Where would we be without our friends? Sad, lonely, and definitely not a few short days away from our expansion party, that’s where. Thankfully, as Friday, May 9th gets closer, our amazing sponsors have stepped up like the best of friends do and are going to make sure all our guests have THE BEST party fuel in town. To Pacific Pie Co., New Deal Distillery, Union Wine Co., QUIN Candy & Portland Creamery, thank you all SO much for joining us in this truly momentous occasion in betsy & iya history!
Sarah Curtis-Fawley is like the Wonder Woman of pie making in Portland. Launching in 2009 with her Aussie hubby and a Farmer’s Market presence, Sarah’s now killing it in two locations with lunch & dinner menus, happy hour deals, and cocktails to compliment her signature pies. Get ready to enjoy Pacific Pie Co.’s bite size savory meat and veggie pies, curried samosas, gluten-free and vegan dips, and assorted mini sweet pies on May 9th.On what handmade means: Each pie we make is handcrafted with care - we peel and chop the fruit, crimp the edges of the pastry, and weave the lattice all by hand. A lot of our customers tell me that we make pies like their grandmother used to bake - and we try to always keep that in mind with every pie we put in the oven!
On banishing a fear of Australian meat pies:
The first time I had an Australian meat pie I had just finished a long hike along the gorgeous South Australian coastline. I was starving, and my new Aussie friends took me to a country bakery. I ordered a vegetable & cheese pastie, and ate it sitting on a bench gazing out over the Southern Ocean. Bliss! …once folks try our pies - including Beef & Stout, Roast Lamb, Pulled Pork, and Thai Green Chicken Curry - they realize how delicious they are.
On working with local farms:
In terms of our proteins, we want to ensure that the animals are being raised humanely, on pasture whenever possible, and are of course free of antibiotics and other nastiness...This is one of my favorite times of year because each week something new is in season - leeks, spring greens, berries, stone fruits - and we can have fun with new pie flavors.
Buckle up. The New Deal vodka and gin we’re going to be sharing with you comes from one of Portland’s granddaddies of small-batch distilling. New Deal is a monster in the distillery community, known for their open doors via tastings, events, classes and workshops. Make no mistake, the New Deal Vodka and New Deal Gin #1 pouring forth at our party will be entirely handmade.
On the water:
You’re actually drinking melted snow pack from Mt. Hood when you drink New Deal. The mountain’s annual accumulation of 500-600 inches of snow each season melts into the Bull Run Resevoir, one of North America’s largest gravity-fed water supplies, and is considered to be among the most pure in the nation.
On the flavors:
The ingredients that go into New Deal products are impeccable, such as the secret blend of five Southwestern-style chili peppers in the Hot Monkey Pepper Flavored Vodka, the organic, fair-trade cacao nibs in the Mud Puddle Bitter Chocolate Vodka, and coffees from Water Avenue and Clive Coffee for their Coffee Liqueur. I mean, stop. it. right. now!!!!!!!!!! #its5oclocksomewhere
Gin Old Fashioned
2 oz New Deal Gin No. 1
2 dashes Fees Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters
2 orange wedges
1 sugar cube
1 Toschi cherry
Muddle 1 orange wedge, 1 sugar cube and 1 Toschi cherry in a rocks glass without ice. Add gin and Fees Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters. Shake with ice, and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange wedge. Drink & notice how the worries of your day melt away. If they don't, repeat recipe until desired effect.
Oh, let us count the ways we love Union Wine Co. Based in Tualatin, they’re down to earth (literally), and they’re on a mission to make wine accessible and affordable. Winemaker Ryan Harms labors lovingly in the Oregon mud, formulating sensory complexity, and then has the cojones to put it in a can. Sidle up for their 2011 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir and 2013 Kings Ridge Pinot Gris.
On space and efficiency:
From the beginning we selected a building that had easy access, large doors and tall ceilings. I like to joke, “that at Union we are more focused on cubic feet then square feet” meaning we can use taller tanks and make maximum use of the space in the building.
On the upcoming “Wine In a Can” rollout:
We wanted to come up with a product that embodied our company’s philosophy of making great craft wine minus all the fuss…That’s where things got really fun. And the craft is there; the wine is a solid Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. It's craft at the next level of production scale, so it's really drinkable. People like the design certainly but the idea is bigger than that.
On the Supes-Sweet, vintage French Citroën H Van they call the Union Wine Tasting Truck (which will be AT the party May 9!!!!):
The HVan was restored in New Jersey by a guy that imports them into the USA. We wanted to find a vehicle that would allow us to be apart of the Portland food cart scene that we love so much. The simple, utilitarian styling of 1972 Citroen H van fits our love of efficiency and design. Definitely a new companion.
Shhh! Don’t make a big deal, but QUIN’s Jami Curl is kind of a big deal. She’s the brains (and guts) behind the local, contemporary handmade candy lab whose retail store is housed in Union Way, and she’s been known to dream in candy. Prepare yourself for her Coffee + Orange + Smoked Salt Caramels, Dreams Come Chew fruit chews, and handmade lollipops.
On dreaming in flavor combinations:
…spending as much time as I have in kitchens it's kind of where my mind wanders to when I'm doing something more mundane like mixing dough or chopping chocolate. I approach the work with only one question: What can we NOT do today - and then I work backwards from there. [A couple of examples are:]
Maple and Cracked Black Pepper - This candy started at breakfast. I was eating pepper bacon and swiping it through my maple syrup and I thought - the spicy / sweet / fat combo of this can't be beat. Of course our caramel contains no bacon - but the butter does a great job representing the fat category!
Smoked Cola - I never, ever drink soda. BUT I was out for BBQ with friends and someone had ordered a Mexican Coke to accompany brisket. I didn't sample the combination it got me to thinking that the fizzy cola taste would probably be perfectly suited to some smokiness...so I went for it.
On wrapping each piece of candy by hand:
Wrapping machines cost upwards of $25,000 and the majority of them are over 60 years old and basically require an on-staff mechanic to fix little issues that crop up daily. OF COURSE a wrapping machine is on my list of wants (even with their various problems) but for now we are getting to know our candy very well by wrapping each piece with human hands.
On what it takes to be a candy maker:
I want people who understand that the small batch and tedious approach we take to candy making is the best way, who can get to know what sugar looks like when it's cooking so well that their eyes become their thermometer…This can't just be a job.
Cheesemaker Liz Alvis loves goats. She works with over 80 of them at Tempo Farm. They’re a National Award winning herd started in 1962 by Fern, Wayne and Dr. Lauren Acton. And in a creamery located in Molalla, the fruits of their labors turn into substance that, for some, is synonymous with gold: chevre. Get ready to sink into all that Portland Creamery has to offer: the classic Herbes de Provence, Sweet Fire (Oregon Chevre topped with a marionberry habanero jam), and yes, the Cajeta (see below) drizzled on some Oregon Chevre.
On family business:
I got into the business of cheese making because of my Mom. Our family business back in Ohio is Mackenzie Creamery and she was my inspiration and teacher. I had been working for years in the wine industry, so production was already something of interest for me. But once I learned about cheese production, the deal was sealed!
On goat milk caramel aka my current obsession:
The Cajeta is a fun project for us. We started experimenting with it years ago, it took some time to get it just right. We wanted to produce something that could compliment the cheese, so naturally a goat milk caramel was a perfect fit. It is perfect drizzled on the Oregon Chevre on a cheese plate served with apples or pears. We like to call it a "delicious situation.”
Thank you again to ALL of our awesome sponsors. We hope you'll enjoy their goods & services on May 9th and beyond!
xo betsy & iya
***Song of the Moment: With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker***