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Cooking Morel Mushrooms

Cooking Morel Mushrooms

I grew up in the midwest, and morel mushroom hunting was an annual tradition. I have fond memories of my grandfather cooking these at his house and eating them until I was completely stuffed.

So, with at least 2 vendors selling them at the local Saturday farmer’s market, I decided to buy a few pounds and try out some recipes.

The first recipe I tried was this one:

Non-Blasphemous Morel Mushrooms

Honorable Mention, Earthy Delights 2009 Morel Recipe Contest

Ingredients:
8 oz. fresh morels, sliced once lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp good white wine (if you wouldn’t drink it out of a glass, don’t cook with it)

Directions:
In a large pan, saute morels, olive oil, butter, and garlic for five minutes. Add white wine. Continue sauteing for 5 more minutes. Mangia!
Note: Adding anything else to the morels, coating them in anything, or putting them in any sauce or soup is blasphemy, plain and simple. If you want to coat them in batter and drown them in grease, or otherwise hide the texture or flavor of these wonderful harbingers of Spring, send your morels to me, and I will send you some button mushrooms.

It was fantastic. They were light and delicious. I started scarfing them down as fast as I could cook them. My favorite!

 

Next up was to find a deep-fried sort of recipe like I remember from my childhood.

Fried Morel Mushrooms

This one was much more like I remembered, but I put the batter on too heavy during the first batch. The second batch was better – so the key is to keep it light. While more like I remembered as a kid for sure, I found them overly heavy with the breading – but that didn’t stop me from eating them all.  It was great to relive some memories of my younger years.

  

 

Point Break Live!

Point Break Live!

This is crazy. These guys tour around the US and live re-enact the classic 80’s Keanu Reeves’ movie “Point Break”. But even better, they come with no lead actor. They grab a few willing fans out of the audience who quickly do 3 different audition quotes, the audience votes for the best one, and that person becomes agent Johnny Utah for the next hour and a half.

It’s a pretty hilarious time – totally recommend it.

Party like the Great Gatsby

Party like the Great Gatsby

Back again here in downtown Portland!

Ron Bearden presents: The Roaring 20s – Great Gatsby Dance Party!

You are invited to step back into the roaring 20’s and celebrate in the lifestyle of the Great Gatsby and the end of prohibition. For your dancing and romancing pleasure The Midnight Serenaders will be performing an amazing and fun show guaranteed to keep all you sexy flappers and zuit suit daddy’s on the dance floor. We will also have a special vintage drink selection including champagne cocktail Singles……..Couples……….. Come and enjoy a fun evening and meet your sweetheart at the Dance!!!

 

The beautiful Adrianna Hill Ballroom is one of Portland’s best keep secrets. Built in 1901 this storybook setting has been fully restored with a suspended “U” shaped balcony, cathedral styling 55 foot stage and spacious vaulted ceilings.

Dress to Impress – Putting on the Ritz Here is your chance to slip on some swanky outfit and strut your stuff. Gangster, flapper or glamorous, zuit suit, tuxedo………. Or just cocktail attire is also fine and take in the show. We will have a fashion stroll and prizes for the best dressed.

Dancing and music All Night Long!!!!!

$10.00 advance tickets available at Tickettomato.com
https://www.tickettomato.com/event/4600

Charity Giving at the End of the Year

Charity Giving at the End of the Year

As we enter the home stretch of the year and enter the Advent season, it’s a great time to volunteer, adopt a family, serve food or eat and visit with the homeless, and make some end of the year donations to charities as part of our preparation for Christmas.

If you want to support women, especially young, vulnerable women, during pregnancy, I would suggest a donation to the Fr. Taaffe Foundation. I’ve met Fr Taaffe and heard about the lives of many young women his group has helped over its 40 years and believe this is exactly the kind of support that really helps communities and stops unhealthy social cycles.

Reverend Monsignor Charles Taaffe began the Father Taaffe Foundation by opening the St. Brigid Home in 1975 in Keizer, Oregon. By 1990, Father realized that many more teenage mothers were keeping their babies and that there was a need for a home where young mothers could learn skills to help them succeed as single mothers.

Today, Catholic Community Services sustains Father’s vision as a nondenominational, nonprofit, charitable program, where homes and community-based supports provide structure, security, unconditional love and encouragement for single, pregnant and parenting teens.

Father Taaffe Homes are welcoming, comforting homes, inspiring hope for the future, self-confidence and independence. Certified by the State of Oregon and operated by Catholic Community Services, the homes provide young women, ages 12 to 20, a safe and nurturing environment from which to build their futures.

