Monday, December 22, 2008

Arctic Blast '08

December 22, 2008

Evidently, last week, the 2 inches of snow we had qualified as an arctic blast.

THIS week, however, we really are having an arctic blast.

People who have lived here all of their lives say they have never seen anything like this.

The steps here at the guest house were shoveled with a hoe as snow shovels are not usually few people have them at least here in town.

I have been holed up for over a week at the guest house only going out to a local restaurant once or twice...and for about an hour last Monday when there was a break, I went shopping.

Portland proper has probably had about 12 inches of snow so far.

Banks, which is about 30 miles away, has had 16 to 18 inches.

And there is another storm scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

THE GOOD NEWS? It's gonna turn to rain sometime in the next week or so.

Happy Holidays...

Friday, December 12, 2008

A National Treasure in Portland, OR

Sur La Table's Portland, OR
Culinary program

A National Treasure

Eating out gluten free is usually a huge challenge, excep here in Portland, OR. In general, Portland, OR is very gluten free friendly. Now, Urban Spoon Portland , an Iphone app, has a pretty large gluten free dining section. I also think that Portland, OR is a National Treasure, but that's another post coming soon.

So, during Sept. of 2008, I signed up for a Sur La Table cooking class: One Ingredient 5 Ways. The ingredient was figs...and the menu was Figs and Calamata Olive tapanade as the appetizer, Salad with Figs and Walnuts, Thick pork chops stuff with Figs and Apples on steamed spinach and rice pudding with figs for dessert. I like shopping at Sur La Table when I can but this was the first time I had been to Sur La Table's cooking class.

My list of accolades is long on why I liked the Sur La Table's cooking school experience, including a simple tip on how to know when pork is done. However, what has stayed with me since I took the class last Sept. and why I think Sur La Table's Culinary program is a National Treasure, is because it was a superb, well rounded, safe food experience. Something that I hope to experience more and more. And Scott Hargrove and his ensemble performers are way ahead with this experience. Everything was cooked to order and scrumptious. What made it exceptional was the way it was presented and how well the enselmble worked together: As an experienced performance ensemble, on a par with Saturday Night Live. In the end, I felt as if I had been served a wonderful Birthday dinner. Although there were 10 or so other people in the kitchen I felt like dinner had been made especially for me. Unlike some people who cannot even be around flour, I can and can even work with it...but I don't eat any gluten. Scott, Scott and Emilee made sure my dinner was delicious, simply and elegantly presented, the food was safe for me to eat and is was sooooo good.

If you enjoy being in the kitchen, want to learn to be in the kitchen and/or want an informative and delicious experience that can be gluten free, I highly recommend that you sign up for a class or two.

From left to right
Emilee Brown,
Scott Atkins and Scott Hargrove