Wordstock + Livestock: Portland Books and Butchery

September 29th, 2009

IS GETTING COZY WITH…

I think now’s as good of a time as any to let the cat out of the bag. I have a new job working for Hawthorne Books — my favorite Portland publishers. I’ve been slowly phasing in the past few weeks for an early October start date just in time to help out with two very exciting upcoming spring and summer 2010 titles. AND just in time for Wordstock — a delicious and more food writing focused Wordstock to boot.

For the two of you that don’t know — Wordstock is Portland’s annual fall weekend-long literary festival with stages for all kinds of author readings, a book fair of mostly regional publishers and presses and lots of writing workshops. It takes place next weekend — October 10th and 11th all day at the Oregon Convention Center.

This year’s festival includes more than a dozen food writers including The Accidental Hedonist herself Kate Hopkins; Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance author Isa Chandra Moskowitz; Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson will present their hot-off-the-presses The Grand Central Baking Book; Julie Richardson and Cory Schreiber will read from their new title Rustic Fruit Desserts; and Ivy Manning will present her The Farm to Table Cookbook and The Adaptable Feast.

If you’re hungry for more check out this Wordstock food panel at 4pm Saturday, October 10th:

Seasons of Change: How much should people be encouraged to eat seasonal food? Hear three authors discuss the challenges of providing a seasonal menu, the impacts of rising demand on farmers and others aspects of eating seasonally.

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Not only does this year’s Wordstock include more food writers than ever it’s also promoting the new November event Livestock — a series of Portland farm-to-fork events designed to explore the literary and literal aspects of killing our dinner.

Gleaned from the Livestock press release:

Watershed Culinary Productions in partnership with Camas Davis, food writer and founder of the soon-to-be-launched Portland Meat Collective, presents the first ever Livestock which will be held on two consecutive Wednesdays, November 4th and 11th, from 6pm to 8pm at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland. Tickets are $25 each with $10 from every ticket sold going to Friends of Family Farmers. Space is limited so please call (503) 827-6564 between 9:00am and 5:30pm to reserve your place. Pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or cash. Sorry no checks.

Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Adam Sappington of The Country Cat will display their butchery craft as ranchers discuss their bond to the land, and writers present short stories exploring the food politics and emotions embedded in eating meat. The evenings will wrap up with a flight of beef or pork from three local farms cooked by the evening’s featured chef.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Local writers, chefs, and other artists are encouraged to submit personal essays of no more than 1,200 words for consideration as part of Livestock. Essays can explore anything from the politics of eating (or not eating) meat to the emotional (or unemotional) context of killing (or not killing) your dinner. Submissions might only explore the chop or the rib, or they might go as deep as the tail or the trotter, but metaphor and style will be prized above technicalities and generalities of any sort. Six finalists will be chosen to read their essays at the event. An honorarium will be offered to each author, along with all the charcuterie they can consume in one evening. To submit please contact Camas Davis by October 12th at: camas.davis@gmail.com

Livestock 1: The Butchery of a Cow

What: The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar Chef Adam Sappington and Sweet Briar Farms, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Sappington will prepare three cuts from three different farms, and guests will be invited to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 4, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.

Livestock 2: The Butchery of a Pig

What: Nostrana Chef Cathy Whims and Laughing Stock Farm, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Whims will prepare a flight of meat and invite guests to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 11, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.

Yard Fresh Pt. 2

September 24th, 2009
Birthday Italian plum cake

Birthday Italian plum cake

Even though this summer was probably the busiest summer of my life because of the book I still managed to take time to cook. Earlier in the summer I posted Yard Fresh — with photos of all different foods I made when the garden was just starting to get fruitful. This is the second installment — foods cooked up from the front and backyard during the thick of summer which in my garden translates to lots and LOTS of tomatoes and then some. And if you don’t know from experience — this year has been a fantastic year for tomatoes.

I take a lot of photos of the foods I prepare and post them to the Portland-based site Culinate. If you haven’t checked out Culinate before you should. The “Fritters” on the homepage are really fun and a great source for local seasonal recipes and kitchen inspiration.

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been eating the past couple months…

Grilled lamb burgers stuffed with feta and mint, oregano and garlic from the yard with a pea shoot, green leaf salad with a miso citrus vinaigrette.

Grilled lamb burgers stuffed with feta and mint, oregano and garlic from the yard with a pea shoot, green leaf salad with a miso citrus vinaigrette.

Hermiston canteloupe lime juice.

Hermiston canteloupe lime juice.

Spaghetti with a spicy, garlicky sweet pea tomato sauce. These are definitely the cutest tomatoes I've ever grown. They're tiny but pack a lot of flavor.

Spaghetti with a spicy, garlicky sweet pea tomato sauce. These are definitely the cutest tomatoes I've ever grown. They're tiny but pack a lot of flavor.

Lightly blackened salsa pureed with lime juice, chimayo and old wrinkled man chiles, and lots of garlic and cilantro.

