Tuesday, March 23, 2010

portland part two

let's just say that the first day of spring is march 21st. after the gala at salt, fire and time my friends all went to a house party, but i went to bed. still on my early morning bakers schedule i was up at 7:30 walking down alberta.

i seldom go to yoga classes, but today i did. hatha yoga. the focus is on your breathe.

i had a text from shunafresh with answers to the question: i'm in pdx where must i go? this was how i found random order coffehouse and bakery. i introduced myself to the baker, but i didn't say good-bye when i left. it wasn't exactly that the bacon cheddar scallion muffin made me cry, but as i sat eating and looking up at their menu board i couldn't help it.

bob's red mill corn, handmade all butter crust, maybe 13 flavors of pie. one day into my trip and i'd already gotten a lot of the perspective i was looking for. i missed my pepples. i miss working with high integrity food. i was humbled by this muffin, and a day or two later the coconut cream pie.

i went back to my friends house and made everyone breakfast. it was a frittata in honor of spring portland style. here is the recipe:

big yukon gold potatoes from the bargain bin at alberta food co-op sliced and simmered until tender in salted water.

yellow onion and fennel cut saute slice and caramelized in raw butter

5 chicken eggs from chickens we knew personally whisked together with a splash of raw milk, basil, the last green onion in the house and a few lonely tablespoons of goatcheese.

potatoes get added to onion fennel mixture, and then egg mixture to that. all gets baked in a 325 oven until just set in the center.

my friend and i ate outside by the coop.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


i'm never sure when the first day of spring is. march 20th or 21st? my parents anniversary. march has always been significant for me. it's my birthday on the 29th and often the time of year when i make moves, change jobs and start projects. it's the beginning of spring, and the end of bundling up.

i've been at my latest job for a year now. there has been a lot of rain and to my dismay i haven't been feeling very grateful for everything in my life that's good. i smartly made a plan to get away to visit my old friend tressafresh in portland.

for some reason i hadn't packed and was chilled out on the other side of town eating a hamburger at mealticket. it was a mad dash to the airport but my boyfriendhero got me there in time.

when i landed i took the lightrail to a central location and was picked up and taken to a gala party at the salt, fire and time kitchen. tressa was there and she was in full goddess mode: strapless gray dress and red high heels. she had a team of what looked like gender queer american apparel models mindfully plating hor douvres and washing dishes in the open industrial kitchen.

the rose cardamom kombucha was flowing, a guy name dj lifepartner was djing with his laptop, and a crowd of amicable food obsessed portlanders gathered.

after the raffle of local products and services including lamb bacon and yoga classes we all helped clean up. my new friends went to a dance party, but i just went to bed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

jerk chicken salad

i met a lot of great cooks when i worked at brown sugar kitchen: shunafresh lydon, dre penny, amyfresh shaw, and queen tanya. lotsa ladies in that kitchen.

me and joshfresh were living in west oakland at the time and i really needed to catch a break and find a job. i had flirted, stopped by, dropped my resume but no phonecall. i came in a lot and ate at the counter. finally one day chef tanya asked me if i was still looking for work and i started within a couple of days. the day i came in to interview i met shuna who at the time i only knew from the internet. just walked right up and shook her hand and i haven't been the same since. it was my first time working in a restaurant that had just opened.

amyfresh shaw is a well seasoned chef who at one time was jimmymealtickets boss at 4th street grill. she is known to some as the leftover queen. even though we were very busy there was often food left over at the end of the day. fried chicken and cornbread mostly. her genius solution was something like this: romaine, celery, radish, cherry tomatoes, chopped cold fried chicken, garlicky cornbread croutons and a creamy viniagrette with tarragon. like an italian bread salad all souled out.

that salad was somewhere in my memory bank last weekend when i was keeping an eye on natefresh who was having a fizzy drink stand in our front yard.

the chicken was from yardie jerk a west oakland spot on san pablo at 32nd. chefgene actually built the smoker behind brown sugar kitchen when he was the tenant. yardie doesn't keep consistent hours so if the open sign is lit, pull over. his jerk chicken is divine.

my salad was something like this: red romaine, romanita tomatoes, celery, avocado, radish, daikon sprouts, carrot, pulled jerk chicken, lemon juice dressing and cornbread from sweet adeline on the side.

we ate on our front porch.