Tree Preservation Zone

by Steve, February 24th, 2013

Saving a heritage oak at a new trailhead at a neighborhood park. And in contrast…

Breakfast in Portland

by Steve, February 19th, 2013
20110225 Hashed Browns ?????_03
photo by MiniQQ

The wife and I found ourselves in downtown Portland for breakfast yesterday, and thought we’d hit longtime Portland fave Bijou Cafe. That didn’t work out; the line was out the door (but not around the block like the one for Voodoo Donuts down the street). We could have grabbed a crappy cup of coffee at Stumptown next door so we could sit down at their sidewalk table while waiting for our Bijou table, but we worried we were getting too close to acting out a Portlandia sketch.

Speaking of Voodoo, that place has come to define Portland. A couple walking ahead of us (mid 50s, him with a Harley jean jacket and pressed Levis) stopped a stranger and asked where it was. Pretty soon we noticed every other person on the street was carrying a pink box of donuts.

Also, good luck finding street parking in downtown Portland anymore unless you are parking a fixie bike, a streetcar or a short-term rental car (excuse me, car-sharing car). So we had to walk about 20 blocks to discover that we’re not cool enough for Bijou anymore.

So yeah, hipsters on fixies, ironic donuts and lines out the door for a pretentious over-priced breakfast. And cops cruising around looking for mentally ill people to beat up or shoot. That’s what our Portland has become, apparently (or was it like this all along and we’re just now noticing?).

Walking back to our car we stopped to buy a Street Roots. Had to wait in line for that, too, but only one deep (“It’ll be a good day when the line to buy Street Roots is as long as the line at Voodoo Donuts,” said Nancy).

Then we saw Bagel Bistro on 4th and Stark. Not a customer inside. We got breakfast there, and it was pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. Standard greasy spoon type menu, including genuine hash browns. None of those pompous “home fries” or “cottage potatoes.” Honest-to-goodness hash browns, grated and fried to a crisp golden brown. And the price was right, too.

Jesus, maybe we did end up acting out a Portlandia sketch.


by Steve, February 9th, 2013

Puppy Bowl Party

by Steve, February 3rd, 2013

We had our third annual Puppy Bowl Party today. Today’s menu included:

  • Cheese Pizza!!
  • Chips and Cheesey Poofs!!
  • Nachos!!
  • Guacamole!!
  • Chocolate Fondue!!

I’ve never shared my guacamole recipe with anyone, so if you’re reading this, consider yourself elite. I honed this recipe over many years working produce.


    2 large avocados, pitted and skinned DO NOT MASH!
    1 tomato, chopped
    Juice of 1 lime
    1/4 onion, chopped
    cilantro, chopped
    jalapeo, chopped
    pinch salt
    pinch cumin

Put all ingredients in a glass mixing bowl. With a sharp knife, slice the avos in the bowl while spinning it with your left hand. WHACK WHACK WHACK WHACK… hard to describe exactly, but keep doing it till the avos are finely chopped, not mashed. THIS IS MY SECRET. I’VE NEVER TOLD ANYBODY BEFORE. EXCEPT MY WIFE. (Actually, a vegan volunteer at a co-op taught me this trick back in the late 80s. It works better because mashing the avos bruises them.) If you don’t want it too spicy, sub a pinch of chili powder for the jalapeo, or cut the seeds out.

Chocolate Foundue

    12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
    8 oz. heavy cream
    1 Tablespoon sugar

Heat the cream in a sauce pan until it barely starts to bubble. Whisk in the chocolate chips and sugar. Transfer to a preheated fondue pot. Thin with milk if it gets too thick.