Lightly blackened salsa pureed with lime juice, chimayo and old wrinkled man chiles, and lots of garlic and cilantro.

Chickpea and red lentil curry with snap peas, basil and beet greens.

Chickpea and red lentil curry with snap peas, basil and beet greens.

Crock fermented dills with lots of peppercorn.

Crock fermented dills with lots of peppercorn.

Every summer I make as much hot sauce as possible. This batch blended kung pao chiles, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, ground mustard seed, a small plum and a splash of vinegar. Delicious.

Every summer I make as much hot sauce as possible. This batch blended kung pao chiles, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, ground mustard seed,a small plum and a splash of vinegar. Delicious.

You can also check out:
Yard Fresh
Yard Fresh Pt. 3

InFARMation — Friends of Family Farmers are friends of mine

September 21st, 2009
Jon Bansen of Double J Jersey in Monmouth speaks at an April InFARMation about transitioning from a conventional dairy to an organic dairy.

Jon Bansen of Double J Jersey in Monmouth speaks at an April InFARMation about transitioning from a conventional dairy to an organic dairy.

Although you won’t find InFARMation in the dictionary it’s a local agricultural event that takes place every second Tuesday of the month at Roots Organic Brewery in Southeast Portland where you can eat, drink and learn about all sorts of interesting local farm issues.

Since January 2009 Friends of Family Farmers has been hosting InFARMations in Roots’ events space attached to the brewery. Folks arrive, order food and drink if they want (Tuesday is $2.50 brew night at Root’s) and then usually by 6:30pm a farmer stands up front to talk about a pressing agricultural issue. Scot Callaway spoke at the first InFARMation I went to in mid-July. Callaway lives in Canby, Oregon and talked about how his community fought and organized against a Foster Farms CAFO setting up shop in their area. The fight isn’t over. I learned a lot.

Before the event I got to talk with Michele Knaus about Friends of Family Farmers and its mission. The organization was founded in 2005 by co-president Kendra Kimbirauskas and received 501(c)3 status in May of 2007. In just four years FOFF has become a leading voice for Oregon’s independent family farmers. The organization provides resources to help farmers and community members resist and retaliate against factory farms and support socially responsible sustainable farming.

Knaus is really happy with Portland’s InFARMations. She says, “Bringing the farmers here and bringing the issues in from a different angle has been really helpful. It helps people connect with others in the community doing the same work. At an InFARMation I’ll see a CSA urban farmer that I know talking to some old grizzly farmer who drove two hours to get here. I’ll also see young urban people listening and taking it all in. I get really excited about that stuff.”

I’m a big fan of InFARMations too. In college I attended all sorts of readings and lectures from visiting professors, writers, thinkers and I’m happy to live in a city where this kind of perpetual and diverse free schooling is available — especially in relation to farms and farmers. Added InFARMation bonuses: delicious beer, decent food and a low-key communal feel with picnic tables and an informal Q&A. The Roots space isn’t a quiet auditorium where you have to climb over ten people to get out. In other words feel free to stop by or take off beginning, middle or end.

According to Knaus October’s InFARMation focus will be — Eating Local: Thanksgiving, Winter, & Planning Ahead. November’s InFARMation will be co-presented by the Oregon Food Bank. OFB will report on listening sessions and focus groups they’ve held around the state, specifically focused on food insecurity and fresh produce/farmers markets. In December Knaus hopes to get a lot of farmers in the room to talk about apprenticeships and how they’re dealing with labor opportunities and training the next generation of farmers.

FOFF is always looking for volunteers and donations. Check out their website for more information.

Friends of Family Farmers

Friends of Family Farmers

Friend of Family Farmers
503.759.3276
P.O. Box 1286, Molalla, OR
www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org

Travel Oregon’s Cuisineternships — applications due Friday

September 15th, 2009
If you don't tell them about your basement frankenstill you might be able to learn from the pros.

If you don't tell them about your basement frankenstill you might be able to learn from the pros.

There’s no time to lose if you feel like free schooling with some of Oregon’s finest food folks including Full Sail Brewery’s brewmaster Jamie Emerson, salmon and rockfish fisherman Lars Robinson, Bendistillery distiller/owner Jim Bendis and others. Travel Oregon’s Oregon Bounty Cuisineternship applications are due this Friday. What do you get if you win? One of seven all-expense-paid trips (including airfare, lodging and a $1,000 meal stipend) in Oregon which includes a five-day, six-night apprenticeship as a chef, cheesemaker/chocolatier, craft brewer, distiller, rancher, fisherman or winemaker.

The biggest component of the application is putting together a two minute digital video of yourself. Check out already submitted videos here. Keep in mind that you can apply for as many of the seven cuisineternships as you want. Go here for answers to some contest FAQ.

Winners will be announced after September 28th on Travel Oregon’s website.

The chef — Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon
The cheesemaker and chocolatier — David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery and Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms
The craft brewer — Jamie Emmerson of Full Sail Brewing Co.
The distiller — Jim Bendis of Bendistillery
The ranchers — the Pickard and Boyer families of Oregon’s Country Natural Beef
The fisherman — Lars Robison of Dockside Charters
The winemaker — Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery is waiting for you in his cave.

