Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 6

March 31st, 2017

The only problem with this photo is that Sarah Taft who took it isn’t in it and neither is Sarah Ryan-Knox because she left before we took it. Well, a lot of folks aren’t in the photo who’ve participated in our cook the Toro Bravo book dinner parties throughout the years but it’s hard to get everyone together. So fun.

The time has come for us to literally and figuratively close the book on our cooking the Toro Bravo cookbook parties. Over the years, since the book came out from McSweeney’s in the fall of 2013, we’ve had six big and raucous dinner parties at the homes of a very special group of hungry, good cook friends where we all cooked different dishes from the book. You can check them out here, here, here, and here. I didn’t post the fifth dinner from fall 2015 and I’ll do that soon too.

We looked through the Toro book’s table of contents at the end of our grand finale Toro book dinner party last weekend, and it turns out that we cooked about 85% of the book. None of us are completists in life, so we feel pretty dang good about cooking all of those awesome recipes and not cooking every single recipe.

The biggest holes were in the Charcuterie and Cocktails chapters and meat dishes throughout the book. The first because those recipes take a good amount of time and special equipment (although our group tackled the Coppa Steak twice, the Pork Rillettes, and the Sherry Chicken Liver Mousse), the second because that’s a lot of cocktails for six dinner parties (we made the Toro Martini, Venus 75, Jerez Negroni, Casa Rita and White Sangria), and the meat dishes because we have a few vegetarians and pescatarians amongst us (we made the Harira Lamb and Lentil Stew, Coppa Steak, Drunken Pork, Moorish Meatballs and Chicken and Clams Cataplana). I might have left a few out of those lists but that’s most of them.

So, we ate, drank and were quite merry, as always, and I’m posting a bunch of the photos here for you. We’ll probably do one more Toro party, that’s not strictly recipes but that includes the Paella and Rabbit Fideos, this summer because that sounds like a lot of fun. After that, we’re going to do a one night only James Beard cook from the book night — everyone will choose a dish from whatever cookbook of his they’d like.

After that I’m really hoping that the group chooses Hello! My Name is Tasty: Global Diner Favorites from Portland’s Tasty Restaurants, which comes out August 15th, as its next cook from the book cookbook. More than a little biased. I love that we can have brunch and dinner parties with that one.

If you want to watch a fun video that Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking up a Story did of our dinner party series you can check it out here. Love that they captured it.

Alright, without further ado, photos from the night.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Toro’s White Sangria made with my Concord grape wine
Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Tapenade
Octopus a la Plancha
Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Butter Lettuce Salad
Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash
Coppa Steak with Salbitxada
Panna Cotta two ways
Limoncello
*We also had really yummy Olympia Provisions ham, pork rillettes, chorizo and sopressata that Josh and Sarah brought. Josh is Olympia Provisions’ plant manager.

We started off the night with Toro’s White Sangria that I made with my homemade Concord grape wine. It was really citrusy and yummy with sliced oranges and kiwi. Tastes like summer.

Next up we had my Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade. I made these for our first Toro cookbook dinner at Loly and Faulkner’s so it was fun to make them again at their place for the final one. This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. So simple and delicious.

A little closer…

Josh’s Olympia Provisions spread. It wasn’t from the Toro book obviously but it was a super tasty addition. Pork rillettes, manchego, soppressata, ham, chorizo +++.

Tom working hard on his Bacon-Wrapped Dates 😉 And I love that I captured Alec in the mirror.

Most of Alec’s Toro Tapenade on charred bread got snapped up before I got a photo. Love the Toro Tapenade!!

Loly with one of Tom’s yummmmmy Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Faulkner and Loly cooking up there Octopus a la Plancha. We are the luckiest. I ate two of these and had a hard time stopping myself from eating more. There was so much more food to come.

Loly with the finished dish.

Dana cooking up another one of my favorites — Toro’s Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins. If you love spinach I HIGHLY recommend making this dish at home.

My niece’s first grade class is doing the Flat Stanley project right now so she sent me her Stanley from Cincinnati and I brought him with. He had a few too many of the Toro sangrias and not enough food to start so we let him doze on the Toro book for a bit.

Chris who was the ringleader for most of these dinners made the Coppa Steak again. It was awesome! Perfectly smoked, tender and juicy. Alec made the Salbitxada to top it with.

Dana and Oliver made the Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash. Mmmmm.

Loly and Faulkner’s tasty Butter Lettuce Salad. Nice to have some fresh crisp greens in the middle of the feast.

Mid-way through the night we took a walk around Columbia Park to get some fresh air and walk off a little of the food. Beautiful spring night.

Once the Coppa had rested Chris carved it up. Perfectly pink and delicious.

Izzy kitty enjoyed the festivities too.

Eating, drinking, and more eating, drinking. Good times.

With dessert we did a Toro Limoncello taste-off from a couple batches — mine and Loly and Faulkner’s. Both were awesome.

Some of Faulkner and other’s instant photos from the dinner.

Chris’s Toro Panna Cotta. Really good as always. The one in the pie dish is topped with red wine braised pears and apples with cinnamon, cloves and star anise. The individual ones are with his blood orange Campari topping. YUM! Great way to finish the meal.

Cheers to you for reading this! Maybe you’ll put together one of these for a cookbook too? I highly recommend it. So fun. Happy Friday!

Yard Fresh Pt. 32

February 18th, 2016
In the past couple years since my friend Gillion gave me a vinegar mother I've gotten really into making them. In this photo I was straining the Riesling vinegar and more plum wine vinegar. Both super tasty.

