Archive for August, 2008

taste of portland

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

There’s no better place to eat locally than in the Pacific NW. On our trip to Oregon, we had fresh Coho salmon, took the kids peach & berry picking on Sauvie Island, visited a downtown farmers market where lovely morels were $24/lb. (I’ve paid $20 for a small box in DC) … then there was wine, Umqua & Tillamook (fresh and rBGH-free local dairies) ice cream and cheese at the Coast, blackberry shakes & Walla Walla onion rings at Burgerville (sustainable fast food doesn’t have to be an oxymoron). A great trip, capped off with a parting dinner at this awesome coffee shop/bakery in North Portland, Random Order. Thanks to Lelonopo for the tip – we had some amazing (local, organic) pies! Blueberry vanilla cream, Jamaican stone fruit, and plum and ginger were our picks. They also serve Stumptown coffee – yum!

Fresh from the Little Goat Dairy by the River

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

While the FoodieTots is on our annual trip out west, in pursuit of farmstead cheese, tasty microbrews and fine pinot, I’m sharing a tale of our ’07 visit to this charming goat dairy nestled in Oregon’s coast range. Hopefully we will be nibbling on their hazelnut torte as you read this!

On our way back from the Oregon coast, we visited Rivers Edge Chevre, a tiny goat dairy that was having their second anniversary wine and cheese festival. The farm is located in a beautiful valley in the coast range. They recently won several awards at the 2007 American Cheese Society Competition. The cheese was phenomenal – the winery (Madrone Mountain) had port-style wines that were a little sweet for my taste. But the cheeses… yum. They had goat cheese tortes with flavors like olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato pesto, basil pesto, and roasted hazelnut and frangelico which was the toddler’s favorite. (I had to cut him off for fear of him getting drunk off cheese ;-) .) I really enjoyed the Sunset Bay, “an ash-coated wheel with a deep vein of paprika.” We took the hazelnut torte back to the grandparents’ and enjoyed it on toast every morning for breakfast.

And the little herd of friendly goats kept the toddler and his cousin well entertained.

originally published 09.10.07

Peach Hoarding and Fridge-Clearing Suppers

Monday, August 18th, 2008

This weekend we made only a quick stop at the West End Market, a rare break from the market-hopping marathons I’ve been filling our summer weekends with. Then again, we were just at the new Old Town market on Wednesday, although we were restrained there with just a few peaches and apples purchased. Since two of my favorite peach vendors were there, D&S and Bigg Riggs, I intended to do a taste-test. I have a theory that Southern Maryland peaches are addictive because they are planted on former tobacco land … but I have not had a chance to test them against WV and PA peaches at the same time. And since the toddler devoured both our Bigg Rigg’s peaches before we left the market, my taste-off plans were thwarted for now. My sherbet (below) did use a combination of supersweet Harris Orchard peaches from Southern Maryland, a variety they described as lower-acid and therefore sweeter tasting, and Papa’s Orchard donut peaches from Pa., which are his sweetest variety. Of those two, Harris was clearly in the lead.

Last week saw limited cooking in the FoodieTots house, as my mega-cold/sore throat dragged on for a second week, and was topped off with an oven deciding to quit working. Talk about a foodblogger’s worst nightmare – especially with the toddler’s 2nd birthday just around the corner! Here’s hoping we can get it fixed in time… We are also about to leave town for a week, so we spent the weekend cooking up as much of our lingering CSA and market produce as possible. One night, I cooked a rather unappetizing roasted eggplant salad — the oven only broils which resulted in over-roasting of the veggies. Fortunately dinner was salvaged with a fresh tomato, green bean & mozzarella salad over quinoa*.

The husband on Sunday whipped up a tasty peach teriyaki stir-fry of buffalo hot dogs, tomatillos, green beans and peppers. The sauce was garlic, fresh peaches and soy sauce* — again all served atop quinoa with grilled corn on the cob on the side.

And since the broken oven thwarted my peach blackberry cobbler plans, I broke in the new ice cream maker instead with a Peach Berry Sherbet – yum!

* quinoa and soy sauce were non-local.

Peach Berry Sherbet

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I had been suffering a serious case of foodblogger envy watching others whip up homemade ice cream treats this summer, so finally broke down and bought the KitchenAid ice cream attachment. I’ve gushed before about the wonderful local ice cream/custard/gelato treats we have available, but I’ve been wanting to experiment with healthier variations. Since the toddler seems to have inherited my family’s ice cream addiction — seriously, he woke up one morning recently requesting, “i skeem? i skeem?” — I wanted to try out some low sugar options. Using the sweet, ripe fruits at market right now makes that easier as they don’t require much added sweetener. For my first attempt, I decided to try a sherbet – the full fruit flavor of gelato, but with 2% milk instead of eggs. So it’s low fat too! I used honey under the theory that it requires less to match the sweetness of regular sugar, and was pleased that this turned out pleasantly sweet even with the tart blackberries. I was worried that the berries might overpower the peach flavor, but it turned out wonderfully balanced. It’s not as creamy as ice cream, but still a luscious summer treat.

Recipe: Peach Berry Sherbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1 c berries (used 2/3c raspberries & 1/3 c blackberries)
  • 2.5 cups peaches
  • 1 c 2% milk

Instructions: Bring water and honey just to boil in small saucepan over high heat, stir to dissolve honey. Add berries, crushing with back of spoon and reduce to low simmer for 10 m. Remove from heat and strain through fine mesh sieve. Chill while preparing peaches.

Peel and dice peaches. Puree in food processor or blender until smooth, add milk and berry syrup and pulse until blended. Chill for at least 1 hour. Process in ice cream maker as instructed, freeze and enjoy! Makes about 1 qt., 4-6 servings.

Blend peaches, milk and berry syrup in food processor. Chill 1 hour. Freeze in ice cream maker.

Food Miles: This was 100% local! South Mountain Creamery milk 63mi., Toigo Orchards honey 114mi., Papa’s Orchard’s donut peaches 87mi., Harris Orchard’s supersweet peaches 24mi., Westmoreland Berry Farm black & raspberries 71mi. All but the milk (delivered) and Harris peaches were from Alexandria farmers markets — this recipe is being shared with the Farmers Market Report at the new “To Every Meal There is a Season”.

Upper King Street Market – Opening Day

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

First look: D&S Farms (Southern Md.), peaches, tomatoes, berries and jams; Bigg Riggs (WV), Loring peaches, apples, tomatoes, squash, jams etc.; Greenstone Fields (VA), tomatoes and fresh flowers. Random table with some melons and greens. Plenty of seating for devouring a peach or two before the walk home.