Cottage Bakery

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118 Pacific Ave. S * Long Beach WA 98631 * 360-642-4441 * Cottage Bakery 

 Cliche alert! The Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen appears to be a ‘local hub’, but not without excellent reason. First of all, it’s impossible to miss – plopped in the center of the one and only main street in Long Beach, you’d have to be completely daft to miss it. Secondly, its capacious space holds every imaginable kind of baked yummy any hungry heart could desire. This place is a tractor beam for munching…if you can’t find something you want at Cottage Bakery, you’ve got hella issues.

Guess what this includes. These industrious folks bake so many pies they’ve built a veritable display WALL of the stuff. I’m not kidding – it took three fully separate photos to document the entirety of Cottage Bakery’s pie offerings, and three times three minutes for friend Kim and I to decide what to order.

And who is this mysterious Kim? Why, a Pies SPECIAL GUEST of course!

Kim, super friend,  hails from Home Break; a biologist, bad-ass sewer, hiker and surfer. She won my heart in many ways, but her tale of an expert wave dude blurting out, “You’re more fun to watch than a good surfer!” won me over big time. This is the most relatable quip ever uttered. In addition to inspiring poetry, Kim cut her real estate teeth as an agent in the maniacal Home Break market, and is now agent-ing in these parts. Come to Kim for all your real estate and pie insider knowledge.

 Cottage Bakery was too hopping busy for me to feel comfy barging around with a camera, so here’s Kim standing in front of an abstracted Pie Wall. Homeland Security engineers, take note.

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 Those wee fish are a nearby sculpture reduced and doubled to photobomb my drawing. I have to obviously point out that despite marine reference we did NOT buy fish pie – good god –  and no, Cottage Bakery makes no such thing.  What we ordered will remain vague as my friggin’ fluttin’ phone/compuder/whatchamachiedoodle up and broke/got lost/went to hell and my digital notes went *poof!*  I’ll rely on my famous ( -ly bad ) memory. Know that Kim and I bought fruit pie slices; she ate hers the second we walked back to her house, and I ‘waited’ to eat mine about 30 minutes later. One half then, one half that night. Discipline.

Pie Wall – try THAT on the border instead.

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Surfing and Strolling near Cottage Bakery

SURFING: This is located on the Long Beach Peninsula. Alas no surf attempts this time ’round.

STROLLING: Willapa Wildlife Refuge looks intriguing, but we hiked around Cape Disappointment, which was anything but. Later we explored Leadbetter Point, which, when we were exploring, was a cross between  peninsula, forest, beach,  and bog hopping. Everything was lovely.

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100 Mile Bakery

100MileBakery

418 A St. * Springfield OR 97477 * 541-603-6354 * 100milebakery.com

Since we’d just nommed our way out of Ashland that morning via   The Village Baker Voice of Calm Stacey Marie and I were craving a healthy lunch en long route to picking up Astrid. We’d never heard of 100 Mile Bakery but discovered its existence thanks to what could be my last moment of faith in modern technology.

Driving into Springfield Oregon, we hove to and tried to find the bakery via smart phone map. At that point I realized that the only times I’d taken a wrong turn lately was with ‘route finding’ tech, either via bogus info or because a non-driver was looking at a screen and giving adamant directions while not seeing what was ACTUALLY GOING ON OUTSIDE. Sure enough, after a quarter of an hour we ‘discovered’ 100 Mile Bakery – 2 blocks from where we had parked.

Sigh. Well, sheer bliss once we honed in on the prize…

Stacey and I enjoyed soups and salads and teas and THEN, of course, desserts. We were wondering at the taste magic of our meal and it turns out that all the ingredients are grown within a 100 mile radius of the cafe….hence the name! The fact that the place is housed in a former church also adds to the saintly appeal. Coming off the occasionally bizerko  I-5 corridor the bakery certainly had a refuge vibe.

 Blessedly there WAS pie. They had kiwi-blueberry, but I grabbed a hazelnut crumble pot which is essentially a pie-in-a-jar. Stacey bought a wild nettle green onion corn muffin – have you ever heard of such a thing?!! Turns out there’s no better fuel for a marathon session of ‘Hair Nation’ karaoke. If we got tired we would just take another bite and away we’d rip! Open windows be damned! Talk about divine inspiration. Our legendary caterwauling will haunt portions of the I-5 corridor for time immemorial.

