Archive for September, 2012

Your Four Day Eat-inerary

Just when you thought the FEAST-ing was over, we drag you back in.  Sorry, but there’s just too much good eating to be done still.  Don’t worry, we’ve got it all planned out for you:

DAY 1 – Friday, September 28

Fresh Exchange Fundraiser
Veggie Grill, 508 SW Taylor Street | map it
Mention you are there to support Fresh Exchange and 50% of your bill will go to support this wonderful program that allows low-income shoppers to put more fresh, local food on their tables.  It’s simple: feed yourself, feed a family, feed a farmer.  Download Fundraiser Flyer

Kenton Farmers Market
N. Denver Ave & McClellan Street
Friday is the final day of the season for this first-year market. Thank you for making it a success! Stop by, shop and hug your favorite farmers farewell (until next year). Market vendors Taco Pedalar and Scoop Handmade Ice Cream have your dinner and dessert covered–or assemble your own meal from a stellar line-up of farmers, cheesemakers, bakers and food artisans.

DAY 2 – Saturday, September 29

Chilaquiles waiting to happen. Photo by Celeste Noche, celestenoche.com

PSU Farmers Market
SW Park Ave & Montgomery
So many reasons to shop our flagship market this weekend. Fuel up with breakfast options like wood-fired bagels at Tastebud or chilaquiles at Verde Cocina, then fill up your market basket with seasonal delights like fresh-roasted chiles from Westwind Gardens, organic pears from Omega Farm (it’s their last market of the year!) and end-of-season tomatoes begging to be turned into sauce or “gravy”, depending on where your from or how much Sopranos you watched.  Plus, at 10am, Gabe Rosen from Biwa takes the chef stage.

DAY 3 – Sunday, September 30

King Farmers Market
NE 7th & Wygant
Wake up and smell the coffee–Night Owl Roasters‘ coffee to be exact–then tuck into a sweet or savory crepe from C’est Ci Bon! or an Enchanted Sun breakfast burrito, because nobody should shop on an empty stomach. Post-feast, pick up fresh flowers and a week’s worth of veg, eggs, bread, cheese and fruit.  Oh, and Deck Family Farm is running a special on Lamb Osso Bucco!

DAY 4 – Monday, October 1

Three Square Grill in Hillsdale | map it
$42.50 per person (gratuity & beverages excluded)
Call 503.734.4329 to reserve your seats
Doors open @ 6:30 & dinner is served at 7:00

Trust us, Chef Kathryn knows her way around a mushroom. Photo by Amy Nieto

If you’ve ever tasted the samples Market Chef Kathryn Yeomans cooks up at the Springwater Farm booth at our PSU market each week, chances are you wished she would cook you a whole meal.  Now is your chance. Chef Kathryn is hand-making everything from scratch for a special autumn harvest dinner featuring seasonal products grown and foraged by Springwater Farm and we think you’ll agree that the menu looks insanely delicious:

Frico with Herbed Mushroom Duxelles & Wood Sorrel Sauce

Cream of Potato Soup
with Truffle Butter-Fried Croutons

Chanterelle Mushroom Strudel
With Oven-Roasted Tomato & Chanterelle Vodka Sauce

Tamworth Heritage Pork: Roast Fresh Ham & Slow-Cooked Shoulder
With Spicy Peach Chutney, Pickled Cherries & Plums,
Corn Spoon Bread & Green Beans Almondine
Fricassee of Wild Mushrooms with Harvest Vegetables & Lamb’s Quarter Greens

Plum Frangipane Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream
& Plum Slivovitz Sauce

 *To reserve your seats, email wildeats@msn.com or phone Kathryn at 503.734.4329.  Please include the number in your party, a phone #, and your choice of omnivore or vegetarian entree.*

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tomato sauce with sprig of basil

One of the best scenes in the 1996 movie Big Night was the simple preparation of an omelet in stark contrast to the previous night’s gluttony that ended in a brotherly brawl. The best and most enticing food is often the most humble (and brawl-free), and, to go a step further, that which comes from your own kitchen.

