Yard Fresh Pt. 31

June 19th, 2015
My new batch of miso salted in and in the crock! The oldest I have now that's still fermenting is 5 years old.

My new batch of miso! The oldest I have now that’s still fermenting is 5 years old.

Well, well, well, it’s been a year since I did one of these installments. Time flies when you’re having fun and I’ve been having a lot of fun lately. Candle both ends as usual. The last Yard Fresh I wrote in May 2014 right when my kitchen was going into remodel surgery. That seems like years ago — so many parties and dinner parties and cooking fun has transpired in it since. I am so grateful to my good friends at St. Johns Design Build for making my kitchen dreams come true. I couldn’t love my kitchen more or recommend these fellows more highly for any home remodel project.

I’ll get to the food photos in a second but here’s a quick recap. of the past few months. I got to do my very first writing residency for my novel at The Sou’wester in April and it was awesome. I cranked out 3,000 words a day on average and even managed to cook and eat all kinds of tasty treats that you’ll see below. I also got to go to San Francisco in early May to interview one of my food heroes Mark Bittman for a magazine I’ve subscribed to and loved for years. That interview won’t publish for awhile and I’ll be sure to let you know when it does.

For now, I’m still loving my work at Hawthorne Books which recently merged with Dzanc Books, working on my novel one day a week, we just finished the Tasty Cookbook proposal (we originally proposed a brunch book but now it’s AM plus PM dishes mmmm) and our agent is sending it out, I’m working on a hard cider book with someone near and dear, we’re about to set the date for the 6th Annual Portland Fermentation Festival this fall and get cracking on that again, I’m doing all kinds of fun things with Team Gorham as always, and I’m working on something with the fine folks at Inkshares this summer. Sheesh. That’s a lot.

This summer I plan to be the river rat that I always am when the days are long and this time around it will often be with my sweet, sweet fellow Jimbo. That makes me very happy. I also plan to camp and cook outside a lot and use my pie irons often. We’re going to the Outer Banks with my family in a month. I have 200 bottles of homemade plum wine to bottle this year from the Brooks Plum tree in the front yard. And, you know, drink. Friends make the world go round so I will be playing in the sun with them a whole heck of a lot in upcoming months.

Hope you’ve been working on good projects, having fun with friends and family and cooking and eating delicious food. I harvested my garlic one month early this year — so hot these days! — and now I have flashy trout’s back lettuce and kale and soon tomatoes, chiles, zukes etc. SUMMMMMMMMMER! Love to you and hope you have an incredible summer. Do all the fun things as much as you can. Summer is magic and it always goes fast.

I didn't actually cook this buuuuut isn't it pretty?! My super talented friend Tom Humphrey designed it and John G and I and his team worked our arses off putting this FIFTY page book proposal together. Going out to publishers this week!

I didn’t actually cook this buuuuut isn’t it pretty?! My super talented friend Tom Humphrey designed it and John G and I and his team worked our arses off putting this FIFTY page book proposal together. Going out to publishers this week!

Potato taco time! My friend Raquel's late mom Anna taught me how to make these. These mean summer and love to me.

Potato taco time! My friend Raquel’s late mom Anna taught me how to make these. These mean summer and love to me.

Potato tacos at night aaaaand potato tostadas in the morning! With soyrizo and eggs. Yummmmm.

Potato tacos at night aaaand potato tostadas in the morning! With soyrizo and eggs. Yummmmm.

Plum wine bottling and drinking with my housey and friend. And the White Wolf. Only 25 more gallons to go!

Plum wine bottling and drinking with my housey and friend. And the White Wolf. Only 25 more gallons to go!

Plum wine in Grolsch bottles and getting fizzzzzzy.

Plum wine in Grolsch bottles and getting fizzzzzzy.

Flashy Trout's Back lettuce from Territorial Seed. Have twenty this size in the backyard. Salad Dayzzzzz

Flashy Trout’s Back lettuce from Territorial Seed. Have twenty this size in the backyard. Salad Dayzzzzz

Straining my homemade vinegars -- plum wine vin and grapefruit. My friend Gilion gave me the vinegar mother and I've made a bunch of these and pineapple vinegar so far. Love them.

Straining my homemade vinegars — plum wine vin and grapefruit. My friend Gilion gave me the vinegar mother and I’ve made a bunch of these and pineapple vinegar so far. Love them.

Nettle pesto fixings -- olive oil, toasted hazelnuts, asiago, olive oil. Added bonus: flash boil the nettles for the pesto and you get nettle tea too.

Nettle pesto fixings — olive oil, toasted hazelnuts, asiago, olive oil. Added bonus: flash boil the nettles for the pesto and you get nettle tea too.

Nettle pesto orzo with home canned tuna and pickled peppers.

Nettle pesto orzo with home canned tuna and pickled peppers.

Beach Bloody Mary and oyster bar with friends. And TINY TABASCO!

Beach Bloody Mary and oyster bar with friends. And TINY TABASCO!

Backyard garlic harvest one month early this year.

Backyard garlic harvest one month early this year.

