Archive for the ‘Save The Dates’ Category

Eggplant: from Ew to Mmmm. Photo by Allison Jones

By Chris Anderson, COUNTRY Financial

Ewww, what’s that?

It’s eggplant, and you’re going to like it!

But I didn’t. Grandma’s fresh-out-of-the-garden, sliced and sautéed in butter version tasted bitter. The grayish color and all those little seeds certainly did nothing to enhance the experience.

Perhaps Grandma’s cooking method failed to bring out the wonder of the vegetable that resembles an over-sized grape. But who eats a plant whose close cousin is named deadly nightshade – a weed we cut out of our fields every summer?

Let’s face it. Everyone can name at least one fruit or vegetable that causes them to wrinkle their nose in disgust. As a kid and into adulthood, eggplant elicited that response from me.

No more! Thanks to the magic of farmers markets, eggplant has gone from “ewww” to “mmmm” on my veggie list.

All it took was a persistent vendor, who convinced me to buy an eggplant, mix it with some of my favorites like green peppers and tomatoes, and add some flour, nutmeg and fresh bread cubes.

The result? A delectable taste sensation called Eggplant Creole. My family fought for the last bite and begged for more.

Then Jason French sealed the eggplant deal. The chef/owner of Portland’s Ned Ludd turned to the purple vegetable for his award-winning Bruschetta of Market Vegetables and Farmers’ Cheese. The dish earned him the COUNTRY Chef Challenge 2011 Master of the Market sponsored by COUNTRY Financial.

This open-faced sandwich represents pure genius with a blend of flavors drawn from garlic, Romano beans, tomatoes, farmer’s cheese and yes, a Japanese eggplant. And what’s more – it’s a quick meal!

So, here’s your tip of the day! Head to your nearest farmers market and venture beyond your fruit and vegetable comfort zone. Buy produce you’ve never given more than a passing glance. Ask the vendor for recipes or check out the Portland Farmers Market website for tantalizing ideas.

Even better yet, mark July 16 on your calendar. Head to the market at Pioneer Courthouse Square from 11:30am to 1:00pm and watch as Portland chefs Gregory Gourdet of Departure, David Padberg of Park Kitchen and Sarah Schafer of Irving Street Kitchen chop, sauté and simmer their way to become the COUNTRY Chef Challenge 2012 Master of the Market.

You’ll see familiar produce teamed with the exotic and blended in unique ways to invigorate your taste buds. The experience is guaranteed to take you from “ewww” to “mmmm.” Sweet and sour eggplant, anyone?

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Cherries, peaches, apricots &  plums and all their derivatives – pluots, pluots, apriums are referred to as stone fruits. These fruits along with almonds, are all related. Yes, almonds, really! Look at a peach or almond pit for proof or just muse away on why almond extract/amaretto tastes so good with peaches and cherries. I bring this up because it is stone fruit season. Baird and Liepold had apricots yesterday. And thanks to the micro-climates in the Pacific NW, we have everything from gorge peaches as big as a baby’s head sold at the same markets with slow growing cherries from the Cascades. This is good. Cherries are easily my favorite fruit


Apricot Center

for when something else is in season like a late August Peach or a pear in Sept-tober – Okay, I’m fickle). All this fruit, plus the sun coming out on cue the day after the 4th, it’s good to be a Oregonian/NWer right now.

Since we are talking about things I like…Along with the stone fruit I’ve spent a week feasting on green salad, spaghetti with raab, roasted potatoes – the multicolored (both inside and out) ones that I have been getting at La Terra Vita rock especially when served with grilled  flat iron steak from Sexton. There have been eggs from Dancing Chicken and goat cheese from Portland Creamery. All this bounty has kept me a very, very well-fed man these days. Actually there is so much good stuff, I wish I could eat more, but I am just one man. For instance if I had a little help I could cook fresh green beans and Olympic Provisions salami, well more like a slow sweat until the tastes are so intertwined it is only the texture that tells you what’s what. I can do the cooking I just need help with the eating, the dogs are a little more protein than veg focused.