In the past couple years since my friend Gilion gave me a vinegar mother I’ve gotten really into making my own yummy vinegars. In this photo taken a few weeks ago I was straining the Riesling vinegar and more plum wine vinegar. Both are super tasty.

Since the start of the year I’ve been full-time writing again. I did this for the better part of three years between 2006 and 2009 and at the end of that I said I’d never write full-time again. Well, times change, I’ve learned a few things, forgotten a bunch more and now I’m at it again.

The main difference between then and now work-wise is that I’m now working primarily on books — two under contract including the Tasty n Sons Cookbook with Sasquatch Books (out fall 2017) and a secret Tin House project (out spring 2017) as well as a novel (out sometime I hope!). In 2006 through 2009 I was mostly working on freelance food writing projects and a book toward the end — the first edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland.

What remains the same is that writing full-time is fucking hard and it’s easy to burn out if you work a more normal five day, eight-plus hours a day work week. I know that this may sound spoiled and/or crazy since working full-time for yourself writing books sounds so dreamy but I have really strong work ethic so in living the dream I pushed myself a little too hard going into this full-time writing thing again. In the evenings after work I ended up snapping at people and drinking a little too much too often and in general I was just moodier than I want to be. And exhausted — mentally and physically.

Now that I’ve realized eight-plus hours of writing five days in a row every week isn’t sustainable I’m figuring out how to manage my time a little better and give my brain and body breaks throughout the day. Things that have helped with the transition — I got a standing desk, I’ve been taking some mornings off, I’ve been taking more long walks throughout the day. I’m basically just being nicer to myself and changing my perception of what a proper work week is. Work smarter not harder. So true.

Oh, and food. Cooking has always been a form of therapy for me and when I don’t do it enough I feel off and not myself. I think it’s similar to how folks who work out regularly feel when they don’t work out enough. Here are some tasty treats that I’ve cooked and eaten in the past couple months. I hope you’ve been cooking some tasty things too. If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments if you care to share. Happy year of the fire monkey!

Tested these open-faced Monte Cristos for The Tasty Cookbook with anglaise soaked challah, gruyere and spiced maple syrup. Ridiculously good.

Tested these open-face Monte Cristos for The Tasty Cookbook with anglaise soaked challah, gruyere and spiced maple syrup. Ridiculously good.

Since I've been at my writing studio so much more lately I've been making more soups and stews that I can heat up in my electric hot pot there.  Kimchi Chijae is one of my all-time favorites. I use Lauryn Chun's  recipe from the Kimchi Cookbook.

Since I’ve been at my writing studio so much lately I’ve been making more soups and stews that I can heat up in my electric hot pot there. Kimchi Chijae is one of my all-time favorites. I like Lauryn Chun’s recipe for it in The Kimchi Cookbook.

Made with my homemade Choi's Kimchi recipe classic kimchi. So tasty.  I put a lot of brined shrimp in it this time.

Made with my homemade — from Choi’s Kimchi recipe — classic kimchi. So tasty. I put a lot of tiny salted shrimp in it this time.

Sandwiches of course are also great to take to work. I made this one with Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen's spicy paprika loaf and my homemade sour pickles.

Sandwiches of course are also great to take to work. I made this one with Edelweiss Market’s spicy paprika loaf and my homemade sour pickles.

I tested The Tasty Cookbook collards at home a couple weeks ago. They're so yummy and taste like they cooked for hours even though they only took 30 minute/ and I've borrowed my friend's pressure cooker for way too long. I need to return it and get one of my own.

I tested The Tasty Cookbook collards at home a couple weeks ago. They’re so yummy and taste like they cooked for hours even though they only took 30 minutes. I’ve borrowed my friend’s pressure cooker for way too long. I need to return it and finally get one of my own. Love them.

I also made this crazy good Mark Bittman pressure cooker black bean soup recently. The best black been soup I've ever made in THIRTY minutes from dry bean to rich, inky, spicy soup. If you have a pressure cooker find this recipe.

I also made this crazy good Mark Bittman pressure cooker black bean soup recently. The best black been soup I’ve ever made in THIRTY minutes from dry bean to rich, inky, spicy soup. If you have a pressure cooker find this recipe and make it. I guarantee you’ll love it.

Started the Toro Bravo cookbook limoncella at the end of January so it has another week before I strain it, add the simple syrup and then freeze it for two weeks before drinking. One of my favorite recipes from the book.

I started the Toro Bravo cookbook limoncello at the end of January so it has another week before I strain it, add the simple syrup and then freeze it for two weeks before drinking. One of my favorite recipes from the book.

In the beginning of January my boyfriend Jimbo and I went to Manzanita for a long weekend and it was lovely as always -- especially this simplest of breakfasts. Pomegranate is always such a treat. And The Little Apple is my favorite grocery on the Oregon Coast.

Early January my boyfriend Jimbo and I went to Manzanita for a long weekend and it was lovely as always — especially this simplest of breakfasts. Pomegranate is always such a treat. And The Little Apple is my favorite grocery on the Oregon Coast.

One of my favorite quick eats at home is doctored up boxed mac and cheese. I made this one with kimchi, lots of fish sauce, gochugaru and sesame for my best housemat in the world Jennifer and I. I want some now.

One of my favorite quick eats at home is doctored up boxed mac and cheese. I made this one with kimchi, lots of fish sauce, gochugaru and sesame for me and my best housemate in the world Jennifer. I want some now.

I made a loaded with okra and shrimp gumbo last month and the best part of it was cooking it the next morning with rice and eggs and cheese. I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Highly recommend it.

