Today is our last day in Oregon. I can’t believe it’s time to leave already. It’s not just that the last few weeks have gone by so quickly, but also that we’re leaving Oregon so soon; we’ve only been here a little over a year.
When we found out we were coming to Oregon we were really excited. We were happy to be heading west, first of all, because we had never lived further west than Galveston, Texas. At least not together; the Hubster lived in California early in his Coast Guard career.
We were also excited because we were supposed to be here for four long, calm, settled years. The longest we’d lived anywhere up until then was three years, and that was a one time thing. Everywhere we’ve lived has been for two years or less. You can imagine how much we were looking forward to relaxing in one place for such a long time (by our standards).
Yet here we are, only 16 months later, spending our last day in Oregon, in a hotel after having watched the last of our belongings drive away from us last night, not to be seen again for three years, and we’re waiting to fly. To Europe.
Sometimes, it’s like I live in the Twilight Zone. I’m actually house hunting for a place to live in the Netherlands. Who does that?! It’s just weird. Completely, totally, awesomely weird.
Today, I’m paying homage to Oregon. We didn’t have a lot of time to get to know you, Oregon, and very little time to learn what we’d love and miss the most, but I think if you were to ask the Hubster what he loved the most about Oregon, his first response would be marionberries.
He loved marionberry ice cream, marionberry pies, tarts, jams, cookies, scones, and just plain marionberries. Period. So, as a parting Oregon gift to him, I made some sweet and simple marionberry jam, and baked it into some soft biscuits.
He was happy.
For the jaam, which isn’t really jam at all, but kinda is, I just mixed some fresh marionberries together with a little sugar, and simmered until it was jammy. Ish. It was thickened and sweet and delicious.
I made mine heart-shaped by pressing my thumb in twice, in a sort of ‘v’ shape.
Then, just bake and enjoy. Easy, eh?
Slather on some extra jam, enjoy with a hot cup of tea, and think of Oregon. Here are some things you can visulaize to help you, just in case you’ve never been: green…green grass and leaves and shrubs, green moss on the sidewalks and tree trunks, green pines towering over you, and green, fresh life at every turn. Water…cool and clear and falling from the sky, tumbling down stone, and burbling by in a stream, or crashing into rocks and sand at sea. Blue…blue, blue skies that stretch on and on, because for every person that says it rains so very often in Oregon, I counter with the fact that we saw more sun and gorgeous, stretching blue sky here than we have in many of the places we’ve lived. And even when it was an overcast and rainy day, the low tufts of scudding clouds were tinged with azure shades from deep navies to light steely blues.
Goodbye, Oregon. Thank you for having us, for welcoming us, and for being home.
Marionberry Jam Biscuits
Makes about 8 3 to 4-inch biscuits
FOR THE JAM
fresh marionberries (or any berries you like, such as strawberries or raspberries)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
FOR THE BISCUITS
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsaltted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
To make the jam: Cook the marionberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 12–15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon zest. Pour into a shallow bowl or small jam jar, and let cool.
To make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 400°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mat; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Even distribute the butter over the flour mixture, and cut together withh a fork, or pulse 6 to 8 times int he food processor, until the mixture looks sandy with a few pea-sized clumps. Add buttermilk and use a fork to mix until just combined, or pulse 6 to 8 times, until just combined. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead just until a shaggy, moist dough forms.
Roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, or a flower or heart shaped cutter (or any shape you like), cut out biscuits. Gather scraps together and repeat rolling and cutting until all dough is used.
Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Using your thumb, press a divot in the center of each biscuit. Brush the biscuits with the egg and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the marionberry jam into each divot.
Bake 18–22 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.
Recipe by Darla