Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chow? And How!

We spent a little time in the garden this morning, watering and feeding the greens and Scooterchick was plotting another culinary coup. We had picked up most of the ingredients yesterday and after we ran a few errands we got down to work.

I am the first to admit that I can put together enough calories to keep me alive, but it may not taste all that delicious and there's every possibility it will look like a dog's breakfast. When we work in the kitchen, Patsy is the chef and I am a mere scullery lad.

First 2 sweet potatoes and 2 yams were coarsely diced and seasoned preparatory to baking. A large flat cookie sheet is the best thing for this.

Once the Potatoes were in the oven, some Italian Sausage was stripped for the meat and put in a pan with some Rice Bran oil.

You can almost hear the sizzle can't you? While the sausage simmered 2 Small Onions were minced. Once the sausage was halfway cooked, in went the Cibolas!

The Onion and Sausage "worked together while some more ingredients were prepared. Things are happening fast now!

How about a little Garlic? I stripped about a bulb and a half. I used Alton Brown's 2 bowl peeling method which borders on alchemy. Perfectly peeled cloves in about 30 seconds! Then they were squoze in a press into the mix.

I missed a step but got a picture of the result. One bunch of Swiss Chard, and one bunch of fresh Kale, stripped of their spines (to be saved later for soup) and coarse chopped were added to the pan and a little vegetable stock, then covered.

We had thinned the Carrots and the Carrot greens chopped and added.

By now the Potatoes were ready and were removed from the oven.

The Potatoes were placed in a bowl, the Sausage and Greens over top and it was served up. I thought a little Fresh Parmesan was in order.

Scooterchick preferred hers without the cheese. Looks

It was hot, it was impeccably fresh and it was Fantastico!!! Here Patsy is cooling off another forkful. We did have some leftovers, but they won't be left long!

Another culinary masterpiece, simple country food made with panache and that one special!  Thanks Scooterchick. ( I mean Chef).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Things Change

We readied ourselves for a quick trip to the Okanagan to visit my Mom. Having sold “Maj” my maxi scooter, I was in the market for a new ride and ScooterChick was looking for a 50cc. to add to her growing stable. Our first stop was in Langley to look at a Honda Jazz. 

ScooterChick employed her excellent negotiating skills to great advantage. She got the price lowered by about 36% and made an excellent deal.

This is the new addition “Raspberry”. She is as cute as the day is long. While Scooterchick made the transaction, I ensured she was firmly affixed to the trailer. Then it was off to our next stop.

I had lined up a couple bikes to look at but my preference would have been the first one. I looked it over while the owner showed me a few of the features, and we struck a deal. I didn’t quite manage the deal my Baby did but I got a reduction of 20% from his listed price.

Since we were in Mission, the previous owner and I transacted the conveyance locally and we shook hands on the deal. Then we parted ways.

By now our stomachs were growling and Patsy had found a place to get some lunch. It was a Korean Japanese Fusion restaurant on the Main Street, and she had ordered for me while I finished up at the insurance agents.

Scooterchick ordered one of her favorite Korean dishes which came on a sizzling platter. Pork Bulgogi. I find it a bit spicy for my taste but Patsy likes it. 

She had ordered a combo lunch for me which came a California Roll, Sashimi and Miso Soup. Very good, really hit the spot on an empty stomach.

I took a few pictures of downtown Mission which seems to have changed little from the late 70’s, but which has in truth spread quite considerably in population. Still looks the same on the main drag though. 

Here are the 2 bikes bolted down and ready for a trip to the Okanagan.

Here then is the overall picture. For a name I have reached all the way back to Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and the story of “The Cat in the Hat”. I decided an apt moniker would be “ Thing 2!”. Discretion and modesty would discourage me from revealing the location of “ Thing 1!”.

One of the things that was alluring to me was the mileage on this bike. I have read many accounts on ADV Rider of people traveling great distances on smaller displacement machines and it helps that this one had the low mileage it did to start off with.

This is a picture of the “engine bay”. Not much to it really, a single cylinder and minimal electrics with which to deal. My opinion (rightly or wrongly) is simple is better. Less to go wrong. When the ignition is turned on, and the choke is set, one kick brings the motor to life.

As you can see the original tank decals are still readable. These cautionary mottos I had known already but it’s nice to see instructions from yester-decade. As you can see, this bike is the height of engineering simplicity and style for Honda in 1977.

The paint is still in fine shape as are the rest of the finishes, though time worn are good. I did have to replace the front tire which had checked with age. I went with the Heidenau K60 Scout which although a bit upmarket for my taste has good reports about durability and tread wear.

The previous owner also gave me a gnarly dirt tire, for which I really have no use. I will not be going into any roost inducing shredder territory. I gave it to the Honda Tech when he was mounting my new tire.

By now the hour was growing late, and we having eaten prepared to rest. The sun reclined with a flash of color.

A shakedown cruise would definitely be in order so we readied ourselves for a little putt around the neighbor hood. The area where my Mom lives has fairly quiet roads so we rolled down into the little village of Naramata, and did a quick tour around.  Here is Patsy, enjoying the heck out of Raspberry.

We rolled back into Mom’s having completed a whopping 5.7 miles. Here we see the victorious ScooterChick. Her one comment was, it sure seems slow after riding my 250cc.

This picture of the helmets shows the few spots of rain through which we rode. Just a drizzle really, enough to cool down a bit and that’s all.

