A Good Morning

Erik, Mae, and I were lucky to get a rain break this morning for our trip to the Portland Farmer's Market. What a treat! Our last several outings to a farmer's market have been to the Beaverton market, but today we headed into the Park Blocks on the campus of my alma mater, Portland State University.

It's the one market where we can get our favorite breakfast of huevos rancheros. There's usually a big line for this, but today there was none. We watched them cooking the vegetables and frying the eggs.

The tortillas are made on site. And man, oh, man. This is the best breakfast going. Yum.

From there, we shopped around. I was on the hunt for some tomato starts. Along the way we saw lots of pretty vegetables, including this purple broccoli.

Honestly, if I'd taken pictures of every blooming thing, we'd still be there, and so I limited myself to just a few daffodils...

and mixed arrangements...

and lovely lavender. Mmmmmmm...I love the smell of lavender.

I was intrigued by these vinegars, and I tasted every one. There were more to the left of this image. The ones pictured here are "drinking vinegars," intended to be mixed with alcoholic beverages or else sparkling water. They can be used on salads too.

We were tempted by these little tarts.

This is green garlic. I thought about purchasing some, but decided against it. I have a recipe for a green garlic aioli, but it didn't speak to me right at the moment.

Instead, I picked up two bottles of the culinary vinegar and one of the drinking vinegar. Lately, I've been drinking sparkling water because of our diet.

When we got back to Erik and Mae's house, Cricket posed for her picture. Clementine made herself scarce. I'm going to do their pawtraits one of these days.

Also, I picked up the mail Erik and Mae have been holding for me. This was my first opportunity to see my swap postcard in person. Isn't this the cutest thing? Karen did such a great job on it.

Thank you again, Karen. It's perfect, and I love it.

Also...at some point, I won some buttons in a giveaway or a challenge or something...I honestly can't remember because it's been so long. I had them sent to Erik and Mae because I feared they wouldn't arrive before we left home last fall.

I was able to select some buttons from her website. Of course, I picked the cats.

And these...I like my buttons like I like my bindings. Stripes or polka dots. Cute, huh?

So that was a fun package to open.

After I left Erik and Mae, I had a couple of errands to run. There were no tomato starts at the farmer's market, but I was determined to get some. I ended up going to a local nursery where I found these beauties. I got ten Roma's and one cherry tomato.

Now...we really need to clean out the greenhouse. For now, they've taken up residence in the laundry room.

Speaking of tomatoes, I finished my little tomato quilt top. I'm calling this quilt "The More the Marinarier." (Did you see what I did there?)

Yesterday we had wine shipments to pick up. It's so lovely driving out into the rural countryside on these excursions. It was an awful day of weather, and so I didn't take many pictures. Here are a couple from better weather days. We stopped off at Sokol-Blosser:

And Domaine Drouhin:

And our favorite, Witness Tree:

At Witness Tree, I did take this one picture of the sign on their restroom door. Take a look at the image above, and then note how someone went to the trouble of digitizing their logo for the restroom sign...and then they machine embroidered it and made a little tiny quilt from it!

Okay, and then the most exciting thing to date...We took the newly-opened Newberg-Dundee Bypass home.

Now this requires a bit of explanation because the road that goes through our little town of Newberg and heads through the even smaller town of Dundee is also one of the main routes to the Oregon coast. On weekends, the traffic through those two little towns is absolutely horrendous. It's made worse by one stinking stoplight in the middle of Dundee. Sometimes traffic backs up there for miles in both directions. So...our transportation department, in its wisdom, built a bypass around the two towns. It was years in the planning and building, and it opened while we were traveling. (Click on that link for the big news!) This was our first time driving it.

And don't you know we were waiting on tenterhooks for this light to change so we could see what all the hubbub was about. Always a killjoy red light. Am I right about that?

And whoa...we went over...

And we went under...

And my navigation unit didn't even know the road was there. It thought we were driving across open farmland.

We crossed the Tualatin River...no swimming or drinking...it's polluted.

And in about four miles (or thereabouts) the thrill came to an end.

Apparently the light is red at both ends.

I probably should have warned you about all that excitement. I hope no one had a heart attack.

