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Archive for July, 2013

How Local is Your Plate?

Local Plate is a new company sourcing seasonal foodstuffs from local farmers, ranchers and fishermen—including PFM vendors Gathering Together Farm and Split River Growers—to create easy-to-make meal kits for the home cook.

Local Plate Logo

By Nicholas Erler, Co-founder, Local Plate

While the demand for local food continues to grow, it can sometimes be challenging for shoppers to know exactly what is in season and how to turn the region’s best ingredients into simple, satisfying meals. Local Plate makes eating well both easy and delicious by providing seasonal recipes and locally-sourced ingredients in convenient meal kits.

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Turn locally-sourced ingredients…

Discovering food through individual ingredients can often be intimidating, which is why we provide straightforward recipes using fresh, local produce and proteins. By providing you the tools to create high quality meals at home, eating local and seasonal food is now as easy as calling for carry out!

...into simple, tasty meals.

…into simple, tasty meals.

We believe that supporting local farmers creates a more sustainable economy and stronger community. Local Plate is serious about sourcing and has built relationships with local farms such as Gathering Together Farm, Split River Growers and Sauvie Island Organics to develop recipes based on the produce they have available. Local Plate also sources all of its meat and seafood from local ranchers and fishermen, including Mountain Shadow Natural Meats, Kookoolan Farms and Port Orford Sustainable Seafood.

We know you have busy lives. Local Plate allows you to slow down, spend time with your friends and family and enjoy a healthy home cooked meal together while supporting our region’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Here’s how:

1) Go to www.localplate.com and choose your favorite seasonal meals.

2) Check out online and choose between home delivery or pickup.

3) Follow the simple cooking instructions and enjoy a home cooked, local and seasonal meal!

Fans of Portland Farmers Market get 10% their first purchase using this code: FMJUL54

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Boulevard of Tasty Greens

At peak market, navigating the Park blocks requires a deftness and attention to detail that rivals (Select metaphor or supply one of your own making):

  1. Driving the I-5 at rush hour; possibly Indycar racing.
  2. The skill and precision of Alpine skiing’s Giant Slalom.
  3. The NFL’s Combine.

No matter how much activity happening on the Market’s main drags, Harrison St, the East-West throughway that bisects the PSU Market like our own little equator, is always less crowded. And it shouldn’t be all Omega-mannish like that: The market’s Harrison St. participants are pretty much a world class market onto themselves. Chris and Amy at Square Peg start a run on the north side of street that ends with Prairie Creek’s Oregon Tilth Certified Organic veg. Along the way, you can walk past the Draper Girls, La Terra Vita; Art & family grows tasty produce including garlic nonpareil and unique (and tasty) varieties of potatoes. Toss salad greens in Blossom Vinegars, compliment your grilled foods with Marshall’s Haute Sauce.

Harrison St is the Street where all the Fruit & Veg Meet

On the south side, along with Groundworks and DeNoble’s picture perfect vegetables you’ll find cheese from Fraga and Ancient Heritage along with the vegan analogue from Heidi Ho. Bread from Delphina’s, pork from Sweet Briar Farms and complete your meal with offerings from Wandering Aengus Ciders, Nectar Creek Honeywine or Nehalem Bay Winery. A motivated shopper has every opportunity to fill up their reusable totes with a meal or two.

Merging back into traffic, this week’s PSU Market welcomes the return of local salt harvesters, Jacobsen Salt Co. Dave’s Killer Bread is making their July appearance, there’s chicken available from Sexton Ranches (while supplies last) and Real Good Food is offering olive oils hand picked and imported by Jim Dixon.

For our other Markets Kenton, King, Pioneer Square, Shemanski and Thursday’s neighborhood Markets in NW and

Caution: Juicy

Caution: Juicy

Buckman – one word; Peaches. There is no shame in a bib, well babies anyway, for the rest of us the flavor of this year’s crop is worth donning a bib or changing a shirt after eating an especially juicy offering. Alternatively, lean forward while eating.