Kenton market is today. It’s both the Market and the neighborhood. If I were getting off work at 4, 5, or 6ish and heading north, I would stop off at Denver & McClellan, probably get a beer at Kenton Station, do a little shopping, grab some food and head home after the throng thins out a little.

PSU, King, Pioneer Square and Shemanski all happen in this week. Not this Monday, but the following Monday, July 16, is the Chef Challenge sponsored by our friends at Country Financial. The event is like Chopped – contestants shop the Market, cook the food, present to judges and summarily are judged. Last year we had a blast, this year should be fun too. Details to follow but we want to give a shout out to Country Financial. The Market Sponsors not only make events like Chef Challenge, or the scholarships awarded to PPS students for designing the seasonal bag, or Kids Cook possible, we are fortunate that all of our sponsors care deeply about the access to local foods and the people who grow them. You can read about Country’s commitment to the market and its growers here.

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This Saturday, June 23, from 9am-2pm Portland Revels will be holding a special free performance at the southend of the PSU Market, plus processions through the market at 9am and 1:20pm. Portland Revels celebrates the seasons through song, dance, story and ritual of the past and present, creating community across generations and cultures. Their SummerFaire celebration at the market this weekend will be in honor of the Summer Solstice.

Event details courtesy of Portland Revels:

The revelry

Portland Revels’ new free public event in honor of the Summer Solstice will bookend our successful Christmas Revels performances honoring the Winter Solstice now in their 18th year in Portland. We’ll be at the PSU Farmer’s Market from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, June 23rd, the closest Saturday to the June 21 Summer Solstice.

Our mission is to celebrate the seasons in community with traditions and the performing arts, so we’ve invited some wonderful performers to grace our main stage, and we’ll have smaller acts “on the green,” as well as cultural groups, storytelling, and kids activities on the block next to – and in – the lively public venue of the PSU Farmer’s Market. Since many of the seasonal folk arts traditions that Revels preserves and showcases arose in the context of the agricultural cycle of planting and harvesting and small village life, basing this new celebration in the Farmer’s Market seems like coming home.

At 9:00am we’ll sally forth with banners flying and voices lifted in our opening procession to greet the morning. Then folks can enjoy performances on the mainstage and on the green until our 1:20pm closing procession.

Main stage guest performers include:

ViVoce Singers
The Oregon Chorale
Indonesian Performing Arts of Oregon.
The Portland Peace Choir
Yiddish Republik
Original Practice Shakespeare
Bollywood Movez
Inspirational Sounds from Latin America
NW Conservatory of Dance
The Tir Eoghain Dancers

On the green we’ll enjoy:

Renegade Rose Morris team
Maldon Meehan and her Sean Nos Irish Dancers
The Wild Rose Garland Dancers
Costumed rustics
Storytellers from the Portland Storytellers Guild

A happy reveler

We’ll have volunteer hosts offering hands-on fun workshops about the solstice, the seasons, and arts and folk traditions to engage and educate for children and families. And we are hosting cultural and ethnic organizations from around the world to share their home traditions about the Solstice, the sun, and the seasons.  Please join us!

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Interest in food has never been higher. People want to know where their veg, salmon and berriescame from, if it was raised sustainably and most it importantly, how to cook it best. While this could be an affliction of people so separated from food chain that they seek to introduce themselves to food, there is a deeper current to this phenomenon…people understand when you talk about food, you’re talking about everything: The meals you were raised on, the choices you make as an adult, how you share food with your family, neighbors and community. How we eat is nothing short of how we live and interact in society.

