More of the Olympic Peninsula, WA

Four more bald eagles made an appearance in the next few days. Two flying, and two fishing, side by side along the river. What amazing creatures! They are so majestic when they fly and so confidant in their presence…no wonder they are the symbol of our country. We also explored some tidal pools where coral pink colored star fish the size of Marcus’ hand and florescent green sea anemones made their homes. We met a fisherman who gave us some freshly caught and smoked Salmon which was a tasty treat. What a great place. The sun shined bright all but our last day, and the rain began again the morning we pulled out and headed back south.

On our way back towards Portland, where we planned to spend a few more days, we visited South Bend, Washington, home to a large oyster farm. We watched the barges towing oyster shells to replenish the beds, and ate some delicious cayenne smoked oysters…they were like candy…hot and sweet and smokey, yum. We spent that evening at Cape Disappointment State Park at the Southern Tip of Washington and watched huge ships go out to sea from the mouth of the Columbia river. It wasn’t a disappointment. Actually, this was the first night we’d been hooked up to utilities since we were in Spearfish, SD! Electricity without the generator and (seemingly) endless water? What luxury.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 3:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fishing & Logging

The main industry in the Olympic Peninsula is logging. There are cleared acres almost everywhere, replanted with signs reading the next harvest date of 2045 and such. There is also so much forest that it becomes immediately evident as to why the town of Forks claims to be the logging capital of the world. The other quite prominent industry is the fishing. We visited the Quileute Tribe’s home town of LaPush only a few days before the kick off to Dungeness crab season. We were a bit disappointed with our timing, as this is a favorite treat of ours. We saw several small boats in the bay and in the rivers netting salmon, as well. LaPush is a great spot for whale watching, we read, but not this time of year. The coastal structures against the fishing vessels was well worth the trip out, though.  We had yet another rainless and beautiful day on the Olympic Peninsula.

Published in: on November 19, 2007 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

We camped for 4 nights along the Pacific coast at Kalaloch in the Olympic National Park on a bluff just 50 feet above the beach…lucky us. It was raining when we arrived, something we expected to have most of our trip. Marcus said “it’s got to get to twelve feet a year somehow…” We were in the temperate rainforest. The next morning, however, the clouds had lifted and the sun had arrived. Ahhhh what a glorious surprise. We walked, or more like slid, down to the beach via the muddy path and set out to explore this new world. We built dams in the fresh water streams which trickled into the ocean, dug for sand dollars and crabs, and balanced on the enormous skeletons of trees now turned driftwood which decorated the entire coastline. After a morning of exploration, we took a trip into the Hoh Rainforest, leaving our sunshine behind and entering into a lush and misty world. There was moss growing on Everything: from the trees to the newly paved roads. I think if we had stood still long enough, some would have found it’s way onto us and grown there, too. Even the phone booth at the ranger station was decorated with green. Our drive in lead us past a herd of Roosevelt elk, with one grazing just at the road’s edge. Once fully inside the park, we saw 2 black tailed deer, some quail? we think, and then the highlight, another herd of elk walking right alongside the path we were hiking on! We stood 5 feet from a male eating lunch, and he didn’t seem to mind. We saw momma licking her baby’s face, and another buck not far behind…we were and still are, quite struck by this experience.

We made it back to camp in time for our first sunset on the Pacific…and a beauty it was. Complete with the green flash! Something I had completely forgotten about until it happened (so I missed photographing it, again). For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune of living someplace (i.e. Key West) where conditions for the flash are ever-present, you may not be familiar with it. It is a bright iridescent green-blue flash of light that occurs just as the sun disappears under the watery horizon on clear days when the sky is absent of clouds. This happens because the short red light waves bounce off the atmosphere as the longer blue light waves linger just a split second before disappearing themselves…giving you that elusive green flash. It’s always been one of my favorite parts of watching the sunset, and here it is, reminding me of why I made a point of seeing the last second of the day. This very neat day.

Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 4:14 am  Comments (1)  
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Candy & Milkshakes

Each year on Halloween, Chase knows exactly what he wants to be the following year…and so far, it hasn’t changed.  Last November 1st, he decided he was going as a mummy this year, and although we tried to encourage him to go as a cowboy, his homemade mummy was a hit.  It proves that you don’t need a sewing machine to make a costume.  Just lots and lots of safety pins and a few yards of white material.  We spent some time at Woody Bailey’s house with his family and carved pumpkins then headed out into the suburban neighborhood of Portland, OR. and collected some candy.  We visited about 20 houses, then headed back to Robert’s, my cousin’s, in NE Portland to divy up the goods.  The following day, Chase wanted to use some of his birthday money (thanks Aunt Ali!) to get a milkshake at “Burgerville”, a local chain restaurant which uses only local produce & product and is somewhat famous for their milkshakes.  Yummy.  We each drank one and the name Burgerville has been on our lips since!  Their burgers aren’t too bad either.  Burgerville uses only 100% local Oregon beef and cooks all their burgers fresh to order on a large, doublesided flattop that looks likes an oversized panni machine.  www.burgerville.com

Another “ville” we’ve tried out a few time is “Beaterville”.  As it’s name suggests, the theme is beat-up cars and old car parts painted everywhich florescent color are scattered everywhere.  The coffee and the breakfast food kept us coming back.  It reminded Marcus & I somewhat of Dirty Harry’s in Key West…an old favorite.

Published in: on November 12, 2007 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Culinary Meca, Portland OR


With temperate weather all year round, the fruit, berries, fresh produce, and beef and poultry are abundant, not to mention it’s proximity to the Pacific for an on demand supply of the freshest seafood it’s not hard to understand why Portland, Oregon is loaded with amazing restaurants, organic markets and FOOD. This is a city that breaths food. And with food comes some terrific brews. We’ve never seen so many microbrews in one area. Not only can you find local brews from Portland, but from just about every district, even street within it’s walls.

Here’s a look at just some what’s going on. Chef Marcus has had the privilege of touring both the Oregon Culinary Institute and Western Culinary. These competing schools are each employing NECI graduates. Woody Bailey, an AOS from Oregon Culinary, was an intern in Marcus’ kitchen at the Inn this spring. He was completing his second internship at the Five Spice Restaurant in Lake Oswego, OR and set Chef up with a 3 night stage/work experience while Chase & I were in Vermont. Chef Marcus worked the grill station with 8 pick-ups for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night shifts. The Five Spice kitchen crew help set up the station, showed Marcus what his plates should look like, and set him free. The rest of the first evening, what he forgot, the chef seemed to already know and had it ready. By the end of day three, Marcus had it down, well, almost. It was definitely fun to work with such a great bunch of guys. It was great to have had this experience. Thanks Five Spice! This would make a good internship site.  Check out the menu at www.fivespicerestaurant.com

As many of you know, Chef Michel and his wife Annemarie LaBorgne were in the Portland area for 3 successful alumni events which Chef Marcus had the pleasure to attend. The first was in Seattle, Washington at Todd English’s Fish Club at the Marriott, where the head chef is a NECI alumni. www.toddenglish.com/Restaurants/FishClub.html The second at the Heathman Restaurant in Portland www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com and the third at Hooba’s in Husum, Washington both run by NECI alumni. Look for the upcoming alumni newspaper for those who attended, and probably some pictures.

We have also been in contact with many other New England Culinary Institute alumni and friends here in Portland. Keep a look out for updates on their full names and graduation dates. Matt Crone and wife Julie, Adam C?, Anthony ?, Matt Allen, Becca Pilgrim, and Paul Kasten, to name a few.

Published in: on November 10, 2007 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment