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“Before we settle down to a rainy Puget Sound winter, how’s about a drive to Eugene?” We hadn’t unpacked from the San Diego trip, so we zipped our roller-bag back up, tossed some snacks in a sack, threw in a few wigglies, and off we went. On Black Friday morning, everyone living north of Portland was driving to the Woodburn Outlet Mall. What could possibly be worth inching along the freeway, circling to find parking, eventually facing shoppers with too-much-money-in-their-pocket angst, desperate to escape Thanksgiving relatives?
The wigglies: Eugene, San Diego, Knoxville, Tacoma
We fought off the mall lure of cheap socks, big TVs and door busters, kept going, and eased out of Washington state. Once you pass Vancouver, WA into Oregon, the view changes from a looming, dark, evergreen forest to stretched out, lamb-populated, spring-green pastures. The Willamette Valley welcomed us back to Eugene, where we once enjoyed a four-year stay. Eugene, home to the Oregon Ducks and the last of the hippies, celebrates every occasion with a fest: there’s the Eugene Celebration, Art and the Vineyard, the Oregon Country Fair, The Oregon Bach Festival.
Eugene is of the tree-hugging, liberal persuasion. A few years ago, Eugene moms were up in arms over a local bike-riding group, “Dykes on Bikes”, riding in the Eugene Celebration parade. The moms were not offended by the group’s sexual orientation, they were upset over their refusal to wear bike helmets, “setting a bad example for the children.”
The lamb pastures
The boys at a Fest
The beautiful new back yard
In 2002, after loosing our jobs and our spot in San Diego, we moved to Eugene mainly because of our connection with a dear friend. The move didn’t stick but the connection did, so we make regular trips to Eugene/Springfield to catch up on the latest. We had a wonderful time last weekend: we contributed heavily to “Small Business Saturday“, watched a couple of good bad-movies and a little football (the Ducks lost, the Huskies won) walked a few dogs, avoided restaurants, and ate delicious home-cooked dinners. What could be more luxurious than lying on the couch watching TV, hearing the cozy sounds of someone else making dinner? My favorite was Roasted Pork Night with steamed Yukon potatoes and Yumm sauce.
The Duck The Ducks
The dogs: Gracie and Bella
Eugene/Springfield is home to several of our favorite food products: Nancy’s yogurt, La Salsa pico de gallo, Dutch Bros. coffee, Umpqua ice cream, Yogi tea, and Yumm sauce. Legend has it that the owner created Yumm sauce to entice her two-year old to eat her vegetables. Now, there is a Yummpire that includes on-line products, sauces, and restaurants. If you ever come across a Cafe Yumm, try a Yumm Bowl with Yumm sauce.
BTW, Sweetie’s recent CT scan indicated no signs of cancer recurrence. Yea Sweetie!
The Original Yumm Bowl
- Brown rice and quinoa, or other cooked grains
- Black beans, cooked
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Diced fresh tomato
- Sliced fresh avocado
- Sliced black olives
- Sour cream or yogurt
- Chopped cilantro
- Lots of Yumm sauce
- 1/2 cup salad oil
- 1/2 cup raw almonds or almond meal/flour
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 package silken tofu
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
Blend in a food processor or blender. Add or subtract spices and garlic to suit your taste. Add more water by the tablespoon, if you prefer a thinner mixture.