Saturday, August 22, 2009

Soapbox Derby 2009!

Lovely sunny day, beer and wine(in my case vodka), friends, and a hill. Entertainment was provided by crazy people with homemade wheeled devices of questionable structural integrity, often times ineffective breaking systems, and sled like steering, all of which factored into or directly caused many crashes.

You can check out the derby website here. The event is at Mt. Tabor and is held on Reservoir Loop. Since I was a little intoxicated at the time so all I can really say about it, is that it was a fantastic day with good food & libations, great people and a ton of fun. I must say though that one of the great highlights was the A Team van, complete with the guys and theme music.

I did manage to take some pictures, but as my digital is in dire need of being updated, I usually only caught the tail end of the car or a blur. However...

A Very Pregnant Betty
A Very Pregnant Betty w/Wilma in tow, complete with...

Flinstones mobile

Oh! Let's not forget, the knitting was there too.


... and the she mullet.


Steve protecting his virtue.

Steve's protectin the goods

As for the soapboxes well...

Caught this one pretty high on the curve, I think it was a log.

Looks like it's a log

This one was close to even with us, looks kinda like a head first luge.

Luge like

Those are about the best ones I got, and I didn't get one of the A Team at all, might see if I can't get one of my friends to take pity on me though and give me a copy. I must say though that I did get one good picture...

Barrel racer

this thing moved so slow that it got cheers.

It was a great day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Picnic at the Zoo!

This year for our summer event at work we went to the Oregon Zoo, it had been several years since I'd been there, so there was a whole bunch of new stuff. It looks like the zoo is in the process of getting rid of all the cement pits they used to keep the critters in and or actually building full habitats for the animals.

It was kind of weird to try to navigate through the park, because so much has changed I wasn't really sure where I was; I had to use the penguins, tropical aviary, and Primate house to orient myself.

I did end up with some good pictures though...

Ahh, fake sun...
Deez people make my butt itch...
I dare you...
Feeding the Lorikeets

I think I'll end with...

Naked Mole Rat!
Naked Mole Rat!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Basket O' Peaches, Peaches for Me...

Ok so last week on the Sauvie Island Blog I read that because the weather had been so crazy, and they still had a ton of ripe peaches, they were going to have their peaches on special for $1 a pound, a pretty good deal really.

With visions of fruit tarts, cobblers, and jam dancing in my head I headed out to the farm late Saturday afternoon, and guess what I saw...

That's right it was the Yarnia Lady's(I assume, until told otherwise) car!

Anyway after I geeked out over that for a few minutes I headed over to get my basket weighed, and was told that the Red Havens were on the tail end of production, and the Hale Havens next to them might still be a little green. So I dutifully tromped into the Red Haven section, hoping to find some peaches left. Unfortunately with the recent rain storms & high humidity pretty much all the ripe peaches I found had begun to mold on the tree, with that came a very distinct smell, and drunken bees & yellow jackets fluttering drunkenly about(someone realy should cut them off when they've had too much fermented fruit).

I ended up only finding a couple in the Red Havens that were still good, so I crossed over into the next orchard and picked the Hale Heavens, they were a little bit unripe, but I put them in a paper bag for a couple of days and it fixed that easily enough.

Now that they've softened up, it's time to make freezer jam!

I know that you're supposed to scald & ice them but honestly the skins came off these without much of a problem, so I didn't bother.

At look at it mid mess.
I really love that you don't have to cook the jam with this method, and I think it tastes more like fresh fruit.

Right before I was going to ladle it into the tubs I decided to add a little ginger to it, I think it was probably about 1 teaspoon to a double batch. I was aiming for a really subtle hint of ginger to help enhance the flavor of the peaches. I'm going to try it out tomorrow, and we'll see if I succeeded or not.

There was a bit of a problem though, I still have about 9 pounds of ripe peaches to deal with, I think tomorrow I'll slice them up and freeze them for smoothies & cobbler.