Monday, August 24, 2009

Grandpa's 1956 Packard

This is a photo of my Grandfather Burt Nation. He was chief of police for Hermiston, Oregon from 1945 - 1948.

He bought a new beautiful blue and white 1956 Packard Clipper in Yakima, Washington. It's been in the family since then and when my father died, I purchased it from my mother. This lovely classic car has spent he majority of it's life living in garages. It had a few wicked encounters with other cars while my uncle owned it, but still... it mostly sat in his garage and was completely embarrased that it was used to store clothes inside of it. When my uncle died and my father, Bill, the youngest of the Nation children bought it from my aunt, he had the seats reupholstered. Other than that, not much has been updated or changed or even keep in very good repair.

This is the actual mileage...
41,906 miles

Things will change now...

I picked up the car last week from my previous house in Walla Walla to bring it back home to Oregon.

It's hilly in much of West Linn and I live on a street that should be a one-way, because if you meet another car, one of you will have to back up or find a driveway to duck into. So we had to find a flat large parking lot to get the car off the trailer.

As it turned out, getting the car off was the least of the problems. After driving it from one end of this lot to the other, mass quantities of liquid began pouring from under the car....that greenish color that makes you go...Oh, No!...or something more colorful...

After several trips to the auto supply store, added liquids, refreshed carb parts and too many failed attempts at driving it ... some quite frightening involving a steep hill and backing up in busy traffic...

we called AAA.

So, now it rests in Brian's garage and yesterday, I learned how to take off the heater core.

Clipper Valve Cover in a lovely shade of green...

We only have the best of help.
This is Mr. Joey. Although, he had to be chased away because of the danger of draining liquids, he is available for leaving personalize cat prints and clouds of hair on all surfaces.

Heater core. Not the most fun thing to remove. There were screws holding it in place, in places that were impossible to, we ended up cutting through one of the hoses to get this monster free.

The hose we cut is the (now) short one the right- on the left side of the photo. When the heater core was out, we could see there was a lovely gash in the part of this hose that was behind the core where the fluid was leaking. How you are suppose to actually replace this hose without removing the heater is a mystery.

These aren't my hands ... nor are they small.

The ancient hose clamps were fun to deal with...small hands and a good vice grips seemed to be the ticket, so this was one of the places where I was able to help and I have the grease stains on my fingers to prove it.

Our furry helper relaxed and we ran off to Milwaukie to Harbor Freight tools for new hose clamps, a cute new vice grip (there is no such thing as too many of these) and then onto Auto Supply for new hose to replace the poor old damaged lines.

This will be an ongoing project....but that's all in the fun of owning a great old classic car and this one has more history than most.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Clafoutis in a Pear Tree

I have this lovely old pear tree in the corner of my yard. I've only lived in this house for just a year and didn't really notice the tree last summer until the pears started to show...and fall and fall and fall.
Well, they still fall, but I managed to get out and pick a couple sacks full yesterday. One sack I left on the porch of a neighbor, the other became a clafoutis.

and what is a clafoutis? it's a simple dessert, very custard like with no crust...

most times the pears are sliced and placed neatly in a pattern ...I chopped mine into bite sized chunks, because the pears were quite firm. Plus, there was no way these funny shaped orbs would have ever looked even with all the carving away that was needed.

This is the final results... sprinkled with powdered sugar, drizzled with maple syrup...
it was delicious.

~ * ~ * ~
Pear Clafoutis

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 large pears, peeled, cored, sliced or chopped
  • powdered sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie plate.

2. Beat eggs, sugar, salt to blend in a medium bowl. Mix in flour. Add milk, butter, vanilla & maple extracts and spices. Mix until smooth.

3. If you sliced your pears, arrange them on the bottom of the pie plate, if you cut them into chunks ... let the pieces fall where they may. Pour the custard over the pears.

4. Bake the clafoutis until it is set in the center and the top is golden, around 55 minutes.

5. After removing from the oven, let it set a few minutes to firm up and then sprinkle powdered sugar over it and serve with maple syrup drizzled over.

This would also be good with a soft whipped cream, dusted with fresh ground nutmeg. Other fruits can be used, I've also made this with plums and I need to try it with cherries, too.