Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Pam Cam #1

Recently on display at C. J. Yennep's, a local department store:

Lame excuse to use buttons, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

"We had a surplus of buttons so we decided to sew a bunch of them on a sweater."

"Plus, we wanted our lady customers to feel dressy while giving them something to snag on their car's seatbelt, catch on a purse strap, and provide a chew toy for the cat while she's sitting on the couch watching tv."

Xmas BBQ Basket

Xmas BBQ Basket
Originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank

As gifts for everyone this past Christmas, we cooked up and canned a double batch of BBQ sauce, put a home made corn bread mix in a jar with instructions, and basketed up the goods with a big pack of bright napkins and silicone basting brushes.


If we're lucky, Frank will post the BBQ sauce recipe on his blog, Chef At Large.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Deer In The Yard

Have you seen the "Deer In The Yard" email that has been flying in and out of in-boxes this month? I googled it and found the website that the email came from. Go. Check it out.

It's pretty darned neat, if you ask me.

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This weekend's summary

Wow, we published several long blog posts over the last few days and wanted to summarize them for you. If you've got a long road trip or plane trip ahead of you, or are an avid bathroom reader, you can print these out and take them with you.

Here are the latest stories:

Pam & Frank grew up in northern WI and northern MN, where people still make the distinction between families descended from Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish immigrants. Where Pam grew up it was perfectly acceptable to ask someone, "What are you?" and expect an answer listing their ancestors' homeland countries. Here's a peek into the local culture and a locally recognized Finnish holiday that may or may not be real:
Three Important March Holidays this week

Still dealing with culture shock after moving from Minneapolis to Oregon over 5 years ago:
Gas Pumps in Oregon

Let's all get to know Frank and his family's dynamic a little better:
A typical dinner at our house...

...But Frank's not the only one to blame:
Pam & Frank's Shenanigans

Mind over matter?
Or Entymological Mind Control?
Here's an older story that had been lost in Yahoo and recently rediscovered:
Creepie Crawlies

Creepie Crawlies

Note to readers: I stumbled across this old blog post in a search engine today. It was posted in a different blog that I had started then quit two years ago. I clearly remember the incident but had totally forgotten about that old blog. For those of you who have not been to Western Oregon I need to point out that we have very few bugs. You can leave your windows open in the summer and the only thing that will come in are a couple flies or bees. We've been here 5 1/2 years and have seen only a handful of mosquitos. (Are you Wisconsonites, Minnesotans , and Illini jealous? Come and visit first, then you can hate us.) On the flip side, we do have lots of ants and slugs. Here is a story about a little problem with ants. I'll regale you with my awful slug story another time.

Do you know what it means to have the “Creepy-Crawlies?”
How about “Ants in your pants?”
Have you ever had bed bugs?

Here is the latest Adventure of Pam and Frank that defines these three terms:

It starts with the heavy, constant rains we had starting around Christmas 2005, lasting almost through Valentine’s Day 2006. While the sky drained into Oregon’s Willamette Valley (that’s where we live) streams turned into creeks, creeks became rivers, and swollen rivers flooded farmland, roads and all low-lying areas. Natives commented that they’d never seen rain like this and weathermen counted the continuous rain days (I think it rained 32 out of the last 33 days. There was no recorded precipitation on January 9th.) Meteorologists and backyard precipitologists boasted record rainfall amounts, and the man who hikes up Mt. Hood to measure the snow was thrilled to prove snow levels were three times above average.

Many, if not most, houses in the area have no basement, but instead have a crawlspace that ranges from two to three feet deep. Our house is no different. In the closet of one of the bedrooms is a small trapdoor, which leads to our crawlspace. Below the trapdoor is a sump pump sitting in a five-gallon bucket that is set in a hole in the dirt. The sump pump is plugged into a gizmo that, like a toilet float, turns the pump on when water levels get too high.