Razor clam deviled eggs!! Sou'wester owner Thandi brought the clams to my trailer and I made us these with preserved lemon, pimenton and lots and lots of olive oil. One of my best deviled eggs to date and I LOVE deviled eggs. Dreamy.

Razor clam deviled eggs!! Sou’wester owner Thandi brought the clams to my trailer and I made us these with preserved lemon, pimenton and lots and lots of olive oil. One of my best deviled eggs to date and I LOVE deviled eggs. Dreamy.

Mr. Bittman's wacky good Manchurian Tofu and Cauliflower from his latest cookbook How to Cook Everything Faster which I love and have cooked a ton from.

Mr. Bittman’s wacky good Manchurian Tofu and Cauliflower from his latest cookbook How to Cook Everything Faster which I love and have cooked a ton from.

Leftover mac and cheese from Dig A Pony with my kimchi and eggs. I want this now!

Leftover mac and cheese from Dig A Pony with my kimchi and eggs. I want this now!

I'll leave you with this picture of spring/summer happiness: solo early eve Sazerac on my trailer stoop at the Sou'wester. Life is sweet.

I’ll leave you with this picture of spring/summer happiness: solo early eve Sazerac on my trailer stoop at the Sou’wester. Life is sweet.

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Yard Fresh Pt. 28

August 22nd, 2013

I've been making this rhubarb syrup the past few years with rhubarb from the front yard and it always turns out great. I mixed it with margaritas and also used it with my new favorite kitchen gadget below.

I’m still enjoying this incredible summer as much as possible (trips to the river, plum wine, dancing, reading, camping and much more) and working less than usual before the Toro Bravo cookbook storm hits. Right now we’re in the planning stages for the tour that commences in one short month. (You can pre-order the cookbook now from Powell’s and Amazon.) We’ll be heading to New York, DC, Baltimore, San Francisco, Seattle, Boise and Eugene this fall for the book! I’ll post more details about that soon as well as about the cookbook launch party. For now, save the date for it — the evening of Tuesday, October 15th at Toro Bravo. If you’ve never been to a Toro party before expect to stay late and party hard. It’s going to be crazy fun.

The garden is growing and in full swing and mostly I’m getting a lot of tomatoes which are my favorite in the summer. I could eat them for just about every meal — in a scramble for breakfast, sliced with a little salt on toasted bread with mayo for lunch, chips and salsa for a snack, in a sauce or saute for dinner. I never get sick of garden fresh summer tomatoes. I also have pickling cukes, green beans, zucchini, grapes and all the herbs and more going strong now. Life is good.

Here’s some of what I’ve cooked and eaten lately. What have you been happily eating?

I've wanted one of these for awhile and now I finally have one! Fizzy water around the clock. Mostly I just drink it straight up but it was pretty tasty with the rhubarb syrup.

Harvested the 90 or so softnecks and left it to cure a little too long. Pretty dry but that's ok. I think I'll roast some and store it in oil.

Butter lettuce, Choi's white kimchi (homemade), boiled egg, radish, scallions and miso lime vinaigrette. Really good salad.

First tomato haul with some of the early Concords.

River snack. Cottage cheese, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simple and perfect.

Late night camping trip bar prep of gingery Bloody Mary mix and margarita mix made with two bags of limes.

Backyard tomato plants.

Sweet pea tomatoes or, as Kylie likes to call them...TINY TOMATOES!

Salame rolls with chipotle, preserved lemon cream cheese and a cornichon topper.

First spicy garlic dills of the season! Many more to come.

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Yard Fresh Pt. 27

July 19th, 2013

In late May I went on an incredible morel hunting camping trip in Washington and collected SIX pounds of morels! This is a morel cream sauce with eggs and rice for breakfast after I got back to town. So good.

I’m really sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here but I’ve been crazy busy finishing up two book projects and now I’m shutting down the mind machine a bit for some much needed summer fun. I plan to work as little as possible this summer. I’ve already been on a trip to Missoula and now I’m off for a week in Maine. After burning the candle on both ends for the past year I have absolutely no guilt about telling my usually very strong work ethic to fuck off.

Even though the Toro Bravo cookbook (you can pre-order it now!) is pretty much out of my hands now and soon to be on press for its fall release I’ve still been cooking from it. (I’ll put together another cooking from the book post again soon too.) I’ve cooked and eaten a lot of other tasty things lately as well now that the garden is just about in full swing. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of arugula and greens, sugar snap peas and various herbs and berries from it. I harvested the garlic and it’s curing in the utility room. Next up: tomatoes, cukes, chiles, green beans and more. I love summer.

Here’s some of what I’ve cooked and eaten lately…

This is what went into the sauce above the night before -- morels, lemons, garlic, homemade plum wine and cream.

With sorrel from the garden and Edelwiess sausages over toast. Yum!

The dehydrated haul after eating a bunch fresh while camping and once home.

Homemade kimchi rice, egg and cheese never gets old.

Baguette sandwich with Freybe salame, tapenade and pickled peppers.

Some of the best deviled eggs I've ever made with fish sauce, kimchi, chives, sprinkled with togarashi.

