Rizzeamer Farms 2019

Every year at 8911,  our gardening and landscaping gets more beautiful and productive,   all thanks to my lovely wife and her ever greenening thumb.

Here are some highlights from this summer so far...


Echinacea:


This was all dirt 2 years ago.

Now its potatoes and lettuce and herbs and broccoli  and cukes and tomatoes and nasturtiums:


First ever artichokes!


Rudbeckia:


Front Yard beds...

Corn and Peppers and Tomatoes and Herbs and Beans: 


Lets not forget the ladies...

CeeZee, LaToya and Phoebe Judge,  holding court and making a racket.


Jasmine for days:





A Trio of Gazpachos


This year I was tasked with putting some serious effort into the Union Wine Co. FIELD NOTES   This is a part of their site that tells employee stories, showcases recipes and cocktails as well as a few cool How To’s…

This is one of those posts.  Check them all out in the above link.




Garden Bounty Pt. 1
A Trio of Gazpachos





Now that summer is in full swing,  gardeners all over the country are seeing their hard work and dedication beginning to finally bear fruit…. and vegetables and herbs. And once the bounty begins,    it can really produce a lot of produce very quickly… if ya know what i mean.    Even if you aren’t a gardener,   your local farmers markets are also beginning to explode with beautiful, colorful fruit and veggies.  

So here are Union,  we decided to run a series of posts about fun, easy recipes to put all that great freshly grown produce to use.  For us,  Gazpacho is one of the simplest but most pure ways to really celebrate the freshness of the season.  There is absolutely no cooking required.   Just a little prepping and then a whole lot of blending.

Most people are familiar with the classic Andalusian tomato gazpacho,   but there are several other recipes that are just as delicious.  With any gazpacho,  there is a lot of room for interpretation,  so we welcome you to follow our recipes,  but we urge you to try your own tweaks or additions.   Also,   there is a wide variation on the texture of gazpacho.   We personally like a chunky gazpacho,  as you will see in the following photos,  but if you prefer a smoother texture,  it's as simple as just blending longer.

So without further ado,  we present a trio of gazpachos:  Tomato,  Cucumber and Watermelon.



Tomato Gazpacho





*A Note on the following recipes:   All three recipes make roughly 1 quart of gazpacho each, which will feed 2 to 4 people.


Recipe:

4-5 medium heirloom tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 large cucumber
3 roasted red piquillo peppers
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
a small piece of baguette (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Technique:

Peel half the cucumber and remove the seeds.    Chop all vegetables into manageable pieces and place in a baking dish.  Pour the olive oil and sherry vinegar over the veggies.  Season with salt and pepper,  mix well and let sit for 10 minutes.    If you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’,  you can put everything in together.  If you are working with a smaller blender,  blend in batches,  trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch.   Blend to desired consistency and refrigerate.  When ready to serve,  garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs, such as cilantro or basil.  Enjoy with a can of Underwood Pinot Noir.





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Cucumber Gazpacho





Recipe:

2 large cucumbers 
1/2 large yellow bell pepper
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 C plain whole milk yogurt
1 small bunch of mint
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt & pepper to taste

Technique:

Peel half of each cucumber.   (This will allow for a little texture with the skin,  but not too much.)  Cut the cucumbers down the middle and remove all seeds.  Chop all veggies into manageable pieces.   As stated above,  if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’,  you can put everything in together.  If you are working with a smaller blender,  blend in batches,  trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch.     It is okay to  add the lime juice and yogurt at the same time as the veggies.   Season with salt and pepper and blend to your desired texture.  Keep refrigerated.  When ready to serve,  garnish with some finely diced cucumber and a mint sprig.  Enjoy with an ice cold can of Underwood Pinot Gris.





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Watermelon Gazpacho






Recipe:

1/2 large seedless watermelon (roughly 3 Cups)
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 large red heirloom tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Technique:

Peel watermelon and chop into cubes. Peel and seed cucumber.  Chop up the tomato and pepper.   As stated above,  As stated above,  if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’,  you can put everything in together.  If you are working with a smaller blender,  blend in batches,  trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch.  Blend to desired texture and then refrigerate.  When ready to serve,   garnish with a few pieces of watermelon and some chopped fresh mint and enjoy with an ice cold 







So as you can see,   there are many different styles of gazpacho to enjoy.   All can be made several days in advance.   And again,  feel free to tweak the ingredients,  texture and garnishes to fit your personal taste.

Bon Appétit!






Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)






A Perfect Pairing



This year I was tasked with putting some serious effort into the Union Wine Co. FIELD NOTES   This is a part of their site that tells employee stories, showcases recipes and cocktails as well as a few cool How To’s…

This is one of those posts.  Check them all out in the above link.




A Perfect Pairing:
Tillamook Frozen Custard & Underwood Strawberry Cooler Syrup 







Strawberry season goes by way too quickly,  but here at Union we aren’t quite ready to say goodbye just yet!  

We have recently discovered (and fallen in love with) some of our local Tillamook Creamery’s Special Batch ice cream, gelato and custards.   We thought it would be  interesting to pair strawberries with their Sea Salt & Honeycomb Toffee Custard….  and it worked amazingly.   To sweeten the deal,  we created a simple yet very complex tasting Strawberry Cooler Syrup,  which really highlights the salty crunchy bits of toffee in the creamy custard.

The syrup is very simple to make,  and will stay good for weeks in the refrigerator.



Underwood Strawberry Cooler Syrup

3 ripe strawberries
3 sprigs of mint
1/4 teaspoon of black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons of sugar (optional)







STEP ONE:

Pour a can of the Cooler into a wide, heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil.   If adding the sugar, do so at this time.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.


STEP TWO:

Immediately reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.







STEP THREE:

After 15 minutes,  place the strawberries (stems removed), mint and peppercorns into the pot and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has been evaporated.

STEP FOUR:

Strain liquid immediately into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.   Once cooled,  scoop out some custard (or your favorite Tillamook ice cream flavor),  add a few strawberries and a healthy drizzle of the syrup.






Bon Appétit!








Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)



Tillamook’s IG:  @tillamook



My seventh book!!!

This is a long time overdue,   but i have been so busy these last few months, i completely forgot to put up a post about it.

A few months ago,  the 7th book i photographed,   CHEESE BEER WINE CIDER: A Field Guide to 75 Perfect Pairings was released thru Countryman Press.  Written by Portland Cheese-Czar Steve Jones and co-written by Adam Lindsley,  this was a true passion project and a complete success.

Buy it right here thru Powell's Books. and support local business!

Here's a visual sampling....















Redefining the Radler


This year I was tasked with putting some serious effort into the Union Wine Co. FIELD NOTES   This is a part of their site that tells employee stories, showcases recipes and cocktails as well as a few cool How To’s…

This is one of those posts.  Check them all out in the above link.




Redefining The Radler:
Riesling Radler Granita with Grilled Pineapple






During these hot summer months,  there is very little as refreshing as an ice cold Underwood Riesling Radler.   Its light, grapefruit infused white wine flavor makes for a solid afternoon beverage.  But that got us thinking about how else we could bring the flavor of one of our favorite cans to life.

Enter the Granita.   An Italian flavored ice dessert,  it is similar to sorbet but instead of needing an ice cream maker,  Granita can be made simply with a pan and a fork for mixing.  Often served as an intermezzo,  Granita also makes a delicious and refreshing dessert.  We decided to pair our Radler Granita with grilled pineapple as both can be done in advance when entertaining.  This recipe will serve 4-6 people.







STEP ONE:

Preheat your grill.
Peel your fresh pineapple and slice into rounds that are roughly 1/2 an inch thick. 
Lightly brush slices with canola oil and grill on both sides for about 5 minutes per side.*
Let slices cool and then keep in a container in the fridge until ready to serve.

(*To achieve the “crosshatching” grilled effect,  simply turn the slice 45 degrees halfway through the grilling process.)


\



STEP TWO:

In a medium sized metal or ceramic dish, pour:

1 can of Riesling Radler
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 1/2 oz simple syrup

Place dish in the freezer.  Set your timer for 20 minutes.
When the timer goes off,  stir the liquid gently with a fork to begin incorporating the frozen bits into the liquid.  This is done to create a shaved ice texture,  and not have the liquid freeze into a solid sheet.
Continue this process, remembering to set your timer and stirring every twenty minutes or so.  After about and hour,  you will see the liquid becoming quite slushy.








Continue this process until Granita is completely frozen and there is no more liquid in the pan.
At this point,  you can transfer the Granita to a quart container.  This will save room in your freezer and also make scooping it out easier.









STEP THREE:

When it is time to serve, place a slice of the grilled pineapple on a plate.  Using a 2 oz ice cream scooper, dip the scooper into some warm water,   pack the the Granita tightly into the scoop and place in the center of the slice.

Serve with an ice cold can of Radler.   Bon Appétit!








Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)



Its Strawberry Season!



