Fun with Food and Family

 It was a busy day yesterday with plenty on the agenda. As much fun as it was, I'm looking forward to a quiet day at home today. The rain has gone for the day, at least. I want to get out and fill the birdfeeders and then just bask in the sunshine for a bit. It's chilly, so the "basking" will be short-lived.

My day started with slow stitching. I was able to finish off the quilt block on the barn, and I stitched a little more of the barn. Today I'll focus on the tree and, hopefully, finish this section.

Here, I had to make a run into town for some errands. I got everything done and then came home to bake some Gingerbread Biscotti. This is probably my only Christmas baking this year. I've linked to the recipe back there, and I've written some tips for cutting the biscotti without breaking it at this old blog post right here. When it came out of the oven, it looked like this:

It isn't "gingerbread" in the traditional way of thinking about gingerbread, but it's made with crystallized ginger, which gives it the nicest little bit of "goo." When it was cool, I drizzled it with white chocolate. And I'll admit, I could bathe in white chocolate. I love it so much.

We like to drink a cup of espresso after lunch, and these will be a nice addition to that daily ritual.

From there, I was able to make my way into the sewing room. It was time to start on the next cat for the Ties & Tails quilt. These blocks require a lot of cutting, but then they sew together pretty easily.

This next cat is a Siamese cat. First up, I made the face and the tie.

And then I added a foot and the tip of the tail. 

It was getting time to get ready for our Farm & Forage event by then, and this was a good place to stop. 

One of the best things about attending the Farm & Forage event was getting a chance to wear my "naughty and nice" sweater. It isn't often we attend anything that allows the wearing of a Christmas sweater. Mike gave me this one as a gift many years ago. I've barely worn it, and I expect it will still look good when I'm dead and gone.

When we arrived at the winery, this was the first thing I laid eyes on from the gift shop. It seemed like a good sign, and I knew we were going to have fun.

The table was set so pretty with lots of glassware for the wine to come, and more silverware than I've ever seen at a place-setting. This, of course, prompted my sons to start making jokes, and also a competition to see who could conserve the most silverware until the end of the meal.

The first course was served up. They layered golden beets with a Briar Rose chevre from a local farm. I've posted the description from the menu above each dish. The items listed in red were harvested from the winery grounds. The remainder was from a local source. Thus, the name of the event: Farm & Forage.

We're a family of beet-lovers, and so we enjoyed this. Also, those are hazelnuts served alongside. Here's a fun fact: Did you know that 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop is produced in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where I live? The Oregon crop represents about 3.5% of the world hazelnut crop. Production is expanding too. Currently, some 70,000 acres of Willamette Valley farmland are planted in hazelnut trees. Farmers are expected to plant 8,000 more acres each year. The 2018 harvest yielded about 47,000 tons, but by 2025, the yield is expected to be 90,000 tons annually. For comparison, Oregon's wine grape industry covered about 34,000 acres and harvested 91,000 tons of wine grapes in 2017.

Okay, moving on...The second course was a delicious pureed soup of honeynut squash and persimmon. Sounds weird, but it was delicious. "Chicken of the woods," is a type of wild mushroom that grows on trees.

The third course was another "salad," and this one included Columbia King salmon from local fishermen.

The fourth and fifth course were served together on the same plate. These were the best wines of the evening.

And finally...dessert. I was so excited for dessert I took a bite before I remembered to take a picture. It was kind of a Northwest take on tiramisu.

With so much wine and food, we were looking pretty chill. At times, our laughter probably made us sound like the Brunswick bowling team.

Okay, and then we went home and crashed. We were happy as pigs in mud, emphasis on the "pigs" part of that.

Today I'll get back to my cat block. I'm hoping to get it finished, and then I'll move on to quilting the Appalachian Memories quilt. 


Barbara said...

Laughter is brightest where food is best. ~ Irish Proverb

Mary C said...

What a beautiful dinner!

Quilter Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing dinner... I have never seen such fancy food!
Enjoy your slow stitching today!

Karrin Hurd said...

I've never eaten such a fancy dinner before. Love the naughty and nice sweater! Happy stitching!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

Wonderful post; I'm envious of that wonderful meal!! Memories for you all. Wonderful sweater too and thanks for sharing gingerbread biscotti. I've made a note as I make biscotti this time of year and love ginger.

Jenny said...

Such gorgeous meal, very posh indeed! You didn't say, but did you buy that cat Christmas sticking? Or tuck the idea away and then rush home and start stitching a couple?
I'm currently tucked up nice and cozy on my recliner chair with Gemma on my lap reading Slow Stiching blogs!

Rebecca in AK said...

That looks like quite a meal! Very fancy. It looks like the portions are small, probably a good thing. I think you biscotti looks yummy. I wonder if I can find some crystallized ginger at our little store.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Fabulous yummy looking meal! I couldn't do the wine though. What a great family photo and love the sweater.

piecefulwendy said...

Looks like such a fun evening for all of you! Who won the silverware contest?? Did you come home with the kitty stocking? Inquiring minds want to know, and I'll take a glass of one of those Pinot Noirs, please.

SJSM said...

The winery dinner is right up my alley! I believe we have a case of several of Willamette Valley wines. I treasure the Pinots. And yes inquiring minds do want to know who won the silverware contest and the disposition of the stocking(s). Did you buy one or two for your brood at home?

I need to make that recipe. I’m liking a biscotti and coffee in the afternoon also.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Oh my. I would have been done in after eating the second course much less all the rest! It would have been a doggy bag for me for sure. It sure does look good!!!
I love the Siamese kitty - I think I'm going to like it the best of them all. But I'm fickle, so who knows...