregon I (we) finally made it to the Japanese Garden.
Thanks to our dear library and their cultural passes we were able to go gratis (just like the Chinese Garden trip). Which is always a good thing because after about 45 minutes Maya started to suck the Zen right out of that place (see below) so we had to move on...(and that way you don't feel like it's a rip to not get your $$'s worth).

(the brilliant minds @ the Japanese Garden designed this treasure hunt for the kids...I got to see every inch of the place while they scoured for clues)

 (Maya checking the Pagoda lantern off her list)

 (view of PDX...Mt. Hood is over there but there were too many clouds to see it)

 (checking out deer chaser)

(my brilliant son, after taking a look again at this rock formation from this view point realized it was the Buddha and the tiger cubs on his clever Owee!)

 (maya begging to be picked up towards the end)

 (then we took a train ride through Washington goes through the zoo and then back to the Rose Garden where we boarded)

 (quick! check out all the people at the zoo)

good day for everyone...