Tuesday, June 29, 2010

farm visit.

Andy and I both had the day off last week, so we decided to finally fulfill our mutual quest for getting our hands on some raw milk.

There are so many reasons why we wanted to try it out. First, we are both pretty sensitive to dairy and have had a lot of problems for the last several years. From what I've read, people who can't tolerate dairy can often tolerate raw milk products just fine. Since we both do very well on raw milk cheese, we decided to take it one step further.

Dr. Mercola says "the butterfat in whole raw milk, particularly butterfat in milk from cows that graze freely on green pasture, contains unique nutrients that support thyroid function and help your body develop muscle rather than fat." Both good things for us.

Organic Pastures says this of raw milk: "Natural organic raw milk has in it vitally important living things. These include the following: beneficial bacteria, enzymes (including lipase, protease. and other), lactase forming bacteria, and many enzyme based pathogen killing systems. The common practice of pasteurization inactivates or dramatically reduces the effects of these important active (living) elements. As a result, you may be lactose intolerant when drinking pasteurized milk, but not lactose intolerant when you drink raw milk. This is because lactase enzymes are being formed when you digest raw milk."

Mercola also says, "While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can carry disease-causing bacteria, what they completely overlook is the fact that these bacteria are the result of industrial farming practices that lead to diseased animals, which may then in turn produce contaminated milk. You never want to get your raw milk from a feed-lot cow."

So we set out to visit a farm near Portland that we found after some web research on the Real Milk website.

We drove along the crunching gravel driveway to a farm tucked back in a small wooded area, lined with vinyl fencing on both sides through which we saw numerous frolicking goats, and soon the wooded space opened up into a meadow, with the farmhouse sitting on the perimeter and horses out to pasture underneath the grand view of Mt. Hood.

We bought a gallon and a half. One for us, and a half gallon for our friends, whose little boy is dealing with some health issues that we're hoping raw milk can help resolve.

We walked through a little pasture to a clearing in the wooded area where we met the cows supplying us: Honey, Blossom, and Patty. They are big, gorgeous Jersey cows with gigantic brown eyes, beautiful color, and huge udders. They looked happy, healthy, and content to eat all the grass in sight.

The owner said we came at the right time of year; the grass is growing so rapidly and is so green and nutrient-rich from the rain that the girls' milk is at its peak. Later in the summer, when the green grass starts to become drier and more scarce, the milk will lose a little of its sweetness.

We packed our liquid gold in a styrofoam cooler with ice, placed it gingerly in the trunk, and couldn't wait to get home and try some, where, when we finally got inside, Andy poured himself a big glass and took a fearless gulp. So pleased. My turn next, and my first response was, "Delicious." Andy agreed. "A little grassy, but in a good way." "Sweet." "Yummy."

Safely home and in the fridge...mission accomplished!

The cream of the milk is a buttery yellow color, it sits like silk on top and smells so good, it's hard to not dip your fingers in and get a taste. We stirred the cream into the milk with a whisk, but Nina Planck recommends spooning some out over strawberries.

Then came the waiting game! We waited, for over an hour, to see how we felt. Nothing! Gloriously nothing!

Of course, in Oregon, raw milk is "for animal consumption only." Let's just say we have a lot of "cats" to feed.

Do you want to support a local farmer and try raw milk for yourself? Visit Real Milk or email me!

The girls getting their fill of fresh green grass....

The boy loves to feed animals...

And there were goats! New babies, they were frolicking all over the place and calling "ma-ma!"

These goats clearly had affection for each other...

Monday, June 28, 2010

second wedding of the season!

First of all, I have so many things to write about!

I'm only going to handle two tonight.


A few days after my cousin's wedding, featured a few posts ago, my other cousin had her baby! A sweet, perfect little baby girl named Ellie Kay. She was 8.8, 20.5 inches. And I had the honor of videotaping the whole thing. It was a special experience, as I stayed with her up until the birth and a few days after. Such a funny thing, we have pictures together running around when we were little girls, and now she has one of her own. I wonder if our kids will be as close?

The birth itself was a positive experience for everyone involved; the doctor and staff were helpful and supportive, and the environment was relaxed and family-oriented. I came home that night from the hospital and was still running on adrenaline, so I started on lasagna and manicotti at 10 p.m. to stash in their freezer for those nights when she can't-or doesn't want-to cook.

I miss little Ellie already!


Second wedding of the season! A lovely, thoughtful wedding of one of our home community couples that was just a pleasure to witness and a fun-filled evening with good company. You could definitely feel the love present through this whole affair.

David & Kim Sheern


Artemis catered. It was glorious.

Pulled pork sliders.

I kept stalking her for a picture, but she was too fast!

Oh, the Sangria. It was good.

Jackknife - a local PDX bluegrass band.

