I’ve been reading voraciously about the Yamhill Valley.
Sure, it’s my job, but I’m curious, too. I’ve only been here a few months. Let’s call it the honeymoon phase. Every time I turn around there’s another little thing I notice that piques my interest, or someone tells me something that charms my socks off. (For example, now that the leaves have dropped, you may have noticed that all the trees are wearing what appear to be sweaters. Some are dark green, some are more sage colored. It’s awesome. I’ve got to know what this is.)
I’ve been chowing my way through the valley, too. Girl’s got to eat, right?
So many foods and preparations are new to me. Locavore isn’t just a buzzword here. It isn’t just a trend. It’s everyday life. And my takeaway from that is that my meals – at home, in restaurants or with friends – are affected by the season and the weather. My friend Jo uses a CSA – basically, she has a subscription to a farm. She gets a bag of food every week, and whatever’s in that bag, that’s what she and her husband are having for dinner. Every day is like a little episode of Iron Chef. I love eating at Jo’s.
But that’s not what stands out to my kids. These growing teenage Oregonians bike everywhere. They’re always hungry. And they’re kids, so they burn it off and eat sweets without guilt. Ask them what the best food in the area is and their eyes will glaze over and maybe they’ll start to drool. “Doughnuts,” they’ll say.
No kidding. We’re from Krispy Kreme turf. We’re not used to these big, fluffy, flavorful confections with creative flavors – heavy on the maple, surprisingly – and toothsome glaze. I sheepishly asked a coworker about it recently. She told me, it’s the weather. In the winter it gets damp and chilly. The sun comes up late and goes down early. So we drink lots of coffee to stay warm and chipper. What goes better with coffee than a doughnut?
She’s right, too. Not just doughnuts, either. Scones, muffins and cupcakes abound. It’s just that the doughnuts here are exceptional.
So thanks a lot, Yamhill Valley. You’ve turned me into a coffee-and-doughnut addict. I’m not sure how the rest of you handle it, but I’m treating myself to a trip to the bike shop for fenders and better tires and some serious lights. If I’m going to eat like you, I’d better learn to stay fit like you.