Music, events, peaches. Market times and locations found here.

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Making the Difference

Just this week, our neighbors to the north at WashPRIG produced a report called Apples to Twinkies. The report, downloadable here, highlights an issue that runs contrary to our belief in healthy, local foods: Federal agriculture subsidies underwrite 17 of 37 ingredients found in the junk food formerly known as the Twinkie. Apples, the only fresh fruit or vegetable to garner significant federal subsidies, received only 1/28th of the money spent on subsidizing Twinkies.

Food policy, subsidies, how and how much government should be involved in agriculture – these are multi-faceted issues that will continue to be debated. As democracy works through these debates, the Oregon based Fresh Exchange program is taking a direct approach to balancing the nutritional scale by matching SNAP benefits used at area markets. With each matching dollar raised and spent at area markets families have more options for local foods and money is spent directly with area food growers and producers, helping support Pacific NW agricultural communities.

You can learn more about the Fresh Exchange program by downloading this SNAPBrochure. You can contribute to Fresh Exchange here and have your SNAP benefits matched at our King, Kenton, Buckman and NW Markets.

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Get Dirty Farm Tours

Want to learn more about where your food comes from?  Good news!  Three of Portland’s local food specialists—Blake Van Roekel, owner of Good Keuken culinary school, Lane Selman, Agricultural Researcher and Gathering Together Farm market manager and Sara Pool, owner of Grow Me Organics—have joined forces to create Get Dirty Farm Tours, the first Oregon tour company to showcase the region’s exceptional farms, many of which are Portland Farmers Market vendors we all know and love!

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GET DIRTY FARM TOURS

By Lane Selman

pigGet Dirty Farm Tours unearths the culi­nary trea­sures that rest in our own back­yard. Whether the venue is a vegetable farm, goat dairy, vineyard or oyster bed, these tours con­nect curious food lovers with farmers in our region and allow tour participants to witness firsthand how our food is grown and pro­duced.  Monthly tours focus on a sea­son­ally appro­pri­ate topic and guests visit at least two farms in the Pacific Northwest and enjoy a catered lunch on site. Starting at less than $50/person, Get Dirty Farm Tours aims to give everyone an opportunity to have a unique and educational food adventure.

UPCOMING TOURS

On Sunday, July 28, one can tour three urban farms nestled in the Cully Garden District of northeast Portland. As the patchwork of small farms grows in this neighborhood, eating locally can’t get any better, or closer. This “Right in Our Backyard” tour includes visits to The Side Yard Farm, Red Truck Homestead, and Cully Neighborhood Farm, followed by lunch at the Good Keuken kitchen in Old Salt Marketplace, located just down the street.

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

On Saturday, August 10, find out how local grains are grown and milled at one of Oregon’s few grain mills in operation! The  “Oregon Grown & Milled Grain” tour will head down to Brownville to see fields of grains ranging from the common wheat to the more obscure and ancient emmer.  At Stalford Seed Farms, harvest is in full swing by mid-August. We will tour fields in all stages of the harvesting process and see the storage facility where the grain is held just prior to processing. Then, at Greenwillow Grains, head miller, Mike Robinson, will take us through the entire process of milling, bagging and staging processed grains. Following the mill tour, we will have a picnic lunch on site.

ClareChickens The cost for each of the above tours is $69 for ONE guest or $99 for TWO which includes tours, tales, lunch and libations. Kids ages 15 and under are free with a paying adult.  Register online today! Space is going quick.

Click here more information and a tour schedule. Tour photos and updates can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Whistle while you shop

Words and Update from Kelly Merrick.

Kelly blogs about sustainable living and smaller footprints at kellyssustainablelife.blogspot.com

Pop quiz! What’s better than a farmers market on a sunny summer day? If you guessed a farmers market full of music on a sunny summer day, then a gold star for you.

And lucky for you, that’s exactly what’s happening at the markets this week. We’ve got a great lineup of local bands waiting for you to come do your shopping, grab a bite to eat and sit down to enjoy their show.

