Portland Fermentation Festival 2015 Redux

November 9th, 2015
The Dapper Foodists -- Portland Fermentation Fest co-organizers George Winborn, me and David Barber right before the Panel of Fermentation Experts.

The Dapper Foodists — Portland Fermentation Fest co-organizers George Winborn, Liz Crain and David Barber right before this year’s panel of fermentation experts that kicked the festival off.

I was out a town for a week right after this year’s Portland Fermentation Festival so I apologize for the delay in putting this post together. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out a couple weeks ago and made the SIXTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust a huge stinky success!

This year we had all sorts of new tasty treats including our first international neighbor to the north exhibitor. Todd Graham of HandTaste Ferments came all the way from Vancouver B.C. to take part in the fest, we also welcomed our first New York Times covered guest — panel of fermentation experts participant Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels and we had our first festival playlist curated by my favorite fellow — D.J. Jimbo!

We put the Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours (thank you sooooo much to all of our kick-ass volunteers!) and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us year after year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

We had some great coverage this year including this spot on KGW News Live at 7 segment with Cassidy Quinn. We’ve posted most of the other coverage on social media. If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter.

Below are a whole bunch of photos from this year’s Stinkfest! If you have some great ones too please post them to the Facebook page or Twitter them with the hashtag #pdxfermentfest.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and see you all again next year we hope! Stay stinky! Oh, and please let me know if I attributed anything incorrectly. Thanks!

We had to switch the initial Portland Fermentation Fest date when we found out that Neil Young was coming to town that very night. My good friend Steve Bodin made me this image for that press release. Let's just pretend Neil came to the festival and rocked out on an electric pickle.

We had to switch the initial Portland Fermentation Fest date this year when we found out that Neil Young was coming to town that very night. My good friend Stephen Bodin made me this image for the resulting date change press release. Let’s just pretend Neil came to this year’s Portland Fermentation Festival and rocked out on a guitar pickle.

Festival cuties working the door at Ecotrust. My good friends left to right Wendy Wilson, Loly Leblanc, Kelli Brandt and Jimbo Sandberg.

Festival cuties working the door at Ecotrust. My good friends left to right Wendy Wilson, Loly Leblanc, Kelli Brandt and boyfriend Jimbo Sandberg.

Before the fest I got some pics of exhibitors including festival royalty Nat West and Sarah West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider.

Before the fest I got some pics of exhibitors including festival royalty Nat West and Sarah West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider.

Aaaaand festival royalty Matt Choi of Choi's Kimchi.

Aaaaand festival royalty Matt Choi of Choi’s Kimchi.

We're so lucky that super talented Portland artist Tim Root makes the festival poster every year. Love, love, love this year's poster!

We’re so lucky that super talented Portland artist Tim Root makes us a poster every year for the festival. Love, love, love this year’s poster!

We kicked off the festival again this year with an hour-long panel of fermentation experts.

We kicked off the festival again this year with an hour-long panel of fermentation experts.

Festival co-organizer George Winborn was the moderator and on the panel left to right was Tara Whitsitt, Matt Choi, Nat West, David Barber and Tressa Yellig. AKA all of the fermentation smarty pants.

Festival co-organizer George Winborn moderated and on the panel left to right was Tara Whitsitt, Matt Choi, Nat West, David Barber and Tressa Yellig. AKA all of the fermentation smarty pants.

After the panel we stacked the chairs and in came the crowd of hungry folks for the first tasting. Eat or be eaten!!

After the panel we stacked the chairs and in came the crowd of hungry folks for the first tasting. Eat or be eaten!!

Cuties Connie and Brian Shaw from Hood River's Oregon Brineworks brought an incredible spread just as they did last year.

Cuties Connie and Brian Shaw from Hood River’s Oregon Brineworks brought an incredible spread just as they did last year.

Including their garlic dills, beet kvass, ginger gold kvass, fermented hot sauce, fermented ketchup and more. So good!

Including their garlic dills, beet kvass, ginger gold kvass, fermented hot sauce, fermented ketchup and more. So good!

