A while ago, I helped my husband do a Brunch and Bloody Mary event at the Oregon Zoo’s World Forestry Center. He was one of several chefs sampling out amazing bites to a very hungry crowd. I was lucky enough to attend as his assistant, which meant I spent the morning double-fisting bloody marys and dishing up divine treats like these:
Did you catch a hint of John Irving in that title? If you did, we must be kindred spirits. The Cider House Rules is one of my favorite books, and every time I started typing anything about cider, it kept popping into my head. I couldn’t shake it.
Anyways, if it were required of me to make rules for a cider press party, it would be a simple task.
- Buy apples (basically so many apples that it’s overwhelming)
- Invite friends (think like Tom Sawyer, more people=less work for you!)
- Make good food (this way your friends can’t blame you when they feel used)
- Spend the afternoon drinking beer and making delicious fresh-pressed cider
It’s that easy! And, when you see all of the glorious fresh cider come pouring out, it’s also pretty damn exciting.
Here’s some scenes from my first cider press party, which took place the weekend before Halloween.
My friend DB and I are big on adventures. So when he emailed me a link to Syun Izakaya, a sushi place in Hillsboro, I made us a reservation immediately. It was a journey — an hour each way using public transportation. What awaited us though was well worth the effort. The sushi, sashimi and grilled mackerel were delicious and the menu was extensive, ensuring that we sat there for several hours eating and drinking (hence our use of the MAX).
Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the night:
One of the best things about our meal was our discovery of Teba Gyoza, a Frankensteinian dish of gyoza-stuffed chicken wings. The wings are partially deboned (just the wing tip is left) and the midjoint is stuffed with porky garlicky goodness. Then the whole thing is fried. Yes, it was borderline crazy and yes, it was amazing.
* As a side note, I did some internet digging about these crazy little guys. If you ever decide to make them (DB??), here’s a good site to look at. *
Meet Tuna. Tuna is part of the AcroCats — which you totally need to read up on. I’m serious — click this link. Tuna plays the cowbell for baby food (chicken flavor).
Tuna’s friend Dakota plays percussion for their band, the Rock Cats. I saw them play live. Let me assure you the music sucked, but it was one of the best afternoons of my life.