Portland Fermentation Festival 2017 Redux

October 31st, 2017

Nat West and Sarah West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Nat ALWAYS brings something interesting and experimental to the fest. So fun. This year he brought some of his ciderkin to sample. Ciderkin is made by using the traditional cidermaking technique of re-wetting the spent pomace (what Nat is holding) after the first pressing of juice is extracted from the apple. It was a bright yummy and appley sample that most festival-goers had never tried before. Thank you Nat and Sarah for always bringing your fun and wild energy and ferments!

Thank you so very much to everyone — there were hundreds of you! — who came out last week for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust! We had 100-plus tasty funky fermented foods and drinks to sample, smarty-pants exhibitors and attendees, all sorts of fun DIY demo’s, rooftop good vibes thanks to my fine fellow DJ Jimbo (I’ll post his 2017 playlist once he puts it up), Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Cinder BBQ.

Thank you all for coming out for it and joining the stink! And thank you to our newest recruit who joined us as a co-organizer this year — festival friend and participant since day one Heidi Nestler of Wanpaku Natto. Heidi kicked-ass and you could feel her awesome months-long event organizing effort in many ways throughout the festival. Heidi really helped us focus on more diversity on the exhibitor floor. She got a lot of new folks to sample their yummy ferments this year and we are so grateful.

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 segment on KGW News with Christine Pitawanich and this Portland Monthly story by my friend and one of my all-time favorite editors Kelly Clarke. We’re very excited that Japan’s Elle Magazine was in attendance to cover the fest. I will shout that feature out from the rooftops once it prints. 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 festival Facebook and Twitter pages.

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 or Instagram them with the hashtag #portlandfermentationfestival.

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!

Festival founders — the Dapper Foodists! Marty snapped this one of us a few minutes before we opened the doors. Left to right — David Barber, me and George Winborn. Year after stinky year. XO

People were lined up and chaming at the bit to get in. As always.

And once the doors opened it filled up quickly with hungry folks ready for fun and all sorts of special food and drink ferments.

Maria Llull brought her delicious fermented whole grain mustard.

Maria’s fermented mustard!

It makes me really happy that Gabe Rosen of Biwa /Noraneko comes to the festival every year. This year he made one of my favorite festival bites — freshly fried potato chips tossed in dehydrated powdered house kimchi and served with a sour cream dip blended with dehydrated flaked and powdered house sour pickles. Chip and dip dream come true!!

So fun having Thubten Comerford bring his sweet energy and super tasty fermented sour pickles, corn relish and sauerkraut to this year’s festival. They were all so good and it was really nice to have so many new, vibrant folks sampling this year. We were aiming for more non-commercial fermentation enthusiasts and we got it with Thubten and others. Love this pic.

Thubten’s tasty trio of ferments.

I am the lucky one who gets to organize the ticketing table volunteers annually and it makes me really happy to have my strong female friends volunteering as the fest welcoming committee in five shifts of two. Here are my friends Phoenix and Kelli at the lobby ticketing table’s first shift before the doors opened. XOXO

One of the first two demo’s of the night was the packed fermented nut cheese fondue with my friend Claudia Lucero pictured here. Claudia is working on a step-by-step vegan cheese book at the moment and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it publishes!

I got to try some of the vegan nut cheese fondue and it was sooooo good. Everything Claudia makes is delicious.

Festival co-organizer Heidi Nestler was doing a fermented natto demo (her biz is Wanpaku Natto) at the same time across the mezzanine. I really love that we have all of these tasty demo’s every year. Inspiring and empowering.

My youngest in the best friends realm — almost 11-year-old Kylie (my Michelle’s daughter). She loooooves the Portland Fermentation Festival. Her favorite tastes this year were Heidi’s natto and a couple of the kombuchas.

Me and Kylie before the doors opened.

And if you were wondering what those cute pink things are that we are wearing they are festival SCOBY (the host of bacteria and yeast that you use to make kombucha) pins that fest volunteers and dear friends Loly, Phoenix and Kelli dreamed up and made. So cute.

This year’s festival poster that the talented artist Tim Root designed for us — as he does every year. Headless Horseman!!

