Our favorite place was the old farmhouse in Newberg. Why didn't we make an offer? It was a bit out of our price range, the land is overrun by blackberry canes, and it has narrow stairs. It is a two story house in great shape with five bedrooms and two baths. The closets had doors that were about 5'10" in height. In order to access the bathroom from the master bedroom one must walk through the closet. I had no problem entering the closets. Jim had to duck. I can just see him getting up in the middle of the night and wandering through the closet to get to the bathroom on the other side. I would hear a thump and he'd cry out in pain. Hmmm. Don't think Jim would do well in this place. Also the stairwell between floors appears to be narrower than 3 feet in width. Far narrower than the average stairwell. It also takes a few twists and turns before it spits you out onto the 2nd floor. Jim mentioned this in our discussions on Saturday night. Our bedroom set won't make it up the stairs! Ok. We'll keep looking. Too bad. The house is in great shape. It is also a shame that the property needs to be cleaned up. Blackberries are a devil to keep away once they get a foothold. I'd have to get some goats!
It was not a wasted trip. With every house that we see, we learn more about what we like and don't like in a property. That way when we find our place, we'll know it when we see it.
On Sunday we met the mastermind behind the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project. Tami Parr is a freelance writer who loves to write about cheese. We met her in front of the Ace Hotel and had hoped to get something to eat at their restaurant, Clyde Common. It is a new restaurant with lots of tasty looking things on the menu. It was 4:00 and they didn't open until 5:00 so we went down to Henry's 12th Street Tavern (as in Henry Weinhard) and got some decent appetizers and drinks. Tami, Jim and I talked for an hour and a half about cheese, the Portland food scene, Northwest cheesemakers, and what we're up to these days. Both Tami and I missed the American Cheese Society Conference this year. She was even a judge at last year's conference! We had a great time talking and the time just flew by. Tami's great and is a real asset to the local artisan cheese movement. It is always nice to make a new friend.
Speaking of ACS, Leelanau's Aged Raclette, my favorite cheese at last year's conference took Best of Show this year Here's a photo of their cheese from last July. You can also read my account from last year's conference. Too bad you can't get the cheese. They make very tiny batches that are only sold locally and via mail order. Gordon Edgar from Rainbow Grocery was a judge this year and wrote about his experience on his blog: http://gordonzola.livejournal.com/tag/cheese
I am saddened by the news that Goat Lady Dairy didn't do well at the show. They had some shipping issues and the cheese got too hot. They're entries didn't look good and were not judged well. They still make some amazing cheese and who knows what the judges were looking for. They still sell out every week so that's the best judge.