Oregon Cheese Festival

Living this far west isn’t all that bad.  Puts us in close proximity to the Pacific NW…not usually considered a weekend getaway destination when we were living in the heartland.  Now, the tables have turned and Portland is just a mere 1 hour and 45 minute flight from PHX.  Lucky for us…even more lucky for us is that we will be  attending the Oregon Cheese Festival being held this March!

At the festival, being held this year on  March 13 & 14th, thousands of visitors will sample cow, sheep and goat cheese from Oregon and northern California creameries.  Last year participating farms & creameries  included Fraga Farm, Juniper Grove Farm, Pholia Farm, Tumalo Farms, Tillamook County Creamery Association , Willamette Valley Cheese Co., Fern’s Edge Dairy, Rivers Edge Chevre, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Silver Falls Creamery, Vella Cheese and Rogue Creamery.

It will be like a springtime Christmas!

Sweet Baby Jesus…..

there is something ROTTEN in our fridge. 

Wait…no…not rotten….it’s a smell I was once accustomed to…even fond of…ah…the smell of REAL CHEESE!!

That’s right folks…we broke down and put an order in to our friends up in the GREAT WHITE NORTH and got us some real cheese….and Tuscan SUPER ham…and olive oil…and chocolate…and some vinegars.  I must admit…the shipping rate was like a nasty slap in the face on a crisp winter day…but once the initial sting wore off…I was able to enjoy our good tidings. 

So…over the next couple days….I plan on discussing what was in our goody box. 

First up: Grayson.   It  hails from Meadow Creek Farms in the hills of southwestern Virginia. A washed-rind, raw cow’s milk cheese…Grayson, comes in a square form like Taleggio… STINKS TO HIGH HELL….but tastes so delicious.  Creamy rich…nice tang and goes perfect on a ham sammich.   Made by Meadow Creek Dairy…it’s worth the stench in your fridge.


Winter Hibernation

I apologize for the lack of postings.  Sadly, I don’t have much to report.  The highlight of December so far has been NOCA…and rightly so.  We were able to get a spot at the bar last Thursday for Cheese-steak Night.  And I must admit…it was the most decadent and delicious cheese-steak I have EVER had.  It was so good…I really didn’t want to swallow my bites…I didn’t want to loose that unctuous flavor of the Kobe..thin and rare…on top a melted onion puree and white cheddar foam…the sweet peppers topped the beauty…all cradled by a toasted brioche roll.  Wow.  It was divine.  House made chips came with it…but they were nothing compared to the cheese-steak.  Next time, I’m just going to sub my chips for another cheese-steak.  I started the meal with a roasted chestnut soup with foie raviolo….yum.  NOCA, by FAR, has made some of the best soups I’ve ever had.  With the exception of some soups at Niche…they are leading the pack.

We just returned from a quiet weekend up in Sedona/Flagstaff…nothing spectacular to report food wise…although..the scenery and our cabin were amazing.  It was a nice weekend away to just relax and enjoy each others company.  No TV…no phones..no computer…..heavenly.

We are planning a trip back home in Jan…then to Portland and then off to the island of Hawaii….I’m sure there will be more to report after the holidays!

Wishing you all the best during this Holiday Season and a bountiful and healthy 2009!