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Good Food Awards — Oregon Gets Noticed


Good Food awardsGood Food Awards

At the major annual food fest [Good Food Awards], artisan producers from across Oregon scored big. (Only a certain state to our south—so, like, whatever—earned more accolades.) Alex Keith for the Portland Monthly

Boutique, Artisan, Independent are apt descriptions of the crafters, producers and growers in Oregon’s burgeoning food industry. It is of no surprise that at the 2016 Good Food Awards, an annual ceremony celebrating the most delicious, sustainable makers and growers in the country, Oregon won 23 awards in 15 of 16 categories. The sixth annual festival received 1,937 product entries—33 percent more than ever before—in categories from charcuterie to cider. Oregon earned more accolades than any other state except California.

About Good Foods Awards: The Good Food Awards grants awards to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. In its sixth year, Good Food Awards are given in 13 categories: beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and our newest category, pantry; from each of five regions of the U.S.

The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious which also supports sustainability and social good.

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Wine Enthusiast Names Ashland Wine Travel Destination


Wine Enthusiast

Tasting Room at Red Lily

Wine Enthusiast, a wine and travel magazine lists Ashland in their top ten wine travel destinations for 2016

Wine Enthusiast magazine’s annual list spanned the world and at least 4 continents, Southern Oregon wines finally got on the list. Southern Oregon has 100s of wineries between Roseburg and Ashland, with 5 AVAs.

Apart from the abundance of fine dining, great lodging, and the performing arts, Ashland is centrally located and surrounded by vineyards and wineries.

 

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Snowy Morning at the Chanticleer


Snowy Morning at the Chanticleer

snowy morning at the Chanticleer

Apple tree in the front yard

Snowy morning at the Chanticleer, today.  Not the usual sight for most of my B&B guests who visit during the summer months, so I thought I’d share what the garden looked like this morning.

Luckily the streets are clear and safe to drive later in the morning — no need to shovel, just enjoy a snowy morning at the Chanticleer while sipping piping hot coffee.

The dusting of snow stayed on the ground, but the sidewalks cleared up soon.  The mountains however are a different story, they are covered with lots of snow. Skiers are definitely doing the happy dance.  We all hope the snow pack builds up over winter, so we can recover from last year’s drought conditions.

For now we all can enjoy a quiet snow morning in Ashland

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Play with Poblano Peppers, Please!


Poblano Peppers Frittata

I’ve been thinking about using poblano peppers as the centerpiece for individual frittatas.

Poblano Pepper Frittata

Poblano Peppers Frittata

For Christmas breakfast I decided to experiment on my unsuspecting guests: Lynnette, my twin sister (yes, there’s someone else in this world who looks very much like I), her hubby John, and my dear friend Jim.  They all really liked the dish.

Perhaps this will be a last minute addition to the cookbook!  This is not a variation on chiles rellenos, but a frittata, with a poblano pepper half holding turkey bacon ribbons, mushrooms and cheese.

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Snowshoe Crater Lake!


Snowshoe Crater Lake This Winter

snowshoe crater lake

Snowshoe Crater Lake

Popular and free ranger-guided snowshoeing is a wonderful way to see Crater Lake and learn about the local natural history, especially how plants, animals and people have adapted to thrive in the snowiest inhabited place in America.

The views are spectacular when you snowshoe Crater Lake — and snowshoes are really the only way to explore the park because the park receives an average of 43 feet (516 inches) of snow per year.

The snowshoe “walks” are offered every Saturday and Sunday (and some holidays) over the winter for as long as there’s snow up to May 1, 2016. Walks will also be offered on weekdays in late December and early January.  Visit the Crater Lake park’s website for the latest in schedule and information — you don’t want to miss the opportunity to snowshoe Crater Lake.

Some details:

The “walks” begin at 1:00 p.m., last two hours, and cover one mile of moderately strenuous terrain. The hike is an off-trail exploration through the forests and meadows along the rim of Crater Lake.

No previous snowshoeing experience is necessary. Snowshoes are provided free of charge, and there is no cost for the tour. Participants should be at least 8 years old and come prepared with warm clothing and water-resistant footwear.

Space on each tour is limited, and advance reservations are required. For more information and to sign up, call the park’s visitor center at 541-594-3100. The visitor center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except on December 25. Groups of 10 or more people (such as scout troops, hiking clubs, and church groups) may be able to arrange for a separate tour just for their group.

Crater Lake National Park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The park’s north entrance and Rim Drive are closed to cars in the winter, but the west and south entrances are plowed daily and are open to automobiles throughout the year. There is no winter lodging in the park, but the Rim Village Café & Gift Shop is open daily except on November 26 and December 25. Spectacular views of Crater Lake can be obtained at Rim Village during periods of clear weather.

 

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Community Talk at Standing Stone Tonight 11/18


Community Talk

Image result for pacific fisher

Pacific Fisher, kswild.org

Would like to learn more about Siskiyou-Cascade bioregion? And take in delicious local food and brews? Then come to Standing Stone Brewing Co. in Ashland.

Free Community Talk “Ashland: Where Ya At?” brings you five fast pace presentations. The focus will on native animals of conservation concern, including Pacific Lamprey, Pacific Fisher,  the Hairstreak Butterflies, and Forest Birds.

