Saturday, October 31, 2009
Every year around Halloween, the Portland Farmers' Market throws one hell of a party. Dozens of pumpkins for carving, vendor costume contests, kid's costume parade, really fun kid's music, and two, count them TWO chef demonstrations hosted by yours' truly. I had the pleasure of cooking a green tomato and celery root soup with Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen, and a great arugula and butternut squash panzanella salad with Jenn Louis of Lincoln and Culinary Artistry catering. They were both fantastic, and two more reminders of how much I love the Portland chef community.
When I was walking around with Scott shopping for our demo, he, like most chefs I've had the pleasure to meet at the market, seemed to know just about everyone. Every Portland-area farmer seems to know pretty much every Portland chef, and vice-versa, which makes sense because they have such a mutually beneficial relationship. Also, people who I would normally view as other shoppers like myself were suddenly revealed to be chefs of well-known restaurants, specialty shop owners, food writers, and other notable characters. It's such a treat to glimpse into that close-knit community, like a carrot dangling in front of me luring me into the Portland food scene. I suppose I already have a couple toes in that door, thanks to the market and blogging, but I've got a long way to go.
This year's bash was extra special because the event fell on Halloween proper, which I believe compelled a few more people to dress up and brave the rain for the festivities. Creative (and warm) costumes were everywhere, from an adorable stop light complete with light-up red, yellow, and green circles, to more princesses, butterflies, monkeys, monsters, and zombies than you could keep track of. No one cared too much that the rain speckled our costumes, but it's safe to say that when the sun peaked out around noon, smiles were considerably brighter.
Umm... Could this little thing be any cuter? I think not.
On the home front, I'm moving this week! Which means kitchen stuff might be living in boxes for a few days, and I'll be making a lot of salads. At least I like salads. I'm moving into a friend's house while he and his band go on tour, and then who knows... a world of domestic possibilities. As long as there is a kitchen, it's a home. Why I decided to move (a few times) in the middle of writing my thesis is quite complicated, but it's exciting. It also gives me something to think about other than writing and food. Hmmph. Like I need anything else.
Happy Halloween! Eat well!