Moderna unlocked the door, we threw our underwear in a sack, and the Sweetie and I motored south to Eugene for a long delayed visit with our old friends. Passing into Oregon from Washington, the change is unmistakeable: looming evergreens give way to open fields, leafy trees, and a wide horizon. Traffic finally thins out around Wilsonville and the drive becomes a rural, extended Sunday afternoon pleasure drive.
New pup Micah greeted us at the front door with woofs and wags, Patty and Jim not far behind with hugs and hellos. They live in a lovely community near Autzen Stadium with immediate access to a trail along the river that goes for miles. The house is sun-filled, spacious, and so, so comfortable with a stunning back courtyard featuring a musical waterfall, tumbling rocks, and blooming shrubs.
It was the perfect visit: lots of talk, snacks, walks, and fine dining with a bit of retail therapy thrown in for good measure. When we lived in Eugene, a drive to Thistledown, a local farmers market stand, was a weekly event. As they sell only what they produce, the shelves were a bit bare this time, but we did buy a few plants and a big pot for summer planting.
Home again, after a brief but spectacular event with a rolling truck tire—thankful for long-time relationships, vaccines, and a steady hand at the wheel.
- 1 cup walnut halves/pieces (you can also use this recipe for candied pecans)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar (not coarse sugar)
- 1 Tbsp butter
Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (with a heat proof non-plastic spatula) so your mixture doesn’t burn (especially towards the end).
When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated.
Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts right away.