Typically we do not plant our garden until after Mothers Day. This year we are experiencing so much sunshine that it is hard to believe it is still April. Longing to put in some lettuces and herbs like basil. Our little raised garden at home should be able to keep us in basil all summer. That is the plan but do not want to plant too soon.
The twelve days of EARTH DAY is being celebrated right now; 12 days before the actual event. After all Cannon Beach has too much natural bounty to appreciate in just one day; so how about 12 ending on April 22, 2015. It is the trigger for us to get our gardens ready. This is when local farms and nurseries start selling vegetable starts. It is the time when we typically over buy starts then run out of room to plant them. Regardless, we appreciate our own enthusiasm for getting the garden going because we are never sorry when the crops are ready to pick.
Meantime at our dinner shows we are already enjoying spring crops that are rarely seen in the market. This year morel mushrooms and fiddle head ferns and stinging nettles have become available; and all have been added to our menus. Also using local asparagus and snap peas, too. We are told local cherry tomatoes are not far behind and there is rumbling about Hood Strawberries being early this year. We are getting in line for those! Get ’em and eat ’em as they do not last long after picking. They are the best strawberries in the world! Meantime we do have some strawberries on our menu as rhubarb is in season and nothing compliments rhubarb like strawberries.
We often save leftover strawberry rhubarb sauce until we get two cups or enough to freeze into a fresh sorbet. We don’t usually start by making both recipes, but if you want to make our version follow the simple recipe for rhubarb sauce first.
Bring fruit and sauce to boil and remove from heat. Cool. Puree all fruit and strain through fine sieve if you prefer a finer texture. Otherwise leave chunky. Add honey, sugar and salt and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s direction. Remove and place in air tight container. Seal and freeze.
We recently changed our work week; Wednesday through Sunday, five days a week, for the whole year. In the summer we have always been open Tuesdays through Sundays, or six days a week. We have done it for ten years and seemed to always manage to get through the summer. It takes focus on the day to day–no extra projects. And because summer season is really short, only about 6-8 weeks, our stamina with this schedule seemed to work. Six to eight weeks of the core business of hospitality and dinner shows. The pace is rather manic and cannot be sustained any longer than summer season. So, as we enter our eleventh year, we decided to take two days off regardless of season.
A good business decision from the standpoint that only one employee shift is needed for five days a week. That is even challenging to fill all of our summer needs. Our business instincts that tell us our store really needs to be open every day. After all people on vacation rarely know the day of the week or date and they may not be forgiving if they happen to be here on a Tuesday and it is our day off. Needless to say, the decision to close two days is a very tough one to make.
As always we still need a few more associates to round out our summer schedule this year. We need a full time dishwasher, day time hours, from 11-5, Wed-Sun. For now Lenore and I come in on Sundays and for the most part we are alone. It has been nice. It reminds us of in the beginning. But to be honest, the quality of life index goes down when there’s more work than we two can do alone, so our reminiscing bliss is short. We also need a full time retail sales clerk for the summer season. Pay for both is above minimum making it a good opportunity for high school juniors or seniors and even retirees who want the work more than the dough.
The balancing act between work and play takes on its own rhythm. The pace of summer yields to a slower pace once fall arrives, though regrettably we’ve have to lay off some employees each September. The core of our business, our dinner shows, goes from one extreme to another; from six nights to two nights a week, leaving us with more down time than we need. It is productive time though, because we use it to get special projects done; such as getting our spice blends to market and figuring how we can make a green/clean sea salt. Winter is the time we look for new ways to broaden our EVOO brand and perhaps add another source of income. One of these new projects turned out to be more fun and play than work — our tours to Italy with our guests each October. Actually we should make the distinction that by “work” we mean scheduled time. Everything we do has a high element of enjoyment so that taking tours with guests turns out to be our vacation is not a surprise.
