Editor’s note: Joel Palmer House is just one of the epicurean adventures you can experience this spring as part of Dig Our Valley, a collection of unique events, deals and menus that invite you to dig in to Yamhill Valley.
Truffle season in the Willamette Valley means it’s time to pull out the mushroom recipes that you’ve saved up all year long from magazines and websites that offer that one special article on how to use truffles in cooking and baking or even as a condiment. At the Joel Palmer House, the truffle I was coveting was being grated over just about everything I put in to my mouth. With both eyes closed most of the time, I let the taste of that precious tuber permeate my senses into oblivion as I savoured every gorgeous bite!James Beard once said, ”There is absolutely no substitute for the best. Good food cannot be made of inferior ingredients masked with high flavor. It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available and to waste nothing.” James Beard knew Oregon. He knew that using “local” and that the practice of sustainability was probably born here. So, enjoying the delicious foods that come from our earth really doesn’t take much thought. It’s what we do and we do it quite well.That mysterious, bulbous delicate treat is no exception. I didn’t have to go far or wear my mucking boots to go foraging for my truffle. Served in and atop tasty soups, aside tender meats, chopped into my pasta dish and even made in to a delicious dessert, mushrooms such as the truffle are perfect examples of what James Beard was trying to get across.The Joel Palmer House offers their Mushroom Sunshine Menu this spring as part of Dig Our Valley. If you are visiting the Willamette Valley, you will find that we are a true testament that there is no substitute for the best. Finding that sweet spot on the edge of town, right on the edge of truffle season, you will find that your precious truffle with each delicate bite will remind you of where you are… the valley with it’s rich soil and trees that protect our treasures until they are ready to be harvested!Maybe I’ll actually pull those boots on and forage next year… it’s on my Oregon Bucket List, you know!