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100 Mile Angel in front of their Holy Site

Also inspired was a declaration of war against the demons of modern computers. Did I take lots of pictures of 100 Mile Bakery? Did said pics get lost when my phone took a walkabout? Did my iPad’s email – the travel-y  reason for getting it in the first place – INSIST on not working unless it was upgraded, and after it  ‘improved’, now only uploads photos of drawings to Pies with evil lines clawing across the image? Were my photo references here saved thanks to taking iPad pictures of pictures on my phone in case my phone croaked? Were you even able to follow that?

I’m so sick of this time sucking shit I’m declaring Rebellion against Information Technology Tyranny. The goal is noble; stop being so dependent on techy crap that’s so fussy the only thing it consistently does is raise blood pressure. Here’s a sample of the Underground’s secret weapons;

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D.O.D.’s got nothing on these babies

 Paper and pencils. Dumb phone. Polaroid camera not pictured, and PAPER MAPS. We’ve gone hard core. Unless I burn those maps for toasting marshmallows those lovelies will do. Their freakin’.  Job. J

oin the rebellion! And meanwhile I’ll feed you more information on the fly….when I manage to , errr, upload my pixelated pie stories.

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Semi-Bonus?!?:  As if to prove my point, the gods gifted me with a messy but okay sketch of 100 Mile angel baker, so I’m including it despite the ‘polished’ version above. Note the double duty as an info-dump for pie notes – they’re circling her like a holy aura.

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She’s guarding the sneak peek at future Pie entries!

I’m coming back for more crumble pot pie, 100 Mile Bakery!

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Surfing and Strolling near 100 Mile Bakery

SURFING: NO.

STROLLING: There’s a lot of hiking around here, but we managed a fair stroll simply by getting turned around and misreading street signs.

The Village Baker

VillageBaker

372 E Main St *  Ashland  OR 97520 * (541) 482-4087 * www.artisan-bakers.com

It took an ambulance to get me to The Village Baker, but I didn’t get TAKEN there by an ambulance, which will make sense in a minute.

My perambulating journey to this business began in the motel room where the infamous Stacey Marie and I were resting. We were making a pit stop on the long drive to pick up Astrid, and after shouting ourselves hoarse to ‘Hair Nation’, were ready to hit the sack. Ha.

Due to a nagging cough, after two weeks of sleep deprivation I decided now was the time to take a surprising different pill my new doctor prescribed me in lieu of what I’d been given by my last doctor a ways before.  I put it off because I’m sensitive to some medication and am reluctant to try unfamiliar ones – FOR GOOD REASON, cue ominous music – but wanted to do the adult responsible thing and get a decent night’s sleep.To be a safer driver. HA.

” Got some bad news ” I informed Stacey before I was unable to swallow or speak.

” Should I call an ambulance?” Voice of Calm Stacey asked.

And that’s how I ended up standing in a motel room wondering how long it would take for an ambulance to arrive if I stopped breathing. Then I proceeded to swirl and spit water as if my life depended on it, probably because it did.

10 minutes and a gallon of water  later, here comes the west coast’s crankiest ambulance duo.  They sat me in the back where my first thought was, ” Ooo! First ambulance ride.” Then they proceeded to act totally put out that I was actually sitting up and breathing.

” But you should’ve seen me 10 minutes ago! ” I apologized, then realized how absurd it was to feel bad for those guys  because I wasn’t turning blue. While checking vitals they took my water -which I longingly pined after, seeing how it had only totally saved my arse  – and begrudgingly offered me a lift.

I refused a ride with these curmudgeons but saint Stacey took me to the ER at midnight since for god’s sake, despite the dry heaving what if I’d swallowed or absorbed that satanic shit.  ER declared me fine but did say those types of medicines can be very dangerous, and Stacey revealed she’d read that particular doozy can be fatal if they open up in your mouth, which mine did. Awesome!

No sleep the rest of the night for some odd reason – what a perfect time to compose an all caps letter firing my doctor – and next morning we shook off the willies and tallied forth to seek pie. Thus The Village Baker.

