Tears For Fears Concert Picnic at Maryhill Winery

The Storm Before the Calm

When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you expect storms. But it’s just weeks before our wedding, and we’re fighting so many storms! Car storms, work storms, ex- storms, kid storms… we’re talking heavy weather! You can only “let a smile be your umbrella” for so long, and then you’re drenched.

Just when we were about knee-deep…

Surprise Surprise!

I get a private message from a Facebook friend, a lady I had done a Locks Of Love haircut for the previous summer. She wants to gift us a pair of Tears For Fears concert tickets at Maryhill Winery as a wedding present!

How can we say no? Tears For Fears was my high school and early-20’s soundtrack, while somewhere out there, my future hubby was spinning TFF on the radio as young DJ.

Storm On

There’s a downpour in Portland, and we have quite a drive in Friday rush hour traffic from the west side of the metro out to Goldendale, Washington. That means 25 miles across the city, then another 100 up the Columbia River Gorge, where the Maryhill Outdoor Amphitheater is located.

The rain is steady as we enter the Gorge, but by the time we get to The Dalles, it tapers off to high clouds. Just 20 more miles to the site, and we’re hoping like crazy the rain will hold off.

We’re ready to Sow the Seeds of Love!

We arrive a bit too late to tailgate in the parking lot, but no worries. Maryhill let’s you bring your picnic into their concert venue. We stake out a perfect spot on the terraced grass, center stage! Oh, and our butts will stay dry! We still haven’t seen rain since The Dalles. So far, so good.

Getting Our Munchie Groove On

Andy bellies up to the bar left of the stage to round up a bottle of Maryhill 2011 Columbia Valley Merlot. 2011 is known as an exceptional vintage in this region, and our selection tonight does not disappoint!

Meanwhile, I am laying out quite a spread on our blanket for the pre-show festivities. On the menu: olive tapenade, marinated peppers, goat cheese, Gruyere cheese, apples and crackers. The Main Event is my Columbia Gorge Sandwich (ham and Swiss cheese on focaccia bread), and hearty Tailgating Green Salad with cherry tomatoes and crisp bacon. For dessert, nummy Butterscotch Chip Cookies.

Red wine is always a great choice with dessert!

Sway It With Me

It hard not to have tears well up when Tears For Fears takes the stage! Their music seeped into the pores of a generation, changing the complexion of music in the mid-’80s. Song after song, the audience is singing along, swaying back and forth.

And the show was amazing! You think these old guys can’t rock? Try to stay on your rear when they’re playing Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Shout, Head Over Heels… it just went on and on! The pyrotechnics were fun, and not overdone.

Twilight Highlight

As day blends to night, our evening in the Gorge builds to a crescendo! There’s a wall of grey to our west, some sunrays sneaking through to bathe hillsides to our east in golden spotlights.

Back in Portland, it’s still raining buckets… right on our friends at another outdoor concert closer to town.

But in Goldendale, the sky threatens, but we stay dry while the weather seems to accompany the show! It’s a balmy, early fall night with the air full of music, waves of drifting fog, and warm feelings.

Rock with us for :19 seconds! Everybody wants to….

We rock out and sip our wine, sowing the seeds of love!

Columbia Gorge Sandwich

For this sandwich, we start with the basic focaccia dough recipe, take it to the next level with toppings baked into the dough. Then ham, cheese, and assorted goodies fill the sandwich.
It can be made a day ahead. Oh and they are messy so bring extra napkins.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Picnic, Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 Bowl of focaccia dough already risen
  • 2 Large, sliced tomatoes heirloom is best
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper diced
  • ½ cup Fresh basil julienned
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Drizzle of olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz Sliced deli ham
  • 7 oz Sliced Gruyere (or other Swiss cheese)
  • 1 Red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Sliced pepperoncinis
  • 2 cups Mixed baby greens
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard


  • Spread focaccia dough in a well oiled pan and top with the sliced tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Bake as directed, then allow to cool completely
  • When focaccia is cool, slice horizontally and layer the ham, cheese, sliced onion, pepperoncinis, and baby greens
  • Spread the top half of the focaccia with the mustard
  • Cut sandwiches up to about 8 servings
  • Place on a serving platter, or wrap tightly in plastic for easy picnic transport
Keyword cheese, ham
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Tailgating Green Salad

This hardy salad holds up well whether in a cooler headed for its destination or on a buffet table. Kale, baby spinach, winter mix salad greens stand up to the bacon, sauteed onions, and tomatoes. This recipe serves 2, but can easily be multiplied for a crowd.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 2 cups hardy salad mix winter greens, kale, spinach, radicchio, etc.
  • 3 Strips of bacon thick cut
  • 1 Red onion small, sliced
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place mixed green in a bowl
  • Sauté bacon until crisp, cool on a paper towel, then crumble into the mixed greens
  • Sauté the sliced onions in the bacon pan until soft
  • Add the cherry tomatoes to the onions and cook just until tomatoes are blistered.
  • Add salt and pepper and let cool
  • When onions and tomatoes are cool, add to the salad mix
  • In a separate air tight container, mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss just before serving
Keyword bacon, cherry tomatoes, healthy, kale, spinach
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies

I love the old fashioned, crisp-on-the-edges, gooey-in-the-middle cookies of my childhood. Here's how you get them: no mixer, melting rather than creaming the butter, and don't mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Just dump it all in one bowl!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 Dozen


  • ½ lb unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs room temprature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cups butterscotch chips


  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Melt butter and pour into a large bowl
  • Add the sugars and vanilla, stir until blended
  • Add the eggs, stir until blended
  • Now this gets wild! Dump the flour, baking soda, and right into that bowl! Crazy! I know. Stir just until incorporated.
  • Fold in the butterscotch chips
  • Drop cookie dough onto a well-oiled cookie sheet and bake for exactly 15 minutes.
  • Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack.
Keyword butterscotch, cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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