And that’s all for now......

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The End of an Era, Let's Eat!

After 5 years of scootering the time has come to pass the torch, and the throttle to someone new. "Maj" has served me faithfully and well, but it's time to change to a different style of bike. The scooter was dutifully loaded on the trailer.

Here we are loaded up and ready to head to town. I'm glad we had the trailer to deliver her in safety, even though I will be abandoning he to her fate in a couple of hours. C'st la vie!

We picked up Bob, the new owner and once we received the cash, he received the keys. We went together to the insurance agent, to ensure a seamless conveyance of title.

That having been effected, we needed to replenish our strength. We headed to Commercial Drive, a multiethnic neighborhood to chow down. Here Scooterchick peruses the menu.

A choice having been made, a smile plays upon her lips as she waits for me to figure out what I want to eat.

Scooterchick ordered some Chicharrones, but neither of us was expecting this. It is an unusual treatment of thick sliced Pork Belly, served crispy with Green onion garnish. Definitely different, but tasty though a little hard on the chompers.

There was also a side order of Truffle Fries. These are dusted with Salty Parmesan and served a Truffle Aioli. Very good, they went fast.

I ended up with Jerked Chicken Tacos. The Jerk was spicy but not too, and served with a side of Guacamole. Everything goes better with Guac!. It was messy but delicioso!

This is the restaurant in question...Havana. If you get close enough and have a hankering for some excellent eats, we can give it a hearty recommendation. It isn't too pricey and the food is spectacular.

This is one of the bikes in my consideration. It is a Yamaha WR250R.

This would also be peachy. It has an excellent durability record. KLX250S.

Here is another spectacular contender. it is Honda's CRF230L. 

Truth be told, unless I can find a used lo miler they are all a little above my price range. I would even consider an older XR250 or similar, but prefer electric start. The hunt is on. I am sure the right bike is out there dreaming of me!

I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig!

Our time to return to Canada draws close. We packed up to leave The Dalles this morning to head back. It was about 9 am and it was approaching 70 F.

The view to the West was of Mount Rainier peeping over the hills to the South West. We however will be heading North.

The hotel has done a nice job of keeping up their entryway. The roses were manicured and the lawns were neatly clipped and trimmed.

We head North over the Mighty Columbia. You will remember it's size where it passes Astoria to meet the sea. Even here it flexes it's brawny muscles as it rips down the spillway at The Dalles dam.

Before long we have climbed up above the River. There were many pullouts to take pictures, and it seemed we availed ourselves of each one.

A keen eye will see both the Highway far below and the railroad tracks. There is a white semi right of center on the highway above the river and which is just barely visible from this angle.

A look back down the river shows us the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge and Mount Hood in the far distance.

After crossing the Columbia Plateau we drop down to Toppenish. It is billed as the City of Murals. Here is one. We gassed up and headed on without investigating the fullness of the muraldom.

One of the great albeit brief treats of this time of year is the Rainier Cherry.
Rainier Goodness  You have to strike while the iron is hot if you want to taste these beauties, because the season is short and supplies limited.

Incidentally the bottom portion of this sign read ASPARAGUS WINE. Why anyone would want to make wine from asparagus is beyond me!

As you know we always keep our eye open for a real estate bargain. We both agreed that this fixer-upper is not likely to meet our criterion of a good prospect.

We wanted to stop and eat a picnic lunch and Easton promised a turn off with character. We pulled off to see.

We took this picture of the Welcome to Easton sign and only then noticed the building this sign was adjacent to.

This is the Easton Post Office. The door has a pitched snow roof. Something to keep in mind if you need to pickup your mail in January BY SNOWMOBILE!

There is an old rail car  on display on Railroad Ave. It actually looks like a mail car, rather than a passenger or freight car.

We found a place to have our picnic beside a pond. These ponds are maintained by the Easton Volunteer Fire Dept. Good job guys..........

We listened to the birds and, had a nice break with a light meal.

Our repast on this occasion included some of that delicious 3 year old Tillamook White Cheddar.

To add to the Cheddar we had Lemon Pepper Smoked Oysters from the Oregon Coast. These were delicious.

Then there were those delicious Rainier Cherries, which we had no trouble finishing off, as we were unable to bring them across the border.

Oh yeah, there were assorted crackers to go along and I had decided to "Do the Dew". I don't drink this very often, but enjoy it every time I do.

Over the pass and downhill to the Junction of I-405;. We turned North and continued until we got North of Marysville to the Rest Area. We usually try to stop at this one because of the easy access. Oh yeah, there's also the Big Tree. It never ceases to amaze, although I have seen bigger stumps in the forest.

Here is us! We are almost ready to go to our home now.

But first a stop at Johnny Carina's. This is a restaurant we have eaten at starting in Texas, but also in California. I ordered the Cheese Tortellini but got them to add Chicken into the mix. I had trouble finishing the plate. I'm glad I didn't order any dessert.

After topping off with some of that good cheap American gas we crossed the border, and came over the Alex Fraser Bridge.

Coming up the Squamish Highway, the sun was setting  and we caught a couple shots of Howe Sound. The view is perpetually excellent.

This is the same shot in with no zoom. I particularly like the fading light coming through the lifting eyes in the Jersey Barrier. Different but also good.

Back at home....eyes closing...must sleep!!