Is there anything in a fruit bowl more accommodating than the apple? Fresh berries wait for no one. Peaches and plums turn soft and mealy in a few days. The greenest bananas will be covered with brown spots within a week while the apple waits patiently. Even when apples pass their optimal ripeness and you put them in the crisper for just a few more days, they can be used in a tart or made into apple sauce.
Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.
Serves 10 as a starter or 4 for a main course Ingredients: ½ ounce dried porcini 1 quart water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon soy sauce ¼ pound unsalted butter 1 cup long grain rice ½ ounce dried onion Grated Parmesan cheese 2 ounces Joel Palmer House Oregon White Truffle Oil Directions: In uncovered saucepan, bring water, dried mushrooms, sugar, salt and soy sauce to boil then add rice and reduce heat to simmer. Strain out the liquid and reserve. Chop the mushrooms finely. In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and add the dried onion and rice. Stir for one minute then add the reserved mushroom liquid. Cook uncovered and stir gently until water is absorbed and evaporated, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Portion rice, drizzle lightly with Parmesan cheese and truffle oil and serve.
Bailey’s family has been growing cherries in these hills for more than eighty years, when his grandparents made their first investment in a piece of farmland. Since then, Orchard View Farms has grown to include 2,050 acres in four counties. The orchard is home to twelve types of sweet cherries, from perennial favorites Bing and Rainier to more unusual choices, such as Sweetheart and Skeena.
Without question, Oregon has earned a worldwide reputation for its craft brewing industry and craft beers. What started with a few Portland area brewers has spread to include more than one hundred microbreweries in a state many now lovingly call “Beervana.” Integral to Beervana are its many public houses, where ales and lagers find good company with comfort food.
Wine consumers and wine tourists can raise their glasses in a toast to the times. Prices have dropped, and wineries are courting tourists through their tasting rooms and wine clubs. The industry is in the hands of hundreds of small, family-owned wineries where visitors can often meet and talk with the people who craft the wine. The state’s wild, scenic beauty, its reputation as a foodie culture and a genuine place to taste wine attract many out-of-state tourists. And instead of all roads leading to Newberg or Dundee as they did in the ’80s and ’90s, wine lovers can get their fix in tasting rooms from Hood River to Ashland.
Jill McClaran wears her blonde hair to her waist and spurs on her cowboy boots. The 27-year-old spends her days in the saddle herding cattle along the basalt rims and airy benches of Hell’s Canyon. Out of cell phone range and hours from the nearest town, this University of Idaho graduate looks over a thousand McClaran Ranch cattle as they graze the rugged and wild eastern Oregon grasslands.
4-6 servings We serve this with mixed greens tossed with champagne vinaigrette. Wine Pairing Owen Roe Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc, 2008, $38.00 A broad, generous (and suprisingly not heavy) wine with full fruit and savory herb notes challenge and complement the assertive elements in the Strata. Ingredients: 14 ounces crusty bread (we use 1/2 baguetteand 1/2 wheat levain), crust removed and cut into medium size cubes 1 quart half and half 1 bay leaf 3-4 peppercorns Sprig of thyme Small pinch of chili flakes Heavy grating of nutmeg3 cloves Large pinch of salt 6 eggs 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 small yellow onion, chopped and sauteed 10 ounces Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, crumbled 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes, cooked in salted water until tender and well drained 10 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped Directions: Infuse half and half with bay, thyme, chili, nutmeg, clove, salt, whisk eggs with mustard–temper and strain….