We are looking for people to share their stories about food. PFM’s blog features posts about food in the Pacific NW from award winning local authors, to first time contributors to the

One of My Muses

farmers, ranchers and growers who feed us. Along with stories about Oregonians who grow our food, our blog has recipes, information on what is in season and my favorite genre of post, the Esscipe – part cooking instruction, part essay, writing aimed at delving into the heart of how food makes us feel and think.

You think you’d like to give food writing a try but aren’t ready to email off a submission? Next week, our friends at Write Around Portland are having a food writing workshop with Portland Author and Mix founding editor, Martha Holmberg. If you don’t know about Write Around Portland, you can learn more about them at their website or Facebook page, where you can like them and it’s easy to for they are dedicated individuals who believe in “Transforming lives and our communities through the power of writing”. They lead creative writing workshops for 500 people each year, in hospitals, schools, homeless youth shelters, senior centers, low income housing buildings, prisons, social service agencies and treatment facilities. They’re able to run these workshops thanks in part toPrompt at Powell’s City of Books and twice monthly workshops at HOTLIPS Pizza, both are for new and experienced writers who, “want to participate in a Write Around Portland workshop and support the communities [Write Around Portland] traditionally serve.”

On Thursday, June, 28th at 6:30 Write Around Portland is hosting a foodcentric event with Martha Holmberg. The $50 fee includes a light meal of crepes, a conversation about food writing with Martha Holmberg and Kim Carlson, the Editorial Director of Culinate and a copy of Martha’s newest cookbook Crepes: 50 Savory and Sweet Recipes. Tickets available by calling Beth White of Write Around Portland at 503-796-9224.

Over the next month or so PFM will be adding new contributors to our stable of writers and we’d like to invite you to submit your ideas about food, both local and personal. While any online or print publication can use professional writers, we want to share our platform with people who have a story to tell about food in Oregon, but aren’t necessarily WRITERS! Stories should be cogent, readable, but contributors don’t need a MFA in food writing to post on our blog.

Please email your ideas, pitches and articles to me, dave@portlandfarmersmarket.org. We have the capacity to walk rookie writers and first time contributors through an editing process to get ready for submission, plus this is a great way to get clips together, advertise your own blog to all the PFM readers or give yourself a chance periodically write about food for than no other reason than you have a story to tell. We look forward to your stories.


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Via Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans

Springwater Farm’s Chef Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans is hosting a Cinco de Mayo Mexican Feast this Thursday, May 3rd.  Details below

The dinner promises to be a sumptuous gustatory voyage of the intriguing flavors of Mexico. Delight in a myriad of courses highlighting the fantastic, complex flavors of Oaxacan, Coastal, and Mayan cuisine. Here’s a taste of what’s in store:

Sik l’Pak Salsa, Salsa Verde, & Chipotle Salsa with Fresh Tortilla Chips
Queso Fundito with Ancho Relish, Wild Mushrooms, or Tamworth Pork Chorizo
Escabeche & Fresh Tortillas
Spring Chinook Salmon Wrapped in Banana Leaves with Roasted Poblano Chile Rajas & Crema
Ensalada de Toronja – Gathered Greens with Avocado, Grapefruit, Chile d’Arbol, & Chive Flowers
Tamworth Pork Loin stuffed with Tequila-Soused Prunes, Wood-Fire Roasted & Served with Mole Coloradito
Morel Mushrooms Tamales with Pasilla Chile Sauce, Morels in Crema & Black Truffle
Pear Tres Leches Trifle
with Vanilla-Poached Pears & Cajeta Caramel

Everything is hand-made by Chef Kathryn & her kitchen team. The menu is based on seasonal items that are raised on Springwater Farm, wild-harvested by Roger Konka or sourced from Portland Farmers Market vendors. Specialty pantry items (like masa, banana leaves, & dairy) are from small local businesses and producers. Kathryn and her team compost all of their kitchen scraps back to Springwater Farm.