Cassidy Quinn of KGW News came and interviewed us at the beginning of the first tasting and she tried some of David's Picklopolis black pepper fennel kraut. She loved it of course.

Cassidy Quinn of KGW News came and interviewed as at the beginning of the first tasting and she tried some of David’s Picklopolis fennel kraut. She loved it of course.

Emily Squadra's spicy Mexican kimchi and Korean kimchi were both spicy full-flavored hits.

Emily Squadra’s spicy Mexican kimchi and Korean kimchi were both tasty, full-flavored hits.

The loveliest Allison Jones of Portland Monthly checking in on the media list and my good friends Koko Wadeson, Jess Bull and Loly Leblanc rocking their door/ticketing shift.

The loveliest Allison Jones of Portland Monthly checking in on the media list and my good friends Koko Wadeson, Jess Bull and Loly Leblanc rocking their door/ticketing shift.

Todd Graham of HandTaste Ferments in Vancouver B.C. handing out samples of the awesome chickpea tempeh that he demo'd on the mezzanine.

Todd Graham of HandTaste Ferments in Vancouver B.C. handing out samples of the awesome chickpea tempeh that he demo’d on the mezzanine.

Jenny Hogan of NuCulture Foods with her crazy tasty and creamy cashew spreads. A lot of markets in town carry them. Try them -- so good!

Jenny Hogan of NuCulture Foods with her crazy tasty and creamy cashew spreads. A lot of markets in town carry them. Try them — so good!

Festival alum and sweetheart Claudia Lucero, proprietor of DIY Cheese Kits by Urban Cheesecraft and author of  One-Hour Cheese doing her labneh cheese demo. Really popular demo.

Festival alum and sweetheart Claudia Lucero, proprietor of DIY Cheese Kits by Urban Cheesecraft and author of One-Hour Cheese doing her labneh cheese demo. Really popular demo.

Olive Evelyn Bailey of Lion Heart Kombucha serving up all kinds of delicious fruity kombuchas. I tried the raspberry and it was deeeeelicious!

Olive Evelyn Bailey of Lion Heart Kombucha serving up all kinds of delicious fruity kombuchas. I tried the raspberry and it was deeeeelicious!

Tabor Bread baker and baking teacher Sarah Black with gratis sourdough cultures and yummy YUMMY natural starter whole grain rye bread.

Tabor Bread baker and baking teacher Sarah Black with gratis sourdough cultures and yummy YUMMY natural starter whole grain rye bread.

My friend Kelli Brandt in the foreground trying Colin Franger in the background's Blue Bus Cultured Foods super tasty Shakedown Beet and Kraut-chi.

My friend Kelli Brandt in the foreground trying Colin Franger in the background’s Blue Bus Cultured Foods yummy Shakedown Beet and Kraut-chi.

And then the second tasting commenced! My friends womaning the door left to right -- Stacy Goodwin, Loly Leblanc, Michelle Gilmore and Michele Knaus.

And then the second tasting commenced! My friends womaning the door left to right — Stacy Goodwin, Loly Leblanc, Michelle Gilmore and Michele Knaus.

The rooftop in full swing with tunes by D.J. Jimbo, cider from Reverend Nat's Hard Cider and sandwiches from Bingo Sandwiches. Beautiful night. Beautiful city.

The rooftop in full swing with tunes by D.J. Jimbo, cider from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and sandwiches from Bingo Sandwiches. Beautiful night. Beautiful city.

Me and my fine fellow D.J. Jimbo.

Me and my fine fellow D.J. Jimbo who put together this year's rooftop festival playlist.

Another rooftop festival cutie -- my good friend Jess Bull.

Another rooftop festival cutie — my good friend Jess Bull.

Crock maker Jon Westdahl on the right, Dario Barone of Sacred Summit and Julie of Squirrel and Crow.

Crock maker Jon Westdahl on the right, Dario Barone of Sacred Summit and Julie of Squirrel and Crow — all having no fun at all.