I made a gumbo loaded with okra and shrimp last month and the best part of it was cooking it the next morning with rice, eggs and cheese. I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Highly recommend it.

My brother Andy, sister-in-law Laura and I toasting via Skype with the Vanilla Porter that Andy and I brewed when I was home in Cincinnati for Christmas this Christmas Eve. They sent me a package of a few bottles of it as they always do. Crazy good. And so cute.

My brother Andy, sister-in-law Laura and I toasting via Skype with the vanilla porter that Andy and I brewed when I was home in Cincinnati for Christmas this Christmas Eve. They sent me a package with a few bottles of it as they always do. Crazy good. And so cute.

Andy bottling the vanilla porter a few weeks ago. Laura sent me a photo...

My brother bottling the vanilla porter a few weeks ago. Laura sent me a photo…

More home recipe testing for The Tasty Cookbook -- Kyle's Granola with homemade sweet labneh and caramelized apples. I'm not all that into cereals but this one is  awesome.

More home recipe testing for The Tasty Cookbook — Kyle's Granola with homemade sweet labneh and caramelized apples. I’m not all that into cereals but this one is awesome.

Making the labneh for it. Recipe testing till the break of dawn! Love it.

Making the labneh for it. Recipe testing till the break of dawn! Love it.

I've been making homemade fruit wines for years but 2015 was the first year I made Concord grape wine and it turns out it's pretty dang tasty. Not as good as the plum wine but yummy.

I’ve been making homemade fruit wines for years but 2015 was the first year I made Concord grape wine and it turns out it’s pretty dang tasty. Not as good as the plum wine but yummy.

My Grandma Amy came up with a very special recipe based on a detective series that she read and loved called Wolfe Eggs (named after Rex Stout's character Nero Wolfe) that we had and continue to make for holiday breakfasts and now they're going to be in a very exciting secret book project that I can't tell you about but will one fine day very soon. RIP Grandma Amy.

My Grandma Amy came up with a very special recipe that she called Wolfe Eggs inspired by a dish in a detective series that she read and loved. She named the dish after Rex Stout’s character Nero Wolfe — the obese gourmand of a detective. Growing up my grandma always made these for holiday breakfasts and we continue to make them. Now they’re going to be in someone near and dear to me’s very exciting secret book project that I can’t tell you about but will one fine day soon. RIP Grandma Amy.

Another tasty soup that I took to my writing studio -- Melissa Clark's Red Lentil Soup with Lemon in the New York Times. I love red lentils -- so yummy, pretty and quick to cook.

Another tasty soup that I took to my writing studio — Melissa Clark’s Red Lentil Soup with Lemon in the New York Times. I love red lentils — so yummy, pretty and quick to cook.

Pizza night with Jimbo's nephew Jonah, Jimbo's sister Betsy and her fiancee Sara last weekend. We made six pizzas for five humans.

Pizza night with Jimbo’s nephew Jonah, Jimbo’s sister and her fiancee last weekend. We made six pizzas for five humans so there was plennnnnnty of pizza for breakfast 😉

Eat, drink and be hairy!

Yard Fresh Pt. 31
Yard Fresh Pt. 30
Yard Fresh Pt. 29
Yard Fresh Pt. 28
Yard Fresh Pt. 27
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Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

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!

Sixth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival 2015

August 20th, 2015
Keep on rockin' in Neil's free world and in our fermented world.

Keep on rockin’ in Neil’s free world and in our fermented world.

Since 2009 my friends David Barber, George Winborn and I have put on the annual Portland Fermentation Festival with/at Ecotrust and every year it gets bigger and better. This year we’d set the date for Wednesday, October 7th until earlier this week when Neil Young announced his tour dates for his October tour of The Monsanto Years album. When is he playing Portland for it you ask? Wednesday, October 7th! (Tickets on go on sale for the University of Portland show tomorrow at 10am PT!) So we did what any Neil loving fans would do — we changed the date so we and YOU can go! Below are all the details for this year’s stinky good time — the 6th Annual Portland Fermentation Festival.

FULL PRESS RELEASE

Organizers & Media Contacts:

Liz Crain
lizcrain at gmail dot com

George Winborn
gw dot winborn at gmail dot com

David Barber
briney at picklopolis dot com

Sixth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
NEW DATE!! Tuesday, October 27th 6-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10-$20
Children 12 and younger attend for free
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

Earlier this week Neil Young announced the October tour dates for his The Monsanto Years album and guess when he’s going to play in Portland? Yep, on Wednesday, Oct. 7th at the University of Portland — the very night we had planned to host this year’s Sixth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. As lifelong fans of Mr. Young we have a strict no-compete clause with him in our heart of hearts so we’ve changed the Portland Fermentation Festival date so that no one in Portland has to choose between rockin’ in Neil’s free world and rockin’ in our fermented world. You’re welcome. Tickets for Neil’s tour go on sale this Friday at 10am by the way. See you at the PDX show!

So, please, please join us now on the evening of Tuesday, October 27th at Ecotrust for Portland’s annual, open-to-the-public, all-ages celebration of fermented food and drink. Bring kraut, try kraut. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing, and tasting event of the year. We are very pleased to announce that this year’s special pre-tasting event is a panel of fermentation experts soon to be determined.

Come celebrate pickling season at the Sixth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual event that brought out more than 600 attendees in 2014.

Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, attend fermentation demo’s and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and kefir to cheese, hard cider, and mead.

Admission for the 7:00 or 8:00pm Tuesday tasting sessions and fermentation demos is $10.
For $20 attend the 6:00pm panel of experts on all things food/drink fermentation in addition to the 7:00pm tasting and fermentation demos. Enjoy rooftop music, food and drink from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Bingo Sandwiches and others TBD.

