“Mom, do we get to see our friends from Texas this summer?” On a regular crazy-busy evening en route home from practice, my son asks me this question. I immediately feel sad. “No honey,” I say, “remember they only get to come see us every other year.” We try to overlook the fact that they are Red Sox fans, because otherwise they are a rare gem of a family. We enjoy doing the same things, the kids all love each other, and both the husbands and wives are a good match. Wonderful friends separated by 3,000 miles and we just miss them a lot. The wheels started turning in my head, how we might let them know we are thinking of them? A cutting board in the shape of the State of Oregon, wood burned with our own personal message, and topped off with a favorite recipe, seemed just the right way to send our love to Houston!
Here’s the thing, we think they do really well here in Oregon and wish they would just move here. Case in point – in the picture below, you might notice how the rest of us are acting nutty, and there in the middle of it all are Hillary and Tony – in an image of picture perfect southern socialite.
However, when they return home to Texas, we start to see photos that look more like this, and it has us a little worried:
Yes friends, this is the same classy couple driving around looking at Christmas lights and wearing MOOSE HATS. So let’s send them, and their darling daughter Cleo, some Oregon.
Taste of the States Gift
What you will need:
- State-shaped Cutting Board (I purchased mine at our local Taste of Oregon shop, but all the states are available for purchase online here: ANY STATE YOU WANT: Cutting Board Here is one for Texas: Texas State Cutting Board . Also, Etsy has a lot of styles available here:
- Woodburning Pen (I purchased mine at Michael’s but they are available online as well. Here is a similar model:Woodburner Introduction Pen for Beginners and Intermediate Woodburners
- A great Cookbook from the State you are gifting. We love our A Taste of Oregon and it’s sister cookbook Savor The Flavor Of Oregon
- A favorite recipe. I think this makes the gift more personal. In this case, my friend Hillary is a vegetarian, so I am including my new favorite pearl salad recipe. It’s healthy and flavorful with a hint of mint, and I could eat my weight in it. See below for a link to the recipe.
This is a pretty simple project. Follow the safety rules of your woodburning tool and test it out on a wood scrap first if you have one available. It takes a little patience because you have to draw slowly to get a good burn.
We signed our cutting board on the back, so that our friends can enjoy a clean surface on the front when they are using it.
Here is a link to that great pearl salad recipe and since a picture is worth a thousand words, some photos to go along with it. Side note: I prefer Roma tomatoes so I made that substitution.
Now we are all set to say hello to our friends in Houston. Here are a few more photos of the fun we have together.
This is a pic of the kids in a Hurricane Simulator! I can’t believe things like this exist.
Introduction to Dutch Bros. I think we stopped here every day of their Oregon trip last summer.
Eric introducing Tony to Hop Valley. A well-deserved moment of relaxation considering the morning looked like this at the “Enchanted Forest.”
We miss you super cute Houle family!
After all the fun, Cleo went home to take care of the Kitty that Tori and Niko gave her, and we enjoyed all the salsa and soap and treats our friends brought from Houston.
Do you have someone you miss? Maybe it’s time to send them your own wood burned love!
Lucky for us, we are heading in to a fun weekend with great friends. Life is definitely up and down, so I say cheers to all the good years.