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“Cherry Jubilee” at Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem

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Posted August 25th, 2011 in Healthy Tips, News, Posts

Hello there! My name is Maureen McShane, and I am the Executive Assistant  for Oregon Fruit Products Co. and this week’s guest blogger. 

Salem, Oregon, is known as the Cherry City, the capital city of Oregon and the home of Oregon Fruit Products.  The Historic Deepwood Estate’s summer fundraising event is known as Cherry Jubilee, so it was natural that they asked OFPC to partner with them.  We provided the caterer with our canned Red Tarts, Dark Sweets and Royal Anne cherries.  Our #10 institutional size cans were used as centerpieces with our Dark Sweet Cherry labels on them.  The event was held on a beautiful Friday night in August and the gardens could not have been more beautiful.  The 50s and 60s theme had people in poodle skirts, bobby socks and Hawaiian shirts.  The placemats were old 78 rpm records and there was a cherry red Cobra on the grounds in keeping with the theme. 

 

The Queen Anne Victorian home at Deepwood was built in 1894 and the gardens were formally designed in 1929.  They have matured into today’s wonderful mixture of gardens that delight visitors for a leisurely walk or a wedding or other celebration.  Sunset Magazine named Deepwood as one of the four “Best Historic Homes” in its “Best of the West” section in 2002. 

The cherry entries in the menu consisted of spinach salads with manchego cheese, sliced almonds, a cherry sherry vinaigrette dressing along with each of our cherry varieties.  That choice was way more tasty and healthy than croutons!  The desserts consisted of Italian panna cotta topped with a Royal Anne, Dark Sweet Cherry brownies and mini tarts made with our Red Tarts.  They were the perfect size so all three could be eaten without guilt! 

Maureen at the Silent Auction-Tough Duty but someone had to do it.

 

Blogger Berry Fest!

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Posted August 5th, 2011 in At the Farm, News, News in Produce, Posts



Last weekend on the end of our vacation, Kaitlin and I flew into Portland for the Oregon Berry Festival.  Two of our favorite bloggers, Leela Ross from The Kitchn and Kimberly Morales from Poor Girl Eats Well  joined us for the festivies.   Leela and Kimberly had already spent the day on Friday with Oregon Fruit Folks touring a local farm with Phil our field man and then the cannery with Bryan Brown.  Leela has some great pictures of their day posted on her blog.  I think Kimberly will be talking about it this weekend as well.

                                                                                                                                 

The first ever Oregon Berry Festival was a great event put on the Oregon Berry Commission at the Ecotrust Building in the Pearl District of downtown Portland.  Kaitlin and I took over the booth from John Doyle and Thea and we were immediately slammed!  We sampled Berry UP! with lemonade until we ran out and handed out lovely mini blueberry tarts made by Oregon Fruit’s  own Ashley Nasbe. Both items were a huge hit.

Lots of folks had the chance to try fresh berries outside, then came in to the trade show area to sample products made from local fruit.  People seemed pleasantly surprised at how easy the tarts were to make with Oregon Fruit Blueberries.  We finally got a chance to look around after we ran out of everything and we got to sample some things.  The highlight for both of us was a Meyer Lemon sorbet with huckleberries!

In the evening, we had the pleasure of attending the Gala Dinner at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar and what a dinner it was!

Chef Phillippe Boulout and Chef Michael Stanton prepared a 5 course extravaganza with Oregon berries represented for each course. We began with Blackberry Martinis and a Blackberry Foie gras crostini. 

The salad course consisted of mixed greens, local goat cheese and fresh Oregon Strawberries-some of the sweetest most flavorful strawberries on earth.  The fish course featured Chinook Salmon with a red raspberry reduction.  This was followed by an Anderson Ranch Lamb Chop (and you already know how much I love lamb) with a lovely cranberry jus from the Vincent Family Farm.  Kaitlin is not a lamb lover even though she is one quarter Greek but she loved this lamb!  The next course was Oregon Bison Au Poivre with Marionberry salad. I have never had Bison before and it was delicious and tender. 

The grand finale was a Berry Trifle like none I have ever eaten.  It was HUGE and no one thought they would be able to finish it but some of us were licking the glass when it was done (I’m not mentioning any names here!). All the berries were included: Blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, marionberry, raspberry with biscuits adn creme chibouste. 

The only thing that surpassed the food at this dinner was the company.  I felt quite honored to be able to hang around with two ladies that are as passionate about food as I am.

Mead-Honey Wine the Drink of Love

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Posted June 24th, 2011 in Beer, Drinks, News, Posts

Redstone Meadery

Who knew that one of our esteemed customers, Redstone Meadery, was using our blackberry, boysenberry and raspberry purees to make Mead?Who knew that anyone still made or drank Mead? Not me, that’s for sure.

But when Bryan Brown our Export Sales Manager shared this story with me I knew it had to be told.

What the heck is Mead anyway? Well I am going to tell you.

