This weekend, Mary and I checked out a couple of new things in Corvallis. The first was the farmers' market - while this isn't new, I've never been to the winter market before. It is small, which should be expected as not too much grows in the winter. The farm we get our CSA box from, Denison, had a table, and we got some salad mix there. There were people selling some pottery, soup, flowers, etc. All the usual things.
There was table I'd never seen at the summer market, Oregon Gourmet Cheeses. They had some yummy cheeses for sale, so we bought a slice of their smoked, raw-milk cheese. Very creamy, soft, faintly smoky - similar to a smoked Gouda, but not as dense. I was a little disappointed that the people at the table didn't have more information about themselves, but I did find their nice little web page. Happily, I discovered the milk used is organic, though the cheese doesn't appear to be certified organic. I recommend you try some if you ever get a chance. It's better than the Wallace and Gromit cheese I picked up the other day.
The next stop on our whirl-wind trip was the new meat store, Bald Hill Farm. They have frozen beef, lamb, goat, and (in spring and fall) chicken. There are also some select fresh cuts available as well. I'd been looking for a local butcher shop in our area. Just a tiny bit out of town is Emmons Meat Market which sells wonderful jerky and smoked meats (they also sell whole roasting pigs - U-roast or they'll roast). But I'd wanted a place with fresh meat. The co-op sells fresh meat, but it'd be nice to have direct access - especially since I'd potentially be able to order a large roast in the future. Mary and I picked up some flank steak and I grilled it tonight. Mmmmm.... delicious, marinated in soy/ginger/fish sauce, grilled rare (with some cooked longer (medium) for Mary's tastes). Plus some grilled potatoes and a fresh salad (mentioned above). I don't know why I don't cook more often.
The last new place we tried was the recently opened french pastry shop, "Le Patissier" (no web pages yet). We tried the chocolate croissant (divine) and took a gander at their other offerings - creme brulee, napoleons, cakes, all sorts of goodies. This is a dangerous thing, as they open up at 6:30 during the week (right when I head to work, and it's on the way...).
Now if I could just find some local sausage...