Friend Food Pt. 6

February 11th, 2013

Went to my friend Chris and Karen's a couple weeks ago for a sauna and their friend Paul Yonchek (he photographed a couple of Caprial Pence's cookbooks) made these tasty pretzel breads with mustard for everyone. So good!

I have incredible friends and family and we give each other a lot of love with food and drink. I started this blog series a while back to chronicle that. Here are some of the tasty things that I’ve gotten to be involved in with friends or have been given by friends lately…

Debbie gave me a big bag of delicious Green Salmon Coffee, from Yachats, to brew and fill my new mug withfor Christmas.

Several weeks ago my friends Chris and Karen invited me over for dinner and we made buttternut squash and chevre raviolis. So good.

What dinner looked like that night.

My friend Loly made peppermint schnapps and Kahlua for the holidays and I was lucky enough to get both!

My brother and sister-in-law gave me this mug with my nieces on it when I went home to Cincinnati for Christmas this year. It makes me happy.

My neighbor and friend Chris made a batch of this tasty raspberry jam and I got some.

And his girlfriend and my good friend Alison has been giving me eggs from her hens for years. I love my neighbors so much.

My friend Michelle and her daughter Kylie and I making beet salad.

My friend Emily gave me this jar of rendered pork fat from a class that she took recently at Portland Meat Collective.

And just so you know that the gifting goes both ways -- here are most of the edible gifts that I gave to loved ones over the holidays.

Friend Food Pt. 5
Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

Winner of Taste of the Nation Portland 2012 Tickets!

April 30th, 2012

Congratulations lucky number 6 commenter! Email me so we can set aside two tickets for you at will call!

You know who you are lucky #6 commenter! You’ve won yourself two tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation next Tuesday, May 9th at Jeld-Wen Field. Drop me a line @ info at lizcrain dot com with your full name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets. Your two general admission tickets will be available the night of the event at will call. (Don’t worry if it takes me a few days to respond — I’m out of town for work and will be back mid-week.)

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments! I hope that some of these businesses come to fruition. If you build it they will come!

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets available for this year’s 25th anniversary Taste of the Nation. It’s one of the best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger. Gotta feel good about that.

Thanks everyone!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Jeld-Wen Field
1844 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE, online or at any New Seasons Market)

Signed Copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

November 14th, 2011

I'll write sweet nothings and send you some books.

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
Custom message with signature?

Even though my book is available from all sorts of great sellers including Powell’s Books, New Seasons Market, Elephants Delicatessen, In Good Taste, Elliott Bay Book Company, Mirador Community Store, Alma Chocolate, Kenny & Zuke’s, House Spirits and Reading Frenzy I get more requests than usual around the holidays for signed copies. To remedy the situation I’ve added this magic little PayPal button above for folks who want signed copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. You don’t need a PayPal account to buy books this way but you do need a credit card.

I think my book is a nice gift on its own (yes, a little biased) but I think it’s even better with a tasty treat or two from one of the many food and drink folks featured in it. I’m going to post 100 local pairings for the book between now and the end of December on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing. For now, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland pairs nicely with…

Pickled herring and house-cured salame from Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen
A bottle of Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir or Pear-in-the-bottle brandy from Clear Creek Distillery
A Spella Caffe gift certificate
An Urban Cheesecraft DIY cheesemaking kit
Another local food book or two from Powell’s
Farmstead cheeses and charcuterie from Cheese Bar
Smoked seafood from Newman’s Fish Company in City Market
Custom Kinder eggs or chardons from Pix Patisserie


I’m taking care of the shipping on continental U.S. orders via media mail and there are discounts for multiple book orders. Media mail takes a few days to a week but you can also spring for priority mail for a bit more $. If you want even quicker shipping, more than three books, books to multiple addresses, or a chicken in a zebra costume please just drop me a line and we’ll figure it out.

From my shelf to yours...

Portland Fermentation Festival 2011 Redux

October 21st, 2011

Matt Choi serving up his spicy, crunchy, awesome kimchi.

What an amazing event and turnout! Yes, we know that many of you got stuck in the long line last night that snaked down the stairs, out the building, and around the block but we hope with all hope that you stuck it out and found that the wait and the crush was worth it. We put Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours and we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us every stinking (literally) year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

But yes, we do hear you, it was too crowded and the line was too long this year. We’ll problem solve and come back in briny style next year for 4.0. Thank you so much to everyone who exhibited, volunteered and attended! Portland Fermentation Festival is an annual love letter to our fair city. True blue Portland spirit fuels it and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks again to everyone who was a part.

If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter. This year we had a very generous serving of media attention. Here’s a slice of that coverage if you didn’t get enough firsthand last night…

Willamette Week
Portland Tribune
Portland Farmers Market

I was able to take a good amount of photos at the festival last night before we opened the doors as well as after…

Erica Fayrie's as good as it looks sauerkraut with beets.

