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Cooking Lesson: English Muffins

Is there a better light breakfast than an English muffin with strawberry preserves and a cup of good coffee? I don’t think so.

Try this recipe for the best English muffins you’ve ever tasted. These are the ones we serve at The Fulton House.

Ingredients (Makes about 2 dozen)

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 deg.)
1-2/3 cups milk, scalded
3 T Take Control (Butter Substitute)
1T sugar
1-1/2 t salt
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
Flour
Take Control (Butter Substitute)
Cornmeal

1. In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand 5-minutes. In separate bowl, combine milk, Take Control, sugar and salt; cool to lukewarm. Stir milk mixture into dissolved yeast.

2. Gradually stir in flours to make moderately stiff dough (not stiff enough to knead). Beat 2-minutes. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-hour.

3. Turn dough on to well-floured work area; lightly roll about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds with floured cutter or glass. Cover and let rise on floured surface for
30-minutes.

4. Heat griddle or non-stick fry pan, grease with Take Control and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Transfer muffins to griddle without crowding. Bake over medium heat 10-12 minutes; turn and bake 15-20 minutes on second side. Repeat with remainder of muffins.

That’s all there is to it. Remember to always split muffins with a fork. Toast and serve with preserves. Extra muffins may be frozen.

Good eatin’!

WHY “THE FULTON HOUSE”?


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there used to be a town on the Willamette River, upstream from downtown Portland by less than a mile, named Fulton. The main road between Portland proper and Fulton was Macadam Avenue, which, as anyone from the East Coast knows, is the name for blacktop. Macadam Ave. was so named because it was the first all-weather road in the greater Portland area. Why? It’s simple enough: all the gambling houses and bordellos were located right on the river in Fulton, and the road was built to give easy access to Portland businessmen and politicians regardless of weather conditions.

Several of the old Fulton landmarks remain. Beautiful Willamette Park replaced the former men-only attractions in the area. The Fulton Post Office building still exists, although it no longer handles any mail. There’s a Fulton Park. The local pub stands on the site of the old Fulton Dairy. And our Bed & Breakfast, the Fulton House, welcomes guests.

The Fulton House is particularly interesting. It originally floated on the Willamette and was a bordello. Around the turn of the century, it was lifted and loaded onto logs and dragged up the hill one block west to its present location, to serve as a rooming house on a site owned by the local tanner.

We started researching the house’s history shortly after we bought the Fulton House because of one peculiarity — every bedroom on the second floor had a wash basin. Now, knowing its original function, the proximity of sink to customer is understandable.

Fulton House is an East Coast House. It is vertical in design not horizontal, a Cape Cod-style structure. It has a number of features rarely seen in the Northwest. For example, there’s a “sun room” on the main floor, a place where sunshine pours in on nice days. We grow herbs there now. There’s also a “widow’s walk” on a fenced, flat part of the roof, where by invitation guests can sit and enjoy the views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, the Willamette River and downtown Portland. It got its name because two centuries ago many of the men folk on the East Coast, primarily in coastal towns in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, made their living as crewmen on whaling ships. When these ships were due back in port, wives would look out to sea from the highest point of their homes, the walks on the roofs, waiting and praying for their husbands’ safe return. Since whaling was an extremely dangerous profession, many men never returned and their wives became widows. Hence the name.

Several other old homes are in the immediate neighborhood of the Fulton House. Unfortunately, many have already been torn down and townhouses have been built in their place. We have no intention of subjecting the Fulton House to this indignity.

A SPECTACULAR WINERY

I’ m completely hooked on the incredible wines and the superlative setting of the Maryhill Winery, situated on a cliff high over the mighty Columbia River, which separates Oregon and Washington. The winery, which is on the Washington side, is only about 120 miles east of Portland, an easy drive on I-84 and a non-toll bridge crossing over the river.

The winery has a huge deck where you can enjoy the view and, on weekends, there’s usually some live music to entertain. Nothing loud or fancy, maybe a guitarist who sings old favorites and very soft rock. There’s also an outdoor bowl, where big name acts are booked in the warmer months.

And the wines… A Zinfandel and Cabernet to kill for. A Muscat, White Riesling and Viognier to satisfy an urge for sweetness. And many others. All reasonably priced for the extra high quality of these wines; and if you show an Oregon Driver’s License, you don’t have to pay Washington’s sales tax. There’s also a small area where you can purchase deli-style munchies — pickles, crackers, and dips and spreads.

There’s a couple more terrific attractions in the immediate area. Just down the road to the east is the Maryhill Museum, which exhibits the prolific and eclectic collection of art, artifacts and oddities assembled by Sam Hill. Mr. Hill, who made his fortune from building the Northern Pacific Railroad, was a noted Portlander who helped create and finance the famous, scenic Columbia River Highway, which runs for many miles up and down the cliffs on the Oregon side and features breathtaking waterfalls, seemingly after every twist and turn the road takes.

Beyond the Museum, still heading east, is an exact replica of Stonehenge that Mr. Hill commissioned. Its detail and alignment with the heavens is identical to that of the original, located on the Salisbury Plain in southern England.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or are spending a few days here on business or pleasure, the Maryhill Winery is a must. I guarantee you’ll return time and again, just as my wife and I do.

How Stupid are Oregon’s Legislators?

HOW STUPID ARE OREGON’S LEGISLATORS?

Here in Oregon all too often our State Legislature does things that belie common sense. For example, hearings are being held in Salem, our State Capital, on the effects of Measure 37, which was passed by a vote of the people last election. Basically, the measure mandates that when land or structures are condemned or rezoned after the present owner purchased them, the jurisdiction – usually a City or County, but occasionally the State – must reimburse the owner for the dollars lost by the owner. In other words, if you purchased land zoned industrial a number of years ago and it has been rezoned as farmland, you would be reimbursed for the value you lost because of the rezoning. These hearings have been packed, so much so, that the overflow crowds are forced to sit in other rooms to watch the proceedings on television. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? Well, those persons holding “gold passes” can be admitted to the hearing room at any time… and the unbelievable part is that gold passes have been issued to all the Oregon singers who auditioned for “American Idol” in Portland and were advanced to the next round in Los Angeles. Can anybody explain to me why a 20-something rocker should get precedence over the owner of a tract of down-zoned land worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It’s no wonder that Oregonians, like much of the rest of the country, are rapidly losing confidence in their elected officials. Whatever happened to good old horse sense among the anointed few?

Please feel free to comment on this blog. We’ll be talking about a wide variety of subjects in upcoming blogs, hopefully at least twice a week. Certainly not all of them will be political. We’ll cover a broad range of topics — about education, our city (Portland), our B&B, recipes we’ve developed and just about anything we believe our readers might be interested in. Please log on any time… and tell your friends about us. Talk to you again very soon.

Fulton House Bed & Breakfast

Home & Garden Show in Portland https://thefultonhouse.com

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