Visit http://portlandfermentationfestival.com/ for more information.

Festival coverage past and present:

KGW
http://www.kgw.com/media/cinematic/video/15892130/pdx-tonight-fermentation-festival/

Photos from last year’s festival Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
http://www.lizcrain.com/foodloversguidetoportlandblog/2014/10/portland-fermentation-festival-2014-redux/

Cooking Up a Story
http://cookingupastory.com/annual-fermentation-festival-opens-world-ferments

KBOO Food Show
http://kboo.fm/node/24469
http://kboo.fm/content/foodshowon10151983

Portland Monthly
http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/articles/four-reasons-to-get-excited-about-the-portland-fermentation-festival-september-2014

Willamette Week
http://wweek.com/portland/article-18099-how_to_pickle_almost.html

Portland Mercury
http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2014/10/15/fermentation-fest-what-microbobes-can-do-for-you

OPB
http://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/portland-fermentation-festival-offers-diy-techniques-tips

www.portlandfermentationfestival.com
Twitter @PDXFermentFest
Facebook Portland Fermentation Festival

Yard Fresh Pt. 31

June 19th, 2015
My new batch of miso salted in and in the crock! The oldest I have now that's still fermenting is 5 years old.

My new batch of miso! The oldest I have now that’s still fermenting is 5 years old.

Well, well, well, it’s been a year since I did one of these installments. Time flies when you’re having fun and I’ve been having a lot of fun lately. Candle both ends as usual. The last Yard Fresh I wrote in May 2014 right when my kitchen was going into remodel surgery. That seems like years ago — so many parties and dinner parties and cooking fun has transpired in it since. I am so grateful to my good friends at St. Johns Design Build for making my kitchen dreams come true. I couldn’t love my kitchen more or recommend these fellows more highly for any home remodel project.

I’ll get to the food photos in a second but here’s a quick recap. of the past few months. I got to do my very first writing residency for my novel at The Sou’wester in April and it was awesome. I cranked out 3,000 words a day on average and even managed to cook and eat all kinds of tasty treats that you’ll see below. I also got to go to San Francisco in early May to interview one of my food heroes Mark Bittman for a magazine I’ve subscribed to and loved for years. That interview won’t publish for awhile and I’ll be sure to let you know when it does.

For now, I’m still loving my work at Hawthorne Books which recently merged with Dzanc Books, working on my novel one day a week, we just finished the Tasty Cookbook proposal (we originally proposed a brunch book but now it’s AM plus PM dishes mmmm) and our agent is sending it out, I’m working on a hard cider book with someone near and dear, we’re about to set the date for the 6th Annual Portland Fermentation Festival this fall and get cracking on that again, I’m doing all kinds of fun things with Team Gorham as always, and I’m working on something with the fine folks at Inkshares this summer. Sheesh. That’s a lot.

This summer I plan to be the river rat that I always am when the days are long and this time around it will often be with my sweet, sweet fellow Jimbo. That makes me very happy. I also plan to camp and cook outside a lot and use my pie irons often. We’re going to the Outer Banks with my family in a month. I have 200 bottles of homemade plum wine to bottle this year from the Brooks Plum tree in the front yard. And, you know, drink. Friends make the world go round so I will be playing in the sun with them a whole heck of a lot in upcoming months.

Hope you’ve been working on good projects, having fun with friends and family and cooking and eating delicious food. I harvested my garlic one month early this year — so hot these days! — and now I have flashy trout’s back lettuce and kale and soon tomatoes, chiles, zukes etc. SUMMMMMMMMMER! Love to you and hope you have an incredible summer. Do all the fun things as much as you can. Summer is magic and it always goes fast.

I didn't actually cook this buuuuut isn't it pretty?! My super talented friend Tom Humphrey designed it and John G and I and his team worked our arses off putting this FIFTY page book proposal together. Going out to publishers this week!

I didn’t actually cook this buuuuut isn’t it pretty?! My super talented friend Tom Humphrey designed it and John G and I and his team worked our arses off putting this FIFTY page book proposal together. Going out to publishers this week!

Potato taco time! My friend Raquel's late mom Anna taught me how to make these. These mean summer and love to me.

Potato taco time! My friend Raquel’s late mom Anna taught me how to make these. These mean summer and love to me.

Potato tacos at night aaaaand potato tostadas in the morning! With soyrizo and eggs. Yummmmm.

Potato tacos at night aaaand potato tostadas in the morning! With soyrizo and eggs. Yummmmm.

Plum wine bottling and drinking with my housey and friend. And the White Wolf. Only 25 more gallons to go!

Plum wine bottling and drinking with my housey and friend. And the White Wolf. Only 25 more gallons to go!

Plum wine in Grolsch bottles and getting fizzzzzzy.

Plum wine in Grolsch bottles and getting fizzzzzzy.

Flashy Trout's Back lettuce from Territorial Seed. Have twenty this size in the backyard. Salad Dayzzzzz

Flashy Trout’s Back lettuce from Territorial Seed. Have twenty this size in the backyard. Salad Dayzzzzz

Straining my homemade vinegars -- plum wine vin and grapefruit. My friend Gilion gave me the vinegar mother and I've made a bunch of these and pineapple vinegar so far. Love them.

Straining my homemade vinegars — plum wine vin and grapefruit. My friend Gilion gave me the vinegar mother and I’ve made a bunch of these and pineapple vinegar so far. Love them.

Nettle pesto fixings -- olive oil, toasted hazelnuts, asiago, olive oil. Added bonus: flash boil the nettles for the pesto and you get nettle tea too.