November 18, 5-6pm at the Standing Stone 101 Oak Street,  Ashland

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Sunset Magazine: Insider’s Guide to Southern Oregon Wine


Sunset Magazine

Sam’s Valley Vineyard

Sunset Magazine — Local’s Guide to So. Oregon Wine Country

Sunset Magazine article speaks to wine lovers.  It still seems to be the best kept secret how rich in variety, and varietals, Southern Oregon wine country is.

The 2015 Sunset article explores three river valley growing areas with over 150 micro-climates.  That equates to lots of variety and lots of wines from which to choose.

 

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“The 39 Steps” Oregon Cabaret Theater Sept 10 – Nov 8, 2015


The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps

Based on the novel by John Buchan
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon

A man with a boring mundane life finds himself pursued by a mysterious organization known only as the ‘39 Steps’.  Soon after, a woman he just met is murdered in his apartment. Part Hitchcock masterpiece, part spy novel, part over-the-top comedy, this two-time Tony-winning play is a fast-paced whodunit featuring more than a 150 characters, all played by a talented ensemble of four, featuring an onstage plane crash, a chase on top of moving train cars, some old-fashioned romance and, of course, non-stop laughs.

Plays from September 10 – November 8, for tickets go to the Oregon Cabaret Theatre,

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“Sweat” New York Times Review


“Sweat” Lynn Nottage’s latest play reviewed by the New York Time

Sweat

Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat”

“Sweat” is being hailed as one of the best plays of the 2015 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s season by many of the Chanticleer Inn’s guests and now the New York Times.

To read the review go to the NYT’s article.   Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s website has more information on “Sweat”.

Tickets for “Sweat” are going fast, especially on weekends.

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The Britt Commissions Composer Michael Gordon


Britt Festivals commission composer Michael Gordon to capture the Crater Lake’s essence in sound.

By Bill Varble, for the Mail Tribune

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon to capture Crater Lake in Sound

Never mind the sound of one hand clapping. If Crater Lake were a symphony, what would it sound like? The question is no mere Zen koan. The Britt Music and Arts Festival has commissioned composer Michael Gordon to create a major musical work inspired by Oregon’s only national park.
Britt Music Director Teddy Abrams announced the ambitious project Saturday night at the last concert of Britt’s classical festival for 2015. The composition will have its world premiere the last weekend of July 2016 at the lake with the aim of connecting the iconic park’s unique vibe with an orchestra of 30 or 40 classical musicians performing live. Admission will be free.
The idea for a site-specific composition stemmed from Imagine Your Parks, a National Endowment for the Arts project celebrating the centennial of our nation’s national parks, a system that was created in August 1916. Britt officials have submitted a request for a matching grant of $100,000 to the NEA. The Neuman Hotel Group of Ashland has stepped up as the first major sponsor.
Michael Gordon, who lives in New York City, will make his first visit to the park this week when he and Abrams meet with park officials. He says the goal is to get a sense of the place.
“There’s a lot of sound in nature,” he says. “There’s rain and wind, thunder, birds, the rustling of leaves. But we push this stuff to the background and think about our walk or our drive.”
Abrams says the idea is to link the music specifically with the place.
“We want to use the actual park in the music as opposed to just having a concert there,” he says.
Famed for its beauty and its intensely blue water, Crater Lake was created nearly 7,000 years ago when so much material blew out of a half-million-year-old lava cone that the mountain collapsed, creating a caldera that filled with water from rain and snowmelt. It is the deepest lake in the United States and is noted for the purity of its water. It became a national park in 1902 only after a 17-year fight to preserve it led by William Gladstone Steel.
Michael Gordon is no stranger to translating famous places and our associations with them into structures of sound. In recent years he’s created major compositions based on New York City, Los Angeles and Beijing.
Over the last 25 years, he’s created music for a long list of major orchestras and high-energy ensembles.
In the past year or so alone, Gordon’s compositions have had world premieres performed by the Ensemble Modern, the Dublin Guitar Quartet and the New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
Critic Alex Ross, writing in The New Yorker, said Gordon’s music combines “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.”
Gordon says he plans to visit Crater Lake, where he will be artist-in-residence, often in the coming months.
“You have to live with it,” Abrams says.
Although it’s much too early to say, Gordon is thinking that the composition might have three sections, each dealing with a different aspect of nature at the park, such as trees, animals and ultimately the merging of environmental sound and music. He says he thinks of the results to come as a “symphonic tone poem.”
His compositions cast a wide net. “Dystopia,” his L.A. piece, begins with a lyrical and pensive movement and soon suggests out-of-control sprawl. “Gotham,” his New York City composition, begins with a musical evocation of the kind of quiet place New Yorkers search for as a respite from crowds and skyscrapers and traffic and city noises.
“It’s very personal, of course,” he says of creating a musical response to a place.
He’s not the first to do so, he adds, mentioning George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and Ferde Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite.”
He says the biggest hurdle in such an undertaking is finding a starting place.
“The first note is always the hardest,” Gordon says. “I usually sit around and stare off into space.”
Sometimes a musical theme will come to him in a dream.
“It’s always the greatest music I’ve ever heard,” he says. “The next day it’s never as good.”
Although the project is still in the conceptual stages, Britt officials say there will be at least two free performances at the park, perhaps with musicians dotting the landscape and playing here and there as visitors approach the site of the actual concert, which will be in full view of the lake.
Other plans include transporting veterans to the concert and possibly working with Southern Oregon University students to create a visual arts component.

Reach Medford freelance writer Bill Varble at varble.bill@gmail.com.

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