buying local, Focus on Book Arts, Forest Grove, Local food, Marvelous meals, Oregon

Forest Grove, Oregon, 2017

FOBA 2017

Susanne and I love Forest Grove, a beautiful small college town in the middle of rolling farmland with the backdrop of the Coast Range on its west and only a thirty minute drive from Portland to its east. We discovered it through our three trips to the Focus on Book Arts conference we went to in 2011, 2015, and 2017.

The first place we went when we got there was Maggie’s Buns, which I’ve written about before. They had an abundant and delicious lunch selection. I had their veggie lasagna, which rivaled my own in texture and taste, and I am very snooty about my lasagna. I’d go back just for it, but we all tried each other’s salads and they were wonderful too.

Table at Maggie's Buns in Forest Grove, Oregon

Maggie's Buns ceiling

I took a photo of the ceiling at Maggie’s Buns this time because if I’m ever able to look up long enough to do it (neck issues) I’d like to paint the acoustic tiles in my bedroom like this.

At the Wednesday Farmer's Market

The Wednesday evening farmers market downtown is one of the things we love about Forest Grove. When we go, in late June, there are abundant fresh cherries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and all kinds of vegetables. This time there was a baker, Slow Rise Craft Breads whose breads are made from local organic grains and wild yeast. Oh, the complex flavors from that bread. We bought some Face Rock Creamery smoked cheddar cheese from Urban Decanter to go with the Slow Rise rye levain and rolled our eyes in pleasure for the rest of our time there.

We didn’t make it to the King’s Head Pub this time, but we did buy Cornish pasties and almond shortbread from the Great British Bakery at the farmers’ market. The pasties were better than the ones I ate in Cornwall!

Goofin' at Waltz Brewing

^^^Goofing around. We’re sitting on an old Cadillac seat at Waltz. Look closely and you’ll see that the photographer caught my beer just as it was spilling out of my glass.

Susanne talked to a street fiddler who invited us to a bluegrass jam that evening just a couple of blocks away at Waltz Brewing, a very small brewpub in a renovated garage. The garage door was up, there was seating on the sidewalk, and the weather was perfect. We munched on our goodies from the market, petted the local dogs, drank ginger ale and porter, and enjoyed the music. We enjoyed it so much that we skipped the conference lecture again the next night and went back to hear a blues guy play guitar and sing to a karoake machine. I bought a growler of Coffee Porter with To the Roots Espresso (from a local coffee roaster) to keep back in the dorm room fridge.

We were invited to a potluck on Sunday with a group of folks who are developing a co-housing community, which I was quite interested in, but we didn’t have time, it was roasting hot, and I can’t even think about doing anything like that for at least several years. I was curious, though.

Waltz Brewing

Forest Grove has a community edible garden program. Plots with veggies and berries had signs that invited you to help yourself. One was in front of Forest Grove Community School, which also had lovely flowers and artwork.

Forest Grove, Oregon

On Friday evening, we went to a Hawaiian restaurant – a new experience for me but a trip down memory lane for Susanne, who spent a year of childhood living in Hawaii. At Kama’ Aina, Susanne had manapua (sweet bbq pork in dumplings), I had shoyu ahi poke. Poke hasn’t made it back to North Carolina yet, but my bet is that it is the next big foodie thing. Very much like sashimi, but with different seasonings. We also blew everyone away with our garlic breath the next day after sharing garlic furitake fries. Just when you think that you can’t make fries less healthy, somebody decides to fry them with butter and garlic and sprinkle them with sesame seeds and flaked seaweed. God, they were good.

We were sorry to leave Forest Grove, but not sorry to leave the dorm, which was not air conditioned and had no fans. The temps the last two days we were there got up to almost 100 degrees. Pacific University is a lovely campus, though.

Forest Grove, Oregon

^^^From the garden in front of the Forest Grove Community School.

Marvelous meals, Oregon, Portland, Wonderfulness

On a Particular … Day

In Portland

When I arrived in Portland, Oregon on the evening of August 21, I was met by my ray of sunshine friend, Cat. We went to her beau’s place, where he grilled succulent wild king salmon for us in the courtyard of his Pearl District apartment building. We relaxed with wine outside while he serenaded us on his acoustic guitar. A sweet, easy-going, handsome guy who can sing and cook? Go, Cat!

