Saturday, April 17, 2010
Portland is still doing that April thing (you know, with the sun, then the rain, then the clouds, then the sun, then...) and I'm less than two weeks from the end of classes. Lemonbasil has always been the best during the summer, and that's a combination of the produce available at the peak of the year and the fact that I have TIME to cook, style, shoot, and blog about new recipes, restaurants, and market events. This summer, being the first summer of the rest of my life as a non-student, is bound to have a defibrillator effect on the old blog - I'm already making lists of the events I want to cover, the videos (!) I want to make, the recipes I want to craft, but those thoughts are stolen moments from this giant thing I should be doing: my thesis. It's so near completion, and I'm utterly terrified about tying up all of my loose ends and actually submitting a final, 120+ page document, that the blog has made a necessary move to the back burner.
Even if I'm not blogging as much as I'd like to, It's such a haven to wander the market in a big raincoat, hiding behind a lens, and getting lost in the crowds downtown. It was such a rare treat to have my parents in town last week, but the market is usually a relatively solitary experience for me. I love my farmer friends, PFM staffers and volunteers, and all the happy faces of shoppers, but Saturday morning is really a meditative alone-time, allowing me to think about the week passed, the week ahead, and the fleeting seasons. There were tomatoes at the market this morning. Tomatoes! Spring's going to slip away before we know it. I'm very lucky to have the market--every week--pulling me to dust off the camera and distract me from the grey cartoon rain-cloud of academia that travels over me all the time. Oh, man, this post is kind of morose. Sorry about that. Here! Have some pretty pictures with sunshine, food, and cheerier things than my melancholic pout:
(Oh! And in case you didn't know, you can know follow me on Twitter @allisonejones, with market updates, irreverent musings, and exclusive, uh, exclusives.)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This morning at the market felt like a holiday! My parents are in town from California, so I was able to show off our gem of a farmers' gathering, brag about our asparagus, treat them to their first Pine State Biscuit sandwich, and introduce them to my favorite farmers.
Not that I ever forget how amazing our market is, but there is an undeniable joy and invigorating pride that comes with introducing the market to outsiders--I say that like we're some sort of secret club...which is maybe not too far from the truth. My parents have an amazing year-round garden, both at home and at the school where my mother is a special-ed teacher, but it's astonishing how hard it is to get local produce "with the farmer's face on it" in Southern California. They have a few markets here and there, but they are always amazed to see how easy it is to get to know the people who grow/raise/make/artisanize food in Oregon. I'm on a continuous campaign to get them to move up here, and every trip to the market is one more tally in the Pro column.
A couple new developments at the market this week - the ASPARAGUS is out in full force, the rainbow carrots are showing up the ol' orange variety with their ostentatious colors, and the plant starts are all getting a little bigger.
I even spied some large potted cherry tomatoes with plenty of yellow blossoms! I took advantage of my parent's formidable carrying powers by turning them into my own "veggie valet" and was able to get one of Ron and Joan's Salad Bowls from Rainyway Farms that I'd been eying for a few weeks.
I also picked up a cherry tomato start and took advantage of the AMAZING Growing Gardens potting station with plants, soil, and fertilizer supplied by Portland Nursery and Whitney Farms.
I bought a $2 tomato plant and the lovely ladies from the PDX non-profit Growing Gardens gave it a lovely new home, complete with watering tips, for free. Yep, free. They'll be in the center of the market all month, so get out there and buy some plants!
I have a tiny little balcony in a downtown brownstone apartment, but my folks are going to help me set up a little kitchen garden. I already have a bunch of herbs in my kitchen window, but I want to use as much space as I can to grow my own edibles. If I can do it in ten square feet, so can you, especially with the help of some amazing volunteers and farmers at the market. They grow things for a living, and are always happy to give gardening tips, so ask away!
We've also just launched the Official Portland Farmers Market Blog, and I'll be a regular contributor. We'll have interviews, recipes, market news, and videos from the most happening place in town. I'll still be Lemonbasil-ing as much as I can, so keep me bookmarked! I hope to see you down at the market next week.
Enjoy Spring and Eat Well!