Nettle pesto fixings — olive oil, toasted hazelnuts, asiago, olive oil. Added bonus: flash boil the nettles for the pesto and you get nettle tea too.

Nettle pesto orzo with home canned tuna and pickled peppers.

Nettle pesto orzo with home canned tuna and pickled peppers.

Beach Bloody Mary and oyster bar with friends. And TINY TABASCO!

Beach Bloody Mary and oyster bar with friends. And TINY TABASCO!

Backyard garlic harvest one month early this year.

Backyard garlic harvest one month early this year.

Razor clam deviled eggs!! Sou'wester owner Thandi brought the clams to my trailer and I made us these with preserved lemon, pimenton and lots and lots of olive oil. One of my best deviled eggs to date and I LOVE deviled eggs. Dreamy.

Razor clam deviled eggs!! Sou’wester owner Thandi brought the clams to my trailer and I made us these with preserved lemon, pimenton and lots and lots of olive oil. One of my best deviled eggs to date and I LOVE deviled eggs. Dreamy.

Mr. Bittman's wacky good Manchurian Tofu and Cauliflower from his latest cookbook How to Cook Everything Faster which I love and have cooked a ton from.

Mr. Bittman’s wacky good Manchurian Tofu and Cauliflower from his latest cookbook How to Cook Everything Faster which I love and have cooked a ton from.

Leftover mac and cheese from Dig A Pony with my kimchi and eggs. I want this now!

Leftover mac and cheese from Dig A Pony with my kimchi and eggs. I want this now!

I'll leave you with this picture of spring/summer happiness: solo early eve Sazerac on my trailer stoop at the Sou'wester. Life is sweet.

I’ll leave you with this picture of spring/summer happiness: solo early eve Sazerac on my trailer stoop at the Sou’wester. Life is sweet.

Yard Fresh Pt. 30
Yard Fresh Pt. 29
Yard Fresh Pt. 28
Yard Fresh Pt. 27
Yard Fresh Pt. 26
Yard Fresh Pt. 25
Yard Fresh Pt. 24
Yard Fresh Pt. 23
Yard Fresh Pt. 22
Yard Fresh Pt. 21
Yard Fresh Pt. 20
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
Yard Fresh Pt. 8
Yard Fresh Pt. 7
Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

My St. Johns Design Build Dream Kitchen Remodel

February 26th, 2015

Before the remodel...

After!

This past summer/fall I got my kitchen remodeled by my good friends at St. Johns Design Build and I still haven’t recovered from the excitement of having my very own dream kitchen. It was such a long time coming considering I bought my house in 2006 and cooked on the shitty original electric stove, walked on the mustard and baby diarrhea colored linoleum and diced and sliced under the ugly fluorescents in it until 2014. That’s a long time for someone to cook in a crap space with a bum stove who cares so deeply about food, who works as a food writer for fuck’s sake.

My excuse for that long delay in remodeling whenever anyone asks — well, money primarily, you big dummie — and I never wanted to half-ass it. I could’ve done this, that and the other to improve it along the way but I figured why be piecemeal when I had a vision? I’d just wait until that vision could be fully realized. And now, it has! I’m lucky enough to call St. Johns Design Build owner/contractor Brian McVay a dear friend, along with his partners in crime Clarence Jacobs and Rude Graves, so rather than write any more about this here I’m going to give it to you straight from the source.

Below is McVay’s Crain Kitchen Recipe — his words interspersed with my photos. I can’t recommend St. Johns Design Build highly enough for any home or business remodel project — these folks are the best and the brightest. (I also can’t recommend the fellows as SJDB highly enough for draaaanks and great conversation on my front porch, OR at the Red Fox, OR anywhere else in North Portland that’s up all night. That’s just the way we roll.)

CRAIN KITCHEN RECIPE
by Brian McVay (as crafted in my HAUS by Brian, Clarence Jacobs, Rude Graves ++)

Objectives — Create a kitchen for a food genius (these are definitely not my words) food lover, affordable, bring a group of artisans together to work on this project, respect the age of the home, use local/reused/recycled content materials.

After our initial meeting/walk-thru with the group it was obvious you had a great space, an open mind, and a pretty decent existing kitchen layout. Seeing that the cabinet boxes were reusable we set out to simply resurface the room. I personally love this era of home (built in 1907) and this is an easy part of the country to source materials that are historically appropriate. One of my favorites is Douglas Fir — clear vertical grain (CVG) Douglas Fir. This material has such a history in this part of the world, and it also tells a story of its age by the density of the lines or grains i.e. if there are more than 10 vertical grains per inch that piece came from an old growth tree in an ancient forest.

I had been shopping at a local lumber reuse outfit called Green Star International and they had recently received a shipment of bleacher seats so I had my inspiration. Clarence hand made everything in our cabinet shop in SE portland.

The cabinets were to be new CVG drawers and door faces, naturally finished in shellac. We reused the cabinet boxes and the shelves. The shelves were covered with a vinyl tile in deep red.

Clarence Jacobs installing the cabinets he made from the CVG Doug Fir bleachers.

The counter, installed by our magic man Rude, (Rude also did all of the tile-work in the kitchen) comes from a company called PaperStone and their little known “bargain panel division”. When you pick up the material your self it means big savings, thrift stores, and really good Chinese food (I scored a pair of rad green pants! Someone else might have really wanted to score something else green).

