Oregon Bounty

I know that I should blog about the whole trip and I will get to that, but first, the Oregon bounty.  The picture to the left is a picture taken at a place in the Willamette Valley where Gaile and I stopped to taste some olive oil.  We were really out for wine tasting that day, but couldn’t pass up the olive oil.  We later went to the winery that can be seen in the picture.  While tasting the wine there, we formulated a dinner menu of Halibut (it’s in season) in lemon/shallot caper butter with a salad.  Dinner was preceded by a braised artichoke appetizer.  We had some great food, most of it at Gaile and Doug’s apartment.

Besides the wine tasting, the farmers’ market was in full swing on Saturday with early spring greens, mushrooms that I never see around here, artichokes, parsnips, asparagus and new beets and radishes with beautiful tops.  We also had a breakfast of eggs Benedict over asparagus and crab cakes and a dinner with parsnip Gruyère gratin and fish with spinach rolled inside of it and baked as well as ice cream with fresh rhubarb sauce.  It was a really good food week.

While I couldn’t take all that fresh food away with me and Spring is a little slower to arrive here (parsley and chives are coming up).  I did come away with this:

Two of the items in the photo had been at Gaile’s all along and she’d been meaning to send them to me.  The first of these is the Holy Kakow chocolate syrup to the left.  She says this is great stuff.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking of making a little dessert with a layer of crushed oreos, some of the Holy Kakow, vanilla ice cream, another drizzle of Holy Kakow and topped with black raspberries.  The other item that she had waiting for me was the cherry zinfandel jam second from right.  I cannot wait to try this, but we can only have one kind of jam opened at a time around here.  The fig vinegar and the little tower of olive oil over balsamic vinegar were purchases that we both made when we got sucked into olive oil tasting.  These were outstanding.  At the same place, I also purchased the Renee’s garden seeds.  Why not have my own poppy plants?  The French baby leeks and the rainbow beets also seemed like they should be a lot of fun to grow.  The honey on the right is infused with lemon and it’s consistency is such that you could spread it on something.  Knowing me, it will more likely end up melted in tea.  Last but not least, the bag of coriander is also from Gaile.  I believe that this is part of what she used for the outstanding cauliflower and pea curry that she made the day that Doug and I went to the Columbia River Gorge.

More on the trip itself later…

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