Sunday, August 30, 2009

iced tea concentrate

Here is another post with an idea inspired from a blog post by fellow Portlander Amy Karol. I wanted to share with you "The Iced Tea Plan" that has been very successful this summer.

We moved offices this summer at my day job and we did not have any hot water for tea for the longest time. Add to that the hot summer we have had and you can imagine why I have been drinking iced tea almost exclusively. However, since I cannot have caffeine later in the day, but I did indeed want it in the morning I needed two jugs of tea going at a time. As Amy also mentioned in her post, finding the space for it in your fridge is difficult.

So, after reading her post I began making very very concentrated jars of tea. My jars are kind of small. I use about 3-4 tea bags in them. I don't cold brew as she does, but use hot water, let it steep and then take out bags and put in fridge.

Sometimes I just use a little for a glass, sometimes I use half for a small pitcher. When I take it to work I put about half in a liter bottle and then fill the rest up with water.

Most of the summer I have had a jar of caf tea and a jar of decaf tea in the fridge. I have really been into using the Harneys and Sons Midsummers Peach Tea for the decaf. A flavored tea like that really benefits from some sweetner. It brings out the flavor in the tea. Otherwise, I often feel like I am smelling it, but not tasting it. It was a perfect happenstance that I recently noticed that Trader Joes carries an inexpensive simple syrup. It is perfect for adding to tea, either by the cup or the jug.

Keeping tea concentrates in jars helps you save room in the fridge and makes it a lot easier to make a quick glass of iced tea. Hope you are having a good summer. I am off to a swim party.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Sometimes my household cleaning activities are not planned, but snowball out of one action. One of The Farm Chicks talked about this recently on a post and she called it a detour. I detour a lot when I am puttering around the house. Sometimes, each room I enter creates some sort of temporary amnesia in me and I begin working on something in that room instead of just looking for the thing I went in there for and returning to some work in the kitchen. I don't blame age. I have always been like this.

Anyway, about a month ago I got a new faucet in my place and since then I have had a grocery bag full of the under-the-sink contents in my kitchen. I just keep moving it around. Today I finally tackled it. I sat on the floor and went through all the items (really I had very little idea what was down there. A lot of the stuff is hardware that Steve has brought over and I have no clue what it does and am not intersted in learning. I regret to say that I am not one of those tool girls). Once I was on the floor I thought I might as well go through the towels drawer, it is too crowded. So, I weeded out some items from there and then I went to a cupboard I haven't organized in years and I rearranged and weeded out that. Then when I went to put something away in the utensil drawer I saw some of my tarnished silver and remembered the Farm Chicks blog post.

Recently The Farm Chicks blog had an entry on this very subject of housecleaning detours and in it they showed a really easy way to clean silver. I have a few pieces of silver flatware, or maybe it is silver plated, that I have collected over the years at thrift stores. I grabbed several of them and did the experiment.

You line a foil pan and cover the flatware in baking soda and then add hot water. Then you let it set for a while. Some of mine looked shinier in the pan and some did not. So, I did it again. They looked a little better, but the worst of them were still horribly tarnished. Then I just took one out and scrubbed it and the tarnish came right off, now all of them were shiny and way better looking than I have ever seem them. Here is the before:

And after:

I like collecting one-of-a-kinds of these old nice pieces. It is fun to use them for tea parties or entertaining. Sometimes they're marked. I have a appetizer fork from The Westchester Country Club and some spoons from The Palace Hotel.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

another reason to wish for fall

It has been too hot here for me to bake. I just am not in the mood when the house is already very warm. But, when it cools down I really want to try this recipe.

Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar frosting sounds perfect. From Smitten Kitten blog. Get the recipe there.

Yesterday I saw Julie and Julia with my mother. After the film she leaned over and said "Doesn't this movie make you want to cook?" I was surprised to realize that my answer was "No, it makes me want to blog" Ha! Now, I just need some fascinating content! I'll work on that. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Today I went to a meeting of the Portland Postcard Club that I am a part of. I haven't been to a meeting in a long time. It is great fun. Some people get tables and sell their stuff, others come and buy. Many of the people there are senior citizens and they have been collecting and even in the club for years.

I love hearing what people collect. Today someone mentioned that they look for postcards with sayings by a certain person who was a innkeeper. Not sure why, maybe he is related. Another person looks for real photos with ice cream signs in them. Really, it is fascinating how defined the search becomes over time. Me, I pretty much am open to lots of stuff, but I do certainly gravitate towards certain things.

Anyway, I got some great stuff today. I will write about much of it on The Cedar Chest blog and some will get listed in The Cedar Chest store. So, if you like ephemera and vintage postcards I hope you will add those sites to your lists.

So, even though this is more something I would post on The Cedar Chest I wanted to share it with you all. This is my favorite find from today:

1889! Can you imagine? This little complimentary dance card survived all of these 120 years! Maybe Fred met someone there. But, wait, if he used it it would probably not be here. Unless he asked to keep it. Maybe the ticket keeper kept it for sentimental reasons...Anyway, who knows. I have always wanted to go to a Dancing Pavilion, like orchestra style.

My window is open and it is a nice breezy and sunny late afternoon here. The neighbors the next street over are playing the best music and I don't know what it is, but it is very pleasant and kind of melancholy (this is when that shazam app would be great).

Along with the music I hear the crowd sounds and laughter of their gathering, a dog barking, sirens in the distance, the soft sound of the leaves moving in the wind, a car passing. I wish I had good recording equipment so I could do "field recording". I have always loved those.

Since I can't give you a recording of what I am hearing right now I am going to lead you to this field recording of a street party in Germany. Open a new window with this link and take a listen while you keep reading.

On the way home for the Postcard Club I stopped at the Old Country German store and got some genuine German Potato salad for the mister and some stuff for a nice german dinner for us. The real German Potato salad has meat in it. Being a pescatarian, I only make him the veggie version, so he should be very happy.

While there I was charmed into getting this pack of spaetzle noodles.

Don't you just love the name and design? I love Bavarian designs. Even more since we went to Leavenworth, WA a couple years ago. Going into the German Delis and stores in town always feels like being back there. I have never made spaetzle and I am not even sure I have eaten it.

Well, time to go spend a nice mellow evening with the mister. Thanks for listening to my stories.

I hope you all have a good rest of the weekend.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

a visit to the microcosm store

I met up with Joe at the new Microcosm store the other day. They moved next door to a spot double the size of their old shop. The old shop was very small. Now there is more room and it is easier to see things.

I was happy to see Figure 8 be a part of their A is for.. display.

Drop by Microcosm if you are in Portland. It is chock full of awesome zines and books. It is located at 833 SE Main.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

last weekend

The Portland Zine Symposium was last weekend. It went really good. This was the 9th year and it all seems so smooth now. People know what to expect and many people have been participating since the first year. There are many people, even ones who live in town, that I see once a year at PZS. It was so great to see so many of you and to meet new people, too. Thanks to all who came by my table and sadi Hi. I loved meeting so many We Make Zines folks.

Here is a shot of part of my table.

I did indeed get my zine finished for the event. Although, it was closer to the deadline than I have cut it in awhile. I was still stapling Friday night.

Here it is. Paper Crush #3. It is a short story about when I was 15 and I went to my first prom. It includes embarrassing actual diary entries! Also, some great illustrations from an old friend (but don't judge him by the cover - I did that).

I do not know how long I will keep this in print, so get it while you can. In the Etsy shop as of right now.

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