This year I was tasked with putting some serious effort into the Union Wine Co. FIELD NOTES   This is a part of their site that tells employee stories, showcases recipes and cocktails as well as a few cool How To’s…

This is one of those posts.  Check them all out in the above link.



Its Strawberry Season!
Pick 'em, Eat 'em, Drink 'em




Of all the seasons here in Oregon,   the absolute best one has to be Strawberry season!    Oregon Strawberries are nothing like the ones you see around the country,  (or on the rest of the West Coast for that matter.)   A good bit smaller in size,  Oregon strawberries pack a bright red center and a flavor that will put a giant smile on your face.

The strawberry season here lasts only a few weeks,  so we recommend not letting it pass you by.    Of course you can go to plenty of local markets and co-ops around town and get beautiful pints of berries,   but for the true fans,   nothing compares to packing up the family,   making the drive out to Sauvie Island and spending an hour or so  in the fields picking your own.   Besides from saving tons of money,   its a family activity that everyone can enjoy.

  For this adventure,  we inlisted the help of the Alexander Family.   Walter is a North Carolina native and one of the original owners of Pine State Biscuits and Darcie is one of the best local real estate agents (and the one my wife and I hired)  with PDX Green Team.

There are plenty of local farms that allow you to pick your own. We chose one of our favorites,  Columbia Farms,  on the far side of Sauvie Island,  but they are all pretty great.   




If it's your first time out in the fields,  you can bring your own reusable containers to fill up or the farms will proviude you with everything you need to get your berries home safely.






Once you get out into the fields,  the different varieties are marked with color coded flags for easy identification.    Some types are better for baking,  some are better for straight munching.  We love Hoods the best,  but we encourage you to do a little taste test once you get into the fields,  illustrated quite subtly here by the Alexander children,  Hazel and Lewis.

(so much for hiding the evidence…)





And while the kids are busy picking and munching a few berries,  we encourage the adults in the group to quench their thirsts with our Strawberry Cooler.   Made with Pinot Noir and just a hint of lime juice,   this punch is not super sweet or overly intense but a perfect balance of sweet and tart.   And it’s low alcohol content makes it perfect for an afternoon out with the family.

As we liked to say,  Pinot Noir + Oregon Strawberries + Cranberry Juice + Lime = for all summer long. 






So don’t let the next few weeks slip by.   Get out there and get those strawberries!








Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)



'Blueberry Fields Forever’ Sangria


This year I was tasked with putting some serious effort into the Union Wine Co. FIELD NOTES   This is a part of their site that tells employee stories, showcases recipes and cocktails as well as a few cool How To’s…

This is one of those posts.  Check them all out in the above link.




The Perfect Summer Afternoon Drink:
'Blueberry Fields Forever’ Sangria





As Portlanders,   we often forget that a gorgeous river runs straight through our fair city.    We get so distracted crossing from one side to the other,  that the simple act of sitting on its banks and enjoying an afternoon with a friend can get lost in the shuffle.

There are great hidden (and not so hidden) parks all along the Willamette River from St. Johns to Lake Oswego to Oregon City.   We recommend this summer that you do a little exploring and rediscover a few of these locales.   We would certainly be remiss if we were to send you out on a Lewis-and-Clark-Style-Pacific-Northwest-Expedition  without an appropriate beverage to enjoy once you’ve found your spot.

So allow us to introduce our new favorite summertime punch,  the ‘Blueberry Fields Forever’ White Wine Sangria.  We know that life is hectic,  and sometimes the best plans are made at the last minute,  so this recipe should fit those situations perfectly.  With just a little prep the night before,   you can be enjoying a colorful and fruity glass of this Sangria by the following afternoon.



STEP ONE:

In a large Mason Jar,  combine:

3/4 C of white rum
1/2 C simple syrup
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 large orange
1 C frozen blueberries
1/2 C orange slices cut into small triangles.
3 sprigs of mint

Let this macerate in your fridge overnight.  Call a friend and tell them where to meet you the next afternoon….








STEP TWO:

Once you’ve found a suitable spot, pull out your Mason jar and add 2 cans of Union’s Underwood Pinot Gris.  For our less coordinated explorers,  feel free to add one can at a time.   But since we are pros….




STEP THREE:

Fill two smaller Mason jars with ice.  

Pour each about three quarters full of the sangria and then top off with sparkling water or club soda.   Mix well, making sure you get plenty of blueberries and orange slices in each glass.   Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.







While you are making up the sangria,   have your friend shuffle and deal the cards…. and you are all ready to settle in to a fun round of Go Fish with a beautiful view.










Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)