Lovely Amelie Rosseau brought her pinot noir and homemade fermented hot sauce to the festival. Thank you Amelie! So happy that you came and sampled this year.

Susan Laarman of Swarm Portland brought her tasty fermented honey! She has a few accounts in Portland but please check out her website swarmportland.org for more info. about what she does.

Close-up of Susan’s yummy fermented honey.

Photographer Shino Yanagawa (on the left) of Japan’s Elle Gourmet Magazine came and shot photos of the fest this year! Can’t wait to see them when the story publishes!

Photographer Joshua Eddings (check him out on Instagram at skyturtlestories) took this great shot on the rooftop this year. It always amazes me that we never get a rainy festival despite the fact its always in September/October. It’s always beautiful. We had ciders from Reverend Nat Cider up there, barbecue by Cinder BBQ and…

Music by DJ Jimbo. Every year my sweetie Jimbo makes us a festival playlist that cycles good vibes on the roof. Once he posts the playlist online I’ll share it on our festival social media.

Me and George taking a quick and sweet rooftop breather. We found out he can emcee from the roof and everyone can still hear him in the main hall of the festival a floor below. Hilarious. Photo by Loly.

Us earlier in the day hunting and gathering for the festival. AND getting a little sweet pick-me-up from Nuvrei which we both adore.

Festival favorite Sash Sunday of OlyKraut! We look forward to seeing Sash (she lives in Olympia) and tasting all of her awesome ferments year after year.

Really yummy fermented breads spread from Tabor Bread at SE 50th and Hawthorne. We LOVE Tabor Bread…

And John from Tabor serving them up.

Careen Stoll is another tried and true festival friend. Every year she brings her beautiful hand thrown porcelain crocks that you can purchase at various galleries and shops around town.

Careen and one of our favorite festival veteran volunteers — Marty Dooley.

SOMA brought all sorts of tasty kombuchas this year. Love that they had kombucha taps to serve from.

This was a really, really yummy fest sample — Cultured Manifestation’s Yummus. Hummus made with fermented garlic, lime kefir whey, cumin, sumac and more.

Made by these two! Val Pena and Paul Castoral of Cultured Manifestations.

We loved having Madi Kay of Imperfect Produce at the festival this year to talk with attendees all about the good work that the company does. Please check them out at imperfectproduce.com if you haven’t already. Inspiring.

KGW’s Christine Pitawanich came and did a live segment in the main tasting hall at 7pm and we had fun showing her different ferments and taking her around. You can check out the segment at the link in my post above.

We first took her to the Choi’s Kimchi table with Matt and Chong Choi and Elmo. Choi’s is my very favorite kimchi. Matt and his mom come to the fest every year. We love them.

We also took them by Fumiko and Jason’s Obon PDX table. Fumiko was sampling their delicious tofu misozuke.

We tried to make it to the Jorinji Miso table with all of these fine folks including Earnest and Yuri Migaki but they were too popular and their table was too crowded. Earnest and Yuri are my dear friends and I love them and their miso so much! If you haven’t tried it before get some! Photo by Loly Leblanc.

A close up of their misos. They made all sorts of tasty miso treats throughout the night including white miso granola, roasted miso chicken and miso dressing, tonjiri with red miso, pork and winter vegetables plus miso soup. YUM!

Heidi Nestler at her Wanpaku Natto table — natto sampling (navy bean natto with mustard and natto kimchi) and educating.

Heidi’s felted SCOBY looks A LOT like her new Wanpaku Natto logo. Cute!

Another festival friend year after year — Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods with all of his tasty treats.

Tina Johnson giving her super informative demo all about fermenting and curing olives.

Tina’s cute sign.

Anja Spence and Bill Jones of Miss Zumstein’s Bakery and Coffee Shop sampled their bright and delicious house fermented hot sauces. So yummy!!

John Westdahl of Squirrel & Crow Tempeh serving up his fried chickepea and sunflower seed tempeh along with his split green pea tempeh aka tempea ;

Festival ticketing volunteers Loly and Kelli (thank you also to Jess, Jemma, Phoenix, Michele K, Michelle G and Stacy!!) enjoying the festival fun.

