Oregon spring is a fickle thing. Earlier this month, we spent two weeks sweltering in 80 degree weather. We’ve spent the last couple weeks drenched in rain. When we planned the menu for Thursday night’s adoption fundraiser, I had a feeling we’d be surrounded by the latter.
Nothing could have been more perfect. Thursday evening, 20 strangers and friends funneled in out of the downpour into this sweet little cottage for an evening of food, wine and raising money for a sweet couple’s adoption. We finished setting the table just as the house began to fill with guests, and I tucked myself away in the small kitchen with my simmering pots and pans.
When we began planning this event about a month ago, I knew it would be a night to remember. We sat around a table with a local farmer (and friend) brainstorming about what kinds of spring goodies we could get our hands on. I wanted the food to be light and surprisingly healthy, but also comforting and satisfying. I knew we needed a menu that would make enough of an impression to provide conversation between people who may not know one another well. Food to help them relax, enjoy themselves and serve as a reminder of the great cause they supported that evening.
And the evening was entirely wonderful. The long, narrow table was covered in fantastic wines from around the valley. It was lined with glowing candles and sparkling glassware. It was surrounded by lovely, generous people, and was eventually filled with steaming plates of food made with love. I had two good friends with me who did a fantastic job serving and attending to our guests. Even from inside the kitchen, I could tell the event was going wonderfully.
One of my favorite parts of the evening was having a few of the guests wander into the kitchen to talk about a particular dish, or ask about the inspiration behind the menu. It’s always a pleasure to talk food with anyone, especially those who’ve just eaten your own.
My very favorite part, however, was gathering around the table after all the guests had left and all the dishes were washed, to have a glass of wine (or three) with the hostess and some friends. Recapping the magic of the evening, laughing about almost-awkward moments and most of all, getting to know the fabulous couple we were supporting. And I’m not sure there are more humble, pure-hearted, wonderful people in the world. That little girl from Ghana is the luckiest. To read more of their story, visit their website doingforone.org.
I’ve spent the last two days basking in the aftermath and counting the days until my next event. I could certainly get used to this.
Herb-roasted Almonds & Oregon Hazelnuts
Radish, Fava Bean & Fairview Creamery Goat Cheese Tartines
Radish & Cannelini Bean Salad
Spring Panzanella Salad
Spring Pea, Potato and Rice Soup
Braised Carlton Farms Pork Pappardelle Pasta with Asparagus and Oregon Oyster Mushrooms
Gluten-Free Rhubarb Tartlets with Pistachio Ice Cream