One evening, we were in the dining room, listening to the rain. It was a familiar metallic pinging as the rain hit the top of the exhaust vent over our stove hood. Ping ping ping ping… Slowly Rachel and I realized there was a new noise as well; a whirring, slurping, grinding noise. We looked at each other, the got up to find out where the noise was coming from. She ran to her bedroom, thinking it was a toy, and I followed the sound to the closet in the spare bedroom. It was the sump pump! I yelled at Rachel to have Frank come and help, then hauled stuff out of the closet and hoisted up the trap door. The sump pump was in the bucket, but silt had filled the hole and the bucket was laying on its side over the hole. The pump had sucked what little water filled the bucket, and was now sucking air. The gizmo that triggers the pump when water levels rise was stuck in the high water position. By the time I took in all that was going on under the house, Frank was there and instantly understood the situation. I unplugged the pump and the gizmo and said, “We may have a problem.”

Frank sat at the edge of the hole and tried to maneuver the bucket back into the hole but the silt was too hard and wet to yield to the bucket. We tried putting bricks in the bottom of the bucket, but since it was not fully upright the added weight just made it spin around so the bricks were on the bottom and the pump was on top. This was worse than when it started. Frank tried to crawl under the house but his long legs wouldn’t allow it. Watching him was like trying to solve the puzzle made with two bent nails that are linked together like two chain links. He tried every position but nothing would work without breaking something. He suggested I go under the house and right the pump. Nuh-uh. “You may be too big, but I’m too chicken,” I said. Se we agreed to close up the trapdoor and just plug in the pump, sans gizmo, periodically to keep water levels lower than the ductwork.

While we were aware of the water levels under the house, we kept a little nagging thought tucked deep in the back of our minds. People joke about it, but it’s pretty commonly suspected that the entire neighborhood is built on a giant anthill. Every new day I woke up I thought about the water levels and the ants. But I really didn’t worry about it. The guy on a pest-control tv commercial tells people that ants can live under water for a long time. So even though we had a little nagging thought about ants, we figured they’d ride it out.

Unfortunately, one evening at dinner, the ants must have decided they’d had enough of the wet.

Every room of the house had the textured, popcorn-type of ceiling. Including the dining room. The evening the ants decided to search for a new home, we were sitting in the dining room, having dinner and reading books, when -Plink!- Out of nowhere an ant dropped down on my book. I looked up. No ants on the ceiling. No ants on the walls. Strange.

I picked up the ant, carried him to the kitchen sink, and rinsed him down the drain. Frank and Rachel were looking at me when I returned to my seat. “An ant just fell on my book!” I exclaimed. They both looked up. No ants on the ceiling, none on the walls. Wait, no, there was one walking across Rachel’s napkin. I picked it up, carried it to the sink, and rinsed him down the drain. As I sat back down, Rachel said, “That was weird.” “Yeah,” I replied, “I wonder where they came from?” Frank shrugged and went back to reading.

After dinner we cleared the table and pulled out a board game. As Rachel set up the game I saw another ant on the table so I sent him to sink drain heaven with the others. She finished setting up while Frank scanned the dining room for the source of the ants and I examined the table for more ants. Finding nothing, the three of us sat down to whip each other’s butts in a rousing game of Sorry! Would you believe, during the course of the game, another 8 or 9 ants were whisked from the table (or from each others’ arms) to the sink? Each time we saw an ant we’d examine the area but could not find where the ants were coming from. Not knowing where in the dining room they were coming from, we didn’t know where to put the poison. (Frank calls it “nice snacks for our visiting aunts.”)

The next day I was cleaning up some Christmas stuff in the living room and went to the mantel to take down the gingerbread house Rachel had made. What I saw made me recoil and shriek. It was crawling with ants. Rachel came running and saw the house the ants decided to live in. After a frenzied but of activity, Rachel donned some latex gloves (she was as grossed out as I was), carried the gingerbread house outside, and smashed it while I made a short video of the event. Frank fed the remaining ants some nice snacks.