This statement comes dangerously close to the Italian notion that no one’s food tastes as good as one’s own, or rather one’s mamma’s cooking. I say dangerously because Italians are notorious for being close-minded about food. I prefer to be curious and experiment. But they have an enviable, embedded food wisdom that we Americans will never fully grasp. This wisdom is no doubt related to how hard it is to extract recipes from an Italian grandmother.

The notion of eating from my own kitchen lingered all last week, a week punctuated with the desire to cook when I least had access to a kitchen. My preferred dish? A simple tomato sauce (recipe at end).

It started with a visit to see old friends San Francisco. Though we all like to cook, we ate out almost every meal, from overdoing it on award-winning pastries to indulging in high-end Moroccan and Indian. They begged me to teach them how to make pasta so by the third night, I was happy (read: craving) to indulge them (Curious? See my Team Pasta class).

We amassed a great deal of pasta thanks to their deft three-and-a-half year old. The table went quiet as we all took our first bites. This is what handmade pasta and simple tomato sauce does to you. As your belly swells, so does your pride in having produced for yourself one of the most satisfying dishes known to man.

This only scratched the itch.

Why the itch? September is my favorite month and with Portland’s temperate climate and near-perfect September weather, the farmers market explodes with a mashup of summer hangers on like corn and tomatoes, and fall’s pears and winter squashes have marched in.

A not-so-best-kept secret at the market? Roma tomatoes are a steal at this time of year. This, and the notion that summer produce will soon be a mere memory makes me want to hit the kitchen.

But I was on vacation making my way up the California and Oregon coasts, and would arrive home only to drop my bags and run off to volunteer at FEAST Portland, the multi-day foodie phenomenon. In spite of, or maybe because of, the preposterous array of celebrity-status culinary goings on, all I really wanted to do was be in my own kitchen. That would have wait another two days.

In a FEAST speaker series, Oregon farmer/philosopher Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm, journeyed around the globe from Oregon’s spot on the 45th parallel to our same-latitude culinary cousins. Even as we are surrounded by exceptional restaurants, as Boutard said, “It’s really the home kitchens that inspire what we grow, especially immigrant kitchens.”

That was the final nudge I needed on the journey to savor the simple pleasure of Sunday gravy bubbling away on the stove.


Tomato Sauce Recipe

For a recipe with so few ingredients, there’s much to be said about skin and seeds, about pureeing before or after or not at all, about quick cooking versus slow and low. This recipe results in a thick sauce that can be used as is or you can add meat, seafood or vegetables. This sauce goes a long way especially if additional olive oil is added at the end, which helps to really coat the pasta. I did not peel my tomatoes but I do puree the sauce once cooled to avoid the unpleasant texture of the skins. Alternately, you can use a food mill to eliminate skins.

As for seeds, it’s been found that much of a tomato’s flavor comes from the gelatin-like substance around the seeds. I use a method passed on from Kathryn LaSuza Yeomans, a fixture at Saturday’s Portland Farmers Market, that uses this liquid for the sauce.


3–4 pounds of roma tomatoes (good to use because they’re mostly flesh and not runny)

1 onion, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped finely

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

pinch of red chili flake (optional)

1–2 T olive oil

Several fresh torn basil leaves


1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large saucepan and sauté onions on low heat till translucent.

2. While onions are cooking, halve the tomatoes and, using a sharp knife, carve angled slits to remove the hard part of the core. This doesn’t have to be perfect or thorough. Scoop the seeds into a wire mesh sieve set over a bowl and chop tomatoes into chunks. Return to your reserved seeds and vigorously swish with a wooden spoon for a minute or two to release the jelly-like liquid in the bowl. Add this to the tomatoes.

