Monthly Archives: September 2008

Fooooood

Zucchini
Zucchinis at the PSU farmers’ market.

I just found a blog based on the meals created by using up the food in the CSA box from my former (and sorely missed) farmer Harmony Valley (Richard, do you think you could move to Oregon, please?). I love the idea. One of the best things about being a CSA member is creatively coming up with recipes to use up everything in your box before it goes bad. It is always a scramble to get through even just the items you love, much less incorporating the ones you dislike.

I’ve not been happy with our current CSA, which is wrapping up. Many of the items have been damaged or old by the time they’ve come to us. A number of them have tasted worse than what I’d get in the grocery store. For a while, Brian and I were calling it the lettuce & cucumber share, which is super problematic (while I like greens and herb mixes, I hate lettuce, and am quickly bored by cucumbers). There have been entire weeks where I haven’t been excited by even one vegetable in the bag I’m getting from the CSA. But it was cheap, and you have to start somewhere to find a CSA you like.

Our new farmshare starts in October. We are doing a fall CSA to try out our favorite farmers at the PSU farmers’ market, Groundwork Organics. Can’t wait to start it, and it makes me go to the farmers’ market for the rest of the year which is awesome. I’m thinking that I’ll start posting things on here as I use up the box from them – it’ll motivate me to improve my plating, which is definitely my weakest aspect of cooking (and if I had to choose between plating and taste, I’d still choose taste).

Still no camera cord or battery in sight, so I’ve been pretty quiet. Back to unpacking / looking for the cord.

Lern2spel

Is anyone else getting really tired of seeing glaring misspellings on news websites and in newspapers? I understand that occasionally, typos go unnoticed by editors, but the rate at which I see this happening, it’s definitely more than that.

If you make your living from writing, learn when to use each version of there: “there” “their” “they’re”. Same thing with all the “your” “you’re”. Tenant is spelled with one “N.” “Argument” does not have an “E” after the “U.” If you just can’t understand the rules for this, find a friend who does understand it, and have them read your work before you send it to press.

I’m not trying to be someone who is obsessed with pointing out each little mistake to rub it in someone’s face, but news websites should have someone reading their copy before it goes live. Completely rediculous (heh, kidding).

Tired

I’ve been putting off writing in hopes that I’d find my camera cord – I have a bunch of pictures I want to put on this thing, but no way of getting them to my computer. Eventually I’ll figure out which box into which it was packed, along with my cabbie hat and then will post a backlog of things.

Went up to Mt Hood with Michele, Dean, Brian and Jess today. Michele did a run that was about six miles, straight up the mountain in mist and out-and-out rain. Through the snow too. If I ever had any doubts about what a strong person she is, this would clear them. She is definitely determined and fit and strong. Good for her :) Glad I got to be there to see it. Wish it had been a little warmer for her, but she did great either way.

I’ve been completely exhausted from moving / fighting the fever from the scratches I got. I’ve also been going to bed too late and getting up too early, which has made my days more lethargic than I’d like, and made me terribly disorganized (never a good thing socially, and not at all good when unpacking).

I cannot wait for the day that I never had to speak to my ex-landlady again. She is not a good person as far as I can tell, and I am certain she is going to try to pull something with the security deposit. I’m hopeful that she won’t – I took tons of pictures of how nasty and dirty the place was when I moved in (there was rotting chicken in the freezer, and bits of ham and chocolate under the stove, it was soooooo gross. The rugs smelled sooooo bad. Etc.) While I am still jobhunting, I definitely have time to go to court over this, and if we do that, we will go after the money she owes us from removing access to 1/3 of our house this spring. So I’m hopeful she is smart and returns our security deposit. We cleaned for well over 12 hours, including getting a steam cleaner for the carpets, the place shined and smelled good unlike when we moved into it.

However, today she had the gall to ask us if we stole the patio furniture – she said she looked at a listing from when she bought the house and saw them in it. SIGH. Luckily, I know where the listing pictures are, and grabbed them. The patio furniture in it is a completely different shape – it has benches and not chairs, and the table has Xs for legs, rather than four legs like ours. The only thing it shares is a similar color. It’s constantly like this with her. Brian and I bought material to make curtains from Bolt for the lower level (we spent a good amount too) and when we no longer had access to the lower level, I brought them upstairs thinking we could find a way to reuse them. She wasn’t too pleased by that – I can’t imagine why she thought we’d donate our curtains to her. I’m going to make some of them into a pretty skirt for myself and the rest into pillows I think.

