Yesterday was the first day of spring! I kicked it off with the annual Ladies’ Night at Al’s Garden Center. Perhaps, like my friend Rosie and her mom Sharon, you have never considered attending a ladies’ night at a garden center (or anywhere if you’re not a lady). Al’s really goes all out. In Portland tradition, there were two food trucks, a local winery and a small bakery. We entered in contests to win garden gloves and plants. We watched cooking and BBQ demonstrations. The spring fashion show was an evening highlight. Discounts on plants were offered to help us get a kick-start on spring.
My spring 2014 has been kicked-off by a week of things that make me happy…..
Anna’s State of Oregon Project
Anna is in the fifth grade! Actually, she’s almost done with the fifth grade. Sigh. She’s getting so big! This week at school Anna presented her report on the state of Oregon. As part of her project, Anna was supposed to take some food from Oregon. My sister Heather is low on jam, berry jam specifically. Anna begged to take some of her Aunt Becky’s jam. Heather settled on a jar of Cherry Pie Plum Fruit Spread and Spiced Pear Butter that could be sacrificed from the low stores. (Don’t worry, I’m going to visit soon to stock them up again.) Anna also dug out a jar Vivid Peaches that I canned for the girls last summer and Heather made a special grocery store run for sliced Tillamook Cheese. Not only did the class love the jam spread on wheat thins and the cheese, but her food was the class favorite. It even was more popular than the state with donut holes for it’s state food. Anna’s presentation was a success! And her Aunt Becky could not be more proud!
My friend Allison and I met at a craft fair last fall. We had tables next to each other. I purchased a pair of lovely gray pearl earrings from her before the show officially started. She sampled jam. Since then, we have shared crafting stories and more than one bottle of wine. Allison also made me a special order necklace in true Aunt Becky fashion. Now I have a statement piece for my craft shows and my life! You can get your own at Allison Park Designs or check out her blog of her favorite “Ing’s”
Bartolini Kitchens Blog
Allison’s birthday was a few weeks ago and I couldn’t make it to her dinner party. So, I made her dinner with recipes from one of my favorite bloggers Bartolini Kitchens. When a fellow blogger posts a recipe with jam, it’s a throw-down. In this case, Pork Tenderloin with Plum Jam, Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Fingerling Potatoes. Delicious! Aunt Becky’s Roasted Italian Plum butter and my new jar of Lucero Rosemary Infused Olive Oil made it extra special. I’ll let you check out the original blog for Bartolini Kitchens and salivate over Allison’s photo of her birthday dinner.
And because it’s too fun, I’ll share the finale to Ladies’ night. I knocked over a display of picture frames and basket with my garden cart. My good friend Rosie started laughing…hard. Rather than helping me, she pointed to me when other shoppers looked over and said “it was her!”. She was so happy it wasn’t her or one of her boys. I punched her in the arm and said “thanks a lot”. Then she kept laughing. I laughed too. How could I not? It was funny. Plus it’s SPRING!