So there are more errands to run this afternoon, and I really need to get some cooking done for our dinner with the kids tomorrow. Before I go, however, I wanted to tell you that I finally put the hummingbird feeders out. This morning I saw the first hummer.

Spring is coming...really, it is.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

If we had known the bypass would ever become a reality, we might have never left lol! That thing had been in the planning stages for over 40 years. If it had been the road to one of the ski resorts on Mt Hood it would have been done in a couple months. Cynical, I know but we both commuted that dratted route for many years. Those tomato starts look wonderful. Ice storm predicted for tonight and tomorrow, no tomatoes on our horizon.

piecefulwendy said...

While I'm reading this post, I am sitting here, sipping my coffee, tucked in and cozy while a monster snowstorm rages. We have about 18" of snow on our patio table. Most of the area roads are closed, the airport is closed. It's Spring in Minnesota? Anyway, the farmer's market looked like a lovely way to spend a morning. I'd love to visit the wineries, and I'm amused to find that there is somewhere like our town that takes nothing short of an eon to make decisions! Glad you finally have that bypass. Your tomato quilt is a clever way to use those blocks! Love the name - ha!

Lyndsey said...

the farmers market looks fun and the breakfast picture has me wishing I was there. I must get some tomato starts as I forgot to plant the seeds. We spent some time yesterday tidying the garden and weeding as the weather has gone very springlike so I now need a trip to the local nursery for new plants since the winter killed off quite a lot.

gpc said...

What a beautiful Farners' Market, definitely you have things we will never see here. We are snow covered today and a long way from daffodils or even green garlic, I'm afraid. It is a month and a half, or more, before even our earliest markets will open. The buttons -- what fun! -- are adorable, a great prize. And Cricket clearly understands the value of sitting for a formal portrait. You'll do her proud!

Sarah said...

Oh i am so garlic and broccoli green with envy of your farmers’ market. So many things to choose from (lavender, vinegar & huevos rancheros) instead of just a few veggies. 2 months until our local market opens...


Ohhh I just love that last photo--I love hummingbirds and you sure captured a great one with that one--
cute tomato quilt--and lovely time at the Farmers mkt by the looks of things--and how fun to drive on a new road to you--though I do like the country driving and small towns!!
and what a beauty that Cricket is--love her colors!!
and a sweet post card with a cat and those buttons are sooo sweet!!
enjoy, di

CJ Smith said...

Good looking tomato starts! Did I spot a pepper in there, too? LOVE the buttons! You are such a bad influence (next stop after this is the button lady!).

kc said...

So, yesterday, we were 85 degrees and sunny, so we worked outside in the garden. Our little 'maters have 1 ripening now and 3 green ones, nuthin' as grand as your little panel quilt! Today, we only got to 77, but we've had rain for a couple of hours now and are still under a tornado warning. We need the rain, for sure, but we could do without the damage tornadoes bring, tyvm.

Glad you got out to the market - they're always fun. The postcard is cute - and soooo very accurately pieced..nice job, Karen.

We were fortunate enough to experience the new bypass around Great Bridge, VA, down close to the border of NC. (Only 11 miles, if memory serves) Great Bridge had the ICW (InterCoastal Waterway) running right through it, and, with that, came a drawbridge down by the locks. Every 30 minutes, that puppy would open up for whomever was waiting in the water. Sometimes, during summer, there would be so many boats waiting, it might take 20 minutes for them all to proceed through. Naturally, there was only the one road down through town and to the Outer Banks of NC, so traffic backed up quickly and stayed that way a lot. One always had to be aware of the bridge times when making doctor or other business appointments. Once they put in the bypass, all the delays for vehicles were pretty much eliminated. The boats still had to wait sometimes, but, hey, they were still on the water and enjoying the ride.

quiltzyx said...

What a little beauty Cricket is! Nice of her to hold onto your postcard & button prizes for you. :)

Yummy stuff at the Farmer's market. Enjoy!!

Kate said...

You had a busy Saturday. Bypasses are the best, as long as the developers don't get ideas and start building things along the expressway.

Brown Family said...

Glad you found tomato sets! I have not got mine yet!