Portland, Oregon:  Shirley and Martin are in town from London, so Dave and I hosted a Mexican-themed (hey, why not?) dinner party for them (and a few of our mutual friends) at our house Friday night. I did not take photos of the food or people Рbut managed a few shots of the flowers. Typical.

Tamra brought these stunning Peonies from her garden (I threw-in the roses and lily). Can you believe all this beauty?

Other beautiful flowers graced the dining table – very unusual roses purchased at the grocer:

$9.99 per dozen!

The menu included appetizers of pico de gallo and pinto bean dip served with chips and jicama. For dinner we had smoked chicken enchiladas, fresh corn sauteed with green and red chilies, and a salad made with oranges, avocados, red onion, radishes and radish sprouts. Dessert was a triple coconut treat – home-made coconut ice cream, a coconut macaroon, and coconut covered in dark chocolate. Clean plates and few left-overs = successful dinner party.

Shirley and Martin brought me the prettiest tea cup from England. The mug commemorates the 90th birthday celebration of Queen Elizabeth. Fancy! The gift also included a selection of English teas, of course. The china cup was produced in England and is nearly too pretty to use.

We slept-in Saturday. It had been far too long since neither of us had a clear day on our calendar, and with both of us miraculously free all day – on the same day – we decided to take a drive out to Oregon wine country and buy some olive oil from The Oregon Olive Mill at Red Ridge Farms.

Our last visit to the mill was just a few days before we left for Indio in November. I was out of their oil, so purchased another gallon of Arbequina today, and had them ship a gallon to The Lovely Lisa (she loves their oil as well Arbequina as well). I use this oil only for “eating” (drizzled on vegetables, in salad dressings, etc.) and do not cook with it… except when making my Rosemary & Lemon Olive Oil Cake, naturally.

Their gardens were extraordinary. Oregon had two weeks of warm sunshine before we arrived back in Portland. Nothing but rain since, but the flowers don’t seem to mind:

As long as we were all the way out west of civilization, we decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at Dundee Bistro.

Fresh-caught Oregon Ling Cod, truffle fries and slaw made with cabbage, carrots, fennel and cilantro.

We’ve unpacked, settled-in, had a dinner party and visited Oregon wine country and one of our favorite restaurants – all in only one week back…

Until my next update, I remain, your “now I feel I’m truly home again”¬†correspondent.

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