First, I would like to apologize for having only one photo of anything from my interesting day. But, I’m writing about it anyway!
Today I went to the Gardner House Bed and Breakfast in Stayton for afternoon tea with my mom and two friends. You can see the Gardner House menu and information here. We sat in a lovely parlor with a fireplace and had the “Light Tea”, which included a fruit cup, savory tarts, tea-size sandwiches and desserts, and the Gardner House Blend Tea (Ceylon black tea with vanilla, spices, and dried fruit).
The 6-inch savory tarts were marvelous. The server brought 2 of the “Oregon Smoked Gouda with Caramelized Onions and Prosciutto”, and 1 each of the “Oven Dried Tomato with Goat and Mozzarella Cheeses and Kalamata Olives” and the “Roasted Bell Peppers with Gruyere Cheese in Brown and Wild Rice Crust”. We each took of quarter of all 3 varieties. The Smoked Gouda tart was my favorite, and is their most popular. The fresh fruit cup included melon, grapes, pears, starfruit, and pomegranate seeds.
For sandwiches, we each had a tiny cheesy puff with a tuna mixture, a cucumber mint, and an egg salad. All of them were absolutely delicious (and I don’t even eat egg salad!)! For sweets, we had a star-shaped chocolate shortbread cookie, a pretty gingerbread apple cake with a dollop of hard sauce, and a chocolate-dipped English toffee chunk. These came to our table on one of those adorable tiered china serving plates, which I just love. I think I love them because they only come out on special occasions and always hold wonderful noms. The china on the table was in different rose patterns, which I also love. Happy!
The spiced tea was very nice and Christmas-y and even better with a little bit of sugar, which came in a glass bowl with a silver lid and a tiny silver spoon decorated with a teapot. We each got our own little teapot full of tea, and mine was pink. Afternoon tea is so cheerful and festive! I highly recommend the Gardner House – wonderful food and nice service, and they have pastries you can buy to take home. I couldn’t resist the Lemon-Glazed Lavender Scone to eat for my breakfast tomorrow, and I got a Pain au Chocolat and a Sugar Bun as well, ostensibly for other members of my family.
So, we have had record rains the last few days and a lot of wind. On the way to Stayton (15-ish miles from my house) we came upon a large tree that had just fallen across the highway. A few non-official looking men were working at cleaning it up and we had to drive around it on the left shoulder of the road. An emergency vehicle was coming towards the area and we assumed the tree had just succumbed to the the wind and rain. We didn’t find out until the middle of our tea-time that a tornado had come through. A TORNADO.
The tornado zipped through a little town called Aumsville, near Stayton, and caused a lot of damage. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. You can see photos here and an article here. The photos of the plumbing company/barber shop building are incredible, the tornado just stole the roof and left the rest. It’s like you’re looking into a doll’s house. Now, to those of you who live in, say, Kansas this may seem like business as usual. But we live in Oregon. We don’t have tornadoes. I think Ms. Melinda Smith said it best, as quoted in the article noted above:
"Suddenly, it got really dark and really quiet," Smith said. "I noticed a lot of stuff in the air across the street. There were a couple trampolines and sheds flying above the roofs. I told myself, ‘That’s not normal.’"
Well, it certainly isn’t!