Used these spring onions in a bunch of things...

This year's plum wine! 100 bottles!

More morel fixings...

Not too pretty but very, very tasty.

The end of the arugula...

Arugula hazelnut preserved lemon pesto and my little friend.

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2nd Annual Ulisse Edera Tomato Sale

May 6th, 2013

Get tomatoes next Friday grown from seeds that this man, the late Ulisse Edera, grew for years -- 100 year old, tomato seeds that he brought to Portland from Italy. Photo courtesy of Keith Skelton.

Want to buy this man’s Italian, 100-year-old heirloom seed tomatoes for your garden? Wish granted. Go to HOTLIPS Pizza’s 2nd annual, Ulisse Edera Tomato Sale — a one-day plant sale at its Ecotrust location next Friday, May 17th from 9am-5pm. Each one-gallon tomato plant will be $10 and 100% of sales go to support Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Here’s more info. pretty much straight from the press release…

HOTLIPS owner, David Yudkin, has saved seeds and propagated these 100 year old tomato plants since meeting the late Ulisse Edera in 1984 in Edera’s garden south of Portland in Milwaukie’s Ardenwald neighborhood, where many of Portland’s early Italian truck farms were located.

Born in Canelli, Italy, in August, 1890, Ulisse was an orphan raised by three different families, finally in Colcavagno, Austria, where he attended school. After serving in the Italian Army, Ulisse followed his brother to the US at age 23, hand carrying tomato seeds on the voyage. Ulisse filed citizenship papers at La Grande, Oregon in 1916, and in 1917 joined the US Army. The brothers made weekend visits to the Italian families living in Ardenwald, who farmed and sold produce at the Portland Farmers Market. It was there he met his wife, Daria, and at age 31 Ulisse and Daria were married. In 1925 they built a house on 32nd Avenue in Ardenwald and continued farming on 22 acres then known as Johnson Creek Farms. They both lived in that house the rest of their lives with close Italian neighbors and many friends nearby.

Every inch of Ulisse’s small yard was planted with vegetables and flowers. He grew 200 pounds of garlic every year, drying it and selling it, along with homemade vinegar. A visit with Ulisse always included a taste of his “bagnait” on dried bread with a sip or two of red wine. Visitors left his house without a bag of garden delights picked during their visit. Ulisse died at age 103. Though he had slowed down some, he was still gardening, cooking, preserving foods, hunting mushrooms on Mt. Hood, welcoming visitors and visiting neighbors at that time.

About Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, (a private 501(c)3 non-profit), was founded in 1989 as Friends of Opal Creek to gain protection of the Opal Creek watershed for future generations to study and enjoy, a goal we achieved in 1996. Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center maintains and stewards Jawbone Flats, a rejuvenated historic mining town in the heart of the 35,000-acre ancient forest watershed of the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Area. We are located on the west slope of the Cascade Mountains, one hour east of Salem, Oregon, and approximately two hours from Portland, two and a half from Eugene and three from Bend. Opal Creek’s Mission” “Promoting conservation through educational experiences in wilderness.”
www.opalcreek.org

About HOTLIPS

Founded in 1984, HOTLIPS is a Portland family-owned business with five pizza restaurants and a line of real fruit soda. Our mission is to preserve culture and celebrate humanity through rich culinary experiences, and by joining others in finding new and sustainable ways of doing business. Currently with 135 on staff, we train our folks to get out and talk about sustainability, ask questions, think of new things. We spend a lot of time teaching, taking our show on the road. We love what we do.
www.hotlipspizza.com

2nd Annual Ulisse Edera Tomato Sale
Friday, May 17th
9am-5pm at HOTLIPS Pizza @ Ecotrust
721 NW 9th Ave., #150
Portland, Oregon 97209
www.hotlipspizza.com

Zenger Farm CSA Accepts Food Stamps

April 1st, 2013

SNAP recipient Jennifer Dynes and her daughter, Annie, picking up their Zenger Farm Share. Photo courtesy of Zenger Farm.

There are so many great food events in Portland and lately I haven’t had time to go to many. One of my favorites of the past several year’s has been Friends of Family Farmers’ free and open to the public InFARMations held at Holocene every second Tuesday night of the month. The last one held featured Zenger Farm’s new SNAP for CSA toolkit and I wish I could have gone and learned more about it. Here’s the gist straight from the source:

Zenger Farm is launching a new toolkit to help Oregon CSA farmers begin accepting SNAP dollars (formerly known as Food Stamps) for their member shares. This is a key component in the fight for better access to good food for all.

Fast facts:

• SNAP brings more than $1 billion in federal food money to Oregon each year.
• Zenger Farm Shares was one of the first Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) in Oregon to accept SNAP.
• While the traditional CSA model supports farmers by assisting with the upfront costs of farming, that same upfront capital investment is often a barrier for households on limited incomes.
• In 2011, Zenger Farm received a grant to develop a toolkit to help Oregon CSA farmers begin accepting SNAP dollars. This toolkit will be rolled out at community meetings and conferences across the state, as well as through online webinars in 2013.

More info about the toolkit and program
More about Zenger Farm Shares