Every year, a group of my girlfriends hold a weekend beach retreat. We stay in a beautiful house that none of us want to leave. We sleep in, bring enough snacks to last for weeks, drink wine, eat off paper plates because no one wants to do dishes, browse tiny beach shops (including the year-round Christmas store), half-heartedly work on crafts, and walk on the shore. We talk, cry, pray, and laugh our heads off.
And we go to EVOO.
On paper, EVOO is a cooking school in Cannon Beach, OR. Chefs Bob and Lenore cook 3 courses plus dessert. They explain and answer questions throughout the evening. Wine or non-alcoholic drinks are paired with every course. The food is a combination of common-place and gourmet. The menu changes monthly based on what’s in season.
By experience, EVOO is…sublime. It’s not food for mere mortals, but there we find ourselves. With every course, I think it can’t get more delicious. But it does. I don’t know how. And they answered all my questions. Unlike other cooking classes I’ve attended, the professionals do the cooking. So the end result is a meal that melts in your mouth. My friend Teresa tried to tell me before I went the first time. But nothing could have prepared me for the actual experience. While I didn’t technically lick any plates, I may have scraped the dessert bowl with my finger.
This year, I brought some of Aunt Becky’s special jam, fruit butters, and sauces as a gift. Bob and Lenore graciously gave me a few tips. The first one I’m going to try is using Quince rather than pectin as a thickening agent in some of my products. I found a local Oregon farm that sells Quince, so be on the lookout for the results of my experiment.
I think that in heaven, the food is even more amazing than here on earth. Like maybe a cherry the size of a grapefruit and sugar that doesn’t add pounds but makes you lighter. In the meantime, I’ll just dream of EVOO for next year and settle for a meal that doesn’t seem fit for mere mortals.