10 July 2011

Home Grown Shiitakes

We recently purchased a shiitake kit from Fungi Perfecti. I figured it'd be a great way to fuel my mushroom obsession until the fall chanterelle season starts.

The kit is pretty easy to take care of, and we've already had a good fruiting (around half a pound). It should last about 16 weeks and fruit every couple of weeks before it's done fruiting, but I'm planning on getting a few more kits before that. I'm looking forward to a steady supply of mushrooms and transforming a portion of our house into a micro fungi farm!

09 July 2011

Teagan 1.0

One whole year:  already been to two continents, eight countries, and five states.
What will year 2.0 bring?  Disney World?!


08 July 2011

Red Currants

Last year, we planted two currant plants.  One red and one white.  The red ones are starting to ripen for the season.  Last year, I made some scones and added some currants to lemonade.  This year, I found a recipe for red currant and fennel muffins.  The recipe says to soak the oats but them doesn't add them in during the instructions, I improvised and added them to the eggs and oil.  I added in strawberries from the garden, cinnamon, a little bit more sugar, and used some of our fennel leaves instead of seeds.  I used mason jars instead of a muffin pan, so they took a little longer in the oven, due to their size.  They'd be even more delicious with chocolate chips.

Red Currant, Strawberry & Fennel Muffins

1 cup milk
1 cup instant oats
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp fennel
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup red currants
1/2 cup strawberries

Line a 12 muffin tin or mason jars or grease it with butter. Soak the oats in the milk for 15 minutes. Beat the eggs with the oil in a large bowl and add in the soaked oats. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside enough of the dry mixture to coat the currants. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until combined then add in the fennel and cinnamon. Mix the currants and berries into the reserved dry mixture first so they are coated and then gently fold this mixture into the batter. Fill the muffin pan or jars with the batter evenly distributed between the 12. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F.

06 July 2011

Serene Lake, Pyramid Lake & the Roaring River Wilderness

This past weekend, we attempted to backpack our way to the Serene Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  We left Portland around 10am and drove towards the trailhead near the Frazier Turnaround.  Unfortunately, the long gravel road also had some snow patches, so we decided to not go any further.  We turned around and drove down to another connecting trailhead at Shell Rock Lake.
After passing Shell Rock Lake and starting our ascent, the trail was basically a creek, due to the amount of snow melt.  We ran into a family hiking with their JRT and they were on their way down after losing the trail due to snow levels.  We decided to try our luck and continued on.  They were right, the snow levels were out of control.  In previous years, these trails have been snow free during the early summer months, but we'll need a few more hot days to help clear them out this year.

We followed the blazes on the trees until we hit the Frazier Turnaround and our original starting point, the Serene Lake trailhead.  There was a nice campsite with a park bench, so we stopped for lunch.  This clearing, and knowing we were starting to descend gave us a little hope that we would get to Serene Lake after all.  After lunch, we started going again from blaze to blaze.  When we stopped seeing noticable trail markings on trees, we started flagging our way, just in case we want to turnaround.

We eventually made that decision.  As we headed back, we met another group with a JRT who had also made the grueling hike up through the snow, only to decide to turn around.  We hiked back to Shell Rock Lake to post up for the night.  Although it was crowded during the day, as the evening rolled around many of the families who were there for the day headed out and it ended up being a really nice and quiet spot with a few camp fires spotted in the distance.  While Willis fished in a fishless lake, the pups and I soaked up the remaining sun rays.

We hiked out on Sunday morning and went to find another place to set up for the night.  After helping a stranded camper get back to a campsite so he could get help with his truck, we drove to Pyramid Lake.  It was another rough gravel road, but this time it wasn't covered in snow.  It was a short hike up to the lake, where we dropped our packs and scoped out the scene.  We were hoping for some hiking trails to spend the day on, but the overgrown trail just circled the lake.  After the dogs and I soaked up more sun and Willis attempted to fish in another fishless lake, we decided to head back to town a night early. 

Overall, it was a good weekend.  I'd like to go back in August or September when the trails are a little more clear and hiking one mile doesn't feel like hiking three.