Tuesday, September 20, 2011

McNary High School Reunion- Salem, Oregon

40 years? You have got to be kidding!

Neil's high school reunion was this summer and a good time was had by all. (He is the handsome devil in the white shirt standing on the right.) The Blues Brothers gave us a command performance and we danced and partied like it was 1971 (well, almost.) Big thanks to Danny Bisgarrd and the crew for putting this all together.

I did not go to McNary (my reunion for West Albany is next year) but this group gets together every five years and have really made me feel welcome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Family Portraits in Bend and Sunriver, Oregon

We have a family reunion every Labor Day weekend. My parents, siblings, and as many nieces, nephews and grand kids as we can manage converge on Sunriver to enjoy the warm sunshine and hiking in the beautiful Oregon Cascades.

When my father turned 40 he started climbing mountains and he has scaled every significant peak in the northwest. There were many family backpacking trips during the summer as I was growing up and a love of the outdoors was instilled in each of us. Most of these trips were to the Cascades and it just might be the nostalgia that keeps pulling me back to the high mountains, clear lakes, Douglas fir and Ponderosa Pine.

My father is 93 now and doesn't climb mountains anymore but he is still an avid hiker. The trails my sister chooses for him are shorter and gentler than he would have chosen 15 years ago. 15 years ago, my sister and I couldn't keep up with him. Now we get to spend time visiting with him as we stroll at a more leisurely pace. This year we hiked to Doris Lake which is a five mile round trip. Pretty impressive for 93, don't you think?

This year we did this portrait of my brother and his family with the Deschutes River and South Sister in the background because it is a place with many happy memories of family times. We look forward to sharing our love of Central Oregon by doing a portrait event at Sunriver on October 1. If you would like to do this now or at some future time, drop me a line.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Root Beer Cake Anyone?

Lars spent the summer learning how to bake cakes for 4H..... and we have the waist lines to show for it! In a six week period we consumed three chocolate birthday cakes, two angelfood cakes, one 7 layer torte and two Rootbeer cakes. That was a lot of cake.

Lars can now separate egg whites like a pro, whip up a 7 layer torte that will melt in your mouth and learned how to bake a moist and yummy Root Beer Cake.
Lars with his other 4H projects: Our dog, Aphrodite, and his Holland Lop, Cheez-it.

When I announced that his Angel Food Cake and Root Beer Cake both won blue ribbons at the Polk County Fair, the requests for the Root Beer cake recipe started flooding in. I am not one to hold secret family recipes close to my chest so I thought I would share.

Blue Ribbon Root Beer Cake                                           

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 c. margarine
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 c. root beer
½ c. buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. miniature marshmallows

Combine flour and sugar in mixing bowl. Heat butter, cocoa, and root beer to boiling. Pour over sugar and flour. Stir well. Add buttermilk, eggs, soda, vanilla, and marshmallows. Beat well. Use a 9x13 inch pan greased on all sides. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 40 minutes.