Easter 2012: many many calories, many many old friends, many many car sing-alongs. Three of my very favorite things. On Friday I headed down to Corvallis (after a bowl of gelato, to kick off the mini-vacation) to meet Logan (old friend #1) and Storey (old friend #2). On Saturday morning, Logan and I drove out to Gathering Together Farm, just ten or so miles from town, to meet Tayler (old friend #3) for brunch. A sign that I don’t remember any of except “fresh pastries” guides you down the little road to the farm; a sweet farmhouse amidst just enough fields, situated across the street from a fuzzy little llama herd.

The restaurant is in an old house, the main area shared with a mini-market, where produce from the farm and meats from the charcuterie guy associated with the farm and honey and jam and salsa are all for sale. The dining room spills out into a warm green house-y space, filled with big tree-slab tables topped with flowers and kitschy saltshakers.

Logie, Tayler, and I sat down at the sunniest table, but got right back up when the waitress told us the pastries were inside. Rhubarb gallette… croissants… chocolate croissants…doughnuts…lord. Swoon. Wound up with a doughnut (Me: “What kind do you want?” Log: “Well…the kind covered in sugar…obviously.”) They were potato doughnuts though, so healthy for sure. And a blueberry almond Danish. Danishes…usually not ym favorite. This Danish: just sweet and doughy enough center, ringed by a halo of crispy, burnt-sugar-y, cinnamon blessed pastry.

Okay, then brunch. Log got eggs benedict (with farm-y sausage subbed for ham) and Tayler and I got omlettes: she a yummy bacon one, me a yummy mushroom one. Lots of kale on everyone’s plate. Delight. Lots of chatting and catching up and having just one more tiny bite of Danish. Then Tayler and I went on to the Corvallis farmers market, the last winter market of the season before it moves back to its usual place by the river (dang it.) Lots of beautiful produce (the drawback of going to markets while traveling, want to buy vegetables…) like chard rabe, collard rabe, every rabe ever, and gigantic leeks. And lots of handicraft type things; soft scarves and verrry stylish barrettes made out of pine needles. And charming beeswax candles in all kinds of shapes (from om to asparagus) and …hazelnut brittle. Best ever. Also: crepes. We walked around the market enough times to earn ourselves a marionberry crepe, which we enjoyed in the sunshine, delightfully catching up and making plans to see each other so soon. Then Tayler headed back to Eugene and I headed up to Portland. Where Logie and I (and Hayden, old friend #4) ate at a McMinnamins then got a pound or two or three of Whole Foods fruit gummies for dessert. And played with the Redmonds’ impossibly sweet and cute new puppy, Soleh.

Then woke up to a sunny, warm Easter Sunday with the Redmond clan, aka old friends #5, 6, 7, and 8. Kicked off the morning by eating a couple seriously just-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls (…crack) and dyeing eggs (with natural dye- onion skin brown, red cabbage blue, and tumeric yellow…all with pretty little flowers and ferns pressed on them) then headed over to the neighbors’, where we kept on eating. German bread with a thick layer of blueberry jam, fruit kabobs (fruit made fun), and baked eggs filled with everything good (kale, mushrooms, creamy creamy cheese.) We had a whole brunch of our own waiting back home… but who can resist a big slice of braided bread or colorful fruit on a stick… Really. No one. So we walked for about fifteen minutes (fifteen very strenuous minutes) to work up some hunger for the real brunch. Joy:more cinnamon rolls, a big bowl of berries, ham, and caper-ed asparagus. Sweet sweet, salty salty. Yum. And then much lounging and chatting and belly rubbing, and eventually even sunshine napping. Then sort of happy-because-we-live-so-close and so-full-of-cinnamony-goodness goodbyes and off we were, back on the road for three hours of old family favorites sung fantastically well by two full happy girls.