David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery is waiting for you in his cave.

Lars Robison looks fine but did Gabriel Rucker take his Dramamine?

Lars Robison looks fine but did Gabriel Rucker take his Dramamine?

Travel Oregon
www.traveloregon.com
Oregon Bounty
www.bounty.traveloregon.com

Homemade Cheese 101 — Urban Cheesecraft

September 14th, 2009
Want to make these at home?

Want to make these at home?

The first cheese I ever made was in high school. It was a quick and simple paneer for a buttermilk chickpea curry that was not at all a quick and simple curry. The paneer turned out great and I was amazed at how easy it was — store bought milk, a little bit of lemon juice, some cheesecloth and a little weight and patience. Turns out 36-year-old Portlander Claudia Lucero started her trail of cheese discovery exactly the same way. She was working at an Indian restaurant in high school when she decided to try her hand at paneer — her first homemade cheese.

Toward the end of writing my book I found out about Claudia and her company Urban Cheesecraft founded in 2008. I’d contacted the good folks at Mirador Community Store and co-owner Steve Hanrahan told me that they’d added something new to the large DIY cooking side of the shop — a cheesemaking section. The bulk of the new section is Urban Cheesecraft kits that look a little something like this…

Most kits cost less than $30.

Most kits cost less than $30.

Each kit makes up to 10 batches of cheese and includes items such as instructional booklets, cheesecloth, citric acid, dairy thermometers, vegetable rennet and cheese salt. You can find Urban Cheesecraft kits in town at the Urban Farm Store, Alberta Coop, Food Front, New Seasons, Foster & Dobbs, Mirador Community Store, Montavilla Farmers Market and other locations and you can also purchase them online.

If you like the idea of making your own cheese but would rather take a class than self school sign up for one of Claudia’s cheesemaking classes or demonstrations. Check out the website for more information about both.

Urban Cheesecraft
www.urbancheesecraft.wordpress.com

Moving Right Along

September 10th, 2009

At 7pm on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 a book was born. It’s got some baby fat (10,000 words longer than contractually agreed) and it needs help with, well, everything but I did it and I feel great. To celebrate on Tuesday I went to EaT Oyster Bar with friends.

I’d heard that every Tuesday night EaT offers one or more types of raw oysters at $1 a piece but I hadn’t been by for that although I’ve been to EaT a fair few times. I started with a sazerac and six oysters on the half shell — petites from Oregon and Washington. 18 delicious raw oysters and a couple glasses of muscadet later I was on top of the world.

Yesterday I slept in and after I had a cup of strong coffee in my not-typing hands I stepped outside to see what was going on in the garden. The past couple weeks I only watered a couple times since my focus was elsewhere. Lucky for me we’ve had some heavy rain recently so rather than meeting a bunch of withered and neglected plants I got this…

My garden loves me

My garden loves me

And if that’s not good enough last night my boyfriend came home with a 5-gallon carboy of freshly pressed cider, a bottle of homemade hard cider and a bottle of fresh apple juice all from a fellow who’s a client at my boyfriend’s tattoo shop. We talked with this man at the Portland Fermentation Festival and it turns out he has a pretty awesome home set up for juicing apples that involves a big stainless sink and a garbage disposal just for that purpose. Anyway he just got done with his fall pressing and generously gifted us 5 gallons of the sweet, golden stuff to ferment into hard cider. All he asks is that we save him a bottle or two of the bubbly in the spring. What a guy. We cracked open the hard cider last night and the celebration continued.

Up next on the blog — DIY cheese in Portland…

EaT Oyster Bar
3808 N Williams
503.281.1222
www.eatoysterbar.com

Food Lover’s Guide to Insanity

September 2nd, 2009
This picture tells more than 85,000 words

This picture tells more than 85,000 words

I don’t make a lot of excuses when it comes to work. Generally I agree to do something or I don’t and that’s that. I’m often early with my deadlines, which I highly recommend to all writers who want happy editors, and I often pick up the slack when something needs to be covered last minute.

Anyhow, I’m finishing up my book. It’s due in less than a week and I assure you I won’t be writing any turn on a dime stories and I also won’t be delivering this sucker to my publisher early. While many Americans enjoy a long holiday weekend in a couple days I’ll be halfway insane finishing up my book. In other words on Labor Day I’ll be laboring like never before get Food Lover’s Guide to Portland to the point where I can send its snaggletoothed self up to my fine publisher in Seattle on September 8th.

Please forgive me for a brief hiatus this week (overworked) and next (over work). I’ll be back in full force as soon as I do things like shower and return phone calls. You wouldn’t want to see me now anyway. I’ve been doing things like spending all day in my boyfriend’s over sized sweatshirts, eating nothing but instant ramen and condiments on bread around the clock, talking to myself, stretching my neck compulsively. Its unsightly. I assure you that I’m looking after your best interests.