The next night as we sat down to supper, after doing a sweep of the room and finding nothing, we had several more ants try to join us on the table. After dinner, as Rachel set up that night’s game of Clue, I got on the floor and looked under the table to see if there was something happening under the table. I finally spied an ant on the floor near my chair. She watched as I stared at the ant, trying to see where it was going or where it was coming from. He just seemed to zigzag and wander aimlessly between my chair and the table. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted another moving dot and decided to watch that ant. He seemed to me on more of a mission than the first one (ok, actually the first one on the floor was about the 27th one in the dining room since the rain started.) I was on all fours, watching this ant meander back and forth, when all of a sudden he turned and headed straight for me! I backed up and he kept coming at me. After backing up about 4 feet I said, “This is ridiculous,” and turned around so I could follow him instead of him following me. As soon as I got behind him he turned around and started chasing me the other way. I looked at Frank and asked if he had that ant on a remote control. He laughed and said, “I only wish…” He started really examining the floor and discovered a little concentrated ant activity by long wall separating the living room from the kitchen/dining room. Frank grabbed a bottle of “nice snacks for our visiting aunts” and squeezed a few drops near the trails and sat back and watched. A few ants drowned, and the rest ignored the sticky little puddle. “Later,” he said. “They’ll be all over it later.”

We sat down to play our game and ushered a few more ants from the table to their watery kitchen sink grave.

Over the next few weeks the number of ants dwindled until the rain stopped. By that time we were down to only one or two ant sightings a day.

A week after the rains let up the temperatures started to drop below freezing again. I wondered if the ants would be back. Luckily they didn’t show up when the temps dipped below freezing.

And then last night things changed. All week I had been going to work earlier than usual and was tired early. At ten last night, when we were watching tv, I started dozing off. I got up and announced, “I’ve got to go to bed,” then dragged myself off to my room where I changed, slid into bed, and was asleep before I could even think about falling asleep. My dreams were the usual stuff, when all of a sudden I dreamt there was a kid standing over me with a feather. This kid was using the feather to tickle my face, so I grabbed the feather and threw it away. Then there was another feather, so I grabbed that, too, and threw it away. Another feather appeared behind my ear, in my hair. I grabbed that one too, and threw it away. Logic seeped into my dream as I realized that if I’m lying on my back a feather couldn’t tickle me behind the ear. Now the feather was tickling my forehead. As I grabbed the feather I felt it and was surprised to find out that it wasn’t a feather at all but a tiny dot. Like an ant. An ant! Ants in my bed!

Within a nanosecond I was standing up on the floor, wide-awake, lights blazing, and all the pillows and covers stripped off the bed. Under my pillows I counted seventeen ants. Tugging the pillows from their cases I found 6 more. Frank wasn’t in bed, so I sped to the family room, where he had fallen asleep in front of the news. After waking him up, I said, “Help. Hurry.” And I picked two more ants out of my hair. He must have thought I was sleepwalking with a nightmare because I was going bonkers.

Frank was still drowsy and out of it but he came into the bedroom, helped me round up the ants and dispose of them, then figure out where they came from. When we pulled the bed away from the wall I was shocked to see a long black line leading from the baseboard to a spot on the wall even with the height of the mattress. Frank left the room and retuned with the bottle of nice snacks and lay across the bed to drip the syrup along the baseboard. When he did that I cringed. He had stretched out across another cluster of ants. Ugh. Somehow, when he stood up, none of the ants stayed with him.

His job done, he shuffled back to the family room, took up his spot on the futon sofa in there, and went back to sleep. I returned to our room, examined the blankets – they were ant-free – made the bed taking care to let nothing touch the wall, and lay down on my stomach to watch the ants on the baseboard. They were interested in the syrup, but no full-scale feasting was going on. At least Frank’s snacks got their attention away from the bed. I checked the clock. An hour had passed since the dream about the feathers. I rolled over, switched off the light, and immediately fell asleep.

Sort of.

My body was tired but my brain was freaking out. Every nerve was feeling the teeniest sensation and there was a tickle behind my knee. I waited to feel if it traveled or stayed in one spot. Then I’d feel a tickle behind my right shoulder. Holding my breath, I’d wonder, did it move? Or is it just my mind? About fifteen minutes into this, I decided to get up and go to the bathroom. It’s a trick my brain is playing on me, I’d tell myself. There are no more ants. We got them all.

I stood up and turned around. There was one ant crawling around the seat. I shrieked.

