The BBQ is fired up! The weather may not always be cooperating, but that is not stopping us from enjoying some tangy tastes from the grill. This week we have a show that is perfect for the summer. We start with Clay’s Smokehouse Grill for a taste of summer; we also redo those old patio chairs. We build a nice little water feature for relaxing and we finish with a shortbread and berry port sauce dessert. Ahhh, summer… now if only the heat would get here.

Indoor Fountains

There is nothing like the sound of flowing water to help you relax and forget your problems. Now you can bring that soothing sound into your home as well. We stopped by Terra Casa (503-577-8242) to learn how to build one with Nick. Terra Casa is not only a décor store, they also have a huge array of containers. They just received a shipment of some really cool small decorative pots and Nick created some containers that would be outstanding in any living area. The key to building a nice fountain is recirculation of the water. As long as the water makes it back down to the pump the rest is just details. For an indoor application you will also want to be aware of the splashing. Nick started with a large wide container and sealed the drain hole in the bottom. Then he took a large black nursery container and cut it down until the pot was level with the top of his sealed container. The nursery pot is great because you can cut it easily. This is good because you will want to cut a hole for your power cord to the pump and also one in the middle for the fountain hose. You then assemble the pump and the nursery pot and flip it into the sealed container. To keep the water from splashing too much you can adjust the supply hose on the inside of the feature. These went together very quickly and looked fantastic. If you would like to learn how to build one or you want one built for you, stop by and see Nick at Terra Casa.

Redoing Outdoor Chairs

Today we are bringing you another great money saving project from Sara Tetreault of GoGingham.com. Today Sara showed us how she refurbished some patio chairs to make them new again. She had found some old patio chairs on the sidewalk with a sign on them that said they were free. They had no major damage just some ripped canvas seats, loose hinges and general grunge. Sara brought them home and they look fantastic now that she has done a little work on them. The first thing she recommended was to not throw anything away. The seat cover (even torn) can be your pattern for making new ones that fit. You will also want to make sure the slats for securing the canvas are present and accounted for. Next make sure that all the legs, cross supports and metal pieces are in working order. You can do some minor fixing, but if you have to replace major parts it might be too much. After tackling the seats, look at cleaning and oiling the hinges, and give the chair a good coat of paint or tung oil if needed.

Clay’s BBQ

The taste of bar-b-que is truly a taste of the summer. Everyone has a recipe or technique for grilling a tasty treat, but we think we found the perfect summer BBQ and it wasn’t in our backyard. We found Clay’s Smokehouse Grill on SE Division and it has some of the best bar-b-que in Portland. Mike Slyman is the owner and operator of Clay’s and he took us on a tour of his smoker, the key to his great meats. If you want to use a smoker at home you need to remember 3 main ingredients; smoke, heat and moisture. If you are missing any of those, your smoked meat will not turn out well. Once the meat is smoked it is cooled. When it is ready to be served they put it back on the grill to crisp up the skin and caramelize the sugars. Plus, all of the smoked meats have a seasoned rub on them. The rub contains 50 percent rub and 50 percent sugar, plus some special seasonings (you can add your own at home). The rub is used before smoking and also before the meat is grilled again. The marinade that they use is made up of oil, garlic, lemon juice and other spices. It is used on other non-smoked meats and makes a tasty compliment to their other menu items. The use of rubs, marinades and smoke is based on the different types of meats and depends on what you want the meat to taste like and what it is used for. If this seems like it is too much to remember there is good news! Clay’s Smokehouse caters for any size group! Stop by and get a taste for real bar-b-que!

Shortbread and Berry Port Sauce

This week we are back with Janie Hibler, the author of The Berry Bible to get another great recipe using fresh Oregon berries. Janie gave us a great recipe for a Blackberry martini last week and this week we learned how to make a shortbread with a warm berry port sauce. To make the shortbread you start with 1 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of cornmeal, 9 tablespoons of butter and some brown sugar. You mix that in a food processor with a little bit of lemon zest. Once the mixture is done it goes in the oven for 18 minutes.

While that is baking you can put the berry sauce together. The best part of this sauce is that you can use whatever berries are in season or even frozen berries. In a pan you need to add a ¼ cup of sugar, a ½ cup of port, a small vanilla bean and then add about 3 cups of berries. After a couple of minutes on medium heat, the berries will start to release their juice. You will then remove the berries from the pan while they are whole and save them for later in the recipe. You then reduce the juice down a little bit to concentrate the flavors. When the sauce is reduced you add the berries back into the mix before serving. To serve, place a slice of the shortbread on a plate and spoon on some of the berry mixture and then top with whip cream or Crème fraiche. If you would like to get more recipes and learn more about fresh Oregon Fruit you can stop by the EcoTrust building today (Saturday) for the final day of the Oregon Berry Festival. It is free and a great way to celebrate Oregon grown fruit!

Organic Mattresses

Last week we stopped by Eclectic Home (503-224-0551) to learn how to pick out a perfect pillow. Dennis Rose showed us how to pick the pillow with comfort in mind before you consider anything else. This week we wanted to learn about organic mattresses. What makes an organic mattress is the quality of the materials. The core of most organic mattresses is composed of natural latex. This natural material is made into a foam that responds well to average wear and tear and that can make your mattress last 20 to 30 years. Plus, once they have reached the end of their productive life these mattresses can be put in a landfill where they will decompose naturally. Once again Dennis told us about the number one consideration for picking a mattress, comfort! One of the ingredients that adds to the comfort and to the fire safety of the mattress is a layer of wool. The lanolin in the wool is a natural flame retardant. The lanolin also reduces the occurrence of dust mites. If you are interested in learning more about organic mattresses or any other organic furniture stop by Eclectic Home.


Website design and content ©2009-2011 Gustin Creative Group.  Please send website inquiries to gustingroup@comcast.net
This page last modified
July 29, 2011.