Yummmmm!

Yummmmm!

Lovely Sasha Sunday and her crew with all kinds of OlyKraut tastiness including Smoke & Kale, Cumin Jalapeno and Sea Vegetable krauts.

Lovely Sasha Sunday and her crew with all kinds of OlyKraut tastiness including Smoke & Kale, Cumin Jalapeno and Sea Vegetable krauts.

Another festival royalty -- Queen Heidi Nestler of Heidi Nestler Cooking Classes doing her always well attended natto demo on the mezzanine.

Another festival royalty — Queen Heidi Nestler of Heidi Nestler Cooking Classes doing her always well attended natto demo on the mezzanine.

The super sweet duo from Eva's Herbucha in the eye of the storm.

The super sweet duo from Eva’s Herbucha in the eye of the storm.

My good friend Loly Leblanc made a bunch of friends of the festival these awesome fuzzzzzzzy pickles to wear this year!

My good friend Loly Leblanc made a bunch of friends of the festival these awesome fuzzzzzzzy pickles to wear this year!

Beautiful Careen Stoll of Careen Stoll Ceramics with her beautiful handmade crocks.

Careen Stoll of Careen Stoll Ceramics with her beautiful handmade crocks.

Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider sadly packing up his milk wine. Every year Nat pushes the fermentation boundaries and brings something wacky that you can only try at the festival. Last year he brought LAMB cider. This year MILK wine. Weird and wonderful.

Nat West sadly packing up his milk wine. Every year Nat pushes the fermentation boundaries and brings something truly wacky (and often frightening) that you can only try at the festival. Last year he brought LAMB cider. This year MILK wine. Weird and wonderful.

Closing time with my lovely ladies -- Loly Leblanc, Kelli Brandt, me and Michelle Gilmore. Most fun!

Closing time with my lovely ladies — Loly Leblanc, Kelli Brandt, me and Michelle Gilmore. Most fun!

Every great Portland Fermentation Festival concludes with George donning his jet pack. All stinky things must come to an end.

Every great Portland Fermentation Festival concludes with George donning his jet pack. All stinky things must come to an end.

Thank you to every last one of you who came out and were a part of this year’s sixth annual Portland Fermentation Festival. We love you!

Homemade Fermented Food and Drink

July 25th, 2011

Hard cider bottling of the Newton pippin cider that I pressed with Nat West last winter. Really good this year -- much better than last's. The dandelion wine is bottled on the left...

Ever since I bought a copy of Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation shortly after moving to Portland I’ve been a food fermentation freak.

I love everything about home food fermentation. I love the DIY aspect of crafting foods that I love such as sauerkraut, wine, and miso. I love the time and patience involved in creating these foods and drinks — most ferments I make take anywhere from a few days to a year. I love the full flavor of food ferments — from pungent and sour to salty and spicy to sweet and effervescent. I love that fermented foods and drinks are inherently good for me because of the live micro-nutrients they contain. I love that I’m carrying on food traditions born well before refrigeration, artificial preservatives, and pasteurization. The list goes on and on.

In January 2009, I got to travel to Nashville to meet one of my heroes — Sandor Ellix Katz — and interview him for The Sun Magazine. In October of 2009, we got him to come out for the inaugural Portland Fermentation Festival that David Barber, George Winborn and I organized and continue to organize every year. The date is still TBD for this year’s and I’ll let you know soon when/where it will be.

For now, I’ve got a bunch of home food and drink ferments that I’ve been checking on, bottling and eating up lately to share with you here. This weekend I started a sour cherry wine with fruit collected from a neighbor’s tree. I’ll post about that soon.

I’ve got two batches of miso going right now that I started in November — soybean miso and red bean miso. Here’s what they’re looking like now after several months of fermenting…

I scraped the salt off the top of this red bean miso and it's looking pretty and already tasting DELICIOUS. Going to be patient though and let it ferment until fall. At least.

The soybean miso is looking and tasting great too. Did the same and scraped off the salt and mold, repacked with a nice layer of sea salt, covered and put back in the utility room till fall.

