Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three Days at Home in Eugene

"To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven." ~Karen Sunde

August 12-13: The title of this post is, "Three days at Home in Eugene." If you read between the lines that means, "Three nights in my own bed is all I'll get over the course of this 5-month trip." Yikes!

Well I'd better make the most of my visit to Eugene - besides the mundane stuff of looking at, paying, and filing bills. (OK, Jon writes the checks while I'm gone, but I still have to go through them and file them.) So, besides all that boring everyday stuff that everybody does, Jon and I were invited Sunday night to dinner at the house of our former neighbors and excellent friends George and Alice Recker. (Photo above was taken by George. In photo, L to R: Alice, Teri and Jon.)

George is a retired professional symphony trumpet player and university trumpet instructor, and Alice teaches middle-school band. Together they run one of the friendliest, fish-catching-ist, and best-eating gourmet fly fishing guide services in Oregon. If you hanker for a professional fly fishing guide who gently floats you over the rapids in their homemade wooden McKenzie Drift boats, and then cooks up an amazing meal at camp for you, Doublefish Outfitters is who you ought to be booking with. They specialize in trips on the Deschutes, McKenzie and Willamette Rivers.

Not only do we love George and Alice because they are amazing and fun human beings, we also like hanging out with them because they enjoy good food, beer and wine. Tonight's menu was some wild-caught steelhead, lightly smoked and grilled. A steelhead filet may have an orange tint like a salmon filet, but the similarity stops there. Steelhead is actually an ocean-going trout. It's flesh is milder tasting than salmon. I would call it delicate yet firm and flavorful.

Part of the special treat is that steelhead is not available at the fish market or in any stores. You can only eat it if you catch it yourself. Or if your favorite ex-neighbors invite you over to share theirs. Mmm mm! Afterwards Alice tested out a new blueberry cobbler recipe on us. Alice is the prep-cook and outfitter of the fishing expeditions. George is the man driving the boats. We are happy to let Alice try out recipes on us any time!

On Monday I had a mess of errands to do all over town, but one thing I really wanted to do was visit my former stomping grounds, Steelhead Brewing Company. After I quit, Ted Fagan stepped up to the beer production plate. Ted is ably assisted by Tim _____ and Ian Fuller. (Tim, email me your last name and I'll update this.)
I had lunch with the "boys," just like in the old days, except this time I had the full sampler set of all Ted's current beer. Ted filled me in on the latest happenings at Steelhead. Not much has changed, not even the menu, and I'm proud to report Ted, Tim and Ian are doing just fine without me. (I attribute that to my top knotch training, of course!)

In the photo above, Ted and I are in front, and Tim is behind us.

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