Friday, June 26, 2015

Foodie Friday--a few of our favorite places

Mariposa had her 1st Holy Communion last month (still need to post pics) and with it came lots of great food.  :o)  

Grandma came to visit for the occasion, which of course led us to have even MORE great food at some of our favorite places.

The dessert table from Mariposa's 1st Holy
Cake was from our favorite local bakery…yes, you know the
one…Decadent Creations!
Wonderful Mexican street food from Ochoa's in Hillsboro.
I could eat here every day!
Can't go wrong with New Seasons, food from
their deli or food off their shelves….
…and the South Store!  We are so so lucky
to have such a quaint, cute, high-quality
cafe here in the country!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Great Escape

Two sheep escaped from the neighbor's property the other day.  It's a really good thing for our neighbor that we always have willing ranch hands available!

Bunny, James, and Mariposa were ready to spring into duty.
The sheep made it up to our house.  :o)
The younger kids thought this was all great!!!
Here, the sheep were starting to run towards the road, oh no!
Bunny herded them from the road back to their pen.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Foodie Friday--Rhubarb-Raspberry Pie

Willamette raspberries are in season…and so is rhubarb-raspberry pie!!!

This is one of my favorite pies.  I only make it this time of year, with these delicious raspberries.  These raspberries taste like summer!!!  They are bursting with raspberry-ness.

This pie is for rhubarb-lovers for sure, but even rhubarb-tolerators have told me that they like this combo.

helping with the dough
 Recipe: 1.5 pounds sliced rhubarb (about 4 cups), 2 cups raspberries, 1.25 cups sugar or to taste, 1/3 cup flour, and the juice of 1/2 lemon.  Remember to dot the top with pats of butter!

The dough recipe is mom's:  2 cups flour + 1 teaspoon salt, cut in 2/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons Crisco (I like to measure then chill for awhile), then mix in 3-5 Tablespoons cold ice water until a dough forms.  Makes 2 crusts--top and bottom.

Bake at 350 for 1.25-1.5 hours.  I cover the edges with foil until the last 15-20 minutes.  This recipe is from Martha Stewart's sister, Rita Christensen, and I copied it from the MSLiving magazine almost 15 years ago.

Everyone in my home likes this pie except Marcus, who hates rhubarb.  :oP  This pie is very very sweet and tart and flavorful!  It tastes like candy.  :o)  What a great time of year!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Free Lunch…?

They say "there's no such thing as a free lunch."  Sedric proved that wrong!!

Yesterday morning was a great day to go berry-picking.  We went to Rowell Bros. down the road from us.  This is BY FAR the earliest in the season that we have picked berries!  Normally, we would just have Hood strawberries in mid-June.  But this has been a very warm winter and spring, and all the produce is 2-4 weeks early.  We picked Sisikou blackberries, Reka blueberries, and Cascade raspberries.

Sedric didn't end up with ANY blueberries in
his bucket--they all went straight to his mouth.
Bunny and James worked on red raspberries.

Celeste had a great time watching the kids…
and eating berries too!

All this for an even $20 -- well over a full flat of fruit.
So maybe there IS such thing as a free lunch!!!  Good thing they didn't weigh Sedric before and after picking.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

St. Anthony of Padua

It's so fun for me to see a saint's feast day on the calendar and think, "Hey, I was there!"

Today is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

On our pilgrimage in October of 2012, Bunny, Sedric, and I made a quick stop in Padua on our way to Rome.  Here are pictures of the Basilica:

not my picture :o)
It is tradition to buy a candle and offer it at the
tomb.  Fr. Peter bought this for the whole group.

not my picture
One of the most striking things about this visit was the Reliquary.  There were SO many relics!  It felt a bit odd--and awesome--to see the actual pieces of saints: a tongue, lungs, skin, bones, etc.  