3. Add garlic to the cooking onions and allow the aroma to just surface, then add the tomatoes and salt. Stir and let simmer very gently for an hour or more. Towards the end, add a pinch of red chili flake if desired and some torn basil (you can add more fresh basil to your pasta dish).

4. Puree the mixture or run through a food mill. You can freeze some or all of the sauce in freezer-safe jars or containers. If using glass, leave at least one inch of head space to avoid cracking the jar when the sauce freezes.

5. Add to your pasta of choice!

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream

This recipe from Diane Morgan’s brand new cookbook, Roots.

Food and a Cookbook! You can meet Roots author Diane Morgan, load up on food and go home with a new cookbook: Diane is doing a dinner and class at Abby’s Table on Saturday night with guest speaker Dr. Samantha Brody about the nutritional and health benefits of root vegetables. Tickets are  here.

These darling magenta-hued cupcakes are brilliantly colored all the way through. No food coloring is used here; the color comes from pureeing freshly roasted beets. I tested the recipe with canned beets and the color is drab and faded, but given how easy it is to roast beets this simple step can be done while you measure and prepare the ingredients for the cupcakes and

Photo by Antonis Achilleos

buttercream. I finely chop the roasted beets and then puree them in a food processor. It is important to let the machine run for a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides of the workbowl once or twice, until the puree is completely smooth.

Makes 12 cupcakes


2 cups/200 g sifted cake/soft-wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups/342 g puréed red Roasted Beets

1 cup plus 2 tbsp/225 g granulated sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

2/3 cup/180 ml canola oil

3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Orange Buttercream

1 1/4 cups/280 g unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’/icing sugar

1 tbsp heavy (whipping)/double cream

1/2 tsp pure orange oil (see Cook’s Notes)

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 to 3 tbsp fresh orange juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the beets, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir in one-third of the flour mixture, and continue stirring just until the flour disappears. Do not beat or overmix. Repeat, adding the remaining flour mixture in 2 batches.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing the batter evenly and filling each cup almost to the top of the liner. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes rest in the pan, set on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely, about an hour.

To make the buttercream, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter on low speed. Add the sugar, cream, orange oil, and vanilla, and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, a little at a time, until the buttercream is fluffy and smooth.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, spread a thick layer of buttercream over the tops, swirling the frosting to decorate the tops. Alternatively, the frosting can be transferred to a pastry bag and piped around the tops of the cupcakes. The cupcakes can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store, covered, at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes

Pure orange oil is an essential oil cold pressed from the rind of oranges. It is different from pure orange extract. Look for pure orange oil in the baking section of natural foods stores, at baking supply stores, or Middle Eastern grocers. Two brands I see often is Boyajian or Frontier.

The cupcakes freeze well and are handy to have on hand for a party. Freeze the cupcakes unwrapped on a baking sheet/tray. Once frozen, wrap them individually, first with plastic wrap/cling film and then with aluminum foil. The cupcakes can be frozen up to 1 month. Unwrap the cupcakes and thaw at room temperature.

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Feast On

Portland is Feast-ing this weekend. All of you know how good the food is here, you’re already ahead of the curve, but for those showing up in Portland for the 4 days of events the knowledge that in this little pocket of the world we know how to grow food, cook food and enjoy food will travel home with our visitors. That and the fact we know a thing or two about beer and wine as well.

Portlander and Feaster, Diane Morgan, who appears at Powells tonight (along with Julie Richardson of Baker and Spice and Ken Forkish of Ken’s Pizza and Bakery), visited our Shemanski Market earlier this week to talk about her new book, Roots. You can watch the clip here. Speaking of cookbook authors, Mark Bittman was here last night and my new favorite cookbook author, Andrea Nguyen will also be at Powells, on Saturday at 4pm. See who turns up at the PSU Market on Saturday.

Kenton, only 2 Markets left and what a shame, it’s pie season. We’re in our last week for Pioneer Courthouse Square, Buckman and NW. King and Shemanski go until the end of October and PSU IS IN SESSION UNTIL DEC 15th -again sorry about the caps but we want to draw attention to the fact PSU GOES UNTIL MID DECEMBER!


