Savor the Gorge

A celebration of fresh, local food

Savor the Gorge
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It still felt like summer on Friday, September 13, but just barely, as I drove toward Mt. View Orchards. The sky was blue and the breeze was warm but promised to turn chilly before the evening was over. I parked at the Mt. View Orchards venue in front of trees heavy with near-ripe pears. Mt.…

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Mercado del Valle es más que sólo un mercado de agricultores. Es vibrante, culturalmente diverso, es un festival de comida localizado en el centro de la ciudad de Odell, el epicentro de  agricultura del Valle de Hood River. Imagine un grupo de mariachi, niños bailando un baile folclórico tra…

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As we move from the wonderful chaos of a Columbia Gorge summer to the more controlled chaos of autumn, it’s a great time of year to also make transitions in the kitchen. Summer is filled with long days and, at least for us, a lot of last-minute dinner planning. When school and activities beg…

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It still felt like summer on Friday, September 13, but just barely, as I drove toward Mt. View Orchards. The sky was blue and the breeze was warm but promised to turn chilly before the evening was over. I parked at the Mt. View Orchards venue in front of trees heavy with near-ripe pears. Mt.…

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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.