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Spell Check will tell you that spelling “Pharmacy” with an “F” is wrong, but Annie McHale and Curt Gray, owners of ROOTS Farmacy in Stevenson, Wash., will tell you it’s just right. As they describe their business on their website, “ROOTS Farmacy is all about food. And health. And quality of life. Because they go hand-in-hand.” Food. Farm. Family. Friendship. Fun. The “F” word reimagined.

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The more I cook with my kids, the more fun I have with them in the kitchen. One of our favorite “go to” meals is Cacio e Pepe. It’s a very simple dish, and everyone in our house loves it. My favorite way to serve it is to top it with loads of roasted vegetables and fresh herbs.

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I have spent whole afternoons, alone with my brain, trying to find a good alternative to the French word: “terroir” (pronounced: ter-wahr). This word is so accurate and so clarifying in French, but falls flat on its face in English. Not only is it awkward to pronounce, visually, it is one letter away from ‘terror.’ It desperately needs re-branding. Mostly because the concept behind it is a direct path to delicious.

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Hood River County has the most expensive farmland in Oregon. How do we preserve our agricultural heritage and our ability to grow food for future generations?

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Miranda Bray was born in Truckee, Calif., and grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. She moved to Hood River with her now-husband, Carey, in 1997. In 2012, she opened River Daze Café in downtown Hood River. She and her husband are also farmers, and source many of their veggies from their own farm and other local farms. River Daze is known for its made-from-scratch menu —including dressings and sandwich spreads, and even its bread and pastries.

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Yesterday I made it to the Farmer’s Market. That alone felt like an accomplishment. Not that I found my way there, but that I remembered. It’s a defeat that’s hard to for me to bear when I get a hankering for something fresh out of the ground on Saturday at 2pm.

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My daughters have been requesting to help more in the kitchen. In fact, they’ve been begging for “cooking lessons.” Per their request, Chicken Picatta was to be the subject of our first cooking lesson. I have my own version of Chicken Picatta (recipe below), but we began by watching a few cooking shows featuring Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis cooking their versions, which can be found on YouTube.

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Maybe you are one of the 30 percent of Gorge residents that worry about where your next meal will come from. Maybe you are a single parent with no car. You may live in a neighborhood with no grocery store where public transportation is limited. The nearby corner store is your primary source of food. The options are not healthy for you and your family: fried food, soda, candy, or salty, packaged items that leave you feeling empty.

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From the mountain to the river, these are your local farmers, growers, and producers — working hard to provide fresh produce year-round.

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Something more than just bread is rising at a little bakery nestled along NE Estes Avenue in White Salmon. It is a bakery looking to connect its community to a better way of eating and to more regionally sourced food.

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The Columbia River Gorge looks like a food-rich place. Our valleys are covered in orchards, the eastern hills are golden with wheat, the rivers are famous for salmon, and the forests are full of berries, mushrooms, and wild game. You’d think all of us would be well fed.

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Long before the patty hits the bun, ranchers in the Columbia Gorge region work hard to raise their cattle with a gentle touch, hoping their daily toil — and compassion — will pay off down the road. The resulting naturally raised beef finds its way to plates on tables throughout the Gorge in a variety of ways. Here, we take a look at two of them.

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Our family recently moved, and as we are getting settled in our new home, I am reminded that cooking in general doesn’t need to be complex. It’s easy to get whipped up, no pun intended, in complicated ingredients and recipes—which I, of course, love.

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Six stellar Gorge wineries — Hood Crest, Domaine Pouillon, Viento, Wy’East, Maryhill and Aniche — share favorite family dishes, and the wines they love to drink with them. And it’s not the food you might expect.

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Dickey Farms in Bingen, Wash., was homesteaded in 1867 as the Henderson/Warner Farms. It became Dickey Farms in 1921 and has been in continual operation for nearly 150 years. The farm is currently managed and owned by the family’s fifth generation: Stanley Dickey, Janice Leis and Laurie Walker. John Dickey is the sixth generation working the farm.

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Dane Klindt is a cherry and pear orchardist in Hood River and Wasco counties. Dane and his father, Paul Klindt, along with partner Rich Kortge, own and/or manage about 750 acres of orchards — including five orchards in The Dalles, three located between The Dalles and Dufur, one in Tygh Valley and two in Parkdale.

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From the mountain to the river, these are your local farmers, growers, and producers — working hard to provide fresh produce year-round.

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Once maligned as purveyors of lowbrow eating, food trucks have experienced a renaissance in recent years, serving up creative dishes from all over the world while simultaneously using fresh, local ingredients.