NICEST BAKERY OWNER EVER. He chatted with us and woe onto him I spaced virtually everything he said, could it be due to leftover adrenaline from nearly kicking it the night before. I do remember that they bake a LOT of excellent goods, sell wholesale to various venues in the general area, and give away extra bread to feed the hungry. Freaking awesome people!! Faith in strangers restored!! I’m so glad we walked in there.  In homage here is a terrible picture of a wonderful person, complete with floating mini ambulances:

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The heavenly bread

 I was so wackadoo I walked out with a roasted red pepper loaf instead of a sweet treat.  That #$$**ing little pill apparently put me of all people off sweets.  In any case I’m happy to say the loaf was scrumptious and was eaten barbarian style, aka ripping chunks off by hand. Never came close to a knife. It was epic. Seriously, do yourself a friendly favor and when you’re visiting Ashland, hit up The Village Baker. 

Bonus ( for me ). Now that we’ve featured the saint above, I present my vengeance. There’s nothing quite like finding out your saviors are actually two Oscar the Grouches driving a fancy can.  Pie to the face!

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Ker-SPLAT!

 Safe and yummy travels to Ashland, ya’ll!

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Surfing and Strolling near The Village Baker

SURFING: I’m gonna call the surf break here, ‘Poison Wash’, counting gargling and spitting water for 45 minutes as surfing because heck,  that’s a lot of moving water. Preferably giving insanely bad chemicals a ride outta one’s mouth. Highly recommended surf break if you like a thrill.

STROLLING: We didn’t check out the surrounding parks and hills – oh they’re there! – but Stacey and I did walk the ‘straight shot’ to downtown and back from the motel which ended up being 6 miles.  Come to us for all your navigational needs.

Special Guest! Meet…ASTRID!

A few months ago a friend quipped, “After times like these people often find enlightenment.”

“Hm”, I thought.

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Our Guide

Let me elaborate. ( This is where I lose the reader ) A couple of years back a cavalcade of not nice events started thundering into my immediate vicinity,  their number and variety for once not my own screw ups but resembling a weather pattern known as the Bomb Cyclone. The type that lasts  FAR TOO LONG.

Cliff Notes; Once upon a time a 30 year seasoned social worker walked into one of my situations and said, I quote, ” There’s nothing more you can do here. ”  Well geez. THAT, my friends, is a flavor of only the beginning of a flurry of exciting adventures and mishaps involving all sorts of death and loss and relentless mayhem that has turned my life into an Oprah Winfrey special, or That Sad Sack You Read About on the Internet but Never Thought You’d BE.  By year two, ‘Apocalyptic’ was the term coined by another lifelong grief counselor.  That’s a fair word, but I kinda think of this madness as a black hole – start with one loss…then another… …hoooey there’s more? ….then they start bunching up and getting super dense and sucking in MORE people and situations at a faster and faster rate until THERE IS NOBODY LEFT.

Well **** that. You don’t need the bullet list of details, however at loss #2 I said to heck with fiscal shouldas,  took the dead relative money and turned a dream into reality. Behold the enlightenment!

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* aaaaaaaaa…* ( angels singing )

ASTRID! This gorgeous gal – whose  name means ‘divine strength’ or ‘divine beauty’ – is an Alaskan Camper atop a one ton 4×4 truck with a utility bed conversion. She’s got solar. She’s got a sink. She’s got a stove AND an oven which means – yup, you guessed it – she can bake pie and we can eat pie ANYWHERE.

Instead of fantasizing about punching god in the face, when I’m not curled up in fetal position sobbing we’re  gonna obsess over the fun to be had. There’s a world of baked goods out there and with this rig no pie can hide from us.  Watch out! We. Are. On. Our. Way.

Uh-oh, another checklist!

Are we insane?  YES

Do we have any more flying fucks left to give? NO

Are we behoven to pie nomming, nature glamping, road warrior stuff-of-legends glory? YES

While driving do we sing to Sirius’ ‘ Hair Nation’ at top volume? ABSOLUTELY YES

Committed to excellence,

Madison C & Mr. Hooligan

The Grove

Grove

1 Henry Adams St * San Francisco CA 94103 * 415-834-5105 * http://thegrovesf.com/

Grove’s Pie was the fun result of a chain of failed tasks.

