Ashland Oregon is slowly waking to the early signs of summer. Spring blossom, daffodils and tiny leaves are unfurling from their winter sleep. Bright colors that overwhelm the eyes. Having never experienced Spring until I came to America I am still in awe of this magical season.
The early mornings of rising in the dark just before sun up. I put the freshly brewed coffee out for our early rising guests partial to the wafting smells. Open the blinds and turn on lights before I stop to gaze out of the front window into the far distant Cascade mountains. Waiting for the sun to rise before I head back to the kitchen to make myself a “cuppa” and to start my breakfast baking here at Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast Inn
Our days here in Ashland may be chilly to start but the sun shining in the latter part of the day more than makes up for that cold. Wonderful days to walk Ashland especially if one is fortunate enough to tag along with Peter Finkle Walk Ashland. A passionate historian of Ashland. He loves to regale his followers with local folk lore, art and history. Visitors to Ashland I highly recommend one of his guided walking tours as an introduction to our beautiful town located within the “ancestral homelands of the Shasta, Takelema, and Latgawa peoples who have lived here since time immemorial”. OSF
Ashland, Oregon post Covid-19 has survived the struggle. Our restaurants are open, however their days and hours may have been reduced to cope with staff shortages. Some sadly have closed. We have lost Coquina, Amuse and Ostras over Covid along with our favorite Travel Essentials and Art Centre.
A new Italian restaurant Osteria La Briccola replaced an old time French favorite – The Loft. Adam and I have eaten there and could not fault the food. Subsequently we have sent a number of our guests to try it out. The results – “outstanding” according to them all.
Smithfield’s now owned by the family run Inn of Alchemy has reopened and is called Chateaubriand36 a high end Steakhouse.
A quaint “olde ye world” tea shoppe – Lovejoy’s Tearoom of Ashland of Ashland has proudly taken the place of Liquid Assets. If you love tea in fancy porcelain thin china cups in gracious surroundings from Darjeeling to Lapsang Souchong and more then this is the place to visit. Muna Nashs’ “Queens Tea” is a sight to behold. A three tier tea plate with delicious pillowy soft assorted sandwiches, fresh fruit and salad will be placed before you. You will be plied with a selection of recommended teas to suit your palate throughout your High Tea experience. Your chosen sandwiches, delicious crumbly scones with thick butter, Devonshire clotted cream, lemon curd and raspberry jam will be delivered to your beautifully laid table. These are then followed by hot buttery crumpets and melt in the mouth Petit Fours that look far to pretty to eat. Such a treat!
Josh Dorcak and Luke Vancampen of “Mas” – who already offer an amazing Cascadian food experience, have just opened “Nama” a raw bar that is located on Lithia Way. This smaller sister restaurant of theirs specializes in seasonal freshly sourced oysters and beautiful seafood. Highly recommended for a special occasion when visiting Ashland, Oregon.
As for Abigail’s Bed and Breakfast Inn – well she still has Adam and I working for her – make no mistake. We are now into our eighth season and 2022 will be our ninth. It seems like it was only yesterday that we walked into Abigail’s at 6.00 am that September morning of 2014 and I cooked breakfast for 12 unsuspecting guests. The past four years have been a roller coaster ride for us make no mistake – from being new Immigrants in 2014 and having to adapt to a whole new lifestyle overnight, a return visit to Zimbabwe for our sons’ wedding in 2019 – our return to the States and to us becoming Citizens in 2019. The fires of California settling smoke in the valley during the height of our seasons. The Almeda fire of September 8, 2019, and finally the Covid-19 of 2020 and 2021 pandemic. What a ride. I can only say that “if we can survive all of that, there has to be hope for 2022 and what it may bring”.
Our Oregon Cabaret Theatre has a great line up for the 2022 Season so be sure to follow them for their show updates. They have a new Chef this season and remember they are open on Monday nights!
Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2022 is BACK! A full schedule of plays in three theatres and two digital offerings are on lineup for this season, with new lower ticket prices and membership programs.
The OSF theatre intends to showcase seven plays on its three stages throughout 2022. Starting on April 12 through until October 29, 2022. Then after a short break it will once again showcase a Holiday show in November through December.
- April 12 – Oct 30 “Once on This Island, A Musical” – Angus Bowmer Theatre
- May 3 – July 30 ” How I Learned What I learned” – ABT
- Aug 17 – Oct 29 “King John” – ABT
- April 12 – July 31 “Unseen” – Thomas Theatre
- Aug 23 – Oct 29 “Confederates” – TT
- June 1 – Oct 15 “The Tempest” – Allen Elizabethan Theatre
- June 2 – Oct 14 “Revenge Song” – AET
SUSAN’S BAKING CORNER: PUMPKIN BANANA BREAD
WET INGREDIENTS. (a)
- 1 STICK OF SOFT BUTTER
- 2 RIPE MEDIUM BANANAS
- 3/4 CUP PUMPKIN PUREE (not pie mix)
- 1 EGG
- 1 TABLESPOON VANILLA ESSENCE
- 1/2 CUP WHITE SUGAR
- 1/2 CUP BROWN SUGAR
DRY INGREDIENTS. (b)
- 1 1/2 CUPS OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
- 2 TEASPOONS OF BAKING POWDER
- 1/4 TEASPOON BAKING SODA
- 3/4 TEASPOON SALT
- 1 TABLESPOON OF PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
- 3/4 CUP OF WALNUTS CHOPPED (optional)
- Oven Temp 350 degrees
- Grease loaf tin to avoid bread sticking
- Bake for 45 mins to 60 mins.
- Take all of the WET INGREDIENTS (a) and place into a food processor until well blended and of a pouring consistency.
- Take the DRY INGREDIENTS (b) put into a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Take A and add to B and fold into each other. The mixture should be well combined. Place into your loaf tin and BAKE! Probably for about 45 to 60 mins. Be careful not to overbake. If you use a sharp object in the middle to test whether baked or not it should come out clean. Let cool for 10 mins. and then turn out onto a baking cooling rack.
GOOD “OLE ENGLISH” FRUIT CAKE.
WET INGREDIENTS (a)
- 2 POUNDS OF MIXED DRIED FRUIT: sultanas, raisins, cranberries, glace cherries, apricots, prunes whatever you have on hand.
- 1 TIN OF CONDENCED MILK
- 3/4 CUP OF BAILEYS IRISH CREAM OR AMARULA (my favorite a South African liqueur) OR BRANDY.
- 1/2 CUP OF WATER
DRY INGREDIENTS (b)
- 2 CUPS OF SELF RAISING FLOUR (or two cups of all purpose flour, 3 teaspoons of baking flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt)
- Oven Temperature 325 degrees.
- Grease and line with parchment a deep 8 inch cake tin.
- Bake for 2 hours approximately.
- In a large bowl combine the WET INGREDIENTS (a). Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Next day remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Take the DRY INGREDIENTS (b) and add to (a). Mix well gently but well.
- Pour the mix into your prepared tin, smooth the top. Bake for 2 hours until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins. and turn out onto a cooling rack.