It’s now the afternoon and while it’s gloomy outside, it hasn’t rained all day. The temperatures are in the 50s. The ants are eating up all of Frank’s nice snacks. In fact, Frank is at the store right now to get more snacks for all of our visiting aunties. While brushing my teeth in the bathroom this morning I disposed of five more ants from the walls, off the counter, and out of my makeup. I feel creeping, crawling sensations on my feet and legs, and I keep seeing dark dots moving across the desk. There are no ants in the office, where I’m sitting. At least, not right now. At least, not that I know of. It’s just my tired, freaked out brain tricking me.

I hope.

Originally posted elsewhere on Saturday February 25, 2006

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pam & Frank's Shenanigans

Normally I would put a funny email in Pam's Inbox, and this one is probably already buried in there. Today I had this one forwarded to me again and I had to fwd it to some friends who are just getting to know me (wish them luck!) along with some comments.

The email is the letter from Wal-Mart asking a woman shopper to leave her retired husband at home because of his shenanigans in the store. To see the entire email, click here.

The comments I sent to my two (hopefully still?) friends were:

I love this email.
I would do those things. I'm just a big chicken and know I would get caught and banned from the store.

Wait, I have done the second one before, and not just at Walmart. Target, Penny's, my High School Home Ec room...

I've also played hide and seek at our regular neighborhood grocery store with my husband after bar closing time.

Had we been drinking? Oh nnnno, not at all.

Did the manager ask me if I was "Finding everything ok?" Yepper. (He wanders arond the store and asks shoppers that question 24 hours a day.)

I giggled and said, "Yeah, I can't find my husband."

He said, "Aisle 6."

Sure enough, Frank was crouched behind a pallet of canned food.

That's the same store where we once bought a month worth of food and stuff, and the last thing we put on the belt at checkout was a huge bale of toilet paper. I asked the clerk if he thought we had enough paper for all the food we were buying.

He stuttered, "Uh, yeah, maybe. I guess so." I translated for Frank, who wanted to know if our canned beans to paper ratio was properly balanced. I didn't translate that for the clerk. I think he'd had enough.

Now I'm a mother of a 12 year old and I'm such a GOOD influence on her!

A typical dinner at our house...

You know, I just have to tell you something about my darling husband...
(BTW that picture of him on our Adventures blog is the same facial expression he tried using at the DMV when he got his new drivers license. They wouldn't let him, though.)

With any story about Frank you have to keep in mind that he has been totally Deaf since age 2 (doesn't remember sounds or what it's like to be Hearing) and he doesn't speak or talk. We use Sign Language at home to communicate. He normally doesn't make any vocalizations about anything, so that made a little event at supper the other night surprisingly funny.

Also, I have to share with you two that he has an uncanny knack for understanding words and sounds well enough to make word jokes that are actually funny. He also must be psychic or something because his co-workers and I frequently swear he's really hearing and just fakes being Deaf. I was at his work the other day and was talking about him to one of the ladies and he walked by and said, "Hey, stop talking about me."

Ok so... The other night we had some sausage that I thought was too salty and I'm not a big sausage person, so yuck. (My bad; I'm the one who cooked 'em.) I finished my salad and stuff and asked if he wanted the rest of my sausage. I guess it's a guy thing to like greasy salty food, because he took it. I have a strict "Eat with your fork not your fingers" rule at home, so I gave him The Look as he sloppily grabbed the sausage slices off my plate with his hand and plopped them on his plate. I'm not talking about using just his fingertips, I'm talking about full finger pad all over those greasy salty little things.

He picked up one like a baby picks up cheerios and stuffed it in his mouth. Then he tucked his hands under his arms and flapped his "wings" and loudly said, "Bok bok bok!" like a baby bird. Rachel, the mature 12 year old dropped her fork and her jaw at the same time.
"Mooommmm. Make him stop!"

I didn't have to. He started laughing at himself and choked on the sausage.
Good thing, too. I was laughing so hard I couldn't tell him to knock it off.
When he regained his composure I saw her try to hide her hands under the table as she told him to do it again.

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Gas Pumps in Oregon

I had recently sent a link for Portland Trivia to a friend who lives far away from Oregon.
After reading through it she replied, "Portland really has no self service pumps? I think that would drive me crazy!"

