This year we had the opportunity to have the holiday with our friends (also from Ogden, UT) Heidi and Steve. Last year they sold their home in Ogden and decided to move to Wilhelmina, Oregon. The Edwards’ were always the self-reliant types, growing gardens, DIY projects, distilling, sewing, making their own cured meats. They decide to “go off the grid” or “homestead” in a rural town in OR. Just an hour out of Lincoln city on the coast. This region is particularly interesting as it is a rather fertile area, with more wineries then residents it seems, it is the unpretentious Oregon version of Napa, with some top notch pinot gris and pinot noir being made between hazelnut farms, meat producers, and eclectic art galleries. Their property is five acres, they have chickens, greenhouses they constructed themselves, and a mix of art and future plans for a massive garden.
We headed up from Portland, and within an hour and half were in another world it seemed. After turning onto a gravel road and heading up the hill we made it to their lovely home tucked between trees and a haven for critters of all sorts, the kids loved it, and we loved it to. Heidi and I grew up on the same street, three houses away, we oddly never really met until we both worked together at the “City Club” in Ogden, UT. We instantly hit it off, with loads in common, and an appreciation of questionable jokes and potato vodka.
As a hostess gift this year I brought her a handle of our favorite “Mono” as a homage to our friendship, we drank a few as well and dined on a fantastic “Franken Bird” as she called it, it was an outrageously fresh and delicious turkey from Providence farm in Philomath.
Steve brined, deboned, and stuffed this bird with homemade pork sausage, and fresh spinach, trussed and roasted to perfection. I make a fine turkey don’t get me wrong, but this rendition was mind blowing, also on the menu was eggnog glazed ham, homemade ciabatta, the usual suspects of potatoes, gravy, stuffing, I brought a butternut squash salad, and bakalava, and Heidi’s friends the McLean’s brought a really good gluten free pumpkin pie.
Heidi and Steve take great pride in their ability to be self-reliant, to them that is off the grid, what a wonderful holiday we had, if each one of us could find our own way to be “off the grid” I think the world would be a more peaceful place…Namaste.