Last week, I sat down with David Campiche, a longtime Coast Weekend contributor and his wife, Laurie Anderson, whose cranberry pot roast, original pumpkin pie recipes and apple pie were recently featured in this publication’s dining section.
Campiche and Anderson welcomed me into their home, where we shared a four course meal prepared by the couple. Since moving to the North Coast, I have relished the opportunity to dine in and out with new connections in the area. I’m no picky eater, and I can’t recall a meal I’ve been served here I haven’t enjoyed.
That being said, dinner at their home in Seaview was above and beyond — easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had. We started off with razor clam cakes, homemade cream sauce and a slice of quiche. The appetizer was followed by a savory spaghetti squash salad topped with eggplant and sliced cherry tomatoes grown in their garden. Our main plate was filled with garlic spinach pasta and tender glazed salmon. We finished our feast with Anderson’s baked apple pie and tea served from the couple’s quaint china collection.
There is no doubt in my mind that the meal was especially flavorful because of all the local ingredients the couple utilized. When I asked Campiche what ingredients were grown or caught here, he replied “darn near everything, except the pasta.” Nearly all the vegetables came from their garden or were grown by family near by, including the garlic and spinach used in the pasta sauce. The couple dug the razor clams themselves, and the organic eggs were purchased from a nearby friend.
The feast was a reminder of how plentiful our gardens, rivers and oceans are over here. For those who don’t have the space to garden themselves, there are numerous farms in the area that provide local, organic and flavorful produce for us to purchase from places like farmers markets and the Astoria Co-op.
The conversation was as exquisite as the food. Campiche and Anderson caught me up on local history and showed me paintings, pottery, weavings and poems from local artists. Both are artists themselves, and I again was humbled by creativity fostered in this community I now call home.