Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's really summer in Oregon!

Today was a gorgeous day; temps in the mid 70's, clear blue sky, soft breeze. Vowing to leave our worries behind and NOT work this weekend, we crammed a slew of Oregon favorites into today.

After sleeping in until 8:15 (a rare treat) we started the day in the hot tub, then ran out to EZ Orchards for their strawberry donuts. Splitting a half dozen and slamming down some milk behind them, we hit the road and did our tour of farmer's markets.

  • Independence - we picked up beef from Setniker Farms; we've been enjoying their products for a while. Local, antibiotic and hormone free, and they are not sent to feed lots for finishing, from what I understand on their web site. The product is TASTY! The prices are very reasonable. And, we couldn't say no to a half flat of amazingly sweet strawberries. 
  • Albany - we walked around and the only thing we purchased was a succulent for a little pot we have that needs filled. 
  • Corvallis - this is our favorite. The vibe here is just awesome. We love to peruse this market and just soak up the people, the riverfront, the wonderful vendors. 
  • Hazelnut Hill - while not a farmer's market, this little nut farm and candy purveyor is awesome. They have friends in California that provide them with Champagne walnuts, an amazingly light and sweet nut that is a favorite of mine (walnuts are often bitter, as in black walnuts, and I hate those). We bought two 2lb bags, which will see us through the year's baking (and they keep wonderfully in the freezer and fridge). 
  • Eugene - it's over the top hippie heaven in Eugene, and the Saturday Market is chock full of wonderful smells from the food booths, wonderful art and handicraft, a huge array of home made, baked and grown eats... and the people watching is unbeatable. We rounded out our purchases with some sourdough bread. Watched cute hippies hula hoop, and soaked up the vibrations from the drum circle for a bit. I went to the same jewelrymaker from whom I bought the trinity ring I used to wear religiously and bought a replacement. I lost it back in April when I did the SOLV Beach Cleanup. It had been getting very loose, and I'd taken to wearing it on my thumb. I deduced that when I stripped off the rubber gloves to throw them into the bag as we finished, the ring went with them. I noticed it was gone shortly afterward, but we'd already dropped off the bags of trash! It feels so good to have one back on my thumb! 
Scot had somehow run across Camp Putt mini golf and the Roaring Rapids Pizza right next door online. We headed there for some afternoon fun, and it was a little nostalgic -- mini golf was one of our first dates, and in fact I still have the red golf ball he used during that round. Yes, I stole it.  :) It's an antique now! It sits in a little curio cabinet on the wall in the hallway. He had promised he would decimate me on the course... but he only beat me by two. We were both waaaaaay over par, but come on... two strokes? I don't call that a decimation! 

Before we hit the course we enjoyed lunch out on the edge of the river, soaking up some vitamin D. Not a bad pie, by west coast standards. 

We meandered our way home, stopping in Corvallis again to grocery shop. Once home, I set out put our flat of berries to good use, first making a strawberry pie, then cutting up some for a compote for tomorrow morning's waffles. The rest went into the freezer. 

As dusk started to settle we built a fire in the pit, and roasted hot dogs we'd gotten a bit ago from Otto's Sausage Kitchen in Portland. For dessert it was s'mores made with some fresh made marshmallows from Marché Provisions in Eugene. OMG SO GOOD. 

The evening was complete with shooting stars overhead. 

The evening wasn't perfect, however. As I'm in the camper out back in the late evening digging around looking for our hot dog roasting forks, I hear an odd heavy snap, a thud, and Scot moans. I poke my head out of the camper and see that one of the 4x4s we sunk three years ago for the hammocks had broken. Of course he was IN the hammock when it happened so it comes forward as he finds himself on the ground and thumps him in the shoulder. Could have been SO much worse though -- could have hit him in the head! 

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