First I was called in to jury duty, trials meaning that somebody failed somewhere and it’s a matter of deciding which party failed worse. Then I failed to bring my hearing aids, remembering, ” Well this will be interesting”, on the ride to court. In the jury holding pen, a bunch of us failed to sit on the floor, not for lack of trying you see, but we were told we were not allowed because, and I quote, ” SITTING ON THE FLOOR IS DANGEROUS.” What.

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Arrest me now. I’m wearing the proper safety precautions.

 

“Where do I sit?” one woman gestured to the capacity room. It was suggested to stand, but whatever we do, not to imperil ourselves putting butt to ground.  My lagging faith in America….down 8 more points.

I failed to report to the correct courtroom, but not before bringing the entire jury  picking process to a halt when it was noticed I was the lone outlier. Note to self: don’t forget hearing aids in public. Then a walk of shame to the assigned courtroom, where I failed to show up on time thanks to my little misguided tour. I failed to make the jury – who doesn’t want a pissed-off hearing-impaired juror on their trial – and was booted out the door.

Now I had 14 minutes to hoof it to a nearby bakery. You knew I wouldn’t go all the way to court without researching nearby pie! I strode past bail bond and pawn shops, climbing the class ladder up through hardware stores,  foofier hardware dealers,  and design stores featuring befuddling ‘concept’ bean bags. In 4 blocks the rate of change was so vast, if I was the Enterprise, I’d be speeding warp 9.

Bakery closed! Boy were they in a hurry. I pressed my nose to the window in case a clerk was avoiding detection by ducking behind the counter. Yes maybe I failed to arrive on the EXACT dot, but in this case I’ll claim they failed because who doesn’t need a baked treat after jury duty!

Thwarted, I shuffled past more perplexing display furniture towards the nearest street corner, to catch a cab. ‘Lo, there at the intersection sat The Grove. This restaurant just had a Pie Look about it.  Score!

Said savior is a roomy  restaurant that coins itself as ‘San Francisco’s living room’, which makes sense because it’s such a large and comfy space, and you kinda have to walk through San Francisco’s bathroom to get there. The front counter had plenty of delectables, and I walked out with boysenberry and cran-apple slices.  Awesome duo of sweet and tart.  Reward!

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Am I guilty?! Damn right. Guilty of being a crap juror. Guilty of gratuitous caloric intake. Guilty of spontaneous pie FUN. Shoot, that’s  a lot of  guilty technicalities.  Come to think of it, those crimes make me not feel guilty at all! HA! Thank you, Grove.

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Click here for Surfing and Strolling near The Grove

( Pies tastes better when you’re hongry )

The Sequoias

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*501 Portola Rd * Portola Valley CA 94028 *  (650) 851-1501 * http://thesequoiaspv.org/

Words of warning; this is not a bakery. This is not a restaurant. It is a metaphorically named retirement home with lovely grounds and people – shoot I’d move in  – and a business logo of trees that can push 3000 years of age what are they really saying with this choice of icon again?

Living 3000 years is out of reach for us, but scoring pie at The Sequoias is easy. All you have to do is lose a parent, be in daily telephone or personal contact with the other, have meetings in person and by phone with social workers, caretakers, lawyers, financial planners, tour a couple retirement homes, have retirement home meetings,  have real estate agent meetings, sort out things for the remaining parent to keep,  sort them out multiple times because they’re getting dementia, empty a 2500 square foot house that’s been lived in for 42 years, empty 6 storage units, discover The World’s Most Ironic Object, curse hoarders,  praise professional movers, get the parent moved – sort of, they do tend to run about – start jollying back and forth with furniture, your back, and your truck,  and prepare the house for sale. Then fork over six digits and you have….PIE. Voila. What could be simpler.

Okay The Sequoias Pie was pure luck. But what timing! The day mom moved we decided to….celebrate?…by dragging ourselves to dinner in the main hall. What was for dessert? Pie!! Also by pure luck we were invited to share a table with the lady on the food board – hooooeee she gets it done – and an eagle-eyed woman who is a parent of a high school classmate of mine, which felt both cool and very awkward at the same time.

I delightfully couldn’t believe they were serving pie for my mom’s first night, and chalked it up to a sign from the gods. The effort of reaching that point and then stumbling into a mini high school reunion complete with pie slathered me in a surreal glaze. “Where am I?” I thought. ” What am I? Where does this pie come from?” Then I realized I’d slipped into a Gauguin painting:

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I’d prefer Tahiti

Mom and I both had a slice of strawberry raspberry and offered more fine slices ’round the table. In-charge-of-food-lady admitted that some pie was made on premises and some was bought off-site. Frankly that pie could have the taste and texture of lemon worms and I would have cared less. Hooray for pie! Cap off the evening!

