Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Raining Goldfinches

Suddenly the sky was darkened by the flock of small birds circling above the Inn - swooping as one, twirling right and left up and down a leaf in the wind but hundreds of bodies moving as one.  They landed in the tall tree near the boat and in seconds began to fall from the sky to swarm the Inn feeders.  It was raining goldfinches. 

They arrive at the two feeders en masse fighting to get the sunflower seeds or line up politely on the connecting bar that holds the larger feeder away from the porch.  At times in their excitement they bash themselves against the windows.  One such goldie lost its life as we watched.  A red tail hawk
(which might have caused the flight reaction in the first place) grabbed the bird as it lay on the ground.  We watched as it used it talons carefully lifting and shifting their deadly force.  Once it no longer moved the hawk flew off to have its lunch.  Within a few minutes the flock was back and the circle of life was complete. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

How NOT to cook Chanterelles!

Lesson number one from my Chanterelle experience - pack your patience. Buy the biggest bag you can find at Goodwill and pretend you are traveling around the world and through every climate. Pack accordingly.   Overpack to the point of needing your entire family jumping on top to zip it shut. Patience in large valises is needed to get past the cleaning phase of these forest floor treasures.

 If you recall we were given some freshly picked chanties yesterday at Glenacres and we were venturing into territory that I have generally avoided. ( Let me clarify, about 10 years ago someone gave us a huge ( you could fit a medium sized Great Dane) bag of these lovely mushrooms but it was so overwhelming that sadly many of them became compost.  I have tried to stay away since t help preserve the species.)   I had done a brief foray online  to assess how to clean them and bottom line learned that it is best to bring along a small brush ( paint or toothbrush style) to rid your finds of the dirt and forest debris in the field.  Our beautiful schrooms were marred  by a heavy coating of dirt that despite my best efforts at carefully brushing to maintain the beautiful fluting and caps I failed.  I went from careful to crazy at the hour mark The survival rate of the mere 7 specimens was reduced to pieces. But they were clean!

After tossing the small bits and pieces off the front porch of the Inn for the outdoor critters that might enjoy, I jumped to the next step which I had read was to dry saute with salt to draw out the high water content of the fungus.  I admit I have never heard of this nor tried it so I was rather surprised when it worked and my pan was flooded with mushroom water.  As quickly as it had been squeezed out though it oddly disappeared!  I had taken them off the heat to answer a call and in the 30 seconds or so of "hey" and" hey", suddenly the liquid was GONE!  I put the pan back on the heat with the clearly stupid thought that it would slide back out of the chanties as if a tsunami wave had come back for seconds.  Insert wry face here.  

The pan had the remains of the Chanterelles, tiny wrinkled orange and coated with a  white frost of salt which I ignored as again I was chatting on the phone and ready to be at the tasting part.  Opps.  Should have tasted them then and there.  In the dim recesses of my mind I did recall in my quick read that mentioned rinsing off the chanties at this point but I rationalized that if you can't wash them to clean off 10 pounds of dirt, why should you be able to successfully wash off salt?  So I tossed the butter in and kept talking on the phone - pulling them off the heat and puffing out my chest with what I felt was success.  
Enter stage left- Steve who of course popped a freshly cooked still hot mushroom.  Steve will eat anything and will always offer a positive comment on even the most dismal of dish failures.  His comment?  " Super salty, was this what you were going for?"

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Porch report

What do you know about owls?  Of course we all flash to Harry Potter and the O.W. L's he had to suffer through, but do you know of the Hedwig variety?  The one we hear around the inn has this--attached--sound signature, particularly on calm nights without competition of the coastal breezes.


To Chanterelle or to not Chanterelle?

Thanks David and Katrina for sharing with us the bounty of your Chanterelle gathering     expedition around Packwood this weekend!   We especially count among the rewards of
the Innkeeping life our interaction with guests in the regional traffic and the perspective they/you broaden for us about  this bountiful and wondrous piece of the Earth we cohabit. 
Stay tuned for tomorrow's posting about prep!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tribute to an Owl

Pull back the quilt, fluff the pillow and jump in. Savor a sip of your favorite beverage, you have traveled long and hard to get here but finally let us welcome you to The Glenacres Blog. This opening entry aims also as a tribute of sorts to long term residency of the property, far longer than we current occupants of Glenacres and even the inn itself.  Descendant of many generations, the Great Horned Owl emerges from the alder grove that flanks the meadow and harbor shore, announced by the signature phrasing and acoustical quality of its hoot that registers all the more distinctly in nocturnal quiet.  

Hanging with the mists and moonlight in its arboreal setting, the resident owl speaks to a coastal micro environment that is a world unto itself--in relation to the harbor flats and the ocean beyond, the rhythms of weather and the intricate relationship of species crafted through eons. Distant ancestors listened to these verbatim callings, long before cedar canoes cut the harbor waters or tall ships appeared over the horizon.

As the owl's voice enlivens our connection with the immediate environs, our venturing into this blogosphere space aims also as a reflection about Glenacres' locality along the Cranberry Coast, situated in the far wider and varied regional geography of the northwest.  Interest this way extends from our focus and industry at the inn.   More than the near century long legacy it extends accommodating adventurers and travelers in these parts, Glenacres promotes authentic local connection by virtue of its historic ties and natural setting at the heart of the community.  This connection supports a broader perspective about the Northwest that must be achieved broadly, across the enormous diversity of destinations that comprise the whole.  May this and follow up entries contribute to that appreciation about the Inn and its locality by the sea. 

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When were you last seen here?

Hoot..., hoot, hoot.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Venturing in...

May of this year will mark the ten year point since taking on the Glenacres  and a host of challenges that too often imperil historic properties of its kind along a path of neglect and eventual no return.  Our blogger aim is to present a bit of a retrospective on this ten year experience, and also to feature aspects of our ongoing preservation processes and various outgrowths transpiring from it.