Yes, you have to be very generous with the salt so you don't get too much mold.

This year's three gallons of Brooks plum wine has finished fermenting and is now bottled. It's so good. It's tart and off-dry and tastes like a perfect plum. The alcoholic kind.

These petals and more went into this year's gallon of dandelion wine. We bottled last year's and it's delicious as always, a little more flowery this year too which is nice.

If you’ve never done any home food/drink fermentation I recommend starting with saurkraut or kimchi. They’re both quick and easy ferments that pack a lot of flavor. I can’t recommend Sandor Ellix Katz’s book Wild Fermentation enough. I use it all the time. Happy fermenting! Let me know what you make.

Happy Anniversary Blog: Two years and counting

February 22nd, 2011

It’s been two years since I started this blog as a sort of companion piece to my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. Since the beginning I’ve aimed to keep my posts short and sweet and informative for Portland food folks and visitors. I hope it’s been helpful.

This time last year I celebrated one year of blogging with a sort of year-in-review. It was a nice way to take stock so I’m doing it again for the two-year marker. Thanks for stopping by now and again. Thanks for chiming in now and again. Thanks to each and every one of you out there who celebrate our local food scene in Portland and beyond. Here are some blog highlights from the past year…

I started off February 2010 with our semi-annual Cincinnati chili feed. Can’t beat Gartner’s dogs, spicy Cincy chili and finely grated Tillamook cheddar…

Sometimes 3-ways are sloppy. Cincinnati chili 3-ways that is...

Portland International Film Festival followed shortly after. PIFF is my favorite local film fest and we always do PIFF + Pizza. Was going to giveaway some tickets here for this year’s now in its final week but unfortunately got too busy. Go to PIFF while you still can!

Cheese followed by egg...

I won an Excalibur Food Dehydrator and made my first batch of spicy beef jerky late March. It was amazing and I’ve made it many times since…

Thin sliced tri-tip ready to marinate and dry...

In May I had my first interview in The Sun Magazine with one of my favorite people — Sandor Ellix Katz

I never thought this day would come...

Several weeks later I had a kick-ass book launch party for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland the day it came out — July 1st, 2010…

The best celebration I could have hoped for. So much fun.

At the end of summer my boyfriend and I went on a magical 10-day sailing trip around the San Juan Islands and I blogged about our DIY galley cooking in three installments…

We have a stainless grill too but most of what we cooked on the boat happened here.

In the fall we put together a filled-to-the-gills second annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust…

Biwa's rocking kimchi with big chunks of daikon and lots of fire.

Late December I got to press hard cider with our friend Nat and he gave me a carboy of the stuff to take home and ferment myself…

Nat sorting through one of the last Newtown Pippin apple bins.

And just in time for the new year I made miso for the first time. In a month or so I’ll be checking on it…

After mashing the soybeans you mix that with the brined koji...

THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT YEAR!

Eat, drink and be hairy!

Hard Cider Pressing with Nat

December 27th, 2010

Nat sorting through one of the last Newtown Pippin apple bins.

In early December I got to help out a friend with the last cider press of the apple season. Our friend Nat West has been crafting his own cider and hard cider for a few years now from gleaned, traded and orchard picked local apples and this year was the biggest. He thinks his total apple haul this year clocks in at about 5,800 pounds, which translates to roughly 500 gallons of cider.

This year’s apples included a mix of Newtown Pippins, Lady, Jonagold, Kingston Black, Yarlington Mill, Brown’s Apple, Hereford Redstreak plus about 1,000 pounds of mixed varieties gleaned from various local spots. I helped out with the last of the Newtown Pippins — about 250-300 pounds.

The agreement was (and is with a lot of Nat’s friends) that in exchange for helping out for a shift of apple milling and pressing I’d get to take home a carboy of that day’s cider. I thought that sounded great and I was really happy to get to work with and learn more about Nat’s awesome set-up.

