10 things (The Harry & David Edition)
I love list after list after list so when I was thinking about how I wanted to sum up my (perfectly awesome) to Medford, Oregon with Harry & David, I thought a list of “10 Things” would be appropriate because, well, I love “10 Things” lists and because so much of the trip was so amazing that I had to come up with a way to organize it. So, here we go:
1. The Winchester Inn – in Ashland, Oregon, the innkeepers Laurie and Michael and their team think of EVERYTHING down to a sea salt caramel as they turn down your bed at night. Seriously, I’m still waiting on someone to turn down my bed at night. And I can’t even begin to describe the breakfast at this place. Different every morning, with amazing coffee, and before you choose your breakfast entree, they deliver a plate of fruit and a fresh pastry as a break fast “appetizer”. See? They think of everything. I actually think that the breakfasts at Winchester were at the top of my list of favorite foods for the entire trip – and there was some amazing food. My favorite breakfast was the last day in Oregon…it was a panko-crusted poached egg with truffle cream sauce. Total and complete heaven.
2. The H&D Folks – some of the nicest and welcoming people. Matt (below, left) is the horticulturist and SO knowledgeable. I loved learning about all of Harry & David’s orchards; he had some great stories to tell. (Top Right) Charlie in his Harry & David Chocolate Factory, that’s right, they have their own! He was a complete joy to learn from. Talk about a chocolate-lover’s heaven. Charlie’s father was also a chocolatier and Charlie himself has been with H&D for over 30 years.
3. The gorgeous pear orchards – on the first morning, Matt told us about the pear harvest which has taken place recently and then we had the pleasure of eating some fresh pears while standing in the orchard taking in these breath-taking views. Just standing there was so peaceful.
4. Duh, the food – what can I say? Except that Harry & David know how to treat food bloggers…with really good food. I already mentioned breakfast, but don’t let me downplay all of the food. Really, all we did was eat. Snacks, lunch, snacks again, dinner. I had possibly the best filet of my life at Peerless on the first night, along with wasabi mashed potatoes (hello!). The second day we had a food-truck lunch at Penny & Lulu and one of my favorite dishes from the entire weekend – roasted beet & mushroom tortellini with a sauvignon blanc sauce. I could have eaten my weight in that tortellini. And not only the food, but each and every table at which we ate was decorated in the most beautiful decor, centerpieces, our name place cards, the menus, everything was simply stunning.
5. The Rogue Creamery – OK, I don’t even like blue cheese and a creamery – known for it’s blue cheese in Southern Oregon – has won me over with it’s top-notch style. So creamy and so not the pungent tangy blue cheese you buy in the grocery store around here. All I’m saying is: someone send me some more!! Paul loves blue cheese so I brought Paul some of their “Smoky Blue” and he devoured the whole wedge in about 20 minutes. #wifeoftheyear Oh yeah, and powdered blue cheese. Heaven is right.
6. The factory – a sugar-lover’s dream. The minute the door opens, your senses are flooded with the smell of sugar and chocolate. We walked up the stairs and the first windows show – what else – popcorn! Popcorn for Harry & David’s famous Moose Munch. See that big block of butter?? We made our way to Charlie’s chocolate kitchen and painted chocolate molds, filled them with chocolate and then took a tour of the rest of the chocolate factory. Now I wish I had some more of those truffles!
7. Making my own gift basket – most-definitely my favorite part of the H&D experience. We all got to pack our own pears, cheese, nuts, cheese, and Moose Munch, send it through the heat shrinker and ship it off to a loved one. I absolutely loved getting the call last week from my mom saying she had received hers!
8. Hanging out with my friends – some of the best.people.ever. Old friends and new friends alike; it was an amazing few days with these people!
9. Dinner at Sandy’s – seriously this girl knows how to do it well! She hosted the whole group of us the first night for an outdoor fall-inspired meal at her house and it was stunning. Every last detail and every last bite was completely memorable. She served an amazing salmon but my favorite, I can’t deny is the Apple Cherry Chutney with Mango Baked Brie. Todiefor.
10. The Rogue Valley – stunning views, breathtaking sunsets and beautiful fall colors. I could not ask for a better place to relax with great friends for a few days in the fall. I can’t wait to head back to Southern Oregon!
Harry & David graciously sponsored my trip to Oregon. As always, all opinions are my own.