Through both residential and community-based services, expecting and young, single mothers gain knowledge and skills from prenatal care, to parenting, to running a household and creating healthy social connections for themselves and their babies. Those who come to live in a Father Taaffe Home are provided with basic amenities, including food, laundry facilities, access to local transportation, and computers to help with school work and job search.

Link for donations:
https://www.ccswv.org/home-page/childrenfamilies/father-taaffe-homes-and-pregnancy-support-services/

Apple Bandit of Portland leaves amazing notes

Apple Bandit of Portland leaves amazing notes

Clark County sheriff’s deputies are hot on the trail of a man who has allegedly been chucking apples onto the roofs of unsuspecting residents and leaving some very odd notes in his wake. Law enforcement agencies around the Portland area have received periodic reports of so-called “apple-ing,” in which the fruits are maliciously tossed onto people’s homes. But even more interesting are the letters he leaves:

To The Good Citizens of Callisto,
I crossed the Rubicon River.
Today I did five houses. My backpack had fifteen apples in it, three apples per house. I pull up on my bike, take my backpack off, get the apples out, put the backpack back on, walk up a little closer and throw them high in the air over the house. The second and third apples are still in the air when the first one hits. Within seconds I am mounted up and gone.
Roofs are not created equally so the sound effects vary. It can be nothing, to a muted thump, to louder thumps to almost a crashing sound. I can remember one house. The owner must have had mason jars stacked up under the eaves; the apples came down on them like bowling bowls. I’ve broken a few windows but that happens rarely. If there are overhanging tree limbs or wires, I try to avoid hazards like that.
“Apple-ing” five houses takes about seven minutes. For a while I was doing eleven houses, that was down in the Richmond neighborhood. As it turns out eleven is too many as one night a police car showed up. The way he came was the way I went as he didn’t see me and I was surprised to see I was being followed by a Portland Fire SUV with four bicycles attached to the back. Now I heard that Portland Police were stepping up bicycle patrols in the wake of nuisance crimes. I took a right and a left, another right and a left and dropped down to Ladd’s Addition. So I started out at the Bagdad Theater and ended up in those nice gardens by the roundabout and there I lay down. I felt good being guarded by flowers.
It should be noted that the City of Portland might be the best place on earth for a hooligan riding a bicycle with a backpack filled with apples. There are bicyclists everywhere, even in the early morning hours. The neighborhoods are like corn fields, easy to get lost in.

Overlook Hotel ‘Interactive Weekend’ at Timberline Lodge

Overlook Hotel ‘Interactive Weekend’ at Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge is located outside of Portland way up on nearby Mt Hood. It’s the famous hotel seen in Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING as the location of the infamous Overlook hotel.

logo
Just recently, a new group called the ‘Overlook Film Festival’ has popped up. They appear to be the same folks that ran The Stanley Film Festival that used to be held at the Estes Park, CO hotel that Steven King stayed at and inspired him to write THE SHINING.  There is scant info on their official site, but April 27-30th, 2017 they are hosting a new ‘festival experience’ at Timberline Lodge.

The brief description indicates there will be film programming with a focus on experiential events, new and classic independent horror cinema, and the latest in interactive and live shows to create a fully immersive weekend. They bill it as ‘A summer camp for genre fans’ and a community event bringing the best of horror in all its forms to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience within an intimate and inspirational environment.

The live events seem to include:

  • Our live radio play TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE is presented by Glass Eye Pix
  • Weekend long Immersive Game, an opt-in real-time mystery starring you, is produced by Bottleneck Immersive
  • Live programming will include one-of-a-kind musical performances, unique panel presentations, live podcasts, escape room challenges, magic shows, trivia night, games, brunches, an interactive gallery, virtual reality installations and more.

Tickets for just the event are $150-350 and whole weekend packages that ran in the $1300-1600 range were already sold out just a few days after it was announced. After having attended a murder mystery party at the lodge a few years back, I’m very curious about this one too. Just need to figure out if I should shell out the money. 🙂

Link is here:
http://www.overlookfilmfest.com/index.html

Halloween events in Portland

Halloween events in Portland

There are so many events going on around Halloween in town. It’s impossible to keep them all straight.

