While everyone loves giving and receiving gifts, many often overlook or misunderstand the polite standards that you should abide by in order to properly convey your gratitude. We’ve all been a frustrated gift-giver at some point or another, often caused by your recipient not calling and confirming that they received your gift, or never receiving a thank you card after a holidays or special event. Here are some tips from which everyone can learn.
Spring in the Hood River Valley means two things: orchards full of delicate blossoms and the inevitable frosts that threaten them. Weather monitoring allows fruit growers to keep a closer eye on the temperature during this time of year, and if at night it dips below freezing alarms will sound and people rush into the orchards to protect the sensitive blooms. For decades the main line of defense was diesel-fueled smudge pots that are placed amongst the trees and used to chase away the cold. In more recent years gigantic fans can also be used to push the rising warm air back to the earth and displace the cold drafts.
As winter spreads snow throughout the orchards here in the Hood River Valley, it’s easy to see the beginning of the growth process starting. All the leaves of last year disappear between a fresh layer of snow that covers even the deepest tractor rut. The year starts new and with it the cycle begins for these fruit trees.
Winter has a way of doing that. It’s the start of a new year which means new possibilities, experiences, and simply put, life moves forward. We hope you have a wonderful winter and wish you the best in your journey through all that this wonderful new year holds for you.
As the day winds to a close, guests preparing to leave, the Packers and Bears game in its final quarter, the kids playing with their new favorite toys (if they are still awake), the Christmas Feast [link to Christmas feast tag] has reached its final course. After the outstanding, if somewhat overwhelming, turkey and stuffing combination, it’s time for something a little more austere yet elegant. No pies, cakes, or other heavy baked goods, just a beautifully caramelized pear complimented by old fashioned vanilla bean ice cream.
As you announce the next course, you receive a few sighs or raised eyebrows at the news of a salad. After all, this is Christmas, the day when butter, sugar, and cream make every dish better and the activities don’t end until everyone is passed out in a food coma with sugar plums dancing in their head. But fear not, this potato salad is anything but ordinary with spicy mustard, onions, garlic, and crisp tart Granny Smith Apples. The original recipe didn’t even call for fresh apples, but it was such a unique recipe that we had to try it. We believe every dish is better with fresh fruit and this was no exception. The balance of sweet, crunchy, creamy, and spicy will have your head spinning; a veritable Christmas culinary potpourri. Making the dish is very straight forward, probably the easiest out of all the recipes in the Christmas Feast , especially since you can make this salad hours or even a day in advance and store it in the fridge.