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It's not "life's illusions", but "life's infusions" that I recall!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Backyard Baby Chicks....

The baby chicks are now at the feed stores .....they are adorable !

When we lived on the ranch, we ordered chicks from the midwest. We bought some at the feed store too, but you could find more exotic chickens from a catalog.  Our local Post Office would call us to come pick up our box of  babies (chicks).

We kept them in the house by our heater for a few days with a heat lamp.  Our daughters adored this arrangement.  They would bound out of bed in the mornings and hold baby chicks before having to get ready to catch the school bus.

Depending on the outside temperatures, we eventually moved them to the nice little secure pen with a heat lamp in the chicken house. By the time they were hens, they were quite tame.

Our children have backyard chickens and our granddaughter loves to hold them.

She has two that she is especially fond of....this is Dora....Hayley__her_chicken

I've been contemplating, once again, about having a few Backyard Chickens....but then I also think about turning my front yard into a vegetable garden and my pool into a cement pond with catfish.  I'm not sure I was meant to be a neighborhood resident.                                 All those darn CC&R's !

Happy Infusions,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

'Tis the season for planting...and growing....

This beautiful sunshine calls me...." Come....Come...Come outside. Come dig. Come plant."

I heeded the call and ordered seeds !!

We've always been interested in the Seed Savers Exchange and used them extensively when we had a big garden at the ranch.

In the United States, it is the largest non-government seed bank. Seed Savers is an non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. An heirloom seed is defined by Seed Savers as "any garden plant that has a history of being passed down within a family....like pieces of heirloom jewelery or furniture."

Preserving and continuing to develop disease and pest resistant plants without modifying or altering the genetics of the seed takes time, dedication and patience.

Currently, though, there is tremendous pressure to patent and create genetically engineered plants and animals that will produce rapidly. These "mutations" are now part of our everyday lives. Depending on the study you read, there could be over seventy percent of processed foods on our grocery shelves that contain genetically engineered ingredients. It is estimated that about seventy-five percent of U.S. corn and eighty-five percent of soybeans are genetically engineered.

Typically, an engineered plant will produce seeds that are sterile so they can not reproduce. Sometimes, this is referred to as “terminator technology” because the plant’s ability to reproduce has been ‘terminated’ at the genetic level. This may not seem particularly important unless we know that these genetically engineered plants are not harmful to our health, and if we can continue to have access to a supply of "GM-free" (genetically modified-free) plants.

I highly recommend the following for plants and seeds:




this company is in Grass Valley, CA...

A great resource is:


Happy Planting...Happy Growing....and

Happy Infusions,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

There's no place like Portland....a fascinating gourmet experience.

Portland, Oregon is a virtual epicurean wonderland !  And we are trying our best to take full advantage of all opportunites every time we have a chance to be there.

In our short visit, we were treated to  fantastic Korean food at the  Be Won on North 23rd Street in the heart of downtown Portland.


From their menu we were introduced to the different types of Korean food....

which can be divided into the following categories:

a rice porridge often served as a restorative, can include chicken, vegetables, beans, ginseng and mushrooms


pan fried vegetables or seafood; there are also pancake-like Jeon that consist of meat and vegetables integrated into a batter

Guk and Tang
soup made from a variety of different vegetables, meats and seafood

Chi-ge and Jeongol

traditional Korean stews and casseroles

Jim and Jorim
dishes of meat or fish simmered in many ingredients and spices


broiled or barbecued dishes


lightly seasoned fresh vegetables or wild green dishes


stir fried dishes made with variety of vegetables, seafood or meat


boiled rice, often garnished with beans, barley, millet or other grains to enhance flavor or nutritional value


kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish made with Korean cabbage, cucumbers or radishes with a mixture of other vegetables and seasonings, there are more than 160 kimchi varieties differentiated by region and ingredients

Check out their fantastic menu items at this site:


One evening, we had dinner at Hakatamon Restaurant next to the Beaverton Uwajimaya Asian Market.  Hakatamon serves fresh udon noodles, made by hand by Chef Kato each day for the delicious udon soups.  After we ate, we strolled through the incredible market with aisles full of speciality Asian groceries and gifts.  A fantastic treat !


You can find out how the fascinating history of the Uwajimaya Market is connected to Northern California at this site.....


At our next stop, (one of our favorite chain restaurants), we ordered classical Chinese food.  PF Changs is delightfully consistent in their presentation and quality.  The Gluten Free Menu is quite extensive and even includes dessert ! There are several locations listed on their website:


For a treat, we found the Saint Honore Boulangerie in Lake Oswego. This French bakery features handcrafted French breads and pastries.  Quiches, sandwiches, salads and soups are also on the menu.  Two of us ordered the Choquettes....puffy baked pastry with pate a choux and dusted with rock sugar.  Two of us decided on the Gateau....Gateau Orange and Gateau au Chocolate....both flourless cakes, rich and flavorful.


One of these beautiful spring days, we might try.....

An Epicurean Walking Tour


Bon Vivant and Happy Infusions,