She took me to a house where I rented a room via AirBnB – a first for me. It was comfortable and clean, and I amused myself early in the morning by returning their escaped chickens to their fenced back yard and walking around a cute neighborhood. The poem above was posted in front of a creative front yard across the street, and it was so spot on for my journey here and beyond that I’ve decided to use it. I don’t know the poet’s name. I googled the words and received no results. M, who lives on N. Arlington St. in Portland, I am grateful for your beautiful words. Here they are, since they are hard to read in the photo.

On a Particular … Day

The light awoke the morning, silently
So fresh was the air, like a breath taken from the stars
An eastern horizon was like a memory
What beholds a given day, an hour, a moment
With the turning…so goes everything
A winding path, to the Sea, A gift left unopened, A footprint like no other and a flower, always a touch of beauty

M…

Then Cat and Matt picked me up and we went to Alberta St. for breakfast. Our first choice, The Tin Shed, was too busy so we ate at Halser’s. I had potato pancakes, and we drank beverages (Cat has steamed soy milk – she is so good!) and Matt treated us.

In Portland

As it went with my previous trip to Portland, I had very little time to explore it. Next time I’d like to shop at some of the eclectic shops on Alberta St. Pam, my retreat hostess, picked me up and we picked up Linda at the airport, and we were whisked away to Pam’s cabin just south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Marvelous meals, Wonderfulness

Foodie post

After two years, I finally managed to pick a ripe Cherokee Purple tomato from the Back Forty. This is what should always be done with the first sun-warmed tomato from your garden:

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Sandy and I have gone out to eat a little more than usual lately. Here’s our supper on the upper patio at M’Coul’s. Their roast beef is really tender. And y’all know how I feel about Smithwick’s.

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Finally, my friend Kathie Lapcevic and I had met through food blogging many years ago, but had never met in person. Her food writing career is on the rise – see her blogs Homespun Seasonal Living and Two Frog Home for more. She stopped to visit me in Greensboro on her way to Asheville for a food writers’ conference. Since Kathie is from Montana and Pittsburgh, I suggested that she try the twice baked grits at Lucky 32 for brunch. We both ordered them with collard greens. Oh so good, and so good to see her. I’ve been friends with her on Facebook and the blogs for so long that meeting her in person just felt like getting together with an old friend.

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critters, Local food, Marvelous meals, Visual journal, Visual journal 2013

Visual journal, December 12, 2013

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Flounder roulade with oyster stuffing and roasted brussels sprouts at Josephine’s Bistro. YUM.

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I’m trying to find the owners of this beautiful friendly older kitten. S/he likes to follow people and play and it is very cold outside. I feel pretty sure that s/he belongs to a neighbor but when you live near a college campus at the end of a semester, you never know whether a pet has been abandoned. I’ve seen this cat twice, and I worry about her safety.

art retreats, book arts, dyeing, fiber art, Madeline Island, Marvelous meals, Minnesota/Wisconsin, Slow cloth, Slow Food

Madeline Island: Chapter 3, Tuesday

Madeline Island

My bundles, freshly removed from a dyepot made with goldenrod plants (yes, you can use the leaves and stalks!)

Madeline Island

I was a wee bit disappointed, especially in my wool samples overall, but I would soon learn that the secret of getting good plant prints included getting the tightest possible contact between the cloth and the plant material. The watercolor paper that we used to catch drips under these bundles ended up being some of the prettiest accidental artworks of the week.

One of our assignments was to stitch scraps of different natural fabrics and paper to a large piece of watercolor paper. The stitching was hard on the fingers, and toward the end I resorted to using a stapler to both tack down the pieces and to see what marks I could make when the metal reacted with the dye. We flipped it over and painted milk with handmade brushes onto the cotton rag paper for a mordant. It doesn’t look pretty, does it? That milk mordant would make my heart sing by the end of the week. I am totally into the milk mordant, since I work so much with cotton.

We would find out the next day what would be done to these sheets.

Madeline Island

Madeline Island

Madeline IslandNow for the food porn. We went to a new restaurant on the island, Blue Green Organic. It was all about local and organic, and the chef who designed the menu was runner-up on one of those major cooking shows (which I confess not to watch since I don’t watch much TV and dislike reality shows in general, but especially those in which the contestants are abused or ridiculed). The service was very good and the food was luscious and artfully presented. Their signature item was a smoked trout chowder, in which the ingredients are piled into the individual bowls, then the hot cream stock poured over them at the table. As delicious as it was beautiful.

Madeline Island