Paperstone is one of the few architectural solid surface materials certified to FSC standards by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance. It’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper that has been saturated with their proprietary Petro-free phenolic resins and selected natural pigments on our treater lines. After trimming to length, resin-saturated sheets are stacked and moved into a press where they are fused together under heat and pressure. Paper sheet count determines the thickness of the finished panels.

Paperstone pick-up in Hoquiam with these fine fellows -- John Wenderoth (left), Brian McVay and Rude Graves's tiny head in the back of the Sprinter.

Rude, John and Brian checking out the goods.

My future paperstone counter!

Your kitchen sink came from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in Tillamook.

Thank you John W!

Stove and hood, obviously The ReBuilding Center.

My dream Dynasty/Jade range and Viking hood! Heart of the kitchen. Aaaaand they scored it for a quarter of the price.

The floor was removed by Minority Abatement Contractors out of Vancouver. I feel it important and try to hire sub-contractors that are either women, minority, or emerging small businesses.

So happy once that baby diarrhea linoleum was pulled up there was beautiful, original Doug Fir flooring!

Brought back to life!

Electrical panel was replaced by Coho Electric. Track lights fro you know who (John Gorham! He gave them to me when he was building out Mediterranean Exploration Company. So lucky/grateful). The lighting scheme needed to go from mood lighting to kitchen lab at the flick of a dimmer.

Electrical panel surgery.

Thank you John G! Let there be light.

Custom metal work was designed by me, welded by Clarence. The table top material came from a local favorite — Salvage Works.

Beauty.

Custom blacksmith work came from our shop mate Scott Rash.

I've always loved the J&M Cafe's mug tree and this is our understated version of that. Love it!

My very own custom built and blacksmithed pot rack!

More photos from the pre/post-remodel that I love…

All of my Ice-O-Matics in one place!

Clarence built me a drawer for my secret spice stash!

Yep.

Another one of my favorite features -- the kitchen table storage benches. The one on the right was the original refaced and Clarence mimicked it on the left.

Yes! Keeping a lot of my canning supplies and canned foods in there.

So beautiful.

Me and the White Wolf soaking it all up. Happy.

Chunky maple chopping block!

And while my kitchen was out of service I did things like…

Make pickles in my...bathroom!

Use the hell out of my rice cooker.

Make Bloody Mary mix on plywood.

And once it was a wrap I had a big birthday/kitchen warming party. I’m so happy to have my dream kitchen and honestly a little sad that all the boys are gone. I guess I need to dream up another remodel project…

Cheers! Eat, drink and be hairy!

St. Johns Design Build
www.stjohnsdesignbuild.com
brian AT stjohnsdesignbuild DOT COM
971.678.3619
Who you gonna call? St. Johns Design Build!
You ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 4

January 12th, 2015

Loly with one of the crunchy delicious Toro fried anchovies.

I finally got to host our Toro Bravo cook the book party last night (check out the first, second and third here) and it was really nice to do it in my newly remodeled kitchen. My kitchen has been pretty much done since early November but there were a couple final details and now it’s complete! It’s a beauty and I’m going to post about it here soon. I couldn’t be happier with it. My friends Brian McVay, Clarence Jacobs and Rude Graves of St. Johns Design Build are so incredibly talented. And you’ll know they’re good people when I tell you this — I was genuinely sad to see them go when my kitchen was complete. I truly enjoyed the entire remodel process and having those awesome fellows in my home. I miss having them see me in my pajamas. Wink.

It was really, really fun to have a whole bunch of friends packed into my kitchen last night for our fourth eat, drink and be merry cook from book party for Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. We’ve now passed the halfway point having cooked 60-plus recipes from the book. I’m guessing we’ll complete the book after three more dinners. Quite the feat. We’ve even started talking about which book we’ll cook through next. Potentials discussed: Yottam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, Jerusalem and the Pok Pok cookbook. I mentioned that I’d love to cook through a comprehensive Southeast Asian cookbook. Unfortunately I think Pok Pok requires a bit more pantry building than our group is up for.

Another sweet thing — Shane Welch founder of Brooklyn’s Six Point Brewery recently moved to Portland and he gifted us (he’s friends with my friend and contractor mentioned above — Brian McVay) some of his Bengali IPA for the party which is super tasty. Really sweet of him. We also poured a lot of cava, various Spanish wines and we drank some of my early plum wine that I pulled off over the weekend while racking it. So crisp and tasty.

Anyway, I’ll let the photos tell the tale as usual. Happy 2015! I hope you’ve been cooking and eating well. I bet you have.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Toro Martini and Fried Anchovies, Fennel and Lemon with Romesco
Gazpacho
Charred Bread with Chanterelles in Sherry Cream
Chard and Eggs
Chicken and Clams Cataplana
Lamb Ragu with Eggplant
French Kisses and Pickled Beets and cheeses
Sherry Chicken Liver Mousse
Apple and Pear Clafoutis

NO ONE in Portland is carrying fresh anchovies at the moment so the super sweet John Gorham gave me a pound from Toro for the Fried Anchovies, Fennel and Lemon dish from the book.

They were deeeeelcious with Toro's romesco.

We started the night off right with my piping hot anchovies and chilled Toro Martinis. Not too shabby.

Next up was Nancy's super yummy Toro gazpacho.

Really nice to have so many friends around the kitchen table.

Alec charring the bread for...

Toro's Charred Bread with Chanterelles in Sherry Cream.

Dana cooking up Toro's...

Chard and Eggs.

Sara and I in our animal shirt finery -- giraffes and stags.

Loly and Faulkner cooking up Toro's Chicken and Clams Cataplana.

Soooooo good! With Olympic Provisions cured meats.

Left to right: Loly, Nancy, Faulkner and Jim. The best.