Brian Shaw of Oregon Brineworks serving up the wild and beautiful array of super tasty ferments that he and Connie always bring to the festival. I helped at his table a bit under the guise of “helping” — really I just wanted to be closer to all of those yummy samples 😉

And a sweet goodbye from all of the fine folks at SakeOne in Forest Grove who came out and poured all sorts of lovely sakes. They sent me home with a bottle of their pear sake. Happy.

And, as always, the final festival shot goes to George Winborn — co-founder/co-organizer extraordinaire. The final fest pic is usually of him wearing the shoulder strapped vacuum pack but I guess Ecotrust finally got rid of that vacuum so now no vacuum pack. Still so cute 😉

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out this year for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival. This year felt really special. I think we all needed to get together and have some good old fashioned stinky fun. I know I did. Thank you and see you next year. Happy fermenting!

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!

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

Shipping

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...

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 info@MoonBrine.com.

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 KnowThyFood.com 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
www.moonbrine.com

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

Friend Food Pt. 2

June 6th, 2011

So many good things have come our way food-wise from friends in the last few weeks. We’re so lucky. Here are some of the yummy things we’ve been gifted lately…

Our friend Amanda Myers of Infinity Tattoo keeps bees and we got some of their spoils -- two jars of liquid gold honey.

Our next door neighbors recently went to Portugal for a couple weeks and brought us back this lovely olive oil.

Our friend Ariel Kempf gave us a jar of her Creaux Creole Mustard. Hot and spicy good. Learn more about it at www.creaux-mustard.com.

Our friend Dave gave us two jars of super yummy almond butter.

We got a couple Woodblock Chocolate bars from the makers themselves. Delicious!

Eat anything tasty lately?

Check out Friend Food Pt. 1

Linda Chaplik’s Oh, Goodness! Brownies

February 15th, 2011

Linda Chaplik stopped by recently with some of her peppermint chocolate gluten-free brownies for me. I'm spoiled.

I’m sorry for the silent treatment the past couple weeks. We’ve been through some hard times with our family and I couldn’t think about this, or anything beyond that, for a spell. I’m back now and here’s to good times ahead. This is a post I put together awhile back. It’s still very much pre-expiration date though. Nothing stinky…

I wrote about the Food Innovation Center’s Time to Market Showcase several weeks ago for Willamette Week and then followed that up with a Willamette Week blog post about the event. Now I’m following up my follow-up with even more here about participant Linda Chaplik’s super tasty gluten-free brownies.

Linda is a former corporate training manager turned food entrepreneur here in Portland and her gluten-free brownies (for the record, I have no problem whatsoever with gluten) are fantastic. In upcoming weeks Linda is working on securing a commercial kitchen and getting cafe accounts so keep your eyes peeled for her Oh, Goodness! brownies. I’ll keep you posted here.

Linda's gluten-free brownies are freakishly good. If you see them for sale somewhere buy them. All.

Linda Chaplik and her friend Peggy Flynn at the Food Innovation Center's Time to Market Showcase in December.

Homemade Red Bean Miso

January 31st, 2011

I used my leftover koji to make this red bean miso.

Earlier this winter I made a big batch of traditional soybean miso for the first time. It’s still sitting pretty and I’ll check on it this spring and most likely scoop it out next winter. I made a second batch of miso a few days after the soybean miso with red beans because I had some leftover koji and didn’t want it to go to waste. If you don’t know what koji is read this.

I don’t need to make my own miso since there’s really good local Jorinji Miso but every year I like to try a new ferment or two and this year happens to be paved with miso. Do you like miso? How do you cook with it?

Homemade red bean miso up close...

Red bean miso salted and ready for the wait...

Read about my homemade soybean miso.

Portland Italian Food Panel @ Elephants Delicatessen Tuesday Night

January 10th, 2011

Darryl Joannides owner of Cork: A Bottle Shop will talk about Italy to Portland wines at Mangia, Mangia!