Where:  Tastebud Restaurant,
When:  Doors open at 6:30, dinner is served at 7:00.
Cost:  $50 per person.
Reservations:  Email Kathryn at wildeats@msn.com or call 503.734.4329

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Remember this?

by Deborah Pleva

Under the picturesque canopy of budding trees in the South Park Blocks, the Saturday PSU Market will open this Saturday, March 17, at 8:30 a.m. with its ritual bell ringing and run until 2:00 p.m. Shoppers will find locally-grown and locally-produced food and farm products from more than 100 farmers, food producers and artisans. That number will grow to 160 vendors as the season progresses and the abundant bounty of local produce ripens.

For the small, dedicated staff at Portland Farmers Market, opening day of the Saturday PSU Market feels like a family reunion, neighborhood potluck and spring festival rolled into one. It brings together familiar faces, delicious food and the spirit of community. Plus, the day carries the promise of sunnier days and the long-awaited tastes of spring produce.

And this?

What’s fresh this spring? Peak-of-season produce like radishes, carrots, scallions, kale and lettuces still wearing traces of the fertile soil of the Willamette Valley. Portland Farmers Market food producers, food artisans and prepared food vendors will also tempt shoppers with delicious baked goods, meats, cheeses, seafood and other specialty foods.

This season, four newcomers join the family of vendors at the Saturday PSU location. Pono Farm & Fine Meats from Bend, OR, will offer pastured, hormone-and-antibiotic-free Wagyu and Red Angus beef, as well as Berkshire and Red Wattle heritage pork and an inviting array of handmade fresh and smoked sausages.  Temptress Truffles will sell wild, locally-harvested forest edibles from mushrooms to huckleberries to truffles, as well as handcrafted truffle butters, salts and oils. Greenwillow  Grains will bring freshly-milled organic grains, beans and edible seeds, all grown in the Willamette Valley. Champoeg Farm will join the market lineup around the holidays with pasture-raised turkeys.

Portland Farmers Market introduces eight new farmers and welcomes back more than 100 returning farmers to its seven market locations this season.  Through the years, the market has sustained the region’s food and farming community by helping to launch more than 40 small businesses and providing a lively and profitable sales outlet for small family farms, many of which count on farm-direct sales as their main source of income.

Grab your shopping bags and baskets and meet us at the market!

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And that’s exactly what you can say to a pumpkin this Saturday at our PSU Market.Carver Stories

PFM’s annual pumpkin carving contest is this Saturday at 9am. We provide the squash for free – you provide the artistry. Between 9 and Noon – or while supplies last – pick a pumpkin, carve it up, compost the innards and enter the finished squash for judgment. Awards for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place – 2 Categories; both adults and children under 13 have a chance to win. The fairest pumpkin of them all will go home with a Best in Show. Carve well friends, because this year’s prizes include family passes to the zoo & OMSI, and tickets to a Disney on Ice. Contest ends at high noon, the panel convenes and the prizes are awarded at 12:30. Only pumpkins carved on-site are eligible for prizes.

The City of Portland is teaming up with the Market this year to raise awareness about our new curbside “Include the Food” composting. This campaign launches a city-wide effort to compost food scrap by Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. In addition to composting pumpkin innards, information about curbside food composting will be available at the Include the Food information table during the event. For more details on food composting, please visit www.portlandcomposts.com.

Is your child more of a costume enthusiast than a cutter? The parade of children begins at noon at the information booth on the corner of Park & Montgomery. All costumed young’ uns are invited to participate in a march through the market – it’s like trick or treating but with oohs and aahs and iphone pictures instead of candy.horse and pumpkins Just the kind of reward that every child secretly wants more than sweets.

The PSU Market goes from 8:30 – 2 on Saturday. This Sunday is our last King Market of the year: 10 – 2 at NE 7th & Wygant, then we’re out until 2012 but you can join us at PSU Saturdays through December 17, that’s the Saturday before Christmas Eve. And we will have farm fresh goods in the darkest days of the year with our new Winter Market in January & February.

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