Super Tasty Six Point Bengali IPA. YUM!

Tom and Heather's (just engaged!!) deeeelicious Lamb Ragu with Eggplant.

Chris assembling Toro's French Kisses -- foei gras torchon stuffed brandy-soaked prunes. Perfect.

Tom overseeing. He approves.

Dana and Oliver's apple and pear clafoutis. Mmmmm.

Aaaand the final dessert plate -- Sara's sherry chicken liver mousse, Chris's French Kisses and Spanish cheeses. We are so lucky.

Cheers to 2015! I hope you are in good company and having a fine time of it.

Portland Fermentation Festival 2014 Redux

October 20th, 2014

The dapper foodists -- ferment fest co-organizers George Winborn, Liz Crain and David Barber.

Thank you to everyone who came out last week and made this year’s FIFTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust such a stinky great time. It’s unanimous amongst David, George and I (festival co-organizers/founders) that this year was the most fun for us and I hope for you.

Every year has been fantastic but the three of us got to enjoy ourselves a lot more this year. I got to sample everything! In years past I always find myself running around too much to sample the ferments. I made a pact to try everything this year and I did and it was deeeeeelicious. Thanks in no small part to all of the festival’s awesome volunteers, participants and attendees. We’ve hit our stride. I guess five years has taught us a thing or two about throwing a big fermenty Portland party.

We put the Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours 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 PDX Tonight with Drew Carney, as well as the KBOO Food Show with Chris Seigel, this Portland Monthly story by Kelly Clarke, Portland Tribune story by Jennifer Anderson, Portland Mercury coverage, Willamette Week and moooooore. I guess Portland is ok with us. Happy.

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 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!

We kicked off the night with a fermentation experts panel with left to right: moderator George Winborn, Josh Grgas of Commons Brewery, David Barber of Picklopolis and Bingo Sandwiches, Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cidery and Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie.

The panel sold out weeks before and folks asked a lot of great questions. Most importantly we all learned that size does really matter especially in regard to fermenting cucumbers for sour pickles 😉

And then the madness of the first tasting ensued.

Perennial festival favorite -- Matt Choi of Choi's Kimchi.

OlyKraut brought all kinds of awesomeness including super tasty krauts and sour pickles and...

Their addictive spicy pickle brine.

Thank you Sash! She recommends using it in Bloody Marys and I am definitely going to.

Sweet Honey Farm's Lil and Jme serving up yummy krauts.

Cute shot of Lil right before the doors opened.

Out on the mezzanine the lovely Claudia Lucero did a fresh cheese demo with recipes from her hot off the presses rad book One-Hour Cheeses. Love her.

And on the other side of the mezzanine another perennial festival fave Heidi Nestler (heidinestler.com) and her husband Daisuke did a natto demo.

KGW News' Drew Carney came and shot the beginning of the fest for PDX Tonight. "Bow ties and beards right there. Surrounded."

Snapped this one during set up of my friends Teresa and Rich of Pitch Dark Chocolate. Kind of wild how many folks don't know that chocolate is fermented.

My boots photobombed their chocolate. So yummy.

Jon Westdahl getting cozy with one of his crocks.

The awesome salame spread from Chop Butchery & Charcuterie.

Connie and Brian Shaw of Oregon Brineworks with all kinds of super tasty ferments including fermented hot sauce and ketchup, beet kvass, ginger gold kvass and more. Love these guys.

My friends Jess Bull and Jemma Stromwick at ticketing in the lobby. Couldn't do it without all of our amazing volunteers. Thank you!

It was a beautiful night and on the rooftop we had food and drink from Bingo Sandwiches, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider and Commons Brewery and...

Music from DJ Pickle Barrel! The first time I got up to the roof he was playing Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You. So good.

Ecotrust/Edible Portland superstar and part of the fest dream team Lola Milholland having a tasty Bingo Sandwich with Patrick Barber. We took some swigs from my flask and talked about soy sauce. Geeky goodness.

Cute Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods before the flood of people.

Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cidery's favorite ferment of the night -- the Blue Bus Kraut-chi. Pretty stinking tasty.

Definitely the craziest ferment of the night -- Nat's LAMB hard cider.

Nat checking on it at the cidery a week before the festival. Scarier than The Shining.

David Barber's friend Patrick Barber setting up Picklopolis samples. David was probably putting on his NASA socks when this photo was taken.

Love festival moments like this -- Gabe Rosen chef-owner of Biwa, Alem Gebrehiwot owner of Queen of Sheba and Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie shooting the shit and drinking hard cider on the mezzanine.

Biwa's Gabe and Ed demo'ing miso. They brought three of theirs and made a miso soup. Biwa is one of my very favorite Portland restaurants and they always come to the festival.

Careen Stoli's beautiful handmade crocks.

Brad's Bread -- soooo many awesome sourdoughs.

Including...

Cute depot -- Tim Root's daughter Lil and Adelaide and David Barber's tiny lil Junior. Kids 12 and under get in for free.

Tim Root's incredible poster. We are so lucky to have him as our festival poster artist. Yes!

The cuteness doesn't stop -- David and Junior.

Tasty jun and all kinds of yummy kombuchas -- coffee kombucha?! -- from Symple Foods.

Festival fave and veteran Tress Yelig of Salt, Fire & Time. I had seconds of her rose kombucha 😉

Portland Kraut Cooperative filling up samples.

Regular Portland Bread. They got a little newsy love on KGW.

One of their many tasty treats.

Awesome crowd.

Allison Kirley and Cathy right before the panel. Their kombucha was great.