A few months back Jesse Locker of the Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) asked me to be a part of PBSCA’s January Know Bo event at Elephants Delicatessen. I was honored and now here it is mid-January and the event is tomorrow night.

I’ll be hosting the Mangia, Mangia! panel for PBSCA’s monthly Know Bo tomorrow night at Elephants on NW 22nd Ave. from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public. There will be minimal food/drink samples but plenty for purchase to eat/drink during from Elephants Delicatessen. I’m the event moderator so I’ll strive to sound smarter than I am about Italian food while asking local experts about everything from red sauce to Italian ristretto style espresso.

Joining me on this Italian food folk panel will be folks featured in my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Patricia DiPrima LeConche of DiPrima Dolci Bakery and Darryl Joannides of Cork: A Bottle Shop. I’m really looking forward to it. The more the merrier. Come on out and mangia, mangia with us.

Andrea Spella will talk all things Italia coffee at Mangia, Mangia! Tuesday night.

Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) January Know Bo Mangia, Mangia!:
A food panel about Portland/Italian food hosted by me
@ Elephants Delicatessen
115 NW 22nd Ave., Portland
Tuesday, January 11th 6-8pm
Free and open to the public

www.elephantsdeli.com
Facebook Mangia, Mangia! event page

Homemade Soybean Miso

December 6th, 2010

Soak the soybeans (or whatever legume you are using for the miso) overnight and cook them the next day until soft.

Every year I try to make at least one new type of food/drink ferment. This year it’s miso. One of my favorite discoveries while writing my book was Earnest and Sumiko Migaki’s local Jorinji Miso. They cracked the world of miso wide open for me and now I appreciate it more than ever.

I love Jorinji’s misos and have been lucky enough to try a lot of their more unusual products such as lima bean miso, chickpea miso, miso butter cookies, aka-shiso juice and amaranth juice.

Now I’m trying my hand at home miso making because I’m curious and I love fermented foods. I used Sandor Ellix Katz’s recipe from Wild Fermentation to make my first batch of soybean miso in the photos below. Now I just have to wait a year until it’s ready!

If you're making miso you need to source koji. I bought my koji at Uwajimaya but I know that People's Food Co-op also carries it along with a lot of other Asian markets...

Commercal rice koji. You can also buy other grain koji as well as inoculate your own koji if you buy the mold culture.

Koji mixed with a strong brine and a couple tablespoons of mature miso...

After I mashed the soft, cooked soybeans I mixed that with the brined koji and mature miso mix above...

Finally I salted my fermentation vessel (a food-grade bucket in this case) and packed the miso in. I added a good amount of salt to the top before weighing it down with a plate and covering it with a towel. I'll let you know how it tastes a year from now!

Read about my homemade red bean miso.

New Seasons Market: Meet the Author Event

November 2nd, 2010

Look at dem apples. The produce department a day before the grand opening at the newest Hawthorne New Seasons Market.

There are two places in Portland that I’ve always dreamed of working. Powell’s Books is one of them and New Seasons Market is the other. I’ve applied many times for jobs at various New Seasons Markets (and at Powell’s) and never been hired. That’s ok — no grudge. It’s been years since I’ve applied, and well, I’m pretty happy with my working life at the moment. I’m telling you all this now because…

Although my book events have slowed down as the leaves have changed colors and after I passed the three month marathon promotion line (I told myself I’d give three months to non-stop events and promotion for the book and then I’d take a breather) I still have book events lined up. This Thursday I’ll be doing an informal meet the author at the Concordia New Seasons Market from 4:30 to 6pm and I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the area.

It’s been fun planning this one because in addition to selling and signing books the lovely crew at New Seasons has put together a sampling menu of local food and drink featured in the book that New Seasons carries. Included in the sampling menu are tasty treats from:

Hot Lips Soda
Grand Central Bakery
Columbia Gorge Organic
St. Johns Coffee Roasters

So if I can’t tempt you with myself or my book I’m hoping that getting bites and sips of all of the above will seal the deal.

Meet the Author event @
New Seasons Market Concordia
5320 NE 33rd Ave.
Portland, Oregon
Thursday, November 4th, 4:30-6pm