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Inviting kids into the kitchen to help cook has many benefits: it allows them a sense of contribution, it actually helps with the food prep (sometimes), and it encourages them to try new foods. Sometimes it’s not possible to have them help with the actual cooking; between activities and homework, the late afternoon and evening can be pretty hectic. A fun alternative is planning a simple meal that they can assemble at the dinner table. Tacos, burgers, ramen, and nachos are fun examples of this. One of our recipes that allows for kid participation at the table is Posole.

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A farmer turned foodie, Andrea Bemis is truly manifesting the farm-to-table lifestyle every day. She shares her creative recipes and adventures from her farm in Parkdale on her food blog, Dishing up the Dirt. She’s at work on her first cookbook, due out next year.

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For TreeBird Organics, it’s all about “getting good food in people’s hands.” At least that’s Michael Kelly’s goal for the family farm that he and his wife Rebecca Wellman have re-established, nestled in the hills of Trout Lake, Wash. TreeBird Organics, formerly Sunnybrook Farm, specializes in pastured meats and organic eggs. The farm is 100 percent organic and is a part of Gorge Grown and Oregon Tilth, and is Animal Welfare Approved.

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Local farmers shake off winter, and start the crops that will fill your farmers’ market bags and CSA boxes

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The OSU Extension Service of Hood River and Wasco counties offers a series called “A La Carte Food Preservation Classes” from June through August.

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I first experienced food truck fare as a kid on the island of Tahiti. My family and I were on a year-long sailing trip, and during the time we spent tied up to the wharf in Papeete, we discovered the antidote to weeks (months) of one-pot sailboI first experienced food truck fare as a kid on the island of Tahiti. My family and I were on a year-long sailing trip, and during the time we spent tied up to the wharf in Papeete, we discovered the antidote to weeks (months) of one-pot sailboat meals that relied heavily on canned goods: the Roulottes. at meals that relied heavily on canned goods: the Roulottes.

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There is something magical about seeing rows of home-canned foods stacked on the shelf in the pantry. There is a beauty in being able to see through the glass and feel a connection to your food, knowing you had a hand in it. No fancy labels or opaque tin to mask the appearance of juicy summer peaches or pickled dilly beans. The rainbow of color invites your eyes to wander from one jar to the next and imagine future meals and potlucks, graced by your impressive food preservation skills.

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The small, brightly-lit school cafeteria was filled with the buzz of lunchtime. In the front of the room stood three volunteers with aprons on, serving food to a line of buzzing young students.

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Celilo Restaurant, Hood River: Grilled peppers, corn, chanterelle mushrooms, arugula cream; Vintage Grill, Hood River Hotel: Bone-in Pork Shank confit, fresh shell and yellow beans, fall peppers two ways; Water’s Edge Bistro, The Dalles: Pear Flatbread

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I love to cook, and I love to cook with my kids. I spend a lot of time planning, shopping and cooking food for my family. We eat dinner together as a family every night and we generally expect our kids to eat what we eat. As a food writ- er, blogger and lover, having my kids enjoy food and eat well is very important to me, and I find that the best way to accomplish this is to get them involved in the kitchen.

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Mary Sandoz Leighton draws a rough, farm-worn finger down the ledger page. The customer bought cabbage, carrots and turnips, and hasn’t paid his bill. There’s not much luck of Mary collecting, however. The debt is 131 years old. “They will forever owe 60 cents,” Mary says with a sigh.

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, family farming is on the decline. It has been since its peak in the 1930s, when there were close to 7 million family farms in the country. By 2002, the number had leveled off at around 2 million.

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Gordy Sato runs his family’s farm in Parkdale that was established in the early 1900s. He returned to the farm 20 years ago after a successful career in outside sales.

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Walk the path leading to Mid Valley Elementary School’s playground on a Friday afternoon, and you just might be greeted by the sounds of children in the garden.

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I teach a variety of food preservation classes each year that highlight the many methods available for preserving food. These methods include freezing, drying, fermenting, boiling water bath canning, pressure canning, smoking, and even turning milk into cheese and yogurt. Because of the risk of food-borne illnesses and the preservation of valuable nutrients, my favorite methods of putting up foods are freezing and fermenting.

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Have you seen your mother today? Cross the Hood River Interstate Bridge into Oregon, drive south on Highway 35, or for us lucky ones, look out your front window. And there’s our mother: Mount Hood.

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If you ask Jim Lambert, there’s something very special about milk and honey. Lambert, owner of North Land of Milk and Honey Dairy in Trout Lake, uses this belief to fuel his passion for his raw milk dairy business, the only one of its kind in the region.

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Plant a cabbage in your front yard. Go ahead. No one’s going to arrest you. At least not in Hood River. But around the country, from Los Angeles to Orlando and even in the midst of Iowa corn country in Des Moines, front yard vegetable gardeners are facing fines, and in some cases, city officials bulldoze their gardens.

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