Monthly Archives: December 2009

GUESS WHAT?

Merry Christmas, bitches! Hope you all enjoy SANTA OHHHH MY GOOOODDDD!!!

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Today in Confusing Graffiti: Portland’s Cathedral Park

Because the sun set at approximately

4:16 p.m. yesterday, I thought we could all use a little break to remember what fall looks like. Trees, apparently from time to time they get these “leaves” that “fall” every year after “turning” to a red/golden shade. I know, right? Crazy!

So last month, before the really cold snap, Yean and I took a little jaunt to Cathedral Park in St. Johns, which is in the waaaaaay North part of Portland in the little armpit of land where the Willamette starts curving West. I used to commute there from my rented room in Beaverton at like five in the morning when I first moved to Portland, and by the time I got off work I had no energy to enjoy the splendors of Lombard St., let alone to drive home without running five red lights. So it was a bit of a revelation to go back there and experience the neighborhood as a consumer rather than an employee.

The St. Johns Bridge is probably my favorite Portland bridge, and I still lament not getting this one apartment in an old Victorian with absolutely stunning views of the bridge and the hills, flaky shiny-shirt-wearing landlord notwithstanding.

Now, its important to point out that the St. Johns was not, in fact, designed by the same guy who did the Golden Gate. They’re both suspension bridges, they were both depression-era projects, and they’re both, um, fanciful colors, but the dudes who built them were actually rivals, or at least that’s what Wikipedia and the Portland Neighborhood Association tell me. I think they both rock. Asking me to pick one is like asking me to pick a favorite child, or possibly a favorite stressful traffic situation. Ol’ St. Johns may not have the Gate’s steep toll, but I did have to drive across it once in a snowstorm and the memory gives me stress cramps to this day.

Obviously the park gets its name for the Gothic-ish towers that support the bridge, which make a picturesque place to picnic, canoodle with your teenage lover or, as we found out(MOTHER DO NOT READ THIS IT IS GROSS), write confusing graffiti:

To this day we still debate whether this was two people, one who wrote “pussy” and another who added “fart,” or one person who simply meant “pussy fart.” I also could have sworn there was an “e” on the end of “fart” but looking at the pictures maybe I imagined that exciting tidbit.

Right after I took this I asked Yean if there was poo on the ground next to her:

We think it was just dirt though.

I mean, we’re pretty sure.

Oh, Portland.

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Treat Yourself

So, as a follow up to my SAD post

I feel it’s appropriate to clarify that the best thing to do when you want to eat a lot of carbs is to just eat a lot of carbs. The past few weeks have seen me whipping up heavy comfort food like there’s no tomorrow. The result of all this is that last night I had a spinach salad and it was possibly the best thing I have ever put in my mouth, ever. I guess my body finally reached a critical mass of buttered foods.

Since it’s been a while since I did a recipe, here’s one that’s a good balance of carbs, protein and fat, but only in the sense that it has a lot of all those things. Especially the last one. You’ve got your eggs (protein), your dairy (fat) and of course, toast (carbs). Also some parsley. That’s good, right? Right?

I got these ramekins ages ago from Cost Plus, which is my mother’s favorite store. I think I originally intended to use them to bake creme caramel and other custardy things, but so far I’ve only used them as prep bowls and to make these baked eggs. I learned this technique from an old coworker, who made breakfast for everyone a couple years ago during a three-day bakery potluck event that I may still be recovering from. Heavy as it is I should point out that I’ve only ever made this dish on work days, never on the weekend. Why I put myself and my loved ones through such gastrointestinal hurdles is beyond me, but it does make for an enjoyable start to the day.

Also notable is the use of garlic in a breakfast dish. IMO it’s the only thing keeping this from being overly rich, but if you’re not up to garlic mouth at 9 am you can leave it out. Other fresh herbs that would be nice are chives, maybe dill, but parsley is what I usually have, so hey. The bake time depends on how done you want your eggs. If you leave it so there’s a little jiggle in the center you get a nice sort of egg/fat soup that you can dip your toast in, but more often than not I forget to check the oven until the whole dang thing’s baked through. Which is still nice! It’s like a really well seasoned soft boiled egg. Basically there’s no way you can fuck it up because even if you overbake it it comes out tasty.

Baked Eggs

(serves 2)
4 whole eggs
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
4 T. sour cream or creme fraiche
salt and pepper
Equipment: 2 buttered ramekins, a shallow pan to bake in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter the ramekins and put about half the garlic in the bottom of each, along with a tablespoon of sour cream and half the parsley. Crack 2 eggs into each ramekin, season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining garlic, sour cream and parsley, and place in the baking pan. Fill the pan with warm water until it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekin and place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake until set, about 20 minutes. Serve with toast.

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