Saturday, October 11, 2008

Northwest delicacies

I need to mention a not insignificant reason for visiting - besides sisters and relatives.    Maple bars!!So far as I've been able to determine, and I've looked for fifty years, maple bars are unknown on the east coast.    Two things that I don't know.    One is just what it is that makes them so special.    They're not like a maple donut or an east coast maple anything else.    It's something about the dough and the cooking.    I've tried them everywhere I went on this trip (as I always do) and the best I found this time were in a bakery in Oregon City, Oregon and in a little Mexican bakery in White Salmon, Washington.

Second, is just why they're such a plentiful item all along the west coast and nonexistent in the east?    Go figure.

My sister, Peggy, decided that we should go huckleberry picking on this trip as we usually do when I come out.    Thing is, I usually come out in August when huckleberries are in season.    October is a little late.    The huckleberry fields we frequent are around Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens so we figured if we were going to find any we'd have to go higher.

Most of our travel from here, Gladstone, near Portland, involves travel to some degree up the Columbia Gorge -Today was no different.    That's Beacon Rock in the far distance.

We decided to first look at our usual picking grounds, just in case.    This involved driving by the Carson Fish Hatcherythat I helped build in my youth.    I used to wheel concrete buggies along plank catwalks to pour the retaining ponds.    Hard work, and I was pretty slight in those days.

Our usual fields look like this.They seemed to be well picked over and about all I found there was some interesting fungi -
We decided we needed to head for the high country so we got out our Forest map and GPS unit and set off.    We did get pretty high and found these fields -and this is what we were looking for -
I've never been the greatest berry picker, and mindful that I had to figure some way to get whatever I picked back home on the plane, I picked about as much as I wanted to.Peg did better but I was satisfied.

On our way back down we had another great view of Mt. Hood -
After some thought I decided that the best way to transport my berries back to Winchester was by turning them into a huckleberry pie and carrying them back home in my body -
Here's the start of my packing -
Yes, I did bake it - and had picked four cups of berries, just what was needed for a nice huckleberry pie!    The second Northwest delicacy!

Happy Birthday, Jon.


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