Now a shoutout; all elderly caretakers are badasses, and should be paid like badasses too. If you take care of my mother –  I LOVE YOU. Here is a portrait of an anonymous Sequoias employee, posing in front of one of the six storage units:

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The Angel is waving an alluded-to-treasure: the World’s Most Ironic Object. This gem was unearthed whilst spelunking through the storage units, 4 bedroom house, attic, 3 garage storage rooms, and 600 sq. foot office/library with kitchen and bath.  Zero words were sarcastically added to enhance the emotive effect. Direct photo trace:

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WHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY

I feel like I found the One True Ring.

After all that hullabaloo – not to mention 8 tons of dust and many spiders EEK – living to a desiccated 3000 years might be easier than earning pie at the Sequoias. I’ll still choose the latter..so long as there’s pie at the end!

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Surfing and Strolling at The Sequoias

SURFING: Um. Over the hill? I went couch surfing while taking care of a family situation nearby. Each couch surf location is geared for the individual so you’re on your own for this one.

STROLLING: Windy Hill Preserve is RIGHT THERE! So is Wunderlich Park which is lovely. Watch for horse poo.

Hotel Chancletas

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*Nicaragua* 555-8868-5036 * www.chancletasbeachresort.com

We’ve come full circle and are starting another post with blood. I associate Hotel Chancletas with blood, not because they serve it, but because the first surfers  I saw on the first day of the first trip were dripping the red stuff out their noses. Possibly dripping blood internally too, though I didn’t hear about broken ribs until the victims returned from the doctor’s.

Hotel Chancletas is a gorgeous, smoldering beach resort with a laid-back vibe and a wave that will violently assault you any chance it gets. Why a thunderous death cylinder breaking in one foot of water is so popular is beyond me, but yeah full confession I went there too. The exposure to blood, violence, and copious hours feeling too hot to move inspired revenge fantasies. Specifically, certain individuals both public and private. Even more specifically, volcanos; being within eyeshot of a couple it was pleasant to imagine shoving a particular  doodoohead into the flames of hell… but something about that scenario didn’t feel right. And not from the moral standpoint.  Sipping a rum coconut didn’t solve this philosophical conundrum, but eating pie did.

But I had to ‘discover’ the pie. After having my clothes literally ripped off by the shore break – EVERY time I paddled out mind you – I pretended nobody saw my ta-tas and hunched over a homemade meal cooked by long time locals. Delicious! However I didn’t consider pie because it simply wasn’t on the desert menu…

…Until after I fell out of a hammock. That’s right. Everyone at Chancletas hurts themselves on the warrior wave except me who breaks skin on lounge furniture. Sober. After staunching the blood flow I was magically able to interpret the menu board, and declared empanadas to be pie – because they ARE, dammit.

Chicken, beef, and veggie curry! The Pie Eating Heathen went for beef, and I went for veggie curry. Again, and again, and traveled with a to-go empanada survival pack for the long journey home.

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Schlepping giant empanadas instead of boards from the beach.

I’ve now been to Hotel Chancletas twice, and thanks to blood and empanadas have had three lightbulb moments. …WOO! Three thoughts in two trips, overachieving.

1) Empanadas ARE pie.

2) The physics of how shore break can rip off my top and untie my surf shorts is unknown to me, but fascinating.

3) And lo’ the great philosophical question was revealed  unto me in a Flavor Flash  whilst curry dotted my chin. The Truth; there are some people who you dearly wish to huck into a volcano. Don’t. Assuming said individual is abhorrent enough, the volcano will reject the sacrifice. Do not disrespect the fire gods! Gift beautiful empanadas instead.

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Volcano rejects the sacrifice. 

 

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Surfing and Strolling near Hotel Chancletas

SURFING: The Mayan Fist is straight out front. It’s located on a very long beach, so there’s a choice where you want your ass handed to you.

STROLLING: Up and down the beach, looking for a spot that won’t hand you your ass.  ( Oh but it will. ) There’s also a guided volcano hike up Cosiguina, which is AMAZING.