George, me and David before we did our news spot. I love these two so much -- brothers from another mother.

Always my favorite closing shot -- George with his jet pack vacuum cleaner. All cleaned up and ready for cocktails!

Thank you everyone for making this year’s fest one of the very best. We love you!

Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival 2014

September 30th, 2014

Tim Root's sweeeeeet ass poster for this year's Portland Fermentation Festival!

Since 2009 my friends David Barber, George Winborn and I have put on the annual Portland Fermentation Festival with/at Ecotrust and every year it gets bigger and better. We’re only two weeks out from this year’s festival — Thursday, Oct. 16th from 6-9:30pm at Ecotrust — so I’m taking a moment to let you know all the stiiiiinky details in one place.

Most importantly, online tickets are on sale now ($10, $20) and you can purchase them here. Secondly, you can still apply to be an exhibitor — more info. here. Beyond that I’m pasting the press release below and some recent media links. Here’s the Facebook event page.

This year we’re having a panel of experts kick of the fest rather than one guest speaker. The inaugural Portland Fermentation Festival was in 2009 with Sandor Ellix Katz as guest speaker and we were lucky enough to get him back to speak at last year’s fest. Sandor is one of our heroes and favorite people so we asked him to speak again at this year’s fest, knowing full well he’d probably be too busy for it, and that we were being a little greedy. Just want to share these words that Sandor wrote back to us in response:

“sorry can’t make it this year. have fun and keep me posted on future festivals. i’m heading to the boston fermentation festival next month and austin (tx) festival in november. you were the pioneer fermentation festival and they keep spreading…..”

Let’s all be super proud to be a part of “THE PIONEER FERMENTATION FESTIVAL”! We can’t wait to see you all in just over two weeks at the STIIIINK!

PRESS RELEASE
Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Thursday, October 16th 6-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music from DJ Pickle Barrel
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10-$20
Children 12 and younger attend for free
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

Open-to-the-public, all ages celebration of fermented food and drink. Bring kraut, try kraut. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing, and tasting event of the year. We are very pleased to announce that this year’s special pre-tasting event (special ticket must be purchased to attend this panel) will be a panel of fermentation experts. Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cidery, David Barber of Picklopolis, Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie and Josh Grgas from Commons Brewery will answer questions and talk all things food/drink fermentation. Bring questions!

Come celebrate pickling season at the Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual event that brought out more than 500 attendees in 2013.

Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and kefir to cheese, hard cider, and mead.
  
Enjoy rooftop food and beverage sales from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Commons Brewery and Bingo Sandwiches and music from DJ Pickle Barrel as well as fermentation demos from Claudia Lucero author of One-Hour Cheese, Gabe Rosen chef-owner of Biwa, Eric Finley butcher-owner of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie and Heidi Nestler teacher of Heidi Nestler Cooking Classes.

Tickets will be available online at portlandfermentationfestival.com on September 30th!
Admission for the 7 or 8pm Thursday tasting sessions is $10. 
For $20 you get to attend the 7 pm tasting as well as fermentation demos and the 6pm panel of experts on all things food/drink fermentation.

Visit the website above for more information on how to enter your fermented goods and cultures for the event.

MEDIA COVERAGE THIS YEAR
BuzzFeed
Portland Monthly
KBOO Food Show
Portland Tribune

MEDIA COVERAGE OF FESTIVALS PAST
Cooking Up A Story
My redux on this blog with photos 
OPB
Willamette Week
KBOO Food Show

CONNECT WITH THE PORTLAND FERMENTATION FESTIVAL
portlandfermentationfestival.com
Facebook
Twitter

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 3

June 19th, 2014

Alec serving up the Toro Moorish Meatballs that he and Sarah made.

We’ve now officially cooked through half of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull and we’ve only had three dinners so far — the first one at Loly’s, the second at Tom’s and this last one at Dana and Oliver’s. The dinners have all been a lot of fun and I’m really grateful that my friend Chris Damcke came up with idea. Thank you Chris!

Last weekend’s dinner at Dana and Oliver’s was the lightest of them all in terms of what we ate/drank but that’s pretty absurd because we all consumed so much that we felt super sleepy at 9pm on a Saturday night. So much good food.

The next Toro book dinner will be at my house later in the summer once my kitchen is remodeled. I’m really looking forward to having a fire in the backyard for that one and putting my new gas Dynasty range to good use for it. Yes! I’m also looking forward to doing this cook the book thing with the next book when the time comes too — the Tasty Brunch Book that John and I are working on now. I see a lot of day drinking in our future.

Here’s what we cooked and ate from the book this time around. Really tasty as always.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Casa Rita
White Wine Sangria (with plum wine)
Halibut Cheeks
Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto
Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Hazelnut Ice Cream (with strawberry rhubarb compote)
Olive Oil Cake (with balsamic vinegar reduction)
Hand-Cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce
Moorish Meatballs

Future Toro grilled corn and sauteed halibut cheeks...

Sara has nice cheeks! Toro's Halibut Cheeks with oil-cured Calabrian chiles and marinated olives.

My Toro Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto.

Loly and Faulkner's Hand-cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce.

They also made this gluten-free version.

Alec and Sarah's Moorish Meatballs.

So much good food...

Dana and Oliver's Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins and mugolio that they bought at Pastaworks.

Chris's Toro Olive Oil Cake.

Loly, Sarah and Emily dishing it up.

Sarah and Alec's Hazelnut Ice Cream with a balsamic reduction.

Strawberry Rhubarb compote.

Chris and Boscoe mid-meal stretching.

All together now.

Every dog has its day. Thank you Boscoe for the great dinner party.