Eva Sippl's Eva's yummy Herbucha in the house.

Lynne Van Dusen's Vine to Brine lacto-fermented sodas. Really tasty.

Festival co-organizer Mr. David Barber of Picklopolis aka King of Brine! Ghost pickles! Ah!

Peg Butler and posse serving up krautini (fermented cabbage tonic), fermented garlic, sour dills and sourdough rye. Yum!

Galen Williams and Pete Mulligan's delicious hard cider.

Biwa chef-owner Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz serving up Biwa's hurts so good spicy daikon kimchi.

Earnest and Sumiko Migaki of Jorninji Miso cooking up a stockpot of their amazing miso, and sampling miso sauce and amazake made with their own koji.

Allen Field rocking his spicy kimchi and Turkish sauerkraut.

Nat and Sarah West sampling tart and tasty hard cider. Ridiculously good.

Anna Stulz with more fiery good kimchi.

And then the doors opened and the crowd moved in...

Courtlandt Jennings' Pickled Planet with all sorts of big, briny goodness.

Curious Farm's Cathy Smith serving up leek horseradish kraut, fermented chili sauce and more.

And the crowd kept growing...

Hank Tallman's Mama Hank's Pickled Veg. The spicy fermented green tomatoes were kick-ass good.

The line wrapped around the staircase out the door of Ecotrust and around the block within twenty minutes. We knew that the festival was going to be big this year but we didn't realize it'd be this big. Wow.

The lovely Kate Patterson sampling her festival favorite-- fermented salmon. Mmmm.

Festival organizers David Picklopolis Barber, me, and Mr. George dapper foodist Winborn right before the doors closed at 8pm.

One of the better looking cleanup crews in town! Good night and good luck.

Thanks to everyone who made the third annual Portland Fermentation Festival happen! We love you.

MoonBrine Pickles

August 29th, 2011

Spicy MoonBrine Pickles really made this ham sandwich. Freaky good.

I’m kind a pickle freak although I’m particular. I’m not so into bread & butter or other sweet pickles. I like the salty, sour and spicy pickles the best — namely fresh garlic, spicy, dills and crock-fermented dills. Just made some of the former, in fact, and can see them on the kitchen counter from where I’m typing at the kitchen table — my studio is too hot today.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I came home to a lovely package on my front porch — two tasty jars of MoonBrine Pickles courtesy of the pickler himself — Stew Golomb — a former elementary school teacher from Boston who moved to Portland a little more than a year ago. Thanks Stew!

I love them. We’ve eaten most of them as is but have added some to sandwiches too. They’re tasty fermented pickles with a little vinegar added for good measure. By the way, some of my favorite local pickles are Picklopolis Pickles. Picklopolis’ Mr. Briney Barber is a very good friend of mine so I don’t want to let a pickle post go without a shout-out. He knows how much I love him.

I recently got to ask Stew some questions via email about MoonBrine Pickles and here’s what he had to say — sometimes abbreviated…

Can you give me a short/sweet explanation of your process. Fermented and then vinegar added?

MoonBrine Pickles are 100% fermented (lacto-fermented). The cucumbers/vegetables start in a pail of brine, consisting of water, salt and a small amount of (gluten free) distilled vinegar. The pails sit at room temperature for a couple weeks until the vegetables are fully fermented. The pickles are then packed and refrigerated in quarts for retail and pail for restaurants.

You have a pickle tasting room/space?

I do have a little shop. I roll my pickle bar out of my kitchen and sell right there in the basement of the Ford Building at 2505 SE 11th Ave. in Portland. People seem really into discovering it. I call it the MoonBrine Shop N’ Snacketeria.

There you’ll find quart glass jars of our fermented MoonBrine Super Dill, Pretty Hot All Natural Pickles, MoonBrine Sour Mash (Relish) and our MoonBrine Brine, a magical product all on its own. Rotating offerings of deliciousness also include half-sour cucumber pickles, pickled green tomatoes, pickled cauliflower, pickled carrots, pickled cabbage and whatever else comes off the farm and lands in the brine.

MoonBrine Snacketeria hours: Monday – Thursday 11am-3:30pm. Off-hours by appointment if you email email Stew at

Where can folks purchase MoonBrine Pickles? Can you give me a price list of various types if bought direct?

Currently, in Portland the pickles are available at the shop – all quarts are $5.
Folks can also buy the pickles at which is a food buying club in town. Ford Food & Drink and Detour Cafe use the pickles on some of their plates and in their Bloody Marys. More stores and restaurants are on the horizon and there are five stores and two restaurants in Boston currently carrying the pickles.

MoonBrine Pickles

Further evidence of my pickle obsession -- me and friends at Kenny & Zuke's Pickle Throwdown earlier this summer.