Kenton – Friday, July 19

3:00-4:45 – Robert Richter  

5:15 – 7:00pm – Howard Wade 

PSU – Saturday, July 20

9:00-10:00 – The Brassroots Movement DSC_0291

11:00-2:00 – Dina y los Rumberos

King – Sunday, July 21

11:30 – 2:00 – Steve Cheseborough

Pioneer Square – Monday, July 22

11:30-1:30 – Contratiempo

But wait, that’s not all. Now that temperatures have hovered somewhere between 80 and 95 degrees for at least three consecutive weeks, the markets are bursting with the bounty of summer, including, but of course not limited to, cherries, berries, apricots and peaches. That means you will definitely need to brave the heat, turn on your oven and make this fruit crumble with whatever fruit catches your eye at this week’s market. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, I may or not be baking my fifth fruit crumble in two weeks as I write this.

Like Dave mentioned last week, there’s also been some friendly competition going on at the markets. Monday brought three DSC_0328of the best and brightest culinary minds in Portland to shop the Pioneer Square Market, cook on a stage and then put their efforts up for judging in the third annual Chef Challenge sponsored by our friends at COUNTRY Financial. Kelly Meyers of Xico came out the winner, with her spicy mayan dip called sikil p’ak, surrounded by a colorful melange of farmers market vegetables.

If you missed the action like I did, don’t worry, you can find photos of the event and all  three chefs’ recipes at the COUNTRY website. For a less competitive environment, stop by PSU’s Chef in the Market.  This weekend Gregory Gourdet of Departure — a competitor at last year’s Chef Challenge — will bring his signature style to the stage.

Happy shopping!

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Emergency Dessert

Recipe, word selection and photos from Elizabeth Miller of the awesome savorysaltysweet.com

IMG_9164While there exists absolutely no possibility that I will ever win the World Series, finish the Dakar Rally, or claim first prize in the Iditarod, I am certain that I could easily smoke the competition in any sort of contest that involves coming up with a deliciously unplanned, spur of the moment dessert while faced with a sparsely stocked larder. Did you just find out that you have to bring dessert to a family dinner that starts in just one short hour? I’ve got your back. Only have bits and pieces of this and that laying around? No problem. I am here to help.

Your easiest course of direction in the realm of last minute desserts is the fruit tart. Particularly during the summer months, when fresh fruit is likely to be found hanging out in your kitchen, just waiting to be enjoyed, you can’t find anything more willing to be fancied up than fresh fruit. Because I am the type of person who tends to have a pie crust or two sitting in the freezer at all times (because, remember, I am no super athlete, but I could certainly be considered a super dessert conjurer), I had this crust rolled out, baked, and ready to be filled in no time at all. If you don’t happen to be a hoarder of buttery pie crusts, don’t worry. You can buy a ready-made crust from the store and, I promise you, I won’t tell a soul.IMG_9166

To gussy up your fruit tart, you can’t go wrong with spreading a thin layer of soft, lightly sweetened cheese in the crust before piling on the fruit. When I made this tart, I happened to have just a tiny bit of mascarpone cheese sitting in the refrigerator and, lightly whipped up with a bit of vanilla extract, it made for a perfect pairing with the sweet berries and light, flaky crust. Mascarpone worked wonders here, but cream cheese would also be good, or, if you are looking to add a bit more flair to your dessert, a light spreading of goat cheese would be fantastic. Don’t have any cheese lying around, period? Consider drizzling the floor of your tart with a bit of melted chocolate.

To finish your tart, pile on whatever berries or fruits you have at the ready. In keeping with the theme of ease with this tart, don’t be afraid to throw in whatever fruit combination you can manage. If you only have one peach, a handful of blueberries, and five raspberries? Perfect. That sounds delightful. If you’re feeling extra inspired, Blend up a bit of the fruit with some water, gently heat it on the stove with a pinch of sugar, then brush the resulting glaze over the top of your dessert. Then step IMG_9168back, take a moment to marvel at the masterpiece you’ve just created, and use every possible ounce of your willpower to resist digging in right then and there.