Hm. Well, it drives me crazy, so I understand where she's coming from. I had a little time and so I sent her a little story about Oregon gas pumps. If you've ever received a personal email from me you've learned they tend to be lllllooonnnnnnnggg. (When in 9th grade I once wrote a letter so long it had to be sent in a shoebox. Thank God for computers and email and stuff. I type a lot faster than I write, and there's no hand cramps or tingly-asleep middle and ring finger when I type up 20 pages of nonsense. Now you see why my letters and emails tend to be long. I'm the Royal Queen of Off-Topic-Tangents-In-Parenthesis.)

So here's the story about Oregon gas pumps. If you didn't catch on with my friend's comment and you skipped reading the Portland Trivia, I'll start by letting everyone know that it is illegal to pump your own gas in the state of Oregon. You have to let the attendant or "pump jockey" do it for you.

Oh the gas pump thing was weird when we first moved here; I mean we had just driven in from MN and were about 70 miles into Oregon. We pulled up to a pump and Frank was in the drivers' seat. Keep in mind, he's deaf. So the pump jockey comes up to the window and asked how much gas we want. Frank wasn't sure what the guy wanted and looked at me for help. I told him the guy wants to know how much gas we want. Frank said, "That's ok, I'll do it." He probably thought, "How nice. They see we're from out of state and are being so friendly." Having been previously warned by my Dad, I said, "You can't. You have to let him do it." Frank said, "No really, I don't mind doing it." He was so surprised when I told him, "No, the guy has to do it for you. It's illegal for you to pump gas here."

We got gas again the next day in Salem, when we were getting to know the area and waiting for the moving truck to arrive. It was so weird pulling up and just sitting there waiting for someone to do something I'd been doing since I was 15. It's a little frustrating when I'm in a hurry and the pump jockey is taking their sweet time - or they're busy. Because they have to hire pump jockeys, there just aren't so many gas stations in Oregon. In MN and probably IL you have one on practically every corner. Here we have them on the main arterial roads in town and at truck stops .

Because of the lack of gas stations, it's not uncommon for me to frantically drive around on fumes, looking for a gas station. Downtown has none, I've learned, and the country road that runs along the entire eastern perimiter of town has none at all in the entire seven mile stretch of road. Ditto for the humongous shopping center near me where I go to Target, Lowe's, Kinkos, Michael's crafts, etc. The closest gas station to that big "money-sucking" shopping center is 4 miles away. The gas station nearest to my office here is 2.5 miles away. Thank God it's all downhill so I can coast to get gas when I'm low. I don't think I'll ever get used to not being able to find a gas station when I really need one. No, I don't fill up when I'm at half a tank. With my mileage (16 mpg, YUCK-o) I'd be going out of my way to find a gas station several times a week to fill up.

Meanwhile, we have drive-thru coffee huts all over the place. After the lack of gas stations finally hit me, I briefly wondered where people buy coffee when they're on the road or running errands. This is the Oregonian solution to no gas stations on every corner: competing coffee huts in opposite corners of the same parking lot. Makes sense. I'm still looking for the drive-thru map, pop, and junk food hut... And haven't seen a drive-thru potty hut anywhere, either.

Ok, so back to gas stations. Once you're here for a while I got used to it. I even laugh at tourists who get out of their cars at gas stations because I know they're going to get yelled at by the pump jockeys. Then I decide to run up to Vancouver, WA - or make any out of state trip. After stupidly sitting at the pump for 10 minutes I usually realize I have to get out of The Tank, ok my big red minivan, and pump my own. I'm sure Washingtonians laugh at me because I have to actually read the instructions on the computerized pump buttons to figure out how to turn it on. Then I grab the hose and turn to the gas cap. Oh. I didn't take the cap off first. I'll just hold the hose between my knees while I struggle to get the gas cap off. This is even more thrilling when there's a line behind me.

I can be very entertaining. I'm sure the locals have already placed bets amongst themselves in hopes I'll spray gas on my shoes or all over the side of my van as I try to fill up. In fact, they probably start their betting as they see my Oregonian plates pull up at the pump.
"$30 says she sits there for at least 5 minutes before getting out of the van."
"$20 says she wonders what's taking so long and she's going to look around to see where the pump jockey is."
"You're on."