Here's your weekly dose of Portland bounty, fresh from the market:
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
What better way to enjoy the gift of Daylight Saving Time and pretend it’s not April than to go on an evening stroll (or bus ride, or bike ride, or MAX ride…) for an ice cream cone? However you get there, you should definitely try Cool Moon Creamery right off of Jameson Square in on NW Johnson and 11th. Currently the only Portland shop serving up their own hand-crafted premium ice cream and sorbets with local ingredients, these guys have been bringing Summer to Portland year-round since 2007. Before they opened, Portlanders had to rely on Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry’s, Coldstone, half-gallons of Tillamook from Safeway, or laborious attempts at making our own ice cream using two paint cans, ice, and a lot of rolling back and forth (Note to self: this is the year we’re getting an ice-cream attachment for the Kitchenaid, OK?).
Trust me, Cool Moon makes the best ice cream you can get in this city. Cool Moon owner Eva Bernhard, a native of Eugene, Oregon, saw the disparity in a city that (Fun Portland Fact Alert!) ranks #1 in ice cream consumption per capita but did not have a great creamery to call its own. She set out to bring old-fashioned custard ice creams made in-store in more interesting flavors than you’ll know what to do with. They’ve got praise-worthy takes on traditional flavors, a variety of chocolates, vanillas and coffees, plus butter pecan, mint chip, and caramel swirl, but they’re also able to satisfy more adventurous palates, with flavors that include avocado, Chocolate Zinfandel (bittersweet chocolate with zinfandel wine and a touch of Balsamic vinegar), Campari grapefruit sorbet, Lavender Lemon, Saffron Sunshine (Kashmiri saffron, nutmeg, pistachios, and toasted almonds), and a traditional Indian mix of cardamom, pistachio, and rosewater called Kulfi. A full listing of their flavors is available on their website. If you make a trip soon, you’ll likely be able to catch their sweet Spring Pint-o-rama deal, where you can get a pint of any flavor for $3.95 if you purchase any cup or cone (even the tiny-bitty-tres-small size). I grabbed a scoop of caramel cashew cookie and took home a pint of the super-creamy Buttermilk Marionberry Swirl made with Oregon berries.
Whether you’re on your way to grab a cone or avoiding responsibilities on a blanket in Laurelhurst, it can’t hurt to turn up some happy, ignore-the-inevitable-return-to-rain music on your iPod. Get a jump on Summer, even when we’re dragged back into meteorological reality, with this playlist of sunny grooves and their apropos lyrical highlights.
“I Will Live On Islands” by Josh Rouse: “Dreamin’ of, dreamin’ of, dreamin’ of, dreamin’ of a love on the outside. Take it all, take it all, take it all, take me away. I wanna see some green, I wanna be set free, get me out of this place!”
“Dream Get Together” by Citay “Two hands out the window, two hands shifting gears, next thing you know we're gonna be reelin' in the years.”
“Colors” by April Smith and the Great Picture Show: “I’m hoping you return the glow , I’m just making sure you know no matter how, no matter when you come back to me again you'll realize this love is strong as it has been all along.”
“Living in Colour” by Frightened Rabbit: “Living in colour, living in colour, I can see the paint on your toes.”
“Let’s Go Surfing” by The Drums: “Wake up, would you like to go with me Honey, take a run down to the beach. Oh momma, I wanna go surfin' Oh momma, I don't care about nothing.”
“When The Night Feels My Song” by Bedouin Soundclash: “Hey beautiful day (hey! hey!) Hey beautiful day. When the night feels my song, I'll be home, I'll be home.”
“Snow is Gone” by Josh Ritter: “Hello blackbird, hello starling, winter’s over, be my darling. A long time comin’ but now the snow is gone.”
“Generator^2nd Floor” by Freelance Whales: “And if it's all the same to them, you should tell your gathering friends please not to purse their faces grim on such a lovely Sunday.”
Cool Moon Creamery
Location: 1105 NW Johnson Street
Hours: Noon - 10:00 pm Daily
Website: Cool Moon Creamery
Location: 1105 NW Johnson Street
Hours: Noon - 10:00 pm Daily
Website: Cool Moon Creamery