As you know, we've been celebrating each century mark, and last night seemed especially celebratory since it took us into the double digits of our countdown. A few months ago, we received this invitation from a restaurant we like in our little town of Newberg.
Looking ahead, we realized that our 100 Day mark landed on a Wednesday, and so we made reservations right away. You must understand that Newberg is a small community with a population of about 22,500 people. Nevertheless, we have a four-star restaurant in The Painted Lady, and it's always a sure bet for a nice celebration dinner. Their chef, Allen Routt won a James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef in the Northwest in 2016.
So, last night was the night, and what a lovely dinner. Each Wednesday "experiment" has a different theme. Last night's theme was "Potato." Good grief. I never imagined the lowly potato could take on so many different and delicious culinary forms. Here's the menu for our evening.
It's a journey, so try to keep up, okay? Not listed are the "snacks" provided ahead of time. These consisted of some homemade potato chips and a potato croquette (which is basically a hush puppy). I can't say much about the "potato chips" except there was something about a sprinkling of umami. We don't get bogged down asking a lot of questions when food is set in front of us.
Looking back at the menu, the first course was soup. This was my favorite dish of the night. When it was set in front of us, it was just a bowl that contained crab, some beautiful mashed potato, an orchid petal, and a sage leaf. Then they poured this sweet potato curry soup over the top from a sterling silver pitcher. The presentation was enough to delight, but the soup was absolutely delicious.
It was quite spicy with the curry, and so it was served alongside these butterhorns. Those helped to mediate the spice.
Next up, was this potato salad. And let me tell you, this ain't your mother's potato salad. The goal here was to get a little bit of everything in one bite. That's a quail's egg there...so cute. There was a little pile of spring greens, pickled radish, tiny slices of cornichons...oh yes, and I can't forget the "celery foam". Of course, doesn't everyone serve celery foam at every meal? You can see it there on the extreme right at the bottom. It tasted just like what it was.
Next up was the scalloped potato, and again, the goal was to try to get a little of everything in each bite. The little potato cake there in the middle had been roasted and it had a delicious crust on both sides. I can't describe it in the way it was described to us, but it too was delectable.
This was the main course, described as "Shepherd's Pie." On the left is a cippolini onion, which I happen to love. There were a couple of baby carrots. Right in the middle was a sausage made from beef brisket, and beside it (under all that cheesy potato stuff) was a New York strip steak. It doesn't show up in this image but at the extreme right was a little turnip under the layer of cheesy potato. So good.
Finally, dessert, and this was really interesting. It was a combination of hot and cold items, including sweet potato ice cream, and under that, a hot bread pudding. The little white round objects are the "bread" and there were potatoes underneath it all smothered in the tastiest custard.
We always bring our own wine, but we'd finished it by the end of the main course. I was kind of in the mood for a dessert wine because I happen to like sweet wines, and so I ordered a glass of Moscatel. It was a rather large pour, and so we shared this glass.
Well, don't you know we were still famished by this time (ha!) and thank goodness they finished off the evening with these little candies. The little square object is kind of a plum gumdrop. There are some potato chips in the middle with some sort of sweet stuff sprinkled over the top. The dark objects were a sort of tiny pile of hash brown potatoes covered in chocolate.
After that, we asked for a wagon to cart us to the car. Wow. The portions are small, thank goodness, because that was a big meal.
Earlier in the day, I got a good amount of quilting done. When I ran out of bobbin thread at one point, I pulled the quilt off the machine and laid it out so I could see it. It's looking good...better than expected.
I almost think I like the back better than the front, and that's a first.
I wondered how the design would look when I got to some of the pieced sections of the back. It looks good there too.
When I got back to work on it, I was momentarily disappointed to find this as I quilted along.
What a shame. This is a block made by one of the other bees in the hive. I don't know if that fabric frayed apart or if it was just sewn too close. In any case, I think I'm going to shove a bit of blue fabric into the hole to give it a little more strength (I'll have to take out the quilting in that spot), and then stitch a dense zigzag over the top. That should hold it. Fortunately, the back is also a dark blue at that spot, and so it shouldn't show up to the casual observer. I might even be able to get it past the quilt police.
When I quit for the day, I'd progressed to the bottom left corner, and so I've done the longest of the long rows. They'll start to get shorter from here, and each row quilted will get progressively shorter until I'm at the bottom right hand corner. And then it will be finished!
I don't know if I'll have time for quilting today. Matthew and I are meeting up for a late breakfast this morning at long last. We've rescheduled twice because of weather. After that, I'll do my weekly grocery shopping. Probably I'll be tired when I get home, and so I'm not expecting much quilting activity this afternoon.