We celebrated Xmas Eve Eve early this year. Normally, we celebrate on 12/23 (the Eve of Christmas Eve) but moving it up allowed us to have more things to chat about. When we have three days in a row of hanging out with the fam, we’ve exhausted all conversation.
Then we ate Chinese food.
Chicken, lamb, rice pilaf, potatoes, Greek salad, steamed vegetables, the traditional red-dyed eggs and the star of the Greek Easter show: spanokipita!
We also had an egg hunt. I came home with $3.00. Matt was happy that the new limit on collecting eggs (20) was caused by his previous egg-hunting prowess.
A friend posted a retrospective of Hilda illustrations (article also here) on Facebook and I excitedly told her about the the one that had been hanging in my grandparents’-now-aunt’s house since before I was born. And here it is! I’ve always loved this illustration. And in the second link above, there is a different version of this with a washcloth over her nipples. I’d always wondered where her nipples had gotten to.
Back to Easter. The table is full of delicious treats.
So we’ve got this rain thing happening in my part of Oregon, you might have heard. And we do things in the rain, because if you don’t do things in the rain, you don’t get to do much for nine months of the year. But man, was it a miserable spring day when we set out on our journey. The kind with dark skies and pouring rain and everything just sopping wet. The kind of day where you can be sitting warm and dry in a car and still feel chilly.
Our aim was to drive to Lincoln City, get our passport stamp there, then head up 101 to Gearheart and grab our stamps there, then head home on 26. We brought along episodes of Season 1 of the Serial Podcast to keep us company.
Matt and I had visited this summer, when the tide was out and there was a good amount of sand. This time, the tide was in and we discovered just how short the sand at Short Sands Beach can be. The wind was intense–it pushed us off the beach when we turned to go.
We stopped at Gearheart Hotel to get our stamps and prizes. This was the answer to the photo clue. Unique to McMenamins hotels, this location had interperative text on nearly every photo. This made finding the correct photo a challenge. Luckily for me, a guy in the Pot Bunker Bar told me where it was.
Matt’s mom Linda is visiting and she bought us tickets for another fabulous Forktown Food Tour.
Here’s the food plan for the day. Doesn’t it sound fabulous?
At Picnic House we had a great beet salad as well as a very good sample of wine. I loved the beet/panko crumb topping to the salad. They take beet juice and mix it with panko, then roast it. Very good.
I also learned that the Picnic House was the entrance to the original Heathman Hotel. When the owners found what was behind the drywall, they revamped their restaurant concept and their goal is to bring the picnic indoors. Thus, they have a lot of moss in their decor. They also use old lithograph plates, which are fun to look at.
Our next stop was the Dump Truck, so we could sample some dumplings. We also learned about Portland food cart culture. The guy in the picture was not part of our tour, but was super excited to show off the Dump Truck’s dumplings to his friends.
Our next stop was Verde Cocina, which has a location near Matt’s work and so he eats there often. He really enjoys their specials. We had enchilada with mole sauce, guacamole and vegetables, plus a margarita, all of which were delightful. And I don’t usually drink margaritas.
Next was Lardo, another of my favorites. We were treated to a pork meatball banh mi and Lardo fries. Lardo started as a food cart and became a brick and mortar establishment. You can also (and I have) eat at Grassa, which is the handcrafted pasta establishment.
Next was Cacao, where we sampled two different single origin chocolates as well as Cacao’s famous drinking chocolate. Which was amazing. So amazing that at least one person from almost every group on the tour purchased drinking chocolate to take home.
Our last stop was Petunia’s Pie and Pastries where we sampled a marionberry bar as well as a salted caramel bar. All items sold at Petunia’s are gluten-free and vegan.
It was a great food tour. Thanks Linda!
My mom wanted almond-flavored cupcakes for her birthday, and thus I made them. I have tidied my way to owning just one muffin tin, so I only made 12 cupcakes.* So I made a small cake with the rest. And then got carried away with the frosting part. Those are the first frosting roses I’ve made since I took the cake decorating class when I was 14 or something.** My grandmother could make frosting roses. She was a cake decorator before she got married. I used her flower nails, which are the base where you build the rose. Hers are made of wood, not metal or plastic like the ones in the tutorials. This was also fun, using tools that my grandmother had used.
Overall, the frosting was great. The cake was a little dense, probably because I had trouble understanding done-ness.
*Plus, what was I going to do with 24 cupcakes? The new workplace really doesn’t eat sugar. Three boxes of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies stayed on the table unopened for two weeks. And even then, they weren’t eaten, they were eventually moved to snacks drawer.
**More evidence that I’ve always been a middle-aged woman at heart.
Matt, his mother Linda and I are on our way to a Forktown Food Tour of N. Mississippi Street. I wanted to update you on the ch-ch-ch-changes on N. Williams Avenue first. This sign was photographed in January.
Across the street, this building has undergone a huge transformation. I even have compare/contrast photos for you. Now:
Here’s what it looked like on 1/28:
And here’s just one picture from our food tour. That is a huge shelf of bitters. Read more about it here.