If you are looking for something totally Oregonish to taste at our Markets – PEARS! APPLES! HAZELNUTS! I don’t know why the caps work, when used in moderation they just do – too much of it and it looks like a CDC Bulletin.

The savory side has squash, tomatoes, beans – It’s soup waiting to happen.

Enjoy your feast be personal, public or well-organized.

See you at the markets.

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The recipients of the 2012 Oregon Organic Coalition (OOC) Awards For Excellence were announced today at a celebratory luncheon at the Ecotrust Building in Portland. Nearly 70 representatives from Oregon’s farming, retail, academic, political and food production communities honored these organic innovators. A highlight of the annual Organically Grown in Oregon Week, the event featured a keynote address by Susan Sokol-Blosser, wine industry pioneer, community activist, environmental advocate and author.

Awards were given to individuals and organizations that demonstrated innovation in organic practices, service to the industry, expansion of organic business opportunities and overall achievement in the state’s organic industry. This year, OOC recognized accomplishments in furthering the quality and growth of organic food in seven areas: processing, retail, wholesale distribution, organic advocacy, organic policy and farm crops. The following individuals and organizations were honored with OOC Awards of Excellence:

Processor: Sweet Creek Foods

For over 11 years, Paul and Judy Fuller have owned and operated Sweet Creek Foods in Elmira, Oregon. Their jarred, organic foods have become a popular commodity across the Northwest. Their certified organic product line, sourced from Oregon farms and fishermen, includes fruit spreads, pickled products, salsas, enchilada sauces and Oregon Albacore Tuna. As serious crafters of food storage and preservation, their products are packaged in safe BPA-free glass jars using traditional canning methods. For their commitment to organic standards, superior packaging and locally-sourced ingredients, Sweet Creek Foods is granted the Award for Excellence as an Organic Processor.

Retailer: LifeSource Natural Foods

With an abundant array of organic produce and foods, LifeSource Natural Foods has served the community of Salem, Oregon since 1994. They have developed a strong community presence by hosting events focused on organic education, cooking and health. After installing solar panels in 2010, they became an EarthWise certified. In 2012, they installed a Lizard Monitoring system to better control and track the temperature of their perishable foods. For their work in distributing organics education to their community, improving their sustainable business practices and supporting organic produce, LifeSource Natural Foods is granted the Award for Excellence as an Organics Retailer.

Wholesaler: GloryBee

In 1975, Dick and Pat Turanski started their small, family-owned business selling a few simple beekeeping supplies and natural honey. Since then, their business has grown into a large company that offers over 1,000 certified organic, fair trade and “bee-friendly” products. Even as operations expanded, the company maintained its environmental and social practices. They have a strong sustainability mission focused on reducing waste and consumption, which prompted them to upgrade distribution trucks to use B20 hybrid-bio fuels. They are a proud member of the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and offer fair-trade honey from a Maya Vinic Cooperative organized by beekeepers in Mexico. For continuing to improve the quality of organic products, the sustainability of eco-systems and the fair business practices in the industry, GloryBee is granted the Award of Excellence as an Organics Wholesaler.

Farm (Crops): Gathering Together Farm

John Eveland and Sally Brewer have nurtured Gathering Together Farm along the Mary’s River in Philomath, Oregon for 25 years. The farm supplies fresh, organic produce across the state and operates an on-farm restaurant and farm stand. On their 50 acres of land they grow enough produce to serve over 300 CSA members, retailers and grocery stores in Oregon. Recently their farm became Food Justice Certified, which means that their produce represents the honesty and integrity of the fair trade label and that their workers are treated justly and compensated fairly. For their long-standing commitment to organic agriculture in Oregon and treating their employees with respect, Gathering Together Farm is granted the Award of Excellence for Organic Farm Crops.