Emergency Fruit Tart

1 single layer pie crust

2 to 3 cups fresh fruit

¼ cup mascarpone cheese, lightly sweetened cream cheese, or lightly sweetened goat cheese, whipped lightly with a generous drop of pure vanilla extract, or, if you are planning on not going the creamy route, 2 to 3 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out pie crust. Fit crust into a 10-inch tart pan. Line with foil, then pour pie weights into foil. Bake crust for 20 minutes with pie weights, then 10 to 15 more minutes without pie weights, until the crust is golden brown.

Set crust aside to cool.IMG_9175

While crust is cooling, prepare fruit by cutting off stems, taking out pits, or slicing into pieces—whatever your fruit requires in order to be easily eaten while in a tart. If you area going to make a simple glaze for the fruit, puree a few berries or a few slices of fruit with a bit of water, add a pinch of sugar, and heat in a small saucepan set over medium heat until the glaze looks smooth-ish and shiny, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Spread your creamy cheese or melted chocolate onto the floor of the tart shell. Top with prepared fruit. Brush with glaze, if using. Pat yourself on the back. You just became a dessert hero.

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Lowdown on the Showdown

At 11:30 on Monday, a few of the best and brightest culinary minds in Portland are going to shop the Pioneer Square Market, cook on a stage and then they; possibly their efforts will be judged. Our friends at Country Financial are staging the third iteration of Portland’s Chef Challenge. On the talent side:

  • Jobie Bailey is the executive chef at DOC where he uses seasonal ingredients from local area farms to craft weekly menus with Pacific Northwest flavors.
  • Jake Martin is the executive chef at Genoa, a historic part of the Portland dining scene. He specializes in a refined Modernist Italian style of cooking.
  • Kelly Myers, executive chef of Xico, is a restaurant veteran and former instructor at the Art Institute of Portland. She puts her own spin on classic regional Mexican dishes.

Judging, yet being judged not, are Kathleen Bauer is the author of the blog GoodStuffNW, Feast Co-Founder Carrie Welch and Friend of the Market (FOM), Katherine Miller, editor of the “The Oregonian Cookbook” and The Oregonian’s Foodday.

There will be reusable totes, $100 Gift Certificates to the Xico, DOC and Genoa. K-Mill will have copies of her cookbook and the event will be hosted by the witty polymath, Allison Jones of Portland Magazine. Come join us, downtown on the 15th, great way to spend lunch.DSC_0258

Tomatoes, yup. As failing and deceitful as memory can be, I can’t recollect a better spring and summer in years. Everything is ready early this season: Cherries, berries, apricots, peaches and if that wasn’t awesome enough, tomatoes are here now; life is awesome, I’m reveling in it.

And speaking of revels,* Portland Revels will be welcoming summertime with 5 hours of music and stories from 9-2, Saturday at PSU. You can read about the planned activities from the Revels on our blog; jump here.

Kenton, the little market of the north runs Friday, 3-7. Vancouverites, you don’t need to sit in I-5 traffic with everyone else on Friday nights, get out of the congestion for relaxation, stay for the fruit and veg. Portlanders, bike or yellow line up to the Market. Find Paul Bunyan and you’ve found us.

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Judging and Cooking, Two of my favorite things.
Both at Monday’s Chef Challenge

King Market on Sunday 10-2. NE 7th & Wygant. It’s coffee and brunch without the lines and ingredients for dinner.

Thursday’s Compass Markets, NW/SE, bring all the local, seasonal goodness to Portland’s neighborhoods. Momo cart, one of the new hot food offerings at our SE Buckman Market (SE 20th & Salmon) is working with Pine Mountain Ranch to create a Yak dumpling.

Tomatoes, solstice, weather, summer is upon us, celebrate with local foods.

*Horrible segue, apologies.

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