It is a lovely honey wine that has been made and shared since ancient times. Redstone’s mantra is “Good enough for Zeus, Good enough for you”. “It is so ancient a beverage that the linguistic root for mead, medhu, is the same in all Indo-European languages where it encompasses an entire range of meanings,which include honey, sweet, intoxicating, drunk and drunkenness. For this reason it has been suggested that fermented honey may be the oldest form of alcohol known to man.”-Mikal Aasved, 1988.

Mention of it evokes images of heroes and romantic tales, of castle feasts and chivalry. Legends surround it, that of golden nectar, swirling in a goblet chased with silver, with the heady, erotic aroma of honey caressing the senses. Legend has it that the word honeymoon is derived from an ancient tradition of sending a newly married couple off to seclusion for a month with much mead, to ensure their best chance to start a family quickly. Mead has been, and still is, considered the drink of love.

It is associated with Renaissance Festivals and medieval dinner theatre. I had it for the first time in a castle in Ireland in my early 20′s.

Redstone Meadery Tasting Room

 

Redstone is a very cool story and it is located on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, a place that I would love to live. Pearl Street and Boulder has it all; a pedestrian street of shops and great restaurants, B&B’s, cool people, a bike trail close by and access to some of the most beautiful mountains on earth. When I first traveled to Boulder on business I started thinking about buying a B&B on Pearl Street.

David Myers, known as ‘Chairman of the Mead’, founder of Redstone Meadery, is a romantic and wants to see mead once again enjoying the glory days of yesteryear. He started the Boulder, Colorado company with the ‘natural philosophy’ that he produce the highest quality honey wine on the market. In keeping with the ‘natural’ approach, Redstone does not add any sulfites, a known allergen, as honey is it’s own natural preservative. And, in keeping with the theme here, Madoko Myers known as “the Countess of Mead” was introduced to Redstone as a customer and wound up marrying David.

Maybe there is something to that “Nectar of Love” thing.

Food Bloggers Give Back!

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Posted May 17th, 2011 in News, Posts

Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale to Benefit Share our Strength, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in the United States. This was a wonderful group of people and they made some AMAZING FOOD! I found several new blogs to follow and connected with the writers of several that I already read regularly. It was truly an honor to be in the company of people trying to something good for the world.

As some of you know about me I am a founder of Full Circle Treatment Center, a non profit organization that provides substance abuse treatment for teens and their families. I have been privileged to witness amazing transformation along with heartbreak and everything in between. I have seen first hand the generosity of strangers so I am continually inspired by folks who are moved to give to others. These bloggers were truly motivated by good. They were very organized, very enthusiastic and we raised $2400!  for the cause which is a lot of money for a bake sale! I was grateful to be a small part.

I made a Blueberry Streusel Pie, A Traditional Cherry Pie, a Blueberry Orange Bundt Cake, a Raspberry Swirl Coffee Cake and a Walnut Chocolate Cherry Tart. As is typical, I had to throw one tart away and make it over due the fact that I burned the crust while multitasking. At least this time no firefighters had to be called. I had the opportunity to buy and taste some incredible salted caramel marshmallows made by Shauna from The Piece of Cake and Irvin from Eat the Love had incredible packaging to go with his always spectacular offerings. I had a great conversation with Diana from cestdoux about macarons and attending culinary school in Paris and I was left feeling very envious. All in all it was a beautiful day!

WE HAVE A WINNER!

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Posted March 28th, 2011 in Contest, Free Stuff, News, Posts

Good morning everyone and thanks for playing along in our first ever Queen of Tarts Blog Giveaway!  If I had a drumroll this where it would go:  Da da da DA!

TERRI POWELL has won the $50 Amazon Gift Card for sharing her very poignant memories about cooking with her Grandma.  Those memories and the stories we tell about them help keep special people alive for us and for our children.  Thanks for sharing with us, Terri and everyone else as well!  (I have to admit I cried several times while reading your comments.)

Cooking (and of course, eating!) is rooted in the very fabric of our society. It defines our sense of community and well, humanity!  I read an article in Supermarket News recently (I know I need a life and when I tell you about the article that sentiment will be confirmed) by Phil Lempert.

He wrote: “Chef Michael Feker, restaurateur and proprietor of CMF’s School of Culinary Magic , located in Wauwatosa, Wis. recently announced a new program concept based on getting couples cooking, because in his view, those that “Cook Together Stay Together.”  Well, I don’t think there are many scientific studies on the topic but according to the Centers for Disease Control almost half of all marriages end in divorce, so cooking with your spouse or partner is definitely worth a shot-it’s a great way to bond and learn new cooking skills-but as everyone who has ever worked in foodservice establishment knows, it also teaches teamwork, problem solving and can increase communication.”

Lempert advocates for recipe creation and in-store cooking classes that are written for two, dividing up the prep the same way “a composer writes music for individual instruments or a jazz session builds on each member’s talents to create a masterpiece.”  Gotta love the musical metaphor!

So I think we have our next giveaway idea. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for joining our community.

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