We are shopping for a second vehicle. Our top priority is one with over 35mpg. My secret agenda includes finding one with the gas cap on the opposite side as the van. I figure that with better mileage I'll only be filling up twice a month (instead of a minimum of 5x per month! Add another fill up if we take the 80 mile round trip to Portland.) - with that in mind, there's a good chance I'll drive up to the wrong side of the pump every time. Entertaining for the Oregon pump jockeys, yes.

Highly profitable for the Washington gas station attendants who already have wagers placed on my stupidity at the pump.
Anything I can do to help, you know?

Besides, this would give a little glimmer of happiness at the Costco pumps for the 20 drivers who've been idling behind me in line for the past 35 minutes as the two pump jockeys run back and forth between the 6 gas pump bays.

"Oh look," they'd say about me. "That idiot pulled up on the wrong side. She's going to have to pull out and get back in a different line."
(Yep, that's right, 6 gas pump bays x 4 cars per bay = 24 cars can fill up at once. Divide that by two worn-out and cranky pump jockeys...)
Filling up at Costco would be an all-afternoon event. We could pack a lunch and bring the whole family.

My greatest fear is that I'll live here long a long time and my ventures outside the state will dwindle. Could I get to the point where I'm so used to having someone pump gas for me that I'll either drive all over creation looking for a full-serve pump or I'll sit in my car at the pump and stubbornly wait a half an hour for someone to do it for me.

Nah, I really don't see that happening. I think I just need to make regular road trips to get gas out of state, just to keep in practice.

...if only I could afford the gas to get there...

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Friday, March 14, 2008

Three Important March Holidays this week

St. Patty's Day is Monday!

Wait, I must back up. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 15 is the Ides of March. This is the darkest day of the year, and incidentally, the last day Julius Casear called Brutus his good friend. Wear black on March 15 to commemorate this day.

Sunday, March 16th is St. Urho's Day. Wear purple. No, I'm not sure where the purple comes from, but you can look into the history behind the little-known excuse for drinking strong spirits and trying to slurp up ropy spoonfulls of viili.

Ok, they don't traditionally eat viili at their St. Urho's Day festivities, but years ago my mom went to a local Finnish festival in the nearby town of Oulu (it's just down the road from the small town of Ino. Don't blink!) At this festival she had a cup of viili. (It may have been called sylta, but a look-up of sylta recipes calls for veal or pork, and viili is more like yogurt.) Viili tends to get ropy when stirred, and this was definitely stirred. Mom had a hard time keeping the glob on the spoon to get it out of the cup and into her mouth. She's scoop it up on the spoon, then lift it to her mouth but the viili would slide off the spoon and end up back in the cup. Kind of like the green slime that I had in 4th grade (circa 1976). Only you weren't supposed to eat that stuff.

She ate her cup of viili... as best as she could.

I think.

Anyhoo, here are two sites you can visit for more info.
To find out the legend and the alleged true story about St. Urho's Day, visit
Also don't forget to visit the official St. Urho site.

"Heinasirka, heinasirka,
mena taalta heiteen!"

(Finnish for "Grasshopper, grasshopper, go away!")
But I digress. The whole point of this post is to share some Irish recipes with you that were emailed to me from a local foodie friend. For St. Patrick's Day. You can make them ahead of time and start enjoying them on Sunday.

I may have to review this before doing our weekly shopping this weekend. Beer potato soup sounds good with Irish soda bread, then Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce (this is Oregon, after all. We have to have our salmon.) Of course, Chocolate Stout Pie would make a great dessert. (Ooh, or Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting.) Living close to Portland has got me appreciating beer more than when I lived in Wisconsin. Did you know the city of Portland Oregon has more breweries than Munich, Germany? I checked Portland and found that Portland has "28 breweries within the city-- the largest concentration of breweries of any city in the US" but somehow in the last couple months I remember reading there were over 35 within the city limits. Anyway, no offense to Guiness, Killian's and Harp, we'd have to use local beer for all the Irish cooking.