Now why is Lauren's plate (scroll down) so perfectly arranged and mine is just PILED?

Coffee favors.

We got to take home the centerpieces. They are stunning, and I really don't want mine to die.

Congrats, David and Kim!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

My good friend John just finished his Masters, and he had a friend take this photo. Hilarious!

I haven't done FITBF for a while, it's time I get back into the groove. Lauren is fabulous over at The Little Things We Do!

1. The best thing about being in school was/is not having to worry about adult things! All that was on my mind was our weekly Friday night sleepover and the TGIF lineup. Oh, and if JTT was actually going to die from his tumor on Home Improvement. Noooo!

2. The worst thing about being in school was/is trying to fit in and figure out what kind of person I wanted to be.

3. My favorite subject in school was/is English and History, definitely. I still love to read and write, fortunately I've been able to making a living from it, although it's a pittance.

4. One subject I wish I could have mastered/would like to master is Math. My cousin's husband was making fun of me over the weekend because we still use our fingers for basic calculations. It's just not my thing.

5. I could never get tired of studying medieval history. So much richness to their culture, and we shortchange ourselves by thinking of it as the dark ages. It was just a very, very different time with different priorities and belief systems. I'll never get tired of it!

6. The most memorable teacher I had was Mr. Buck, my Senior English teacher. His teaching style made me want to become a teacher myself and major in Lit. Maybe I'll track him down and tell him one of these days.

7. If I could choose between going to school for the rest of my life or working for the rest of my life, I'd choose school. I don't feel like I know very much and there is so much to learn about so many different topics. I actually think I'm going to go back in January (shh!) when my husband starts his Masters. Just part-time, though. I already have a new idea about what I want to study.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

summer hide-and-seek.

What's up with this weather?

All I want to do is sit on a shaded porch in the middle of the afternoon and drink herbal lemonade, as made by Jennie on her Straight from the Farm blog. She's got so many good ideas.

But I can't make this until it gets over 75 degrees for 5 days. Otherwise it just feels wrong, like listening to Christmas music in July (you know who you are).

So I wait.

But you...you just go ahead and find the recipe here. I'm sure it's over 75 wherever you're at...right?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

did I mention?

Did I mention we ate food at the rehearsal dinner?

fresh jalapeno poppers with cream cheese and bacon...
handheld potato halves...

lemon cake with strawberry jam filling...

chocolate cheesecake cupcakes...

and I had one of all three, of course.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapenos, baby red and yellow peppers; halved with seeds cleaned out
Full-fat cream cheese
Bacon (nitrate-free, preferably)

Spread inside of halved peppers with cream cheese.
Slice bacon to cover pepper half, secure with toothpicks.
Bake for 15 minutes, maybe with a little broil at the end.
Remove toothpicks and serve.

Handheld Baked Potatoes

Yukon gold potatoes, already baked and halved
with the middle scooped out (but not too much)
Grated cheese
Bacon, cooked and chopped into bits
Sour cream
Black pepper

Sprinkle insides of scooped out potatoes with bacon and cheese, bake until cheese is melted.
Spoon sour cream into middle and top with pepper.
Serve warm.

Friday, June 11, 2010

first wedding of the season...

My cousin Jordan got married today, to a lovely girl named Rebecca.

The sun shone brightly on the new couple, and there were lots of smiles and tears to go around.

The Secret Place in Nampa, Idaho

Mom and I doing the "hustle." It's so fun!

Giving my tried and true (!?) marriage advice to the groom.

Congrats you two!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

PDX Progressive Day of Craft!

Come join Found on Fremont and the rest of crafty Portland
to celebrate Etsy's anniversary on June 18!

In typical stylish fashion, a progressive "shop hop" will be happening all day with over 20 local businesses and vendors offering craft demos, shopping specials, refreshments, and just plain ol' good fun!

Visit this link at Meetup.com to RSVP, do it today!

You can also visit the PDX Progressive Day of Craft website for more info


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meet Renaud...

So, many of you know that we are planning a trip to Europe this fall. We're waiting to do any serious planning until after school is over and done (tomorrow! woot!), but we DID reserve something spectacularly fun.

Introducing...the Renaud 8000!

Renaud 8000 :
3/5 + 1 persons - 2 cabins
Length : 8.00 m - Beam : 3,00 m.


Headroom salon : 1,95 m, cabins : 1,9 m.
Water tank : 350 litres.
Sleeping : Aft cabin : 1 double berth + 1 single berth + 1 child's bunk bed.

Salon : settee converts to double berth. Comfort: 1 shower, 1 WC.
We'll be taking this little beauty for a spin (ok, a 4mph troll) down the Burgundian Canal du Nivernais for 7 days in October.
Could I rock this look en Francais?

Jane Roarty
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