While summers have been energizing, exciting and yes, exhausting, sort of like doing a 5K run for a good cause, it is clear we cannot sustain it. We must do something to slow and most importantly, even out the pace. So not only are we cutting summers to five days and nights a week, we are also trying to bring enough business in during shoulder seasons to sustain our five day week schedule all year.
No doubt about it, meeting this all year goal may allow us to keep our full time staff and sanity at the same time! Considering all that our little town has to offer all year round, we think it is doable.
Lenore here. How can it be Valentine’s Day already? The weather here at the beach has been warm–high 60’s. We haven’t even experienced a freeze for a long time, and seems I am not the only thing conflicted by the weather. The flowers we usually only see in the spring are popping out everywhere, like the Camellias that are by now even nearing the end of their bloom. What? This week I saw a commercial on TV for spring clothing that made me double check the calendar. Is everyone rushing spring like the weather is? Well that might mean changes in the menus we’ve planned, because things are going to be early; but no worries, spring brings such freshness to the culinary world. And, regardless of the current disharmony in weather, we have truly enjoyed wearing our light jackets on the beach and picking the rosemary that is blooming beautifully right now all around our property.
We have just completed EVOO’s 2015 Show & Class schedule and it’s already posted to our website–www.evoo.biz
But wait, before you go there read below about some of the highlights.
Our popular, The Dinner Shows, still three entrée courses paired with three wines and a great dessert are listed for each month, complete with full menu and some wines have been chosen. Go to show schedule for all twelve months.
Again throughout the year, on Saturdays, you will see our semi hands five hour ARTISAN BREAD II classes, in which you make crusty Italian bread and classic French bread, and take some home along with a bit of our “biga” starter to make more at home.
It’s not too early to decide how to enjoy VALENTINE’S DAY, as February 14 this year is on “date-night,” Saturday, and should be popular. Our special menu is not just that night but all that weekend.
Our skill building fully hands on classes, CULINARY BASICS, begins in March this year and offered as individual classes throughout the year. Each day is still six hours of instruction with a special focus. Check it out.
Sunday, March 22, 2015-The Art & Science of Pasta, Paella, & Risotto
Sunday, April 26, 2015-Art & Science of Meat Cookery
Sunday, May 24, 2015 – Practicing Knife Skills and Art & Science of Vegetable Cookery
Sunday, September 27, 2015—The Art & Science of Cooking Seafood
Sunday, November 8, 2015- The Art & Science of Baking (without yeast)
SAVOR WINE WEEK in Cannon Beach is scheduled for March 12 – 14, 2015. This year we have entered the wine competition with our two CHEF’S BLENDS, our Oregon Red and Oregon White. That’s exciting!
The wine maker from Willamette Valley Vineyard joins us with wines paired to Chef Bob’s dinners on Thursday and Friday of that weekend.
Saturday we invite participates to our WINE BLENDING CLASS featuring the barrel samplings from J. Scott Cellars, and wine maker, Jonathan Oberlander, is coming to guide each of us as we blend and create our own wine which you take with you!
The Early Dinner Shows on Sundays (4:00-7:00) start up again in May.
Sunday, May 10th isMOTHER’S DAYand our spring inspired menu is already posted.
The Fourth of Julyis on Saturday this year. Pies and parade on our porch and then an early dinner show that evening is scheduled, so you may enjoy the festivities planned by the city for the evening. As always pre-order whole pies or come for a slice on parade day.
In October we have two weeks in Italy planned. And we still have space in both. Check out itineraries or if you cannot decide, come for both! The first week is October 10-16 to UMBRIA ; the second week is October 17-23 in SICILY. If you like the intimacy of our dinner shows, you will love our intimate tours with the foodie friends of EVOO.
For the last quarter, we have already posted our Halloween Party, Thanksgiving Dinner, Feast of Seven Fishes and New Years Eve. So click now on what you want to learn more about or just go straight to our website and look at it all!
Our bliss is teaching guests , YOU, to cook and enjoy good clean food, well-prepared and attainable by all.
Have we made you a little interested. Call us and schedule time at our table or our tour bus in the new year, 2015!