Here's the email & link:

Hi Pam,
Thought you might like this site. Has TONS of recipes!!
Black Velvet
Home Made Irish Cream Liqueur
Irish Coffee
Hot Whiskey Punch
Beer Cheese Bread
Irish Bread
Irish Scones
Spotted Dog
Stovetop Potato Irish Soda Bread
Beer Potato Soup
Irish Lamb Stew
Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce
Pan-Fried Salmon with Sorrel, Apple and Scallion Relish
Pan-Seared Loin of Pork with Derry Apple Relish
Potato Bread (Traditional Version)
Potato Bread (Bread Machine Version)
Dublin Coddle
Irish Champ
Irish Potato Pie
Old Fashioned Corned Beef & Cabbage
Corned Beef & Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce
Crusty Roast Lamb
Ham Steaks with Irish Whiskey Sauce
Baked Irish-Style Parsnips
Bubble & Squeak
Irish Cream Cheesecake
Chocolate Stout Pie
Brownies with Irish Cream Icing
Irish Coffee Balls
Irish Coffee Pudding
Bailey's Irish Cream Cake
If you would really like to use Irish beer in these recipes, let Epicurious help you figure out the best one to choose.

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Calendar

We just added a calendar to our blog. This was Frank's idea and it looks great. All the credit, however, goes to phydeaux3, who wrote the code and shared it with the world. Plus, the instructions were really easy to follow.

If you would like this code for your (new blogger) blog, here's where to find it:
Blogger Archive Calendar | Blogger | Javascript | « phydeaux3

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Navy Bean Hummus

After a chat with a new foodie friend, Cyber Penguin, I realized we need to post more recipes here. Here's a recipe for hummus we made when we had the craving but no garbanzo beans. It turned out so good it was worthy of a second make.

Note: we cook by feel and taste and our measurements will get you in the ballpark. Feel free to tweak these measurements to get something more to your taste. If a measurement is specified, it's either because that amount is required for the recipe to turn out or it's the simplest unit of measure.

1 can navy beans, drained but not necessarily rinsed
Good extra-virgin olive oil
Garlic, peeled
1 TBS tahini
Lemon juice
Lemon zest, optional
Salt (we like the taste of Kosher salt)
Freshly ground black pepper (coarse or fine, you decide)

Whir all these ingredients together in this order in a food processor until smooth. Adjust oil, lemon juice, tahini, and seasoning to taste. Serve with oven-warmed pita bread, spread in a turkey sandwich, or use as a veggie dip.

Tahini is a sesame seed paste that has a dry, nutty, bitter flavor essential to making hummus. Its texture is runnier than natural peanut butter and the color more pale and greyish. Stir it well before using it, since like natural peanut butter, the oil separates from the nut paste. You should be able to find tahini in a large supermarket (try the "ethnic" aisle or maybe the organic section) or go to a specialty market. If you're lucky enough to have a Halal market (Muslim foods) in town, go there, as they will have the best quality. We found great tahini at a Halal market in Columbia Heights, MN, a suburb on the north side of Minneapolis.

I tried this hummus recipe once with kidney beans and added cumin. Interesting. Like a cold dip to use instead of cold refried beans. I think I'd like to try it again, increase the seasoning, and blend it with sour cream for a softer creamier dip with tortilla chips. Maybe stir in some salsa, too.

Be sure to check Pam's Inbox for today's giggle:
Pam's Inbox

Dear Mr Grapefruit...

...You have a secret admirer.

What I don't get is that it sat in the fruit bowl for almost 5 days before someone finally got around to eating it.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

FLAT JACK needs your help

I've been clicking around IndiePublic today and found something fun to share here.

Stained Glass Artist Laurie Beggin had a post on her blog asking for help with her friend Flat Jack.

Isn't this the neatest idea? A few of my friends and I once tried doing this with a real doll but the idea died because we couldn't find an exact replica to be a stunt double, and we didn't want any harm to come to the original doll.

Flat Jack will be traveling around western Oregon with me before being emailed back to Laurie. Can you help, too? If you copy Flat Jack and paste him into a word document, it'll be easy to resize him before printing. Then just cut him out and go have fun! Hurry - time is limited!

laurie beggin glass musings : HI I'M FLAT JACK AND I NEED YOUR HELP!

Pam has sent you a link to a blog:

Isn't this the coolest idea? If you copy and paste Flat jack to a word document, then resize him, you can easily cut him out and start taking pictures. Have fun! And hurry!

Blog: laurie beggin glass musings

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