Saturday, October 15, 2016

Onward to Toulon and Monte Carlo...

Toulon was quiet and pleasant. We had fun at a local farmers market and spent our day meandering the mellow streets. We found a beach and I had my own secret giggle while I sat next to a topless older lady with my sixteen year-old son. He didn't seem to notice which I guess means he is "that cool"...

small french town
We managed éclairs while resting on the curb outside of a closed business. It's interesting how much "pressure" there can be to fit in all of our "wish list" factors. Éclairs were one of those...
The next day we spent in Monte Carlo where the coast is utterly gorgeous and the old walk up to the palace was breath taking!

It was amazing peering over the retaining wall and out to the sea where the water was MAGIC...

We even found a "secret" beach that was one of the highlights of our whole trip!

But honestly, the city itself was rather too la-de-da for my taste...

I'll post the next steps of your trip soon!

                                                        ~ Marica

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A real trek—to Europe and back!

It's pouring October rain and I can't believe how far we have delved into autumn. I LOVE IT! Although summer is now long gone, I am still sitting on posts that are mostly finished and need to be added here. Since forever ago when I wrote about trekking to Multnomah Falls, we actually went on a true expedition; the kids, my mom and myself. Unfortunately my poor husband had to stay home to man the fort.

Somehow though several years of talk, my mama hatched the plan to take the kids and I to Europe. That’s the easiest, fastest way to put it. Either way, we actually packed out bags, got on a plane and flew across the Atlantic. It was a big step; two of the kids had never before been on a plane, none of us had passports—except my mom—and it took a month of constantly stopping by Goodwill to finally find suitable luggage. The airplane ride was smooth; they have mini television screens at each seat and the kids were thrilled to have ten hours straight to watch as many movies as they wanted.
Our first stop was Barcelona. We tripped up and down the Ramblas and off and around the many little side streets. Being the beginning of the trip it was exciting, but it was offset somehow by the high anticipation of “what’s next.”

We also took a tour of Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church. I had heard the name Gaudi before, but never really had an image of what his work was like. Wow, it was impressive!

We learned that he passed away before he got to complete the church and as you can see in the picture above they are still working to finish it.

But honestly our most favorite part of our visit there was La Boqueria market. Our eyes almost fell out of your heads as we walked up and down looking at all the stalls.

A short stop was all we had there, but it was a good taste of what Barcelone holds. 

I'll post the next part of our journey soon!

                                                                Cheers ~ 

P.S. Did you go anywhere this summer? Usually we just stay home, 
but this year was a real summer adventure!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Making Raspeberry Freezer Jam

After being given several flats worth of almost over-the-hill raspberries, I made it my afternoons work to make a stock pile of freezer jam. (Freezer jam is real jam, it is just skipping the step of processing it in heat and instead using a freezer to preserve the jam and keep it safe to eat.)
freezer, raspberries, jam, homemade jam
 The nice part of making freezer jam rather than canning, is that it is fast and less messy. If you are worried you won't have the time to can a bunch of jam this can be a fabulous substitute.
freezer, preserving food, raspberries, recipes for freezer jam
 I usually follow the rule of thumb to use equal parts fruit and sugar. I don't typically add pectin, which means the jam will be a bit sloppybut I like it that way. Simmer down the fruit and sugar for at least 20 minutes; though you can go a little longer and the jam will become thicker. I sometimes add a dash of spice or orange zest. My favorite spices to use are cardamom, nutmeg or allspice though cinnamon is a good one too. Depending on the fruit and how juicy it is, you may need to add a splash of water to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. Note, too much will make soupy jam that doesn't hold at all. 

Pour the jam into clean mason jars leaving half an inch of head-room. Twist on the cover and let cool. Place the unopened jars in your freezer and keep opened jam jars for use in the fridge.

The jam will last quite a while. I looked up specifics and this link said up to a year in a freezer and once thawed about 3-4 weeks.

Hope summer is wrapping up well for everyone!

                                                        Cheers ~

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Multnomah Falls

We trekked out to Hood River for a short day trip and stopped along the way at Multnomah Falls. It is such a breathtaking place and the air there is truly pure magic! The loud rushing of cars along the highway and strands of people hiking reminded me of visiting Yosemite—an exquisite place with the uncanny sensation of being at Disneyland. My mama was in town and that added a special twist because she hadn't been to the falls before and the air and lush green was so like when we skittered off to Hawaii together several years back.
Oregon wilderness

multnomah falls

Anyway, if you never have been out there and have a chance to go exploring I highly recommend it!

                                                                        ~ Marica