I know it’s been a while, but when family’s in town, there’s a lot of living — and eating!- to be done away from the computer.
My Dad arrived last Thursday and we had so much to do and see.
But first, I had to get the house ready and even more importantly, make him his favorite dessert: Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Oregon hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, pepitas, golden raisins and orange cranberries.
He’s always had a sweet tooth, and dark chocolate is his favorite, so I made a huge batch to have ready for him.
I kept it ice cold (just the way we like it) and he had a large shard after every lunch and dinner.
It’s always so fun to have family in town and try new eating spots; this time it was Garden Bar.
How is it I haven’t been there before?
(I can’t wait to go back and try some of their other salads as everything here looks amazing.)
And then there were burgers at Tilt in the Pearl.
The lighting upstairs was pretty funky, but the burgers were huge and delicious (especially topped with an onion ring and a fried egg) and the fries were on point.
Another fun thing we all did together was to visit the University of Oregon campus.
Oliver is a sophomore now but looking around at college options, and their Sports Marketing Department is interesting to him. We’d never been to Eugene before, and with my Dad in town it seemed like the perfect time to head down and get a tour.
I was surprised that the campus was such an interesting combination of old buildings and trees (over 1,000 different kinds of trees and plants on the campus)
plus so many brand-new buildings and development (due in no small part to Nike founder Phil Knight and school’s involvement with Columbia Sportswear and Intel).
Afterwards, we visited the lovely Provisions Marketplace (the same owners as the allegedly amazing restaurant Marche).
I loved this market hall — a combination of kitchen store, butcher and cheese shop, florist, bakery, gelato stand, and pizzeria.
I could have spent a gazillion dollars on the housewares alone.
I mean, C’mon.
My hubby loved his French sandwich and the the rest of us enjoyed a delicious and oversized custom, wood-fired pizza.
In the midst of all this day-tripping, lunch-grabbing, Scrabble-playing, Hamilton-documentary-watching fun this past week, I was still able to carve out a few minutes to pop into one of the little antique market place a few blocks from me to see if anything piqued my interest.
Turns out, there were a few things that jumped out at me.
My finds included a little vintage pie plate with plastic cover with darling red plastic handle, vintage St. Patrick’s Day paper plates, thin-as-silk 1950’s paper Christmas napkins (with surprisingly vivid graphics and still in original packaging) and the most adorable mini-potholder in red gingham with little pleats. All four items cost me ten dollars combined — and will provide lots of cheer in the weeks and months to come.
And then we had just one last night to enjoy each other.
I headed over to Providore (I’ve told you about this place before) to pick up provisions.
We’d enjoyed so many good meals leading up to this evening (scampi, all-day roasted carnitas, Vietnamese chicken, steak salads) but I knew my Dad loved good pasta so I wanted to make something really special for him.
Voila– fresh linguine with asparagus, sausage, thyme and lemon zest (along with a Caesar salad and warm focaccia garlic bread).
It turned out beautifully — and I think we set a new record for eating this much food that fast.
My Dad left late yesterday, and he left me with a grateful heart for our time together– and the memory of this stunning sunrise on one of his last days here.
So, thanks Pop for schlepping up here and giving us six days to hang out together. I can’t wait to reconvene in Chicago this summer for your birthday!
Speaking of birthdays, today is mine so I’m off for pampering and face stuffing supreme.