Davis Graveyard
http://davisgraveyard.com/

Milwaukie’s famous haunted yard is returning for its 16th year! With full light, sound, video and fog effects on Friday & Sunday nights, the family friendly decorations are viewable every night. This elaborate yard display is not a haunted house and is free to view from the street. Stop by their Open House on October 9 and learn how the magic is made!

Halloween Tour of Untimely Departures
Tickets + Info: friendsoflonefircemetery.org
Guides dressed in ghostly costumes escort groups of guests on one of two candle-lit routes where they meet some of the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery residents and hear the unusual circumstances surrounding their untimely departures.

Gothic Horror Stories: an immersive night of terror
More info: boxofficetickets.com
Experience Theatre Project will welcome guests and the spirits of Gothic era authors at Decarli’s restaurant for a night of storytelling and revelry in Gothic style. Guests are invited to dress in Victorian finery,then raise a glass, savor delicious food prepared by decarli’s kitchen, and mingle among popular Gothic horror authors Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley, Bram Stoker, Emily Bronte, and other surprise guests.

Portland Zombie Walk + Thriller dance
More info: Facebook
The 11th Portland Zombie Walk is on Monday, October 31st from 3-6pm beginning and ending at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Come recreate the Michael Jackson Thriller dance

FreakNight 2016 – 20th Anniversary
More info: freaknightfestival.com – Tacoma Dome
The Pacific Northwest’s favorite sinister circus makes its return to Seattle to celebrate its 20th year of haunting the Twisted Big Top. Immerse yourself in the brilliant belligerence that is Freaknight – complete with spooky performers, enchanting amusement rides, and devilish decor, this year’s Halloween tradition will leave you begging for more. Let your blood boil to the beat of spellbinding sets from world class talent including Zedd, Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Getter, Tchami, Galantis, Paul Van Dyk, Flux Pavilion, 3LAU, Jamie Jones, and more.

The House of Horror Street of Screams in North Portland
https://www.facebook.com/streetofscreams99/
Located along Portsmouth Avenue in between Willamette and Lombard, the House of Horror is an amazing display of spooky artifacts that trick-or-treaters can wander through on Halloween.

The entire neighborhood gets involved with the event. The area has earned the name the Street of Screams.

2016 Portland Erotic Ball
More info: portlanderoticball.com – Crystal Ballroom
The Portland Erotic Ball returns for its 17th year to the historic Crystal Ballroom as Portland’s biggest, sexiest adult Halloween party. The spectacular 3-story event is hosted by Emmy-nominee, Sasha Scarlett, and also features stilt walkers, aerial and burlesque performances, a fetish demonstration stage and Portland’s BIGGEST Costume Contest awarding more than $5,000 in cash and prizes for Best Group, Most Original Costume and Sexiest Couple.

Paint a Pumpkin
More info: nightlightlounge.net
$15 ticket includes your very own pumpkin w/ all the painting supplies and inspiration you will need. A pint of New Belgium Pumpkick Pumpkin Cranberry Ale to enjoy. A New Belgium snifter glass of your very own to take home

Paul Gerard’s 10 great conditioning hikes near Portland

Paul Gerard’s 10 great conditioning hikes near Portland

Hike Yourself Into Shape: 10 Conditioning Hikes Near Portland

Paul Gerald makes a great list of hikes designed to get you back in shape. I agree with this list whole-heartedly, but they do ramp up in difficulty very quickly. You might want to do some of these hikes (or find one of similar distance/elevation gain) more than once before moving up to the next level of difficulty. Also, hikes like the Elk-King traverse and Table mountain can be technically difficult and have exposure/very real falling dangers. So, definitely do your homework before going.

Here’s the abbreviated list:

  1. Angel’s Rest – Distance: 4.6 miles. Elevation Gain: 1,600’
  2. Hamilton Mountain – Distance: 7.6 miles. Elevation Gain: 2,100’
  3. Devil’s Rest via Wahkeena – Distance: 7.4 miles. Elevation Gain: 2,400’
  4. Nick Eaton Way – Distance: 8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,600’
  5. Dog Mountain – Distance: 7.2 miles. Elevation Gain: 2,900’
  6. Trapper Creek Loop – Distance: 13.3 miles. Elevation Gain: 3,200’
  7. Table Mountain – Distance: 10 miles. Elevation Gain: 3,650’
  8. Elk-King Traverse – Distance: 11 miles. Elevation Gain: 4,600’
  9. Tanner Butte – Distance: 18 miles. Elevation Gain: 4,450’
  10. Mount Defiance – Distance: 11.9 miles. Elevation Gain: 4,800’