Basically, Nat mills his apples with a retrofitted garbage disposal and presses them with a hydraulic press in his garage. Apples are stored and rinsed in bins and buckets in the driveway and once the juice is pressed it’s kept in 55-gallon drums in the basement during fermentation and then stored largely in kegs. Nat lets his cider go anywhere from six to eight months.

Nat doesn’t sell his cider he just drinks it and trades with it. Really good stuff. Here are some photos…

Nat rinsing the apples before I put them through the apple mill aka retrofitted garbage disposal in the garage.

I filled bucket after bucket with apple pumace shown here. It oxidizes pretty quickly while in queue for the press.

Nat's awesome hydraulic cider press.

Hard cider fermenting in the basement in 55-gallon food grade barrel.

Most of Nat's cider goes directly into kegs but he bottles some for friends.

Read about my cherry wine here.

Ready about my plum wine here.

Read about my dandelion wine here.

Portland Food Co-ops’ Local Farm Event June 6th

May 10th, 2010

Strike a pose. Mustard Seed Farms.

Portland has great food cooperatives and on Sunday, June 6th all three of them are joining forces for a day-long local farm tour — Alberta Cooperative Grocery, Food Front Cooperative Grocery, and People’s Food Co-op.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youth below 14 years old, and low income tickets are available. Ticket price includes: lunch, wine tasting admission, bus transportation, entrance into raffles, drinks and snacks. To register, contact your nearest co-op for details.

From the press release:

3 CO-OPS, 2 FARMS, 1 CIDERWORKS

On June 6th, the three Portland food co-ops will be joining together to offer a day long farm tour. Community members from Alberta Co-op, Food Front Co-op, and People’s Co-op will spend a relaxing day together in the rural farmlands of Oregon visiting two farms and a ciderworks.

Sunbow Farm

The farm tour will began with a visit to Sunbow Farm in Corvallis to meet “the father of organic farming”, Harry McCormack. MacCormack established Sunbow Farm in 1972 to be an organic market garden. The farm is now home to six greenhouses, several barns, a bath house, and the Institute of BioWisdom, an education center focused on building hands-on organic farming and life skills.

For lunch, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks will host the tour for a seasonal local meal and cider tasting on their 280 acres of land. Just outside Salem, Wandering Aengus grows organic apples that are crafted into cider using a low intervention technique that showcases the delicious taste of their heirloom apples. With Willamette Valley Cheese Company just across the road, tourers can also expect to be treated to a little cheese with their cider.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks

The final stop will be at Mustard Seed Farms in St. Paul, where Farmer Brown and his wife Nancy will show off their diversified vegetable farm that supplies all three co-ops with beautiful, year-round nutrition. Known for their fall pumpkins, Mustard Seed Farms grows a large variety of organic produce, from lettuce in the spring to over-wintering cauliflower. By working with local communities and organizations, farmers David and Nancy Brown have been able to maintain what may seem impossible…a small working family farm.

About the Cooperatives:

All three co-ops are community-owned grocery stores focused on providing customers with high-quality organic local food. Alberta Cooperative Grocery at the intersection of 15th Ave. and Alberta St. was founded in 2001 and serves as a community resource and gathering place, while providing fresh, high-quality, affordable food to the diverse members of North and Northeast Portland.

People’s Food Co-op, located on SE 21st between Division and Powell, has been thriving since 1970 and will celebrate its 40th birthday this year. From cob walls to living rooftops, a weekly farmers market to relationships with over 50 farmers and producers, they are dedicated to nourishing the Portland community.

Food Front Co-op was founded in 1972 in NW Portland. It opened its second store in the Hillsdale neighborhood in 2008. Food Front treasures the relationships they’ve built with local farmers and food producers who provide them with the freshest and the finest.

Sunday, June 6th
All day local farm tour hosted by PDX food cooperatives

***Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youth below 14 years old, and low income tickets are available. Ticket price includes: lunch, wine tasting admission, bus transportation, entrance into raffles, drinks and snacks. To register, contact your nearest co-op for details.***