New Beginnings Again!

Dear Liza,

No matter what sort of mess we human beings get ourselves into, nature just keeps on growing and changing.

Baby grapes are forming on a tiny vineyard on Belmont Street…

That crazy annual TREE that isn’t a sunflower is charging up to thirty feet tall…

Irises are going absolutely insane…

And Rhododendrons are making a real spectacle of themselves.

It’s really nice to know that there are some things we haven’t messed up yet!


Grandma Judy

A New Treat

Dear Liza,

Quirky Decor in Farmhouse Kitchen Thai

Yesterday, Portland broke a record, having more than 30 days above 90 degrees this summer. It has been so hot for so long! And today, the weather changed. Yesterday’s high temperature was 93. Today it is 73. Whew!

So Auntie Bridgett and I went for a walk. How nice to be able to walk and not dodge under trees for shade, or worry about if your destination is air conditioned. We wanted to try a new place for lunch, so we walked to Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine, down on Southeast Hawthorne. IMG_9690.jpg

This lovely, welcoming place is one of four branches of the same restaurant, the original being in San Francisco. It is located in an old farmhouse and uses the yard as a patio and the glassed-in porch for extra seating. We were greeted and seated and given a menu. Everything looked good, but nothing looked familiar… so we asked the manager about the food.

Vegan Fresh Rolls

She explained that this is very traditional Thai food and some was very spicy. She steered us to milder dishes and we ordered Vegan Fresh Rolls for an appetizer.

We got ginger beer and ginger tea to put out any unexpected fire.

The Fresh Rolls arrived, looking like flowers in a pond. The rolls were rice paper, veggies and tofu, tasty, fresh and bright. The pond was a delicious chili/peanut sauce that we couldn’t stop eating. Seriously, we held on to the plate and enjoyed it the rest of the meal.

Our main dish to share was Kai Yang Chicken. The large plate held a half chicken, roasted with a spicy coating, a large bowl of noodles, salad and a quarter of  cabbage, a bag of sticky rice, and two sauces; one sweet, one savory.

We were instructed not to worry about utensils, but to use our fingers to pull the chicken apart, peel a leaf off the cabbage, roll the chicken in it, dip it, and enjoy! Also, to dip the sticky rice in everything, including our sauce from the appetizer. We did use our fingers more than usual, but also the knife and chopsticks. Everything was so good!

Auntie Bridgett, patiently waiting…

The combination of moist chicken, sweet and spicy sauces and incredibly fresh veggies was so good, we ate long after we were full.

We chatted about the food and what we are working on. I started writing the new mystery version of my story this morning, and she is getting ready for her last day of training at The SideStreet Gallery, since she has become a full member! So exciting!

We finally had to stop eating and ask for a box, and we walked slowly home, feeling like happy pandas.

We walked past a house that has plums,  apples and even sweet chestnuts growing in the front yard! We were marveling at the sheer amount of food growing in this tiny yard when the owner came out and we congratulated him on it. “Come by and get some in the Fall,” he said. “We always have more than we can use.”

Hooray!! We will, thanks so much!


Grandma Judy