What’s Next for the Garden?

Did you get your garden in?  Either way, no worries! There’s still food-friendly things to look forward to. As we wrap up the Rose festival, the next great thing on the calendar is all the fresh fruits and vegetables (whether you get them from your yard or your grocer, no one will tell).  There’s even a plethora of fabulous U-pick farms in the area to hit up. By mid-June, cherries and berries will be ready for us, but July is when the real bounty comes in.  Check it out a www.TriCountyFarm.org for the vast guide to local U-Pick and Farm Stands.

Interested in learning how to take advantage of all that wonderful fresh produce for months to come?  Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of places to help with just that.  OSU Extension Service Food preservation experts host a series of hands-on classes on how to preserve produce in a safe and healthy way. Recipes, equipment, ingredients and additional resources provided, and all participants share the products made in class.  These classes are listed on the PCC website (okay – I know – kind of a surprise – but it’s true).  I found these classes at convenient locations to my neighbors in NE Portland. In my class last week, we pickled carrots, corn relish, beets, and asparagus.  Not only did we sample – we all shared in the bounty, and headed home with goodies to share with family and friends.

These ones are $29 plus fees, held 6:00 – 8:50  Fremont Methodist Church.

Preserving Fruit: Water Canning     July 11

Preserving Veggies and Meat: Pressure Canning and Drying  July 25

Preserving Tomatoes, Sauces and Salsas   Aug 8

Preserving Pickles     August 22

And for Westsiders, there are similar classes in the same program at the Bohemian Gourmet Food LLC, Monday’s from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm. See details below, or check out the OSU extension website.

These are each $25 or Take all four classes – Fruits, Vegetables & Meat, Pickles, and Tomatoes – for $90. Pay by Credit card.

2013 Class Lineup

Fruit Products: Water Canning

July 8th: Step one! Come learn the basics of food preservation using a water bath. We’ll talk about preserving fruits and fruit products such as applesauce, jams, jellies and pie filling. Then we’ll make jam and pie filling using Oregon’s bounty. Pay by Credit card.

Veggies &Meat: Canning & Drying

July 15th: Learn the safe and simple process of pressure canning veggies and meats, including fish. We’ll talk about how to use and care for your pressure canner, and we’ll learn tips making high-quality, nutritious dried foods. Pay by Credit card.

Pickle Making

July 22nd : Pickles are popular again! This class covers safe procedures for pickling vegetables, including the difference between fermented and fresh-pack pickles, as well as selecting and preparing ingredients. We’ll fresh-pack pickles in class. Pay by Credit card.

Tomatoes, Sauces and Salsas

July 29th: Tomatoes are the most commonly preserved produce item. This class covers options for preserving plain tomatoes, tomato sauce and juice, as well as the “Laws of Salsa.” We’ll make and compare a variety of salsas in class. Pay by Credit card.

These are fabulous classes – I took my first one last week.

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Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. Connect with her on Facebook for Portland-centric updates and news or subscribe to her newsletter to receive monthly resources and tips just for locals. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, contact her today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Portland mortgage options.


A True Portland Moment

It seemed like a typical Portland morning in March when I headed off to Zumba one Saturday. This particular Saturday, though, was anything but. This was the once-a-year-only sale, with the new Pendleton Portland collection, and I snuck out early to secure a good parking spot on SW Broadway.  Once inside the door, I found that it was literally wall to wall with people. This line of clothing was made for the trendy, young hipsters of Portland, and they had all turned out accordingly. But I wanted in on this, too!  Could I find a large or extra-large in hipster-size (that would be a medium in any other line, right?)? After a frantic search I happily found several items and joined the checkout line to cash out on my bounty.  The line, however, took longer than an hour to get through! Normally, a wait that long would have made me CRAZY, but that’s when Portlandia happened.  And by Portlandia, I don’t mean high-nosed hipster indignation. I mean the most laid-back people on earth, who can’t help but make friends and bond over any shared experience–even waiting in line. By the time we snaked up to the checkout counter, I had traded and swapped for styles and sizes while generous strangers held my place in line, carried the cargo of my neighbors and had mine carried in turn so we could race out to fill our parking our meters, and we had all praised and encouraged each other to step outside our comfort zone to go for the biggest, baddest tribal print. I love Pendleton, and I adore Portland.  I halfway wondered why we didn’t all exchange email addresses by the time I left.

Here’s some of the great finds I snagged:

pendleton 2Pendleton Portland Line

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Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, give her a call today to schedule a consultation or find out more about Portland mortgage options. 

A Very Unique Birthday Party

When my neighbor invited me to her 69th birthday party last week, I have to admit that at first I didn’t quite realize what I was getting myself into. As it turned out, this was no garden party, folks—this was a group class at the Portland Aerial School.

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You read that right. Aerial. Like trapeze, acrobatics, and other hang-from-the-roof type activities. Needless to say, I was thrilled! I didn’t even know we had an aerial school here in Portland! And what a fabulous event they led us in. After watching the talented students perform, we were invited to learn “the ropes”.


The very first thing I attempted was the Aerial Silk, or Tissu. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flying. I managed to hoist myself up, over, point my toes, and descend with the help of the experts. It was such a thrill! Next up, the trapeze. Incredible! Then juggling. Wow! (I really should have started learning this MUCH earlier in life) Finally, I moved on to the Hula Hoop. Sounds like the simplest of the bunch, right? Wrong. How was it even possible that I’d forgotten how to keep the hoop in the air?! But the students patiently guided me through, and I was happily hula-hooping yet again.

aerial students

The Pendulum Aerial School is celebrating 13 years here in Portland. I had an amazing experience and hope to go back. If you ever get a chance to give it a go, I only have two words for you: DO IT!!! And post about your experience in the comments!

Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, give her a call today to schedule a consultation or find out more about Portland mortgage options.