So that’s what motivated me to write tonight – I felt like if I didn’t type up the silliness about the patio furniture I would just obsess about it all night which would be no good. So there. Back to other things and hopefully less worrying about stuff.

Games and beer, my favorite

I’m really excited because a new bar is opening in the Kennedy School on Friday. It’s called the Boiler Room and will have pool and more importantly, shuffleboard. I’m extremely pleased about this and can envision walking up there to spend an evening drinking Hammerhead beer and playing shuffleboard.

The Kennedy School is about 10 block farther from our new house, but it will be so awesome to have shuffleboard within walking distance again!

Wandering the farmers’ market

Squash blossoms at the PSU farmers\' market
Squash blossoms at the PSU farmers’ market

Great morning at the PSU farmers’ market, even though my walnut lady wasn’t there, and the eggs had sold out by the time we got there (late).

We didn’t have to pay for parking because someone had attached an unexpired parking ticket to the parking ticket machine, so we used that. When we left, there was still an hour and a half left on the ticket so I reattached it for the next person to use.

We bought Dave’s Killer bread (rye this time), green shallots, green onions, jalepenos, portabella mushrooms and carrots.

I was delighted to find a huge bag of local dried shitake mushrooms, which I use a lot. I’ve been mailing them back from Madison because the grocery stores around here have non-local ones (some of them are even from China, bleah). I got a huge $20 bag that should last me for a year or so, and I won’t have to be careful about how many times I make miso soup.

After we finished shopping, we got lunch in the middle of the market – Brian got Pinestate biscuits and gravy (he went for the mushroom gravy) and I got a lovely almond croissant from Gabriel’s bakery. We got a seat next to the balloon guy and watched all the tiny kids come up to him and ask for wings and elephants. Very entertaining lunch.

Brian ended up being envious of the croissant so we circled back to grab another one for him on our way out. I was still hopeful for eggs, so we walked through the middle aisle one last time, and I spotted a vendor selling veggie spring rolls for $1.

I said when I woke up that I was really in the mood for greasy American-Chinese food, so it was perfect. While it was frying, we were entertained by this great bluegrass duo who had a mandolin and a banjo. They were great to listen to (their voices harmonized perfectly with their instruments) and there was a little two year old kid dancing enthusiastically in front of them. The mandolin player started dancing with the little boy, which was completely great. After a while, the kid lost interest, and Brian hypothesized that the kid ran back to his father and said “Dad, these bearded bluegrass twenty-somethings are trying to dance with me!” as if it was the most terrifying thing in the world. Hee.

The top three farmers’ markets in the U.S. are Madison, San Francisco and Portland, and when we first moved here, I desperately missed the Madison one. The PSU market is smaller, but it is in many ways more charming, and as I get to know my farmers here, it has definitely tied the Madison market.

We signed up for a fall CSA that we have to pick up on Saturdays at the PSU farmers’ market, so I’m committed to going to it for the rest of the year, something that pleases me to no end. I’m glad I’ll have the motivation to head downtown to the market each week, and we’re already planning our next lunch there next week.

What a great way to start a weekend. And yeah, I know I tend to go on about farmers and farmers’ markets way too much, I just deeply appreciate having that in my life.

Packing is dull

Exactly one week until we get to move into our new-to-us house. We already own it, but have rented it back to the sellers to give them extra time to move.

I should be panicking about packing, but mostly I’m just really, really sick of it. And I’m running out of places to put the boxes I do pack, which is hardly motivational.

We met the person who is taking over the top half of the place we’ve been renting; she has ducks and chickens. She seemed very nice, but surprised by the lack of wood floors – the place was advertised as all wood floors, while in fact there are wood floors in one room and the rest is carpeted. She is paying for the main floor and attic what we paid for the whole house last year. Yeesh, I am so glad to go back to owning.

Omnivore’s 100

I’m surprised at the amount I’ve ended up bolding, given that I’ve been a pescitarian longer than not. 62/100. The rest are mostly lack of opportunity rather than not wanting to try. Except headcheese. *shudder*

Rules (Via):
Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake