The weather has really been fickle. It's hot, and then it's cold. Right when you get a project started indoors, the sunny weather calls you outside to do something out there. Then the rain chases you back inside. But don't worry, in just a few weeks it will be summer and we will be outside for the remainder of the season.

Maintaining Your Rug

On an earlier show we told you about hand made Persian rugs. Moe at Rugs on Broadway (503-719-5544) told us about how durable and inexpensive they were; a perfect combination of form and function. This week we talked to him about the importance of cleaning and maintaining your investment. The first thing he told us was that you can vacuum them as much as you like. That surprised us. We thought they would be too fragile to handle that type of cleaning. But they are actually more durable than you think. The only thing you need to be careful of is vacuuming the fringe. You should try to avoid that if possible.

You should also rotate the rug occasionally to make sure that it gets even wear patterns from the foot traffic. Moe also recommended that you get a professional cleaning about once every five years. This means you will need to bring it to a professional rug cleaner. Don't try to clean the rug yourself, it will shorten the life of your rug and may even damage it. If you do have a damaged rug, you can get it repaired. At Rugs on Broadway we met Mr. Mike. He was busy working on repairing a rug from the 1880s. He was re-piling the rug by adding more strands to it. It was a very meticulous job, but we saw some of his work and you couldn't tell where he had repaired the rug. So if you have any questions about cleaning, repairing, buying or appraising your rugs, come to Rugs on Broadway.

Fire on the Mountain Oreos

Fire on the Mountain (503-230-9464) is a great local restaurant with 2 locations in the Portland area. It is basically a 'wing joint', but has a full menu of delicious dishes. Co-owner Jordan Busch is known for the 'heat' and variety of sauces that they make in the stores. You can come in and try out a sauce or you can buy a bottle to take home. They also have sauces available at some of the specialty grocery stores in the area. Robin learned the hard way to do a small taste first!
Jordan decided to share a recipe with us, but it was not one of his sauce recipes (we'll work on him to do that in the future). Instead, he decided to show us how they make their deep fried Oreos. All you need are some Oreos, pancake batter and an deep oil fryer. Simply coat the Oreos in the pancake batter, and drop them into the hot oil. Cook them for 2 minutes on each side and pull them out. Coat them with powdered sugar, serve them with ice cream or eat them plain. Just don't think about the calories! This is a recipe for guilty enjoyment. If you don't want to try it at home you can get some tasty ones at Fire on the Mountain! Fire on the Mountain was recommended to us by Sysco Portland, suppliers of quality products to the restaurant industry.

Goats Milk Cheese

Goat cheese is considered a delicacy by many foodies. Did you know you can make your own goat cheese, even in the city? Scott Hansen from Leche Ridge Farms (503-662-4563) joined David and Robin to show them how to milk a goat and then how to make the cheese. Some cities in the area do allow you to have goats (remember to check the livestock regulations for your area) and you really don't need much space to raise one. If you are going to milk your goats you have to remember that they are not low-maintenance they will require milking twice a day to keep their production up. Scott is currently milking 4 goats and he is getting a gallon a day from them and as David and Robin both found out, getting the milk requires a certain technique! Once we had the milk we moved up to the house to make some cheese.

As Scott told us, cheese making is one of the most low-tech processes around. First you add the milk to a pan and heat it to 86 degrees using a cheese thermometer. After the milk is heated you add your cheese culture. This can be picked up from any cheese supply store; Scott got his from Pistils Nursery in Portland. The culture he was using was Chevre. Once added you let the milk set for 12 hours at room temperature. This will allow the milk to curdle. You then strain the milk through a cheese-cloth to get the cheese curds. Let it stand for another 6 hours and then put it in your refrigerator and you can eat it. Scott was also able to make a feta and an aged cheddar by using different cultures and a little different process. The other benefit of goat's milk... lactose intolerant people can drink goat's milk! The molecules are different than cow's milk! If you are interested in goat's milk, raising goats or making cheese you can catch one of his classes at Pistils Nursery (503-288-4889) or contact him at Leche Ridge.

The Perfect Espresso

For some of us, the day doesn't start until we have had our morning cup of coffee. But what we use as a jump-start to our day is actually an artful ritual in Italy. Having an espresso or a cappuccino is not just for the caffeine it is part of the culture. We were able to visit with Giorgio Milos a master barista from Illy Coffee. He was in Portland to help celebrate Chuck's Place Coffee Shop (503-675-7861) in Lake Oswego becoming a Artisti del Gusto (Artists of Taste) café. Giorgio uses Illy coffee because of the special blending of different coffees that bring out a better taste. Giorgio also follows the 5 golden rules of espresso making. First, having the right dose. In the US coffee shops use up to 3 times too much coffee. The taste becomes overpowering. Second is the right temperature... you don't want to over cook the coffee. You also want the perfect pressure from your machine to extract the right amount of coffee. Time is the fourth rule. You are looking to get the right amount in 25-30 seconds. And finally volume... You are just looking for 1 ounce of liquid. If you would like to try your hand at making the perfect espresso you can take it easy on yourself, Illy makes a professional style machine for home use and they have prepackaged coffee capsules that make the perfect cup every time. If you want to enjoy the perfect cup and have none of the work you can check out Chuck's Place in Lake Oswego and start your own coffee ritual.

Organizing the Home Office

The home office is one of the messiest parts of the home. Everything just seems to get thrown into the office and piles can become huge. We decided to tackle the clutter of Robin's home office! Linda Gemal of Rejuvenate Your Home (503-803-8000) came over to Robin's house to help her organize. The added element to Robin's office mess... she shares it with her 8 year old daughter. What was the first tip from Linda? Purge! Figure out what you actually need, what you actually use, what you actually like and then get rid of the rest. Donate it to an 'office in need'. Next you want to group things together. Get the items you use and need together. Look for staging areas in your home (attics, crawl spaces, closets) where you can keep the things you like but that you don't use everyday. Get some decorative boxes for items that are on display and clear plastic box and totes for stuff in storage. The clear containers allow you to see everything in the box without opening it up. Also, Linda recommended that you keep the daily important papers close to your desk and that you go through the pile every day and don't let it get out of hand. By just doing a little bit you can make a big dent in the mess and make your office, and life, more productive!



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This page last modified
August 13, 2010.