Farm (Livestock): Deck Family Farm

Located in Junction City, Oregon, the Deck Family Farm raises free-range, organic meats that can be purchased all over Oregon, and they even offer a CSA featuring beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs. They respect the land and their livestock by practicing organic farming methods and treating their animals humanely. Recently their beef received Animal Welfare Approved certification, honoring the quality and standards their brand has worked tirelessly to achieve. For their efforts to utilize resources with sustainable and humane morals, Deck Family Farm is granted the Award of Excellence for Organic Farm Livestock.

Organic Advocate (Individual): Frank Morton
As a seed cultivator, preserver and purveyor, Frank knows the benefit of ensuring that organic, heirloom seeds have healthy grounds to grow for many generations. He began by selling salad greens. With his wife, Karen, he developed wild garden genepools and created a hyperdiversity of green gardens. For the past four years, they have introduced 22 varieties to the seed trade. Recently, Frank helped stop the spread of large-scale canola growth in Oregon, which would have threatened the genetic purity of many organic farms and seed growers. For his innovative and activist efforts in the production and preservation of organic seed viability in Oregon, Frank Morton is granted the Award for Excellence as an Individual Organic Advocate.

Organic Advocate (Organization): Friends of Family Farmers
Friends of Family Farmers is an organization that supports sustainable farming by hosting informative events on agricultural policy, provides education on land-linking programs and lobbies for issues that affect or support socially and environmentally just farming in Oregon. Their most recent success was their involvement in a lawsuit to stop the Oregon Department of Agriculture from reversing the canola rule in the Willamette Valley. Friends of Family Farmers is an organization that will push for stronger legislative support to many organic farms whose voices are so often ignored. For their mission to ensure the survival of sustainable agriculture by exposing threats to the industry and providing fair representation of these farmers’ needs through political, social and media platforms, Friends of Family Farmers is granted the Award of Excellence as an Organic Organization Advocate.

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Fear of a Food

Article and Photos by Elizabeth Miller, who blogs at Savory, Salty, Sweet which is featuring an awesome post about fries.

There are certain foods that seem to inspire what can only be classified as rancor. By this, I mean foods that, upon being mentioned, cause a malicious bitterness to permeate the general conversation. As long as I have noticed this trend in food refusal, there always seem to be three main foods whose very mention will bring out the venom in otherwise agreeable people: cilantro, beets, and eggplant.

The backlash against cilantro is perhaps the most fervent of the aforementioned oppositions. A couple of years ago, the New York Times ran an article about the animosity inspired by the herb, citing studies that suggested there might actually be a genetic predisposition to not being able to tolerate cilantro. As indicated by the over 500 comments left by readers who all seem to have very formed opinions, the debate about cilantro (tastes good, like citrus and licorice; tastes bad, like soap, bugs, and socks) does not seem likely to abate anytime soon.

Beets are another story entirely. When people—detractors and fans alike—discuss the attributes of beets, there tends to be one fact about the vegetable that remains consistent. If asked to describe the taste of a beet, most people will go with the adjective “earthy,” a description that is as solid as any I’ve heard. Where the fissure in the beet debate begins, however, is the point after this description where people are tasked with deciding whether or not “earthy” is a positive or a negative descriptor. To me, the earthiness of a beet is the very heart of its appeal. I use the flavor as a building block for other elements of a meal, thinking of ways to pair it with creamy, tangy, or sweet elements that will counter its robust notes. Other people, when faced with a food that, admittedly, tastes a bit like dirt, think better of the offering and turn their noses up in revulsion. I get it, really. This is being written by a person who hates the taste of all doughnuts, because they taste like doughnuts, and I cannot abide by that old, greasy flavor, no matter how ones attempts to dress it up.