This is his tongue.
(not my picture)
(This link has a very good "tour" of the
church, and an explanation of the relics.)
Saint Anthony of Padua died in 1231 and in 1263 when his body was transferred to a new Basilica, his body was found to have disintegrated except for his tongue and vocal cords, both of which are now on display in reliquaries in the Basilica of Saint Anthony. (source)

Beautiful, simple courtyards.
Fr. Peter said Mass in a chapel right outside the main church.
The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua (Sant'Antonio da Padova) is the largest church in Padua. Construction of the Basilica probably began around 1235, nineteen years after the death of St. Anthony. It was completed in 1301 although several structural modifications  took place between the end of the 14th and the mid 15th century. The Saint, according to his will, had been buried inthe small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, probably dating from the late 12th century and near which a convent was founded by him in 1229. This church was incorporated into the present basilica as the Cappella della Madonna Mora (Chapel of the Dark Madonna). Saint Anthony is a giant edifice without a precise architectural style. Over the centuries, it has grown under a variety of different influences as shown by the exterior details. The new basilica was begun as a single-naved church, with an apsidal chancel, broad transepts and two square nave bays roofed with hemispherical domes. The style was Romanesque. Later in the 13th century, the aisles were added in a more Gothic style, the length of each nave bay being divided into two aisle bays with arches and vaults. The interior of the church contains numerous funerary monuments, some of noteworthy artistic value. The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament (Cappella del Santissimo Sacramento) with its broad bands of polychrome and carved Gothic details has had many stages of decoration

Friday, June 12, 2015

Foodie Friday--Hot Browns

The first Saturday in May brought the Kentucky Derby (won by American Pharoah of course!) and a foodie favorite:  Hot Browns!

Marcus makes us Hot Browns every Derby Day.  I wish it was more often.

A "Hot Brown" is an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich, smothered in a white sauce and grilled in a skillet.  Tomatoes and parsley are added "for looks" as I say.  ;o)  This sandwich was made famous by the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

This year Marcus made the sauce using parmesan instead of the usual Romano (which, given my Sicilian roots, I love).  The sauce was more subtle but still fantastic!  I think he would say that these were the best Hot Browns yet.

Turkey from New Seasons, sliced thin.  Bacon from Costco.  I believe Marcus used my homemade 5-grain bread, which toasts up beautifully.  Homemade white sauce (I have no idea how he does it).

Aren't I lucky to have such a great chef for a husband???  <3 <3

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Penance & Picnic

I've decided that the only way we will ever go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation is if we:

a) put it on the schedule, and
b) make it fun.

Here are pictures of our "Penance and Picnic" from last month!

And for a third "P" we had a pan-cookie (which was really just a really flat brownie, but that doesn't start with a "P" does it?).

bonus baby pic

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Art/History/Science Fair

Some wonderful ladies in our homeschool group organized an Art/History/Science Fair.  It was held at the group's home parish, Holy Rosary in Portland.  

What a wonderful event!  These ladies did a LOT of work to make this special for the kids!  First, they provided rubrics (grading scale) to make this a real competition, just like in the group schools.  Second, they created name tags, flyers, awards certificates, and participation prizes all with the same color scheme and graphics, which went a long way is having the event feel "professional."  And lastly…they bought REAL ribbons for first/second/third places.  It was amazing!

Each of my 3 older kids chose their topic and we discussed how that would translate to a poster board display.  We decided what information should be on the displays and how we would present that info.  In Mariposa's case, I made printed "worksheets" that she filled in.  For Bunny, we talked about what she would present and how it would all fit on the board.  James was easy--he did Art which needed no written information!

Mariposa chose History.  She was learning about early America
this year in school. 
We read about famous people, and she summarized
the stories and retold them to me.
Bunny loves rocks!  We say she has rocks in her head.  ;o)
This summer we are taking a 3-day trip to central
OR to go rockhounding, so Bunny's info will
come in handy.
No surprise that James would present his Art.
I color-copied the backs of his bills so he could
display them on the poster board.
There were so many great displays!  My favorite displays
(besides my kids')  were presentations on Gettysburg, a science
experiment, and one on invasive species in Oregon.
This was a great experience for me and the kids (even if we did have to fight Portland traffic in rush hour…on an evening that President Obama flew in for a visit!).  The kids worked hard on their displays and they are looking forward to next year's event. I'm grateful that the kids have these experiences that mimic group school events, but that we can do together!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

May, in review

Our piles of hazelnut trees finally got burned (after a couple
of failed attempts earlier in the season).  This picture is from
our driveway, looking towards the road.
Saturday Market
Candy Store :o)
There are so many lambs!  They are getting big.
Lots of swiss chard in my perennial beds.

Gemma wanted me to help her with some stop-motion animation.

Mother's Day!
Cutie loves her exersaucer
Gardening with Gemma
Mrs. N playing with the kids
(Seddy loves the pea gravel.)
Irises were in bloom, so lovely
Mrs. N and Sedric in the "nest" (just a pile of dirt that the
landscapers made, and my kids dug out the middle and
added sticks.  So funny!