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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spawning Salmon

Last weekend we ventured out to Alcea, Oregon to celebrate my husband's mom's birthday. We took her to this amazing place called the Thyme Garden. Founded over 20 years ago by Rolfe and Janet is their 80 acres of gardens, waterways and greenhouses. They ship seeds internationally and host some pretty amazing events on their property. They also have worked hard to restore several salmon runs which are on their property.

This is a small section of their property including a covered area for entertaining.

Originally my husband and I planned to marry at the Thyme Garden and even had put a lot of money down to save the date. Through a crazy set of circumstances we were unable to but we still treasure Rolfe and Janet's stunning home. We also have a special place in our hearts for the pond area seen here which is the exact spot we had planned our wedding to be at. In July, my closest friend Jen and I enjoyed a bottle of wine and several games of backgammon sitting right here and I was glad she finally was able to see one of our favorite places.

This pond is also an important habitat. Rolfe drained the entire pond, lined it with visqueen and reintroduced gravel, tree roots and rock to create good habitats for baby fish so the pond no longer dries up each season.

From here we watched large Chinook salmon swimming was amazing!

Alcea is located in the middle of one of Oregon's rain forests. The moss growth everywhere is a force to be reckoned with.

Me and my mother in law wearing our styling salmon seeing glasses. You can see Rolfe behind us.


This tree was amazing and so were the ferns growing out of it!

I finally got a picture of this truck! Normally when we think about it, it is dark outside and I cannot take a proper photo.

Our dinner had a touch of a cranberry theme starting with the cranberries in our floral arrangements.

The butter was even fancy for our dinner decorated with little eatable dragonflies and seasoned with cardamom. Rolfe and Janet owned a successful restaurant before selling it to buy their 80 acres and it shows in their events.

Herbed grilled salmon, marinated Brussels sprouts, leek and garlic mashed potatoes topped with Chantalle mushrooms and cranberry salsa. We brought a lovely bottle of a favorite wine of ours which is a Dijon clone chardonnay from Willamette Valley Vineyards.

The crust was gingersnaps and local hazelnuts topped with poached apples and caramel.

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