Sometimes, however, dressing up a reviled food will do wonders for its appeal. In the case of eggplant, which I once heard a friend’s mother describe as “an old kitchen sponge masquerading as edible,” there are numerous ways that one is able to bathe the vegetable in other ingredients, making its often bitter, spongy reputation less of a concern. And if you want to forgo the somewhat troublesome texture of eggplant entirely, might I suggest a bit of roasting, a bit of pureeing, and a whole lot of bread for dipping? If you’re looking for a way to up the appeal of eggplant, spend a little time making a batch of baba ganoush, a Middle Eastern eggplant dish that is a distant cousin to hummus. Roasted until soft and smoky, the flesh of the eggplant is whirled into a smooth dip with garlic, lemon, and tahini. Drizzled with a bit of olive oil and tucked into with soft hunks of pita bread, it’ll go a long way towards erasing any eggplant woes you may have suffered in the past.

Baba Ganoush

2 medium eggplants

2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

¼ cup tahini

juice of 1 large lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the skin of the eggplants in several places, then roast in the oven on a heavy baking sheet for 40 minutes, until the eggplants have become very soft and almost entirely collapsed. Arrange an oven rack to the highest level, turn the oven’s broiler to high, and toss the unpeeled garlic cloves onto the baking sheet with the eggplants. Finish roasting the eggplants with the garlic for 3-5 minutes under the broiler, until the eggplants’ skin is blackened and is starting to smoke. Remove the eggplants and garlic from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

When eggplants have cooled completely, scrape the soft flesh of the eggplants into a food processor. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the eggplant. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to begin chopping up the eggplants and garlic, then add in the tahini, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a big pinch of sea salt. Puree the ingredients until they are super smooth. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt if you think it needs it.

Pour the baba ganoush into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil (and, if you wish, a sprinkle of chopped parsley), and serve.

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End of the Summer as We Know It

It’s been a good week for me and PFM foods. There were the chiles relleno made with chilies from Westwind and the lamb chorizo from Sexton Ranches. Bread pudding with Jacobs Creamery mascarpone and pears from Kiyokawa. The Baird

Chop & Stir

peaches on their own – they don’t need fancying up. I had Brisket at Podnah’s (Not a PFM vendor any longer, but they’re one of the 50ish businesses that launched at PFM). Basil from Rick Steffen’s combined with tomatoes from my garden made for some sauce. Figs, radicchio and goat cheese and bread from Pearl all made another meal and then there are some Hummingbird Flowers – not edible but certainly pretty on my table.

Now that the weekend is closing in, I feel I could do it all over again except for all the leftovers, stuff exploding in my garden and a not so vague tightness in my waist – stupid pants must have shrunk – odd that it took years for that to happen and on a week I over indulged.

Pears, apples, squash, tomatoes, herbs, oysters – how did I miss those with my week of feckless grazing – there’s eggplant; no one grows eggplant like our farmers grow eggplant (yes, this includes your mama). And somehow if you’ve missed the gift of the 3 ft/ 12# zucchini from your well-intentioned neighbors, or possibly want reasonable sized zukes, the market has them.

Portland Monthly will be at PSU handing out free magazines near chef stage…Speaking of zucchini, but in the squash-positive sense -while the Portland Monthlys are being distributed, Jenn Louis of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, will demo chilled summer squash and buttermilk soup.

So with Kenton, PSU, King and this year’s penultimate Pioneer Square on Monday, we have choices, so many food choices.

And just in time for all this goodness, the whole Food world will be showing up in Portland next week for Feast! You can read about Feast – here’s short interview with the festival’s founders. And if you can’t or like me shouldn’t indulge in the well, feasting, please consider food for the mind. Mark Bittman, The Minimalist, Today Show contributor, NY Times Food writer and now food policy expert will be speaking – offering commentary on the future of food – tickets here.

Reminder of Season’s dates and times:
Thursday’s Buckman & NW markets run through September.
Kenton, Fridays 3-7 through September.
King, Sundays 10-2 through October.
Shemanski, Wednesdays 10-2, through October.

Pioneer Courthouse Square, this and next Monday only in 2012 – 10-2

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