Author Archives: Deanna
For another interesting rainy day experience in nature and history, check out the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Visitors can experience firsthand the operation of two of the Nation’s largest hydroelectric powerhouses and watch migrating fish traveling upstream at the underwater viewing rooms next to the fish ladders. Pretty neat to see some of those big guys swim through!
No matter what you end up doing on your rainy day, there is nothing better than coming back to Sakura Ridge, curling up by the fire and watching the seasons change. Hope to see you soon!
Get your tickets and make your reservations at Sakura Ridge now for the 2nd Annual Mt Hood Film Festival, Nov 8-10. The two day festival features over 60 independent films from all over the world! Films are screened at various venues throughout Hood River including The Columbia Center for the Arts, Skylight Theater, and Springhouse Cellars.
Last year’s films were phenomenal! Several of the filmmakers and actors were at the screenings to answer questions and talk about their experiences, including a group that came all the way from Japan! This is a real treat for film lovers and a great way to see something different and fresh in the film world. Definitely not to be missed! We still have rooms left at Sakura Ridge, so get your passes and start planning your vacation weekend now. See you soon!
To dive into the history and culture of the Gorge, and stay dry, I would recommend visiting the Hood River County History Museum or The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Both offer a look back at the history of the Gorge through unique photos and exhibits. The Discovery Center is also the site of the Interpretive Center for the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area, with several exhibits featuring the natural history and ecology of the area. I always love seeing the raptor show featuring resident birds of prey from the rehabilitation center, also housed at the Discovery Center. It is a powerful experience to see these birds up close.
Another fun historic stop in The Dalles is the Sunshine Mill Winery. The Sunshine Mill has a long, colorful history. The Sunshine Mill milled wheat for more than 130 years, and was the first building in The Dalles to have electricity, powered by a Thomas Edison Motor which can still be seen in The Mill. It is also the only designated skyscraper in The Columbia River Gorge. The Sunshine Mill now houses Quenett and Copa di Vino wineries. The original milling equipment is still preserved in the tasting room decor making this a unique place to taste wine. Grab a bottle to bring back to Sakura Ridge and enjoy in front of the fire!
One of my favorite ways to spend a wet, chilly day is at Glassometry Studio in Odell. The studio is always warm with the glass ovens fired up and the staff is really friendly and helpful. You can blow-your-own decorative pears, apples or pumpkins for the harvest season, or get an early start on Christmas gifts and make your own ornament, icicles, or wine glasses.
If making your own isn’t your thing, they also have a great gallery that showcases pieces by owner, Laurel Marie Hagner, as well as other resident artists.
Glassometry Studio is just off of Hwy 35, right before the turnoff to Odell. On your way there or after, stop by Wy’East Vineyards just across Hwy 35. They will likely be crushing grapes right outside the tasting room, jump in and help sort or sit back with a glass of their Cloud Cap, a Pinot Port-style wine and watch the action!
Of course, we always hope for a few more weeks of Indian Summer in October, but inevitably there will be a few rainy days this month. Luckily there is still plenty to do around Sakura Ridge.
I love strolling through the The Columbia Center for the Arts on a rainy afternoon to check out the newest show in the gallery or take in a live performance. This month, the feature event is “The Crush: A Celebration of Columbia Gorge Wines and Fine Art.” All month long, the gallery will feature works that celebrate the sensuality of wine and the excitement of the harvest season. Every Friday there will be a wine tasting featuring a local winery culminating with a special event on the 25th that will bring together winemakers and vineyardists for a conversation on winemaking in the Gorge. What better way to spend a crisp fall Friday night!
This is a really easy recipe for all those summer tomatoes still hanging on the vine.
Slice in tomatoes in half, put cut side up on tray. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for 30 min. They are perfect with eggs or over pasta. Bon appetite!
Harvest time is here! We are pulling out bushels of fresh veggies every week, not to mention all the pears we are picking. This week we harvested lettuce, two kinds of kale, chard, carrots, radishes, celery, leeks, onions, basil, and purple and green shiso.
“What is shiso”, you ask? Shiso, pronounced she-so, is the Japanese name for an annual herb called perilla, which belongs to the mint family. Shiso comes in green or purple leaves with a slightly prickly texture and pointy, jagged edges, and it has a unique and vibrant taste that I could describe as herbaceous and citrusy. Like most leafy herbs, I find it is best used raw, the leaves whole or chiffonaded. The green variety produces more tender and more flavorful leaves than the purple variety, but the latter makes up for that with a potent dyeing action: it is what gives umeboshi its color.
Shiso is used in many asian cuisines, though most typically with Japanese dishes. It can be used anywhere mint or basil are called for. Some yummy suggestions include adding it to rice or soba noodles, sprinkling over tofu, adding it in a cucumber salad with rice vinegar, or in spring rolls. You can also make a pesto with it and put it on pasta, serve it with sashimi and rice, or try it with chicken stuffed with chopped umeboshi with soy sauce glaze. At Sakura Ridge, I use it in the Bento Box breakfast, perfect for days that it’s too hot to cook! Anyway you make it, it is sure to add a fresh, herb flavor to your meal.