It was at the end of October, almost November, that I got a short but sweet email from food stylist and photographer Eva Kosmas Flores outlining a one-day food styling and photography workshop taking place in Washougal, Washington (near Portland) on December 5th. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt the heartstrings pulling with an intensity like I haven’t felt in a really long time. I’m a mom, I don’t get out much, I haven’t traveled in years, and I definitely wasn’t sure about flying out to the other side of the country. And yet, I was. Yes, I was! Back in 1999 I flew around the world by myself to study abroad for a semester in Perth, Australia, and something of that old travel bug came roaring back out. Yes, I was totally going to do this. With about 5 weeks notice, whatever! My wedding season would be over, which meant my schedule was totally free (which doesn’t happen often). Nothing was holding me back. I paid my deposit on the workshop within hours of that email, with not a shred of regret.
Exploring Portland, OR
After spending an amazing couple of days in Portland exploring everything I could, on the morning of the 5th I hopped in my little rental car and made the rainy 45 minute drive over to Washington state, and navigated some insanely twisty roads through Camas and Washougal. I arrived at the gorgeous farm, and it was so perfect with the light rain and all the beautiful cloudy PNW light.
The farmhouse was decorated in a warm and inviting style, with lots of evergreen cuttings that came from right outside (it was a Christmas tree farm, after all). There were about a dozen of us participants, all such incredibly talented women with backgrounds in photography, food, cookbooks, etc.
Our delicious lunch was prepared by Foster’s Craft Cooking. The lunch menu featured Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Oregon Hazelnut Romesco, Treviso and Parsley Leaf Salad with shaved celery, manchego, and sherry vinaigrette. The earthy, rustic colors were just as gorgeous to photograph as it was to enjoy eating.
The 2nd course was an amazing Clam, Chorizo and White Bean stew, cooked over an open fire in the backyard.
Once the afternoon of instruction had concluded, we had 2 hours of downtime before the dinner event. While our hosts were busy transforming the house into a dinner soiree, most of our group headed back to Camas, Washington to an antique store which was a wonderful way to spend some time. The 30 minute drive back and forth from Camas was another story, however. Dark, drizzly, foggy, with endless sudden sharp curves kept me on edge. In fact, early the next morning on the plane home, every time I closed my eyes to doze off all I saw was slamming on brakes, and steering around sharp corners in the rain. It took a while to get that out of my mind.