Wordstock 2012 + Toro Bravo

November 26th, 2012

Rachel Khong and Jordan Bass of McSweeney's Books at Wordstock 2012.

Did you go to Wordstock this year? I go every year. I love it and look forward to it every fall. I’ve had a lot of milestones at Wordstock — my first book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland was born at Wordstock and a lot of other good fortune and good times have come to be for me at festivals past.

This year I tabled all day Saturday and Sunday at the Hawthorne Books booth. I’ve been an editor and publicity director at Hawthorne since late summer/early fall of 2009. Three years! I got to hang out with a lot of our authors (and sneak away for a couple of their cool events) as well as with publisher Rhonda Hughes and senior editor Adam O’Connor Rodruguez. Good times.

I also got to spend time with the publishers of the book that I am currently writing with John Gorham — the Toro Bravo Cookbook: The Making, Breaking and Riding of a Bull. We are so happy to be doing this book with McSweeney’s. Dream come true.

I hosted the McSweeney’s folks during Wordstock this year so that meant late night karaoke, 20 boxes of books in my front room, plum wine on the front porch and a lot of fine eating and drinking at Toro Bravo, of course (we had a huge dinner where cava and txakoli flowed freely and we tried a lot of the new dishes inspired by our recent trip to Madrid and Barcelona), Biwa and Tasty n Sons to name a few spots that we went. They even had to break into my house once while they were here. I won’t give you all the details on that but it worked.

AND I got to finally meet our high-rolling, ass kicking literary agent Kimberly Witherspoon. We’re very lucky to have Kim on our side and it was great to finally meet her in person. She moderated a panel this year at Wordstock and while she was in town she got to have a really nice meal at Toro.

Our literary agent, Kimberly Witherspoon, of InkWell Management moderating a panel at Wordstock 2012.

So, if you didn’t get to Wordstock this year please try to make it next year. It’s an incredible annual Portland event for readers, writers, editors, publishers — basically all book lovers. And it might just visit some very good fortune on you as well. You never know…


Yard Fresh Pt. 24

November 19th, 2012

Plum wine sangria that tweaked from the Toro Bravo white wine sangria recipe. Mmmm.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these and to tell the truth I’ve been so busy meeting our final deadline for the Toro Bravo Cookbook (WE DID IT!) amongst several other big deadline projects I really haven’t been cooking all that much. That said, I’ve made a few tasty thing lately and I’m going to share them with you here. Have you cooked anything really good in the past few weeks?

First roasted bird of the season -- stuffed with lemon and seasoned with a lot of olive oil and smoked paprika.

Last batch of spicy garlic dills. Didn't go overboard this year like I tend to with these...

And the last haul from the garden -- mostly went into soup...

Made twice as much plum wine this year -- all from the Brooks plum tree in the front yard. Should have about 100 bottles come spring!

Potato tacos became potato tostadas for breakfast. One of my favorite breakfasts...

Grilled sockeye that my neighbor caught (I'm so lucky) with grilled cauliflower and stewed green beans.

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Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Sandor Ellix Katz at Powell’s November 14th and Contest!

November 5th, 2012

Come to the downtown Powell's for Sandor's book event Wednesday, November 14th at 7:30pm. Comment here for a chance to win a copy of his newest book -- The Art of Fermentation!

Sandor Ellix Katz aka Sandorkraut is one of my favorite people and so I’m very excited that he’s coming back to Portland for an Edible Portland sponsored Powell’s Books event for his newest book The Art of Fermentation on Wednesday, November 14th (National Pickle Day!) at 7:30pm at the downtown Powell’s. Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Nashville to interview Sandor for The Sun Magazine and also invite Sandor to speak along with festival co-organizers at our inaugural Portland Fermentation Festival in 2009. This time around I even get to host Sandor at my home while he’s in Portland. Yes! I have so much to be grateful for.

Sandor Ellix Katz and me at Short Mountain Sanctuary, a couple hours south of Nashville, in January 2009.

Sandor’s newest book — which follows his other two titles: Wild Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved — is an in-depth cultural, anthropological and deeply personal look at fermented foods with loads of DIY inspiration and detailed info. on crafting everything from miso and sake to fish sauce and high meat.

Chelsea Green — Sandor’s Vermont publishing house extraordinaire — has sent me a copy of the book to give away here as a promo. for the downtown Powell’s event. I’m going to run this contest like I always do. I’ve choosen a lucky number and that numbered commenter gets the book. I’ll bring it to the reading on the 14th to give to you and then you can get it signed by the author himself and hopefully we can get a photo of you with Sandor as well.

Here’s what I’d like you to comment about for a chance to win — what’s the best fermented food or drink that you’ve ever had and why? It can be a ferment that you made — sauerkraut, homemade wine, miso, cheese etc. or it can be something that someone else made or that you bought. I’ll start the conversation with my answer — my homemade fruit wines. So good.

See you at Sandor’s book event on the 14th!

The Art of Fermentation
By Sandor Ellix Katz
Published by Chelsea Green
528 pages

Downtown Powell’s event with Sandor Ellix Katz for The Art of Fermentation
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 7:30pm